Happy New Year everyone! From my family to yours and everyone at the Home Office, we wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, prosperous and joy-filled 2014! Since I am writing this article in the middle of December, my process for the end of the year and planning for a New Year is to get retrospective. How was the last year? What did I learn? What were the highs and the lessons? For me, it allows me to better plan for the new year and make adjustments to reach my goals. As I get older and supposedly wiser, less planning and more living and appreciation are the mode of operation. Although, the truth of the matter is since, I was "officially" retired two years ago, I find myself more busy these days than ever before. But now I seem to enjoy my "work" more, although I always enjoyed working...because I was always around GWRRA folks!
So, what is your process? Do you make New Years resolutions, set new goals for the new year? Does your Chapter review its year and make new plans? Maybe a gathering to talk about new ideas for the year! Tell me what your Chapter, District or Region does by writing me here
. It has been fun reading many of the newsletters you send me and how many of the Officers summarize their years activities in the Decembers newsletter. So many rides for the year, activities, charitable events, plaque attacks and Member functions. There has also been so much training going on this year, according to our Officers. Officer training programs, parking lot practices, Rider Education Programs, bike shows, best dressed competitions, COY programs, etc, etc. You guys have been busy, that is awesome. I also read how many of the colder weather Chapters are preparing their Members for bike storage, and yet many are still talking about winter rides and activities. I am so glad I live in Arizona! Have fun everyone...
In looking forward to 2014, GWRRA is very excited about Wing Ding 36 in Madison July 2-5, 2014. There are many new events being planned and as always, the city of Madison loves our Members! So, make sure you get registered for Wing Ding early and save on preregistration. Check out the Wing Ding 36 site here and get registered now or call one of our friendly Member Services agents at 800-843-9460! Also, check out GWRRA's Weekend at the Opry event next Labor Day at the Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Remember, preregistration for this event is only $15 per Member. And rooms at the phenomenal property start at only $110, including the resort fee. Check out all the details and register here or call the same number given above. 2014 is going to be a great year full of activities for all our Members.
And speaking of the future, have you seen this concept of the "Gold Wing" or Honda "Night Wing" of the future? Check this out and let me know what you think... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc4XY20fyXE. What do you think could be the next improvements/modifications on the Honda Gold Wing? Write me here. We will use your comments in the next issue of Wingin' It's Member Feedback.
With the holiday season in full swing, it is very much appreciated to receive contributions to the Wingin' It
. Folks get very busy and we are so grateful to the following people for sending in their articles, jokes and stories. And, it is also no secret that I have been known to "borrow" some interesting articles and stories from the great newsletters I have read over the previous month. With much gratitude, you will read below a wonderful New Years message from our Directors Ray & Sandi Garris. Thank you Joe & Gracie Mazza for their always interesting and educational Rider Education article, Tom Hendricks for his continued contributions of stories and jokes, Gene Hanselman for his wonderful stories, and Terry Dare for your continued supply of great jokes. We also have an awesome story from David Jordan about his involvement as an Officer in GWRRA, as well as a great story from Dan Scott and his Chapter, OK-I and their charitable activity this year. There is a "Member Thought" from Wally & Lorna Bentt, as well as their Member Ride Story, and an MEC Story from Avery Howard from AL-B. Apparently the Lane-Splitting subject stirred more feedback in our Member Feedback section, so make sure you catch that article from Ralph Richardson.
And, don't forget to check out GWRRA's coupon section at the bottom, where you always get at least a 25% discount on a GWRRA Official Product. This month is a GWRRA Long Sleeve Orange or Neon Green Tech Shirt.
It is great to receive your articles, jokes and stories for your Wingin' It
! Please keep sending us your travelogues, rides, Chapter stories, Gold Book
stories and Wing Ding adventures. Remember, don't worry if you think you are not a great writer, we have awesome editors here who will make your story sound terrific. Send your contribution to us here
or to my email at the bottom of this article.
Remember to check out GWRRA's website
for all the latest news, benefits, updates and information. One more request, please forward this copy of Wingin' It
to all your friends who ride! THANKS!!
