2013 Dec 14 - MGWA Christmas Party
It was a cold and stormy night -- yes, of all days to get the winter's first snow storm, it was on the eve of MGWA's Christmas party. Despite the weather conditions we had a decent turnout. We again had the buffet catered giving the cooks and bakers in the club a break during the holidays.
As members arrived they received their ballots for electing the new board, voting for Member of the Year, and deciding a proposal to the club By-Laws. Also, during the social hour before dinner, Kevin generously passed out scratch lottery tickets to everyone, from which we had a few winners.
We then got to the main business of the evening -- eating. There was an ample meal of broasted chicken, spiral ham, broasted potatoes, green bean almondine, and other side dishes, salad, and desserts. We dug in with gusto.
After dinner Bruce call a brief meeting to dispense with the year-end business. Our ad hoc election committee (thanks Jim and Jewell) announced the new board, the Member of the Year (Julie), and the passing of the amendment to the By-Laws. Then the much awaited Agitator of the Year trophy presentation was made by reigning Agitator Kevin to his selection for 2013, Joan A. Congratulations to one and all.
As people continued visiting and sharing in the holiday mirth and merriment, club apparel was passed out to those that had made new purchases. Our sunshine lady, Kathy, had a club 50/50 drawing netting the club and the winner $45 each -- congratulations Barb. It was a full evening wrapping up another year. Here's to continued fun and fellowship in the new year!
2013-Sep-29 - Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum
Rain precluded a ride to Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum but we drove our cages and went anyway. We first checked out the Gleeson's new Ram truck with towing package and most every other bell and whistle, . . . very nice. Then, on to Marvin's which was quite a unique place. He has a huge collection of vintage carnival/fair/amusement park games. Your eye can't possibly take it all in. Change a 5 dollar bill or so into quarters and relive your childhood or, in Barb's case, continue it. This was a fun diversion on a rainy day. Afterward we stopped at a deli for lunch before heading our separate ways.
2013-Sep-22 - Tiger Game
MGWA went to the Tigers final home game of the season. With the predicted cool weather we all dressed warm only to find the open air seats and cloudless sky made for a warm day. It seemed like the White Sox had better luck with hits dropping in and they did prevail with a score of 6 to 3. Even though our Tigers lost, it was still a fun day just being in the environment and experiencing a nice day at the park. Many thanks to Joan A. for putting together this event and coordinating with another group outside our club in order to have a large enough number to get discounted tickets.
2013-Sep-13 - Wagener Campout
Weather held out for our Halloween themed campout; Friday weenie roast, Saturday ride and pot-luck dinner, Sunday pancake breakfast, and campfire sessions. Many members added extra days before and/or after to extend the weekend. The weather was cool but it did not rain and winds were calm during our planned activities. Our Saturday ride included breakfast at Al's Restaurant in Harbor Beach, a shopping stop at the Port Austin farmer's market, another at Caseville, and a country ride along the corridor with all the windmills. Some of the ladies made "antiqueing" runs. Halloween decorations added a festive atmosphere to our camp area. The Great Pumpkin made an appearance and handed out treats. It was a busy and fun weekend with friends.
2012-07-04 Vanderbilt Campout
MGWA again celebrated Independence Day at a campout in Vanderbilt hosted by Bruce and Joan. Campers began arriving randomly Wednesday morning and continued arriving one after the other as if choreographed by an air traffic controller. As one was setting up, the next would pull into the driveway. We had beautiful weather the entire time -- dry, warm days and cool nights. We enjoyed some wonderful rides in the area, keeping to the country roads and the small towns. It seems there is always a joke pulled on someone at these events and this year was no different. Mike G was concerned that he would be using too much of Bruce and Joan's electricity, so Bruce made up a simulated "manual exercise bicycle GENERATOR" that was presented to Mike. To fully carry off the joke Bruce demonstrated it to Mike -- he made it look like he plugged in a shop light to the exercise generator but it was really controlled by an extention cord by Dave who was out of sight. As Bruce began to pedal, Dave plugged in the extention cord and the light came on full bright to Mike's amazement. Then Bruce gave an audible signal to Dave that he was stopping and as Bruce slowed down his pedalling, Dave made the light flicker a couple of times and go out. Mike's reaction was a sight to behold.
Many of our meals were made at camp with all participating and taking turns at cooking. The highlight of the camp meals was the Fried Turkeys we had Saturday night with Tony C taking the lead on that meal -- they were juicy and delicious. It was truly a fun weekend all the way around. Many thanks to Bruce and Joan for putting on this wonderful get together.
2012-12-08 Holiday Party
This year the Holiday party was catered giving the cooks in the club a break. Folks arrived at 6pm to visit before eating at 7pm. Following the hearty meal our new President Bruce thanked Dave & Julie for hosting the party, asked for a moments silence for our dear friend Will, and then turned the floor over to Kevin for the Agitator of the Year ceremony. Kevin quickly captured the attention of the room, and to the baited breath of at least a few nervous people announced the new Agitator of the Year, HIMSELF. Claiming he has become attached to the trophy, and in a small part for his scary Santa (observed by a few neighboring children) performance at the Christmas themed Wagener campout, is keeping the trophy for another year. The fun and merriment continued: Tony C gifted each member with a lottery ticket with a few winners; our sunshine gal, Kathy, sold 50/50 tickets with Julie winning and the club benefiting with $42 dollars for future activities; others enjoyed a look back in time with the late 1980's picture albums that Nita brought for our viewing. It was a lovely evening ending the year on an upbeat with hopes for a wonderful 2013.
2012-10-14 Past Tense Cidermill
Dismal weather precluded a motorcycle ride but some members went to the cider mill by car. The Past Tense country store has now re-opened the part of the store that burned down. It is beautifully done but some thought it lost some of the charm the old rooms had. Rooms are still done in themes and we particularly enjoyed the haunted (halloween) room. We, of course, partook of the cider and donuts to complete our visit.
2012-09-30 Vantage Point ride
The weather was mostly overcast so it felt good to ride in jackets. A country route eventually got us to Vantage Point. There we had some coffee and doughnuts and enjoyed the view of the river. An equally nice route brought us back into town were we went our separate ways.
2012-09-14 Wagener Campout, Christmas themed
Although the weather forecast was unfavorable, it began clearing by noon on Friday and the weekend turned out beautiful for our Christmas themed campout. Campers arrived early afternoon and set up. After relaxing a bit we roasted hot dogs over the campfire for an easy dinner. The next morning we rode into Harbor Beach to Al's Restaurant for breakfast. From there we rode to Port Austin to check out the farmer's market, Grindstone City for ice cream, and Norman's in Bad Axe. We returned to camp and had a delicious pot-luck dinner. We were sitting around the campfire digesting our meals when what to our wondering eyes should appear . . . yes, to our complete surprise there was Santa himself. He of course knew the names of all the "boys" and "girls" at camp and had the perfect gift for each. It was great fun and absolutely hilarious. On Sunday morning we had a departure breakfast before breaking camp. Then it was hugs all around as folks intermittently pulled out for home.
2012-07-07 Vanderbilt Campout
We celebrated Independence Day the weekend after the 4th with a campout at Bruce and Joan's cottage/property. Most arrived on Friday in time for dinner at the Elkhorn Grill. Saturday morning was rainy so we first went to breakfast and waited for the weather to clear. Our ride began at 11am and took us to light houses and an ice cream stop. The day stayed cool despite the heat wave we have been experiencing. After the ride we had our pot luck barbeque. In the early evening we had a tractor ride followed by fireworks at camp. Many thanks to Bruce and Joan for putting on yet another fantastic and fun weekend.
2012-06-27 Wilson's Campout
We had beautiful weather for the campout. Friday evening after Wayne and Wendi arrived we walked to dinner at the Scenic Riverwood Tavern followed by a campfire. Saturday, after breakfast at the Country Diner, we did a ride that included educational stops at the Lumberman's Monument, a light house, a one room school house and an ice cream stop, We then rode back for our campside pot luck and another campfire. On Sunday morning we rode in to Mio for breakfast at the Paddle Inn before dispersing. It was indeed a wonderful weekend.
2012-05-20 Detroit Zoo
We had a slightly cool but beautiful day and a nice turnout for breakfast. A small group decided to take a ride in the thumb. After a delay due to a tempermental fork lock when they came out of the restaurant from lunch, they were able to finish an enjoyable 170+ mile day.
2012-05-06 Ride in the Thumb
We had a slightly cool but beautiful day and a nice turnout for breakfast. A small group decided to take a ride in the thumb. After a delay due to a tempermental fork lock when they came out of the restaurant from lunch, they were able to finish an enjoyable 170+ mile day.
2012-04-29 Michigan Chrome Open House and Gibralter Bike Blessing
The day started out cool but warmed as time went on. Some club members went to the Michigan Chrome Open House after breakfast to shop and kick tires. We ate hot dogs and entered the door prize drawing. Bruce won a motorcycle pinwheel yard art. As our visiting was wrapping up there, some then went to the North Shore Bike Blessing. It was a nice day to be out in the motorcycle scene.
2011-12-10 Holiday Party
MGWA wraps up another activities filled year with a holiday party. Members pitched in for a pot-luck style dinner with the club providing the main meat dishes. Again the food was abundant and delicious as all the cooks always seem to outdo themselves. Members enjoyed each others company reviewing past adventures and some planning their new ones. After dinner President Will thanked all members for their support for the holiday house party and for the year in general. He announced the club's selection of Member of the Year -- Ron Rose. After that it was time for the annual Agitator of the Year awarding, where the reigning agitator passes the torch (the washing machine agitator/trophy/lamp) to his (or her) choice for the current year agitator. This year Dave R spoke of giving due diligence in his search and awarded the trophy to Kevin B. The party resumed and good cheer was shared among all on the last official gathering of the year.
2011-10-08 Fall Color Tour
Azure blue sky complimented the vibrant leaves for the MGWA fall color tour. Members arrived through out the day Friday and set up camp before going to dinner at the Elk Horn Diner. On Saturday we did a ride to the "Tunnel of Trees' near Harbor Springs. All weekend the weather was wonderful, enhancing our rides, meals at camp, and sessions around the campfire.
2011-10-02 Parshallville Grist Mill Ride
First of all, we were delighted to have a surprise visit from Joan Hughes Duszka, our club's founder, at breakfast this morning. She and Darrell have been living in Virginia but Joan was back in town to see family. After a nice chat with her over breakfast we did our cider mill ride. The cool crisp air set the stage perfectly for this type of early autumn activity. We took back roads to Parshallville and enjoyed the usual treats at their historic grist mill.
2011-09-16 Wagener Campout
It was a cool but clear weekend for the clubs biggest ever campout. Some club members even arrived early and/or stayed extra days. Friday evening we had the "MGWA Wienery" where people cooked then constructed their own hot dogs from a menu suggestion such as a "hairy brain" or "tasmanian devil" then settled around the campfire. Saturday we rode to breakfast, a farmers market and craft show, the Grindstone City general store for ice cream, and to Norm's outfitter before coming back to camp for the luau. Another campfire session rounded out the day. A pancake breakfast provided the fuel for breaking camp Sunday morning. It was a busy weekend and a fun time with friends.
2011-07 Vanderbilt 4th of July Campout
It was a busy holiday weekend. Throughout the afternoon Friday, members arrived at Bruce and Joan's property and set up camp. The first evening's meal was at the Elk Horn Grill in Vanderbilt. Saturday we rode to Tahquamenon Falls in the upper peninsula. It was a long ride getting us back to camp too late to have our big pot-luck meal, so we switched that to Sunday and had a simpler meal of dogs and brats instead. Sunday the guys rode to the Hillman Street Drags and the gals went to the casino in Petosky. That left plenty of time for a spectacular pot-luck dinner and an evening ride for ice-cream. Monday we rode to the 45th parallel H-D shop, where Mike test drove a new trike, and a fruit market for fresh Michigan cherries. We had perfect weather, great rides, lots of delicious food, and many laughs.
2011-06 Wilson's Campout
An early rain Friday quickley changed to a beautiful weekend. Club members gathered at Mike's in McKinley and then walked to the local bar/restaurant for a fish dinner. Afterward they relaxed around the campfire and planned the next day. Saturday proved to be a full day which included a bike blessing, car show and a visit to the Oscoda Motorcycle Museum (while the ladies checked out the Oscoda crafters show on the beach) before returning for the ever popular pot-luck dinner back at camp. Another campfire session rounded out the evening. The next morning all packed up and had breakfast together at the AuSable Inn.
