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Ulysses Club president to control costs

Ulysses Club president Jen Woods representative
Ulysses Club president and MR of ACT spokeswoman Jen Woods

The world-renowned Ulysses Club will focus on keeping a lid on costs as they attempt to retain members, says new president Jen Woods.

The second female president was elected at the AGM in Wauchope last month and has set out her agenda for her presidency.

Ulysses membership

“With decreased membership comes the need to review and reduce costs and this new committee is focussed on that,” she says.

“We also need to adapt to the needs of younger members of 40, who may have young families but are also active riders.

“Keeping our current members is also key, along with attracting new members.

“We also recognise that many riders have the perception that we are a club for old people. We aren’t.”

Ulysses membership numbers peaked in 2010 at around 28,000 just prior to the global financial crisis and the subsequent financial restrictions for many people.

Membership declined but has been stable at around 16000.

“There is no ‘race’ to have as many members as possible,” says Jen.Ulysses Club president Jen Woods

“We recognise that there are now more clubs offering a variety of different experiences for riders to choose from.”

The Ulysses Club has around 130 branches, as well as a few riding groups and Special Interest Groups such as the Adventure Riders and the Victorian Breakfast Club.

Jen points out that any member can attend any branch, as membership is of the club rather than a branch.

There are also Ulysses Club internationally, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa and several in Europe.

Jen says the Australian club recognises the need to keep a close link to the clubs overseas and has a National Committee member who is in close contact with them.

“Many of our members choose to time their holidays to capitalise on the best riding weather to meet and ride with members overseas,” she says.

“Truly, this club has so much to offer and I am both proud and humbled to have been elected President.”

About the presidentUlysses Club president Jen Woods

Jen classes herself as a relatively “new” rider.

“It’s a bit like needing to be 4th generation before you can be called local,” she says.

Jen learnt to ride in 1998 and joined the Ulysses Club in 2000.

“My actual first experience of being on a motorbike was as a pillion on a friend’s Norton Commando back in the ‘70s – heady days,” she says.

“So I learnt to ride, got my licence and have had a great time ever since.”

He first bike was a Suzuki TU 250 followed by a Yamaha V-Star 650 and she currently owns a V-Star 1100. 

“I joined the Ulysses Club because I saw a rider with a back patch that said Grow Old Disgracefully and I knew I wanted to belong,” she says.

“The Ulysses Club has provided me with a truly fantastic social network and many new friends, an experience similar to so many other members.

“In an increasingly disenfranchised world, the Ulysses Club provides a way for new friendships to form with others who have a shared love of motorcycles, even when they no longer ride.

“So I had arrived and then looked around me and realised that I could become more involved.

“Motorcycle advocacy was an obvious concern and so I joined the Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT, and also became involved in the local Ulysses Club Branch.”

She became the president of that branch after some years in various roles on the committee and also became involved with the Ulysses Club Road Safety Committee.

She was first elected to the National Committee at the AGM in Penrith in 2009.

  • The next Ulysses AGM is in Barmera in SA, 7-13 May, 2018.


  1. Congratulations Jen. A big cost saving would come if Riding On became an e-magazine, circulated via email or accessed from its own site that now exists. How much does printing and postage cost per annum?
    Cheers Jules

    1. No no no. I’m tech savy, and I would prefer Riding On in good solid paper.

      1. I do like our clubs magazine on paper, it’s a very good magazine. But as the copies build up high, I begin to imagine all that paper and ink in so many homes around the country (or in the bin) and decided to view it online. Of course, my wife still gets hers on paper and I find myself looking at that!

  2. If Ulysses groups didn’t block riders faster than them, didn’t bag riders younger & more polite than them, & stopped pontificating about how slow they ride & isn’t it wonderful, their image might improve.
    Why is it that slower the bike, louder the exhaust?

  3. I enjoy both the paper copy of Riding On and a digital downloaded copy. Usually I read the paper copy over a coffee or out with my Friday ride group….. or sometimes sitting on the loo.
    I do however pass it on when finished with, either to mates to read , leave it in my Doctors waiting room or in my local coffee shop, anywhere someone might pick it up and show some interest in the club.
    If I need to refer to any article later I always have my digital copy to refer to, and the storage area required is much smaller.
    For some time I received my RACQ mag as just an online mag, and found I stopped reading it as I didn’t want to sit in front of a screen all day, coffee not withstanding.

  4. The only way to keep up the club membership old bean is to stop people dying

  5. It is no wonder they have lost members. I have had a terrible time with Ulysses. I nominated for president of a branch and the existing committee berated me and told lies about me for months, in their words, to drive me out of Ulysses. They used the Newsletter and the email stream to do this. I complained to the National Committee, and specifically to Jen Woods and was suspended for 4 months for this complaint. The branch suffered no consequences at all. I suffer from PTSD, which the branch knew about and I informed the National Committee. They did nothing except punish me and state I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it. I have kept all the emails for proof. They have made me very ill and even put me in hospital. This started if February 2018 and still goes on today. I would not suggest anyone to get involved in the running of Ulysses as they don’t like newcomers.

    1. Sorry Joe, mental health issues are very hard to deal with (personal experience) but they don’t make us better or necessarily worse than anyone else. The best way, I feel, to find yourself presiding over a committee (branch or otherwise) is to become a general member and then through demonstrated aptitude you might work your way up. Might I ask you why you’d like to be Branch President?

      I’ve met many of our National Committee members and they are exceptional people with strong commitment to benefitting the Club and it’s members.

      1. I have been a member for 12 years and spent 4 yrs as public relations officer and 3 yrs on the committee. I don’t know how much more I needed to do to show “aptitude”. I can assure you it wasn’t me that attacked others, like I said, I’ve kept all the emails they sent, sometimes twice a week.

  6. The members who prefer a hard paper copy could simply “print” their own copy at home of the “E Magazine”. How hard is that. The resulting reduction in cost would be a great cost and time saving which could be spent on more and better rides.

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