Thanks for all your continued support! Ride safe and FIND-A-FRIEND!
GWRRA Events Manager | Wingin' It Editor
Gold Wing Road Riders Association
GWRRA.org | Wing-Ding.org
"Friends for FUN, Safety & Knowledge"
800-843-9460 | 623-581-2500 (in Phoenix) | Fax 877-348-9416
Football & the Blond
Of all the blonde jokes, this one has to be the best -- because it makes football make sense!
A guy took his blonde girlfriend to her first football game. They had great seats right behind their team's bench. After the game, he asked her how she liked it.
"Oh, I really liked it," she replied, "especially the tight pants and all the big muscles, but I just couldn't understand why they were killing each other over 25 cents."
Dumbfounded, her boyfriend asked, "What do you mean?"
"Well, they flipped a coin, one team got it and then for the rest of the game, all they kept
screaming was 'Get the quarterback! Get the quarterback!' I'm like...Helloooo? It's only 25 cents!"
Sent in by
"I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better!"
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Looking for Articles
Remember, we are looking for articles for YOUR e-Newsletter!
Travelogues, 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.
Have questions or privacy concerns about becoming Socially Connected with your GWRRA Facebook friends...
Click Here: Facebook 101
- The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes... was on shaky ground.
- A dentist and a manicurist married ... They fought tooth and nail.
- A will is a ... dead giveaway.
- If you don't pay your exorcist ... you can get repossessed.
- With her marriage, she got a new name ... and a dress.
- You are stuck with your debt if ... you can't budge it.
A couple was Christmas shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve and the
As the wife walked through the mall she was surprised to look up and see her husband was nowhere around. She was quite upset because they had a lot to do.
Because she was so worried, she called him on her mobile phone to ask him where he was.
In a calm voice, the husband said, "Honey, you remember the jewelry
store we went into about 5 years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we could not afford and I told you that I would get it for you one day?"
The wife choked up and started to cry and said, "Yes, I remember that
He said, "Well, I'm in the bar right next to it."
What is the farthest you've traveled to a Wing Ding?
* More than 3,000 miles (Total 28) 7%
* 2,000 to 2,999 miles (Total 41) 11%
* 1,000 to 1,999 miles (Total 78) 20%
* Less than 1,000 miles (Total 83) 22%
* haven't been to a Wing Ding yet (Total 152) 40%
Total Votes: 382
AL-B MEC & Staff Photographer
I am the MEC and Staff Photographer for Alabama Chapter B. A former Chapter Director noticed I took a lot of pictures on rides, at rallies and other events. He asked if I would be the photographer for the Chapter. Naturally, I said yes. A few years later I was asked to be the MEC. Again, I said yes. It is a great feeling to be able to not just be a part of GWRRA, but to be able to give a little something back. Maybe I'm just a little prejudice, but I think I'm a Member of the best Chapter in GWRRA.
Our Chapter has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Together Everyone Accomplishes More. I am very proud to be a Member of Alabama Chapter B and GWRRA.
2014 To Do List
1. Say something silly
2. Laugh till it hurts
3. Take a nap
4. Share a secret
5. Sing out loud
6. Rock the boat
7. Shake things up
8. Flirt with disaster
9. Buy something frivolous
10. Color outside the lines
11. Cause a scene
12. Order dessert
13. Get carried away
14. Have a great day
Borrowed from BC-D newsletter, submitted by: Pat Williams
Food for Thought
by: Wally & Lorna Bentt
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
As you are riding along on your GL1500 or GL1800, have you ever thought about what is happening between your legs.
At 70mph your engine will be turning approximately 3,000 rpm. To put this in perspective, there are six little pistons, each moving up and down 50 times every second. Your engine has 12 valves, each opening and closing 750 times a minute for a total of 9,000 times a minute or 540,000 times every hour.
Your carburetor or fuel injector squirts into each cylinder about .02 millilitre of gas 750 times a minute, or less than a half ounce every minute. Then we explode that fuel and air mixture 750 times a minute for each of the six cylinders to turn a crankshaft, that turns the gears, that turns a drive shaft, that turns the back wheel and propels you, your co-rider and your
luggage down the road.
