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Redwood Riders

Redwood Riders Motorcycle Club
Volume 2016 No. 1 August Archive

President's foreword

Hello Riders and welcome to our resurrected newsletter. This is being brought to you through the efforts of our Membership Director, Marcel Svizzero along with Tom Cooke.  The next time you see them, be sure to give them a big “Thank You” for this and all their other efforts that make this such a wonderful club.

The club continues to grow.  Every week I am notified that we have someone new signed up on our Meet-Up site.  Every month Marcel announces we have new full time members.  We must be doing something right!  But we don’t intend to stop working to make the club better, and that is where you come in.  This is YOUR club, and the directors and I want to know what you feel we could do to make the club better.  You have a voice, don’t be afraid to use it.  The club can only continue to thrive if its members are enjoying the experience.  We have already got the message about more rides, and Mike, our Tours & Events Director is busy recruiting more Road Captains and adding additional Wednesday and Saturday rides.

While you are thinking of what can be done to make the club better, consider becoming an officer in the club.  Nominations for officers are due in November with the election in December.  If you think you might like being an officer in the club, talk to people who currently hold an office.  They will be happy to tell you what goes on within the board of directors.  If you would like to see your club officers in action, come to a board meeting.  All members are welcome.  Now you can talk to the new “member at large” director. His purpose is to represent you, the members in determining the direction of the club.

Submitted by Ben Johnstone

Secretary's Report

July 19 General membership meeting minutes.

Meeting Opening Statement:  President Ben Johnstone opened the meeting with the announcement of Tony Albini becoming our new Safety Officer.

At the last Board meeting it was decided that the Vice President will be selling the 50/50 charity raffle at the meetings each month.  This gives Shirleen Perry a break as she has been handling this task for a number of years. 

Ben said that he will be putting on our next overnight ride which will be to Hearst Castle.  The dates will be Oct 21, 22, 23.  We will be staying at the Sea Breeze Motel which is where we stayed a couple of years ago.  (More detailed information will be sent out to the membership)

Minutes were read by Sharon McMillan

Treasurers Report:  Terry Perry was not at the meeting but the treasurer’s report was given to Sharon McMillan to present to the members.

Membership: Newer member John Bischak was introduced along with new member Silvia Schagerer and guest Samantha Albini with new member Alex Pulley.

Membership cards were not available at tonight’s meeting due to Terry’s absence.  He makes up the cards for our club.

Tours & Events:  Mike Holden recapped the Wednesday, July 6th ride to Sausalito which was led by Wade Roberts.  There were a total of 11 riders.  Mike said the Wednesday rides seem popular as there are at least 6 into the teens that make the ride.

Our ride on Saturday, July 6th to the Athena Grille in Suisun was led by Gretchen Tomm which had 12 riders.

Gold Beach ride on July 14, 15 & 16 was jointly put together by Gretchen Tomm and Sharon McMillan.  There were 15 riders when we left on Friday.   Saturday was a jet boat ride on the Rogue River which included an excellent family style lunch.

Cache Creek ride coming up on August 6th.  This ride will be led by George Homenko.  (If you’ve never made this ride before, it is all back roads to and from.

August 10th (Wednesday) is a ride going to Old Sacramento which will be led by Wade Roberts via back roads.

August 21 (Sunday) Ben will lead the group which will end up at River Rock Casino for lunch.

Bob Gonzales told the club members about the upcoming event put on by the San Francisco Motorcycle Club at their club house.  The club is the oldest m/c club in existence.  Jay Leno has filmed there.  Lot of history – one of the prior members is Dudley Perkins of the Perkins Harley Davidson dealership.

Safety Officer:  Tony Albini gave his first safety presentation.  First and foremost, BE SEEN.  Be sure you can see the eyes of the driver in front you in their mirror. Avoid riding in a driver’s blind area.  Ride like you are invisible.  Never ride above your comfort zone.  General discussion continued with members input.

Old Business:  Ben talked about the search for a new meeting place.  Checked out Round Table Pizza in Rohnert Park but felt it was too small.  He checked out the Washoe House which has an upstairs room.  Our new member, Silvia Schagerer, will look into requirements that may need to be negotiated.

New Business:  Question was presented regarding publishing the membership roster.   Discussion was held.  It will be discussed at the board meeting and bring it back to the general membership.

