Members can also view the pictorial version of our history, assembled by John Cook.
History notes Whitehorse Cyclists Inc 1991 -2005, 2007 and for 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016
In the last quarter of 1991, it was probably in October, a joint determination between the Box Hill Council and Bicycle Victoria resulted in the formation of the Box Hill Bicycle
Users Group (Box Hill BUG). This was clearly the result of a lot of work done by various people in the months preceding the occasion. Mal Boyd and Robin Friday are frequently mentioned by early members of the club. Mal was an active member and was elected as the club’s first President in January of 1993. Robin Friday was a Box Hill Councillor with an active interest in cycling, who remained involved with bicycle strategy bodies on Box Hill’s behalf. The club’s initial objectives were:
- Advocacy of the bicycle as a healthy form of transport and ensuring that local planners kept the interests of the cyclists in mind when considering planning activities.
- Promotion of cycling through the organisation of group rides.
The club became affiliated with the leading cycling group, Bicycle Victoria. The group met monthly in a very informal way at a Community House in Bank Street, Box Hill. The activities and discussions centred on group rides and bicycle maintenance. Rides were held at the weekend, at a frequency of just one per fortnight with a membership around 12 in 1992.
In January 1993 the Box Hill BUG was put on a more formal footing with the election of an executive; Mal Boyd as Chairman or President and Mike McNamara as Secretary. Mike had joined the club in March 1992 and was doubtless one of the enthusiasts who kept the small group interested. Meetings were moved to the 2nd Tuesday of the month and help and support came from Jenny McInnes who had been appointed to a part time position with Box Hill Council as cycling coordinator. Jenny attended some of the meetings and was in a position to state Club concerns to council effectively. Other names that surface at this time include Alex Tolley, Ron and Dawn Bean and Grace Giannini. Rides became a more regular event (always at the weekend) with a New Members ride (Sunday), designed to promote confidence in the new cyclists. There was a gradual growth in membership and the need for a new meeting venue became apparent. The club moved its meetings to Clota Cottage in Clota Ave. Box Hill in 1993.A significant event in this year was a meeting held in the Box Hill Town Hall, hosted by Box Hill BUG for all Eastern Region BUG’s. This occurred in August and marked an important start the club’s relationship with Bicycle Victoria and Box Hill Council. These two organizations had established Box Hill BUG and encouraged their activities; Box Hill BUG now repaid that with advice and first hand experience that was to assist in making the municipality a bicycle friendly environment. Mal Boyd attended bicycle committee meetings representing the club view and canvassing opinions on new plans.
Our newsletter Whitehorse Wheels is born. In January of 1994, Ron Bean produced the first “Whitehorse Wheels”. It was a single double sided sheet and he introduced the now familiar newsletter Logo. The club also decided to change its name to Whitehorse BUG: this predated the municipality name change and was done to widen the appeal in the eastern suburbs. The Nunawading BUG was having a rather difficult time remaining viable and in 1994 disbanded with 4 of their members joining Whitehorse BUG. There is another interesting connection with Nunawading through a current Whitehorse Member George Cox who was the Liberal State member for Mitcham. As a keen cyclist, George established the Eastern Touring Cycle club in Nunawading in late 1977. What happened to that club is a bit of a mystery but it is likely that it became Nunawading BUG which was absorbed into Whitehorse BUG in 1994. Doug White is one of the members who joined in 1994 from the Nunawading BUG. There were some joint rides with Manningham BUG and the club collaborated with the Box Hill Historical Society to Run an 18 Km Box Hill Heritage ride.
Tuesday rides begin. In 1995 the Whitehorse BUG ride calendar lists Tuesday rides which appear to be the first weekday regular rides and this is probably an indication that sufficient members of retiring age had joined the club to make such rides worthwhile. Multi-day rides are also a feature of the 1995 calendars with French Island (Tour de Ile Francais), Lake Eildon and Bendigo being featured that year. Another popular activity was maintenance and there are several references to meetings to cover puncture repair and chain maintenance; “Tech Tips” starts to make a regular appearance in the newsletter. The Box Hill Bicycle Strategy Committee was expanded to include the municipality of Nunawading – as the Whitehorse Bicycle Strategy Committee, now known as Council of Whitehorse Bicycle Advisory Committee (COWBAC). Members of Whitehorse BUG represented the club on this committee and WCI representatives continue to do so today.