It is simply amazing technology when you put it in these terms. As a matter of fact it is absolutely mind boggling! Now you do the math. One rider at the Region "I" rally has ridden a 2003 GL1800 over 250,000 miles without doing any repairs on his engine. Eat your heart out Harley Davidson.
We have a new look!
Our new magazine website:
- Easy to read
- Easy to navigate
- View current and past issues of Wing World magazine
- Visit our current list of advertisers
- PLUS Much More!
For advertising opportunities please call one of our Account Executives at
800-843-9460 (or 623-581-2500 in Phx. area)
ext 231 or 250.
To view the magazine online or to sign up as a trial Member, please contact Member Services at 800-843-9460 or, in the Phoenix area, 623-581-2500.
Rescue Plus Reminder
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
And remember, non-members can purchase Rescue PLUS for only $80 with all the same benefits!
submitted by: Ray & Sandi Garris
Happy New Year from your Directors of GWRRA
How is your FUN-OMETER working? These clever instruments measure the amount of FUN you are having at the present time. Be sure and get it tuned up for all the FUN we have planned for our Members in 2014. It all starts in YOUR Chapter. Have you taken a look at all the rides and social events that are planned for your enjoyment by your Chapter Team? Whether your weather this month is warm or cold, your Chapter has planned some Fun ways to get together, see some sights, have some pie and ice cream, or just "kick tires" and enjoy each others company.
Whether you are driving 2,3 or 4 wheels, it doesn't matter. These wheels will deliver the most important part of GWRRA, our Members to where the FUN is located. When you arrive, you will find more happy, friendly Members of your "family" ready and waiting to welcome you with a friendly smile and greeting and a hug or handshake. These are just some of the ingredients of "Chapter Life" in GWRRA. In this setting you, will find people who have a genuine interest in you, as this is the spirit of our Association and your new "extended family."
So how did this all happen. It happened because Paul Hildebrand & Shirley-Stephens Garcia, our Founder & Co-Founder, decided that these motorcycles were really fun to ride and wanted to share that great feeling with others. They wanted to help all these folks enjoy this sport while having a safe experience. They called it "Friends for Fun, Safety & Knowledge. Their FUN-OMETER was working great, measuring all the FUN they were having and sharing with their friends.
So, how can we give the "Gift of GWRRA" to others just like Paul & Shirley did some 35 years ago? It starts with us meeting someone new that is standing there admiring our bike. We answer their questions and end up inviting them to our next get-together, ride or social event. We write down their phone number or email address and remember to follow up with a personal message. Soon, with your friendly assistance, these folks are feeling very welcome, very informed, educated, and having FUN, all because you gave them the "Gift of GWRRA."
Here is a secret on how to make your FUN-OMETER go even higher! Just get involved with the folks who are making things happen in your Chapter, the Chapter Director and the great staff. There is probably a position in that Chapter staff with your name on it. We will guarantee you that it will be a very satisfying and FUN experience!
Sandi and I hope each of you will find at least one person to share the "Gift of GWRRA" just like Paul & Shirley did. Oh, by the way, you just helped double the size of your Association!
Enjoy 2014, one of the best years of your life! We wish you the best of everything!
Ray & Sandi Garris
Your Directors of GWRRA
Happy New Years from Shirley Stephens-Garcia and Benny (Husband & Bodyguard).
Thanks to all of you for your many wonderful thoughts and prayers during Benny's battle, surgery and recovery. Benny is doing really great now and is planning a full recovery very soon. You will see him soon "being Benny!" again. He is planning to be back on the trike too. We sincerely thank our "extended family" in GWRRA.
Rider Education Article
Joe and Gracie Mazza
Assistant International Director Rider Education
Motorcycles Plus Animals = Disaster
I recently received a call from a good friend of mine, Doug Roberts, whom I met many years ago thru GWRRA here in Florida. Doug, who is a Level IV Master Tour Rider and has won many skill riding awards, recounted a story of a recent encounter he had with a deer while riding his motorcycle. I mention his skill and ability to emphasize that this type of accident can happen to any of us regardless of our riding talent.
