Sunday we lost a former member of the District Staff to an apparent heart attack. Paul Howes passed away suddenly while out on the river with his family. Paul & Paula were the District Educators with Jim & Sue Jackson and Ray & Cindy Erickson. Please keep Paula and family in your prayers during this difficult time. We are leaving in a couple of hours to go to Tuscaloosa and ride in the Gold Wing escort for Paul.
Please keep our Military people and our country's leaders in your prayers, as well as those who have lost loved ones recently.
Till next time, hug someone you love and don't forget to wave.
|Jim & Karen Lee|
First I would like to say thank you for all the prayers, cards, calls, and Emails. I just received the results from my last test and it was GREAT.
We are in the process of getting everything together for our trip west. Not only are we getting to travel with some great friends we are getting to take our middle granddaughter. I don’t know who is the most excited, her or us. We are getting to go and see places that we have been talking about for years. Anita has sent Emails to the western states for information and they have replied, saturation, I think is the word I am looking for. If we used the books we have received to plan this trip we would have to be on the road for at least a year.
We went to the Georgia Rally and the best way to describe it is they did not run out of ice cream or fun. It takes a lot of work to put on a good Rally, it takes good people to laugh at themselves, the Georgia folks did an excellent job of both. We thank you for the fun and laughter.
Last Sunday we did a Celebration of Life for one of our Ride for Kids STARS who will not hurt anymore. I would like to thank all who particapated. One of the goals of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is to find a cure for this dreadful disease and we are working to help win that fight.
We have said good bye to some nice people this month and they will be missed, but not forgotten.
The next time you think about going for a ride, call a friend; they are probably thinking the same thing.
|Roy & Anita Fosnight|
Please Ride Safe and Often
We live in a free society and for the most part are allowed to do what we please, but like everything else we have certain rules to follow so that everyone is allowed the freedom equally and as long as we do not infringe on others freedoms. GWRRA was found for the most part on freedom, an organization that is largely free of rules and actually at one time the only thing you had to do was own a Gold Wing and pay your dues. Time has a way of changing rules though and eventually with the introduction of the Valkrie it was added as part of our mix as was the invitation to other motorcyclist to join our group, the one rule if you will is that they can not hold office.
We have other freedoms too, we are free to make choices with regards to our safety, if not then I doubt we would be riding our bikes. We hopefully make choices to ride safely based on information we have readily available to us all, tires for example have wear bars to help us know when to change them. Some bikes have rev limiters to keep us from damaging the engine and low oil pressure shut off switches. Sometimes rules and safety conflict when it does then you need information to choose which ones you should logically follow. GWRRA does not make rules and suggest that officers lead by consensus decision making and if a consensus can not be reached then the CD and other officers should make an informed decision.
Drinking and riding have long been a part of motorcycling and with disastrous results most motorcycles fatalities today involve rider impairment. The NHTSA has data that shows in 1999 53% of riders involved were impaired (Fatal Single Motorcycle Crashes 2001) GWRRA has no rule against drinking personally, but does restrict alcohol from being sold, made available or otherwise by the officers of the organization. While I am not in favor of rigid structure, I am have a problem with the policy as written, for one it is vague at best, the other thing is that we are supposed to be a rider education based group and the MSF teaches that as little as one drink can make you impaired, not drunk, but impaired. So how can we as a rider ed based organization not make clear rules that limit the use of alcohol on sponsored events. I am not advocating no drinking at all, but only not drinking if you plan to get on your bike and ride and ride with your chapter. I have raised the question above with national and to date have no answer as to if we can ask riders in a group to not drink and ride, to me it seems a rhetorical question, but in the litigious state of Alabama one that should be answered for all officers of the district. I hope this sparks debate with your chapters locally and I hope everyone understands that we as Gold Wingers have set a standard that is higher then some other motorcycling groups, now is the time to put up or shut up.
Until next month Ride Safe and Ride Aware
|Freddy & Doris Wheeler|
Summer is officially here. Be sure and keep your Gold Book on your bike. If you would ever need assistance your fellow Members are listed in it to help you.
We have listed “3” good reasons to become a GWRRA member.
Enjoy summer and pass the word about how GREAT GWRRA is. Not only is it fun, it also has benefits.
|Dewey & Alice Cole|
2008 Alabama NASCAR Rally Pin Contest
Requirements for the Rally Pin Design:
We will accept designs until November 15th, 2007.
Since being ask to assume the MED/PR position for the Alabama District we have been asking ourselves, ok, what does the MED part of this really involve? Membership Enhancement Division, wow what a long name for such a simple job!!!! In our opinion the way to enhance your membership is to have fun!! The way you have fun is to GET INVOLVED!!!!
We see people all the time who are excited about their Chapter, their District, even their Region but they stand on the sideline and don't get involved! Over the course of the last four years we have made more lasting friendships than we had in the last twenty years. This is the power of GETTING INVOLVED!
