FIRST TIMERS -- will they be LAST TIMERS or OLD TIMERS
|Robert & Gail Brown|
Hello Fellow Wingers;
This month, I'd like to talk to ya about "PR"; PUBLIC RELATIONS. As Corky and I drove around our great state and others as well, it came to me that we are all in the business of public relations. Every time we ride our highways, we project an image. It's up to us as to what that image is. Our motorcycles command the attentions of everyone on roads; parking lots and any were else. How we conduct ourselves as we are driving our motorcycles is a direct representation of the GWRRA and us.
It is a fact that sometimes a driver will make a mistake of some kind. Generally, the four-wheelers make those mistakes. However, sometimes we make them. How we react to those mistakes is very important. Do we retaliate by doing something aggressive or simply accept it for what it really is, a mistake, especially if it has produced no adverse results.
I was attempting to make a lane change recently and didn't realize that there was already someone there! A mistake made by me because I had not completely confirmed that the lane was available for me to move over. I checked my mirrors about a minute earlier and "ASSUMED" that the lane was still clear. It was not. Fortunately, for me, the driver of the four-wheeler paid attention and gave me enough room and time to make corrective actions. Mistakes happen; reacting to them is what causes the problems. I made an apologetic gesture as he drove by and he accepted it for what it was. He gave me his thumbs up as he went by. Gold Wings weigh about 1000 lbs with one up. If we should get into a battle over real estate on the highways, we all lose. The bikes, the GWRRA and us.
"ROAD RAGE" has no place in our riding world! It is our job, all of us, to insure that we don't project an adverse picture of ourselves. We are finally getting over those connotations of non-motorcyclists that Wingers are like the Hell's Angels of the past. Let's all try to keep it that way, K???
Corky and I have logged over 2,000 miles since I last wrote to ya's and believe me, we have had plenty of opportunity to deal in PR!! I hope that we have projected the proper image.
Remember, "Keep the Rubber Down, It Works Best That Way"
|Ron & Corky Alexander|
Well it's almost here the annual get stuffed by the stuffed day, this leads me of course to think of other stuff that may not be as damaging to my waist line and something that all of us as motorcyclist and especially Wingers should think about our health. I recently embarked on a challenge of sorts with two other members of chapter A (Jim Lee & Kurt Guillot) who realized that we all needed to lose some weight. We chose Weight Watchers and as a group of three I think it has been really successful and wanted to share that success with you. I've lost since my last doctors visit 27 pounds 17 of which I have lost since I've been on "The Diet" the other two folks have had equal or better weight loss results and as a whole I can say that we really do feel better. The change has not dramatically affected what I eat, only how much as I found out that I don't have to keep going back to the buffet until my knees give out. I also try to make healthier choices when I'm in the buffet line.
What has all this to do with motorcycling well for one it is an activity that requires you to be in good health, if you're not in good health and you are the rider the results can be disastrous. The ability to keep a bike up diminishes rapidly when the speed of the bike slows and your ability to keep it up right is directly affected by your heath. Think about your ability to react to changing traffic conditions or situations and how you will keep your co-rider safe, even if you do not feel well. Being over weight leads to a variety of related other problems heart disease being at the top of the list along with diabetes, and a host of other maladies. I have to admit my main reason to lose weight was the recent addition of my first grand-daughter, but a secondary reason has been to keep riding as long as possible.
The last part of this Thanksgiving article is to honor those people who have decided to trike so that they can keep riding. One such person is Chapter A CD Sonny Roy, he and others in our chapter have made the decision based on their health to go from two wheels to three and that takes courage and I know one day that perhaps I too will be faced with that decision. I hope if I don't realize it that someone has the courage to remind me that perhaps it is time I moved to three wheels. Ultimately we all have to make personal decisions based on our health and I hope that this article gives you some time to reflect on what you want to do and how long you want to do it.
