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


2018 In Review

At the close of business for this year we have undertaken and participated in a number of interesting rides, solidified our connections with like-minded organisations, welcomed some new cyclists into the VetRide family; and maintained our commitment to honouring the service and sacrifice of our compatriots, past and present.

Queensland Visits

Early in the year and although we did not participate, some of us were on hand to welcome the Queensland VetRide group, who traveled south to enjoy a packed week on many of our rail trails.

Pollie Pedal

Over the years since we began in 2011, VetRide has been able to establish its bona fides through the backing of well recognized ex-service organisations, most notably the Victorian Branch of the Vietnams Association and that in turn has led to financial support from the State Government of Victoria and the Federal Government.

Since our first multi day ride from Echuca to Melbourne in 2012 and with the help of ongoing personal endorsement from previous PM, Tony Abbott and his then Defence Minister, Kevin Andrews, we have been able to continue to broaden our focus beyond the Vietnam veteran cohort.

As part of that ongoing partnership and at Tony’s suggestion, we joined the Pollie Pedal commitment to the ‘Soldier On’ cause, for a pre-ride event in April. A mix of about 50 current serving personnel and veterans joined with a number of politicians for a day ride between some of the RSLs in Melbourne.

Around the Bay in a Day

Following on from our joining forces with riders from Soldier On, Ride 2 Recovery and RSL Active for the 2017 Bicycle Network Great Victorian Bike Ride; we and a number of other service participants entered the annual 2018 Around the Bay in a Day event

For Bicycle network’s 25th Around the Bay, about 80 military service linked riders took on the various optional rides, with the two biggest pelotons tackling the 210k and 100k distances. Weather conditions on Beach road were ideal and just for a change most of our riders enjoyed a pretty ‘cruisy’ day.

Centenary of Armistice

For our annual VetRide event we chose to undertake a ride in commemoration of the Centenary of the Armistice. With Kevin Andrews welcome sponsorship as the Federal Member for the Menzies electorate, we were able to obtain some modest funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the with 100k for 100 years as the goal, the ‘Ride of the Century’ took place on Saturday 10th November.

At the completion of the 100k, the riders enjoyed some comradeship and refreshments at the Templestowe RSL. The success of the day was all about the bringing together of a good number of those who are currently serving, some who have more recently been discharged and those for whom the wearing of a uniform is a distant memory.


On other necessary matters and following from our discontinuing to operate under the auspices of the VVAA in 2017; the Planning Committee sat down this year to talk about our future. All options were on the table, however with WO2 Thommo’s strongly voiced enthusiasm for the organisation’s continuation, we determined to do so, unanimously.

For many reasons, including the ability to make agreements and apply for larger grants, we need to be a legal entity and as with other not-for-profit organisations, we have incorporated under the state-based Associations Incorporation Act.

The first duty of VetRide Incorporated was to hold its inaugural AGM and which was held on Friday 23 November, with acting Chair Melbourne Legacy President, Hugh Roberton. At that meeting the committee including the Executive was elected and some basic operational rules were determined.

As part of the change in status we have also been successful in formally registering as a Charity and obtaining ATO recognition as a Deductible Gift Recipient. The latter means that VetRide can receive tax deductible donations.

Given the broadening of interest in the organisation by younger veterans, we have enlarged the committee to 11 with the increase now to two members who are currently serving. As we look to the future and given the average age of a Vietnam veteran is 70, the shift to management by those who are younger is a no brainer.

In terms of the time it takes to make the generational transition, it’s already some time since the World War 2 veteran cohort passed the baton to the baby boomer generation. I pass on a comment made to me many years ago by a close friend and WW2 veteran, the late Laurence Sydney Black OAM. Laurie served with Z Special, a unit that operated behind the Japanese lines. In urging my generation to take the reins sooner (‘up Donner up Blitzen’) rather than later, he made the point to me that his mates were already running most of the RSLs in their 30’s.

On that note and on behalf of the VetRide committee, I wish all of our riders and their families, the very best for the festive season.

Peter Liefman

“Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride”

– Eddy Merckx

Bulletin: ‘e-bike’

For an ever-increasing number of us, riding a bike with a variable level of pedal assistance has some significant benefits.

It may be the difference between being able to keep cycling or not; or so you can keep up with and continue to enjoy the on-road comradeship of the group. It could be so you can confidently tackle longer distances and it’s  great for building confidence, especially for a newbie.

This is reflected within our own VetRide group and a number of our riders, including our ride captain, vice-chair and myself, who have all now made the transition. ‘e-bike or no bike: no brainer’.

Chair: Peter Liefman

The exponential growth in the number of brands and models on the market is testament to their rapidly increasing popularity and Dyson Bikes, a local (Mulgrave) company are producing a number of models, including the above Hard Tail Evo.

