Chapter Director's corner
Carl & Jan Breeding
Happy New Year! The holiday season provides us the opportunity to spend time with those we love, to catch our breath after the hectic pace of everyday life and to assess our successes and failures as we prepare for the year ahead. We hope all of you have had that opportunity in your personal lives.
For the Chapter, it means we thank Kurt and Lynne Chadwick for their term as the Alabama H 2017 Chapter Couple of the year, and to welcome Michael and Rita Moore as the Alabama H 2018 Chapter Couple of the Year. Michael and Rita not only take care of the treasurer duties, but Michael fabricated flag pole holders for those of that expressed an interest. Rita sewed up neck wraps for the members to buy to support Rider Education, and they performed many acts of kindness for the chapter members. We feel truly blessed to have had them in the chapter and as a part of our staff.
We would like to remind all of you of the New Year’s Eve ride to the Cracker Barrel, 1909 Uncle Hershel Way SE, Hartselle, AL 35640. We depart from the Athens Shell at 1 PM. For the New Year’s Day ride to Wintzell's Oyster House (14455 US Hwy 431 S. Guntersville, AL 35976) Depart Athens Shell at 09:30.
We took a seminar at the region rally where Jerry Blaylock, Rider Insurance Service, did a good job explaining some of the ramifications of different types and levels of insurance coverage. He volunteered to come and give the presentation at a chapter meeting. We have him scheduled to come to our 11 January meeting to talk to our members. This is not a sales pitch, but it does help if you have a copy of your policy, so you can look at the different levels and types of coverage, so you can see where you stand.
On 6 January we will be having a Ride Planning meeting at 2 PM at the home of Kurt and Lynne Chadwick, 170 Rosecliff Drive, Harvest, Alabama. We ask the members to bring ideas for activities for the next three months of activities.
We will be teaching a First Aid/CPR Course at Roy Fosnight’s home, 102 Scarlet Oak Circle, Harvest, Alabama, on 13 January from Noon until 4 PM for any that need to renew in the near future. We would like to do as much training as possible during the period when the weather is not conducive to enjoyable riding.
Carl & Jan Breeding
News from Your District Directors
Greetings fellow riders, as this is being written we have let our deadline slip up on us. We always try to have our article ready by the 20th but with all the running around and “shopping” we let it slip up on us this month. We will keep this short and sweet for everyone this month.
January brings one of our main events for the year, our annual Officers Conference on Jan 20th at the Gardendale Civic Center. We always look forward to this event as it is one of the few times we get all the Chapter and District Teams in one room together to talk about many and varied topics. This one should be no exception. We hope to see all Chapter Officers and any other team members and members in general who wish to attend.
We hope everyone has enjoyed a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a Happy and Prosperous New Year. As we look forward to 2018 we hope 2017 was a good year for you. We certainly enjoyed this past year and look forward to an even better one in 2018.
Please remember the reason for the season and keep all of our men and women in uniform in our thoughts and prayers. They work every day to keep us safe. Please keep them and their families in your prayers. Please remember our first responders and their families in your prayers as well. They work hard also to keep us safe in these troubled times. We hope to see all of you out on the road (as soon as the weather allows) and we will be seeing you at your chapter gatherings this coming year. Please be safe in all your travels this busy season.
Frank and Linda Teasley
A Note from Our North Alabama Assistant District Directors
HAPPY 2018! As we begin this New Year, we need to look in our review mirror to 2017. What did we accomplish, was it what we wanted to, or intended to do? Better, what did we not accomplish? Does this change your goals for this year, or another year to pass us by with lower expectations/goals?
What I’m leaning toward is Participation! It seems to me, then it may be just me, that our participation is lacking in our Chapter events. Each year, fewer and fewer are taking part in Chapter and District events.
Yes, each year that passes we are getting younger (attempting to be nice here, but with this in mind) there are those who still can participate, barring health issues. Yet the choice is not to. This leads to the question, is it because we are not scheduling FUN events or are we forgetting what GWRRA and Chapter life was established for and why most joined? I know also, some ride solo and many joined just for the technical information we share or just the monthly magazine. It is known also there are those who are still working. With the events being scheduled, it would seem something of interest would be available during the month for your enjoyment.
Taking the above into consideration, my reason for joining was or is to ride with those who enjoy riding. It’s about the ride and comradery more than anything, and the comfort of knowing should there be some sort of mechanical or other unforeseen issue, I have someone to assist. So, it is a safety issue as well. But mostly as with my closing line, It’s about the ride and the comradery, more than the destination. It is near impossible to make friends, or enjoy the comradery of the friends we have made if we don’t participate.
This comes to Chapter Visits. Whenever a Chapter visit is mentioned, it seems the interest of the group is lost. WHY? As stated earlier, isn’t this the reason we joined, the ride (most important) and the comradery of GWRRA members and our Chapter participants.
I hope this promotes thought and we have better participation with our Chapter events that your Chapter Ride Coordinators plan and the District offer. Each Chapter Director and Ride Coordinator work hard to plan rides for your enjoyment. The lack of participation by the Chapter makes them feel; “Is it worth my time, NOBODY is going to participate, so why bother”. I’m not attempting to be negative, but to stress why participate as with the reason(s) above.