Until Next Month - Ride Safe Straight and Aware!
|Freddy & Doris Wheeler|
Greetings fellow riders, this month we would like to address an issue which comes up on a regular basis. The question most often ask of us is "Do I have to be an officer to attend Leadership Training"? The following article is taken from the GWRRA Leadership Training Newsletter and offers answers for this particular question.
Not Just For Officers!
Leadership Training Seminars Are For Members
I am going to depart from the usual By The Book format and cover a subject that needs emphasizing. In 2003 Harry Dollarhide, former Region H Trainer, conducted a Horizon Program. Thirty-seven attendees were present for the seminar with a wide range of GWRRA background and experience. Participants ranged from District Directors to members who would soon assume officer positions. One theme of discussion that surfaced several times was "Who should take this course," "Who is the target audience for LTD training," or "Do you have to be an officer to take LTD courses." This is an article written then to answer that question, and it is still relevant today.
One of the past and also a current misconception of leadership training is that "it is only for the Officers." NOT TRUE! Leadership training is for everyone in GWRRA.
Leadership training is NOT just for officers. GWRRA has tried to dispel this myth for several years; however it remains a "truth" in many members' mind. And face it, if you go back several years in GWRRA history it was "Officer Training." Even then it was misunderstood. Leadership training has always been aimed at present and future officers. "Future officers" means "members." How can we expose members to training that is designed to enhance volunteer leader's skills if we wait until they are already officers?
The target audience is current officers and all members who would consider becoming volunteer officers. The Leadership Training Staff at the District, Region and Division level are all working very hard at making information available to the Members to prepare new Officers and Staff before they assume their new positions. The right time for this training could be any time throughout the year.
The LTD curriculum reflects training that focuses on leadership skills while understanding that knowledge is an enabler of those skills. While some of the training deals specifically with skills needed in a GWRRA leadership position, other training deals with Life Skills that will enhance the member's life both within and outside of GWRRA. LTD training is intended to help members realize their full potential and to provide the best possible learning experience.
New training ideas are constantly being considered such as: Chapter training vignettes, training videos, Chapter Director "Quick Start" training, Web-based training, training record cards, and more training collaboration with the Operations, Rider Education, and Member Enhancement Divisions.
We hope that when you read the above article you will understand that Leadership Training is not just for officers or future officers but for everyone in the membership. The lessons learned in the Leadership Training program can be used throughout your life. Examples of this are scattered throughout the program such as Time Management, Stress Management, Listening and Communicating, Self Esteem and many others that directly relate to everyday life. If you have not taken advantage of these programs please make plans to join us next February and begin your journey towards a better understanding of GWRRA, chapter life, and maybe, just maybe, yourself! Our training calendar for next year will be up on the District website shortly.
Please make plans to join us; we look forward to seeing you there.
|Frank & Linda Teasley|
Alabama is losing more members than we are gaining. We need to set a Goal to regain our inactive and past members.
E-mail, preferably send out postcards or make a phone call to inactive and past members. Sometimes a person does not know about the Chapter or where and when they meet. A person may have left for health reasons or they have become interested in other hobbies. They may appreciate you taking the time to find out how they are.
Chapter-N is planning a Reunion with all their inactive and past members. They hope to find out what everyone is doing now and see if they are interested in coming back to join in the fun.
Retention is a critical issue. Finding ways to enrich the GWRRA experience for every Member is vital to our survival.
The primary social structure of GWRRA is our Chapter network. All Members, whether they are new or have been members for a number of years, should be contacted and invited to experience a GWRRA get-together or ride, and, of course, invited to share a good time. They should be made to feel welcome when they enter through the front door.
The Chapter Director and his staff and regular participants hold the power to keep the back door locked and even make it invisible.
The obvious logic is to make sure as many Members as possible enjoy a rich GWRRA experience which will increase our overall RETENTION.
|Dewey & Alice Cole|
Lyn & I just got back from the Mississippi rally and it was another fantastic rally put on by Greg & Pat Harbison and their Mississippi staff. I bought some new tires at the right time as I had a nail in the rear tire we found after it had been pulled off.