2011-05-22 Vantage Point Ride
Finally getting a break in the weather we were able to make up the Vantage Point ride that got rained out (or did it snow that day?). We rode along the water taking a short break in Algonac. Continuing on, Wayne and Wendi abbreviated their ride at Marine City to return for a family function. The rest of us arrived at Vantage Point and procured treats at the snack bar to enjoy as we talked and watched freighters navigate the river.
2011-03-06 Chi-Town Union Station
Another winter outing had the club visiting Chi-Town Union Station in Commerce Twsp. This is the state's (if not the U.S.'s) largest O Scale model railroad. About 20 trains are running at any given time computer controlled through scenery that includes murals of downtown Chicago and the California desert. It allowed us to live out a childhood fantasy and made for an interesting and fun diversion from winter.
2011-02-27 Cabela's Outfitter
It was a dismal day weatherwise but an upbeat group of members made it fun. We started the day meeting at Bob Evan's in Warren. After a hearty breakfast we organized a convoy of 6 cars to drive to Cabela's Outfitter in Dundee. Once there members divided up to do their own mix of power shopping and display viewing. Cabela's has museum quality animal displays and live fish tanks to enjoy. About mid-way thru the day we gathered at the Cabela Cafe for some bison brats, smoked elk sandwiches, or other delights. Satiated, we finished our shopping and viewing, before splitting up and heading out.
2010-12-4 Holiday Party
Club members gathered to share in the joy of the holiday season. It again manifested itself as a potluck house party with the club treasury providing the main dishes of a smoked turkey and spiral-sliced ham. The group effort resulted in a delicious meal and a wonderful time. After dinner President Will gave a heartfelt speech summarizing the year and thanking the Board of Directors for their hard work. He then turned the floor over to Wayne so that he could pass on the Agitator of the Year trophy to his selection for 2010. Congratulations go to Dave. Dave didn't think that he had earned it but warned all the he considered it his "license to agitate" until he re-awards it next Christmas. It was all in good fun and later, as the evening drew down, good cheer was wished among everyone in the form of hugs and handshakes.
2010-10-17 Cider Mills
We couldn't miss out on this weather, so an impromptu ride was put together. We chose two cider mills we hadn't visited before, Hy's Cider Mill and Porter's Orchard. Hy's was small but quaint with a very interesting store. Porter's Orchard was more varied having a petting zoo, children's play areas, etc. but was extremely busy and crowded. The ride to and from each was nice and made for a beautiful day. On the way home we stopped at Red Knapp's for a late lunch / early dinner before calling it a day.
2010-10-8 Color Tour
It was a near perfect color tour. The leaves were approaching peak color and were nicely set off by the clear blue sky. We did a ride that included the Tunnel of Trees which we did in the opposite direction of previous color tours for variety. The camping was quite enjoyable in the cool fall air and included huge campfires and delicious meals. All in all the weather was great for the entire weekend. A big thank you to Bruce and Joan for hosting this wonderful club outing.
2010-10-03 World's Last Hudson Dealership and Auto Museum
A cold morning and predications of rain made for a low turnout for the Last Hudson Dealership ride. The members that did the ride enjoyed themselves and the rain never did materialize. After the museum visit we also stopped in at a truck show that was also in the old Depot Town area of Ypsilanti.
2010-09-10 Wagener Campout
The Wagener event was a full weekend of camping, riding, eating, and shopping. The weather was mostly good except for a couple of hours of rain during the Saturday pot-luck meal. Our ride was to the top of the thumb for some shopping and ice cream. The cooks in the club provided another bountiful and delicious campsite dinner. It all seemed to end too soon proving again that time flies when you're having fun.
2010-07-04 Vanderbilt Campout
The holiday weather was clear and hot with occasional winds. Some folks arrived Friday afternoon and others on Saturday morning. We did day rides, an evening ice cream run, elk viewing, barbequeing, yard games, and relaxed around the campfire to catch up on news and joke around. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Many thanks to Bruce and Joan for hosting this outing on their property up north.
2010-06-18 Wilson's Campout
We enjoyed picture perfect weather for the whole weekend. Club members arrived at McKinley throughout Friday afternoon and evening. It was a busy fun-filled weekend of rides, air show, BBQ, hay ride, and campfires. The quirky out of season hayride seemed to be the highlite of this years outing. Thanks again to Mike and Sandy for hosting this event.
2010-05-23 Rocky's Outfitter Ride
With great weather and enthusiastic members an improptu ride was in the making. The destination chosen was Rocky's. A group of seven bikes made the treck to do a little shopping. After checking out the goods and making a few purchases, we started back and made a lunch stop at Red Knapp's. It was nice to get in an unplanned group ride since we started out the season with a few rained out activities.
2009-12-05 Holiday Party
MGWA combined Thanksgiving and Christmas into a Holiday Party which Dave and Julie hosted at their home. They prepared a smoked turkey and spiral cut ham and others brought a dish to pass. The evening was all about getting friends together, laughs, and good food. After dinner the election committee tallied the ballots and Will announced the new/continuing board of directors and the Member of the Year, Dave R. Then Will passed on his right as last year's Agitator of the Year to select the new Agitator of the Year, and put it to the vote of all present. Congratulations to Wayne B., enjoy the upgraded trophy/lamp. The evening was a fitting end to a busy MGWA year and we look forward to more fun in 2010.
2009-11-08 Ruby Tree Farm
It was coming together -- additional members at breakfast, they rode their bikes, the weather was exceptional -- let's make up the aborted Ruby Cider Mill run! So after breakfast off we went. A terrific ride brought us into the tree farm shortly after it opened. But once in the store we learned that the cider mill activity closed after last weekend so they can set up for the christmas tree activity. Well, it was still a good ride. But since we were in the area we decided to redirect our mission and ride to Vantage Point to get apple fritters. Ahhh, sweet success! We made the most of what might be the last club riding day of the season.
2009-10-18 Blake's Cider Mill Ride
It was a cider-mill-run kind of day! We had 5 bundled up souls saddle up for the scheduled ride to Ruby Cider Mill -- but along the route it was decided a closer-in cider mill (Blake's) would do just fine. The sun finally came out and took some of the bite out of the fall air. We enjoyed a walk around the grounds and the requisite cider and donuts. Afterward we also made a stop at the Armada flea market for a little shopping.
2009-09-27 Past Tense Cider Mill
The early fall air was just cool enough to make a cider mill run seasonally appropriate. After breakfast a group headed out to the Past Tense Cider Mill. Once there we walked through their a"maze"ing gift shop and it's "haunted rooms". It had changed enough to keep the interest of those of us who had been there before. We then headed to the pavillion with purchased donuts and cider (or other treats) to talk and listen to the music of a live country band. It was a fun day with great weather.
2009-09 Wagener Campout
We had near perfect weather for the Wagener campout. Some club members set up their camps Thursday evening. Others arrived throughout the day Friday. Once everyone was set up, we had a weenie roast to stave off any hunger and continued talking around the campfire well into the night. Saturday morning, after coffee around the fire, we rode into Harbor Beach for breakfast and to walk the town as it celebrated harvest festival and had a chili cook-off. We then rode on to Norman's Outfitter for a short shopping spree. We continued our ride around "the thumb" stopping in Port Austin for a craft show and to get ice cream. After that we headed back to camp to prepare the evening community BBQ. After a hardy meal we again relaxed around a campfire. Sunday morning brought on a camp flapjack breakfast and then the sad chore of breaking camp. It was a wonderful weekend with a nice mix of camping, eating, riding and generally sharing time with friends.
2009-07-12 Turkeyville Remembrance Ride
It seems Erv and Dick put in a good word for us again this year - - we had a beautiful day for the remembrance ride. We changed things up a little this year by taking the freeway to Turkeyville and the country roads on the way back. This made for lighter traffic though we still had to deal with some construction. At Turkeyville we shopped the Arts and Crafts Show and then had a nice lunch of various turkey dishes. It was a great day shared with friends and the thoughts of friends.
2009-07-04 Bruce & Joan's campout
The holiday weather was cooler than expected but it was still nice and rain-free. We had great at-camp meals, campfire sessions, ice cream rides, and scenic rides, We visited Traverse City, Mission Point Light House, Chris Chrome store, Mackinaw, and the Elk habitat in Gaylord. It was a busy weekend and very enjoyable. Thank you Bruce and Joan for another terrific event.
2009-06-21 Wilson's campout
Heavy rainstorms were forecasted but only a few showers were experienced on the way to, and at the Wilson campout. Saturday morning the group had breakfast in Mio, then rode to Hartwick Pines State Park where they joined in on the celebration of 90 years for the state park system. We walked thru the Old Growth Forest, and attended a dedication of a new statue honoring the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) after which free cake and ice cream was served. Then Saturday evening at camp the bbq 'banquet' was set up and enjoyed along with a roaring campfire. Sunday morning the group went back to the Ausable River Restaurant for breakfast and then stopped at Fairview to ride the 1/4-scale steam locomotive train. As you can see there was a lot of activities this weekend. A big thanks once again to Mike and Sandy for hosting this fun-filled event.
There was nothing scheduled but it was a day that called for an impromptu ride. A group left from breakfast taking the water route, stopping at Vantage Point. After a short break they continued on to Lexington. In Lexington there was a Civil War Encampment set up on the village green with reenactors in period clothing depicting what life was like then. It was a nice little ride with a some unusual entertainment to add to the interest.
MGWA members went to Lake George (Americade) for 1 week, some for 2 weeks, and some even longer. The week before Americade was rainy, but Americade week remarkably had no rain. The group attended the tour expo, experienced the street action, toured many scenic routes, and generally enjoyed the village, local restaurants, and camp life. There was one breakdown -- Wayne's bike had an alternator problem, which he and Bruce fixed at camp. All in all it was another enjoyable outing.
2009-05-10 Vantage Point
After breakfast we decided an impromptu ride was in order. We selected Vantage Point to view freighters and partake of apple fritters or other delectible treats. The ride itself felt more like a cider mill ride due to the brisk cool air but it was enjoyable non-the-less.
It was a good day for a Frankenmuth visit. Being early in the season, it wasn't crowded, making it nice for walking the old part of the city and the River Place shopping area. This year, instead of eating at one of the German restaurants in Frankenmuth, we saved our appetites for an early dinner at Gracie's Country Inn. The Gracie's on M-13 is now closed so we went to the one in downtown New Lothrop. After a full day of riding, walking, shopping, and a satisfying meal we headed back to town on an alternate set of country roads. Great route selection, Ron!
2009-04-26 MI Chrome Open House
Even with a questionable weather forecast of isolated thunderstorms the more optimistic of us still rode. The ride to Richmond was pleasant but cool. We spent a couple of hours at the open house shopping, eating, visiting, and enjoying the day as it warmed up. From there some went for rides and others went to Gibralter Trade Center where there was a bike blessing. At the blessing there were bands playing, more food, door prizes, and lots of bikes to check out. At the end we received an additional blessing--"that was holy water wasn't it?"--directly from the heavens as we rode away from Gibralter Trade Center.
2008-12-6 Holiday Party
The club had a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas gathering this year. The menu included a smoked turkey, spiral cut hams, and a variety of passed dishes provided by the attending members. The food was abundant and delicious. After dinner President Will reflected on the last year, thanked members and the board for their support, and announced the election results. The returning board members are Will (President), Frank (Vice-president), Wendi (Secretary), Julie (Treasurer), and our new Activiies Coordinator is Joan A. Dave was voted member of the year. Will then turned the floor over to Barb (our 2007 Agitator of the Year) so that in this time honored tradition she could name her own successor, 2008 Agitator of the Year . . . Will ! It was a fun evening capping off another year of MGWA activities -- now let's look forward to an even better 2009.
2008-10-19 Past Tense Cidermill
The group opted to return to Past Tense Cidermill. This time we had the crisp fall air that really made this feel like a cidermill run. We walked thru the stores and had the obligatory cider and donuts to complete the day. The calendar of planned rides is exhausted but let's hope we can squeeze in a couple of impromptu rides after Sunday breakfasts.