And the ride was long and tough
But six brave souls undaunted
Found it still was not enough……..The poem goes on to tell of the ride up Gellibrand Hill and on to Greenvale dam, this was Elsa Teal’s last ride before travelling to Europe and getting into her solo ride through Austria to Vienna. This ride was a feature of a club meeting and an account of that journey turns up in the October edition.The club becomes more than an association of cyclists, it starts developing into a community of individuals that care for each other. There are differences, but essentially Whitehorse BUG has developed at this stage into a vibrant group of people who care about their community, cycling, health and the environment. They get involved with the Whitehorse Family Fun Ride; they go out to Warburton for the official handover of the Yarra Trail to the community by Marie Tehan. If there are bicycles involved, they are there.In November of 1996, Elaine Hopper and Grace Giannini unveiled the Club Website and we enter the internet age of communication. This was an important event in the communications and publicity of events and rides for people inside and out of the Whitehorse cycling family. While no figures are available, this step forward into the electronic age made a significant contribution to recruitment of members for the organization.
Ken and Kevin keep on going, Ken and Kevin had such a good time in 1996 that they stood again for office in 1997; the members had no hesitation in electing them again. The first multi day Wangaratta ride is planned for March of 1997 and is billed as the “Great Grand Prix Escape”; legal considerations force the club executive to canvass the idea of incorporating the club, a “spa country” tour around Daylesford is planned along with a two day Point Nepean excursion: the Reservoir series of rides is introduced with rides to Sugarloaf, Silvan, Badger Weir, Yan Yean and Cardinia. The members are surveyed to agree on a new name for the BUG after incorporation. Whitehorse Cyclists Inc. is the club choice despite some concern that we may be referred to as the WC’s. The actual incorporation of the club occurs in July following the hard work of Simon Woodford who takes responsibility for following the exhaustive paper trail involved. Darby organises a trip to see the fabled ADA tree, a botanical feature that stands head and shoulders above its contempories. Ken decides its time to give BV some stick over the lack of action on the subject of personal insurance and writes a letter that would peel paint off BV HQ
John Bennett is the President. John Bennett takes over from Ken Rushford as President with Ruth Williams as Secretary. John is embarking on a year that will affect the rest of his life. Mark Bean, son of Ron, proposes an alternative logo for Whitehorse Wheels. There are no records of debate, but the original logo remains to this day. The club made use of the opening of the Eastern Freeway to distribute brochures publicizing Whitehorse Cyclists. This was an enormous success in attracting new members. The Tasmanian Tourists departed in February to have a wonderful trip organised to the last detail by Keith Maytum. In March the Wangaratta BUG multi day ride led by Bob Winton features Milawa, the Warby ranges, Eldorado and Glenrowan. A Flinders Island ride is flagged for March 1999; Mike McNamara seeks expressions of interest in a 6 day excursion to this lovely part of the world. Keith sets up a ride for September in Canberra staying at the YHA Hostel in Conner.Mal Boyd incites members to write to council supporting a bike path link between Dorking Road and Middleborough Road. Some residents were agitating against the proposal.John Bennett and Sandra Hackett announce their intention to marry at the October Club night with the wedding planned for the following January. The club is delighted but hardly surprised. The euphoric groom to be gives his annual report in poetry, a sample being:
Day rides to ADA and Donna
Wangaratta the weekend through,
Check the Whitehorse Wheels calendar
There are many rides for you!
The whole report is expressed in verse. Mike McNamara’s 50th is celebrated with a winery tour of the Mornington Peninsula as a special way of ending 1998.
Simon Woodford at the helm
Simon Woodford took over the reins from John Bennett who probably didn’t notice as he was busy getting married. The February edition of Whitehorse Wheels gives an account of the happy occasion penned by Ken Rushford. Simon’s first concern is a suitable meeting venue as our booking at Box Hill community centre is somehow scrambled and the 2nd Tuesday is no longer available to WCI. There are discussions of changing the night for meetings, but this was rejected in favour of meeting in the Scout Hall on the corner of Alexander St and Surrey Drive. This was a facility with plenty of room (bikes could be ridden indoors), however, the cold of winter was harsh, despite the fact that often a thoughtful member would come early and light the fire to give the room more welcoming warmth. Meetings were held in this spacious venue for the remainder of 1999. The Flinders Island tour goes as planned and Marion gives us an account in the April Issue. 14 riders fly from Moorabbin to stay at the Flinders Interstate Hotel and to spend 6 days exploring the varying textures of road surface and the interesting folk tales and customs of a local population that regard Tasmania as the “mainland”. Marion pointed out that Mike made for a benevolent Captain Bligh, the careful attention to detail by Keith Maytum was also much appreciated by the participants. The Club voted for Public Liability Insurance at $370/pa. This was seen as a substantial cost per member and comparisons with the experience of other sporting clubs and associations were used to justify the expenditure. In June the members were polled through the Newsletter to gauge interest in a multi day ride in either the North or South Island of New Zealand and the East or West coasts of Tasmania. The poll favours a tour of the NZ North Island and an Auckland to Wellington trip is organised for March 2000. Bob and Marion Winton organise an Around the Bay training squad with up to 14 members training for the big October day. Rides such as the Westernport Whirl around Westernport Bay is used to condition the participants for the 210 Km ride. Club shirts are introduced by Bob Winton & John Bennett to distinguish the team from WCI. The Ride goes well, despite a nasty head wind on the Geelong Road, there are no untoward punctures or incidents marring the determination of the participants to be exhausted. A support group from the club is on hand to give comfort and positive reinforcement to the riders who survive heroically to later speak with pride of their individual achievements.