We also went to the Chapter Y traveling plaque give away (Our home chapter) and Chapter Y won it again. How could that happen? Lets get on board with this and meet our sister chapters. We could also consider a new format or variation to make this type venture more competitive. I bet someone is already working on that.
We are continuing our segment called In Their Own Words where our chapter couple introduce themselves to all the Alabama members.
This month we are introducing Mobile Chapter W's couple Jerry & Liz Neisen - please see their article below.
|Lynn & Lyn Edwards|
Our names are Jerry and Liz Neisen, we are the Couple of the Year for Alabama's newest chapter, chapter AL "W" bay wings. Our mascot is a dragon called spirit.
Jerry and I moved here from Oshkosh (Oshkosh b'gosh0) Wisconsin about 2 years ago. We lived in California for 8 years after jerry's graduation from Milwaukee school of engineering, and we also lived in Florida for a short time. Most of our married life has been in Wisconsin. Jerry is a Minnesota farm boy and I am a city girl born in Chicago but raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin where we met.
We are not new to gold wing motorcycles but we are new to GWRRA. When we lived in Wisconsin, we had a 1981 gold wing and we rode with a group called the "retreads". Then when we moved to the beautiful state of Alabama we met some wonderful GWRRA members and decided that winging it would be a big part of our retirement life. We now ride a 2007 black 1800 gold wing with white swans on the saddle bags.
People frequently ask us what brought us to the mobile area. Well, we were on what we refer to as a Cajun vacation tour of the southern coastline and found ourselves at a campground on Dauphin Island. Our tour ended there because, we fell in love with the island. We decided to purchase a home on the west end before we headed back to Wisconsin. We enjoyed several vacations on the island (we still have it) but decided that after going through Ivan and Katrina that we really didn't want to live on the island full time. So we looked and found this wonderful home in Chunchula we call garden lake.
Garden lake is a beautiful property on 35 acres which includes a 12 acre natural lake stocked with fish. Garden lake is a woodland style garden with thousands of mature camellias, magnolias, and azaleas some of which are rare and or unusual. Garden lake is also home to several peacocks and of course swans. We have 4 of those 2 white and 2 black. Our turkey is called bob and he loves to greet visitors. Of course, no home would be complete with out a dog. We have a yellow lab named aim and believe it or not she knows what birds are ours and which do not belong. We have fallen in love with our new home, the gentility of the south, it's people (especially gold wingers), the beauty of the land and unquestionably the weather.
Jerry and I have 6 children, 4 girls and 2 boys we call the bookends. We have 14 beautiful grandchildren ranging in age from 20 down to 2 years. Our oldest granddaughter will be graduating from collage and is engaged so the above numbers could change rapidly. If there is a downside to living here, it would be leaving family. Fortunately in this day and age, they are a short flight or drive away so we see them frequently, and, most of them have met our gold wing family chapter W.
Before retiring and we did what people call work, Jerry was vice president of engineering for Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, WI and I had my own interior decorating business called design VI (named after the kids). Jerry was named 1963 alumni of the year by Milwaukee school of engineering and he is also the recipient of the society of automotive engineers governors design award which he received from Governor Tommy Thompson.
I am a life member of beta sigma phi international sorority and have held all offices and was president 8 times and named woman of the year 5 times. We have held office as presidents of a dance club in Oshkosh, and have co-chaired a state retired rally that was held in Oshkosh. We continue to enjoy ballroom dancing, gardening, boating and watching sports, especially football and the Green Bay Packers. The saints are emerging as a favorite as well. Jerry is a hunter and fisherman so the south is just the place for him (he went alligator hunting for the first time this summer). We are looking forward to Alabama and Auburn football and the new USA team. One of our grandsons is interested in attending USA and playing for them. That would be so cool to see him here playing football.
