Ulyssians say: Great to be here!

GROWL, roar, rumble, grumble, kathump, hum.

The car park at the BCU International Stadium was throbbing with the sounds of motorbikes yesterday as 6000 Ulysses Club bikers rolled up to register for their AGM.

And roll up they did - all the way places like Adelaide, Gippsland, Hervey Bay, Sydney, Toowoomba, everywhere really.

From 8am onwards the machines, large and only slightly less large, cruised in and by 10am an appreciative crowd was enjoying Queensland band, Alice Street's, energetic version of Lynnard Skinnard's 'Sweet Home Alabama'.

Although the registration queues were long, the mood was buoyant with whistles and waves across the room already re-establishing friendships forged at previous AGMs.

Chris Randall was buzzing from riding to the AGM on her own bike for the first time.

"I've doubled all my life but at last year's AGM in Tasmania there were a lot of women riding and it inspired me to get my licence," Mrs Randall said.

"It's much more thrilling but I've certainly had a few scary moments."

Her bike of choice is a Yamaha V-Star 650.

"I wanted a cruiser and when I saw this I just fell in love with it."

Colin Harrison is a retired aircraft engineer attending his seventh AGM.

He's travelled up from Adelaide, hitting the deluges in western NSW enroute.

"It was a great ride ? I spent two days in Cootamundra drying out," Mr Harrison said.

"Every town we stopped in, the people loved us."

Mr Harrison is riding a BMW and looking forward to chewing the fat with other bike enthusiasts.

"All these bikes, all these people ? bikes are what we have in common.

"You can be talking to a brain surgeon or an ex-con, everyone likes sharing their tall stories."

Along with the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bikes gleaming in the sun goes all the flash gear.

Lyn Brand and Jan Chapman from Maryborough, were attracting lots of comments about their Dragon Jeans Monza suits.

Kevlar-lined, these suits and their jean equivalents are the latest in high tech safety gear ? although it doesn't look as though leather will be superseded just yet.

The two, who are both studying to become registered nurses, arrived here with their partners on the back of Honda Goldwings, which Ms Chapman described as 'an orgasm on wheels'.



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