2008-10 Fall Color Tour
We couldn't have ordered up a more beautiful autumn weekend. The contrast of the vibrant colors against green pine trees was set off by a clear blue sky. We did rides of 140 miles on Saturday (Petosky, Tunnel of Trees, and Mackinaw City) and 165 miles (Traverse City and Gaylord) on Sunday. A big thanks to Bruce and Joan for again hosting this event.
2008-09-29 Past Tense Cidermill
We took an impromptu ride after Sunday breakfast to Past Tense Cidermill . The club has never been to this cidermill before and it proved to be a visually stimulating attraction. We toured their a"maze"ing gift shop (we got lost from each other) and haunted rooms. No visit to a cidermill is complete without cider and donuts so we stopped in the restaurant for a treat. We had a beautiful ride under mostly cloudy skies and mild weather. Perhaps the next ride, to the Parshallville Grist Mill, will have that fall crispness in the air to complete our cidermill lineup.
2008-09-21 Ruby Cidermill
It was an eclectic group of club members and friends that met for breakfast today. Afterward most went for the ride to Ruby Cider Mill. We took the fire engine ride around the farm and walked out to visit the animals before stopping in the pavillion for cider and donuts.
2008-09-13 Wagener Campout
Only about half of the campers made it to Wagener due to illness, jobs, or other life events. Also, it turned out to be a wet weekend so there was no riding involved. We did go to Norman's for some shopping, had our campfire each evening, and still enjoyed our campsite pot luck buffet. The dining canopy served it's purpose this year and saved the day--the weekend wasn't a washout but we did seek it's shelter on intermittent ocassions.
2008-07-04 4th of July Campout at Bruce & Joan's Cottage
It was a holiday weekend of great weather, great food, great rides, great friends, and a little bit of tomfoolery. The fun started during camp set-up when the early arrivals pre-positioned a tent for Dell and Evan. Once they arrived they actually got an "upgraded site" but the original site was worth a few laughs. Brian and Bruce also "punk'd" Dave and Julie. Brian placed a hunters "animal sounds" recording in the weeds by the campfire. He could start it and change the sounds with a remote control. The ruze continued when Dave & Julie turned in and Brian repositioned the speaker under their camper. The whole weekend was a lot of fun and couldn't have gone better. Many thanks to Bruce and Joan for their hospitality and excellent event coordination.
2008-06-29 Remembrance Run to Turkeyville
Despite the forecast and with some reservation our group left the meeting spot at Holiday Market to our planned breakfast stop where we figured we would make the final go/no-go decision. As it turned out the only real rain we got was while we were eating breakfast at the Big Boy in Plymouth (we figure a couple of dear friends put in a good word for us). We started getting sprinkles on our windshields as we approached the restaurant, and while we were inside eating we saw that it had started to rain. By the time we left the restaurant the rain had stopped so we decided to don our rain-gear and ride on to Turkeyville. The skies gradually got brighter and the roadway dried. At Turkeyville, we walked the grounds a bit, then went in for lunch. After we ate we passed around pictures of Erv and Dick as we recalled rides, trips, camping and other good times we shared with them. In this way they were on the ride with us and once again brought sunshine into our day.
2008-06-20 Wilson's Campout
We had a fun filled weekend at Mike and Sandy's campout. There were the campfire sessions, a varied day ride, sight-seeing, and the ever favorite camp BBQ. Thanks again Mike and Sandy for your hospitality
It may have been the best weather year for an Americade in recent memory, not too hot . . . only a couple of cold nights (needed jackets around the campfire), and we never got caught in the rain during a ride . . . not even to Lake Placid which has been our nemesis in years past. We were somewhat concerned that the week before the rally might prove to be boring since in previous years we had only been there during the excitement of the event, but Wayne and Dave actually found it quite enjoyable and relaxing.
2008-05-04 Bike Blessing
Club members got their rides blessed today. We first stopped at the North Shore Church for an inspirational message. Then on to Brandenburg Park for the blessing. This is the third year for the event and it is growing beyond expectations. They ran out of registration forms and they also had to get more food. But the objective of the ride was met and it was an enjoyable day among friends.
2008-04-27 Michigan Chrome Open House
MGWA officially started its' riding season with the annual ride to the MI Chrome Open House. There was a crispness to the air but the sun was shining. After a nice country ride we arrived at the store and shopped for necessities and/or nice-to-have items. Store owners Jim and Beth provided complimentary food and beverage. Frank H won a door prize of a pair of riding gloves. So the season is under way with much more to come.
2007-12 Adopted Christmas Family
As you know, Frank Harris proposed we do a more personal charity initiative this year and adopt a family sponsored by the Judson Center. I must report that the MGWA and its members embraced this whole heartedly and through their generosity are providing our adopted family with a real Christmas which they otherwise could not have had. Many members donated cash offerings which Julie parlayed into a wonderful assortment of gifts with her shopping skills, coupons and finding many sales. Most of the family's wish list was satisfied (except a high-end game and a couple of music/game CDs) plus some extra surprises and a gift card for Meijers which they can use for purchasing their Christmas meal groceries, fuel, or other needs. Thanks again for opening your hearts during this special time of the year.
2007-12-06 Christmas Party
Due to a multitude of circumstances we had a small gathering this year for the MGWA Christmas Party. The venue was very nice with a decorated room and Christmas music piped in thru the sound system. The food and service were great and there was plenty to eat. The ceremonial part of the party included the announcement of "Member of the Year" and the tongue-in-cheek award to the "Agitator of the Year". Congratulations to Will on being voted "Member of the Year". Then as the ceremony moved on to Wayne's awarding of the trophy to the "Agitator or the Year", the membership sat in quiet anticipation as Wayne started thru his "short list". When he stopped at Barb and placed the trophy in front of her there was a collective sigh of relief, then a resounding ovation. To our friends who could not make it this year, be assured you were there in spirit and MGWA wishes you a blessed holiday.
2007-10-06 Tunnel of Trees Color Tour
Our unseasonally warm fall presented less color than would be expected this time of year but the summer-like weather was nice for camping and riding. We had camp set up before dusk Friday. We then rode (in T-shirts) into town to top off the bikes gas tanks and get ice. After a late meal of chili and sausages at the campfire we were all set for the evening. Saturday dawned still warm but with the threat of some rain showers during the day. After a breakfast at camp we did end up riding on some wet roads but for the most part we managed to avoid the rains. The route Bruce chose was superb -- little traffic, great views, quaint towns, and curvey roads. We had lunch in Mackinaw City, did some souvenier shopping, then headed back to Vanderbilt. After a nature walk on the back 40, Bruce and Brian took their bows back to their deer blinds while Wayne and Dave started an early campfire and the girls went shopping in Gaylord and also brought back pizza. Saturday evening was a little cooler but the huge campfire still allowed us to sit around in shirt sleeves. Sunday morning started foggy and cool but quickly cleared as we had a leisurely morning of breakfast and breaking camp. It was a wonderful weekend -- many thanks to Bruce & Joan for their hospitality and flawless planning of a fun-filled intinerary.
2007-09-08 Sturgis Michigan Ride
Only a small group showed for this 7AM start time but they found it well worth it. We first went to Saline for breakfast, then continued on thru Irish Hills to Cement City for a stop at the all brands motorcycle dealership there. After checking out their expanded showroom we left for Sturgis Michigan. This weekend happened to be their 3-day rally for charity so there was a lot of excitement including a 1000 motorcycle parade. We made our prescribed visit to the leather shop without a single purchase other than bottled water. For a late lunch / early dinner we decided to go to Turkeyville for our meal. It was a very pleasant stop as it was not crowded this time. Thanks Steve, for another nice ride.
2007-08-26 Pt Peele Ride
We had perfect weather for the Pt Peele Run. And once we got thru Detroit we had really nice roads as well. We crossed the Ambassador Bridge about 10:30 and headed toward Pt Peele. The objective for lunch was Paulas Fish Place. It is a friendly place that attracts motorcyclists and has tasty fish meals; we even got to meet Paula. With appetites tamed we ventured along more country roads to our ferry crossing at Sombra into Marine City. It was an enjoyable day that was well organized. Thanks, Steve, for putting this ride together again.
2007-08 Yellowstone / Sturgis Trip
Jul28 - Aug11: MGWA went to Sturgis again this year with some independent side trips to Yellowstone, Tetons, Utah, North Dakota etc. All groups met at Sylvan Lake Resort in Custer State Park to do the club portion of the trip. From there they did day rides to Sturgis, Spearfish Canyon, the Wildlife Loop, Crazy Horse Mtn, Mt Rushmore and other destinations. Members enjoyed many restaurant and homemade (at cabins) meals together and had a campfire each evening. The time went all too fast but some are considering going back in a couple of years.
2007-07-20 State Rally
We had some members check out the GWRRA State Rally at its new location. It was a nicer environment than the Midland location and brought out an increase in attendence. The vendor participation was still lower than a number of years ago but maybe the increased attendance will entice more vendors out too. The area is great for day rides and you must go to the Northwood Wholesale Outlet in Pinconning, especially if you are a camper--even Dave enjoyed shopping there!
2007-07-04 MGWA 4th of July BBQ
Will hosted our MGWA 4th of July BBQ. Club members began arriving about 2 pm with a dish to pass and an appetite to share in the bountiful feast. Dining canopies were set up to ward off the forecasted rain and they apparently did just that as all we got was a few sprinkles early on. The clouds parted and the late afternoon was quite nice. With the food organized and the grillmaster, Will Jr, churning out burgers and sausages, folks got in line to dish up a hearty meal for themselves. The food was great and the visiting with friends even better. Although the event didnt involve any riding it was very much a success and all seemed to have a good time. Thanks Will for opening your home and yard to us.
In the days preceeding Americade the NY weather forecast was looking dismal. Although we did have some rain and cool weather, we didnt allow it to dampen our spirits. Fortunately we had dry weather for the ride over to Lake George and the return ride. Besides taking in the tour expo vendor show, we had group rides to the McDermott H-D open house, Lake Placid, a Vermont self-guided (or was that mis-guided) mini-tour, and a ride up Prospect Mountain. At various times we walked Canada Street in Lake George Village, shopping the gift shops, people watching, and taking in the activity of the bikes on the street. We gathered together for many group meals, some ice cream runs, and there was always an evening campfire session. It was a fun-filled vacation and the time went all too fast.
2007-04-29 MGWA attends the Michigan Chrome Shop Open House in Richmond
Yaaaaaa! It wasnt a polar run this year! The day dawned with clear blue skies and warm temperatures and only got better as the day wore on. The beautiful weather brought a good turnout to Sunday breakfast and the run to Michigan Chrome. A couple of groups left from the restaurant with Ron leading on a nice route, taking us by the house on Armada Center Road that "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition" built for a local family. We arrived at the shop and began shopping, checking out bikes, and partaking of the complimentary hot dogs and beverages. After spending under 2 hours at the Open House a couple of riding options opened up as one group went to a bike blessing and another went to Vantage Point to watch the freighters and other boat traffic on the river. Frank took the blessing group and Dave led the Vantage Point group with only one parking lot maneuver, but in his defense it was a beautiful parking lot :-) It was a great day and has everyone psyched for the new riding season.
2006-12 Christmas Wrap-up
This year’s Christmas Party was a nice dinner at Sajo’s Restaurant. Club members and friends started gathering about 6 PM in a private room at the back of the restaurant. After a bit of visiting and holiday cheer we settled in for a delicious catered meal. After the dinner President Mike called for attention and introduced the new board. He also announced the voting results for Member of the Year as Dave Rollins. Congratulations and thanks to all. At this time he turned the floor over to Barb for her presentation of the much anticipated ‘Agitator’ of the Year Award. Never quite sure what Barb might do, the membership waited with bated breath as she announced her selection, Wayne. If this was a medal instead of a trophy, Wayne would have recieved the ‘Agitator with 2nd oak leaf cluster’ (i.e. third award). With the official business of the evening complete the members returned to their coffee, visiting, and desserts provided by Barb, Wendi, and Julie. It was a lovely event to close out the 2006 season. Many thanks to Wayne and Wendi for coordinating this year’s party.
