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

Presidents Update

What a year! As 2020 continues to have us spinning our pedals backwards the committee has taken advantage of the lull to develop new initiatives to take VetRide into the future.

In keeping with the intent to spread the VetRide ideal and broaden our footprint, Queensland and Victoria have developed a joint strategy to increase our membership. An initial recruiting focus in the Townsville and Brisbane regions seeks to add to our membership from currently serving ADF personnel.

A direct request to the Federal Member for Herbert, Mr Phillip Thompson OAM MP, has seen an in principle agreement to support our efforts. Phillip is an ex-serving member of the ADF; serving with the 1st Battalion he saw service in East Timor and Afghanistan. Severe injuries from an IED in Afghanistan saw return to Australia and a long road to recovery. Since the move from the Army to civilian life he has worked to champion mental health and suicide prevention. In 2018 he was awarded his OAM for his significant service to the welfare of war veterans.

A further focus on current and recently discharged ADF members has seen the commencement of negotiations with a large group of cyclists from the now disbanded Soldier On Cycling. Despite the many generational differences it is pleasing to see the common ground we share in terms on interest and intent.

Mountain Biking in Australia has been on of the fastest growing sports over the last few years. The committee has discussed how we could support this discipline within VetRide more than we have in the past. There are many challenges in achieving this; not the least of which is the risk of alienating current members through the fear of ‘not keeping up’ or ‘I can’t do that’. The same fears could be present among those coming from MTB to road or gravel.

Another growing area of cycling, not only within a Australia but also worldwide, is the advent of electric bicycles particularly pedelec (PEdal ELEctric Cycle) in the MTB world. Advances in battery technology and decreasing costs means that these bicycles are a viable solution to many of the concerns mentioned above. The uptake of these types of MTB has Specialized predicting that production of conventional mountain bikes will cease in the future.

There are also numerous bolt on kits that can be used to convert those old bicycles we no longer use to a pedelec; of course, having a couple of old GT’s lying around this is what I have done; stay tuned for a further post on how I went about this.

In the mean time stay strong ;there is light at the end of this pandemic tunnel and we are sure to see a return to normalcy – however gradual it may be.

ANZAC Day 2020

Dear VetRide Member / Affiliate,

You are invited to join our ANZAC DAY Live-Stream Event on ANZAC DAY Saturday 25 April 2010 commencing at 12-noon sharp.

The Event will last only 10 minutes but it will include:

– A Welcome Address, Reflection & Prayer led by Cadet Chaplain, VetRide member, and serving Army WO2 Darren Thomas

– A text based ‘Chat Room’ feature which will be active from 11.35am to 12.30pm. 

Weather permitting, Darren is hoping to Live Stream from the Victorian Shrine of Remembrance which, I’m sure you will agree, will add to the solemnity of the occasion.

Feel free to use the ‘Chat Room’ feature to write a “Hello” to your mates that might be participating and share some ANZAC DAY banter. Use ‘Chat’ to tell us what you think about the Event and to ask us any VetRide related questions. Note that ‘Chat’ can be viewed by all participants.

A link to particpate has been distibuted via email; if you have not received it please send an email to the committee requesting an invite.

Upon clicking the weblink, your smartphone/computer web-browser (for example, Explorer, Safari, Firefox or Chrome) should automatically open and take you to the VetRide Zoom Live-Stream Event page. You do not need to download the Zoom App or enter meeting ID or Passwords.

Initially, you will be placed in a Virtual ‘Waiting Room’ from where you will be electronically admitted to the ‘Event’ by the event host. Event admission will be from 11.35am. You should aim to join the Event by no later than 11.50am to be ready for the start.

The Event will be a great opportunity for the VetRide community to connect as one family to mark ANZAC DAY, using technology of the day, at a time when our ANZAC DAY routines and traditions are challenged by the COVID-19 Corona Virus pandemic.

The timing of this Event will allow you to ‘participate’ in the National Dawn Service celebrations (for example, watching the Canberra Ceremony on ABC TV), attend our Virtual Event, and then tuck into an “Isolation BBQ and a Beer’ in the afternoon. How good is that!

You are requested:

2.  Mute your microphones, but switch on your video so that we can all see one another. You will be able to see others, but not talk to others. The idea is that you will hear the official broadcast only. If you switch on your microphone everyone will hear you and you will interrupt the ceremony.

At the end of the short ceremony, the Event will be automatically ended by the Event host.

Troubleshooting

1. Make sure you have a ‘live’/active internet connection for your smartphone or computer

2. If connecting via wifi in you own home make sure you are positioned close to your router/modem (minimise the number of walls in-between)

3. If connecting via smartphone good reception is not as important, but 4G is a minimum.

We hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Your VetRide Committee

Warburton Vetride Photos

Riders at Noojee

Excellent riding at Warburton. The rain stayed away but it was a little cool for our main supported ride to Nooyee. A tough 103Km ride for many of us including the climbs over the mountain both ways at Powelltown.

We were looked after very well by Tom and Alex in the Perentie lead vehicle, Clive and Ray in the Greensborough RSL Bus and Sag wagon, Les in the Beraldo coffee cart, Simon and Dave from the Warburton Holiday park; and Andrew from Yarra Valley Catering who feed us so well!

Thanks Peter for keeping us on track and getting this event on the road.

Click here to view photos

Warburton 2019

VetRide is excited to announce it’s major ride for the year will be held at Warburton from Mon 11 – Thurs 14 November. Pencil the dates in; come for a day, come for three, or extend your stay in lovely Warburton. Keep your eyes on here and social media as more planning is done and details become available

 

Ride With GPS

Ride with GPS is ride/activity tracking web site whose stated aim is to

empower people to get outside, reconnect with nature, and embark on two-wheeled adventures.

Just like Strava or Garmin Connect, Ride With GPS is able to record your ride and create routes through both a website and iOS/Android apps. Thanks to hard work of the Ride Director all VetRide members have access to a club membership of this great service.

The first step, if you don’t already have one, is to create an account at Ride With GPS, don’t worry it’s free to join. Once you’ve completed that process follow the instructions in the above video to request access to the club area.

Then check out the great YouTube channel Ride With GPS run with instructional videos on how to use the the website.