Gold Wing Road Riders Association
Triangle Wings Chapter NC-E Participant's Handbook
Revised January 2016
Chapter Handbook Contents
If you have questions about your participation, Please ask any chapter officer
This Triangle Wings Chapter Participants' Handbook is being published to help the new or potential GWRRA member to become acquainted with GWRRA and chapter operations. Even the seasoned GWRRA member could find something of interest here. Getting involved in GWRRA and chapter activities will bring you to the 'heart' of the chapter.
If you have any questions, please ask the Chapter Director, the Assistant Chapter Director, or the Ride Coordinator for assistance. They will gladly assist in gaining a response to help you to understand the functions of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association and make you welcome into their family.
Hopefully, this handbook will help to answer many of your initial questions.
Making friends who share a common interest.
- Riding our Gold Wings, Valkyries, or favorite motorcycles with our friends.
- Promoting safe riding to enhance our motorcycle experience.
- Learning riding skills and safety techniques to protect those that ride with us.
- Promoting a positive motorcycle image to the general public. and
- FRIENDS FOR FUN, SAFETY, AND KNOWLEDGE!
You don't join a chapter; you join the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA), and you participate in the chapter(s) of your choice. So, the question is better phrased "How do I become a Triangle Wings participant?"
You need do nothing more than actively participate in a chapter meeting, ride, or event. There are no dues or formal application to participate in a GWRRA chapter. By joining GWRRA, you gain access to one of the main benefits of this international association - the local chapter. GWRRA has a network of chapters worldwide, so you are never far from 'home' ... even when you are on the road.
All officers are appointed (e.g. 'selected' rather than 'elected'). There is no voting or election in GWRRA. The association's chain of command goes as follows:
- National Operations Director
- District Director
- Chapter Director
Each director then appoints his/her own staff of assistants, educators, coordinators, and other supporting staff. The Chapter Director has the operational responsibility for the chapter and obtains input from his/her staff and chapter participants in reaching decisions regarding chapter activities.
The first step is to advise the Chapter Director or Assistant Chapter Director that you wish to become a chapter participant and place your name and contact information on the chapter mailing list. Triangle Wings has a variety of newsletter options for its chapter participants. The preferred distribution methods include electronic options, since that reduces the cost of distribution; however, a US Postal Service option exists for those without computers.
- The newsletter is added to the NC-E Triangle Wings website. You may view it anytime after it's loaded.You may request a printed copy if you lack access to a computer.
- The newsletter availability is e-mailed to all members and may include a URL to redirect to the most recent newsletter edition.
- Newsletters are archived by date on the chapter website. Please be advised that other chapters within the NC District may send electronic copies of their newsletters to all chapters that do the same. As such, meeting schedules for the other chapters in the state are available upon request.
The Gold Book is the exclusive GWRRA service directory, which lists participating GWRRA members' names, phone numbers, and varying levels of assistance for you: help, information, tools, lodging, trip assistance, camping space, and general fellowship. If you should find yourself needing help on a lonely highway far from home, you'll find a GWRRA friend nearby. Many members think the Gold Book is the best highway insurance of all! But, GWRRA offers Tow Busters as well.
To receive a copy of the Gold Book, you must complete the Gold Book Directory Information section of the membership application.
As part of your GWRRA membership, you receive free Rescue (formerly Tow Busters) roadside assistance to transport your broken-down motorcycle (up to 35 miles) to the nearest authorized repair center. This protection covers any licensed motorcycle-rider-member on any motorcycle. In addition, you may elect the optional Rescue Plus coverage. This optional coverage includes any 2, 3, or 4 wheel vehicle, trailer towed by a motorcycle, or a trailer used to carry your motorcycle, and the distance covered by insurance goes to 100 miles. There is additional optional coverage to cover an RV.
Combined with the Gold Book, this coverage enables GWRRA members to tour great distances without concern if a breakdown should occur.
