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Motorcycling with the over 40s!

 Wayne Painter is the coordinator of the North Harbour Ulysses Club, a social club for motorcyclists over 40-years-old. Members can have any sort of bike and there are members in their 80’s still riding! The North Harbour Branch was formed in April this year and has over 160 members. Wayne moved from 'the other side of bridge' in 1969 when, in his words, his wife made it a condition of their marriage. Once his children left home, he and wife Dale moved to a smaller house on Target Road and bought a new motorcycle each, the rest is history. Wayne let Channel Mag in on the world of motorcycling and told us a bit about the club.

Courtney Bennett: How did you get involved in Ulysses?
Wayne Painter: We were doing trophies for bike shows and met the then coordinator of the Auckland Branch in 1990 and decided to get back into riding and joined the Club. I was Auckland Branch President for 10 years (1994-2004) and was made a Life Member in 2003.

CB: Have you always been passionate about motorcycling?
WP:
I bought my first motorbike in 1960, an old AJS, then a newer Matchless but gave up riding when the children were born. Young children and motorbikes don’t really go together, but I always intended to get another motorbike when the time was right.

CB: You’ve got club members in their 80’s, that’s impressive! Can you tell us about the oldest member of the club?
WP:
I am not sure who is our oldest member but know of two members who are 86 and still riding! One has just bought a new motorbike for his birthday.

CB: What’s the best part about belonging to a club?
WP: The camaraderie and lifelong friendships we have made both throughout New Zealand and Australia. We have Ulysses Clubs all around the world and many members have visited clubs in other countries.

CB: Many people have never been on a motorcycle before, why should they start?
WP:
Riding a motorcycle is totally different to driving a car; when you are riding well it is exhilarating and challenging at the same time, you see more of your surroundings, smell the changes in the seasons, you feel the enjoyment of being in control of your machine. When you are driving a car you’re in a box and only see in front of you.

CB: What do you do in your spare time?
WP:
What is spare time?  By the time I work 50-65 hours a week, depending on the season, keep the house and gardens under control, spend time with our children and grandchildren, ride and clean our motorbikes there’s not much time left! We need two more days in the week. I’m sure many working people feel this way.

CB: What does a typical club night look like at Ulysses?
WP: The North Harbour Branch gets 70-90 members and visitors along to club night at the North Shore Cosmopolitan Club, many of these members arrive at 5.30-6.00pm and have dinner and socialise until the official part of the evening starts at around 7.30pm. We usually have a display of different new motorbikes each month and we have a Quartermaster who sells both National and North Harbour clothing and badges. The evening usually finishes about 9.00-9.30pm.

CB: Favourite sport to watch live?
WP:
Any type of car or motorcycle racing.

CB: Favourite type of bike/motorcycle and why?
WP:
Cruisers - because you have time to look at the scenery and smell the roses when you are cruising,  I have just purchased a new Indian Chieftain and Dale has an Indian Scout on order. Indian is one of the oldest brands around and made famous by Bert Munro on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

CB: In 10 years time I’ll be…
WP: 
In 10 years time, I might have great grandchildren. I’ll be 81 and riding more slowly, but still riding and enjoying the friendships I have made through the Ulysses Club.

www.ulyssesnorthharbour.org.nz 

by Courtney Bennett

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