The Annual Dinner of 1999 was held at the Orient Expresso. The account of the evening oozes fun and fellowship. Marion and Elaine present awards for the years riding. Mike McNamara is MC and keeps the assembly entertained with a repartee of jokes and anecdotes. Max Greenall is awarded the Burke and Wills award for boldly going against all the advice of his betters in things practical, Elsa receives the Green Post award for writing to the council concerned and asking that they remove a post on a bike path as it was a hazard to cyclists. The post concerned was duly removed.
Engagements for Nuptials are announced in January for Ruth and Rob, and in February Bridget and Peter. Both Couples are married in April.
18 members take off for the land of the Long White Cloud and a great experience. The trip through the North Island provides a wide variety of weather conditions and brilliant scenic views with Ruapehu, Taupo and the hot springs area providing them with more variety than Heinz ever dreamed of.
While the NZ tourists are away, Kevin Hossack describes an ingenious construction of a homemade cycle lamp housed in a tow ball cover; for the handyman cyclist who does not want to pay the outlandish prices demanded in cycle shops. The circumnavigation of Westernport is repeated after the first attempt finds that the ferry from Stony Point to Cowes is not running, but the ADA tree ride was cancelled due to adverse road conditions. The 2000 year ends with a ride from the Woodend Bakery to Hanging Rock and the now customary Ivanhoe Boulevard Xmas Lights ride.
Kevin Hossack takes the reins
May sees 21 people on the winery tour to Springhurst, Rutherglen, Wahgunyah and Chiltern. A van follows the intrepid cyclists to collect the purchases and riders who have tasted too enthusiastically. The weather is a touch cold with some wet periods but all agree the trip worthwhile. Pat Dixon, a club stalwart who worked with Ken Rushford to introduce mid week rides passes away in June after a protracted illness. In August, the club lost another member with the passing of Bill Morgan who had been a member since the beginning. Bill was a long standing member of the Box Hill Bicycle Strategy committee and was a source of good advice when the club was incorporating.
5 WCI members participate in the Around the Bay with 12 members acting as the all important volunteers.
Max celebrates his birthday by missing the train taking him to the Monbulk Ride because he is too absorbed by the pretty young thing on Laburnum Station. At Belgrave Station on his way home the ticket machine swallows his money without providing the ticket, Max gives the station staff a piece of his mind and forgets that the train now leaving the station, has his bike on it. Undeterred our member sprints to the front of the train threatens the driver till he stops the train. You would think that there are not very many of us that would “celebrate” a birthday that way.
Alec and Barbara Dean take over the leadership role in 2002 as the first husband and wife team to hold the positions of President and Secretary. Alec opens his batting with the “Sermon on the Dismount” which gives a powerful argument for crossing driveway edges at an angle of 450 or more. The Labour Day Weekend sees Karen and Lesley lead a ride in the Echuca area while the passport brigade of 15 head for New Zealand. This time it is the South Island and the riders have a lot of fun getting used to the pronunciations that are a little strange to their ears. Torrential rain on the Haas pass tested the metal of these keen riders and a poem to rain was published without acknowledgement of the author, though Keith Maytum is the chief suspect.
ODE TO THE WEST COAST
It rained and rained and rained
The average fall was well maintained
And when the tracks were simply bogs
It started raining cats and dogs
After a drought of half an hour
We had a most refreshing shower
And then the most curious thing of all
A gentle rain began to fall
Next day was also fairly dry
Save for a deluge from the sky
This wetted the party to the skin
And after that the rain set in.
In the process of an application to council for a subsidy for room rental at the community centre, the executive of the club put together a Mission Statement for the group:
- To organise and participate in bike rides
- To provide a forum for friendly discussion of bicycle matters
- To work with authorities to improve safe cycling
- To co-operate with like minded bodies to further the interests of cycling
- To encourage members of the community to undertake cycling for exercise, recreation and transportation
An Around the Bay in Two Days is organised by Simon for the end of June as an “end of financial year special” In July a flyer is released canvassing interest in an AUSTRIAN ADVENTURE for August or September 2003. This is promoted by Kevin Hossack and includes the famous Salzkammergut of Sound of Music fame.
