Reaching The Peek
By Joanne Peek
Writing an article in mid-February for the May/June magazine can be disconcerting. While I know many of you are still shoveling snow, there are many of us getting our bikes ready for weekend rides. For those of us who either live year-round in temperate climates or spend the winters in one, we have not stopped riding.
This is the most fun part of the year for me: mapping out the route for the Ride-In™ and beyond. Eastern Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia are indeed beautiful states. We try to move the Ride-In™ locations around to vary your experiences. Traveling into the Johnson City area will bring you through many beautiful states no matter your point of origin.
This year, we are responding to requests from past years to move the banquet to Wednesday night to accommodate those who need to be up and out early Friday. Speakers have been moved to late afternoons, so members are not torn between seeing a speaker or riding. We have split the vendor hours to mornings and late afternoons to give them an afternoon break to explore the area. This is in response to a vendor request.
Since most contest and registration cutoffs will have passed by the time this article goes to print, I hope you all have taken advantage of entering your designs for shirt and/or pin and entering your friends in the “Best of” contests.
Getting you and your bike ready for this trip also needs to be priority. Not only does she need to sparkle for the Bike Show, she needs to be in tip-top mechanical shape. We have identified area motorcycle shops and dealerships that will be able to handle any problems you may experience.
For “first timers,” you will undoubtedly have many questions. There will be a Hospitality Room set up adjacent to Registration. In that room, you will find volunteers ready to answer your questions and supply you with maps of area rides and attractions. You will also find a message board and a map of the US and beyond where our members pinpoint their point of origin for this journey. Also located in the Hospitality Room will be our Silent Auction. Since Tennessee has very strict gaming laws we will not be able to have 50/50 or raffles this year. We have several items available in our Silent Auction for your bidding pleasure.
Eastern Tennessee is known to be hot, perhaps rainy, and did I mention HOT in July. Please do not forget to pack your raingear as having it seems to keep the showers away. HAHA. Even though the climate is pretty humid, it is important to stay hydrated. Cooling vests, chilly towels or a wet wicking shirt under a mesh jacket is my go-to. Also, the mountains can get chilly so remember to layer.
So where am I putting all this stuff you say? There is an art to packing a bag for a motorcycle trip. Ask your WOW friends what works for them and please make sure there is a first-aid kit in your group as well as essential tools and a battery charger.
Most of all, prepare to have a wonderful time with your WOW family. I have made lifelong friends in the 18 years I have been in this organization. I am so looking forward to meeting more of you!
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