Presidents AGM Report

AGM 30th November 2022

We are not the only organisation to lose a bit of momentum during the difficult periods of lockdown, however the other side of that particular coin is that as far as I am aware, not one of our riders has been taken by the pandemic. Although it does seem that we will have to endure continuing waves of variants into the future the mortality rate is likely to be lower, given the availability of vaccines and antivirals.

With that history in mind and our hard-working Secretary’s enthusiasm unabated, John and the other two musketeers, Lee and Bernie, prompted the running of our return event out of Halls Gap, over a few days leading up to the Melbourne Cup. Thanks to divine intervention and St Paul ‘The one who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know’ 1 Corinthians 8:2, we were indeed blessed with fine weather for both the first recovery ride and the following day’s main event.

Given a ‘birdcage’ in the hand was better than one in the bush, the risk averse decision to abandon on day three was ordained, however three of our riders Messrs Simmonds, Andrews and Aldenhoven were rewarded for their patience, and enjoyed a fine ride, each other’s company and food aplenty, thanks to Faye and certainly in keeping with the ‘We Sustain’ motto of the bait layers.

Just prior to our sojourn to the Grampians, VetRide also entered a team for the (previously 2019 pandemic cancelled) United Energy ‘Around the Bay’. About 30 riders braved the cold conditions and the back and forth over the Westgate Bridge. The day and the usual 10,000 riders finally began to warm up as we took in glimpses of the bay, followed inexorably by the satisfaction of having completed another 100k milestone. Does the medal go on the left of the others or the right ?

Over the last year and in keeping with our commitment to the wellbeing of veterans, VetRide has also engaged with some other like-minded organisations. Although it is a no-brainer to an artist or a musician, in this era there is an emerging focus on the value of ‘therapy’, based on engagement in artistic activities. The value of the therapeutic programs appears to have mainstream acceptance within the current and the recent serving ADF members, and one such program is now in use by the Australian Defence Force, designed by Tanya Johnston at the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum. VetRide is also collaborating with ANVAM in regard to the proposed building project located in the Arts precinct at 310 St Kilda Road, Melbourne*.

Thanks to Gary (Jazz), who is a VetRide committee member and Lieutenant Colonel, Administrative Commanding Officer – Welfare Land Domain, Paul and I attended a Mental Health and Welfare Event at Victoria Barracks on 3rd November. The invitation was prompted by Gary’s view that as there are riders within our group who are current and recent serving, VetRide would be better informed about how Defence supports its members. It was certainly an eye-opener in terms of the ADF’s focus on the wellbeing of both its uniform members, civilian contractors and employees.

As a flow on, VetRide has pleasingly, also now been invited by Defence to attend their bi-annual transition seminars, and also to participate through our presence as a stallholder. For that to happen we will be ably assisted by both Jazz and Gary (no it’s not binary fission) another one of our riders who as a WO1, previously co-ordinated these seminars. A fortunate stroke of serendipity!

Your ongoing participation in Bicycle Network (BN) events like the Around the Bay and the Great Victorian Bike Ride has solidified our presence within their 50,000 strong membership base, and although we may be a ‘piccolo’ peloton by comparison, the fact of our service has been enough to inspire BN to partner with VetRide for an event.

The Weekender’ *** ride is timed to take place over the weekend immediately prior to ANZAC day 2023, and as you will see from their website, BN will provide their usual full range of support facilities, in the same way they do for the Great Vic.

For our part we will act as the interface, in terms of the recognition and commemoration of ANZAC. This will be achieved in a number of ways, the most important being your presence within the expected 1000 or so members of the public, who it is hoped will sign up.

Your efforts will be supported by our recently appointed VetRide Patron, Dave Sabben MG and our Cycling Ambassador, Shane Kelly OAM, and as a veteran the full cost of your entry and a ‘Ride Anzac’ jersey will be covered by a grant we have succeeded in obtaining, from the Victorian Government’s ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund and Victorian Veterans Council.

On administrative matters, VetRide has been contacted by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), the organisation who oversee the control of assets that are held on trust for the people of Victoria, and including so called ‘patriotic’ funds, that exist for the welfare of veterans.