Ken Rushford plans a Murray to Mountains Rail trail ride for December, Darby organises a Festive Season Tag-a-long tour over four days and that along with the Christmas Lights ride ends the year’s group rides.
It seems that the husband wife thing is catching on as Ian and Val Hawkins succeed Alec and Barbara Dean as President and Secretary for 2003.Ian decides to tackle the problem of Public Liability Insurance (PLI). The previous insurer of the club refused to continue beyond the end of 2002. Ian provides a report on PLI that suggests that we keep our powder dry until BV has come up with a recommendation. BV drag its collective feet but Box Hill council offer PLI for the meeting venue. A proposal that lists competitive as well as recreational riding is put together to attract better and more affordable premiums for PLI. The lack of progress in getting appropriate PLI was clearly an issue for the committee and members. BV pushes for the use of a particular broker but the fact remains that no PLI for riding activity is current and only financial members are able to ride on WCI rides. In June, Ian is finally able to announce that PLI has been obtained for up to $5 million dollars with professional indemnity of up to $1 million. Unfortunately personal accident cover is compulsorily included, but the main objective is achieved after a lot of hard work and frustration for the committee and members.The club collectively and individually grieves at the news that Bob Winton passed away in early March. It is obviously a great blow to Marion and family. The club benefited in many ways from Bob’s encouragement of riders to extend themselves. He took his own advice and had been riding with the club up until the previous November. Bob and Marion working in tandem and were a very effective team in putting together constructive ideas for the club. The club made a presentation of a plant to Marion to commemorate Bob, and the family planned a special spot in their garden for it. The Austrian Expedition is a great success with the riders having a fabulous tour of that famously beautiful part of the world. The year has, as always been very busy for the committee and the PLI question was a difficult issue through the first half of the year.
With Mike McNamara taking over as President and Anna Vandenberg as Secretary, the club goes forward again with renewed vigour. A strange phenomenon makes itself known, while the renewal rate is high and the total membership is at an all time high, participation in weekend rides is falling off. The February meeting is dedicated to a “brainstorming” session to see what can be done to address the situation. 46 ideas are distilled to the TOP 20. Lee-Anne as Rides Coordinator is soon looking for volunteers to help with:
- Invite a friend ride
- Euro/ France Tour
- Buddy System Ride
- Country Rides
- Rides with other Clubs
- Progressive Lunch Ride
At the end of February Elsa and Keith led two successive group tours over to Tasmania. Again a successful set of tours marred only by a fall which meant that Val had to come home early. Salamanca Place let the 2nd party down by providing a downpour when they were there. Jacques provided a workshop on chain care in his garage and Robin Reid led a ride down to Westernport to explore the fabulous boardwalk through the tidal wetlands around Hastings.
The May meeting canvassed the idea of another WCI ride shirt with Lee-Anne getting information on the subject, she presents the draft drawings and seeks input at the July meeting and the design is posted to the website. The shirts are provided to 26 happy recipients at the September meeting who proudly have a collective photo taken.
With Thursday rides becoming well attended and faster, the first Tuesday Easy rides are introduced to help new and returning riders to participate in a week day ride at a slower pace, for about 30 Km.
The club accepts a Ride Guide which is available to all members and is mailed to all new members.
The Annual Dinner is held at the Mitcham Hotel accompanied by incriminating photos of members in the 2004 rides. Bruce Easton leads a 4 day visit to the Bendigo area in October and the now regular Round the Bay in Two days in November.
Again the club concludes another year stronger than it was the previous year. It has a full schedule of some 9 rides every month with a healthy sprinkling of multi-day rides in interesting locations. In addition 2 groups went to Tasmania and another NZ tour is on the drawing boards for 2005.
Bruce Easton becomes President, Marion Winton Secretary and the committee immediately revisits the “brainstorming” ideas of the previous year and generally looks to ways in which the club can go forward through the New Year. The Tuesday Easy rides (30-40Km) prove to be very popular so that Ken Rushford and Len Ford plan 2 per month, on the first and third Tuesday’s of each month. This ride is so popular that a 5th Tuesday ride is inserted when Tuesday came up an extra time (August). The Great Tasmanian ride attracts 5 members for this picturesque trip around the apple isle. It is a bit of a shock for some that Lake Barrington is at the base of a very steep hill, lovely camp site, but in the morning – just one way out, which is very up! The NZ riders leave in February for an appointment with the Midges of the South Island. The Bennett’s bravely take the twins along and a good 2 weeks of riding and driving was enjoyed by the participants. Darby led a Nagambie ramble and the regular Anzac dawn service ride is on the schedule.Ride behaviour becomes an important topic at meetings. The club sees itself as an advocate for safety and an example of an organization that adheres to the rules of the road. Mike McNamara re-introduces the Whitehorse Wonehundred Challenge in September. 11 members completed the course with just 2 punctures, one broken spoke and 2 members doing an extra 8km detour.A sub-committee of the WCI committee is formed to bring up to date the Statement of Purpose. Lesley Macdonald, Marion Winton, Jacques Fievez and Bruce Easton burn many gallons of midnight oil to get the wording correct and reflective of the WCI is actually about.