Our real passion since moving to Alabama is GWRRA. How lucky we are to be able to ride all year and ride we do. Our first rally was in Biloxi and did we have fun. It was because of this rally that we went to billings for wing ding and because of the fun we had there, we went to Greenville and because of Greenville we look forward to Tulsa. It just doesn't get any better than riding your wing and meeting new friends. Since joining chapter w, we have gotten very involved in chapter activities and events. We are chapter MEC, R&R and co-chair for the kickoff that was held on October 4th.. One of the accomplishments we are most proud of is the chapter banner; we designed and made the banner that hangs proudly at our meetings and events. The icing on the cake is that we are the coy for chapter W. What an honor especially since everyone in the chapter qualifies for couple of the year in our book.
We are looking forward to attending many of the gatherings in our area as well as state and regional rallies. We enjoy meeting people and look forward to meeting ya'll. Just look for the black gold wing with the white swans, wave or stop and say howdy.
Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather that has arrived. This is our favorite time of the year. It is also the time of year when allot of chapters start thinking about selecting a new couple of the year. We know our home chapter "N" is. So to you chapter Directors we hope that maybe this will put a little bug in your ear. The following is a excerpt from the Couple of the Year Manual, which can be found on the GWRRA website.
The Couple of the Year has two purposes:
First and foremost, the program provides an opportunity for local chapters to recognize and honor a couple each year for their dedication, accomplishments and participation within the chapter.
Secondly, it establishes a process for identifying outstanding couples who can serve their Districts, Regions, and ultimately the International GWRRA organization as ambassadors and spokespersons.
This is just a tiny insight into the Couple of the Year Program. We hope to see every chapter with a Couple of the Year. We cannot describe how much fun we have had while we have been Couple of the Year for our chapter and state. If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact us. Our contact information is on the Alabama website.
|Terry & Barbie Cleveland|
It's just about November and here we are!! Just around the corner is Thanksgiving, then OH MY Christmas. Where has the time gone? Let me look at my journals... well, the time went to A LOT of rallies... fun days... event rides... clowning around... and just winging it. It's that time of the year that all of it starts to S-L-O-W Down (well for the majority). Then there is the minority. Some have invested in some new Gerbings (that'd be Steven and me) and we ARE LOVING THEM! They are better than pie with ice cream al'a mode. Well... it's a close tie. It's hard to compare anything against ice cream. However... in the upcoming Springtime, just in time for none other than Alabama's District Rally, we are going to see if we can find some cotton candy and some other "down home" goodies. I still don't think we can find anything to outdo ice cream, but it never hurts to look. Nonetheless, Gerbings are so great. We will be able to ride all through cold weather feeling mighty toasty. I will avoid ice storms but other than that... I'll be looking for the rest of the braves on the road. For the rest that don't like to bother with cold weather riding, I have a solution for you... save your money up. Wintertime is the time for game nights. Or you can travel by car to a nice casino. If you win money, just save at least half of it. We are hoping to have some great vendors at our rally. You'll need to save some money to spend with them. Who knows we might have a Gerbings vendor and you can put a down payment on your winter riding apparel. ;-) I don't know if we will have a Gerbings vendor yet or not at all, but rest assured, we have lots of rallies to visit that will have one of 'em. We just got back from Mississippi's rally. Those folks really know how to throw a "Hollywood" party. I don't think they invited Britney Spears so we all had a good time. It was nice to see those smiling faces and our beloved vendors.
Riding breaks are usually best taken during the cold months if you decide to take any. Riding breaks give you time to wash your bike, do some maintenance, have a chrome party or two, just in time to gear up for the next adventure. Next year is just "around the next bend." We'll be kicking off rally season with our Snowball Conference. We need everyone to come out and join us for a good time. We promise it will be some new things going on this year. January 17, 2009 is the target date. After the riding breaks, you'll be able to catch up with some old friends and maybe some new friends and plan your upcoming year. If Snowball is like the previous year, we hope it will be a sunny day and you'll get to ride your bike, but if not, bring your car. If there's snow, bring your snowmobile. It doesn't matter how you get there, just get there. We promise you'll have some fun. There'll be some nice door prizes and games. And, us, of course... there's your best reason to come to Snowball. If you need a hug, I'll be just like the Wal-mart door greeters, waiting for you with a big smile and better than a Wally-world greeter, I'll be offering up a bunch of hugs.