CAV has invited VetRide to establish a Patriotic Fund, which will enable us to receive grants and donations from organisations including eg the RSL and the VVAA, who also have a Patriotic Fund. A recent proposed transfer of a generous donation from Greensborough RSL from their Patriotic Fund account was unable to be processed, because we did not have the equivalent account, and that then has given rise to the idea of its being established. At the same time we will need to amend our Constitution, so as to afford the opportunity to receive these kinds of gifts.

On that timely note and behalf of your committee, I wish you all the best for the festive season and look forward to pedalling our wares with you, sometime in the new year.

Peter Liefman OAM
VetRide Incorporated

Ride Anzac

VetRide invites you to take part in Ride Anzac, a riding pilgrimage* over the weekend immediately prior to Anzac day in 2023. 

This will be the first time a war veteran’s cycling group has joined forces with a large public cycling organisation Bicycle Network; and as such it offers a new and dynamic way to honour those in your family who served, to commemorate the sacrifice of others, to support the spirit of Anzac and to learn about what it is to be a veteran.

During this event you will ride alongside present day veterans and be able to engage with them ‘over the handlebars’. 

For more information please see the Flyer and come and join us by completing the Registration form and Declaration

Early bird closes Sunday 12 February 2023.  

Peter Liefman OAM 
for VetRide 

(*A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about themselves, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation. )

Grampians ‘Event Information and Ride Guide’ available now

The Grampians Event is all ready to go from Friday 28 October to Tuesday 1st November.

To download a copy of the event info and ride guide click here
Event Info and Ride Guide.

Or the Norval Camp Handbook click here
Norval Camp Handbook

We are using Ride with GPS as the route design and publishing platform.
All those registered should have access to this. We have sent out invitation’s to join the VetRide Club.

You can view the Grampians Event on Ride with GPS by clicking this link.

If you are having any difficulty accessing the ‘VetRide Club’ on ‘Ride with GPS’ please email Bernie on

Grampians Ride Event – 28 October to 1 November 2022

It’s on. We’ve got the numbers and we still have space for more riders. So don’t wait if you would like to join us as space is limited.
Vetride Grampians multi-day ‘Spoke and Wheel’ return to base cycling event, based at Halls Gap. Accommodation at Camp Acacia. Event information.
Arrival Friday 28th October 2022, departure Tuesday 1st of November 2022.
Scheduled rides on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
What’s provided:
The entry fee of $100 covers insurance, administrative costs, 4 night’s shared accommodation (lodge) and all meals (except alcohol), plus on road support for three scheduled rides.

Tap here for the Expression of interest and Registration Form

Grampians Ride Event – 28 October to 1 November 2022

VetRide is seeking expressions of interest from its members, to take part in a proposed
multi-day ‘Spoke and Wheel’ return to base cycling event, based at Halls Gap in the Grampians. Event information.
Arrival Friday 28th October 2022, departure Tuesday 1st of November 2022.
Scheduled rides on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
What’s provided:
The entry fee of $100 covers insurance, administrative costs, 4 night’s shared accommodation (lodge) and all meals (except alcohol), plus on road support for three scheduled rides.

Tap here for the Expression of interest and Registration Form

Notice of Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting for VetRide Incorporated will be held at the Greensborough RSL, Main Road Greensborough, on Tuesday 30th November 2021 at 11.00 am.


At the Annual General Meeting all the members of the Management Committee for the time being shall retire from office, but shall be eligible upon nomination for re-election.

Any two members (nominator and seconder) of the Club shall be at liberty to nominate any other member to serve as an officer of the management committee.

Nominations for the Management Committee are to be received by the Secretary in writing prior to the Annual General Meeting, the nomination to be signed by the member, the member’s nominator and seconder.

If no written nominations are received, nominations will be taken from the floor.

Nomination Form:

Full details of the nomination process and the form to nominate can be found below.

Electric Bicycles

Let’s get stripped

Undertaking a mid-mount demands a bit more time and effort, than that for a rear hub conversion. Initially it requires tackling some of the tasks that riders often leave to their local bike shop, because they either lack the tools, expertise, or motivation. This usually includes the removal of the chain, crankset and bottom bracket, front derailleur (and in some cases the rear), and cassette. Already having the necessary tools and having previously performed these tasks I was ready to get stuck in.