On November 23rd, 2013 at about 6 PM, Doug was cruising along highway 321 coming out of Maryville, Tennessee when a buck suddenly appeared directly in front of the bike. Since Doug was traveling between 65-70 mph, he immediately came off the throttle and applied the brake. Apparently, there was no time for any evasive maneuvers. He t-boned the deer and found himself airborne in a blink of an eye. Fortunately, Doug always wears all the gear, all the time and this night was no exception. He remembers landing on his left shoulder and sliding down the road. Having landed heavy on his left shoulder, he broke his left scapula. He also had a very small abrasion on his left wrist and both hips. That's it. Doug wears top of the line protective gear and it paid off big time.
I always shake my head when I see so many riders riding dressed like they are going to the beach. I remember the words of a biker who told me, when discussing riding and accidents, "that it's not a matter of if but when". Unfortunately, in my case, he was to be proven right a few years later when my "when" happened in Dallas, Texas.
The following appeared on the WSAW News 7, Wisconsin on June 15, 2011:
. A third person died this month following a motorcycle accident involving an animal. Authorities say Craig Vick 50, of Oscola died Monday afternoon after colliding with a deer in St. Croix County. Vick hit a deer and was thrown from his cycle.
. Also, on Monday, Dale N. Hart, 51, died after hitting a wolf with his motorcycle near Black River Falls.
. On Sunday, Terry Holmgren, 67, died when he struck a turkey with his motorcycle near Eagle River.
None of them were wearing helmets.
In an article entitled "Motorcycle vs Animal-Rider Safety Tips" the author, C. Eakins, states:
. Heed deer-crossing signs, particularly in the seasons and times of day when deer are active. Slow down, use your high beam, and cover the brake.
. Flashing your headlights may break the spell that seems to cause deer to freeze.
."S.E.E." - Search, Evaluate, and Execute a simple but powerful strategy in the Basic Riders Course (BRC) . It should be employed as far in front of the rider as visibly possible when riding in areas where deer are common. This strategy will allow more time to stop if a deer is spotted.
. Small animal motorcycle collisions with raccoons, armadillos and the like can also be deadly. A fast moving motorcycle with the brakes locked is a recipe for disaster. A glancing hit can veer a motorcycle off the road. These animals are low and have a round body structure that doesn't "crush", causing the body to roll under the undercarriage. The proper position in this case is to ride across the animal as one would ride over a small fixed obstacle. ( Personal note: Being an animal lover, I had a tough time writing this but I understand it in theory).
Hopefully, none of us will ever have the terrifying experience that Doug Roberts had. But since it is possible, this is another example of why ATGATT is so very important to all of us who enjoy the open road. Ride safe, ride often.
It is Finally Here... And It's FREE!
Download Your Copy Today On iTunes!
Tom Hendricks, TX-U
In addition to being a Gold Wing trike rider, I am a hunter. I love both activities, and during the holiday season I have to really manipulate my schedule to ensure I can devote time to both of them and still participate with family, church, Chapter, and other fun-filled happenings.
A few years ago, I was hunting and I was in my usual dilemma of, do I harvest one of the first deer that I see, or do I wait for the proverbial "Big Buck" and take home venison in addition to a nice set of horns? I sat in my deer blind in Central Texas and on two hunting sessions I waited for the big one, and he did not show up. Sitting in a deer blind while hunting gives you a lot of time to think and philosophize on life, the world, motorcycling, and hunting causes/effects. At the end of one of my insightful contemplations, and after passing up some deer that were not of the trophy caliber I was hoping to see, I realized I was not enjoying the hunt as much as I should have, because I was waiting for the perfect situation to fulfill all my hunting expectations. I wanted beautiful weather, nice equipment, the perfect four-legged, heavy horned, many tipped specimen of the white tailed male deer to wander close to my deer blind. What I was forgetting, was that I was a hunter and I could enjoy being in the outdoors, on a too cold or too hot day, with less than optimum, but still functional equipment, and still enjoy the hunt. It did not have to be a picture perfect situation for me to enjoy the experience.