2006-08 The Big 5-Oh Bash
Just a little note to thank all of our M.G.W.A. friends for making the ( VERY HOT ) 50's Bash a blast. The food was AWESOME. The company was great & for those who couldn't make it, we missed you. Thank you again for everything. OH, there was one thing we didn't do that nite and I don't know how we overlooked it. We didn't have our bonfire !!! (go figure )
Until the next time
Sandy & Mike Foos
2006-01 MGWA Celebrates Christmas
MGWA members began gathering for this annual celebration about 6:00 PM at Bravo Italian Restaurant. We had a private room that was nicely decorated for the occasion. The evening began with a social hour to have drinks, talk and select a place at one of the tables. By about 7:00 all had arrived and the staff began setting out the family style dinner. As in years past, the food was delicious and abundant.
After dinner the ballots were opened and counted.Most of the 2005 Board is returning with some changes in positions. Mike Little is now president and Dick Voorhees is the Club Representative. The Member of the Year was Dick Voorhees. Thanks to all and Congratulations.
Next the "Agitator of the Year" selection was to be announced. Barb Rose got up with the trophy, began a very eloquent speech in which she surprised everyone when she awarded the ‘Agitator of the Year for 2005’ to . . . . herself ! She will continue to hold the title until next Christmas when she will award it.
The party slowly broke up as people wished each other a happy holiday and drifted off. It was a joyous ending to a busy year with much anticipation for the next riding season.
2005-01 MGWA Celebrates Christmas
MGWA members began gathering for this annual celebration about 6:30 PM at Bravo Italian Restaurant. We had a private room that was nicely decorated for the occasion. The evening began with a social hour to have drinks, talk and select a place at one of the tables. By about 7:30 all had arrived and the staff began setting out the family style dinner. As in years past, the food was delicious and abundant. Even the combined MGWA appetite could not finish all the food so, at the restaurants insistence, some dished up take out meals for the next days lunch or dinner.
After dinner the ballots were opened and counted. For their fine work the 2004 Board was unopposed and will continue to serve for 2005. The Member of the Year was Dick Voorhees and the Couple of the Year was Julie Jermanus & Dave Rollins. Thanks to all and Congratulations.
Next the "Agitator of the Year" selection was to be announced. Wayne Biroth got up with the trophy, began his speech and feigned a presentation to Dave Rollins but in actuality asked him to pass the trophy to the 2004 Agitator, Barb Rose. Barb "thanked" Wayne and accepted the trophy and title which she will now hold until next Christmas when she will award it.
The party slowly broke up as people wished each other a happy holiday and drifted off. It was a joyous ending to a busy year with much anticipation for the next riding season.
My thanks for everything you’ve all done for him & myself during his illness and sinse his passing. The plant that you sent was beautiful and hopefully I can keep it growing.
Thankyou also for the honor that you afforded us as ‘Honorary Members’.
I love you all,
(10/04) Tribute to Erv
by Barb Rose
We are your friends of M.G.W.A.
We have had a great time with Sunday rides!
It’s a beautiful thing to ride through the country -
A chance to get together and enjoy God’s fresh air!
Our trips have been fun when we traveled together,
The one I will remember the most is last year . .
We did the Circle Tour around Lake Superior,
For all those who were able to go, we had a great time!
I can’t imagine days of riding without you!
Why did this happen to one so dear?
God has his reasons they say!
A miracle is what we need, so we will continue to pray!
Shortly after Barb wrote this lovely tribute Erv lost his hard fought battle with leukemia. He will be sorely missed.
(09/04) Midland Ontario Weekend
A group of MGWAer’s went to Canada over the Labor Day weekend. There was a minor bike stalling problem at the Blue Water Bridge customs backup (idling too long with too many electrics on). A quick battery swap got the group going again. The rest of the ride to the Orillia Ont. Econolodge went very well with only a small detour around the weekends only rain squal—no rain gear needed! At the motel we tied in with Dick, who had gone to Canada earlier in the week for his vacation, and Evan, our Canadian friend. After settling in the group walked to a nearby restaurant to eat and catch up on each others travels.
The next day Evan led the group on some wonderful twisties, water routes and visits to the Big Chute Marine Railway and the town of Midland. It was about 160 miles of touring after which some shuttled over to the Casino Rama for dinner and to check out the local gaming.
Having put in a pretty full weekend, the group gathered Monday morning at the motel’s continental breakfast to pick a route for the trip home. Again we took all country roads, wending our way down to the Walpole Island ferry for a quick and unimpeded boarder crossing. We somehow had managed to avoid crowds and traffic the whole holiday weekend and had just a grand time of riding and enjoying time with friends. Thankyou to the Rose’s for putting this weekend together.
(08/04) Constitution and By-Laws Vote
The ballots for the Constitution and By-Laws Proposals were opened and counted at the July General Membership Meeting. All five (5) proposals passed by the 2/3rds majority vote required. The proposals again were:
Proposal 1. Change Activities Coordinators into a single position and change Area Representatives into a single position and re-title as “Club Representative”. Any person currently serving in an eliminated position will be allowed to complete their term if they so desire.
Proposal 2. Eliminate the board position of AMA Representative. Any person currently serving in an eliminated position will be allowed to complete their term if they so desire.
Proposal 3. Remove the requirement of a board member having to be an AMA member.
Proposal 4. In the event of dissolution of the club, change designation of distribution of assets from “City of Westland” to “a charity of the Board of Directors choosing”.
Proposal 5. Open membership (perhaps by redefining/repricing the affiliate category) to riders of other brands/models of motorcycles.
Copies of the revised Constitution and By-Laws will be available at the next General Membership Meeting or by contacting Dave Rollins. Thanks to the by-laws committee for their hard work in following the necessary steps to bring these important issues to a vote and thanks to the membership for carefully considering the proposals and submitting their ballots.
(07/04) MGWA Campout at Wilson's Cottage
Mike had the campfire blazing even as the first group arrived around 7:30pm Friday. MGWAer’s continued arriving throughout the evening after their breakout from the city. The campfires’ dancing flames soothed away the weeks’ jangled nerves as the storytelling and jokes went late into the night.
Despite the lateness of the previous evening all were anxious to go at 8am Saturday. The group went into Mio for breakfast to fortify themselves for a busy day. The first stop was at the Michigan Magazine Craft Show, which was set up in a pleasant green field at the edge of a woods, reminding one of a Renaissance Festival setting. Between our bikes and a group of 1930’s cars that also attended, we gave the patrons an impromptu Vehicle Show.
From the craft show, the MGWA group went to Hartwick Pines State Park, where we took in the "Loggers Museum" and the "Old Growth Forest". We also looped thru the campsites with some of us scoping out prospects for a future getaway.
We had just enough time left to make a quick grocery stop and catch the last ride on the Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad ¼ scale train thru the woods, over 2 trestles and thru a tunnel just outside Fairview. Although we thought this might be more of a kids ride, we were all impressed with the way this family run operation carried off the effect of a railroad depot from years gone by.
By now we had worked up quite an appetite, and were all ready for our campsite buffet. With all pitching in we were set up and having a feast in no time. After a long day of fresh air and then the big meal, we didn’t last as long at this evening's campfire! I think all were pleasantly exhausted.
It was as close to a perfect weekend as you could plan, and we heartily thank Mike and Sandy Wilson for hosting this fantastic event.
Considering the rainy spring the northeast has had this year, we lucked into some terrific weather. We only had about 3 hours of rain the whole week—of course, that was when we were at the furthest point from camp on a Lake Placid day ride.
This was the first year for the new convention center and I, for one, was under-whelmed. I thought the tour expo was more fun when all the vendors were in one place, at million dollar beach.
As usual our group took a little sampling of what the area has to offer. Early in the week we went to the Gaslight Restaurant, with its’ log cabin lodge ambiance, for a delicious dinner (except for the “chocolate mousse”). We got in a number of day rides in the scenic Adirondack Mtns, took walks into quaint Lake George Village and sat out on Main St. watching the endless flow of motorcycles in and out of town. We also successfully shopped the vendors with everyone making their planned (and some unplanned) purchases. The week went much too fast but we’re looking forward to future Americades.
(06/04) Diary of the Natchez Trace Vacation
by Mike Wilson
· Day 1, Saturday, May22 - leave at 9AM, met Dick V at McDonalds at 9 Mile & I-75, Speedo 48518, stop in Bowling Green OH, gas $1.99/gal, Dick bought M&M’s (diet, of course), stop in Tip City OH, gas $2.13/gal, speedo 48741, lunch at Burger King, 15 min. butt break at rest area in Kentucky, both had ice cream, gas stop at Buckner KY $1.92/gal, spend night at Days Inn Bowling Green KY, speedo 49026 (1st day mlg 508)
· Day 2, Sunday - breakfast at Waffle House, gas at shell $1.98/gal, on road 9AM, stop at TN Memorial Cemetery, on the Natchez Trace Pkwy 11AM TN into AL into MS, gas stop $1,89/gal, speedo 49265, Days Inn Tupalo MS (day 2 mlg 193)
· Day 3, Monday - breakfast at Shoney’s all you can stand buffet, check bikes, on road 9:30AM, gas stop $1.89/gal, end of Trace 5:35PM YEA!, Days Inn Natchez MS, cat fish dinner at Sandbar Restarant in LA on Mississipi River, speedo 49618 (mlg 353)
· Day 4, Tuesday - on road 9:30AM, gas $1.95/gal, stop at Vicksburg National Monument, stop at Coca Cola Museum, end at Days Inn Greenville MS, speedo 49852
· Day 5, Wednesday - breakfast at Shoney’s, tried to have Dick arrested by food police but they said they ate too much too!, on road 9AM, gas at Greenwood MS $1.92/gal, butt rest at Starkville MS, good chicken lips 12noon, Dick killed a bird, gas stop in AL $1.91/gal, gas at Fort Payne AL $1.95/gal, speedo 50224, stay at Days Inn, dinner at Ruby Tuesday, Dick fell in love with Ashley (17 yrs old)
· Day 6, Thursday - breakfast at Waffle House, on road 8:35AM, gas in TN $1.98/gal, lunch at Huddel House in Haysville NC, turn around, Dick missed turn by 15 miles, Green Valley Motel in Pigeon Forge TN, speedo 50497
. Day 7, Friday - RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, breakfast at pancake house, on road 9:15AM, gas at Pigeon Forge $1.89/gal, gas at Richmond KY $1.99, gas at Cincinnati OH $1.89/gal, gas at Bowling Green OH $1.94/gal, HOME 10:15PM, speedo 51074, Total Mlg 2556, $123.50 in fuel, 41.6 average miles/gal
(01/04) Proper Ride Height
To check and see if you are in fact at the correct suspension level and pressure, I have listed below the
procedure from one of the GWRRA Tech talks I listened to:
01. Place bike on the center stand.
02. Remove the left saddlebag.
03. Measure total distance at full extension of the suspension. Now measure from the axle bolt to some place (for reference later) and mark/note it somehow.
04. Now remove all the air pressure in the suspension.
05. Remove the bike from the centerstand now and get on the bike. Now measure the distance again to the reference mark from axle bolt. (it should be shorter)
06. To obtain the correct height/pressure, add air to system until your measurement from the axle bolt is 1” (one inch) less than the full extension length when it was on the centerstand.
07. Write down the air pressure stated on your gauge. That is now the correct pressure for you riding single. Do steps 1 thru 6 to obtain the correct pressure for riding two (2) up if needed.
08. Reinstall your left saddlebag.
A shorter version for 2 up riding is to add 10 pounds of air pressure for every 50 pounds of second rider.
Also use the shorter version here if you are pulling a trailer. Add 10 pounds of air pressure for every 50 pounds of trailer tongue weight.
(12/03) By-Laws Committee
At the November General Membership meeting we requested volunteers for the By-Laws Committee.
The following members have volunteered:
· Wayne Biroth
· Denzil Burton
· Will Jenkins
· Erv Manley
· Dave Rollins
This is a standing committee that would be called upon to craft the language for any petitioned changes to the MGWA Constitution or By-Laws.
(12/03) MGWA Celebrates Christmas
MGWA members gathered at the Bravo! Italian restaurant on Saturday, December 6th, to celebrate an early Christmas. We again had the banquet room, which was decorated for the festive occasion. Members and friends arrived throughout the social hour and visited until dinner was served. Then things quieted down as we got down to the serious business of eating! Judging by the comments, all were quite pleased with the quality and quantity of the food. After dessert, President Dick called for our attention. He thanked the outgoing board for their work this past year and then presented the voting results.
