GWRRA Wingin' It

e-Newsletter

"Friends for Fun, Safety & Knowledge"

July, 2011

In This Issue
Joke of the Month
Looking for YOUR Articles
Inspirational Quotes
GWRRA & Facebook
Special Wing Ding Announcement
Members Wing Ding Story
Your Opinion Matters!
Happy 4th of July
Wing Ding Seminar
Happy Canada Day
Riding in the Heat!
New Discount Member Programs
Rescue Plus Reminder
Home Office Reminders
Trikes & Bikes Rally
Rider Ed Article
Humor with a Moral!
Travelogue
A Member's Story
GWRRA Chapter of the Year
Member Discount Benefit Promotion
GWRRA Benefits
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List

Joke of the

Month 

question mark

Middle Age 

 

Middle age is when you know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions!

 

J & M Ad
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Looking for

Articles

Remember, I am still looking for articles for YOUR e-Newsletter! 

 

Travelogs, Member

and Officer profiles, Chapter activities, your stories about how joining GWRRA has positively affected your life, etc.

 

And don't forget those great Gold Book stories.

 

Please send your stories to me here.

  

Inspirational

Quotes

 

"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."
Arthur C. Clarke

 

"Men's best successes come after their disappointments."

Henry Ward Beecher  

GWRRA is on

Facebook 

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Check out GWRRA's Facebook page and sign up to follow us! It is easy!!

 

 
Special
Wing Ding Announcement

GWRRA logo 

You will want to make sure you attend Opening Ceremonies at Wing Ding 33 to find our where Wing Ding will be next year in 2012, PLUS

attend Closing Ceremonies at this Wing Ding and we will announce the Wing Ding location for 2013!! 


 

Members'

Wing Ding

Story

by

Vern & Verna Dudley

Raleigh, NC

NC-F2 

Vern

Since October, 1989, after being introduced to GWRRA by

Frank Gillespie, at the Virginia Rally in Roanoke,

Virginia where he signed us up without an official form,

( he took my money, which by the way

was Verna's birthday dinner money), we really hadn't heard

much about Wing Ding, if anything.   The following year we had

planned a vacation to Washington state and had a wonderful trip

When we returned home we heard about a Wing Ding in Knoxville.

 This being so close to us we made immediate plans to attend

We had joined Chapter "K" in Roanoke and made, maybe,

several meetings but, we were not excited about GWRRA

YET. But once we got to Knoxville and saw the vendors, the

fun that was being held, and I got my first taste of safety chrome,

from that Wing Ding until now, Verna and I have made it a point

 to have our vacation, wherever WING DING is. It has been

a wonderful journey for us. 

 

Through the years we have met, and become very good friends

with GWRRA Members from all over our

United States, and because of them we have traveled all 48 states.

 GWRRA has become a way of life for us, and we look

forward to each July, as this is when our vacation starts with the

greatest people in the world at WING DING.  We long to see

you all there, and let's get the family party started.

We love you, Shirley and Paul, for getting this started..

See you soon.

 

Your Opinion Matters!

GWRRA logo

 Remember to check out GWRRA's Homepage at www.GWRRA.org 

 to let us know your opinion of a variety of subjects in our polls.

 

  

We'd like to give you the results of the last survey we have posted on the home page.

 

"How long have you been a Member of GWRRA?"

 (883 responses)

 

  >1-3 years (23%)

 

 >4-5 years (13%)

 

>6-10 years (26%)

 

>11-15 years (15%)

 

> 16-20 years (8%)

 

> over 20 years (14%) 

 

     

We always have a current GWRRA topic. To let us know your opinion. Check it out!  

 


American Flag
Happy 4th of July

  

Wing Ding Seminar  

AMAZING TEAM CHALLENGE SEMINAR

by

Jim Graybeal

International Director

Drill Teams

GWRRA logo

Just a reminder to all those Members who want to learn more about how to set up and run the Amazing Team Challenge at a Region or District Convention, or for a Chapter fun day.  Be at the Seminar at 10 AM on Wednesday morning, July 6, in Room 300C,  after opening ceremonies.

 

We will discuss the course as outlined, then tear it apart and put it back together in ways to make it fit into almost any size parking lot.  And still present the same challenges to riding fun.  We will also think about ways to make the course less challenging, for the less experienced riders (or more so for the hotdogs).  The end result should always be geared to fun for all riders, giving all the opportunity to learn while combining riding maneuvers presented in ARC, ERC and other riding courses.   