Sometime a similar situation presents itself when I am trying to decide to ride my trike or become involved in a GWRRA activity. The circumstance will probably never be perfect; it might be too rainy or windy, I can't find my favorite gloves, I only have time for a short ride, maybe I'll wait until later when my buddy is free, or I already went riding this week. The thing riders have to ask themselves, just as a hunter does is, "Are you a rider?" If you say yes, then you don't need to look for excuses, because you already know the answer, and you need to proceed and throw your leg over the saddle, start your engine, and twist the throttle towards what might not be perfection, but pure bliss of the moment for the current ride. It might not turn into the perfect ride, but a ride it will be; good for conversation, white lies, and good times. Perfection can be sought, but a ride a little less than perfection is still a darn good experience, and a positive way to spend some quality time with good friends.
My thought is for you to realize that when you set your riding standard, make it high. But also be aware any ride is a good ride, and sometimes in the course of an outing you find something close enough to perfection to say I'm a motorcycle loving rider, and this might not be the perfect ride, but it will do for now. In hindsight, when I look back on today's ride I'll remember what a wonderful day it was and in the end, I have had some perfect memories of semi-imperfect settings that turned into days to remember.
Ride safe, ride often and make them rides to remember!
Another Member Story:
submitted by: Gene A Hanselman
Member #135067, Chapter OH-D3
As a young boy growing up in the Midwest on a farm with German descendants meant hard work, long hours, few friends and high parental expectations. It also meant intense activities and religious holiday extravaganzas. New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations meant surprises, food and family togetherness.
January 1st was just another day of work and chores on the farm. Usually it was the cold and wind that caused any and all problems. We had to make sure all the animals had food, water and plenty of straw for warmth and cover. Our family lunch menu consisted of roast pork, bar-b-q ribs with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. I was fortunate if I got to watch the parades and bowl games until chore time came. At least we stayed at home and did not have to hustle around to go somewhere.
Easter Sunday was anything but a day of rest. Dad and I were up and in the barn milking at least 40 head of Holsteins by 5:00 am. That meant I had to be up by 4:00 am, saddle the horse and be on the way back to get the cows a mile away in the back pasture across the road. We had to get the herd milked, feed and water the sheep, hogs and beef cattle, bathe and be at Church by 7:00 am for Sunrise Services. Ham, eggs, fried potatoes and home made biscuits was the breakfast feast for all that attended the service. After a short time of fellowship and coffee or juice, Sunday School and Church Service would last till noon. Our family would arrive home long enough to change our Sunday meeting clothes to every day duds and off to Grandma and Grandpa's for lunch with all the uncles, aunts, cousin's and other family members. At this gala event we always knew the main meat was to be fresh smoked ham surrounded by garden veggies, including candied yams in thick syrup. Around 4ish we left for home and the second half of milking and chores.
Thanksgiving was always fun and exciting to me. We didn't have to get up as early because the cows were kept in the barn during the winter months. We headed out to whoever in the family was having Thanksgiving Dinner. Upon arriving and a little social talk the men, every male over 12 years old, headed to the fields and woods to hunt pheasants and rabbits. Hunting with all the guys was one of the greatest activities ever. Each man would try to out do the other. I soon picked up on this right of passage and within a couple of years I led in the challenge and continued for many years. After eating roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade noodles, green bean casserole and Aunt Hilma's honey bread, we settled into easy chairs and watched football on TV. It was a wonderful time of the year.
Christmas was the only holiday that went by way too fast. As always we got up early and milked and did the chores. It was my family's ritual to eat a hardy breakfast on Christmas that included fried oysters, eggs, hash browns and toast. After that we gathered around the Christmas tree and opened the gifts. From the time I was 3, I received great presents. Train sets, animals for pets and all kind of toys were the norm for me each Christmas. As I grew older, shotguns, rifles and pistols along with tools were left by Santa. The one gift I always wanted and desired was never there, a bicycle.