The proprietor David Metzke is offering a discount of $100 and q further $100 donation to VetRide, if you purchase one of his bikes. Website is dysonbikes.com.au and for David : 9503 8880 or mobile 0497 357 117. David welcomes you to pop down and try one for yourself, just call first.


Ride of the Century 100 years : 100 kilometres – Saturday 10th November 2018

Come and join us for a ride to commemorate the Armistice

Be the bearer of the Flanders Poppy Wear their colour patches and honour those who cycled with the 1st Anzac Cyclist Battalion Carry the message of service and sacrifice

What?   One day ride  When ?  Sat 10th November 2018  Where ?   NE suburbs Melbourne

Contact VetRide Organisers if you are interested:

Chair: Peter Liefman

E:  liefman1948@gmail.com

M: 0418 992 525

 Secretary: Rhys Thomas

E: rhysthomas510@gmail.com

M: 0400 886 072

Download Entry form here: VetRide-entry-form-Centenary of Armistice

Around the Bay 2018 – Sunday 7 October 2018


Around the Bay 2018 – Sunday 7 October 2018

100km Frankston return

Sunday 7 October 2018


Ride your way past icons of Melbourne, past famous sea baths and coastal bike paths, waving to people fishing from the pier before you finish with a cheer.

Ride features – Return ride, Rest stop, Super stop, Scenic Closed roads

The 100km Frankston return ride starts in Melbourne and heads along the iconic Beach Road to Frankston before making it’s way back to the finish line in Melbourne.

Over the total ride you will gain only 300 metres of elevation. The longest ‘climb’ is out of Ricketts Point, which lasts two kilometres and only reaches a gradient of 1% (that’s one metre of climbing for 100 metres of forward movement).

Early Bird Until Friday 27th July  – Adult $145.00 and Youth $105.00

Enter Now and get a bonus jersey!!

What’s included?

  • Full route, medical and mechanical support
  • A free jersey if you enter before the early bird deadline on Friday 27 July**
  • A medal for anyone who crosses the finish line
  • An unforgettable day out, getting active and creating lifelong memories
  • Our Super rest stop (in Frankston) is the perfect place to refuel and recharge during your ride.

Please note: *Family pack option includes a ride entry for two adults and two children

Flyer: Around the Bay – 100km Frankston return
**The bonus early bird jersey is not available to children taking advantage of the free ticket option.

***You can double check jersey sizing for unisex jerseys (included with early bird entries) and elite fit jerseys (300km riders only) before entering.
Terms and conditions apply










Don’t miss this opportunity! Purchase a signed copy of ‘Victoria Remembers Vietnam’

Personally signed by Dave Sabben

Victoria Remembers Vietnam



‘Victoria Remembers Vietnam’ is a wonderful record of all that took place in 2016, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan; includes a four-page spread on our ride of commemoration to Canberra.

As a special offer and for only $25, a considerable discount off the original price, you can purchase a copy of one of these books, personally signed by Dave Sabben.

In January 1966 Dave was posted to 6RAR at Enoggera in Brisbane and was appointed platoon commander of 12 Platoon, Delta Company. The battalion deployed to Vietnam in June and on 18th August, he and the other just over 100 members of D Company, fought what was a ‘David and Goliath’ battle at Long Tan.  

In support of the 50th anniversary of the battle and in memory of the eighteen young lives lost, Dave generously agreed to be part of our VetRide Planning Group for the ride. He also rode with the peloton and completed the long ride to Canberra.  

The books are available for payment and collection from our Secretary, David Price at the Greensborough RSL, or alternatively, with the cost of the postage added, he has also kindly offered to send you your copy.  If you require the book to be posted, please contact David Price at drctprice@optusnet.com.au prior to making payment to discuss postage costs.

Payment options:

  1. Cheque – send a cheque to our Secretary David Price, VetRide c/- Greensborough RSL, 111 Main St, Greensborough VIC 3088
  2. EFT via our VetRide account BSB: 633 000 AC: 161 376 645

Please ensure you contact VetRide with details of your order: email vetride@vvaavic.org.au or include with cheque. If paying by EFT please place your name in the details.

Copies of brochure can be downloaded using this link: Victoria Remembers Vietnam – Commemorative Book






Connect. Converse. Coffee – Winter Weekend Away


Our next away weekend:

 AUGUST 24th,25th & 26th 2018


What is The Away Weekend?

The away weekend is primarily organised as a social weekend, a get together with other like minded folk with the option to ride. Do your own thing. Bring your family and friends.

Arrive Friday: meet and greet, do your own thing/join us for drinks at the pub. Open discussion and plan of attack for Saturday.  Organise a ride yourself and discuss if anyone wishes to join in.

Saturday: Walk, Ride, Tour and take in the sites. It’s up to you.