     

Time keeping, tabulating and recognition of winners will be discussed, along with suggestions for some of the fun awards.

 

We will discuss the basic tools needed to set up the course, then adjourn to Chilhowee Park, allowing seminar participants to do most of the set up, gaining valuable hands-on experience.  All this can be accomplished in less than an hour on the field.  We will also be inviting seminar attendees to assist in the actual running of the Challenge on Thursday morning, July 7  (that is called "setting the hook" in some circles).

 

Materials will be handed out, but come prepared to take notes and ask questions.  See you there.


Canadian Flag
Happy Canada Day!

   

Riding in the Heat!

by

Doug and Lynn Kerst Chapter Oh-Y Rider Educators

Douglas Kerst Picture

I have heard that this year is going to be a hot one and thought I might write about riding in the heat.  There are a couple of ways to make sure that you are ready to ride in the heat.   

 

The three things that you should keep in mind are to keep hydrated, keep your body as cool as possible, and try to keep your skin covered.  Lynn almost got dehydrated going out to Wing Ding in Billings, but she got lucky and caught it in time and got rehydrated and got a neck wrap so that we could finish up the trip.

 

The first thing is to keep the riding group and yourself hydrated.  People think that Gatorade is great but some people have to watch how much sodium is in those types of drinks.  The other drinks that you should avoid are drinks with lots of sugar because sugar and the sun don't mix when it is hot out.  If you want to drink liquid with sugar in it wait until you are done for the night.  I have read articles that you should drink about 12 ounces of water for every hour of riding when the temperature is over 85 degrees.  I know that riders get sick of the boring taste of water so you can go out to the grocery store and get flavor packets and they only cost about $3 for about 10 of them.  You should stop and take a break every hour and fifteen minutes to get rehydrated.

 

The second thing is to keep as cool as possible by wearing cool vests, which ranges in price from $35 to about $200 and are great to keep you cool while riding. The other things that you can use is a cold pack, necktie or something that you can wrap around your neck to keep it as cool or cold as possible with water or ice.  You can usually pick up one of these items for under $30 at rallies/conventions.  The thing to cover with is a bandana soaked in cold water, or if you can stand it, ice water; then put it on under your helmet.  It might feel real cold for a moment but refreshing after that.

 

The last thing is to keep your skin covered so that the sun doesn't pull the hydration out of your body.  You can wear anything from a long sleeve t-shirt, under armour or a breathable jacket, or a combo of either.  If you don't wear something long sleeve, which I don't recommend, make sure that you put on sun screen.  You can get sunburn within an hour and then it is too late.

 

We all need to keep a look out for other Members on rides to make sure they are doing ok and are safe to proceed on with the ride. If you think someone is having problems with the heat, stop and rest for awhile or until the group thinks it is safe to continue on the ride.  The group is only as strong as the weakest person, whether it is the rider or co rider, just like the article in June, 2011 Wing World says.  RIDE SMART, RIDE SAFE, ENJOY THE JOURNEY!!

 

New Discount

Member Benefit

Programs 

GWRRA logo

Monumental Term Life Insurance: 

Guaranteed Acceptance Term Life Insurance, available from Monumental Life Insurance Company for eligible members age 45-75, lets you choose a benefit amount of $10,000, $15,000 or $25,000. (DOUBLE if you suffer a covered accidental death.) The buying power of the GWRRA membership was used to negotiate some of the lowest rates in the industry with no medical exam required. Click Here for more details or call 1-800-556-7614 for details

 

 

TransAmerica Medicare Supplement Insurance:

Don't wait to find out what Medicare doesn't cover, take the time to look at your Medicare supplement insurance options. This private insurance helps fill the gap between health

care costs and

Medicare coverage. Medicare supplement insurance is available

to you through the GWRRA Members' Insurance Program and

is designed to go hand-in-hand with

your regular Medicare coverage. Click here or call 1-800-556-7614

for details!

Rescue Plus

Reminder

 
Tow Truck
  Remember to sign

up for

Rescue PLUS!

It will add more

miles and more

vehicles to your

standard FREE

Rescue towing

package from

GWRRA. PLUS,

it only costs

$25 per year

to upgrade the

entire family!!