At age 6, I shot my first wild animal, 7, I drove the tractor to the baler and by age 9, I could keep up working with most men, including my father. I was running our farm operation at age 12, due to an accident to Dad while cutting down a tree. I had always been infatuated with two wheeled machines, with or without engines, but my parents were worried I might get hit on the road or fall off and injure myself. They felt a boy in the country did not need a bicycle. I enjoyed watching our farm hands riding their Cushman scooters to and from work and always talked with them about how they looked and ran. On my 13th Christmas my brother-in-law and sister gave me a shinny blue bike. It was cold and snowy, but I immediately took it for a spin and I remember that crisp December morning like it was yesterday. As always though, it was off to Grandpa's for Christmas dinner of roast goose, and all the trimmings. I was rushed away from my STUFF and would have to wait until another day to enjoy my presents. I have to thank my sister and brother-in-law for that special gift on Christmas 1961, two wheels were introduced to me and it changed my life forever.
Throughout my adult life I remember those yesteryears of my youth. Even though I write of them as if they were a terrible time in my childhood, they instilled within me great ethics and principals that helped me be successful in all that life had to offer. I learned how to conserve and be conservative. I know how to appreciate the things you work hard for and to never take anything for granted that you earn or have given to you. I learned to understand that if you are patient and do your best, you will be rewarded in God's time with His best. I realize that family values are not a system you learn in school or from a friend. They are mentored through family participation and year after year of tiring activities during holiday's and religious events. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
Senior Chapter Director
TN-H Dixie Wings
It may be hard to say why. I was new to GWRRA in 2007, I enjoyed the fellowship of the Members. Within 4 months my wife, Barbara and I were the Chapter MEC's. We took the job and went on a campaign to visit every Member of the Chapter and get the Members who were not coming to the meetings to start back. Then set out the visit as many Chapters we could each month. 2008, we went to 96 Chapter meetings that year and Horizons. In September 2008, we attended a meeting of TN Chapter H, It was told that they were closing because of problems. I don't know why, I made a comment to a Member of another Chapter, next thing I know I am in a meeting with then Region Director, Frank Albert and Tennessee Director Ken Zahn. Talking about why I want to take over the Chapter. On November 1, 2008. My wife and I were appointed Chapter Directors of TN Chapter H at another Horizons program. At the first meeting as the new CDs, we were welcomed by many of our fellow Chapters. We had 97 Members show up, even though my wife and I were the only Members of our Chapter. Because of the support from those Chapters I made a commitment that no matter what I was going to make this work. In 2009, we hit 102 meetings and spent every minute talking to everyone I ran into about GWRRA and our Chapter. We grew to 6 Members that year. In 2010, we grew another 6.
It is now December 2013, we have grown to 33 Members and I am into my 6th year as Chapter Director. I held every position in the Chapter for many years while training people for those positions. I am glad to say that, even though I am the Chapter Director and Newsletter Editor, I do have a great bunch of people behind me. When I find myself wondering if I am the right man for the job, I find the enjoyment of the Members of my Chapter and the others. Now I am at the point of what next. I look for change, not in me, but what I can offer the Chapter. The Staff and I have agreed we need change in what we do. Not to do the same thing every year, but go out and find different rides, events, and trips. We have concluded there are many things to do within 3 hours in any direction from our Chapter. I find the enjoyment in all the Members of GWRRA and the time I can spend with them.
My wife and I received our level 4 in 2008, and believe in the program. This is our mission in our Chapter.
(Ed. note: Here is some more information about David and Barbara--
"Ed, See I have been a Member since 2007. We have yet to go to a Wing Ding event. I am a disabled Veteran. I have been married for 37 years. Through all that I have had 32 surgeries since 1982. My wife works for Walmart and has for 28 years." Wow, that is dedication and service to our Members! Thank you David and Barbara!)
Submitted by Wally Bentt
Following a very successful Region "J" Rally in Westlock, Alberta, we would have a huge contingent of riders from Chapter AB-B, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada heading to the Region "I" Rally in Pendleton, Oregon. Prior to our departure Nick and Debbie Plooy said they had done the Rattlesnake Canyon last year and they convinced us that we should do it with a small group on this trip. And so after some beverages in our motel room in Lewiston, ID our group was set. The group would consist of Nick & Debbie, Dave and Susan Strong, Wally and Lorna Bentt and Ted de Beaudrap. Everyone else would be leaving early and taking the fast way to Pendleton so that they could make the 11am opening ceremonies. Nick said that he didn't care about opening ceremonies and would
sooner do a repeat of Canyon and who was I to disagree.
