Summer has seen may trips and events for many members One such event was Wing Ding 40 in Knoxville, TN. I want to thank Tom Barman for representing Wisconsin by carrying the state flag during the opening ceremonies. We really appreciate it!
We’d also like to that all of those that helped with On Site Registration (Gary Wilhelms, Marsha Wilhelms, Jim Lee, Sharon Lee, Greg Meath, Vic Gabris, Julie Gabris, Al Enderby, Barb Enderby, Mark Covill, Michelle Covill, Carl Van Dera, Barbara Depner, Rich Young, Don Walloch, Cheri Walloch, Virgil Booker, Connie Booker,Ruth Ann Dikis, Eric Owens, Eva Owens, Tom Barman, Jackie Barman, John Scott, and Denise Scott). It was hectic but fun. Thank you all!
Wisconsin District Rally
We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the District Rally at the Wintergreen Resort on September 14 and 15. We have some fun guided rides and fun activities for all to enjoy! Come join us! Friday there will be rides and classes, off bike games and that evening there will be a dance with “Mobile DJ”. Come dressed in your favorite Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts for the Luau Party! Free Leis for everyone! Saturday, please bring your Chapter Baskets. Remember the Chapter that has the most tickets will get their Chapter Fees paid for! There will be another guided ride on Saturday, a Bike Show and a Team Challenge. If you’ve been missing Chuck A Duck then you’re in luck because it’s back! There will plenty of opportunities to Chuck that Duck all weekend long! Saturday evening join us for a Hawaiian flavored dinner. Have you picked your Chapter member to Toast and Roast? We need three or four members to participate. The more you participate the more fun you’ll have! We plan on having a lot of fun, so please come join us at the “Luau Party!”
There were several trips taken by groups this summer also. The info be is meant to highlight the fun that can be had when like minded Members get together for fun. This of participating in these types of events in the future!
U.P. Michigan Ride
Have you ever wondered why you joined GWRRA, or for that matter any organization? When you join, you receive a monthly Wing World magazine, the Gold Book, and Rescue Plus is offered at a reasonable rate to name a few. That is the business end of things that are promoted by the home office in Phoenix. I’ll give you a few good reasons why I joined at the end of this article.
I have led a few group rides since becoming a member of GWRRA and the UP of Michigan Ride-In has to be one of the best we’ve been on. When Bruce and Barb Beeman and Cheri and I first discussed going on an extended weekend we had no idea it would balloon like it did.
After GWRRA reorganized and eliminated the Regions from its structure, it left a little void. A void that could sever relationships with people that you only meet at the Region Rally. So when we met with the Beeman’s to discuss our adventure way back in November, I brought up this concern and asked them how they felt about opening it up to not only our own Chapter members, but all District members within Wisconsin and Minnesota. The idea passed with flying colors and we were off and making plans.
We knew this was going to be something special when the Root Cellar Resort was filled to capacity after a couple months. We went on to fill another local motel in town and overflow into yet another resort. To say the least, it was incredible to see so many people showing interest in this ride.
The toughest part of planning this trip now took a different turn. With so many bikes going on this ride from Wisconsin, it was obvious we all couldn’t travel in one large group. We wanted to break the group down into smaller groups of 5-7 bikes each. We started our trip to the UP from Wisconsin Rapids with six bikes. When we arrived in Plover there were seven bikes waiting to join us. We had them follow as the second group with their own lead and tail. They stayed about ¼ mile behind the first group. The same occurred when we got to our last pickup point. There were seven bikes there and they were the third group staying ¼ mile behind the second group. This worked out well with the tail of each group communicating with the lead in the group behind them. No one got lost or left behind.
I won’t get into every detail of what we did on this trip, but I would like to share some of the things we observed. We had a lot of people that were first timers along and they were apprehensive at first, but the more they got to know other members, the more comfortable they became. These same people not only enjoyed the riding and the resort that they stayed in, but more importantly they enjoyed each other’s company.
We had planned out three different routes in the UP and some of the roads took us into northern Wisconsin. When we started each day, we had a short group meeting to discuss the routes. Not knowing who was qualified to be a Road Captain, we did not assign leaders to these routes in advance. After our group discussions we asked for volunteers for two of the preplanned routes, and without hesitation we got people to step up and take the other members on these routes.
