Goldwing Road Riders Association / Region A
Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge
The Alabama District News
Visit us on the web at www.Alabama-gwrra.org
January 2007 District News
– From the District Director
Well, 2006 is history. We hope the year was as good for you as it was for us. We attended Rallys in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Wing Ding, Region “A” in Perry, FL and the Mississippi Rally. We will be traveling to Maryland to attend their “Winter Thing” the middle of January.
Our Rally in Mobile was a great success in 2006 thanks to all of you who came out and worked and supported the Rally. We had another great picnic at Tannehill Park with roughly 200 in attendance even though the weather was less than perfect. We had a number of successful Chapter events during the year. To the best of my knowledge at least one of the District Staff members was present at every Chapter event during the past year. We have visited various Chapter meetings during the year and hope to be able to make more next year. We attended the Ride for Kids in Birmingham where Chapter “B” took top honors for contributions. A Chapter “B” Member won the drawing for a new bike that was given away.
We took a trip of a lifetime out west in June. We rode 4250 miles through Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas in eleven days. What a way to see the country, from the seat of a Gold Wing! We took a weekend trip up to Canton, NC and rode in the Great Smoky Mountains for 3 days! The list of memories that we will treasure the rest of our lives could go on and on. The point of my rambling is, we would not have these memories if it were not for you, the Members, and GWRRA. You all have impacted our lives in a very positive, special and dramatic way and we Thank You for that!
We started a new Chapter “R” in Sylacauga the first of October. We are reactivating Chapter H in Athens this month. Their first meeting will be January 20th, 2007 at McKinney’s Restaurant on US 31 at Brownsferry Rd. in Tanner. That’s north of Decatur.
We attended the Region “A” Staff meeting at Bagby State Park in south Georgia on December 2. On December 9th we held a District Staff meeting at the FOP Lodge in Montgomery and made it back in time to attend Chapter “K” Christmas party that evening. We attended Chapter “E” Christmas party on the evening of December 11th. We attended Chapter meetings at Chapter D, E, B, K and I in December.
If your are interested and you receive this in time to attend, we have a special meeting scheduled for Chapter C on December 28th at Shoney’s in Gardendale, at 6 PM.
We are investigating some different sites for the Rally. Please survey your people about their thoughts on remaining in Mobile, or moving the Rally to another location. We will discuss this topic at the Officers Conference and we need your input. After all, it is your Rally. We merely make the arrangements for you.
If you haven’t already done so, please make your plans now for our Rally in Mobile on March 29-31, 2007. I believe you will like what we have planned for you. In case you are not aware, our grand prizes will total $4000.00 ($2500.00, $1000.00 and $500.00) There will be more Fun for you this time around. There will be a cruise, with seafood buffet, on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening. Tickets are limited to 80 on each cruise, so get your request in soon. Trike and ERC courses will be taught at the Rally for the first time that I am aware of. There are too many activities to list here so ask your CD for a Rally registration form so you can get in on the Fun with Friends!
From Chapter “B” Director, to Chapter B Members.
How do I show uncontrollable excitement in a black and white e-mail message? I am excited to announce the wonderful, generous people of Chapter B collected $1205.00 to support our soldiers and families during Christmas. That is a gift each of you can be proud of. This is the total from Dirty Santa and the money tree. Plans are to meet with the manager of the PX and Army Community Service to do a presentation and try to get a write up in the Redstone Rocket so people will know where the money came from and how we appreciate our Freedom. Be very proud of yourselves, you continually give your all to support the GWRRA family and now our Military. We really appreciate the work that went into the Christmas party and the contributions that came out of that enjoyable evening. As always there were conflicting events that prevented some of our folks from being a part of the Christmas Party. We pray for your safe return. You know you missed some good food and some good fun, and I bet we see you soon. Thank you for all that you do!
From Chapter “K” ACD to Chapter K Members;
At Chapter K Christmas party, we presented Dakota and his family, Mother, Father, 2 Brothers and a Sister, with many gifts last night. Our Chapter should be proud, we made this family very happy and they are still overwhelmed and in awe. Misty will be writing us but she said again today that she is still in amazement at what we did for them and will try to come up with the words to express what they are feeling. She cried when she watched the children open their gifts, she cried when she opened her gifts. And she cried when again when the gifts of money were presented. Rodney was speechless and couldn't believe we did that for his family. Debbie told me that twice during the evening Cody, the 14-year-old son, gave her a hug and said "thank you for helping our family".
