Hello fellow members and fellow RV’ers, I have been asked to submit a quarterly column for Riding On in relation to the activities of the Ulysses Members RV Group.
A bit of history first. The RV Group came about in 2007 when, in a conversation with the late Ian “Huggie” Rawlings, we saw the need for a RV club that catered specifically to Ulysses members who had moved from riding motorcycles exclusively to club events, to travelling with an RV to facilitate easier travelling for either themselves and/or their partners, and to still share in the camaraderie that they had come to enjoy in the Ulysses Club. As we were still all motorcyclists, we considered that an RV Group fitted within the boundaries of the first of the Ulysses Club principles placed into the Constitution by Old No. 1, namely to provide a means for older motorcyclists to get together for mutual companionship and support.
Many members of the Ulysses Club, however, initially saw us as demons and lambasted us in Riding On and other forums, some even suggesting that as we were not always riding motorcycles we should be expelled from the club. I knew from my time on Natcom that there was something in the club minutes that limited Special Interest Groups to motorcycle only activities, and although we were a group all about members, we did not fit the direction laid down in the minutes. So, at our first meeting at Brooms Head, in March 2008, we voted to be a separate body completely, but only accepting membership from Ulysses Club members. Later, we changed the membership requirement to include former members of the Ulysses Club as well, as we came to appreciate that many of our members and prospective members let their Ulysses Club membership lapse when they no longer owned or rode a motorcycle, and felt alienated at their local branch meetings because of that.
The Ulysses Members RV Group is now over 10 years old and boasts a membership in excess of 1200 people, who love nothing better than to travel somewhere in their RV and get together with their fellow members, share good times and tell outrageous tales about the wondrous things that they once did on their motor bikes. We have an AGM each year in October, at a different location in a different State, and our Birthday Rally each March in Brooms Head in NSW. We have a website at http://ulyssesrv.org, where information is posted for members to keep up to date with rallies and other club happenings. Each State, except Tasmania and NT, have State coordinators who plan and organise rallies in their own State, which are nearly always well patronised.
Just recently, one of our State coordinators in Victoria was shown around the Mornington Racecourse site of the 2019 Ulysses Club AGM. Some of the things that were pointed out to him by the host committee member set off alarm bells in relation to RV onsite camping, and I published his thoughts in a mail out to our members. I am aware of the huge amount of work that Blue Knowles has done behind the scenes for the RV camping at Barmera, and I was disappointed that his work could be undone by what was proposed in Mornington. In the meantime, Natcom has posted out an Intercom email, contradicting what we were told, stating that planning is still being done. I really hope that they in fact fix the things that were outlined to our State coordinator, as the 2019 AGM is only 9 months away.
In closing, let me say that if you are riding your bike along the highway and you come up behind an RV with one of our big yellow, orange and blue stickers on the back, give a toot and a wave as you overtake. Even though we might be in an RV, or towing a van, we are still motorcyclists and, most likely, still members of the same club.
Until next time,
Rick Bedford, National Co-coordinator, Ulysses Members RV Group.
Ex- National President and Life Member, Ulysses Club Inc.