Goldwing Road Riders Association / Region A
Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge
The Alabama District News
Greetings fellow riders, as February ends and the hint of a few warm days has arrived it is time to start thinking about the upcoming riding season. March promises to be a busy month for everyone with several activities planned. First on March 11th, chapters F&Z are having their annual cook out at the home of Randall and Frankie McGalliard. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Randall’s “man cave” you must put this event on your list, you won’t regret it. The following weekend brings Chapter U and their annual chili cook off at the Ozark Church of Christ beginning at 9AM. Bruce and Eileen and the Chapter U team always put on a fun event, you won’t want to miss this one. The next weekend, March 23rd -25th is the first rally of the season. The Florida District Rally gets everything started with their annual big event. This year it will be held in Altamonte Springs. Our final event of the month is the annual 40 to Phoenix ride spending a day in Birmingham at the Barbers Motor Sports Museum. Following a full day there Chapters T and Y will host an evening dinner for all the riders at the Irondale Café in Irondale, AL. This is always a fun event and a chance to meet riders from all over the country. Please join us on Thursday evening March 30th starting at 5PM for a great evening of fun and good food. Details for each of these events can be found on the District Website. If you need further details please let us know.
As most of you know we have tried to encourage chapter interaction for many years with several different programs with limited success. We, the District team, are currently working on a new program to try to encourage Chapters to visit each other, whether it is to a chapter meeting, dinner ride, fun day, cook out or any other type of event a chapter may be having. We are finalizing the details as this is being written and will have it ready to present to the Chapter Directors before the Alabama District Rally in May. We hope this new program will encourage all the chapters in Alabama to get out and interact with the other chapters in Alabama. More details to come from your Chapter Director. Speaking of the Alabama Rally, we are only about 2 and ½ months out from another busy and fun event for everyone. We are back in Mobile after being away for a few years. We will be at the Ashbury Hotel and Suites. The Ashbury has done some reconfiguration of their hotel and are now offering only 87 rooms available for our event. At this writing there only a few left so if you wish to stay at the host hotel please make your reservations very soon. On the rally registration, please note on the back, new for this year is a change to the Thursday night dinner. This year we are having to charge for the first time. This is a result of prices for food and service increasing to the point that we can no longer afford to offer it for free. If you are going to join us for dinner on Thursday night please check the box on the registration form when you register. If you have already registered and did not check the box or overlooked it please contact Sarah Leach and get that corrected. We are only going to prepare enough food for the people who register. Please don’t get left out. We have a really good meal planned and the costume contest will follow. We would like to see every Alabama District member at the rally. There are lots of things to do and see in Mobile so come on down and have a fun weekend with us.
As always, keep all of the men and women in uniform in your thoughts and prayers as they work each day to maintain the freedom that we all enjoy in this great country. If you have any questions about anything we discussed in this article please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to seeing all of you out on the road.
Monthly Chapter Director's Contribution
Dave and Linda Snyder, AL Chapter M
I'm Dave Snyder, CD of AL "M". We meet the first Saturday of the month. Our Chapter Gathering is at the Buffet City, in Phenix City, AL. Our members come from 60+ miles away one way to our Gatherings and rides. That's the reason we call ourselves a Rural Chapter. We usually have a good crowd. I think all the kidding around, laughs shared and great door prizes keep everyone coming back. We give out the half mule (a--) award and you should hear some of the tall tails told. It doesn't matter if you are the Region Director or the man in the moon if you are a chapter member that's all that counts to get this special award to take home for the month. Sometimes receiving this special award for doing something stupid can get bad. I've seen some stories that were years old! Can't beat ratting on your spouse or friends!
Our Chapter has been around for 30 years. We are lucky to have one of the Charter Couples as active members. They are Ray and Cindy Erickson. Ray is one of our Assistant Chapter Directors and our MAD Director.
Like other chapters we do our share of riding. We have at least one ride a week and maybe a spur of the moment ride. We are constantly trying new restaurants for lunch and our Date Nights. Our members enjoy traveling to new places and new countryside to get there.
Our chapter has dwindled down. Age, health and just losing interest in biking has a lot to do with our chapter having fewer members. We are told that it's just a phase all chapters go thru. Sure do hope this will soon be a thing of the past.
We have a gentleman by the name, Dusty Miller, who has come over from England and has joined us for numerous rides and meetings. Dusty has been a GWRRA member in England for many years. We have fun listening to his tales and sharing ours with him.