Sign up NOW by

calling

800-843-9460!


<><><><><><><>

And remember, non-members can

purchase Rescue

PLUS for only $50

with all the same

benefits!


Call NOW!

Home Office

Reminders 

GWRRA Logo

Updating your

"Home Chapter"

 

 In GWRRA we assign zip codes to Chapters based on the areas and Members associated within those areas. It is true that any Member can attend any Chapter, or belong to multiple Chapters. In our reporting system we have the capability to track only one home Chapter that you will be associated with, and you will only show up on that Chapter's reporting system.

 

Initially, we assign Chapters pertaining to the zip code in which you currently live. If you would like to be assigned to a different Chapter, you can call Member Services and request the change. There are a few reasons you may wish to change your "Home Chapter". For example, your primary residence may be in one state, but you want to belong to a Chapter in a different state that you have a secondary residence, or you visit multiple Chapters, but would like to be assigned to one specific Chapter. 

 

Address changes can be a little trickier. If your address changes, your Chapter assignment will automatically change to reflect your new address unless you have given us a specific Chapter that you would like to belong. If that is the case, your Home Chapter will remain the same.  

 

Recently we were allowing Chapter MEC's to change Member Chapter assignments. This was due to a Chapter of the Year recruiting and retention contest, which ended on November 1st, 2010. Members will now need to call and change their own Chapter assignment with our friendly Member Services Team at 800-843-9460 or 623-581-2500 (Phoenix).

 

######


Message Boards

Sign-In Help:

There seems to be a bit of confusion with the  Message Boards, so hopefully this information will be helpful.

 

 

The website is

www.gwrrabbs.org

A pop-up box will come up when you get there stating:

 

 User name is your GWRRA Membership number (zero's included).

 

 Password is the numbers in your address and the expiration date of your membership (in most cases). (If you are Life Members, it will be your address and then the word life, ex. 1234life.)

 

Once you are in the Message Boards, if this is your first time, you need to go up to the right-hand corner and press "REGISTER". There you will fill out the information asked and create your own user name and password. Keep in mind, the user name you choose can't be changed and it is what everyone will see on the Boards when you are logged in, so choose carefully.  

 

Once you have registered, you will receive an email with your information. Please save this for future reference.  

 

You may be asked to login each time you go to the Board. The first set of logins will confirm your membership, the second logins will be what you created.

 

If you still have any questions on this process, please give us a call. It is easier to walk you through it over the phone.

800-843-9460.

============

Join Our Mailing List
Greetings! 

It is July and that means it is Wing Ding time around here! Great excitement and anticipation is all around us at the Home Office as we are getting ready for our annual International Convention. We anticipate this event to be one of the biggest in many years. Our preregistrations are the third highest ever, as of this writing (with some time to go before the actual cutoff).

With day-passes and on-site registrations, we hope this event will be one of our best ever. Knoxville has worked very hard to make this an event to remember. So, if you have not registered for this Wing Ding, you can still go and have a great time! Show up in Knoxville and register on-site!!

The Trikes & Bikes Rally is also going well. There is great riding in the Bowling Green area, as well as some great events planned for this rally. Everything from Trike and Bike Games planned by the great folks from Kentucky and Region N, to a Light Parade and a full Rider Education schedule, run by Gene and Betty Knudson, our International Rider Education Directors and their Team. See below for registration information.

I want to extend a hearty "THANK YOU" to all GWRRA Officers. Everyone from our Chapter Directors, who are our frontline Officers and serve our Members on a daily basis, to all the District and Regional Directors and their assistants. Plus, the thousands of Treasurers, MED folks, Leadership and Rider Ed people. These folks volunteer their time to make GWRRA what it is, the best motorcycle association in the world! So, when you get the opportunity, GIVE AN OFFICER A HUG! They deserve it!!

We have also kicked off a new program to support the Honda dealers. You will be hearing more about this program over the coming months. The essence of this program is to help develop a better relationship between our Chapters, the Honda dealers in our locals areas and GWRRA. As of this writing, we have 94 dealers interested and signed up for the program. They will be receiving Wing Worlds, GWRRA brochures and hangar tags to display in their dealerships. Let's help support our local Honda dealers, if we are not already!
 
