After four years confident planners are ready to go
After four years of preparation, six thousand motorcycle riders from Australia and New Zealand are in Coffs Harbour today for the week-long, $1.3 million Ulysses Motor Cycle Club AGM.
The nation's premier meets and greet event for two wheelers 'growing old disgracefully' will see more than half a hectare of bikes parked at Coffs Harbour Showground by the end of today.
But Coffs Coast Ulysses President Shirley Rose says at the heart of the impressive event is simply an excuse for people to get together and have a good time.
With such huge numbers involved every job is a marathon.
Coffs Harbour's Army cadets spent two days and used military manoeuvres to whip thousands of chairs and hundreds of tables into orderly ranks and files under the 'big top'.
Entertainment committee members Di Blessing and Sue Currie may have to don hiking boots to decorate hundreds of metres of tables in two different beach themes, using hundreds of bucket and spade sets and more than 30000 balloons.
Their event venue is big enough to house one and a half football fields, making the giant inflatable thongs, beach balls and surfboards decorating the roof of the marquee look like doll house furnishings.
With 7000 people to be fed at two events, four bars are being positioned around the marquee so visitors don't work up a thirst just walking to their drinks and 'dinner marshals' will be used to keep the mob moving in and out of the serving area, so up to 4000 people can be fed in an hour.
The Showground's soccer field has disappeared under a sea of canvas ? Tent City ? where 90 identical tents are housing some bikers on site, including the New Zealand contingent, and $70,000 worth of hired toilets and showers are scattered around the grounds and many caravan parks and accommodation houses around the city are full.
NSW Police earlier told local councils that they expected more traffic accidents this week, but yesterday Chief Inspector Steve Moate said eight motorcycle police officers from Traffic Services in Sydney and two extra cars, one from Brisbane waters and another from Newcastle, had been moved into the Coffs Coast area.
On Saturday, as part of the policy Ulysses operation, officers staged traffic blitz on the Pacific Highway at Bonville.