Come join us for a ride or at gathering. We are the East Alabama Touring group," EAT"! Yes, we do a lot of that on our rides. We would love to have you visit us.
See Y'all down the road-be safe out there.
Dave and Linda Snyder
GoldWing Road Riders Assoc.
AL-M Chapter Director
lds nyde r91* gmai l:com
MFA Renewal Class - Alabama District Rally 2017
At our last District Staff meeting the decision was made to have a MFA Renewal class at the Alabama rally in May. The class will be Friday beginning at 12 pm and lasting until 4:30-5pm time frames. This is a renewal class only. The class will be limited to 24 participants and will be a first come first serve basis.
Before we open this to other Districts we are letting the members know first. You will need to distribute this to your members and let them know. Here is what we need:
- Member name and contact information
- Check for $25.00 (This is per person) made out to Alabama GWRRA.
You, the Chapter Director or your Educator, can contact me and I will put their name on a list. Once I receive their check they will be marked paid and will have a spot in this class. Once 24 people are on the list and paid if anyone else signs up they will be placed on an alternate list. Cancellations have to be requested two weeks before the rally or money will not be refunded. If we have a cancellation the first person on alternate list will be contacted.
Our contact information is listed below. Please share with your members as soon as possible if you have anyone that needs to take this class.
Robert & Gail Brown
Alabama District MFA Coordinators
08t itan ium* gmai l:com
Keep the rubber to the ground, the sunny side up and Always ENJOY the Ride!!
Hoping everyone got out and enjoyed February as the temperature was very mild for this time of year, making for some great wind therapy. We will probably pay for all the nice weather received later in the spring!
This month I will start a series of articles concerning what I believe is important if we want our Chapters to flourish. Retention Stage one – The welcoming stage, 0ur first meet and greet, at the Chapter Gathering/Meeting most of the time or possibly while on one of our ride events.
Most of us have no problem with recruiting new members. What happens next is more important. Think back to when you first joined, especially if you joined not knowing anyone, but just completing an application and then attending a meeting or joined on a ride event as a nonmember. Did you feel comfortable or did you spend your time alone? Did you understand all the terminology being used? Did you depart that first meeting or ride with a great impression or did you depart feeling confused, with less of an idea of what was going on than when you first arrived? A feeling of neglect/not welcome as part of the group. These are just a few questions that should be considered when we have new members join our Chapter for the first time.
How do we make someone feel like they are a part of our Chapter family? How do we make them want to return and Enjoy the FUN we enjoy? When a new member joins us at a meeting or on a ride, we as participants or officers should strive to ensure the new member of our organization shares their time with us feeling welcome.
When we see a new face at our meeting/gathering, we want to do an introduction and ascertain who the new individual is. Are they a member of a visiting Chapter or are they someone new to our organization? We need to sit with them, stranger to stranger and find a little about them and them about us. When the meeting/gathering begins introduce them to our group. Have them introduce themselves to us, what do they ride, how long have they been riding, etc. We want to ensure they understand our terminology, more importantly they receive a newsletter. We need to introduce them to our calendar of events and encourage them to attend and participate with us. The most important piece of information we want/need is to ensure we obtain a phone number and an email address. This is important so we can contact them in the future and remind them of an event that we are having and invite them to attend. This is the part of making them feel welcome, the part where they begin to feel “I belong”, I’m a “part of the group feeling.” Someone took the interest to contact me should I forget.
Without this initial introduction, it is doubtful they will participate in any of our upcoming events or will we see them at a gathering/meeting in the future. Why participate with a group who leaves us with a sense of not caring/belonging, “neglect”?
The next stage will be the orientation phase. For now, make the new member to our Chapter feel welcome, the prognosis will be improved that we see them at our next meeting or at one of our events.
As always, I am looking forward to seeing you down the road. Keep the rubber to the ground, the sunny side up and Always ENJOY the Ride!!
SAADD GREETINGS to all!
The new year is moving right along and I hope all of you are MAKING time to enjoy your motorcycle, your GWRRA family and all the blessings God has placed here on earth for you! There are so many things going on in our lives and in our chapters that it’s often hard to keep up with them.
As many of you know, we have had a few training sessions recently and I hope each of you will take advantage of these offerings when they are presented. It is not only good for you but they are good for your chapters AND your riding friends when you can do anything that will improve and enhance your safety while on the road or at home! Be sure to thank your trainers for their efforts and I hope you will thank GWRRA for making these training sessions available!
