What's Been "H"appening 07/18/04
 
by Dick Scalpone, AGWA-Illinois Chapter H

Hi all,
Wasn't Sunday one great big beautiful day?  The weather was perfect, and the event was even greater.  The "Ride for Kids" motorcycle run was a picture perfect day.  It just does not get any better than this. 
I, along with several other members of our chapter H, were volunteers for this illustrious event.  And we were all proud to be there and do what we could and assist the event chairman in any way possible.
Naturally, our day started very early.  We had to be there by no later than 0600hrs.  The members who did participate in volunteering for this event were; Dave & Susan Glasgow, ole country Joel Gyurnek, lucky Larry & Nancy Greco, web master Jimbo & Dawn Garner, Cary & Kitty Levin along with son Matt, Fritz & Carol Goins, thundering Mark & sweet Paulette Brenton and son Eric, and yours truly.  The ones who showed up and did participate in the run and gave generously to this foundation were; major Dan Harris, wimpy Lester Chapman, professor Damien Shelton and his daughter Becky, and crusty Gregg French.  So as one can see, our chapter had in excess of 35% of its membership for this wonderful event. 
The figures that I picked up along the way are reasonably accurate.  There was a total of $368,271.00 that was contributed to this event by all of its participants and those who offered pledges brought in by the participants.  There were approximately 35 police or law enforcement agencies involved in lending support and guiding the route.  There were Lake county sheriff, Cook county sheriff, state police, and many of the local municipalities that became involved for the pederiatric brain tumor foundation for the ride for kids.  Our chapter H received third place in funds that were brought in as a group.  The figures were in excess of $7,200.00.  Way to go folks!!!  That means, only two other organizations beat us out for total dollar donations. 
The ride itself, had great security and a heavy escort by the local law enforcement agencies.  How sweet it is!!  The route concluded in a little more than 130 minutes of some great scenery riding.  Some of the towns that we went through were, Northbrook, Wheeling, Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Hainesville, Libertyville, a good portion of Lake County, some in Cook County and Deerfield.  The ride was great, fun and well worth it.  I do not know exactly how many motorcyclist were attending, however, I received an rough estimate, which was about 2700 bikes.  It took the better part of an hour to empty out the parking lot for this escorted ride.
At this time, I would like to on behave of Chapter H, pay tribute to "All-State Insurance" company for allowing this event to take place on their grounds.  This event has been going on here for more than 5 years, in Northbrook, ILL.  All-State has been more than gracious in allowing this worth while cause to continue on their grounds.  They also supported this event by picking up any and all costs that were directly related to their grounds.  Such as paying for the big huge tent to be put up and taken down.  And among other things, getting such organizations to contribute coffee and donuts and rolls and orange juice in the morning.  Also, getting bagged sandwiches and soft drinks for our afternoon delight of brunch. 
Lastly, we all would like to thank the Navy personnel for attending and volunteering their services.  The Naval personnel came from Great Lakes Navy training center, which is just a few miles from here.  They were extremely helpful in providing assistance as necessary.  Go Navy!!
After everyone returned from the run, we all ate our box lunches and had refreshments under the big tent.  At that time, some of the 'kids' were introduced and interviewed, the awards and reorganizations were given out.  Honda was represented, a drawing was made, and some lucky person was given a brandy new GL1800, compliments of Honda.  It does not get any better than this.  This is strictly a win, win situation for everybody. 
Anyway, time was nearing the end.  By this time, after the awards, there was hundreds of people standing in line waiting to pick up their shirts, hats, and jackets from the "Ride for Kids" event.  Afterwards, the crowds started to disperse and head for the exits. 
It is as this point that I asked ole country Joel, and lucky Larry if they had time to do a little back road country ride.  Naturally, these two along with myself, were eager to give our ponies some much needed exercise.  Hi ho, hi ho, tally-ho and away we go.  Ahoy matey, no more city dude living for us.  It is time to do some shucken 'n jiven.  Ole country Joel was on his new mount B-B-EYES, lucky Larry was riding BLACK BEAUTY, and me, my usual. 
I took the lead and headed north, while country Joel did the sweep and lucky Larry was the "negotiator" for us rough riders.  I took this way because I have not been through this area in over 20 years.  My, my how this location has changed.  All built up with new homes and roads and shopping centers.  Our direction took us through Northbrook, Deerfield, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Grayslake, Round Lake, Fox Lake and all of the surrounding areas.  The scenery was very invigorating.  Eventually, we tip toed our way onto U.S. route 12 off of route 134.  Our direction, by Larry's idea, was of course an ICE CREAM STOP. (Because he is the 'negotiator).  What else??  I managed to lead us 3 amigos to "Erickson's" in Hebron, ILL, at routes 47 and 173.  Yummy, yummy our tummies were happy.
Our direction from that point, took us south and even further west circumventing Harvard, ILL and passing through the towns of Chermung, Capron, Poplar Grove and eventually turned south and east bound through the medium size town of Belvidere and swept back down to Marengo and headed home. 
Wow--what a great day--today was!!  We were all hoping that this day would never end.  The camaraderie was absolutely the best ever.  The crowds for the RFK event were the best ever.  No particular incidents took place.  Good Lord, can we have the rest of the year like this??  Please, Please!!
All in all, the rough riders of the greatest chapter in the American Goldwing Association had a wonderful day and managed to log in about 165 very safe miles.
So until next week, lets be particularly careful out there.

Your unruly rep,
dick