The 2004 Board of Directors is as follows:
President - Dick Voorhees
Vice-President - Mike Little
Secretary - Wendi Biroth
Treasurer - Julie Jemanus
Area Representative-East - Ron Rose
Activities Coordinator-East - Sandy Foos
Area Representative-West - Steve Ickes
AMA Representative - Mike Wilson
The vote for Member of the Year was tied between Dick Voorhees and Dave Rollins. The Couple of the Year was Dave Rollins & Julie Jermanus. Congratulations one and all.
Then the highly anticipated “Agitator of the Year” award was announced. Dick Voorhees, himself the reigning “Agitator” for his performance in 2002 made his selection for successor to the title. With great fanfare he called up Wayne Biroth (veteran 2001 “Agitator”) to receive the trophy. Believing Wayne deserves special recognition, Dick also purchased an "Agitator of the Year" flag, a flag pole with a small agitator on the top in place of the eagle and a patch for Wayne's club jacket. A "Wife of the Agitator of the Year" patch was presented to Wendi to wear on her club jacket. It was a momentous ceremony. Congratulations Wayne!
With the business out of the way, the restaurant owner stopped by to thank us and invite us to consider a summertime BBQ at the restaurant after one of our activites in June or July. Watch for this in the MGWA Activities Calendar.
The Christmas Party was a resounding success and was enjoyed by all.
(08/03) Sturgis and Lake Superior Tours Wrap-up
By all reports the Sturgis trip and the Lake Superior Circle Tour were both a tremendous success.
Those on the Sturgis trip left Saturday July 26th taking 3 and a half days to reach the Black Hills. They used freeways to Nebraska and then started using country roads. They based their Sturgis/Black Hills riding out of cabins at Sylvan Lake Resort in Custer State Park, doing day trips to Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon and more. The return trip was via the Upper Peninsula.
The Lake Superior group started their trip on Saturday, August 2nd. They reached Munising the first night and began their clockwise navigating of Lake Superior from there. This scenic route included quaint towns, waterfalls and visits to light houses. Their trip also returned thru the Upper Peninsula stopping in St Ignace Friday night where they tied in with the Sturgis people for the Saturday ride home to Detroit.
All participants had a wonderful time and great riding. Pictures and stories are being shared at Sunday breakfasts.
(07/03) MGWA Campout Enjoyed Picture Perfect Weekend
Small groups arrived throughout the day and into the late evening on Friday, June 20, as Mike’s property became a “tent city”. Even the long trip didn’t detract from the late evening socializing around the campfire as most of the group sat out past midnight. Saturday started slowly with 2 shifts riding into town for breakfast. Once fed, though, the groups were ready for their day ride, with Mike Wilson taking the lead. The 230 mile loop left the group with a hearty appetite for the evening BBQ. The ladies again put on a campsite banquet that rivals our Christmas parties. Great food and lots of it! With full stomachs and another session around the campfire, folks started trailing off to their sleeping bags. Sunday morning we had coffee around the campfire and started breaking camp. Groups organized for their trips back to town.
MGWA thanks Mike Wilson for his hospitality and for hosting a very enjoyable weekend.
(6/03) Americade Report
Weather reports aside, 2 groups of MGWAer’s left for Americade and had reasonably good luck staying clear of the rains. Ask Frank, Diana and Danny about getting split up by taking different exits and how they found each other again. At Lake George, Julie and Jim set the tone for the week with some version of tag-team shopping. Walking main street, shopping the trade show and relaxing at camp filled the time between rides. It was the second largest Americade and all had a great time.
At the November General Membership Meeting Jim Napper was voted into Honorary membership.
Jim has been with MGWA since shortly after it was established. He has served on the Board of Directors, Chaired or served on committees for many of our charity events, served on the road rules committee and on the Constitution and By-Laws committee and has actively participated in club functions throughout his years with MGWA. Congratulations Jim.
(12/02) MGWA Christmas Party
MGWA celebrated the holidays at their annual Christmas party at the BRAVO! Italian Restaurant on Dec 8th. Members began arriving for a social hour at 5:30. We had a festively decorated private room and dedicated waitresses to accommodate us. After about an hour of mingling and pleasantries, growling stomachs signaled that we were ready to eat. The spread the chef put on for us was delicious and abundant. Even this group of bikers had to cry "uncle" and quit before all the food was gone!
After dinner the new Board of Directors was introduced. For 2003 our board will be
President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dick Voorhees
Vice-President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wayne Biroth
Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wendi Biroth
Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Julie Jermanus
Area-Representative, West . . . . Steve Ickes
Activities Coordinator, East . . . . Sandy Foos
Area Representative, East . . . . . Mike Little
AMA Representative . . . . . . . . . Mike Foos
Then Mike Foos announced the Couple of the Year and Member of the Year. There was a tie for Couple of the Year so the honor will be shared by Wayne & Wendi Biroth and Dave Rollins & Julie Jermanus. The member of the year for 2002 is Dave Rollins. Congratulations to one and all.
Following that, Mike turned the floor over to Wayne, the reigning "Agitator of the Year for 2001". A long-standing tradition in MGWA has been for the outgoing Agitator to select his successor, a person aspiring to the standards set by past holders. With much fanfare and anticipation Wayne uncloaked the beautiful black and chrome regal trophy (i.e. he took the reworked washing machine agitator out of the garbage bag). As the room sat quite with bated breath, Wayne presented the dubious distinction to . . . Dick Voorhees. Well done Dick, according to Wayne it was a hotly contested race!
With the ceremonies completed, the group returned to their visiting and merriment until the party slowly began breaking up. Many thanks to Dick Voorhees for arranging a delightful evening.
(10/02) AMA Position on Excessive Motorcycle Noise: AKA: "Loud Pipes Risk Rights"
The American Motorcyclist Association, established in 1924, has maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle noise throughout its history. It has funded information and public relations campaigns in support of quiet motorcycle use and was the first motorsports sanctioning body in the world to regulate and reduce the sound level of racing vehicles.
The Association believes that few other factors contribute more to misunderstanding and prejudice against the motorcycling community than excessively noisy motorcycles. A minority, riding loud motorcycles, may leave the impression that all motorcycles are loud. In fact, a significant percentage of the public does not realize that motorcycles are built to federally mandated noise control standards.
Each segment of the motorcycling community - including the riders, event organizers, retailers and distributors, original equipment and aftermarket manufactures, law enforcement and the safety community - must realize that it cannot single-handedly solve this problem. However, each has a role and a responsibility in achieving a solution.
Shifting blame and failing to adopt responsible policies on a voluntary basis con only result in greater prejudice and discrimination against motorcycling. The consequences of continuing to ignore this issue will likely result in excessively rigorous state and federal standards, more expensive and less attractive motorcycles, the reduction of choices in aftermarket products, abusive enforcement of current laws and
other solutions undesirable to riders and the motorcycles industry.
Based on its opposition to excessive motorcycle noise, the American Motorcyclist Association recommends the following:
All motorcyclists should be sensitive to community standards and respect the rights of fellow citizens to enjoy a peaceful environment.
Motorcyclists should not modify exhaust systems in a way that will increase sound to an offensive level.
Organizers of motorcycle events should take steps through advertising, peer pressure and enforcement to make excessively loud motorcycles unwelcome.
Motorcycle retailers should discourage the installation and use of excessively loud replacement exhaust systems.
The motorcycle industry, including aftermarket suppliers of replacement exhaust systems, should adopt responsible product design and marketing policies aimed at limiting the cumulative impact of excessive motorcycle noise.
Manufacturers producing motorcycles to appropriate federal standards should continue to educate their dealers and customers that louder exhaust systems do not necessarily improve the performance of a motorcycle.
Law enforcement agencies should fairly and consistently enforce appropriate laws and ordinances against excessive vehicle noise.
The motorcycle industry and the safety community should educate customers that excessive noise may be fatiguing to riders, making them less able to enjoy riding and less able to exercise good riding skills.
by Will Jenkins
In my opinion, the AMA is way off on their approach to what is admittedly a problem in the motorcycle industry. All of us have heard the "loud" Harleys ride by. This is not a Harley only problem. It just happens that more Harleys are being modified than any other brand. Exhaust systems are being sold and or modified for every brand of bike being sold whose sole purpose is to make noise. None of these bikes come off the showroom floor that way.
This is a consumer problem. Even if straight pipes were not available, users will find a way to remove baffles, drill out their mufflers, etc.
There are existing laws that are intended to control noise levels. Many of you have read that many cities are now enforcing these laws. They are enforcing these laws against 4-wheeler sound systems! These same laws should apply to cars, truck, motorcycles, or any other motorized vehicle.
In the AMA's own recommendations, they talk about "offensive level". Whose definition of "offensive level"? Mine? Yours? The guy with the loud pipes?
The AMA also suggests that Organizers of motorcycle events should make motorcycles with loud exhaust systems unwanted. They also suggest that motorcycle retailers should discourage the installation and use of loud exhaust systems. Not going to happen for one simple reason: M-O-N-E-Y. Does the AMA really expect a dealer or retailer to discontinue the sales of modified exhaust systems?
The AMA also suggests that the riders of "non-offensive" bikes use peer pressure to get these other riders to change their exhaust system. Yeah, I can see that happening.
There are existing laws. They should be enforced. It is not a Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, BMW, or any other brand problem. It is an end-user problem. If current laws were enforced, the problem of "offensive" exhaust systems would be eliminated.
The AMA also states that the organization has fought motorcycle bans in St. Louis, Detroit, Brockton, MA, and Sringfield, IL. They say the foundation for each was tied to excessive noise.
In my opinion, if the AMA were protecting my right to ride, they would stay out of this. The AMA should be educating these cities as to how to enforce their current noise laws and/or make sure that laws are not passed that set different levels for motorcycles than cars or trucks.
The AMA's only stand should have been to say: All motorized vehicles should adhere to local laws concerning noise levels.
(10/02) Canadian Campout
Despite the forecasts that remnants of Hurricane Lili would make their way to Michigan by the weekend, MGWAer’s migrated up to the Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario Friday Oct 4. Rains and winds did make things a little uncomfortable Friday night but Lili moved on before dawn Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend was superb for a fall campout.
On Saturday small groups did their own thing whether it was site-seeing, shopping or just kicking back for the day. Then, in the afternoon the ladies all pitched in and put on a veritable campsite banquet.
We’ve been having some great camping meals, but this time they out-did themselves. It was all we could do to move from the picnic tables to the campfire for the evening socializing and storytelling. Barb took a turn at livening up the campfire conversation with Wayne “the agitator’s” help. Her innocent statements would bring laughter as Wayne twisted them to new meanings. The campfire entertainment also included a successful attempt at making colorful flames. By using an old campers technique of putting a drilled copper pipe with plastic tubing inside into the campfire, it was burning in flames of blue, green, pink, yellow, etc. What we won’t do to amuse outselves. . . The evening wrapped up a little earlier than usual as people were fooled by the early onset of darkness, droppy-eyed from the big meal, and exhausted from dealing with the previous night’s storm.
(09/02) Ride for Kids
MGWA again supported the Ride for Kids at Domino Farms on August 25th. A contingent of the club met at the Holiday Market in Royal Oak and rode to the Novi Denny’s for breakfast. After eating they tied in with Steve Ickes and his group for the ride to Domino Farms. Steve led the group of 10 bikes on a very nice, low traffic route to the event. We had great weather this year.
(08/02) MGWA Attends Michigan State Rally
Ten MGWA members went to this years’ State Rally. Most of them stayed on the grounds making a camping outing of it. They all tip their hats to Dick V who, prior to this outing, defined “roughing it” as staying at a Holiday Inn without an attached restaurant. Now that his Bunkhouse camping trailer has made its’ maiden voyage, we expect to see him at more club campouts.
Dave R, determined to take the group to a good restaurant Friday night, led them some 60+ miles. They went by corn fields, open land, forest and more corn fields before arriving at civilization and locating a restaurant. All participants agreed the food at this restaurant was delicious and worth the wait. An added bonus was that the waitress was able to tell them a short cut back to the rally grounds—5 miles!!?!!
Sandy F got her ration of teasing as well. She was first gifted with a name badge to wear at the rally—the significance of the name being on the badge twice, one right side up and one upside down, may be lost to anyone that was not at the July General Membership meeting—but ask her anyway. At the rally some unnamed person arranged for Sandy to be arrested and paraded around in a portable jail. She was eventually “bailed” out with the bail money going to charity.
All-in-all everyone had a good time and most were successful in finding new trinkets or souvenirs to purchase.