After everyone was back from their daily rides and had dinner, the members that stayed at the Root Cellar enjoyed sitting around continuing to get to know each other. Others sat around a campfire and laughed and joked and shared their ride experiences. One afternoon and early evening we rented two pontoons and the Beeman’s captained one and the Walloch’s the other.
We split the excursions into shifts so everyone would have an opportunity to participate if they wanted. To our amazement we had 45 of the 65 members go on the pontoon ride.
Sunday morning everyone departed either on their own or in smaller groups where they lived close to each other. That is one other observation we made - people were taking care of each other and making sure everyone got home safely.
Back to the question I asked at the beginning of this article. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it is the members that make this organization great. People like to ride their motorcycles and isn’t that the main reason we purchased them? People are also willing to help out if you ask them. They talk to each other and exchange contact information and that’s how lasting friendships are formed. That is what we experienced on this ride. Some say we went through a lot of work to put this ride together, which may be true, but the rewards of what we experienced on the UP of Michigan Ride-In were well worth every minute we spent putting this together.
In short, GWRRA’s mission is to provide us with the things I previously stated, that is their job. GWRRA gave us the tools and it is our choosing to take advantage of group rides and trips such as this. It is a fun experience that will give you memories that last a life time, only if you take a chance and take advantage of these opportunities. It may lead to a lasting friendship with someone that you met on the trip.
We want to say thank you to everyone that came on the ride and we hope to see you in La Crosse next year. We promise to work out the bugs and make that ride even better. Also, a huge thank you to everyone that stepped up to help out by being Road Captains, either traveling to the Root Cellar or leading a ride in the UP. We really do appreciate it!
Next year’s trip will be held at the Days Inn and Conference Center in La Crosse. It will be held August 8-11, 2019. We have 90 rooms blocked off at a rate of $59 per night. We are calling this trip the “Region E Reunion Ride-In.” There are no fees or seminars. Fun is included. So please plan on attending and make your reservations soon. We are now opening the hotel to the other Districts throughout the old Region E. If this year’s ride-in is any indication as to what will happen next year, book your room early. As of this writing there has been 12 rooms booked in less than a week. For more information please go to the website at https://regionereunion.weebly.com/ or give me a call at 715-459-2449.
Don Walloch District Ride Coordinator
Chapter C Trip to South Dakota
June 23 - July 1
Our trip started with a breakfast meeting at Rolling Meadows Family Restaurant in Fond du Lac on June 23. We had 8 members of Chapter C and 6 members from Chapter M on the ride. For not knowing most of the Chapter M members, by the end of day one, you would have never known it. We all got along like we had known each other for years. Great friendships were made.
Jerry Hempe planned the trip and he did an awesome job. He was so good that he worked with Mother Nature to hold off on the rain until we were done riding for the day. Mother Nature went along with Jerry's plan except for a short time on the second day. We saw a storm fast approaching and headed for the first exit and stopped at a gas station. Thank goodness we had a very smart rider along with us and he suggested we all park in the carwash by the gas station. We got all 8 bikes and 5 trailers in before the storm hit. We spend about 45 minutes there before we were back on the road again.
Jerry had located all the places we would be staying on our way out to and back from South Dakota. We stayed 5 nights at The Roost in Custer. We had awesome hosts there, Tom and Shelah, who had just recently purchased the property. When we arrived, Shelah was out waiting for us with camera in hand. They were so happy to see so many Gold Wings. Turns out Tom also has a Gold Wing and he even joined us on a couple of the rides during the week.
Jerry planned daily rides for us and every day was just spectacular. We rode the winding and twisting roads to Custer State Park, Needles Highway, Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, Sturgis, Crazy Horse, Wall Drug, Bad Lands and Devil's Tower in Wyoming. We saw lots of wild life...let me tell you those buffalo are very intimidating when you are on a motorcycle and they are crossing the road in front of you!
We put on 2,455+ miles in 9 days and enjoyed every mile. Can't wait to see where the next long trip may be.