Saturday evening:  BYO BBQ (food & drinks) Saturday night and/or sit around the fire.

Sunday: Breakfast, goodbye and check out, unless you are staying on.


Forrest, is a small rural township in the Otway Ranges, Victoria, 2 h 2 min (159 km)via M1 and Cape Otway Rd from Melbourne CBD.

‘Make your own booking and travel arrangements’

(It is advisable to book early)

Forrest is a small rural township in the Otway Ranges originally established to support the forestry industry of the area. In modern times the town has become known as the Gateway to the Otways and consists of a microbrewery, upmarket restaurant, “pub”, general store, bike hire cafe, guesthouse, and a variety of accommodation rentals. Modern times have seen the town rapidly become a hub for foodies and adventure tourists.

Things to do and see       https://www.forrestvictoria.com/activities

On ya Bike

Darren Smith has mapped out rides for the skinny tyred brigade “these are for you”. Check out on RidewithGPS links below.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27554516 (Beech Forrest)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27433564 (Birregura)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27444591 (Skenes Creek)

NOTE: these are not organised rides, just suggested routes you may wish to ride.


For those of you with mountain bikes – there are 60 kilometres of sign-posted single track that circles the town.  In nearby Beech Forest there is Old Beechy Rail Trail which provides 50km of gradual downhill all the way in to Colac. If gravel is more your style there is the Tiger Rail Trail departing from Forrest, although only 7 km in length. Of course, there is plenty of ‘undulating’ roads in the area for the skinny tyred brigade.

Forrest Walking Tracks & Hiking Trails

Whether it is an afternoon stroll with the whole family, or a challenging hike, Forrest’s nature walks, walking tracks and hiking trails have something to suit everyone. Brochures with details on the variety of walks, and general Forrest tourist information are available from local visitor information centres.

Forrest Brewing Company is an equal parts microbrewery, eating place and mountain biking hang-out. Offering a true boutique product not widely available outside of Forrest, all beers are brewed using water from the Otways rainforest.

Otway Estate Winery and Brewery occupies a forest clearing in the northern foothills of the Otway ranges, 10 minutes south of Colac. Set amidst the backdrop of native eucalypts, the estate is home to a winery, brewery, function centre and café, as well as three self-contained spa cottages.

Accommodation     Accommodation in Forrest is a booming industry. While the number of places to stay has markedly increased in recent years, it’s the wide variety of accommodation types now available in Forrest that is most impressive. There is something for just about any holidaymaker and budget.

  • Forrest Caravan Park/ The Wonky Stables Holiday Park – Located at no 1 Station Street in the beautiful township of Forrest. The park is set on approx. 20 acres (8 hectares) with a lovely panoramic view taking in undulating landscape & bush surrounds. – Wonky Stables Holiday Park.

Note: If you choose to stay here mention to Rob that you are with the VetRide Group

1 Station St, Forrest VIC

Call 03 52 36 6275

Email: info@wonkystables.com.au

Website: http://wonkystables.com.au/


  • Otways Forrest Retreat – Otways Forrest Retreat is a fully self contained two-bedroom holiday house. Comfortable accommodation in the heart of the Otways – http://www.otwaysforrestretreat.com.au/

Note: 2 minute walk from Wonky Stables


  • Forrest River Valley B&B – Situated only 2 hours from Melbourne or 30 minutes from the Great Ocean Road and in the heart of the Otways, Forrest River Valley B&B offers that unique experience for the visitor seeking a quiet restful weekend away with nothing to do but lay back and soak up the peaceful ambience of our rural property adjacent to the Great Otway National Park. – https://www.forrestrivervalley.com.au/

Note: 4 Minute drive. 9 minute on your bike. 29 walk if so inclined.  2.9 K’s from Wonky Stables.


We look forward to seeing you there!

If you have questions please contact us:

VetRide Chair Email: vetride@vvaavic.org.au

Steve Masters Email: steve3154@gmail.com

Print here: CCC-Wonky Stables August 2018






Connect Converse Coffee. Weekend Away.

Connect Converse Coffee.  Weekend Away. Success!

Well what a enjoyable and relaxing weekend away, the weather was kind, the company even better and the beer was cold.

We arrived mid afternoon on Friday.  Peta and Darren had been there since Wednesday, already ridden the bike trail into nearby Maffa for coffee and cake and had been out and about exploring the nearby sites.  Not long after Pam and l had set up, Clive and Vicki arrived after travelling from Armstrong Creek.  Late afternoon saw Noel, then Ted and Alan also arrive.

After everyone had settled in we had a few drinks around the campfire then took the short walk to the Avon Hotel for a pub meal.