And finally,  I do want to extend a very hearty "THANK YOU" to all those folks who have sent in articles to be published. I received a few more articles this month...please keep more of them coming!

 

FRIENDS FOR FUN, SAFETY & KNOWLEDGE!


Have a great riding season.
 
Have fun, 
  

Ed Price

  
Marketing Director
GWRRA

 

New Event...Trikes
  
Trikes & Bikes Rally
September 30-October 2, 2011
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Welcome to Bowling Green, Kentucky!

Things to do...

 

From Neutrality to Confederate Capital to Union Territory

-Bowling Green's Civil War History

 

As America commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, why not have a Civil War Experience while in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the Trikes & Bikes Rally this fall?  Most known for its fast cars, roller coasters and college sports, Bowling Green also has many entertaining stories to tell that include some little-known facts about the Civil War.

 

Local attractions have interpreted those facts in "Bowling Green's Civil War Experience," which includes opportunities to hop aboard a train, dress in period clothing, tour a cave by boat, ride along the Civil War Discovery Trail and much more. 

 

The South Central Kentucky city's convenient location (less than an hour from Nashville) and unique geography appeal to many travelers both presently and in the past.  The Bowling Green area's productive farms and its ample quantities of fresh water promised plentiful supplies for an army during the Civil War. Access to the Louisville-Nashville Railroad, a system of roadways and the Barren River allowed for quick and efficient movement of men and supplies.

 

Rolling hills and underground shelters offered effective opportunities to defend those transportation routes, making the area a strategic post that both camps wanted to control. Visitors today still recognize those valuable geographic traits, and now they can be entertained while they learn about how Kentucky played an important role in the war and why the Bowling Green area was viewed as such a strategic post.

 

Bowling Green's Civil War Experience includes:

 

"A Star in Each Flag:  Conflict in Kentucky"

This exhibit at The Kentucky Library & Museum on Western Kentucky University's campus encourages guests to walk through a simulated campsite, view a slave cabin, and step into a community post office.  Examine period artifacts including John Hunt Morgan's saddle, an original copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe, actual letters between Kentucky residents written during the war, various medical instruments, Civil War flags, weapons and more.  "A Star in Each Flag:  Conflict in Kentucky" also includes a Victorian photo studio where visitors can dress in period clothing and have a picture taken. The exhibit truly interprets South Central Kentucky's Civil War story, with emphasis on the divided loyalties of regional families and the lives of slaves in Kentucky.

 

"The Civil War and the Railroad"

The Historic Railpark & Train Museum offers a 'Lincoln and the Railroad' exhibit featuring rare Matthew Brady Civil War railroad photos from the National Archives and accompanying text from Smithsonian research assistant Peter Hansen.  The exhibit highlights Lincoln's little-known 20-year career as a railroad attorney in Illinois and the expansion of the railroad during his administration.  In addition, be among the first to view the 'Civil War and the Railroad' exhibit debuting on September 17.  Also of interest are permanent exhibits 'The Civil War and the Railroad' and 'The Great Locomotive Chase,' displaying a Civil War Medal of Honor.

 

Civil War Discovery Trail

By car, visitors can follow the Civil War Discovery Trail to over a dozen sites around town. Bowling Green was the Capitol of the Confederate State of Kentucky for approximately four months in 1861-62.  Noted on the tour is the private residence that served as the capitol building.  Historical markers interpret interesting facts throughout the city and Riverview at Hobson Grove Historic House & Museum offers a wonderful stopping place to learn more about how the house was used as a fort and an ammunition depot during the war. Listen to an informative audio tour accompanying the trail which is available for download online at www.visitbgky.com/civilwar.

 

Lost River Cave & Valley

Explore more Civil War secrets underground at another stop on the Discovery Trail, Lost River Cave & Valley, and hear stories about both camps hiding out and the mysterious deaths of soldiers there.  Lost River offered a natural water supply and the beauty of the cave provided a diversion from the ugliness of war. It is believed that on one of his "lightning raids" into Kentucky, John Hunt Morgan hid in the cave when escaping from pursuing troops.  Visitors can learn more by taking a boat ride through the cave.

 

President Abraham Lincoln emphasized the value of Kentucky's strategic importance in an 1861 letter, "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game." Through "Bowling Green's Civil War Experience," visitors can step back in time and learn more about the legacy of a war that bitterly divided our nation, our state and our families. 