(08/02) Wing Ding Report
Dick Voorhees and I went to GWRRA's Wing Ding this year. It was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana July 2nd through July 5th. We stayed in a little town called Markle about 25 miles south of Fort Wayne.
Neither Dick nor I had attended a Wing Ding event before, so we thought it would be quite interesting. I was looking forward to attending as I had a couple of 'Boogie Lights' on my bike that needed repair. Dick wanted to get some driving lights.
We arrived at our hotel late Tuesday and it was hot! Temperatures were running in the 90's that week and higher! We asked the young lady working at the registration desk if she could recommend a good restaurant. She sent us off to 'Davis Family Restaurant' in Markle. This place was great. This is one of those small town restaurants we all look so hard for. I don't think they had 2 plates the same. Forks, knives, and spoons were all different. We ended up eating at this place 3 of the 4 days we were there (they were closed on July 4th). Breakfast was $2.99 for eggs, potatoes, and meat. I think coffee was $ .60 per cup. For dinner, we asked the waitress what was good that day and had what she recommended. She was right every day.
We headed to Fort Wayne on Wednesday and got there a little after 9:00 in the morning. We checked in and tried to figure out where the vendors were that we wanted to see. Both Dick and I were fortunate. We both were able to get appointments to have our bikes worked on that day. Both appointments were in the afternoon so we spent the whole day.
To waste some time, we decided to walk around the vendor area. The event was held in the "Colosseum" which is similar to Cobo Hall. It was air-conditioned and they had vendors in 2 different areas. One hall contained almost all of the vendors who were doing installations, painting, etching or tires. The other hall contained all kinds of vendors. Most were motorcycle related but a few were not. You could have a massage, buy a hot tub, or whatever. We spent a few bucks (Dick spent more than I did) and we pretty much were done looking when we had to bring our bikes in to get worked on.
All bikes there, getting worked on, were given slips from the vendors, which were presented to Security at the door. You were not able to bring your bike in until 15 minutes before your scheduled time. I got lucky and got my bike in the 'Boogie Light' vendor area 1/2 hour early. Mine was done in an hour and Dick was scheduled to have his bike worked on soon after.
Unfortunately, Tulsa Enterprises, which is where Dick was having his bike worked on, were running an hour late. They had one of those guys ahead of Dick whom we all just love to be around. They put 3 windshields on his bike before he was happy. First he said one was scratched. Then he wanted a vent.
Then he wanted a clear vent instead of a tinted one. He was a real piece of work!
We finally got out about 6:30 pm. The parking lot was virtually empty!
Thursday, July 4th, we decided to do one of the rides the GWRRA had planned for the attendees. We both decided we were going to ride without helmets for the day as we were going to be traveling 2 lane highways all day. We started out stopping at Bob Evans for breakfast and off we went.
We visited a dam (not very interesting) and headed for the next stop which was Decauter. In Decauter we stopped at "Arnold's Drive In". This is a place that was intended to be a replica of the Arnold's in "Happy Days" with one exception: they had car hop girls on roller skates. We had something to drink, talked to other Wingers, and took a couple of pictures. One of the car hops loved Dick's black Wing!
Off we went. Our new destination was the Amish country. I tried to lead but kept missing the turns. Some of the road signs in Indiana are awful hard to see (particularly if your not paying attention to where you're going!). We stopped at an Amish restaurant and had something to drink and some 'diet' pie. It was perfect!
It was time to head back to the hotel. Temperatures were running awful high. At one point, Dick had a reading on his meter of 101 degrees! At 55 mph! Dick almost introduced himself to a rather large dog along the way.
Friday, we decided to go back to Wing Ding and go through the vendors again, just is case we missed something the first time. Again we spent a few bucks (Dick spent more than I did) and decided to call it quits about noon. Again we traveled without helmets. Dick was starting to like this!
Every night, we watched the local news broadcast. This was a big happening for this community. The people we talked to told us the locals were worried about all of these 'bikers' coming to their town.
The report we listened to said there were 13,000 people in attendance. I don't know if that was bikes or people but it was also reported to be the largest attendance for a Wing Ding event. GWRRA also supported a blood drive and over 100 pints of blood were donated for the community.
I think the best thing about attending was the way we were treated by all of the people in Fort Wayne, Markle, and every other placed we stopped at in Indiana. Every restaurant employee, hotel employee, gas station employee, or just other people we talked to were just fantastic. I would not hesitate to attend another Wing Ding or just visit Indiana again. Their roads were just perfect!
We came home on Saturday and again started out not wearing helmets. When we got to Pioneer, Ohio, we stopped at Hudson Leather. We spent a few buck (I spent more than Dick did) and knew we now had to put our helmets back on. The first thing Dick said over his CB? "Wearing helmets suck!". I think I may have converted him!
(06/02) "Blessed in Hell"
by Debby Jenkins
What a cold day in hell it was! Hell, Michigan that is.
We five brave souls-Mike & Sandy Foos, Steve Ickes, Will & I braved the insane Michigan weather on Sunday to have some fun in Hell. However, Steve was in his car since he broke his collarbone on a crotch rocket! (Serves you right Steve!)
At our destination, we were part of a young couples wedding. I must share the brides ensemble: blue jeans, black leather chaps, black leather vest, black leather jacket, white veil and a bouquet. (And Sandy & I thought we were cold! HA!) After sealing their vows with a kiss, special dance and throwing the bouquet-it was the "attendees" turn.
The chaplain read a special prayer and gave his blessing to the bikers and their bikes. Everyone went on their way to do whatever they wanted (they did have a poker run). We five brave souls headed to McDonald's for hot chocolate and hot coffee and home!
It was a great ride. The sun was shining, it didn't rain and the temperature did go up (at least Mike and Will tried to convince me of that). Thanks Mike, Sandy and Steve for the fun company. Special thanks to my hubby for all the warm goodies and trying to block some of the cold wind. We are blessed!!
(01/02) Small World
For their holiday vacation Julie and Dave trailered their motorcycle to Florida. They base-camped at a campground/resort in Naples and did a 3-day tour through the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
At the Naples resort they were camped near a fellow they soon recognized as a former MGWA member, Chuck Harvey. Chuck was a member in the late 1980’s and is actually pictured in one of the group shots (MGWA Fun Run) in the historical section of the web site album. He was amazed at the coincidence of this chance meeting as were Julie and Dave. Chuck winters in Florida and travels during the warmer months. He now rides a very tricked out Sportster.
(11/01) BiketoberFest Report
Yep, it was a lot of fun. Fran, Patti and I, and Don Montgomery stayed at Fran and Don's place that they purchased in Orange City, Florida. It is pretty rough riding every day in 80-degree weather seeing as many of the beautiful sights as we could in the short time we were there. For example, one day we went to St. Augustine, the oldest city in America. We took a train ride that took us through town and side streets and viewed all the wondrous sights that our guide and driver told us about. Yes it was terrible. On the third day we went airboat riding. Don Montgomery says, "I have to get me one of these!" Wow that was fun cruising around across the grass and water. The driver was very nice to us. We stopped and chatted for a while and on the way back in we stopped to see a 'gator. Fran actually got to hold a small one. I guess the high point of the ride was when we went between two trees with just enough room to get through at 50 mph. If you go down in March for Bike week you have to take one of these rides. We rode to Daytona a couple of days too. That was where the action was. One comment was made, "Those Harley riders sure know how to dress the women!" No, Patti, it wasn't me. It was exciting to say the least. Did I say Daytona was where the action was? Well, I have to mention a place called The Cabbage Patch. Oh yea, it is simply a field where a farmer grows cabbage in the summer and motorcycles in October. It is a huge playground for bike riders from all over the country during BiketoberFest. Now that was where the action was. All considered, it was awful and we can't wait to go back to Florida in March to have another awful time for bike week. It doesn't get much better.
Donnie Hightower, V-P
(08/01) Honda Homecoming
On Saturday, July 28th, a group of MGWAers rode down to Marysville Ohio for the Honda Homecoming. To avoid the worst of the freeway closings, we headed west to M-23 and took that south to pick up I-75 below Toledo. Exiting in Findlay, we stopped for breakfast at an interesting 50’s Dinner styled Denny’s. Though the design was quaint, it proved to be a sound reverberation chamber because of all the metal structure.
A few more miles on the freeway, then it was time to take the country roads the rest of the way to the plant. The group toured the plant, then wandered the parking lot to check out the machines that rode in for the event. There we ran into Erv and Nita who were in the middle of their two week vacation making the homecoming one of their stops. They lead the group over to Bellefontaine where some of the vendors were set up. After a bit of shopping we again saddled up for the trip home, pulling out of town just before the predicted showers moved into the area.
On the return trip we made one last stop at the new Cabela’s outfitter store in Dundee. We discovered that they had a Deli, so we made that our dinner stop. They make sandwiches from a selection of exotic game meats (ostrich burger, anyone!). After eating we briefly checked out the store with its cliff faces, waterfall, stuffed animals, live fish tank and of course great selection of outdoor gear and clothing. We all agreed that it would make a great destination for a future ride.
We rolled back into the metro area about dusk. It was a fullfilling day with a nice variety of riding, shopping, eating and visiting with friends.
(06/01) 2001 Americade Odyssey
Although this trip was planned for a year, personal circumstance required some members to cancel. The rest of us faced a very ugly week-long forecast of rain for the entire northeast. That had us scrambling the last evening before departure modifying our plans. But depart we did, early Saturday morning. As luck would have it, we only had 45 minutes of rain on Saturday and about an hour and a half of showers on Sunday. Despite all the doom and gloom of the forecast, we had a beautiful week of weather in Lake George and on our return trip.
Once at Lake George, everyone pretty much had their own itinerary but we often gathered for meals and of course the evening campfire. Between the various members we covered activities from the rally schedule such as a dinner cruise, drill team, vendor shopping, test rides and of course main street . . . to self-guided activities such as light house touring, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory, Vermont Teddy Bear factory, Fort Ticonderoga, Lake Placid and others. So, in addition to the break we got on the weather, we can truly say “we made the most of it”.
(05/01) Season's First Club Ride
Lorne's Open House
Following the General Membership Meeting last month, the group left on the first scheduled club ride of the season. The destination was Lorne’s in Richmond to attend the open house. The day started with a slight chill in the air but, unlike last year, it warmed up during the ride. We, of course, took the round about way exploring country roads as we meandered in the general direction of Lorne’s.
We arrived mid-day ready to shop, eat hot dogs and visit with old friends who often show up at the various events in this small world of motorcycling. There were a couple of fine examples of the new GL1800 parked in front of the store. Their owners were starting the long and expensive process of personalizing their new pride and joy.
As we stood around outside the store, visiting and watching bikes come and go, the winds began picking up. With ominous skies forming on the western horizon MGWAers began saddling up and heading out, this time in more direct routes, towards their homes.
All in all, it was a mighty fine day, giving everyone renewed anticipation for the new riding season. Let’s make the most of it.
The MGWA has voted Marlene Brafford to be an honorary member. Marlene is a long time member of the club who has opened her home to many club activities over the years. She has gratiously hosted chrome parties, barbeques, New Years parties, swap meets, board meetings and even a club member’s wedding.
At the February General Membership meeting the club voted to make Frank Brafford an Honorary Life-time Member. Frank has been around since the founding of the club, has served in many committee and board positions including President. He has been instrumental in recruiting and involved in many charity events over the years. We look forward to his continued involvement in the MGWA. Congratulations, Frank.
(03/01) MGWA Supports Metro Powersports Open House
With real short notice, and quite a few members heading down to Daytona Beach, many of our
members responded positively to the call to support Metro Power Sports' open house on March 3 & 4.
Metro Power Sports had invited the MGWA to be part of their open house and had cleared an area in
the showroom for us to set up a table and some chairs. Buddy, Metro's General Manager and John
Rasmussen, Sales Manager welcomed our participation and some of the salespersons sent prospective members over to our table.
With Valkyries on the right and Gold Wings on the left we setup our command post with flyers for
our Charity Run and MGWA membership forms. We were furnished with GoldWing and Valkyrie
brochures that helped prospective buyers see our flyers and talk about Gold Wings, Valk's and touring in general. Flyers were handed out and placed in the parts dept and sales areas, and membership applications were taken by some, hope we can get a few to sign up.