Club hats, visors and shirts was brought up to see about ordering more.  Wade Roberts said the shirts would need a 20 shirt minimum order.  Club hats would require a 10 hat minimum at a cost of $15 plus tax.  The visors would be a minimum order of 5.

Marcel proposed that we support other clubs local activities and wearing our colors as a good recruiting tool.  The Chili Billie ride is coming up on Oct 1st.  (This ends up at the Petaluma Fairgrounds)

Michael Turpin wanted everyone to know how much he enjoyed the Gold Beach ride.  It was his first overnight ride.  And he liked George’s video that was made available to the membership.

50/50 Raffle:  Not held this month with Terry and Shirleen not being at the meeting due to family commitment.

Next general meeting 7: PM Tuesday August 16  at  Olive  Garden  Rohnert  Park.

Submitted by Sharon McMillan,  Club Secretary

Tours & Events Director's Report

July was a month with excellent participation for all of our rides. We had two day rides and one “overnighter” with a total participation of 38. Our Wednesday rides continue to gain popularity with the people who are retired or just decide to skip work for a day. The ride to Sausalito on Wednesday July 6th had a total of 11 riders. Saturday the 9th ride to Suisun City included 13 riders.  The high point of July was the ride to Gold Beach Oregon on the 15th, 16th and 17th. The ride up provided us with some of California’s and Oregon's most beautiful scenery. Saturday the 13 riders and two passengers took a 32 mile jet boat ride up the Rogue River and had a wonderful family style meal at a 6th generation farmhouse on the river before heading back. The ride home went through "The Avenues of the Giants" and was uneventful except for a little fog.  All in all, a great trip. Try to make the next one if you can.

One of our members requested that we add an occasional overnighter that working people might be able to attend. So, we will look into a couple of rides that will depart on Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon. If that is an attractive proposition for you, please drop me an e-mail include, if you will, a suggested destination.

Rides in August

August 6           George Homenco leads ride to Cache Creek Casino

August 10         Wade Roberts or Mike Holden leads ride to Old Sacramento

August 21         Ben Johnstone leads ride to River Rock Casino

Upcoming Long Rides

August 19 to September 1          Mike leads ride to Canada (this ride is booked) 

October 21, 22, 23                       Ben Johnstone Leads to Hearst Castle

By Mike Holden

Membership Director's Report

New members in July

Silvia Schagerer

Samantha Albini
Alex Pulley
Barry Kessey
Current membership

Number of riders         67
Number of co-riders    12
Total Club members    79
Birthdays in  August
Gretchen Tomm
Dominic Nuccio
Tresha Holloway
Felipe Guerrero
Jim McDaniel
Jack Baglietto
Members' Rides:
Harley: 30    Honda:14    Yamaha: 11    Suzuki: 6    Can-Am: 5    Victory: 4    BMW: 5    Kawasaki: 2    Triumph: 2
Big Dog: 1    Ducati: 1    Aprila: 1    CSC Rx3 Cyclone: 1

RRMC Membership Cards
If you don't have your membership card yet, check with Marcel or Terry. You need these to get the discounts offered by our sponsors.

Two new Board members announced in July.
Tony Albini is taking on the duties of Safety Officer.
Wade Roberts has accepted the new directorship, Member at Large.

The Member at Large shall be a goodwill ambassador for the members of the club. He/she, shall help greet new members, understand and convey to the Board of Directors, members' concerns, and help maintain continuity of club policies and operations.

Thank you both for serving.

New Road Captain appointed in July
George Homenko, (Kudos for the great pictures he took at Gold Beach, Oregon.)

Road Captain Returns
Terry Perry returns as a road captain after recovery from injury. Welcome back Terry.
We now have six road captains.

Membership Awards for two Outstanding Members - Thank you Ben and Terry

        Ben's Award     Terry's Award
Awarded at the 20th Anniversary Party

Membership report Submitted By Marcel Svizzero

Safety Officer's Tip of the Month

Please let's remember to make ourselves seen while riding. If you can see the driver's eyes in the mirrors you are not in the blind spot. If you realize you are in a blind spot, get out. Move forward or back. Ride as though you are  invisible and be can't be seen. 

