We are heading into the fall season, and I can report that the State Coordinators are busy with planning our May 2018 coast to coast adventure. The only route change to report is that we are planning to go back to Hurricane, WV, as they will have the construction project completed. We are talking about sending a breakout platoon into Nitro to show our appreciation for their hospitality last year.
The Central Route leadership team is in place with one exception, that being the Sit-Rep Writer. I am waiting for a yea/nay commitment from last year’s writer.
Janelle and I rode to Kerrville, TX, over the September 22nd weekend to attend the RFTW Riders reunion. I participated in rides on Friday and Saturday, led by Sapper, through the West Texas hill country. It was two days of amazing scenery and camaraderie. I missed two photo opportunities: the hundreds of cowboys boots hung over fence posts; and the young guy wading in a stream fishing, wearing only a white cowboy hat and swimming trunks. I am hoping that someone on the ride captured those moments. The Saturday evening was a wonderful event with good food and prizes. It’s on my calendar to attend again next year and I encourage riders from all routes to attend. And… they passed the hat to raise $$$ for M25 in support of the recent hurricane victims. At last report, I heard the $$$ amount was $2001 and more added later by reunion auction sales, which topped the Angel Fire Reunion at $1605. Be sure to check out the October addition of the RFTW President’s Message for details on M25 hurricane relief.
The Central Route Coordinator’s video message has been shot and is in the editing process now. Hopefully, that will be completed in the next couple weeks and posted on the RFTW website.
Online registration for the RFTW 2018 Run is now open for all three routes. I encourage you to complete your registration early because it aids the Route Coordinators to plan accordingly.
The Run For The Wall event is meant for ALL veterans and is welcoming to non-veterans/patriots as well. If you are considering RFTW for the first time, you should be aware this is NOT anything close to a Sunday afternoon HOG ride. It is group riding on steroids. It takes a high level of concentration and commitment. If it were up to me, I would require a certificate of completion from an advanced riding course, such as MSF Advanced Riding or Ride Like A Pro. If you have limited group riding experience, I would encourage you to get involved with an organization that does, such as a Harley, Honda or BMW riders group.
October Safety Tip: It’s been my experience that most accidents involve inattention to changing speeds while riding in the pack. One of the unfortunate characteristics of group riding is “rubber banding” which can cause a “slow down”. This happens when riders don’t hold a constant speed using throttle control. A rider needs to be alert at all times, to be on guard, watching for the possibility of a “slow down”. This can best be done by observing several bikes ahead. A tip, that I learned while teaching rider classes, is to look and observe 10 to 12 seconds ahead of your position.
My Wall is Your Wall,
Harlan “Whitebirch” Olson