150 rides for the year, a NZ tour and 5 multi day rides, Whitehorse Cyclists again set standards that few recreational cycling clubs can match. The number of members who are involved in leading and organizing rides is high.
Presidents Annual Report – November 2007 Mike Taylor
The past year has seen some wonderful events organized
by our members.None of the participants will forget the enthralling events that unravelled whilst on the French tour. Bruce Easton
organised all matters beautifully. Not enough can be said about his organisational ability. It was a fantastic
experience.Many multi-day rides were arranged during the year with Darby O’Toole (numerous), Mike McNamara & Anna Vandenberg(numerous), Keith Maytum, David Pringle, Keith Conyers and Phil Eager all contributing to these important rides. These rides just don’t happen; they require a great deal of organisation. On behalf of all who participated, thank you.
Our club has worked closely with Bicycle Victoria over the past year. We supported (read ran) the bike path discovery day in the Jells Park area, had many volunteers for the Super Tuesday bicycle count and with less than 18 hours notice, had 14 of us turn up at the Mullum Mullum Creek path to listen to the Premier, John Brumby announce an extension of the trail. Apologies to Loreto for this ran
counter to her planned ride. Great work from the attendees, not to mention the swelling of club funds. During the year we enjoyed the voluntary services of 150+ leaders and 150+ whips, or as Adrian called them,“sweeps”. I particularly praise the whips as on many
occasions they are quick riders and have to rein in their speed at times at half their normal speed. Also, of course,
they mend punctures.
The year was planned to reduce the number of guest speakers. This was done for two reasons; firstly, it is difficult to obtain speakers to talk on fresh topics, secondly,many members suggested that they do not have time to socialise. It is hoped a good balance was reached. To those club members who spoke and/or arranged guest speakers during the year a hearty thanks.
Doug Sullivan of Cycle Works in Box Hill has sold his business. He has sponsored us for many years for which we thank him. From talks held with his successor, Vlad Markos, I believe the sponsorship will continue.
Robin Reid provided the club with a guide for leaders and whips. This has been of great value for leaders particularly
with large fields when we are spread out and the wayahead is unclear.Club membership is at an all time high. At the time of
printing, we have 151 members with others to sign shortly.With a minimum of 4 rides a week plus interstate, intrastate
and overseas trips each year or so, we provide something for everybody which has certainly been fruitful. A special
thanks to the Tuesday rides organisers.
Box Hill Golf Club was the venue for our annual dinner with 85 attending. This function was superbly organised by
Lindsay Ballard with strong assistance from husband Bob and from Ann Anvari. You have raised the bar to new
The picture and pizza night was a great success and with the increasing size of the club these nights should multiply.
We have been most fortunate to have an able body of committee people:The Secretary really runs the club, and as is shown from
the above, I believe it has run very well. Lindsay Ballard has excelled in this position. Our new club shirts are
testament to her ability and they really shone in the French countryside. Treasurer Bruce Dite has not had time to attend work on
most Thursdays due to club commitments. In any year when there is an overseas trip on, the role is demanding.
This year was probably as hard as it could get for the treasurer. And he is standing again. Great work Bruce.
The Ride Coordinator’s role can be easy or hard. Russell Hick has made the job easier due to his diligence and
planning. Ask him and he knows every ride everywhere. Russell is stepping down to wear his designer clothes.
Russell, the club and I owe you many thanks.
Mike McKay has utilized his literary skills and wicked senseof humour to produce a monthly newsletter of the highest
standard. Don’t we all wait with anticipation for the next issue? Could it be the big issue? Thanks Mike.
Bob Harrington as Vice President, Debbie Thomas asmembership secretary and postie, Barry McCaig as publicity officer (he has been responsible for 2 newspaperphotos), Max Greenall as Almoner & Chief Executive Chef,responsible for the quality suppers at meetings and
occasional on the run drinks during rides, together with our Webmaster Elaine Hopper, Property controller David Mayes and COWBAC rep John Bennett, have all carried out their tasks very well,. Thank you all.For me it has been a wonderful 2 years and I think we can
all be proud of being members of such a wonderful Club.
