Bikers celebrate disgraceful ageing

By Paul Charman

A quarter century ago a group of bikers got together

In 1988 NZ Post closed 432 offices, commercial TV went seven days and Cyclone Bola struck.

But it was also a very good year for mature motorcyclists - 1988 was when the Ulysses Club of New Zealand was formed.

If you're out on the roads this weekend you'll likely see evidence of the group's silver jubilee celebrations.

Ulysses now has about 3000 active members and they enjoy the camaraderie of riding together.

These greying bikers, whose motto is, "Grow Old Disgracefully", and who wear the cartoon logo of a bearded biker as their riding colours, are well known for charity toy runs.

They also advocate motorcycle safety, especially that of older riders.

The club, which accepts associate members aged over 40 and full members aged over 50, has a name inspired by a poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

This tells of the Greek hero Ulysses, now middle aged, who is getting bored and longing to go adventuring with his shipmates of old.

Ulysses seems to defy stereotypes by drawing men and women members from all walks of life.

Yesterday a 200-page full-colour history by author Peter Mitchell, was to have been launched to mark the silver jubilee at the AGM in Rotorua.

Members past and present were to attend "ride-ins" at Twizel on April 13 and at Taupo on April 16.


- Hamilton News

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