And so on August 7th after a fuel up, we crossed the Snake River into Washington state and take highway WA129 a few miles south. At Asotin the highway immediately starts a big climb. There were lots of corners and several switchbacks. At a pull out part way up, we pulled over so we could get our POV camera mounted and working. After we got it running, we continued the rest of the way to the top where we found huge farms in the midst of harvesting winter wheat. The rolling prairies were golden yellow for miles, but roads were straight and somewhat boring. However, Nick assured us that the best was yet to come. After a few more miles we started down. We had great pavement with many tight corners. We kept going down with several pull offs for pictures and we finally got to the bottom, a drop of almost 4,000 feet. At the bottom we crossed a bridge over the Grande Ronde River.
Then we started the climb up the other side. More great corners and three or four more switchbacks. Wow! This is incredible! I can not see how the Blue Ridge Parkway could possibly compare to this. Not only is this much longer, the scenery is fabulous! We cross the border into Oregon and the highway is now OR3. We pull off at a viewpoint and watch a couple of Harley's whose riders know how to ride. Most HD riders we have seen so far have no idea on cornering technique!
Then we stop at two more pullouts looking for a specific scene to photograph. We find the spot and take shots of the scalloped hillside we had just passed by. Great photo op!
After we summit we are into more 'regular' style of riding with more wheat fields interspersed with forest stands of Ponderosa Pines. Finally we arrive exhausted for specialty coffees at the Gypsy Java in the town of Enterprise. The cafe had lots of interesting toys and antiques, including this Groucho Marx mask - Ted and I both had a go at stunting with these.
After great java, we take 82 to Elgin and then 204 through the Umatilla National Forest. As we pass through more dense pine forest we are lamenting that there are no picnic spots where we can pull over for a late picnic lunch. Suddenly there is a National Forest campsite and only Lorna and I managed to get stopped in time for the turn off. The other three bikes do a U-turn and arrive at a shady spot with trees more than 120 feet high. This respite rejuvenates us for the remaining 34 miles across the rolling prairies to the Pendleton Convention Center.
Reviewing what just happened, I have decided that this is now hands down my all time favorite ride. What more can I say or do to convince you? Perhaps do it the other direction! I do hope so! At 321kms, it is just unfortunate the actual great part of the ride is closer to Lewiston than Pendleton. I guess a return trip will require us to put this on our bucket list. Maybe next year!
Here is a Member's comment we received from last months Wingin' It.
Please respond to me here with your thoughts on this idea.
MORE ABOUT LANE-SPLITTING
I ride in San Diego and have done so since 1999 when I bought my first Wing, a 1996 GL1500 and put over 165,000 miles on it. I have been a rider in many states and have had a motorcycle license since 1972. With all of that said, there has been discussion on lane sharing. In California it is legal because there is no law that says it is illegal. That and $4.00 will get you a cup of coffee at a famous coffee house.
Lane splitting came about because when traffic jams started many years ago, it was split lanes and get the air moving over the engine, shut off the bike and wait out the traffic or run the risk of burning the bike to the ground because there is no cooling air over the cooling fins. Now to the legal end of it as explained to me by a San Diego motor officer that I used to ride with. "Lane Sharing" is the legal term that is used in California and it is legal for a motorcycle to share the same lane with say another motorcycle, trike or car because there is no law prohibiting it. Where people get in trouble here in California is while "splitting lanes" they cross the center line between lanes. CA law states, like many other state laws, one must signal 200 feet before changing lanes. If you watch a motorcycle split lanes it is "almost" impossible to ride between 2 lanes of traffic and not cross that center white line. This is the law that my friend used to issue tickets to riders that were "splitting lanes".