Both days provided good weather, sunny and dry. In fact a few brave members rode their bikes to the
open house. Standing inside the showroom with the sun shining on me through the window, I felt bad that I didn't ride my Wing. However, stepping outside reminded me that it was only 40 some degrees and COLD. Metro Power Sports did have a new 2001, 1800 GoldWing available for test rides for those who were dressed for the cold or are naturally numb butts and the reports from those who took the test rides were favorable, just ask Erv Manley.
Overall I believe we were successful in promoting the MGWA and making Metro Power Sports and
the public aware of us and our Charity Run.
My thanks to those members who did show up with MGWA jackets, shirts and such, I think it had a
good impression on both the customers coming into the showroom, as well as making the sales staff aware of our Association and members.
The following members came out to promote the MGWA and support Metro Power Sports open
house: Dan Ali, Chuck Berry, Wayne & Wendy Biroth and sons, Donnie & Patti Hightower and group
from Sunday's breakfast, Erv Manley, Joe Medrano, and Ron Rose and a special thanks who names escape me at this writing.
(01/01) An Open Letter
Why I'm a member of the Michigan Gold Wing Association
If you are like me, you belong to several different clubs or organizations. Some are related to work, hobby, computer, or recreation. AMA, GWRRA, GWTA, Lions, VFW, Eagles, UAW, or MGWA. The list is endless.
Regardless of the club or organization, when it's my choice, I try to look at what do "I" get out of being a member.
About 10 years ago, I got the motorcycle bug bad and bought a '77 Wing. It had been several years since I had ridden but I knew it was time to ride again. I didn't ride too much for a couple of years. Kids were still small. I didn't know anything of the clubs that existed. One day Debby and I went to Gibralter Trade Center in Mt Clemens. There was a guy selling Wing accessories. On his table were some pamphlets for the Michigan Gold Wing Association. I took one, filled it out, and sent it in. A couple of weeks later, Joe Hill called me, and we talked for about 30 minutes. I really don't remember the conversation, but when I got off the phone, I told Debby, "We're joining". We've been members ever since. In the beginning, our kids were still young and we couldn't ride that often but we rode when we could. Kids have grown up and now we ride as often as we can.
As I became more familiar with the other members, and other clubs, I realized what a unique organization the Michigan Gold Wing Association really is. Other than owning a Wing, no requirements. No pressure. Do what you want to when you want to. Freedom is a wonderful thing. Are the other clubs like us? You and I know they're aren't. Do you know of a club that has a better-looking jacket or other apparel than we do? I sure don't.
The best thing about this club: the people I have met and rode with. I've seen members come and go, but the core of the club has remained. Some of these people, in various ways, have left a mark on my life. What can I say about Charlie Brown? Terrible navigator but a heart of gold. Joe Hill? Made me feel welcome and wanted. Joe Medrano (Mr. Enthusiasm), Fran Hardin (Mr. T-Shirt), Frank Brafford (being himself), Dave Rollins (Mr. Laid-Back), and so many others.
These friendships and acquaintances I have made along the way are part of the reason why I continue to be a member. The other part is the joy of riding. Debby and I have thoroughly enjoyed the many rides with you we have gone on. Honda HomeComing, Silver Eagle, Lorne's, Birch Run, Hudson Leather, Charlie Brown's cookout, and especially our support of Penrickton Center for the Blind. I look forward to continuing these friendships and acquaintances as well as meeting new friends and acquaintances in the years to come.
I am very proud to be a member of the Michigan Gold Wing Association. I take great pride in flying the Michigan Gold Wing Association flag on my bike as well as wearing my jacket or other apparel. To me, there is no other club or organization better than the Michigan Gold Wing Association.
(12/00) MGWA Celebrates Christmas
On December 10th, MGWAer's arrived at the Steak and Ale with gifts in hand for a children's charity and for the Huron Valley Humane Society. We had the loft room reserved for our private party. It was a very cozy and festive atmosphere. After some socializing our outgoing President, Steve Ickes, quieted the room to quickly handle the business aspects before dinner. He thanked his board and other volunteers for a successful year and then called upon Dave Rollins, the election committee chairperson, to announce the election results. Dave introduced the new board for 2001 which consists of: President - Will Jenkins, Vice President - Donnie Hightower, Secretary - Wendi Biroth, Treasurer - Patti Hightower, AMA Representative - Doug Van Buren, West Side Area Representative - Chuck Barry, and continuing the second year of their two year terms West Side Coordinator - Fran Harden and East Side Representative Mike Foos. Dave also presented plaques to your selections for Member of the Year, Steve Ickes, and to Couple of the Year, Donnie and Patti Hightower. Congratulations to all.
Chuck Barry then took the floor to announce the "Agitator of the Year" award on behalf of Bill Kampfert, past holder of the trophy. This tongue-in-cheek award, an ornately appointed washing machine agitator, gets passed each year from the current holder to his choice, based on the past years performance. Bill's choice, Steve Ickes, proudly accepted the recognition and reminded the club that he will be watching closely for next years deserving recipient.
The business dispensed with, the membership returned to their socializing, dinner and dessert. It was a very pleasant evening for which special thanks go to Steve Ickes and his Christmas committee.
(09/00) The Sturgis Adventure
It took weeks of preparation and organizing by Don and Patty Hightower but the day had finally arrived for everyone to meet at Fran's and head west to the largest motorcycle gathering in the world, Sturgis, South Dakota. The group consisted of eight people Don and Patty Hightower, Fran Harden, Don Montgomery and his niece Mary, Roger Crow, Kathryn and I. With four motorcycles in Fran's trailer being towed behind his flaming red truck and the trike in a trailer being towed behind Don's motorhome, we took off at 6:05 pm on Friday the 4th of August. Man alive, are we going to have a fun or what.
8/4/2000 Around 7:00pm someone noticed the lights weren't working on Fran's trailer…by 8:00pm we had pulled into a rest area on I-94 and found that the wires had pulled out of the connector. While some of us worked on the wires, others did what they could to assist. "Hey look there's no license plate on the trailer"…Oops, guess we forgot something. Good thing the police car cruising the rest area didn't notice. 9:45pm on the road again and man alive, are we going to have fun.
8/5/2000 2:30am: Time for gas. We pulled into a gas station but it was closed. No big deal we have enough gas to go further. "Why won't the motor home go into drive?" Reason: the brake lights don't work and the transmission won't allow the vehicle to be taken out of park if the brake lights don't work. No big deal, Fran had a similar problem with his truck a couple of months ago and if we turn on the emergency flashers first, then we can shift the vehicle into drive. Off we go to find a gas station that's open. 3:15am found one. With the gas tanks full we turn on the emergency flashers in the motorhome, shift into drive and were off again. Man alive, are we going to have fun now.
By 7:00am we're in Des Moines, Iowa and haven't seen or heard from Don and Fran in the truck for quite some time, so we pull the motorhome into a rest area and wait. It wasn't too long before they showed up. Turns out, they had a flat tire on the trailer and had to change it on the side of the road. Not too bad, except its raining like hell. But we are all together and everyone is safe. That afternoon we stopped somewhere and got the tire fixed and also ran into Donny's daughter. (Ask him where we were). On the road again. Now we're going to start having some fun.
10:00pm: Somewhere in Nebraska we heard a familiar voice coming over the CB "Pull over, we have another flat tire." What did Roger say? Can't be true….what are the odds? Yep, its true…flatter than a pancake, at least what's left of it. Good thing we got that other tire fixed earlier. 15 minute later we're all ready to go thanks to the coordinated efforts of the whole group, which would have made an Indy pit crew proud.
Hey…the wind sure does blow strong here in South Dakota but Donny's driving and keeps the big vehicle in between the white lines. Okay, so when does all the fun start?
8/6/2000 1:00 am: We're finally at the campground, Allen Ranch Hot Springs, South Dakota. 31 hours after we started we are finally set up, next to a river, and too tired to have any more fun.
8:00 am: Time to get up. Breakfast cookout. Nobody looks too damaged by the lack of sleep or adventure that we had in getting here. In fact is seems like a distant memory now. So we're off to see the Crazy Horse Monument and Mount Rushmore. After seeing these two great places its back to the campground for a steak cook out and entertainment by Donny and his guitar.
8/7/2000 Another breakfast cookout and a check to see why the motorhome's brake lights don't work. Nothing too serious, it just needed a brake light switch adjustment. Now it shifts into gear just like new. We mount up and head off to Custer State Park to ride in the twisty roads and check out the wild life: Buffalo, Prairie Dogs, Antelope, and Deer. Donny is pulling his trailer that has the two bad tires off Fran's trailer in it, so we head to Rapid City to get two replacements. After the tires are replaced, we get into a Flying J Truck Stop for lunch just as it starts to rain. By the time lunch is over, so is the rain. Man alive are we having fun. So now its off to Sturgis. We park the bikes and walk around for a bit. There are motorcycles everywhere. "Hey, did any one see Dave Rollins? He's suppose to be here." Nope. Well, maybe tomorrow.
Its very hot and traffic is moving very slow, at best, so we decide to put our helmets in Donny's trailer and take one trip through town without our helmets on. Big mistake. The group gets separated and with no means of bike to bike communication, the question becomes; how do you find each other in a sea of black leather and chrome? After about an hour, we finally get everyone together and put our helmets back on our heads where they belong. Lesson for today: Never, ever, give your helmet to anyone.
Out of Sturgis we head for Spearfish Canyon for some of the best scenery and twisty roads you'll ever ride. Man alive, are we having fun. At the end of the canyon we stop to absorb it all and Donny takes the opportunity to stand on the edge of a cliff, definitely some place you’re not suppose to be. He made this one guy that was there, so nervous that he had to leave. Way to go Donny. If you see him, ask him what else he did on that cliff. From here we went to Newcastle, former home ground for Patty and Donny, and had dinner. On the way back to the campground it was dark, very dark, and we seen a lot of deer standing on the side of the road, on the white line on the side of the road, way too close for comfort. But we made it back to the campground without trouble and looked forward to another day.
8/8/2000 After a buffet breakfast in town, we came back to the campground to make our plans for the rest of the day. "Hey, what's Donny doing in the river with his clothes on?" Ask Patty, she put him there. After Patty and Donny are done swimming with their clothes on, we mount up and head for Deadwood, Lead, and Patty's hometown of Bell Fouche. Then we're off to Devil's Tower to check out this core of an ancient volcano. If you ever go to Devil's Tower be sure you don't feed the prairie dogs, it's $150 fine; as one Harley rider found out the hard way.
After Devil's Tower, the group headed back to the campground, but Kathryn and I went to check out the nightlife in Sturgis. To sum it up in a word: Incredible. Every type of two wheeled and three wheeled vehicle possible along with the best people watching in the country. "Lots of leather, it must be August." This is one event that everyone should have on his or her life's to-do-list.
8/9/2000 How's life in Hot Springs? Well, today its 110 and sunny. On the bikes and off to Needles Highway. This is a great riding road if you like 'em twisty and hilly with big, really big, boulders on the edges. Man alive, are we having fun. We did see one guy who wasn't having too much fun. It seems he missed the road and put his bike up a tree. We later heard he suffered a broken collarbone, but things could have been much worst. Back to camp early and spent the rest of the day in the river. When evening arrived, we went into town for a prime rib dinner.
8/10/2000 Hot again today (100+). After breakfast we rode through Custer State Park's wild life loop and saw 100's of buffalo, some of them right at the edge of the road. You sure don't want to upset one of these things, there're huge. Roger, Kathryn and I took a cave tour while the others rode to Iron Mountain to view Mount Rushmore from afar. Personally, I think we were cooler. The cave has a year round temperature of 57 degrees.
8/11/2000 Time to leave Hot Springs and head for home. We're all packed and ready to go. 8:00am we pull out of the campground. There's a certain feeling you get when you know the vacation is over and work awaits at the end of you travel. I think we're all feeling it.
11:00PM Time for gas. After filling up the vehicles. We discover that the motorhome won't turn over…loose connection on the battery cable. During parking lot maneuvers with the truck and trailer, we get a flat tire on the front of the truck and pull the wires out of the trailer connector again. We must be getting pretty good at fixing this stuff because by 11:30pm everything is fixed and we're on the road again.
8/12/2000 29 hours later, we pull in to Fran's parking lot where it all started 8 days ago.
