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2006 Wing Ding Motorcycle Rally Blog - Day 3

This year I'm publishing highlights of the 2006 Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) Wing Ding rally, day by day in a blog. Wing Ding was scheduled for July 3-6 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Nashville, TN and my observations while there.

The weather continues to be warm -- almost hot. Some are riding with full protective gear while others are riding to get a tan. To each his or her own.

We traveled through Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky today. It's the second time I've ridden through Kentucky -- the first time for a few of the group.

Three of us (including me) have GPSs on our bikes. The features are nice. You get to see exactly where you are. You get to see the elevations. We went as high as about 2400 feet today. Another nice feature of the GPS is the ability to help you find a place to eat or locate the next place to get gas. One of our vehicles is a Gold Wing with a two seater enclosed sidecar. It also pulls a trailer. The monster gets a lot of attention when we stop when the roof of the sidecar is raised up. It also gets pretty low gas mileage and as a result, we have to start looking for gas at about 100 miles. You can just query the GPS and find out how far away a gas station is and even plot a directed course to get you there. We did the same thing today for lunch. We queried the group via the CB giving a list of possibilities. Then we voted on where to stop and then we got the turn-by-turn instructions on how to get there. Pretty neat. Someone joked that we should be able to have the GPS call the restaurant with our order and have it ready when we get there. Maybe next year that will be part of the technology of motorcycling.

When we got to Morehead, KY, we found a hole in Verizon's cellphone coverage. "No Service" was all anyone could get when they tried to call home. One person also had a Verizon phone but they were able to call home. We couldn't figure out why she was the only one of us who could get the service to work until someone wisely pointed out that most of us had digital-only service while the other person who could call out had analog service. Apparently the digital world has so far bypassed Morehead.

Oh, again, we got a room that was at the complete end of the motel. We had to walk the entire length of the corridor to reach the elevator to the lobby or to access the soda machine or get ice. I did ask specifically at the desk when we checked in if they had wireless access to the Internet in every room. We were assured we would have no problem. This time we had a great signal.

The closer we get to Nashville, the more motorcycles are seen on the roads. Also, we get asked a lot why there are so many bikes everywhere at the motels and on the roads. I even had a 10 minute conversation today with a guy from LA who poked his head out a second story room in the motel as I was working on my trike. Of course he wanted to know all about the trike as well. He asked the same questions everyone asks. My answers always come from an article I once wrote about trikes.

Tomorrow, we head out on leg 3 of our trip to Nashville. It looks like the weather is again going to cooperate but it may even be hotter than it was today. The 3-chicks-in-the-van will probably keep cracking old jokes over the CB to help keep us alert. Ages of the members of the group riding with us range from 8 to early 70s. We have five males and seven females. Two women are riding their own bikes. One couple is riding 2-up. Of course, three women are riding in a van (the 3-chicks-in-the-van). We are also riding with the "future of motorcycling," two kids in the sidecar rig associated with the 2-up couple. They are a complete family involving the kids in motorcycle activities. Encouraging young people to get interested in motorcycling is a goal we should all be trying to achieve. I'm quite happy to be part of this group and look forward to being associated with about 15,000 other similar individuals at Wing Ding beginning late tomorrow.

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