This leads to the question "how do I get involved?" You can become involved at the Chapter level just by participating in the Chapter functions. Go to Chapter meetings, participate in rides, cookouts, fundays, just ride to get ice cream with other people in the Chapter! The key is making new friendships. With these new friendships will come a sense of acceptance and belonging we all strive for. As you make more friends you will naturally migrate towards participating in more activities. As you participate in more activities you make more friends. As you can see this path leads you to your goal, INVOLVEMENT!.
Make it your assignment, task, job, duty, whatever you want to call it to spend the rest of this year to become more involved in your Chapter. Then at the end of the year, step back and take a look at where you are versus where you were. We think you may be surprised how far you have come in such a short time.
The point we are trying to make is to GET INVOLVED! Just wanted to clear that up for you! Make this the year you make so many new friends you have a hard time trying to remember their names.
Until next month, we hope to see all of you out on the road, and remember GET INVOLVED!!!!!!!!
|Frank & Linda Teasley|
We hope everyone has had a good month. We certainly have, but we do mourn the deaths of several of our Alabama chapter members. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those we lost.
We had a fabulous time at the Georgia Rally last weekend. Lyn drove to Rome in her car and I rode the Wing with a slight detour along the way to Waterloo Iowa. I left Waterloo on Wednesday and arrived in Rome 23 hours and 1000.4 miles later. I can now say I have done the Iron Butt ride and I can also say that I am still in recovery from it. What was I thinking!!!
Those Georgia folks know how to treat people right. The theme for the rally was the 50's and 60's. We saw a lot of poodle skirts and Fonzie look a likes. The dancing was also something I will never forget. A special guest couple from Alabama stole the dance floor. The dance was called "The Stroll" Jim Lee "Alabama A D with his shorts mustache and petite graceful figure coupled with Bill Barden "Chapter Y Al." whose sexy smile and foot long cigar drew the cheers or was it jeers from all in attendance. It was a sight to behold.
There were some great seminars we attended one being WHAT IS COUPLE OF THE YEAR. Bob and Juanee Barington (Former International Couple of The year) taught this seminar and really enlightened us about certain aspects related to the Coy position and its true meaning to the chapter and value to the GWRRA.
The Talent Show was also very special and well represented by the Alabama members. Butch & Diane along with Dewey and Alice from Chapter N put on a special skit. Both Alice and Diane gave birth on stage but please don't ask who's the Daddy. Sonny and Cher also made an appearance bring back the top honors plaque. Cher gets better looking every time I see her/him - oh well - The fingernail and toenail polish was marvelous.
Monty and Sue from "F" Troop in Prattville also brought back two plaques for Best Dressed in two categories. CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a wonderful couple they are.
We are now preparing to go to Wing Ding. Pray for our safe trip as we will for the others who will be going.
This is truly a grand organization "THE GWRRA". Participation is the key to full benefit.
|Lynn & Lyn Edwards|
This will not be a full design discussion this month. For two primary reasons; one, I am running out of time and two, I am working on a new section for the District website that will have lots of good details that you can visit at any time. My goal is to have a “sub-site” that demonstrates the design principles that I am advocating as well as presenting the materials.
For now I want to revise something that I said last month. After doing extensive review of all of the websites that we have available in Alabama and a bunch of others in other districts as well, I have come up with “my recommendations” regarding minimum content. In addition to the minimum content I am suggesting where that content should be or at least where links should be provided so the visitor can easily find that content.
Before I describe that minimum content let me explain a couple of things.
First, the site visitor does not know your site. They have more than likely been to many other sites before they got to your site and they don't understand your way of thinking. So what does this mean, you have to make things dumb and obvious. There is an old saying you should keep in mind, KISS (Keep It Simple and Stupid).
Remember your site visitors don't know your chapter. In many cases your visitors will not even know what a chapter is. They will also not know what city or state in which you meet.
Now let's talk about that minimum content.
On the Front- or Home-page
On the Front- or Home-page graphics should include:
On the Front- or Home-page there should be a link to or the actual content
In the future I will announce when the new web-designer section of the district website is available.
|John & Elizabeth Griswold|
Foxworthy and Alabama
Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about folks from Alabama... (Can you identify?!)
If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you may live in Alabama.
If you wear shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Alabama.
If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Alabama.
If "Vacation" means going anywhere south of Huntsville for the weekend, you may live in Alabama.
If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Alabama.
If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Alabama.
If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Alabama.
If you carry jumper cables in your car, and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Alabama.
If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you may live in Alabama.
If you find 60 degrees "a little chilly", you may live in Alabama.
If you actually understand these jokes, you definitely live in Alabama.
January 5th, 2008
10:00am till 1:00pm
Quality Inn & Convention Center
2705 East South Blvd., Montgomery, Al. 36116-2575
Group Code: Gold Wing Group
FREE ADMISSION & YEAR BAR
Head Pin available @ $4.00 each
Games: 10:00am to 12:00 Noon
Check the temperature before you leave home. Plaques will be awarded for longest distance, coldest temperature on a wing, valkrye, and in a car.
