Ulysses Garden Route
ULYSSES GARDEN ROUTE 2016 …A STELLAR YEAR!
ULYSSES GARDEN ROUTE (UGR) simply shone in every respect during 2016 and the Chapter superseded quite simply even its own expectations with some notable achievements.
In February the inaugural 3 Passes Run, brainchild of Road Captain, Leon Stander, was off to a great start with most members present and two memorable overnight stays and some extreme motorcycling through the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains, and the final stretch homewards over the 8 Bells pass near Mossel Bay. This ride will never be forgotten by attendees, the ambient temperature reaching a staggering 45 degrees plus with reports of a broiling 47 degrees in the home stretch between Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay. An epic ride and for some the first time that a bike “danced” on melted tar at 130kph. “We may have to rethink the 3 passes at the hottest time of the year” says Stander. “Some would say the biggest problem was finding cold beers but a heck of a memory nevertheless and a motorcycling event that will be talked about for years to come with motorcycling in such extreme conditions.”
“A 3 Harbours Run is next on the cards” says Leon… a similar concept but this time to include Knysna, Mossel Bay and Stilbaai (the 3 harbours) with an inland detour. From extreme heat to mid-winter and the Chapters pivotal activity the UGR WHALE RALLY blasted off for the second year held at Hartenbos, Mossel Bay. With 93 sponsors, Rallygoers went away with a lot of quality prizes and great music and sound (compliments of our resident Deejay’s and Ulysseans, Gary White and Willie Bonthuys) The sponsors were more than double that of the previous year and although there was no significant increase in attendance …largely due to bad weather which fortunately lifted at the last moment. The Stalls were great largely due to the unrelenting efforts of Vice Pres, Stephen Fry and Vivienne Wodehouse and the event went off with hardly an incident and injury. With accolades pouring in and the Chapter receiving congratulations from satisfied and happy rally goers, Chap president Eddie Boshoff felt as so many did, that this was probably the benchmark Whale Rally.
“We will continue re-evaluating and our aim for 2017 is to emulate our success of this year and improve where we possibly can. Travelling to a Rally is becoming increasingly costly and we owe it to our rally goers and supporters to provide a great party with great prizes and entertainment” says Boshoff. The previous and continued successes of the Whale Rally enabled the Chapter to support inter alia, two “animal welfare” actions …the PAWS FOR CLAWS, “STERITHON” (where for a few days animals are sterilized free in disadvantaged communities) held in Groot Brak River and, of course, the ULYSSES second major event, the PAWS RUN.
The Sterithon was ably supported by the whole Chap with some very hard work by Vivienne Wodehouse who was ably supported by members, Keith Nichols, Walda Botha, and Rene and Duggie Strydom who all gave huge time and effort in ensuring the success of this event. Three dog food manufacturers (Jock, Zogo and Royal Canin) came on board with donations and the benefactors were of course the organizing Committee and Garden Route SPCA who oversaw the entire operation.
The second was the PAWS run. Now something of an institution in the biking fraternity in the Southern Cape and with good weather playing its part, the generous Bikers and the public filled an SPCA van with animal goodies…also bolstered by a healthy contribution from, once again, Zogo Dogfoods. The day was concluded with a prize giving and an excellent meal at the popular Vikings Restaurant in Mossel Bay in an almost carnival atmosphere with good vibes rounding off a highly successful event.
The Chapters has a philosophy of spreading the benefits across the clubs “area of operation” which is huge … from Plettenberg Bay to the North East and Witsand in the South West and inland to De Rust (about 40 kms “North” of Oudtshoorn). Handovers were made to charities in Plettenberg Bay and a further handover of basic essentials to Kenani, a centre for adult Cerbral Palsied (CP) and the which caters for children similarly affected.
As members of the SOUTH WESTERN DISTRICTS MOTORCYCLISTS ASSOCIATION (SWDMCA) the Chapter also actively participates in events and fundraisers hosted by other Clubs in the Association.
This year the TOY RUN is to be held in George and ULYSSES members were involved in organising this major event at Committee level. The Chapter also made a substantial donation of prizes and handouts for the event which is expected (weather permitting) to be the biggest in the history (of the event) in the S. Cape. “It is heartening and very touching to get off ones motorcycle and have a member of the general public come and express their appreciation for some of the charity work we do”, says President Eddie Boshoff. “ULYSSES as a 'brand name' of sorts has become ever more noticeable and the general public have started to associate the Chapter down here in the S. Cape with charity work. The press have also responded positively and the Chapter has enjoyed coverage in not only the local but national print media.”
“This is not only good for the image of Ulysses but for the general image of motorcycling. This positivity resonates and reflects in the ever increasing number of enquiries for membership and the Chapter is now at its greatest numerical strength with almost 40 members and a brace of Honorary and Life Members as well.