 

Rider Ed Article

Jim & Nan Hall

by 

Gene Knutson

International Director of Rider Education

GWRRA



A Thank You to Our GWRRA Family

Most of you are aware that I went into the hospital on March 9th for a "routine" colon resection.  Well, things went badly and it was touch and go for the next 2 months. During that time I underwent 10 surgeries in 6 weeks and was given a small chance for survival.

 

Betty was by my side constantly and kept me up-to-date on the hundreds of Get Well wishes we were receiving as well as phone calls and emails.  It was evident that our GWRRA family was rallying around us and providing all of the support they could muster.  Numerous times a Member would add us to a prayer circle, or offer to help in anyway possible.

 

Let me tell you that all of the love we felt from our GWRRA family really made a difference in my recovery.  Betty remained strong throughout the ordeal, and maintained her work with the Seminar Presenters, Wing Ding Scheduling, PLP Facilitators, and also worked with John Bourg on the new Database.  She later told me that if it had not been for the GWRRA activities, the stress of my being in the hospital would have been more difficult for her.

 

Some of the hurdles that I needed to overcome after being on the ventilator for 17 days was the fact that I needed to learn to swallow solid foods and walk again.  My muscles had atrophied and rehab was necessary. After nearly three weeks of being at the Rehab center, I am walking (short distances) and now eating whatever I wish.

 

My weight has gone from 268 pounds to 212, but I would not recommend this diet to anyone!

 

Through all of this Betty, and I have had our eye on Wing Ding, and counting the days as we worked to get my endurance and health back.  We wanted to be part of the gathering of our friends, and it now looks like we will be able to attend.

 

I want to thank Tony and Michelle Van Schaick for taking the RE Directors reins when this health problem hit me.  They, along with the rest of the International Team, have proven that they are top notch folks who have the Members first and foremost on their minds.

 

In closing, we want to Thank all of the GWRRA family for their support, and know that we are looking forward to seeing you at Wing Ding.

 


Humor with a Moral!

Submitted by Jodi Starr -  

at Home Office  

 

Subject: Old Dogs

 

One day an old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a young panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

   

 The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!"

               

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the young panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly,

 

"Boy that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here."

 

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.

 

"Whew!" says the panther, "That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had  me!"

 

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.

 

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

 

 

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

   

 Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" Instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says, "Where's that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

   

 Moral of this story...

   

 Don't mess with the OLD DOGS... Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.

 

Travelogue:  (Part 2 of 2)

Abandoned Bridges in BC

by

Bill Gedye

Bill Gedye bike
#55915 (Life Member)
Chapter V, Victoria, British Columbia,
Canada

 


 

 

 

Alexandra Bridge - TCH, Fraser Canyon:

 

Hwy 1 through the Fraser Canyon ranks up there with the famous Duffy Lake Road for scenery, elevation changes, wide Alexandria Bridgesmooth curves and spectacular scenery. Back in the day, this route to the Caribou Goldfields took a similar route north from Vancouver up through the Fraser River Canyon. This was a fast and dangerous stretch of water with steep sides and names like 'Hell's Gate', where the water crashed and boiled making a ferry crossing almost impossible. It had to be bridged.

 
There had been more than one bridging attempt at this point, between Hope and Boston Bar on the Trans-Canada Highway. One of the earliest was Trutch's  Suspension Bridge in 1863, which was damaged by a 1904 flood and dismantled in 1912.  There are no official reports, but it must have been some flood to wreck a bridge deck some 40 feet off the river, but most likely, it took out the supports at either end.
 
Today's bridge stands in roughly the same location. It is off the beaten track and can't be seen from the highway, but it's there if you know where to look. About 40km north of Hope on the TCH, between Spuzzum and Hell's Gate, BC, you should spot the Alexandra Bridge signs. On the east side of the highway is the old Alexandra Lodge and about 2 km south, on the west side of the road, is a larger gravel parking area clearly marked "Alexandra Bridge Picnic Ground". After 40km in this heat, its time for a break anyway.
 
After you park your bike, you can walk down the curvy, old asphalt highway to the old bridge. You can't ride onto the bridge itself, as the roads have been ditched.
You'll want to be careful as you head down toward the river, following the old highway pavement, as it crosses a set of active railway tracks. It hasn't happened to me, but I imagine if you get caught on the river side of these tracks when a grain train rumbles through, you better have packed a lunch 'cause you're in for a long wait. These grain and coal trains run over 100 cars long.
 