There are too many ‘standards’ in bottom brackets and running gear to warrant detailing the tools and steps pertinent to the choice of moutnain bike I made. Suffice it to say that Google is your best friend in this endeavour should you choose to undertake it. There is a veritable plethora of useful tutorials on online, particularly on Youtube, that can guide you through the whole process, to get you started;

Or have the ladies over at REV Electric Cycles guide you through the whole process of fitting a Bafang Mid Drive Unit. They even sell kits that include the fitting in the price.

Having stripped his bike El Presidente has mounted his motor through the bottom bracket.

So that’s probably enough information for tonights post, this is going to be more than a single stubbie job! Join us in the next post as we begin to get in to the harder stuff of running the electrics!

Electric Bicycles

Off the shelf or doing it yourself?

As alluded to in the previous post there can be a perception of not being able to keep up when making the transition from road to mountain biking. There is certainly an element of truth in this thought process as it is a different form of fitness required in mountain-biking as you contend with the obstacles found off-road.

As with almost any market manufacturers have seen a gap and offer solutions in the form of off the shelf e-bikes; many with the prices to make you wince. These bikes are proving so popular that the brand Specialized see a time where ‘naturally aspirated’ mountain bikes will be a thing of the past. Whilst prices of these bikes have begun to reduce, the most cost effective manner to gain electric power can be through the conversion of an existing bike. There is the option to have someone do this for you, obviously there is an extra cost incurred with this option, so the cheapest course of action remains the Do It Yourself kits; particularly where you have an existing bike in the shed!

These kits come in two general flavours; mid mount and hub drive. Where the bike is intended for road or light trail use only the hub drive system is thought to be the best balance, whilst those considering venturing further ‘off piste’ will require the mid mount version. If you want or need more details on the dis/advantages of the various types a quick internet search will soon provide you with a wealth of information. Our esteemed president has completed his research and made his choice, what follows is his story as he converts to e-power.

Choice of stead

In the shed I have a couple of little used, but good quality (end of the 1990s) mountain bikes, both made by GT, one a hard tail and the other Full Suspension (FS). Predictably, I have decided to convert the FS as my first attempt.

GT LTS-1 XR-1000

There is a good write up on the LTS series over on Pinkbike if you want the intimate detail of the bikes. Suffice it to say that the presidents bike is an 18″ 1998 model example of a bikes sold to fulfill a light cross country role. This model is the last to feature a straight seat post and features 100mm of travel. (Is that a comfort seat and seat-post we see added there El Presidente?)

Choice of battery/motor kit

After a bit of research the best value and most popular kit appears to be that made by Bafang. They made two kinds of mid mount, the most common being the BBS02 (now BBS02B) in 250, 500 and 750 w motors; and the made tougher BBSHD 1000w. Since my old mountain bike only has about 100mm travel front and even less on the back, the latter much more expensive option was pointless, however since the price between the least and most powerful BBS02B was minimal, it made sense to go with the 48v 750W. Even in Australia there are numerous retailers offering these, and more, kits. Do your research and choose the right kit for your intended use

Having chosen your stead and your kit the next step is prepare the bike and start fitting the kit. Join us in the next post as the president continues his journey to electrification.

Electric Bicycles

1932: Whilst not the first e-bike this image reveals the concept has bee around for a significant period of time!

Electric bicycles (e-bIkes) are rapidly becoming more mainstream rather than the remit of those with deep pockets. Take a closer look at that suit/skirt wearing individual who flew past you on the morning commute and chances are you will see the signs of an e-bike in their mount. E-Bikes are are attracting more and more people to the activity we love but, more than this, they can extend our life cycling by flattening those hills or opening up terrain we previously stayed away from.

Discussions within the committee on the future of the organisation identified the need to broaden our appeal to veterans, one suggestion was to incorporate Mountain Biking more than we have previously. Mountain biking has as many disciplines as their road cousins, whether it be trundling along a quiet gravel road, challenging yourself on some undulating single track, or hurtling down a hill (the steeper the better)! The images evoked from these descriptions can instill the perception that mountain-biking is a young man’s game or that it is only for those with the legs of Jens Voigt; in short many people will believe they can not ‘keep up’! This is where the aforementioned e-bikes can come in to play!