Report by Russell Hick President 2012
WCI President’s Report for 2012 (October 2011 – September 2012)
This past year has been another active year for our club. You may have heard me talk about a ‘healthy club’, this involves several themes or aspects of our activities and organisation, namely Our ride program – our key activity;Our safety and health; Our social life;Our place in the community;Our measurement;Our organisation; Our finances – will be covered by our Treasurer
Our ride program
At the Annual Dinner last Friday night I noted that the club is in great shape, with over 220 members,conducting seven or eight rides a week, or over 320 rides in the year, with over 4600 individual rides. Over 80 members led rides and whipped. We ride for exercise and social benefits, part of our healthy lifestyle. This year we had two new types of seasonal rides – the Saturday Medium rides which included dinner and riding home in the dark, and the ‘Grand Day Out’ all day Easy rides.
Of our total rides 36% were Easy rides, 37% were Medium rides, 11.2% were Hard rides and 14% were Sunday rides (mostly Medium). Fortunately these groups are not mutually exclusive, allowing social contact across groups.
Multi day rides are riding holidays away, with riding friends, and we held eight this year. Not counting our European Odyssey which was partly in this year, we had rides in or to Phillip Island, Inverloch (2), Bellarine Peninsula (Hard ride), Flinders Island, Sorrento/Blairgowrie, Castlemaine and Mansfield. All were popular,well organised, and well received.
Well done and thank you to all who led and organised our rides.
Our safety and health
Sadly, a much loved member, Peter Langabeer, died as a result of a riding accident late last year. He was an experienced rider, but was riding alone.
This event reinforced our need to keep safety aspects top of mind. We regularly mentioned safety aspects at the start of rides, and I wrote in my ‘Prez’ s Perspective’ column in our newsletter, of the need to be hypervigilant at all times, and also wrote of safe riding and ride etiquette.Unfortunately it is often very experienced riders who take the dangerous shortcuts. Again there are accidents caused by lapses in concentration (eg last Thursday when a member misjudged and hit a kerb resulting in a smashed elbow). Bad accidents can happen at any time, only yesterday a commuter rider was seriously injured in the city, falling under truck wheels. At our September meeting we had a presentation from the Amy Gillett Foundation, who campaign to improve safe riding and who conduct safe riding courses for schoolchildren.
We are also concerned about members’ health, and in June conducted a session on CPR with a video and roleplaying.
Our social life
The social opportunities of riding together extend further than the ride, and generate friendships and caring for one another. Our meetings, lunches, dinners and multi-day rides provide these occasions. This year we have marked Ken Rushford’s retirement from the club (twice), Keith Maytum’s 80th and some 70th birthdays. Our Annual Dinners, held in November are always well attended. The Drehers hosted our Christmas lunch in December. We have enjoyed three BBQs, at Ruffey Lake Park; Surrey Park at the start of 2012 and one held after the annual Super Tuesday bike count in March. We have been lucky to have had Gill Bysher as our social secretary for several years – thanks Gill.
We are well regarded by our community, having recently been named as the 2012 Sports Club of the Year
for the City of Whitehorse – for the third time in four years. Criteria for this award include how we foster participation and enjoyment at all levels; show innovation in participation; the development of skills and broad community appeal. The Council has appreciated our extensive ride program and how we cater for
easy, medium and hard riders; for the health benefits of ‘more mature’ adults; and particularly for the work of our Advocates Group working at high levels with councils, Vic Roads and other bodies promoting and assisting in development of important bike infrastructure projects such as the BHRRT.
We also co-operate with BNV( formerly Bicycle Victoria) on behalf of all cyclists, and each year we assist in the Super Tuesday bike count. This year we again had over 40 members counting. WCI is a club for the community, friendly and open to all adults, with a comprehensive rides program, and a low membership cost.
All successful organisations measure their size, activities and involvement. Measurement of activities allows us to plan better and recognise those who contribute, and helps to determine the ‘health’ of the club. In the last two years or so we have started to collect ride statistics. In 2011, for a 3 month period, we collated rides by individuals, to determine how many members were active.
In 2012 we collected details from ride reports and ride coordinators reports – ride numbers by leader, for each month. Also the numbers of rides led or whipped by individual members. Gay Crowther has been undertaking this work in 2012. Thanks Gay.
It is important that this be continued and the new committee will need to determine their support. (This material would be treated in accord with Privacy Laws.)
After meeting at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre for several years, we moved in February to the Whitehorse Council’s Horticultural Hall in Vermont, a bigger and better equipped venue.At our monthly meetings we have had a program of speakers on appropriate subjects, usually related to safety, health or member’s trips overseas. We have enjoyed presentations by Nick and Anita Fothergill (Flinders Island), Steve Roberts (Himalayas bike trip), Joyce Hall (Otago Rail trail), Jacques Fievez (Tour de France). Also a video presentation on CPR (Vic. Ambulance Service), Electric Bikes (Rev-Bikes), BHRRT progress (Vic Roads) and by the Amy Gillett Foundation. All were all well received.