Submitted By Tony Albini

Wisdom of the month

What’s the most dangerous part of a motorcycle?

The nut that connects the seat to the handlebar.

Motorcycle joke

Paul's Tech Corner ~ by Paul Albert, Newsletter staff writer

Tires!  Most of us only have two.  With that said, at least once a week give them a thorough check.  Look at the tread.  Are they worn uneven, cupped, bald on the center or edges?  Could it be a suspension problem or just worn out tires.  Are the balance weights still there?  Look at the valve stem, are they solid looking or splitting at the rim?  I have seen them break at the rim clean off.  Always replace them at a tire change.  Bottom line buy a tire gauge, bend at the knees and check the tire pressures.  If you have a center stand there is no excuse not to look for nails.  Just spin the rims.  If you find a nail, mark the tire with tire marker.  Helps you or the tech find the road hazard.  Plus you will know where the hole is after removal of the foreign object. 

When on long trips, I suggest, you carry a mini air pump like the one Harley offers, or Walmart has a nice one under the Slime Brand for around $25. A tire plug/repair kit could get you home, (If you don't know how to fix a tire, youtube offers some great videos on how to do it.)  You can practice with an old tire you plan to replace, drill a hole into the tire, ream it with the reemer, lube up the plug,  and insert the plug or cord add air, pop open a beer and sit back. You did it all by yourself.  With this knowledge you could do a fix on the open road in the middle of nowhere.  Though not the greatest, a can of tire sealant could be tried with a 50/50 success rate with tubeless tires (what a mess it is to clean the sealant on the rim during a tire change).  If you have tube type tires, sealant will never work.  Only a patch or a new tube  will fix the flat. 

A nice but expensive safety option sold aftermarket is electronic tire pressure indicators, about $150 just screw them on in place of the valve stem caps.  Included is a mounted digital readout that will show you your tire pressure at the push of a button.  Some even have a warning chime.  Last is the option of pressure sensitive valve stem caps with a color indicator level indicator, sold by whatever the psi you need, they are not perfect but if  the green band is not visible check your tires. Most important,  never ever go on a club ride with bald tires unless you like to be humiliated by the group should you get a flat or worse!  Keep the shiny side up!

Members' views, stories and helpful tips

Thanks to Marcel and Arleen for hosting a terrific 20th Anniversary party for the Redwood Riders at their lovely home in Novato. The vibe was warm and friendly. The food was fine, the weather cooperated perfectly. In all it was an excellent gathering and an opportunity to acknowledge and thank Ben and Terry as mainstays of the club!
Tom Cooke
The ride to Gold Beach was fantastic. We rode the Oregon Coast which I have not done before. The huge rock formations jutting out from the sandy beach were unique and made beautiful scenery.  

We all got together Friday night before diner for a small libation and story telling.

Saturday, we took "Jerry's Jet Mail Boat" ride up the Rogue River. The views were spectacular as was the wildlife. We saw seals, heron, cormorants, Bald Eagles, river otters, osprey, duck, geese, hawks and all sorts of other birds.
We stopped for lunch at an old farmhouse about 200 yards off the river.  We ate outside under the trees and had an incredible home cooked meal.

Afterwards we returned back to home port. During the jet boat ride, (in both directions) we were treated to Jerry's famous "spin around." A few of us got a bit sprayed but it was welcomed on this warm afternoon.

The third day, we returned home by way of the Avenues of the Giants redwood forest.
Great job Gretchen and Sharon planning and organizing a fantastic ride!

Shell T6 full synthetic oil. If you change your own oil, you might want to give this one a try. It is heavy duty JASO
motorcycle approved. Viscosity is 5 to 40 weight, which means it is good for winter or summer up to 120+ degrees outside temperature.  I have used it for three oil changes. My engine runs quieter and shifting is easier than stock oil. Hitting neutral is also much easier. The bonus is the cost. It is available at Walmart Rhonert Park for $24.00 for a 4 quart container.

Know what you are paying for.  If you have your oil changed at your local dealer or garage, make sure you ask for FULL synthetic oil. Otherwise, you might get a synthetic mix, which means you are only getting a percentage of synthetic oil, (regular oil mixed with synthetic oil and percentages will vary among brands.) This is better than regular oil, but not as good as full synthetic.

