iWing’n Around America

A Good Story

Honor Flight Tri State Group

by on May.13, 2015, under A Good Story

UncleJoeflagVets1

 

CAH

Charles Anthony Hayden

I was honored to be my Dads guardian on an Honor Flight with the Tri State Group. (Cincinnati).
 
This was as we paraded through the airport lead by TSI Color Guard
 
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PIF From a 15 Year Old’s Point of View

by on Dec.06, 2008, under A Good Story, Riding, Travel

Becca is Ron Bien’s 16 year old daughter who joined us on our trip to New York this year. It was my pleasure to have such a pleasant young lady come along who really had fun riding, and experiencing life on the road meeting a bunch of other folks doing the same thing. Becca wrote the below letter, and I wanted to share here on the PIF board.
Ron & Becca Bien
PIF 2008
Camp Bristol Hills New York
“Investing In The Future”My first over night motorcycle trip was the week of June 12th for a PIF trip. Before we left my dad tried to explain what PIF was. PIF, I learned, stood for Pay It Forward and that the program started about eight years ago. The intention of the organization is to invest in the future of the recipient of the donation made by Freedom Board members. On June 14th we arrived at the Sunset pavilion in Rochester, NY. There, seven high school graduates were having a small get together organized by the Freedom Board PIF members. My impression was thinking that we’d get there, dry off from the rain, surprise them with the computers then leave. In a bland description that is what we did, but then some. When a small number of us arrived at the park the students were told that the Freedom Board PIF members were sponsoring their picnic. Then they announced that due to the rest of the bikers running a little late to go ahead and begin to eat. After the few of us who were there ate we crossed the road to see Lake Ontario to take candid pictures of the lake and each other. As we turned around to cross the road again a long stream of Gold Wings and cars poured down the road and into the parking lot. It was so amazing to see so many people come from so many different places to help these students with their journey into college. Well we talked with them and the students until everyone was finished eating. When everyone was finished it was still a little while before they started the presentation. Finally Greg looked to my dad, Ron, and asked him where Don Ferguson was so that he could get the show on the road. My dad called him over and sure enough Don searched around for Bill, the man in charge and he got it all started. I expected about four or five riders to hold out some computers to the students and tell them that they now have a new computer and to go live life. But I was fortunately wrong. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a nice presentation was prepared and ready to go without last minute additions. Bill gained everyone’s attention and went on to say how proud he is of all of the students there. He mentioned how deserving each of these students are and how hard they worked in class. Then he passed the spotlight on to the coach of the boy’s and he said some very heartfelt compliments about each of the boys. He took the time to explain the accomplishments of all seven students. Each young man had overcome some struggles and did great in school. Another expectation I had was that these boy’s would act like they didn’t care or just wanted to be anywhere else but there. They had me fooled with the large t-shirts and backwards hats. But when their name was called out they all stood up straight and thanked everyone for the laptop they had just received and were very polite. I even think I heard a little excitement in their voices when they were told to pass on the acts of kindness. Those young men touched my heart and I wish I had some more like them at my school. I am very proud to have been part of that trip. It was so much fun!! 

-Becca
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PIF 2008 Fingers Lake Region, NY

by on Dec.06, 2008, under A Good Story, Riding, Travel

A group of us from The FreedomBoard had our annual Pay It Forward trip 13 – 15 June 08, and this year we were in Canandaigua , New York. Our “Ohio contingent” this year included Ron & his daughter Becca Bien with Bear and Richard from Louisiana. This was Becca’s first big motorcycle trip, and you could just tell she was excited, and really looking forward to a new experience. With our preference being, see the country, we took back roads all the way.

Day 1 we worked our way out of Ohio staying off the interstates and spent the first night in Franklin Pa.
Day 2 we wondered up along the Allegheny River going past Kinzua Dam where we planned a stop for a little geocaching at Rimrock. We also met up with Ed Holt & Seadog with their wives.
After climbing through some caves which were pretty tight to say the least, and doing a little hiking it appears that our cache, Cornplanters Cave Cache, had been removed. We made it to the right place.

It was time for us to move on so we continued on up to Allegheny State Park. From there we wanted to go through Letchworth Park. I wished we would of had more time to explore Letchworth. It’s a beautiful park, and there is a fee ($6) to drive through there. I highly recommend planning time to do that if you go through there.

From there it wasn’t much further to our destination, Canandaigua , New York.

We checked in to our hotel and right away started seeing old friends and making new ones. After we checked in we decided to ride down to the 4H campground where the others were. As soon as we got there it was quite obvious we were about to be right in the path of a good storm. Since Steve & Joanie were there in their car Dar, Becca, and Julie Basham got a ride back to the hotel. Ron and I stayed at the pavilion with some others and waited till the storm to pass before we road back. Turns out that wouldn’t be the last of the storms for this visit to the Finger Lakes.

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Spring Fling 2008

by on Dec.06, 2008, under A Good Story, Riding, Travel

Our first trip of the year has always been heading on down to The Great Smokey Mountains in April every year. This became habit as we would go to Tennessee’s Spring Fling, and ride the surrounding area. Seems we do more riding then “rallying” these days, and this year we had a nice 8 day trip planned.