The first thing you'll notice is that this bridge looks more modern than the others. It is an all iron/steel construction with an expanded metal mesh deck. No fear of heights? Great. You can walk out onto the bridge deck and look straight down at the Fraser River, roaring about 60 feet below you.
 
Across the bridge on the west side, you can see the remnants of the old 1958 highway which ran up the other side of the canyon to where it crossed at this point. It is here that your imagination can run wild and picture long lines of '55 Chevy's loaded with families stuck behind old flathead trucks on their way up to BC's interior on a narrow, winding two lane tar road.
 
All these bridges are monuments to obstacles which have been overcome using the best technology of the time, variations of which are still in use today if you look at the new Alex Fraser Bridge in Vancouver. Each of these bridges require that you ride through some of the most scenic areas of British Columbia and experience both cool, wet coastal areas and smoking hot desert riding.Alexandria Tower
 

Museums may hold the treasures of Michelangelo and Rodin, but the treasure of these old monuments could never be contained inside four walls. Only the Romans could build a bridge that could withstand the ravages of millennia. Eventually these iron and wooden structures will succumb to the relentless pressures of a raging river and the natural elements.

 

Better see them while you can.


A Member's M/C Story(Stay tuned for a multiple part story from Jerry.)

 

Rockies Trip-National Parks Tour      

by Jerry Stevens #301755

Flower Mound, TX 

 Jerry Stevens

Thirty years as a math teacher was enough.  I was able to retire in May 2007 at 58.  By September, I took a job as a receptionist in a private school.  The position paid less than I earned as a teacher, but not bad and it seemed easy after teaching.  The best part is I did not have the headaches of teaching.  I still had school holidays and did not work in the summer except to fill in for the other receptionist when she was gone.

 

In my 30's I got out of teaching to prove I could make money at a real job. I finally did but I missed teaching.  This time I was retiring.  I was done.  I had thrown my last strike as a retiring pitcher once said.  I had talked about this moment since I started teaching.  Now I was here!  I have arrived!  Now what? 

 

I have had defining points in my life before.  Some of these were very serious and very life changing.  I was younger then.  This was different.  When August rolled around I finally realized my thirty year career was over.  No regrets.  What did bother me, was the fact I was rapidly approaching a maturity level I never considered nor thought I would reach.   

 

My 60th birthday was only 16 months away.  I was supposed to be grown up.  Even as an adult?  I had grandkids.  I did not feel like a grandpa, mentally at least.  It seemed as though I went from 28 to old age in an instant.  I always thought 60 was for old farts.  Now I will soon be one.  No not me!  I did not even own a rocking chair!  How could I be old?

 

One evening in late February, yes still closer to the evil 60, while feeding a fire I had roaring in my chiminea and consuming the favorite drink of my college years I was searching my mind for some non old thing to do.  I reflected on my young, single years which I maintained until age 33.  That first marriage was a major stroke of stupidity on my part.  That is a book in itself.  God bless my wife I have now, she is great!  I realized I was bored in general.  I thought about men I know a few years older than I.  I thought of them as old grandpas, not me.  I remembered two guys with whom I went to school.  They died a few years ago!  I also thought about men who were maybe ten or so years older than I.  Some were almost dead or dead.  This was not good! 

 

I tried to think of men not in this category.  I wanted to celebrate 60 in a big way.  My thoughts drifted to a 74 year old Uncle.  He did not look old.  He seemed active.  He returned to motorcycling only ten years before and was on his third Goldwing, teaching safety classes, riding near 20,000 mi/yr and was an IBA member.  Ummm!  MOTORCYCLES!!!  Damn, it was only yesterday I rode motorcycles!  No it wasn't, it had been 26 years.  That was my previous life.  The one I enjoyed.  Where did time go?  That was it!  Buy a motorcycle!  What a stroke of genius!  Another beer to settle that flash of lightning.