Our club is run by volunteers, who give of their time and talents. We are in great shape and ‘healthy’ because of the involvement of our members in many different roles, which means that the club rolls on, almost running itself.
Russell Hick, President 2012.
Report by John Cook, President 2014
Most things went right. The worst thing that happened was the passing of Heidi. Our diligent Committee has met the occasional challenge. A variety of views has always resulted in a democratic outcome.
Our hardest worker is Rod who has accommodated our growing club with growing numbers of rides. A special thank-you to Rod for keeping the ever-expanding books in very good order. I can recommend you read his End-of year figures and notes. They look like a beautiful work of art. Thanks to Pat for keeping minutes and sending those urgent All Points Bulletins – got to watch those death notices though. Thanks Greg for keeping our famous calendar up-to-date by occasionally lassoing some ride coordinators. Our calendar is another work of art. Thanks to Rolf for filling Heidi’s Vice Presidency position and capably running the meetings and the newsletter while I was away. And thank-you Jamie for the monthly lunches and supporting Yvonne in organising this marvellous dinner. Yvonne is unfortunately the only feminine voice on the Committee – and a conscientious one at that.I am disappointed that I couldn’t convince another woman to be part of the team – especially as almost 40% of the club is female.
Michael Rogers was co-opted onto the Committee as the next potential President. I thank him for his wisdom and experience. If he is voted in I wish him well. I’m sure he appreciates – as I do – that the entire committee – except me- has re-nominated for next year. I’ll still be editing the newsletter though. Apart from the Committee others have been doing special jobs –Pam and Dawn as the Almoner, – at present we are thinking of Dawn Kneen, Maureen Adcock and Helga Ohlmus. Gay continues to assemble the monthly ride figures – thanks Gay –and also there were the many helpers at Monthly suppers, the bike count BBQ and the Xmas lunch. Thanks to all of them.
This year the Club website settled down and appears to be working well – thankyou Neil and Elaine and Ursula. Guest speakers entertained and informed us at every monthly meeting.
Multi day rides to Canberra, Cowes, Bairnsdale, Maryborough, New South Wales and Switzerland – thankyou those leaders who took the risk and spent the time.
The Advocates are busy and we see the Box Hill to Ringwood path gradually eventuating – congratulations to you all.
Being our 20th year, I decided to catch up on the club history. I produced a booklet of pictures and yearly summaries. The historical slide show went over well and we reacquainted ourselves with the founders of the club.
Not long after, Paul Baxter and Kevin Hosack died – members attended their funerals.
We have 274 members which is an increase of 20 over the year. With 54 new members, 34 must have left. At the start of the year the club was booming and it still is. Occasionally, the rides are too big. So we have found a solution – start more rides. If the ride is too slow, start a faster one – on Friday.If the ride is too short – start a longer one – All Day Easy Tuesday. If the February trip to Tassie is full – start another one – the month after. If you want better scenery – go to Switzerland. So confidence is increasing – more people are coordinating new rides, leading more rides, whipping more rides – and riding more rides. Thankyou to all the Coordinators, – stand up – Leaders and Whips.
By the way – I think there is an opening for a Saturday Medium, an All Day Easy Thursday and a Very Easy Tuesday.
Tuesday averages 71 riders and Thursday averages 44. Sunday has 17 so every week there are about 130 Whitehorse cyclists’ tops on the bike paths. Allowing for people who ride multiple times in the week I reckon at least 100 members ride each week. 100 chipper, chatty chappies, chugging. But without being able to get onto a bike – all this is lost. At least two of our members have had bad incidents lately resulting in major injuries. I don’t believe that there is such a thing as an “Accident”. Unfortunate incidents can be avoided if we keep in mind a couple of basic “rules”. I’ve written the “Ten Commandments of the Whitehorse Cyclists”. You can find them at the end of each newsletter.
Thankyou- John Cook Oct 2014
2015 President’s Report from Mike Rogers
I would like to start my report with a quote from our previous President John Cook.
“Gee it is great belonging to this club”.
Membership now exceeds 300 including 15 Octogenarians.
Rough estimate 600 rides over the past year. Any week where there is a full quota of rides the total is 14.
2 Overseas trips
2 Interstate Trips
6 Multiday trips in Victoria.
Whitehorse Wheels 2Aug 2014
Safety Officer and Safety Committee. We do not believe that we can avoid accidents entirely but we do believe that we can reduce the number and severity of accidents by keeping safety as a high priority. Our safety committee will continue to pursue that aim. I would like you all to listen to the advice given and do your best to stay away from ambulances and hospitals.