Now let's look back at the reason that this all started to begin with, over heating of the air cooled engines in early bikes. There are a large number of bikes that are still on the road that can use the fact that lack of air flow can and will cause damage to the motor but the Gold Wing is not one of them. In one of the articles that I read the reason stated for splitting lanes is that you get there quicker. Is that single, self serving, reason enough to rationalize all of the negative attention brought down on the GWRRA when we try so hard to improve our image in the public eye? I ride almost every day, back and forth to work, and have been caught in traffic jams that have lasted upwards of 2 hours going to or from work. Now normal transit times are 20 - 30 minutes for the 14 miles of freeway I ride each day but you have a bad accident and all bets are off. Splitting lanes is an option but it always comes back to how many people will look at the bike and ask themselves "what gives him the right to cut in front of me in all of this mess"? The truthful answer is nothing but my own greed to take advantage of the fact that "I can and you can't stop me".
Is it Safe splitting lanes? Only a fool will say yes. Riding a motorcycle is not safe, it is a "managed risk" and when you add cage drivers that are mad at the traffic jam, you have a dangerous situation. I have watched cars force lane splitters to stop by blocking the middle of the lanes and I have seen them squeeze riders to the point of making them back off and change the lanes they are splitting to keep from getting hit. Over and over I have seen aggressive drivers take on riders and the riders never win if there is contact. Are you in that big of a hurry? Is your life worth 10 or 20 minutes?
All of this is just one riders way of voicing an opinion on the other side of what has been put in the email trail here.
Ride safe by riding smart,
CA-1F San Diego, Ca.
Submitted By: Dan Scott
Chapter Director, OK-I
Chapter I Toy Run & Food Drive Sunday, November 17th, 2013
Twenty-four Chapter I Members took part in our 2nd annual Toy Run & Food Drive. Headed up by your Assistant Director Mattie Jones, our event was a little easier with what we learned last year. Mattie decided to team up with the Bixby Out Reach, and let them take care of distributing the Toys and food. It was a little hectic last year, distributing all the toys and buying several hundred dollars in food then distributing everything, but we made it just the same. This year some 80 bikes took part with most having two riders. Over 200 hot dogs were served, donated by Doc's Foods right here in Bixby. Several Members made homemade cookies, some brought soft drinks and water, along with the fixings for the hot dogs.
Chapter Director, Dan Scott led the group of some 80 motorcycles of every make you can imagine, on a 30 mile ride that would take us south from Bixby, on the old Bixby road. Then, we would invade the small community of Haskell, and on to Leonard before ending the ride back in Bixby at the community center where we would find several Chapter I Members that had been hard at work cooking hot dogs and making ready for the riders return.
Donna Beyer, Donna Shenberger, Cheryl, Mattie, Rochelle Sayles and Carol Burris were the ladies that took charge and did the baking and serving food. I can't leave out Wayne Burris, who cooked all 200 hot dogs with a smile! Thanks to everyone. We had bikes of many makes, some that looked homemade, but all were welcomed just the same. Every rider and co-rider came with toys and food items for the local kids and families. I think our goal was reached, it was our plan from the start of this great event last year to help needy families. Several of the Members picked up donations from local merchants that were used as prizes. We had two very happy participants both winning a cash prize in the amount of $140.00 each. Cheryl did her part doing what she does best, selling tickets.
We took in over $500.00 that was turned over to the Bixby Out Reach program to help buy food for the local families. This is wonderful! Being part of this toy run and several other toy runs and food drives in other communities is what giving is all about. We have participated in seven toy runs helping the kids as a Chapter. Thanks to each and every one of you, you guys and gals are the best. Also, Thanks to the Bixby Police and the Haskell Police for traffic control. We're looking for next year's event to be even bigger and better.
This is how the money raised and given to the Bixby Out Reach program will help families:
For every, $10.00 provides 70 meals
$20.00 provides a holiday food basket for a family with enough food to last a month
$25.00 will continue water service for a family for a month
$ 50.00 provides a holiday food basket for a family of four that will last a month
$ 75.00 will continue utility service for a family home that recently lost an income
So as you can see, Chapter I Toy Run and Food Drive will be very beneficial to several families.
With the money we raised look at how many families Chapter I just supported, that without our help the holidays might not be as cheerful. Thank You Chapter I Members, you're the best!
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