Saturday mid-morning, the 6 of us rode to Maffa stopping for a coffee and snack. (Alan missing from photo)

L – R:  Clive, Noel, Ted, Darren and Steve

Leaving Maffa we headed off for Briagolong where we meet up with the girls for a very hearty meal. If you’re ever out this way we all highly recommend the Briagolong Hotel.

Left to Right Rear;  Peta,Ted,Steve, Alan and Clive.  Left to Right Front: Darren, Noel, Vicki and Pam

My good friend who l joined up with at HMAS Leeuwin and then served with on HMAS stuart, Chris Lawless, met us at the Briagolong RSL. We were treated to a very enlightening history lesson on this unique log cabin RSL. Big thank you to Chris Lawless.

Ted, Alan (back to camera), Vicki, Clive holding his mate Coco, Noel and Chris Lawless from the Briagolong RSL.

Back on the bikes we rode the remaining 15 kilometers back to the Stratford on the River Caravan Park.

Saturday night the Girls prepared a beautiful BBQ with a variety of salads. Big thank you to Vicki, Peta and Pam for all their hard work.   The caravan park is set on 4 acres and is only a very short walk from town.

I personally would like to thank everyone for taking part in our first VetRide CCC Weekend Away Ride.

The next Weekend Away ride can be found on our calendar.




Bulletin – The 2017 Great Vic Washup





The dust has not settled in Uruzgan (Fred Smith), but it has definitely done so on the VetRide Great Vic. Bike ride for 2017. The skyline that developed over Tidal River during the afternoon of our first day was ominous.

Nevertheless three thousand one hundred riders made the climb out of Wilsons Prom. and as became the pattern for every day of the ride thereafter, two of our current serving veterans showed the way. Seen here is one of them passing a more senior member of our team uphill. Go Darren.





Wherever we rode the flying poppies were noticed and many in the group were repeatedly asked about its meaning and that of the word Passchendaele inscribed below – fancy that !





Each day presented a new personal challenge, in terms of both the terrain and the weather; however the completion of a days ride brought about a renewed sense of achievement and the joy of sharing the experience over a glass or two at the local RSL.







After a week of riding and a bit over 400k we were told of the upcoming storm ……….


We had made it as far as Maffra, but with the police escort recalled to Melbourne and 1500 kids in the ride, the event had to be cancelled.





As one of our number quipped, it was a dramatic finish to a great (Vic) event.








Peter Liefman

VetRide Chair

February 2018




Bulletin – March 2018 – Bicycle Lane Filtering

Reproduced from a newsletter article by Bicycle Network Victoria

1/3/2018     Melbourne crash causes confusion – You tube video (below)

The online, morning show and talkback debate raged about who was at fault and (unsurprisingly) whether bike rego was needed. Before we start appropriating blame and fault, our key concern should always be for all people involved in the crash. Media stories failed to report on whether the pedestrian or the bike rider was hurt, but we hope both are ok and didn’t sustain any serious injuries.

The crash – The issue of bicycle lane-filtering

According to Alice Lau from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, there is no specific road rule in Victoria allowing bicycle lane filtering, as there is for motorcycles.

In the absence of a road rule allowing bicycle lane filtering, other road rules still apply. So, in the case of this crash, we need to take a closer look at whether any other road rules have been broken.

Ms Lau highlighted that bike riders are allowed to overtake to the left of vehicles and to the right of vehicles unless those vehicles are turning.

However, the Victorian road rules also say that bike riders (as with any other drivers) are required to travel so that their vehicle is completely within the lane markings, unless they are changing lanes.

The issue is complicated further by a bicycle lane on the far side of the road. According to the road rules, bike riders must use a bike lane if there is one, unless it is not a practical option – for example, if the lane is blocked by a branch.

Similarly, if there is a bike box marked at an intersection, bike riders must use the bike lane to enter the bike box until that is not a practical option.

So Ms Lau concluded that the person riding the bike in the video should not have been travelling between two rows of stationary cars in that fashion given that there is a bike lane, and bicycle lane filtering is not expressly allowed.

According to the video footage, it appears that the man was within 20 metres of a signalised pedestrian crossing which means that he should not have crossed the road where he did.

It is important that pedestrians look out for their own safety as they do not always have right of way. Pedestrians only have right of way in limited circumstances, for example at pedestrian crossings, intersections, driveways or special shared zones.

Fault is not clear cut

Under the road rules as they stand, there’s no simple answer to show who is definitely in the wrong when it comes to this crash.

Ms Lau said that the footage appears to show that both the person riding the bike and the elderly man crossing the road have broken the road rules.

A safe systems approach to road safety accepts that humans mistakes. The best way to prevent crashes such as this one is to take care on the roads, and design and build a transport system that will protect road users.

We’re lucky the results weren’t worse.


Bicycle Network members receive free consultation with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers if they are involved in an incident and need legal support. Click here to see more about Bicycle Network membership.