 

We took all back roads in to Tennessee as our first planned visit was going to be at Fall Creek Falls and have lunch with close to 200 other GL1800 riders. I love planning routes, and thought I’d seek out some nice twisted roads to get there. One of the problems in doing this is, if you’re not familiar with the area you may end up on some gravel roads. In this case we were headed for one of our favorites, RT 116 from RT 63. I saw what looked to be, a fairly technical road called Norma Rd that ends in Stainville on 116. This is about a 17 mile road which was gravel 14 of those miles. The first 3 looked ok so we kept going, and didn’t want to turn back. (Why do that? You may miss out on something good!) It was a beautiful area, and the gravel wasn’t bad. Turned out there were some coal workers getting off work so we had to dodge 5 or 6 pickup trucks coming towards us on this skinny dusty road, and that wasn’t too bad, but when that big dump truck came at us we started scattering. No harm done and it gave us something to talk about.

 

The next day we went on to the park, had lunch with our friends, and headed to Fontana Village where we had a cabin waiting for us. This is a great place to stay in the mountains with other outdoor enthusiasts, sport car drivers and motorcyclists. At this point our group was at 6, Greg Hayden, Ron Bien, Steve & Doug James, Steve ‘Polecat’ Snead, and Ross Randall.

 

Sunday we checked out and headed to the Georgia Mountains. We had no real destination, but wanted to take the opportunity to swing by Maysville Georgia to visit Gary & Shirley Verhulst. That visit turned out to be a little sooner than we planned. We rode 180 (Wolf Pen Gap), and stopped at the gas station in Suches, GA to watch all the motorcycles for a bit. As we headed out we got about 2 miles when I hear on the CB “I got a problem”. Turns out the throttle cable broke on one of the 1800’s. That’s something you just don’t hear about, and a repair you just aren’t going to do on the road-side. It took me about 15 seconds to consider our options.

 

Yes, we carry the Gold Book, and it is a very valuable tool, but my first thought was to call Gary & Shirley Verhulst. Gary asked where we were and I told him on the side of the road by an old closed down general store. He knew right where we were, and told us to sit tight they are on their way. Not long after that they show up with their truck and open trailer. It was a sad sight seeing that 1800 on the trailer, but we knew all was well because we were in good hands. Everyone was hungry so we headed for Helen Ga. For a place Gary & Shirley knew about. Along the way we came up to some flashing lights of a couple of Police cruisers, and some young guy flagging Gary down. He pleaded with Gary to stop, and give them a tow. Gary got on the CB and told us he was stopping. He said “hey, these guys need help, and I can’t ignore that”. I would expect no less from Gary & Shirley. You notice I keep saying “Gary & Shirley”. These two really are a team. They know just what to do and how to do it as a team.

 

Turns out one of the sport bikes slid out, and went tumbling over the edge of the road. They dragged the bike out of the ditch, and it had some damage, but was still able to be ridden. The Police wouldn’t let him ride it though as the turn signal was busted. One other sport bike had no license plate so he wasn’t able to ride that one either. After the Police worked the scene he released the rig with the loaded bikes, and one of the riders who rode in the truck with Gary, Shirley, & Ron. So now there were 2 crotch rockets, and one wing on the trailer. Harley riders had to get a kick out of that. Gary & Shirley did not charge the young man for the tow. Instead, he told him to take the money and put it in his church offerings. This young man really was appreciative, and had a good attitude. He said before their ride in the morning a lady said a prayer for them, and he feels it was answered by surviving the wreck, and having Gary & Shirley Verhulst come by just in time. If they hadn’t, the Police were going to impound the bikes.

 

Well, we had to order a throttle cable so we had 2 days to kill. Gary and Shirley opened their home up to us, and their RV. They insisted we stayed there. I decided to have my steering head bearings replaced and so did Steve James. He also replaced his fork spring. We all got a great lesson on how to do this, and it was fun. We had full access of their shop, and we were like kids in a toy shop. By the time we picked up the cable, returned to the shop and soon we were ready to go. You have to tear the bike down pretty far to get to it, but they had that on in no time at all. We were ready to hit the road by about 12:30 that afternoon. Gary & Shirley were also getting ready to leave. They were on their way to the Spring Fling to work as the Dunlop vender. The truck and trailer were loaded, parked in the driveway when 2 of our riders pulled up. One had a busted valve stem. Gary said “ok, let’s unload the trailer”. So 30 minutes later the valve stem was replaced, and trailer reloaded. They wouldn’t accept payment for this either. They were just glad they were able to help.

 

Gary and Shirley left, and we finished up, and locked the doors as we left. The rest of the trip was uneventful as far as mechanical issues go, and we spent the next 3 days anchored in Townsend TN, and riding the surrounding area. We had a blast both on and off the bike. Great friends sharing a wonderful hobby, with many great roads to ride. This is what it’s all about. We all are so fortunate to meet folks like Gary & Shirley Verhulst. I became good friends with them in 2001 when they became a big part of the Hines Wing Event.

 

I am very happy the way things turned out, and consider myself lucky to have this huge family of friends. I have been an active member of GWRRA Chapter OH-X2 as a Rider Educator, and Newsletter Editor, and although I have since relaxed my participation a bit, I will always cherish my membership for the friends I have made, and those I will make in the future.

 

-Greg Hayden

 

 

——UPDATE——
I submitted an article to Wing World, and much to my surprise it was in the December issue. I thought I would just post it here since it was written about this trip.
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