Till we see you again, Happy Thanksgiving. If we don't see you in the month of November, then have a Merry Christmas. If we don't see you in December, we'll wait for you at Snowball. If we don't see you in January... I'll be huntin' you down!!! Ha ha
Till next month, ride safe.
|Steven & Tammy Hollingsworth|
National Veterans Day Parade
The Alabama District is once again promoting a ride of its GWRRA members to participate in this annual parade. Many of our members are Veterans and will be riding to show their pride and to honor our past and present Military Personnel. This invitation is extended to all GWRRA members to join us in this special event. This event is televised locally and nationally and includes military personnel, vehicles, floats, marching bands, and lots more.
The parade will take place on Tuesday, November 11th. Start time is 1:30 pm. We don't have all the details yet or what the theme of this years parade will be. As soon as this info is available I will let you know. Please mark your calendar and make plans to attend. It would be nice to have every chapter in Alabama represented.
I would like to also thank Wayne Gargus from AL-N for his dedication in planning and organizing the GWRRA members in past parades. He has stepped down and I have been asked to take over for him. He will still be participating. I hope that I can do as well as he did over the years. Thanks again Wayne for your time and dedication.
I will let everyone know our staging assignment and theme as soon as it is available. If you have any questions please e-mail me at Ass tDir ecto r-Ce ntral or call
205-680-2621 or cell 205-948-8991.
Alabama Assistant Director
Chapter AL-Y gave up the Plaque Saturday, November 1, 2008 to Chapter B. T The gathering place was at Greenbrier Bar-B-Que south of Greenbrier next to I-565, west of Madison, AL.
It's a piece of wood with a print fastened to it. So what is all of the fuss? Could it be that it is not really about the Plaque? Maybe it's something more or even something all together different? the traveling plaque is about "people", "friends", getting together. Seeing old smiling faces and meeting new ones. Cementing friendships with those you have known for many years and crafting new friendships for the future.
Yep, that is what the traveling plaque is about, otherwise it is just a chunk of wood.
Plaque Exchange Rules are pretty simple.
Please remember that when the plaque is exchanged that the District Director MUST be notified and supplied with certain information.
January 17th, 2009
9:00am till 1:00pm
|Quality Inn & Convention Center|
2705 E South Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36116
Group Code: Gold Wing Group
|9:00am||-||Couple of the Year Selection|
|Following||-||Games until 1:00pm|
FREE ADMISSION & YEAR BAR
Head Pin available @ $4.00 each
Check the temperature before you leave home. Awards will be presented for longest distance, coldest temperature on a Wing, Valkyrie, 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 6:00pm. All CDs, ACDs and Chapter Rider Educators are expected to attend (All others are welcome). See you there!
We'll do financial reports Friday evening if you can be there!