In order for the chapter to meet its expenses (e.g. supplies), Triangle Wings sell tickets during our meetings - as do other chapters. The monies collected are split in half - 50% for the chapter funds and 50% to be given away at the meeting. The monies given away include 'vest drawings' and one or more winners from the 50/50 tickets sold. This is a voluntary donation, and you are not obligated to purchase the tickets. However, the chapter is dependent upon these revenues and appreciates your support.
Several times during the month, we have rides available for our chapter members. Sometimes it's for a dinner ride; sometimes it's for ice cream. We also plan one-day or multi-day rides to historical sites, the beach, or scenic destinations. In addition, the NC District encourages chapter visitation through a number of programs that often result in a spontaneous ride in pursuit of one of the travelling plaques. The time of departure varies, so make sure to read your chapter newsletter and/or visit our website (Calendar) for ride information. Unless the ride is defined as 'rain or shine', the ride -typically - will not start if it's raining.
Typically, the special event includes an overnight stay. It may be a camping trip, a ride to a resort destination, a tour of our coast or mountains, or a sport/entertainment venue. Details are usually discussed at the chapter meeting and summarized in the newsletter and on the website. Usually, these events require reservations and a deposit.
The Triangle Wings require that ride participants are licensed riders and both rider and co-rider wear the appropriate legislated safety equipment. In addition, we recommend that riders and co-riders wear boots that cover the ankles, shirts & pants that cover the entire limbs, and full-fingered gloves.
We ride in staggered formation on rides unless road conditions demand single file. We encourage all chapter participants to become familiar with either Group Riding or the Ride Captain's training program.
In general, we want to be safe & protect those with whom we ride!
Those represent "rides", "visitations", or "events". The pins are basically souvenirs that bring back fond memories of the activities.
Recently, GWRRA started offering pins to reflect the level of training achieved by the member.
Hint: Lots of pins = an experienced GWRRA member that you may want to ask your questions.
No, you don't. Vests are optional for participants. Many wear vests to display the GWRRA logo and their many pins and awards. Chapter officers are required to wear the 10 inch GWRRA back patch. Chapter patches, the GWRRA 10" logo patch and other patches can be purchased from the member handling "Goodie Sales".
Yes, learn as much about safe riding and have as much FUN as possible! That's why this association and the local chapters exist: FRIENDS FOR FUN, SAFETY, AND KNOWLEDGE!
Individual states (districts) may have a 2-3 day event for the expressed purpose of providing a fun, social evironment for the participants and provide funding for the GWRRA District Director's office. Bike judging, vendors, Riders Education seminars, 50/50's, motorcycle light show, and much more is available at the rally. District rallies are usually held annually.
Our District Rally is usually conducted in late September in the mountains (Cherokee). It has been a 3-day rally attended by approximately 6000 members from North Carolina and surrounding states.
This is our national rally put on for all Gold Wing Road Riders Association members. It is held at various locations throughout the country. This rally has all the events you would find at a district rally but on a much, much larger scale.
A poker run serves as a fund raising activity. There is usually a charge for each poker hand and an incremental charge for each additional card. Each poker run may differ in one way or another, but -basically- we sign-in, are dealt a poker hand, and get a set of directions to a series of 'check points'. Often, the ride is optional; however, some events distribute cards at the check points. In all cases, the rides are planned for the pleasure of the ride participants.
The best hand will win a prize or share in the funds collected for the event. Sometimes, there is a consolation prize for the worst hand.
We use a predetermined CB channel (primary ch33 with ch1 as secondary) for communicating directions, turns, lane changes, and other pertinent traffic dangers to the group. Limiting idle chatter is particularly critical during departures and arrivals. For lane changes on multiple lane highways, the lead and trailing (last) bike in a group tend to request 'securing the lane'. Only when it is confirmed by the trailing bike does the group move - safely - to the next lane.