Pack your coffee! After putting your coffee in your coffee maker, pack it down tight. (We use a small jar) It takes longer for the water to go through and you will get more flavor.

Tom's Corner ~ by Tom Cooke, Newsletter staff writer

The Biker Next Door

‘Biker’ or ‘motorcyclist enthusiast’?  Does the language you choose reveal your perception of folks who ride?  Are they reckless, leather-clad, near-outlaws?  Or are they friends and neighbors who have chosen an exhilarating, if admittedly, dangerous pastime, doing all they can to remain safe on the road?  Shopworn stereotypes of motorcycle riders persist, and help place the riders in some peril.  Undeniably, motorcycle riding is far more dangerous than driving a car or truck.  Statistically, its risks are more akin to horseback riding or bicycling.  Local groups like the “Redwood Riders” and national organizations like the American Motorcycle Association have been working hard to educate both motorists and riders about shared safety issues, and thus, lower the alarmingly high rate of motorcycle accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Hopeful trends are emerging.  In recent years, motorcycle fatalities have been trending down nationally and in California, as riders (and motorists) heed the important messages about never riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Safety improvements have been embraced by many, including protective clothing and footwear with built in “armor,” along with better, stronger, often “full-face” helmets for riders and passengers.  Jackets, riding suits and helmets splashed with “high visibility” colors like neon green make riders easier to see.

Riders are fully aware of the basic laws of physics that predict the outcomes of collisions between motorcycles and motor vehicles.  At the fear of understatement, suffice it to say these outcomes do not favor the rider.  So the overwhelming majority of motorcyclists ride in compliance with traffic laws, and as safely as possible, to avoid becoming a tragic statistic.

The question can be asked, what responsibility do automobile drivers incur?  The most frightening and most consistent finding of numerous national studies of motorcycle/motor vehicle collisions is that the  involved motorists report not having seen the motorcycle  with which they collided.  The car or truck that turns left at an intersection into the path of an oncoming “invisible” motorcycle is a nightmare that haunts the dreams of most experienced riders.  Perhaps if drivers were more attenuated to, and respectful of, the presence of motorcycles and expected them on highways and byways, their perceptions would improve and accidents would decrease. 

A more difficult question remains: do some drivers’ negative stereotypes of riders play a part?  Are riders just adrenaline-soaked thrill-seekers who knowingly put themselves at risk, and thus deserve what they get?  As an experienced rider, I will posit a reply—it is only a tiny minority, (similar to the small minority of drivers) who are dangerous and reckless behind the wheel.  If riders are not a stereotypical “Wild Bunch,” who are they, in fact?  They are our neighbors, doctors, teachers, police, fire fighters, DMV workers, bankers, pharmacists, students and current and retired members of our military.  They are, in short, everyone in the community, people of all walks of life, of all ages, and whose lives and safety deserve to be respected and protected.  What they have in common is a deep love of the exhilaration and freedom of touring our beautiful area on two wheels, in the open air, without insulation or protection.  While this sensation is not for everyone, those of us who have embraced and come to love it would never trade it for any other activity.  So our plea to our friends and neighbors in cars and trucks is simple and profound.  We exist.  We love riding and we love life.  Please be hyper-vigilant to our possible presence at any time.  Please keep us in mind as you drive.

Original article by Tom Cooke - Professor Emeritus of Sonoma State University and Redwood Rider

A special Thanks to everyone who contributed to our first edition of the Redwood Riders Monthly Review.
~ Editor

Officers and Road Captains
Welcome to the Board Tony Albini and Wade Roberts

RRMC Board of Directors Contacts
Vice President:
Tours & Events:
Member at Large:
Sgt. at Arms:
Ben Johnston
Gretchen Tomm
Sharon McMillan
Terry Perry
Mike  Holden
Tony Albini
Marcel Svizzero
Wade  Roberts
Mark Exter

Road Captains

Mike Holden, Senior Road Captain/Trainer

Ben Johnstone

Gretchen Tomm

Wade Roberts

Terry Perry

George Homenko

Redwood Riders Motorcycle Club Newsletter Temporary Editor Archive 
Marcel Svizzero                      

Headings in bold blue will be regular features of the newsletter.

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Redwood Riders Motorcycle Club 2016