Special thanks to Patty and Donny Hightower for the planning and organizing. Also to Don Montgomery and Fran Harden who generously provided the transportation and trailers that allow all of us to go as a group. This is one trip I know Kathryn and I will never forget.
Looking back I can say: Man alive, did we have fun.
I would like to thank Will Jenkins for getting out the news to the membership last month when I was in Sturgis. I went for 2 weeks and was also looking for the MGWA group that arrived during my 2nd week. Steve, are you sure you didn’t see me, I was wearing a black T-shirt . . .
(06/00) Americade 2000
This year MGWA had 10 members ride out to Americade. The weekend weather was great for the trip there. Then the week started out with a couple of rainy days before clearing for the rest of the rally. One group toured lighthouses along the New England coast and the rest camped at and did their day rides out of Lake George Village. The group wants to thank Sandy Foos for coming along this year and providing so many laughs—you might say “she brought down the house” (or in this case her own camper)!
Then, after their respective vacations the two groups met up once again in Lake George to watch the parade and ride back home. The first day of the return ride was hot and the second day included some very hard rains, some of which caused an impassible bridge and detour.
(06/00) An Interview with Suzi
by Joe Medrano
Whenever you see a lot of bikes in one location you can be sure that there’s a good time goin’ on. I was heading my white van to the Kiwanis office when a yard full of motorcycles caught my attention. That’s what caused me to make a U-turn on M-36 while enroute to Mason, Michigan.
Going back to the site, it was obvious as I slowly cruised past the house that something like a party was happenin’ and well under way. The front yard looked like a “mini-Sturgis” gathering with bikes of many brands and nearly every size. Old Harleys, new Harleys, vintage bikes with sidecars (in hated army green), Triumphs, Nortons, cruisers, crotchrockets, etcetera—you name it, it was probably there. As for diversity of nationalities go, it was probably every bit as varied, and in my short cruise by, not a frown could be seen.
I passed by, turned around and came back, and caught the attention of a “husky” gentleman in bib overalls. He looked like a farm type, but you can be sure that motorcycling was running in his blood. “What’s goin’ on that I’m missing?” I asked, rather self-conciously. “Well,” he answered, looking slightly back over his shoulder, “It’s Susie’s party—been goin’ on for years. First Sunday in May.
Good enough, I was thinking, “How does one get to know about it?” “Well,” the thoughtful reply came, “Lots know about it—those that wanna come, do, those that don’t, don’t!”
Not much info, but enough to realize that it’s open. Since I was attired for a much more formal affair, and somewhat limited in time, I gently departed with intentions of finding out more later.
Good luck gave me a chance to talk with a biker on his way to Susie’s party, and he told me a good tale. Susie has this party twice a year. First Sunday in May and first Sunday in October. She used to write for a well known racing magazine, and had a husband who was a racer. He passed on about ten years ago, and she started having this party as a memorial to him and has been doing it ever since. It’s the way she provides herself with a major source of income. It’s even on the internet. I asked him how late it was likely to continue, and he allowed as how it would probably still be goin on a 11:00 that night. About 5:30 P.M., my business in Mason finished, I resolved to return to the party and find out more.
That’s when I met Suzi. (yeah, other people had given me the wrong spelling.) When I told her what I had heard was the background of the party and that it was supposedly on the internet, hers was a glorious reaction.
“Oh, my G-a-a-a-ahd! I ought to get a web site for all the rumors that I hear about for this party!!!
Needless to say, that tale was among a variety of stories that are totally untrue. We concluded that the internet source was most likely an individual club relaying to its members the plan for “Susie’s Ride” and it was picked up by others as well. It could have been through the Michigan Norton Owners Association since they had their banner displayed prominently near the barn where all the food action was. As far as who’s invited, she said that the first fellow I had talked to had just about summed it up perfectly. “If you know about it and want to come, you do.”
No, it wasn’t a Bar-B-Que, but bagels, soup and Brownberry Bread was readily available with other kinds of food (most of which was gone when I got there) and pop and water was available on a side sale. Donations are happily acceptable in the huge denominations of $5.00 (or more if you want to) for all you can eat, and from what I could see as some of the last 20 or so bikes were beginning to leave, it was a good time for all.
As for Suzi, she’s a willowy fun-loving blonde, and does not have any corpse for a husband. I won’t tell you Suzi’s last name, or put the location on paper for publication, but if you ask me, I’ll tell it to you and you can think about October. Excuse me now, I have to check my calendar to see if I’m free that first Sunday.
(05/00) Polar Run?
It was scheduled as a run to Lorne’s Open House in Richmond after the April general membership meeting. And the anticipation of a new riding season brought out a good turnout. But the weather had other things in store for us. Two groups of bikes left the Bee Hive restaurant and braved the biting north winds hoping for the forecasted sun and warmer temperatures. The ride never did warm up, so the groups lingered over the hot coffee and hot dogs at the open house longer than normal. The day was still enjoyable thanks to good company and an enthusiastic start to the new riding season.
(04/00) Xvxry Pxrson is Important
Xvxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works vxry wxll - xxcxpt for onx kxy. You would think that with all thx othxr kxys function propxrly, onx kxy not working would hardly bx noticxd: but onx kxy out of whack sxxms to ruin thx wholx xffort.
You may say to yoursxlf, "Wxll I'm only onx pxrson. No onx will noticx if I don't do my bxst." But it doxs makx a diffxrxncx bxcausx to bx xffxctivx, an organization nxxds activx participation by xvxry onx to thx bxst of his or hxr ability.
So, thx nxxt timx you think you arx not important, rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr. You arx a kxy pxrson.
(03/00) Loss and Retention of Membership
by Joe Medrano
At a recent General Meeting of M.G.W.A. the point was made that membership needs to grow. This a need for every organization. Loss of members amounts to approximately 18% per year just by funerals, sickness, hospitalization or moving vans. An organization needs at least the replacement of that 18% just to maintain the status quo. We cannot afford to allow ourselves to drive anyone away by our neglect.
There is a DE-movitation cycle that takes place in an organization. They’re the reasons why people leave:
1. Confusion—Is it me, or is it the club?
2. Anger—My expectations aren’t being met.
3. Subconcious Hope—Maybe it’ll get better
4. Disillusionment—”What’s the deal?” (or, What’s the use?)
5. Uncooperativeness—You haven’t helped me feel welcome
6 Terminal Demotivation—It’s time to leave, or not bother to do anything
Have we as an orgainzation ever bothered to interview those who LEFT to make an effort to find out why they didn’t rejoin?
If we are going to keep people in the club, they have to feel a value in and to the club. That is best accomplished by including them as participants in the things that have to be done. Often this is NOT done by looking for hands for volunteering. (Too many of us learned from Uncle Sam not to volunteer.)
Very often, a job that needs to be done can be personally requested of someone who will accept it, but wouldn’t have volunteered. Once the task is proposed, certain motivational keys must be respected or that person is unlikely to take the job a second time.
1. The job must be clearly defined—that is, what is expected and the time frame when it must be done.
2. Person has to have the skills and capability to do the job. A bigger job than one can handle creates a sense of failure which makes us avoid everyone who knows we blew it. We drop out.
3. Resources must be available to do the job.
4. There has to be some satisfaction in doing the job. Even if it is only the “pat on the back”, in needs to be given.
5. Adequate and ongoing feedback must answer the worker’s question, “how’m I doin’?” whether or not it is specifically asked.
For all those who read our newsletter and know previous members who have not renewed, perhaps now, before riding season gets a good start, is a perfect time to talk to some of those who didn’t come back and ask them why. What can be lost by asking?
Loading That Trailer
(4/99) The new riding season is finally upon us. Many of us are planning our motorcycle vacations to rallies and other distant places. Those that tow a trailer behind their bike may find the following suggestions from a safety article helpful. It is copyrighted by The Master Strategy Group and is being used with permission.
Load your trailer with as close to 10% of the total weight of the trailer and cargo on the tongue as you can estimate (Obviously, it does not have to be exact.)
Place your heaviest cargo at the bottom of the trailer, as close to directly over your wheels as possible.
If you are going to place anything on top of your trailer make sure it is LIGHT!
Determine the weight distribution of your trailer while the tongue of the trailer is at the height it will be when connected to your bike.
The longer the tongue, the less will be the weight transfer, all else being equal.
If you are pulling a trailer use it to store your cargo -- empty your luggage as much as possible.
Always take it easy for the first several miles of pulling a trailer so that you can learn the new handling characteristics of the bike.
(3/99) With a new riding season approaching, it is time to prepare your machines. Fran Hardin recommends checking your tire pressure before that first ride, he is seeing bikes come in to his shop with as little as 6 - 8 lbs of air pressure in the tires. This adversely affects handling, the integrity of the tires and of course safety.
Image is Everything
Section 2 of the MGWA constitution states, "The purpose of the organization shall be to promote camaraderie among persons who enjoy riding motorcycles, to enhance the image of motorcyclists, and to promote safe riding practices." It's the part about enhancing the image of motorcyclists that I would like to address today. It is just a fact of life, the trouble makers of any group, make up about 10% of that group, whether they're doctors, lawyers or NRA members and yes, believe it or not, even Motorcyclists. That's why it's very important for us to be extra good when we are among the non-motorcycling public. If we are to change the attitude of these people, we need to make sure that we don't give them anything negative to use against us. If that means we need to watch our language or be a little more courteous than the next guy or control our anger, even if that stupid four wheeler just cut into the middle of our riding group, then so be it. Please keep in mind, that when you wear your club jacket, like it or not , you are an ambassador of this organization, and what you do and /or say reflects on all of us. I personally would never want to be associated with any organization that was not considered top notch, or first class and I don't think that you would either. So we'll just keep up the charm and smile knowing that the 10%'ers are not coming from the MGWA.
As you may have notice, every article that I write for the "Wing Span" newsletter has "Ride Safe" or "Ride Safely" as the complimentary close, this is because I believe that it is everyone's responsibility, for their well being and the well being of those they ride with, to safely operate their motorcycle. I also believe that education is a key element in safe riding and that education is a life long process that never ends. That is why I whole heartedly support and encourage others to participate in the classes offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). No matter how long you've been riding or how good you think you are, you can always learn more. If terms such as "counter steering" and "counter balancing" are foreign to you or you don't know when to apply either one, then you should seriously consider taking one of the MSF courses in your area. Or if it's been a few years since you took a course maybe this is the year for a refresher.
The following locations offer MSF courses. Please contact the one nearest you and see how much you can learn.
Macomb County College
South Campus (810) 296- 3516
Raisinville Road (313) 242-7300 ext. 229
Oakland Community College
Orchard Ridge Campus (810) 471-7546
Auburn Hills Campus (810) 471-7546
St. Clair Community College
Port Huron (810) 989-5740
Wayne County Community College
Downriver Campus (313) 496-2777
Northwest Campus (313) 496-2777
Schoolcraft College (313) 462-4448
Washtenaw Community College (313) 973-3616
For other locations nationwide call 1-800-446-9227
The MGWA has an unwritten rule, really more like a guideline, that states , if you want to ride after breakfast on Sunday, show up with an empty bladder and a full tank of gas. These rides are informal and the destinations are usually made up on the spot (Hint: It usually involves the next meal of the day.). Even though these rides are informal, meaning that they weren't planned weeks in advanced, you should still follow the road rules (see Documents section of this site -Ed.) that the club has pertaining to the size of each group and choosing a group captain and a group guard. If you don't know or understand the road rules, please see me and I'll make sure your questions are answered. It is also up to the group captain to make sure that everyone understands the road rules and how to function as a member of a road group. Sounds like a lot of rules doesn't it? But they are there for everyone's safety.
Of course, there is no reason why you have to join in on a group ride in the first place. If you prefer, you could make arrangements to meet the group somewhere. Maybe you're the natural born leader type, if so, come to breakfast with an idea of where to ride. That way it can be discussed and formulated during breakfast, so that little time is wasted afterwards and the group can get on the road sooner. The whole idea here is to have fun and how you accomplish that is up to you. Here's another hint: Participation is key. Your level of enjoyment in the MGWA is in direct proportion to your level of involvement. Simply stated; involvement = enjoyment. So put down that TV remote and join us for breakfast, Sunday morning TV stinks anyways. And don't let that "honey do" list get in the way, that's what Saturdays are for. Don't worry about the grass, your neighbors will hardly notice one more day of growth. After all, its spring and its time to ride.