The Chapter Director uses the chapter funds to cover operating expenses of the chapter. These expenses include the cost of staff and officer training meetings (may include gas, meals, and lodging), postage, telephone calls, the annual chapter chartering fee, supplies, etc which are necessary to run the chapter.
Disbursement of chapter funds require signature of the Chapter Director and Treasurer on all checks. Annually, the Chapter Directors are required to submit a financial statement to the District Director for purposes of IRS reporting.
- Arrive with a full tank of gas BEFORE the scheduled departure time
- Each bike should ride in a staggered formation within an automobile lane; the leader rides in the left 'track' of that lane; the 2nd rider rides in the right 'track' of the lane. Avoid riding in the center 'track' as that is often oil soaked from automobiles.
- When stopping at a traffic light or stop sign, all bikes pull up, two abreast, directly behind the bike they were following.
- When starting, the leader moves out first, accelerating slowly enough for all bikes to move out in turn. No one should accelerate even with, or pass, another bike.
- Allow three (3) seconds' stopping distance between bikes in the same track, and about 1.5 seconds between bikes in a staggered formation. When riding in groups, try to avoid too much space developing between bikes, as that encourages other motorists to pull between bikes.
- Don't be taken for a ride! In other words, don't just follow the bike ahead of you. Take charge of your ride. Be sure to check the traffic before lane changes or other maneuvers. And, always ride within your capabilities. If you feel unsure, communicate with the leader. Either the group will ride at your comfort level, or you and others may choose to break off in a smaller group and meet up with the other members later. Always ride within your means!
- If someone in the group pulls to the shoulder of the road and stops, do NOT follow. The trailing (last) bike should be designated by the leader to stop and give assistance.
- When passing other vehicles on a two-lane highway, each bike should pass in order & in turn. The leader should accelerate far enough ahead to permit the rest of the group to pass. And, the trailing bike should inform the leader when the whole group has passed and is back in formation.
- Groups should have a leader and rear trailing bike equipped with CB radios. The lead bike leads the group; the trailing bike controls the group. Expect ride suggestions from the 'tail gunner' and accept suggestions to improve the group's riding performance.
- All riders should wear proper riding apparel: helmet, boots, gloves, long sleeve shirt, and pants.
- Relax and enjoy the ride. And, remember, the ride is the goal - not the destination.
GWRRA's Rider Education Program enables us to ride with confidence to enjoy the ride to its fullest potential. The members of this association are among the safest, best-prepared highway users in the nation. While we can't totally eliminate the risks of riding a motorcycle, we can learn to manage these risks through rider education.
For a complete understanding of the requirements for qualification at each level (specified below), see your Rider Educator. Requirements vary slightly for rider and co-rider. Forms are available on-line and from the chapter Rider Educator.
- LEVEL ONE: SAFETY BY COMMITMENT
- Express your commitment to ride safely
- Having ridden your motorcycle 5,000 consecutive, accident-free miles
- Submit form verified by GWRRA officer
- LEVEL TWO: SAFETY BY EDUCATION
- Maintain level one rider education program membership
- Possess a current motorcycle license endorsement
- Completed an MSF rider course within the last two years
- Submit form verified by GWRRA officer
- LEVEL THREE: SAFETY BY PREPAREDNESS
- Maintain level one & two rider education program membership
- Maintain current first aid or CPR certifications
- Wear protective clothing while riding (GWRRA 'recommendation' 2002)
- Carry a First Aid kit on the motorcycle
- Submit form verified by GWRRA officer
- LEVEL FOUR: SAFETY BY ENHANCED PREPAREDNESS AND EXPERIENCE
- Maintain current levels one, two, and three rider education program membership
- Have maintained level three for at least one year
- Having ridden a minimum of 25,000 safe miles
- Current in both first aid & CPR certifications
- Have completed an MSF course within one year
- Submit form verified by GWRRA officer
GWRRA membership forms are available in Wing World and are available on-line at www.gwrra.org.