Contact Roy and Anita Fosnight:
Phone 256-721-9151 / Dir ecto r
Join us for some down-home
March 26-28th, 2009
Grand Prize: $5,000
For more information and to download a flyer
Dates of Events may change; please check actual source for details
|1||Sat||Region Wanderer Plaque Grab from AL-B -- 12-2pm - Greenbrier Bar-B-Que, 15050 AL Highway 20, Madison, AL (Next to I-565) - All distances determined by MapQuest.|
|Traveling Plaque Grab from Chapter-Y -- 12:00pm-2:00pm -- Greenbrier Bar-B-Que - 15050 Hwy 20 (Next to I-565)|
|Experienced Rider Course -- Tuscumbia|
|2||Sun||Standard Time Resumes -- Fall Back|
|8||Sat||Experienced Rider Course -- Montgomery|
|11||Tue||61st Annual National Veterans Day Parade -- 1:30pm - Birmingham|
|Veterans' Day (Armistice Day)|
|15||Sat||Rally Pin Design Deadline|
|Experienced Rider Course -- Dothan|
|22||Sat||Traveling Plaque Grab from Chapter-B -- 12:00pm-2:00pm -- OH!Bryans - 2136 Highway 72 E, Huntsville, AL|
|Experienced Rider Course -- Madison Co.|
|29||Sat||Experienced Rider Course -- Montevallo|
|6||Sat||Experienced Rider Course -- Tuscaloosa, Dothan|
|Eldridge-Toy-Run -- All roads lead to Eldridge Children's Home|
|13||Sat||District Staff Meeting -- 10am-2pm|
|Experienced Rider Course -- Montevallo, Montgomery|
|21||Sun||First Day of Winter -- 12:07 UTC|
|1||Thu||New Year's Holiday|
|17||Sat||Alabama Snowball Run & District Couple Selection|
|19||Mon||Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday|
|31||Sat||Horizons Class -- 8:00am - Training Room at the UAB Medical West Hospital, 796 Memorial Dr, Bessemer, AL 35022|
|1||Sun||Super Bowl Sunday|
|7||Sat||Chapter Leadership Skills -- 8:30am - Training Room at the UAB Medical West Hospital, 796 Memorial Dr, Bessemer, AL 35022|
|Cupids Capers in TN|
|17||Tue||Analog TV Obsolete|
|20||Fri||Cycle World/International Motorcycle Shows -- Carolina First Center, Greenville, SC. Thru Sunday|
|21||Sat||Intermediate Leadership Skills -- 8:30am - Training Room at the UAB Medical West Hospital, 796 Memorial Dr, Bessemer, AL 35022|
|24||Tue||Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday)|
|27||Fri||Daytona Bike Week|
|28||Sat||Advanced Leadership Skills -- 8:30am - Training Room at the UAB Medical West Hospital, 796 Memorial Dr, Bessemer, AL 35022|
|8||Sun||Daylight Savings Time Begins -- Spring Ahead|
|17||Tue||St. Patrick's Day|
|19||Thu||GWRRA - Florida District Rally|
|20||Fri||First Day of Spring -- 11:53 UTC|
|15||Wed||Income Taxes Due|
|16||Thu||GWRRA - LA District Rally - Wings Over the Bayou|
|17||Fri||Charleston Bike Week|
|22||Wed||Administrative Professionals Day|
|23||Thu||GWRRA - TN District's Spring Fling|
|25||Sat||Bloomin' Festival -- St. Bernard Preparatory School (Ave Maria Grotto)|
|Ardmore Renaissance Festival|
|30||Thu||GWRRA - South Carolina District Rally|
|GWRRA - MO District Rally|
|1||Fri||Poke Salat Festival -- Historic Downtown Arab|
|8||Fri||Myrtle Beach Bike Week|
|14||Thu||GWRRA - TX District Rally|
|15||Fri||Niehaus Goldwing Appreciation Days|
|River City Ride, Bike Rally and Blues Festival -- thru Sunday|
|21||Thu||Branson Motorcycle Rally|
|22||Fri||GWRRA - AR District Rally|
|23||Sat||AL District Picnic (South) -- 10am-2pm - Roland Cooper State Park, Camden|
|24||Sun||Rolling Thunder Ride -- Washington, DC. Never forget POW|
|28||Thu||GWRRA - Region N Rally|
|29||Fri||GWRRA - IN District Spring Wing Warmup|
|5||Fri||Wakin' the Dragon Biker Rally -- Punkin Center Motorcycle Resort, Maryville, Tennessee|
|8||Mon||Americade -- Motorcycle Touring Rally|
|11||Thu||GWRRA Georgia District Rally|
|13||Sat||Camp Smile-A-Mile's MC Ride|
|Laconia Motorcycle Week|
|Cherokee Trail of Tears -- Memorial Motorcycle ride|
|First Day of Summer -- 06:06 UTC|