Let’s make 2018 a year of reuniting with old friends, making new friends and enjoying the ride! Let’s start with some of the events Chapters are planning, e.g., Chapter “N” Chili Cook-Off. Yes, this will be the first event of the year barring our New Year Day ride. Following this will be the District Picnic with the next week being Chapter “T” s FUN Day. Oh, don’t forget the District Rally in May! More on that next month. Now is the time to begin planning.
Looking forward to seeing you down the road. Let’s make 2018 a year of FUN! Fun will not happen without participation. Participate, participate, PARTICIPATE!!
Keep the rubber to the ground, the sunny side up and Always ENJOY the Ride!
A Note from Our Southern Alabama Assistant District Directors
Ron and Corky Alexander
Holiday Greetings Ya’ll. Corky and I have been to many Chapters and their Christmas parties. Every one was great fun and fellowship while there. All had great attendance, with food you could hurt yourself with!!
Corky and I are looking forward to 2018 so we can get back to riding. This year I have been a little restricted with my heart problems, but we seem to have that under control.
Our first test will be Chapter M’s New Year’s Day Ride to Bagby State Park. We have been with them now for 6 of the past seven Rides, and we proudly wear our very expensive Gold pins as proof. Come with us and get one for yourself.
The Alabama Officer’s Conference at the Gardendale Civic Center is scheduled for 20 January, time TBA. Please make that weekend open so can get all the new information out to every one on the same page.
With that let me sign off and get this in the mail. Bye for now.
Ron and Corky Alexander
A Note from Your District Educators
Rider Education/Motorist Awareness
I know, we live in the “Sunny South”, but that doesn’t preclude the occasional encounter with winter weather. I decided we need to look at the things we need to consider in preparation. Some of these don’t apply to motorcycles, but most of us also drive.
Weather.com has a list of 14 mistakes all drivers need to avoid, including:
• Skipping the routine maintenance. When the temperatures are ready to drop, change your wiper fluid from a 50/50 mixture of wiper fluid and water to all fluid (and carry an extra bottle of fluid in your vehicle). Add Anti-Freeze to Your Radiator and don’t skip your regularly scheduled oil and filter change
• Not testing your vehicle. Checking your battery, headlights and taillights and replacing windshield wiper blades should be part of your winter prep for personal and company vehicles.
• Not keep a winter driving kit in your vehicle. Shovels, blankets, flashlights, emergency snacks – they can be lifesavers.
• Not focusing on your winter driving skills. There’s a good chance your drivers are driving too fast, too Close to Other Cars and may need to brush up on their ice-handling skills.
Fueloyal.com offers 15 tips, including:
• Don’t get complacent or overly confident
• Accelerate and brake more slowly
• Clear your windshield, mirrors and lights
• Always keep your tanks as full as possible
• Never drive tired, especially in bad weather
The above are partial extracts of the lists, the link will enable you to see the rest of the articles. To view hold the Ctrl key and click on the link. If you read through the above lists, I believe you will realize that most of these items are prudent regardless of what, or where you are operating on the highway. Please use extra caution in your travels, I want to see all of you again with all of us in good health.
Remember the cautionary details above, I know most chapters plan New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day rides, let’s execute those plans safely. If your chapter doesn’t have an event planned, feel free to join those of us who are attending the New Year’s Day Lunch at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Guntersville, Alabama at 11:00 AM. Several of the chapters will be meeting there, and it is always a good time.
Carl & Jan Breeding
A Note from our Alabama District Membership Enhancement Coordinators
Where in the world did 2017 go? It seems like yesterday was New Years Day.... That's right it was, only for 2018. (Maybe it's tomorrow or the next day depending on when you read this.) I trust everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year. We really had some grand times this past year attending Chapter functions, District Rallies, Wing Ding, and the last Region "A" Rally. We were able to enjoy friends, some new some we've known for years. Isn't that what GWRRA is all about: "Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge".
And remember if you celebrate to much bringing in the New Year you may want to take a cab home. I heard that one of my Chapter "T" friends realized he wasn't in any shape to drive his car after a Christmas party so, being a responsible adult, he took a cab home. The next morning the cab was parked in his garage and he didn't remember driving it home from the party. (Ha! Ha!)
During the next couple of months the weather may not be favorable for a lot of riding. So it's a great time to be doing the routine maintenance, safety checks and repairs to insure there are in tip-top condition for the new riding season. It's also a good time to start planning for Spring rides, rallies, and even some Chapter Visitation. Yep don't forget the Chapter Visitation Program. Make those visits and send those completed Visitation Forms to me.
I hope to see y'all soon, until then, "Safe Riding and Keep Them Wheels Vertical".
Recipe of the Month
Easy Chicken Chili
1 can black beans
Scheduled Events for the Month
1, Mon - Ride - to Wintzell's Oyster House in Guntersville -- 930am - Leave I-65 Athens Shell (14455 US Hwy 431 S. Guntersville, AL 35976 ) (Blue shirts)
13, Sat - Ride Planning Meeting -- 2pm - Kurt & Lynne Chadwick home
18, Thu - Dinner - Chicken Salad Chick -- 630pm - 7709 Highway 72 W, Suite 100, Madison, AL 35758 (Red shirts)
20, Sat - Alabama Officers Meeting
- Athens Eagle Wings -- Charter 11th Anniversary
25, Thu - Dinner - Village Pizza -- 6:30pm - 222 W Market St W, Athens, AL 35611 (on the Square in Athens) (Green shirts)
27, Sat - Medic First Aid Class -- 10am at Roy Fosnight's home