 

Why shouldn't I return to motorcycles?  I rode motorcycles off and on when I was young.  My first one was a 165cc, two stroke Harley at age 16.  No speedster but fun.  I sold it when we moved to Germany, I'm an Army Brat.  Upon my return I bought a 650 BSA Lightning.  I really liked it.  I sold it for a DP on a new '73 Corvette, which I still have.  Later, I bought a Suzuki 500 two stroker, then a Suzuki 850 liquid cooled, shaft drive, full dresser.  I planned to take a cross country trip on this one.  It never happened, marriage, kids = the lack of money.  I sold it in 1982 to buy a "family car".  Can I fulfill this dream of a motorcycle trip a few years late?       

 

I have had some very good ideas come to me while sitting alone watching a fire with a cool one.  Surely this is one of those good ideas.  I reasoned that this summer may be too soon.  I called two friends to explain my brainstorm.  I picked the two most likely to agree with me.  I explained that I was going to take a road trip on a motorcycle and did they want to come along?  "Yes", said Randy.  "Yes", said Steve.  I was on a mission!  Put the plan into action!  Randy claimed he could not buy a motorcycle for a year which was OK, more on that later.  Steve got shut down by his wife by the end of the next day.  My mind was made up.  How do I buy a motorcycle and hide it from my wife?

 

Another night by the chiminea and good beer would create a brainstorm.  I realized I was not as young as I used to be.  Maybe I could not even handle a motorcycle after 26 years off and 60 years old.  Really?  Maybe after a few hundred miles I would realize I was not a motorcyclist but an old worn out math teacher full of beer when I had this "genius attack".  First things first, take a motorcycle safety course, rent a motorcycle for a short trip(s) then buy one.  Good plan, right?  After completing the safety course there was no tuning back.  It was like I was 30 years younger.  I was still hooked.  I was just like an addict who gave it up for years but only a taste hooked me again.  I still liked motorcycles and I felt at home on it.  This was it.  Done deal!  Who is going to rent one?  After all how could I get used to riding it if I did not have one available 24/7?  I had to buy one! 

 

Well, remember Randy?  Only 2 to 3 weeks after releasing my "stroke of genius" on him, he bought a new Honda 2007 VTX 1300R.  So much for waiting a year!  He traded for a 'Wing a few months later.  I continued my research for the "right bike".  I priced insurance.  Of course I kept the motorcycle shops busy showing me motorcycles.  My requirements were one with shaft drive, liquid cooled, fit me, 850cc or more, and I would like for it to have fuel injection.  I also had to watch the $'s.  I am a short guy.  Randy is shorter than I.  He told me to try the VTX 1300 as it fit him.  Of all the motorcycles I "tried on", I tried on all of the major brands, the carburated VTX 1300 fit me the best without feeling too top heavy.  Goodbye 850cc's.  Hey, isn't bigger better?  How big do they make these things?  I still have the wife issue.  I actually was afraid of her reaction.  Yes, my mind was made up but I hoped my wife would be there when I returned.       Jerry's bike

 

GWRRA Chapter of the Year

submitted by

Bob & Karla Greer

International Assistant Directors

Member Enhancement Program

Chapter of the Year


Mike and Lori Stiger, GWRRA Directors, Ed and Linda Johnson, International Membership Enhancement Program Directors, and Bob and Karla Greer, International Assistant Directors, Chapter of the Year Coordinators are pleased to announce that Florida Chapter FL1-L2, Wesley Chapel, FL have been selected as the 2010 GWRRA International Chapter of the Year.  The Chapter was lead by Chapter Directors, Rick and Madalena Buck.  Congratulations to Chapter FL 1-L2 for the "FUN" they had and the involvement in the Chapter of the Year Program. 

We would also like to announce that the New Mexico Chapter F, Albuquerque, NM (F-Troop) was the First Runner Up for 2010 GWRRA International Chapter of the Year. This Chapter was lead by Chapter Directors, Jim and Pam White.  We congratulate them for being selected as the runner up and appreciate their involvement in the Chapter of the Year Program. 

We would also like to congratulate all other Region and District Chapters of the Year winners.  

We encourage everyone to participate in the Chapter of the Year Program during 2011.  A great place to get information is to attend the Chapter of the Year Seminar and the Chapter of the Year Meet and Greet at Wing Ding 33.  In addition, feel free to attend the Membership Enhancement Program Open Forum and meet the GWRRA International Membership Enhancement Program Team.  The schedules for these events will be in your "Wing World Magazine".

 

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Contents copyrighted by GWRRA, Inc.

2011