Kathy and I visited with our Chapter G friends recently for the first meeting for Ron Alexander as their new CD and it was a great meeting. Many showed up for the meeting and several visitors from other chapters and even from Florida which was impressive also. Good luck to Ron and Corky as they take over the reins of Chapter G and I know they will do an outstanding job.
As many have observed, change is in the air in a lot of areas. We have new CD’s in several chapters this year as well as many new staff members and this is not a bad thing! Sometimes, change can be good and we hope that is what we all experience this year in GWRRA. We are proud to be part of this great organization also and we look forward to many more rewarding and fun experiences with our Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge! Always remember to perform your T-Clock inspections regularly so you can remain SAFE and SOUND in your riding experiences.
REMEMBER!!! The Alabama District Rally for 2017 will be in Mobile AL, May 18 – 20 at the Ashbury Hotel & Suites. The theme for 2017 is SITCOM MANIA! Make your plans now to attend and be prepared to have a great time! It will be a GREAT EVENT IF YOU help and participate!!! Put your thinking caps on and get your Talent Show Crews together and grace us with your entries in the talent show contest with your best sitcom endeavor! It will be FUN for all and we know you will make more wonderful memories!!! Remember to get your registrations in ASAP and if you want to have the Thursday evening meal with us, there is a $7.50 per person charge this year as the costs have skyrocketed so we have no choice but to charge for this great meal. Look for the slot on the registration forms for this and make sure you include your payment when you register. More info to follow as it becomes available!
Remember that GWRRA is a wonderful association and we want all “good folks” to be part of our great family. Share your calendars and your experiences and feel free to call me or Kathy anytime if we can assist in some way with you. Use those beautiful Gold Wing motorcycles and others to enrich your life and strengthen your GW family ties and relationships and make more memories of a lifetime! You deserve it! We look forward to many more miles of riding pleasure with all of you and please, stay safe out there. That’s the only way we can continue to make it fun.
How I learned to ride safer through the Rider Education Program
Today as I ponder a topic for a monthly discussion, I was overwhelmed with ideas. Many would require extensive research and a wordy dialog. Instead I will settle on a topic near and dear to my heart. That is the Rider Education Program in GWRRA. Now I know most of you know about the Levels program. But let’s take a closer look at what it is and what it can do for you.
Level 1 – Well this one is simple, just commit to ride safely. Sounds simple enough. You sign up and voila you are a Level I. “Safety by Commitment”.
Being the ambitions type, I was not happy to stay at a Level I, and immediately wanted to know how to become a Level II. With each new level there were requirements to fulfill. I had to ride safely for 5000 miles and take a riding course (mine was a Trike Riding Course – TRC). Hence Level II is “Safety by Education”.
The more I rode the more I noticed the more experienced riders wore the proper gear all the time. I thought how can you be cool in the summer in that mesh jacket? I knew the long sleeve shirt I was wearing would protect my arms from sunburn, but I did not think about road rash, and how that flimsy shirt would just tear apart. I tried that mesh jacket with a Breezy Rider (cooling gel neck wrap), and wow, I was cooler in it, and safer to boot.
Now my sights were set on that Level III. What did I need to do now?
I needed to take a Medic First Aid class, and a Motorist Awareness Seminar. Those item checked off my list. I was now a Level III. “Safety by Preparedness”.
The road to Level IV took a little longer. I needed to be a Level III for a year, and ride 25,000 safe miles. Funny thing happened on the way to that coveted Level IV, I developed a love of riding, and of riding safely. I wanted to teach my fellow riders the courses they would need to stay safe too.
I attained my Level IV on 10 May 2010. Wooohoo, I did it. Master number 7965 belongs to me. But you are never done. Safety is not a onetime thing, it needs to be with you all the time. “Safety by Enhanced Commitment and Preparedness”. Now I was riding safer and continuing with all the Rider Education classes I needed to maintain my Level IV. Funny thing happens the longer you stay with the program and stay current, you progress upward. On 21 May 2015 I became a Senior Master Level IV.
Three years from now I will attain my Grand Master Level IV. No time to sit back on my laurels, I must always be up-to-date with my training and ride safely.
Now you ask why did I go on-and-on about this program? Because it matters. My safety, your safety, the group’s safety, and even the motorist’s safety all stems from making that first commitment to ride safely.
Come, be a part of a program aimed at keeping everyone safe.
AL-H Chapter Educator