Advocacy group are now represented on club committee. This group continue to work hard to achieve better riding infrastructure for all of us. The big project is Box Hill to Ringwood Rail Trail. New sections have opened and we look forward to completion.
You may be interested to know that I am receiving regular correspondence from various politicians who want to be our mates. I am remaining neutral by ignoring all of them equally.
Name Badges. Bruce Easton told me it was the responsibility of the President to know all members by name. I came to the conclusion that getting members to wear name badges was the only way I could achieve this goal. Fortunately for me there are other people in the club who have memory problems and the badges seem to be a big success. I will be ordering a new batch shortly so let me know if you have lost your badge and want a replacement.
by Mike Rogers, President in 2016. Edited by Elaine Hopper for this history.
Whitehorse Cyclists (WCI) is a recreational cycling club that conducts 11 to 14 rides per week in Melbourne for various levels of fitness and ability. It also conducts a number of multi day rides in country Victoria and overseas. Our website includes an explanation of the degree of difficulty of each ride. Rides range from Easy (30 km flat rides) to Hard (up to 110 km with hills).
New members and older members typically join our easy rides and then gradually progress to more difficult rides as their fitness level and cycling competence improves.
Most of our rides commence at 9.30am on weekdays so they are more suited to retired cyclists however membership is open to everyone.Innovation in participation.As our membership has grown there has been discussion about capping membership numbers as some rides were getting too big. Instead of following this course of action we have elected to run more rides to cater for the increasing membership. Rides commence from various places and follow routes all over Melbourne. Each ride has a leader and a whip. Leaders are encouraged to design new and interesting rides that may be challenging and or interesting. Rides often visit historical sites and leaders provide information to all riders on the significance of the location.Overseas rides are organised by various members. Rides are generally fully booked very soon after they are advertised in the club newsletter. Participants get plenty of exercise, see the sights and absorb some of the culture of the countries they visit. Recent overseas rides have visited Russia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, China, Korea and Croatia. Next year two groups from WCI will tour Cuba and another two groups will ride in Sweden.Skills development and personal growth for members.Members usually have some riding skills when they join the club but need to learn about safe riding in a group. WCI has a safety officer and a safety committee. The safety officer consistently keeps the focus of ride leaders on encouraging safety at all times during our rides.
Documents that have been developed to assist all riders to develop a safe approach to riding are “Guide for Riders” and “Safety and Risk Analysis”. Both of these documents are on our website.As members riding skills develop they are encouraged to take on the role of ride leader or whip for some rides. These roles require a responsible approach as the leader and whip are responsible for keeping the group together, on the right course and to minimize any hazards along the way.
Each of our ride groups has a ride co-ordinator who plans rides, appoints ride leaders and provides a summary of the group’s rides to the calendar co-ordinator at the beginning of each month.
To keep the club running in its current format we have eight committee members, 12 ride co-ordinators (co-ordinators are also members of the safety committee), a safety officer, an almoner and an advocacy committee. There are also a large number of members acting as ride leaders and whips. All of these tasks are rotated so that all members eventually have an opportunity to contribute to the smooth running of the club which at the same time provides those individuals opportunities to develop their own skills.
The club arranges a number of social functions through the year. There is a monthly lunch on the last Friday of each month, an annual dinner and a Christmas lunch. Ride co-ordinators all have an allowance to be spent as they see fit within their ride group. This is often spent on a barbeque that is combined with one of their rides.
WCI has an active Advocacy Group, members of which promote the building or improvement of local off-road cycling paths within Whitehorse.
WCI membership is open to all members of the community, regardless of age, gender or income. Our membership fee is low ($30 per annum) and a bicycle can be purchased quite cheaply so there is really no barrier to entry for a large proportion of the Whitehorse community.
Our growing membership and increase in number of rides is proof that we have community appeal. During the period September 2106 to August 2016 the club has run approximately 600 rides. On average there would be 15 members on each ride which equals 9000 individual rides for the year. Based on the average distance covered by each ride the total distance ridden by our members on club rides in Melbourne is approximately 480,000 km. Multi-day rides in country Victoria and overseas rides add to this total.
Club President was Mike Rogers, Secretary Roger Oakley, Treasurer John Graham and Vice-President Ian Patterson.
Other committee members during the year were Jamie McLeod, Greg Curtin, Elaine Hopper.
Mike McKay has been using the past editions of Whitehorse Wheels and information available from members such as Ken Rushford, Mike McNamara, Alec Dean and Elaine Hopper, to assemble an account of the history of our Cycling club. These notes were originally published monthly in the club newsletters edited by Mike in 2007