Gold Wing Road Riders Association 
Athens Eagle Wings
It's All About the Ride
  Chapter AL-H  -  Athens, AL     Alabama District  -  Region-A  -  Gold Wing Road Riders Association  

March 2017 

Chapter Director's corner


Carl & Jan Breeding
Chapter Directors GWRRA AL-H Athens Eagle Wings

The article from the District Membership Enhancement Coordinator gave me pause, and caused me to decide to address an issue that has been bothering me. We meet as a chapter and create a calendar of rides and dinners for a couple of months in advance. Everyone can bring up their ideas for destinations at that time.  When someone starts promoting alternative destinations after the ride calendar has been published they are pulling members who would have participated with the chapter and encouraging them to help break the chapter apart.  If you really want to destroy the chapter, why are you a part of it?  If you simply don’t want to do that particular activity, think about the fact that someone else may not be terribly thrilled with one of the rides you suggested, but they made the ride because that was what the chapter had agreed to do.

I would love to see every member of the chapter participating in all the scheduled events, but I realize that is unrealistic.  It is, however realistic to ask that you not entice other members away from the scheduled meeting to sabotage the chapter.

On the brighter side, we are now in the beginnings of Spring.  We are still having cool days, and rainy days, but we are also having those days where the temperature gets into the 60s and 70s, and the sunlight calls us to don our riding togs and climb on our bikes and trikes to get back into the groove.  If you decide to do that during the week, call another member or two who are also un-encumbered by work, and have a fun, impromptu ride.  The company can be handy when you encounter an unexpected problem.

Ride often, ride safe, call a friend, have fun.

Carl & Jan Breeding
Chapter Directors

News from Your District Directors

Frank & Linda Teasley
Alabama District Directors

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.

Frank and Linda Teasley

A Note from Your North Alabama Assistant District Directors

Ron Landers
North Assistant District Directors

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 out 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!!

Ron Landers, NADD
Assistant District Director
North Alabama

A Note from Your District Educators

Rider Education/Motorist Awareness
Carl & Jan Breeding
Motorist Awareness Coordinators/District Educators, AL District GWRRA

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.

Jan Breeding
AL-H Chapter Educator

A Note from our Alabama District Membership Enhancement Coordinators

Kenneth & Veronica Campbell
Alabama District Membership Enhancement Coordinators

IT Is Coming
Think about this.
  Notice for next year.
Chapter meetings change to once every two months.
Rally’s all go to two days instead of three. No Venders, they cannot afford to travel.
Chapter Newsletters published once every two months.
No Chapter fun days.  (Lack of support)
No Chapter Picnics or cookouts. (Lack of support)
Wing Ding changes to three days (Attendance dropping) 
Chapter meetings change to once per quarter.  (4 times per year)
No District Rally’s (no income from last rally)
No Newsletters (no chapter funds)
No Chapter or Dist. website’s (there’s no more income for funds)
Wing Ding goes to two days. There will be two local area venders.
Folks it does not take a rocket engineer to figure out what happens now.
  It’s coming unless WE STOP IT.
Members have got to support their Chapters.
Chapters have got to support other Chapters and their events.
All Chapters have to support the District and their events.
Districts have to support other Districts in their region.
All Districts in the Region has to support the region. 
It’s Coming
We can stop it or we can continue on with our own little private agenda and clicks and say
Good bye to a great organization and 95 percent of your friends and family that will slowly disappear. Or we can stop it. 
It’s called participation and support.
It’s Coming like a runaway freight train on a dead-end track.
Think about it.
That’s it for now.

Kenneth & Veronica Campbell
(YOYO and Veronica)
Alabama District MECs

Recipe of the Month

German Cucumber Salad

6 cucumbers
3-Tablespoon Mayo
3-Tablespoon Vinegar
1-Tablespoon Garlic Salt
1-Tablespoon Chives

Cut and slice cucumbers, add remaining ingredients.

Scheduled Events for the Month

March 2017

1, Wed - Happy Birthday Charles Broadway

- Ash Wednesday -- First Day of Lent

2, Thu - Dinner - Samurai Steakhouse -- 6:30pm - 702 US HWY 72W Athens, Al 35611

4, Sat - Medic First Aid Class -- 9am at Kurt Chadwick's home ($25 charge per person)

8, Wed - Happy Anniversary Mike and Alice Chapman

9, Thu - Athens Eagle Wings Gathering -- 2nd Thursday of the month 6:15pm to eat/7pm to meet IHOP, 16211 Athens-Limestone Boulevard Athens, AL (Blue Chapter shirts)

11, Sat - Ride - Bankhead National Forest -- 9am - Athens Shell (Stop for lunch at Brandin Iron Steakhouse, 87 County Road 1242 Cullman, AL 35057)

- Chapter F and Z Funday ~ 10:00-2:00 -- $10.00 each person Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Baked Beans and Fixings, Rain or Shine, Bike or Cars, We will be inside. (McGalliard Home's: 919 Coburn Lane Marbury, AL 36091)

12, Sun - Safety - Ladies training - Parking lot course -- 1pm (East Limestone High School parking lot) Short ride after training

- Daylight Savings Time Begins -- Spring Ahead

15, Wed - Happy Birthday Audrey McQueen

16, Thu - Dinner - Mildred's Restaurant - 6:30pm -- 27926 Main St, Ardmore, AL 35739

17, Fri - St. Patrick's Day

18, Sat - Ride - George Dickel Distillery -- 9am - Old Mapco on Hwy 72 and Old Railroad Bed Road (1950 Cascade Hollow RD, Tullahoma, TN 37388)

19, Sun - Happy Birthday Ernie Quail

20, Mon - First Day of Spring

21, Tue - Happy Anniversary Michael and Rita Moore

23, Thu - Dinner - Joe's World Famous Pizzeria -- 630pm - 1260 US Highway 72 E, Athens, AL 35611

- GWRRA - Florida District Rally (Thru Saturday)

25, Sat - Ride - Call a Friend Ride

30, Thu - Dinner - Francesco's Italian Restaurant -- 7:00pm - 2613 Highway 31 S, Decatur, AL 35603

- 40 to Phoenix -- Chapters AL-T and AL-Y will be hosting 40 to Phoenix -- at Barbers Motor Sports - Dinner at Irondale Cafe at 5:00pm

Updated: 2/24/2017 6:34:02 PM
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