Grand prize, door prizes and 50/25/25.
Refreshments on site
Join us for fun and games, door prizes, awards for the rally pin contest winner, recruiter of the year and Joe Sellers Member of the Year award.
Remember, the Officers Conference will follow the Snowball activities, and will begin at 3:00pm. All CDs, ACDs and Chapter Educators are expected to attend. See you there!
We'll do financial reports Friday evening if you can be there!
Contact Bill and Dian Gulley:
Phone 256-229-8833 / Dir ecto r
Confidence - Having a System
I can still remember my first ride on a motorcycle on the Public Streets and I was not what you could call relaxed or confident. In fact I think I recall saying to myself "What am I doing out in this jungle?".
Many riders find themselves in this situation even if they have been riding for a week or decades, especially when it's raining and you are in heavy traffic, your gloves are wet, your boots full of water and the road's like an ice rink. I know new riders must frequently ask themselves what they are doing out there. I guess it's natural to be concerned for your own skin when in this situation.
Riding on the street can be risky if your brain is in neutral or if you have decided that motorcycling is your only way to adventure and so become a reckless, thrill seeking mobile weapon! I doubt that there are too many riders with that thought. One of the best ways to help gain confidence and reduce risk is to operate to a system. Looking up the dictionary I found the word "system" means "a combination of things or parts forming a complex whole". Being systematic on a motorcycle means showing or involving a system, method or plan. Having a system will help you gain confidence and should also help eliminate the chance of your making a mistake.
The pilot of an aircraft goes through a systematic check of all instruments on the approach to an airport to eliminate all possible mistakes: riding any motorcycle on the Public Streets should be treated with the same caution to eliminate all hazards. It should be appreciated that the system set out here is basic and must be adjusted by the rider according to the circumstances relating to particular hazards that may occur. Some hazards require fewer features than this example - other hazards require more. I believe that to have a system helps to build CONFIDENCE needed when riding. Who wants to drop a bike - it's embarrassing and painful, not to mention expensive!
Motorcycling gets into your blood when you gain confidence. Riding to a system will help to increase your skills and awareness then you will be more relaxed - after all we should never forget that motorcycling is FUN, especially with CONFIDENCE.
(Editor’s Note: This article is copied from our Alabama District Website. Keep informed with upcoming events, as well as finding informative safety articles, please visit our website at: www.alabama-gwrra.org )
|14||Sat||Traveling Plaque Grab from Chapter-T -- 3:30pm to 5:00pm - Plaza Cafe off of exit 100 on I-59|
|18||Wed||Annual Ride to Work Day|
|26||Thu||Honda Homecoming -- Marysville, OH|
|2||Thu||World's Longest Yard Sale -- Covington, KY to Gadsden, AL (Warning: Heavy Congestion)|
|5||Sun||World's Longest Yard Sale -- Covington, KY to Gadsden, AL (Warning: Heavy Congestion)|
|6||Mon||Sturgis Rally -- Sturgis, SD|
|11||Sat||AL District Picnic (North) -- Tannehill State Park, Bessemer, AL|
|18||Sat||AL-S - Charity Ride -- Russellville|
|20||Mon||Iron Butt Rally|
|23||Thu||GWRRA - KY District Rally|
|1||Sat||GWRRA 30th Anniversary Party -- Gaylord Hotel, Nashville, TN|
|Music City Motorcycle Rally -- Nashville Shores Water Park|
|2||Sun||GWRRA 30th Anniversary Party -- Gaylord Hotel, Nashville, TN|
|11||Tue||Patriot Day -- Terrorist Attack on NY and DC Anniversary|
|13||Thu||GWRRA - Region A Rally|
|15||Sat||Trail of Tears -- Commemorative Motorcycle Ride|
|16||Sun||Ride for Kids|
|20||Thu||GWRRA - NC District Rally - Wings Over the Smokies|
|29||Sat||AL-B - Cruisn' USA Funday -- Huntsville, AL|
|7||Sun||Cullman Oktoberfest -- One week|
|8||Mon||Columbus Holiday (Observed)|
|11||Thu||GWRRA - Mississippi District Rally|
|12||Fri||Southern Hope Ride for MDA -- Memphis|
|20||Sat||American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association Roadrace -- Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham|
|27||Sat||Jack Daniel's Barbecue|
|4||Sun||Standard Time Resumes -- Fall Back|
|10||Sat||AL-A - Fun Day|
|11||Sun||Veterans' Day (Armistice Day)|
|1||Tue||New Year's Holiday|
|5||Sat||Alabama Snowball Run|
|Music City Motorcycle Bike Show|
|21||Mon||Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday|
|2||Sat||Cupids Capers in TN|
|3||Sun||Super Bowl Sunday|
|5||Tue||Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday)|