Posted on Leave a comment

President’s Message – August 2019

August has been a very busy month for the RCs and the Board of Directors. The planning process is in full swing for all of the above as well as State Coordinators along all the routes. Our Ontario State Coordinator is very busy with several chores including the start of finding the right hotels in Ontario that can accommodate the many needs RFTW must have to safely complete our mission.

Board members, like many of you, have watched as RFTW has grown over the past few years putting pressure on our current infrastructure on both coasts as well as along each route. Ontario presents special needs in that each route has asked for more and more meeting rooms. With the addition of the Sandbox Route those demands have increased. Other events have also pressured time commitments for those meetings and special events. Honestly, Carol Olmstead and I wish there were more hours in the days we are in Ontario. Since that is not possible and the demands for rooms or special events continue, we will likely start scheduling meetings into the evening hours and perhaps for very early in the mornings.

When the hotels are locked in, we will brief the Route Coordinators about the availability of rooms and times. We will, once again, ask everyone to have your requests or scheduled event in by no later than Jan. 31. It may be possible this year that some meetings will have to be scheduled for the great outdoors. The annual safety meeting will once again be held in Lot D where the route leadership can meet and greet their riders and provide them with the safety briefing of how we ride. The time allocated for this briefing is the longest of any event we have in Ontario and the BOD encourages all route leadership to use it to help new participants become familiar with how we ride safely.

So, while I am on the subject of riding safely, I urge all riders to find a certified motorcycle training group and complete one or two of their riding courses. Annually many of our riders who submit an After-Action Report ask, Why doesn’t RFTW hold training courses before the Run? A simple answer is we are not certified to train folks nor would our liability company be happy with us if we did! The best way to do this is go to a certified training group, take the courses, and then for the rest of the winter/spring practice your new skills. Moreover, for new and returning riders who are not accustom to riding for long miles and days in a group situation, please begin a training program that will get your body and mind in better shape for the 2020 mission. For anyone who is on medication and seeing a physician we urge you to talk about this opportunity with your doctor before arriving at a RFTW departure point. If you are emotionally and physically in shape for this mission, your rewards will be many.

As we approach the end of summer it’s once again Central’s All-Routes Reunion starting on Labor Day weekend in Angel Fire, N.M.—a great place to once again fulfill our mission by honoring those who served. It’s a working weekend but one that’s good for the soul. This year there will also be a Midway All-Routes Reunion also held on Labor Day weekend in Franklin, Tenn. For many years I have heard folks who live in the Eastern U.S. wondering if a reunion would ever be held there. Now’s your chance, folks, and the itinerary looks great. The last reunion of the season, Southern’s All-Routes Reunion will be held in Kerrville, Tex. also with a full itinerary of events. If you have not experienced riding in the Hill Country of Texas, don’t miss this chance. A wonderful long weekend with a great hotel, great food and a chance to renew friendships. Check here for details:

Finally, the BOD, RCs and ARCs had a successful meeting July in Denver. Many thanks to BOD Treasurer Ken and Jenny Ward for all the arrangements. It’s a big job to find reasonable accommodations for these mandatory face-to-face meetings at a cost-effective location, and Ken and Jenny always go above and beyond. Following the Saturday meeting, Ray Brammer introduced the new RFTW belt buckle. Check it out in the store!

Until next time have a great end of summer. Remember the inscription on the tablet behind Abraham Lincoln’s massive statue:

“In this temple / as in the hearts of the people / for whom he saved the union / the memory of Abraham Lincoln / is enshrined forever.” Check this out next time we all sit at President Lincoln’s feet—RFTW 2020

Is it May yet?

Respectfully submitted,
Les “Easy” Williams
RFTW BOD President