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2006 Americade Motorcycle Rally Blog - Day 8

By Walter Kern

This year I'm publishing highlights of Americade 2006, day by day in this blog. Americade is scheduled for June 5-10 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal -- before the next set of rides to the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) Wing Ding national rally in Nashville, TN and the BuRP rally in Maggie Valley, NC. (BuRP is a rally for Motorcycles forum members.)

Today is the last full day for us at Americade. The rally runs two more days but we're cutting it short this year. We had more rain overnight and in the early morning. But things improved just before lunch and I took the opportunity to walk down Canada Street taking a few pictures. The one shown here is my choice for largest trailer at Americade for a bike that's smaller than the trailer. It really looked strange to me but seemed to hold quite a lot of stuff.

After lunch, I headed back to the motel to do a little packing for our departure tomorrow. About five o' clock, we headed out to Roaring Brook Ranch to attend a couple of seminars.

The first was the Women's Roundtable with emcee, Genevieve Schmitt. Panelists included Shira Kamil, Christa Neuhauser, Jessica Prokup, Cherrie Rau, Sue Slate, and Sukoshi Fahey. I was shocked at the size of the turnout. In previous years, such a seminar might not even fill half a regular size room. Tonight, it pretty much filled the entire double wide room and lots of men were also in attendance. Much of the seminar was questions from the audience. The emcee fielded questions from the audience but seemed to favor questions from women. I tried for the better part of 30 minutes to get her attention to no avail. There was a question on the floor about why is it that so few pictures of women riding motorcycles were shown in the media. Since my comments were not shown the light of day, I'm going to state them here.

When I started the Motorcycles site seven years ago, one of the first three subjects I created was Women in Motorcycling. I recognized the importance of women riders then and I continue to support them. I created a forum, Women in Motorcycling, and convinced Sasha Mullins to be the moderator. Sasha soon became so involved in her own moto-journalism career, her specials on the Discovery Channel, and her own business interests that she took a leave of absence. But, the forum continues to grow as women riders give encouragement and support to each other.

Early on, I created a special picture gallery, Women on Motorcycles, to showcase women who rode their own bikes. Over the years, this gallery has proved to be an important vehicle to convince non-riding women that they, too, could learn to ride their own motorcycle. The gallery now contains about 400 pictures of women and their motorcycles. These are not pinups draped across a motorcycle. They are real women riders who own their own bikes. I've had many women email me that they looked at the gallery and decided, "If these women can learn to ride, I can too."

The next seminar was by Fred Rau. Fred is a fixture at Americade seminars and his hard hitting truthfulness and humor are always welcomed by Americade attendees. Fred's seminars rarely cover the announced subject but rather consist of whatever is on Fred's mind at the time and whatever the audience happens to want to ask him. That makes for an enjoyable laugh filled evening with lots of important information thrown in as a side benefit. Never miss a Fred Rau seminar.

After the seminars, we watched the light show which is a parade of cleverly lit motorcycles that circle the parking lot a few times. Then we headed back to the motel by threading our way up Canada Street through the rows of motorcycles parked at the curb as thousands of people looked on from the sidewalks and street benches.

Tomorrow, we load the trikes, have a quick breakfast, and head south to NJ through expected swirling weather patterns containing showers. One more blog entry tomorrow night after we return home. I am praying that we don't get separated on the Driscoll Bridge this time. Jane has promised that she will slow down and wait for me if we get separated. Oh, and I'd like to thank those people who were kind enough to comment on our adventures over the last eight days. We got a chuckle or two from you too as you gave us your critique of our madcap adventures on our two trikes. Hey, after 45 years of marriage, we are still trying to figure each other out. Just listen in to our conversations on the CB sometime and you'll get an earful.

Photo, "Bike with Trailer, " © 2006 Walter Kern

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