We presented them with several gift cards and lots and lots of groceries complete with a turkey! Jimmy Sneed also gave them a certificate for a family portrait. Misty said they have not had the family picture taken in over 5 years! We collected $969.00 in cash to give them and Wayne Hamm presented them with the $1,000 check from Browns Ferry/TVA.
Their oldest son, Dustin, was not able to attend because he started a new job at Burger King in Russellville this week and could not get off. He called Misty 2 times Saturday worried that we would be upset at him and Misty because he was unable to attend. When Misty called Debbie Saturday to express his concern she assured her that no one would be mad at him or the family because he had to work. Dakota got up Saturday morning at 6 am and kept asking when can we go to the party, how much longer Mom? Is it time yet! Note; Dakota has cancer.
I think if you ask any one who attended the Chapter Christmas Party last night they will tell you that we all left with a great feeling of pride at what our Chapter accomplished for this family. Thanks for all your help in this project.
At the annual Chapter “E” Christmas party, they presented the Anderson Rescue Squad with $500.00 in gifts for the needy children in that area in order that they might receive something for Christmas.
Thanks to all the Chapter Directors, ACDs and Chapter Staff and the Members in the Alabama District. A big “thank you” to our District Staff. They are the ones who make our job easy! You are the greatest! We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that your New Year will be Happy, Healthy, Safe and Prosperous with many more miles of Gold Wing enjoyment! Please keep our Military people, our country’s leaders and all those who are sick and recovering in your prayers.
Till next time, hug someone you love and don’t forget to wave.
|Bill & Dian Gulley|
December 2006 District News
– From the Assistant District Director / Rally Coordinator
Christmas and New Years have come and gone and this is a fresh new year that we can make our plans to ride with friends and enjoy the country side on our bikes. As we set out and make our New Years Resolutions and make plans for our rides lets try to include not only our immediate chapters but invite neighboring chapters to participate with us. What can it hurt?
Last year we had some wonderful times with the Alabama members. We missed some opportunities because of work but those were unavoidable. We had 8 chapters join us and a little over 300 people attended the annual New Years Day Ride with Chapter A to Ezell's Catfish House in Lavaca AL. Snowball had about 250 people attend and many stayed for the officers conference. We had (2) two new chapters start last year "R & S". We attended a District Picnic at Tannehill where despite the weather a great turn out was experienced. And we set new records for the Alabama Rally with a little over 1500 attending with 48 vendors present. We attended Wing Ding in Nashville, the Regional Rally in Perry FL and the MS rally in Biloxi. Alabama had a lunch during the Biloxi Rally where about 45 showed up and a dinner ride while in Perry FL where 38 went and spent time together.
What's in store for 2007? We found when something works we should simply do more of the same and make it better. The New Years Day ride and Snowball will most likely have already come and gone by the time this newsletter is out. But, this year we plan for two district picnics, one in the northern part of the state and the other in the south. The Rally is sure to be more fun this year than last. We already have some new vendors that have registered and we will have more entertainment, food, cruises and just plan fun. Billings MT is just a little too far for us to go in the short time we have allotted so we plan to make more of the District Rally's. That's right we can go to all the District Rally's and not miss as much work as we missed going to Wing Ding in Nashville. So here we go. If you plan to attend any Region A District Rally we will try to organize at least one lunch or dinner with just the Alabama folks. Just make sure you look us up at the rallies and let us know you are there.
You're waiting for me to talk about the rally aren't you. We are down to our last three months and these are fast times when it comes to registration. The hotels will start filling up. One is almost full and the other is already half filled. We are currently looking for alternative venues for you to stay. You need to let me know so I can help. The cruises are half full already so expect them to book up as time progresses. Most chapters are arranging for their chapter to go on the cruise on a particular day where the chapter can go together. Check with your CD for the time your chapter is planning to go. The ERC and Trike courses are also half filled so while we still have openings at the hotels, the cruises and the safety courses don’t expect them to be available once the rally starts. In short don’t procrastinate.
Last year we had problems with the parking. We will not experience that this year as our host hotels have moved to the Malaga and Ramada where there are large parking facilities. The Ice Cream and Cake Social will be held inside the arena and our hospitality suite will be in the Malaga Courtyard.