Many manufacturers now offer a variety of off the shelf e-bikes, from racing road-bikes and commuters to make the trip to work short/quicker. Through to cross-country mountain bikes that flatten hills and downhill thumpers that allow the rider to pedal back up that mountain. The prices on some of these will make your eyes water as you look for the internal combustion engine that you know should be included!

Just as bicycle manufacturers have created a variety of off the shelf solutions, battery electric motor manufacturers are producing different kits that allow conversion of a standard bike to an e-bike. This option is a far more wallet friendly course, particularly for those of us with an unused bike sitting in the shed (road or mountain bike).

Join us over the coming posts as El Presidente takes us on a journey as he converts one of his old mountain bikes to electric power

President’s Update – January 2021

As 2021 gets underway and the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID lock-down approaches, it is appropriate that I report to you about this organisation’s response.
Given many of our riders are on the plus side of the promised three score and ten, and with health challenges, your committee were left with little option but to suspend our operations.
In the now nearly 12 months since then, risk levels may have fluctuated, however at no point has it been safe to contemplate running a full group ride cycling event. Individual riders have continued to get out there, and some of our sub-groups have been able to manage local group outings. Planning however, for when we are able to contemplate an official VetRide event has not ceased, including some preliminary discussion with Bicycle Network, around the possibility of a jointly, veteran and public, commemorative ride, during the Anzac day period. As an example:

Ride Anzac
… and in the morning you will remember them;
as you ride with the spirit of Anzac
As dawn breaks and in the light of the Eternal Flame, your day will start from the Victorian home of commemoration, the Shrine of Melbourne.
Warming up as you head along Birdwood Avenue, the cavalcade of pedal will pass by Simpson and his Donkey, the Memorial to Silence, the Drivers and Wipers Memorial, Edward Honey and Edith Cavell Memorials, before saluting John Monash and the entry to Government House.
After finishing back at the Shrine, you will have the opportunity to ….

In terms of our continuing support for current serving and younger veterans, we have also commenced talks with some of the previous organisers of the Soldier On Cycling group. This was a nationwide group of riders numbering in the hundreds, and I am pleased to report that their approach is much the same as ours, in that they are keen to rejuvenate their activities in unison with VetRide.

To our North our VetRide Queensland group continue to be active and some interstate collaboration is being undertaken as they formulate plans to enlarge their membership. The Federal Member for the Townsville area is a veteran, Phillip Thompson OAM MP and his kind offer of assistance will be relevant, for contact with the military bases in his Townsville area electorate; and beyond.

There are three current serving members on our committee and we rely upon their expertise, with regard to relevant strategic planning for the future. One suggestion has been that we engage more substantially with mountain biking; and with that in mind some investigations have begun into the possibility of an event to be run at Lysterfield Park. I have made initial contact with the Lysterfield District Trail Riders (LDTR), who maintain the many trails there, host events, rides and training etc.

Lysterfield Park contains some natural bush and forest that was the common landscape for much of the Melbourne area before white settlement. Lysterfield Lake was used to supply fresh water to the Mornington Peninsula before the construction of Cardinia Reservoir in 1975. The Park is a significant area for an amazing variety of birdlife – 172 species recorded – attracted by the different types of food and environments provided by the woodlands, forest, lake and grassy open spaces. There are ten trails (see Trailforks) totalling 20km in the park, ranging from 200m to 6.3km they vary from easy to extremely difficult. Track surfaces vary with hardened surface and widely variable and unpredictable natural features and terrain.

Under the rules of Incorporation we are required to hold an Annual General Meeting, which for us would normally have been held at the end of 2020. Because of COVID we have not yet conducted the AGM, however have applied to Consumer Affairs Victoria for an extension, and pursuant to the rules, our Secretary will advise of the date in due course.
In the interim, we await progress upon the roll out of the vaccine and the presumed accompanying safe environment, for the holding of group activities. Until then, please let your committee know of your thoughts, and any suggestions you may have for the future.

Peter Liefman OAM BA LLB
VetRide Incorporated President