We hope you had a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you soon.
|Jim & Karen Lee|
January 2007 District News
– From the District Trainers
Happy New Year to all. We have had a Great 2006 and are looking forward to meeting a lot of you in 2007. We have talked to people about a time (Feb) and place (Pelham) for a 2007 Horizon's Program. There are new Chapter Directors and Assistants that may like to attend (all are encouraged to attend if possible) as well as members who would just like to learn more about the program.
We are going to ask all the officers at Snowball, who would be interested and if they have members that would like to attend. I have enclosed a copy of the Overview and the Program Content all to review ahead of time. If it is possible we would like an estimate at Snowball.
GWRRA leaders have an organizational view encompassing many horizons. They are concerned with people, perceptions, expectations, GWRRA as an organization, their own capabilities, and much more. Each of these considerations involves both opportunities and challenges.
The Horizon Program is an intensive 1½ day learning experience designed to provide the participant with knowledge, understanding and confidence, in addition to the skills needed to be successful at the chapter level and beyond. This program prepares leaders for the "people" side of GWRRA, and helps to demonstrate the concept that attitude is everything.
Graduates of the program will be prepared to execute the duties of their position and enhance their entire GWRRA experience with confidence, energy, and a new level of resolve based on a better understanding of their responsibilities and capabilities.
Spouses/significant others are strongly encouraged to attend.
- Team Building & Personal Profiles
- Expectations – GWRRA & Self
- Communication Skills & Techniques
- Planning/Conducting Meetings & Events
- The Officer/Spouse Partnership
- Practical Demonstrations
Those completing all of the modules and activities in this program are eligible to receive a Horizon Program hanger bar.
|Roy & Anita Fosnight|
Please Ride Safe and Often
We Ride--We Assume Risk
We all assume a certain level of risk when we ride our motorcycles. Our main concern is usually the 4000 pound SUV crossing in-front of us at an intersection and the driver being oblivious to our existence as they chat on their cell phone. That being said, another risk motorcyclists encounter is the Road Hazard.
Road hazards are obstacles such as speed bumps, potholes, debris and road kill. Having given you all the obstacle hazards you WILL encounter on your ride, how can you effectively prepare and react to such hazards. Think back to school for a second and refresh yourself on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's SEE method. What is SEE again? Search, Evaluate, Execute. If you use the searching and evaluating effectively this can help you avoid the obstacles mentioned above.
- Practice your quick-reaction counter steering. You can go to a vacant parking lot and place some coke cans out and as you get close, practice your quick obstacle avoidance counter steer to swerve around the object without braking. The idea being that the bike is agile and can avoid an object.
- Do not tail gate the vehicle in front of you. If there was a 2 by 4 in the road and you were too close to the guy in front of you, you would not effectively see the board in time and hit it. If it were something larger or road kill, it might have resulted in an accident. If you don't have to run over it don't. Don't forget to watch for the obstacles
- Now if you have time to react and you are unable to avoid the object, be sure to slow as much as time and traffic will permit.
- Approach the obstacle at a 90 degree angle. Most commonly, when you encounter railroad tracks that are offset or uneven pavement.
- Rise slightly off the seat and shift your weight rearward, ease off of the throttle. Why? You do not want power applied to the rear wheel when it encounters the object. Once you have the bike stable and free of the obstacle, resume seated. If it was a hard impact you should pull over and check for damage.
- For handling live critter avoidance. If you see the critter and have time to slow down, do so. Be mindful of traffic behind you. With dogs, it is best to slow, then if the dog is making a b-line for you, increase throttle. For deer, this is the worse case, it is best to slow as much as possible until you are past.
- Here is a somewhat related obstacle avoidance tip. When it rains, all of the dropped oil from the cars makes for a real slick surface. So be mindful of where you put your foot down and place your tires.
In conclusion, I hoped to have provided some useful tips on basic obstacle avoidance. I strongly believe it is not the number of years that you have ridden a motorcycle; it is your experience and skillful use of the machine that really matter.
The Difference Between Men And Women
(Ladies, please don't shoot the editor for including these)
Handles / Titles
If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.
If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.
When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in $10, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.
A man has six items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
Women love cats.
Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men throw things at cats.
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man may put on shoes for weddings and funerals.
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
Thought for the Day
Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing.