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Submitted By: Gene Hanselman
Member #135067, Chapter OH-B

There has always been certain enigmas that relate to Gold Wing riders, one of them includes our eating habits. I can attest to this and find no reason for the connection, other than we ride Gold Wings. One of the Chapters I was affiliated with had a short phrase "When We Meet, We Eat". That pretty much sums it up for all Gold Wing Chapters, Co-riders, passengers, friends and acquaintances. So why do we indulge ourselves with food? Is it because we are food addicts as well as motorcycle addicts? Do we find comfort in sitting around in restaurants, pubs, grills and ice cream parlors searching for the best taste ever? Or is it because we all just "Ride To Eat and Eat To Ride". There are even patches that read, "Ride To Eat, Eat To Ride". Certainly there are other establishments where we could meet, socialize or ride to without the sole purpose of getting something to eat. Maybe it would not be as much fun or light up our endorphins, but it might help with our health.

All Americans are obsessed with either eating too much or watching ever so close their dietary habits. I suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart problems and arthritis, mainly due to my over eating. Really, I have a theory as to why we ride to eat. When I first started riding motorcycles I would always cruise the streets of my hometown frequenting the Dairy Queen, Bowling Alley, Pizza Shop or the local Drive In Stands, which featured really pretty "Car Hops". That is where all my friends would hang out after school, evenings and the weekends. While there we always ate something, after all, we were growing boys and girls. It became a common place to "pig out", eating anything that didn't eat us first. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Shakes, Fries, Pizza, Subs and Chips were our staples and it was a way of life. As we grew older, we longed for those days and reverted back to meeting our friends to eat. At one point in my life I planned all my rides around places to eat and when vacationing I always chose the nicest motels with excellent restaurants close by. It was uncanny how I could be riding out in the middle of nowhere and at mealtime I could stumble across a good place to eat. My fellow riders always said, "Let Gene Find A Place To Eat". I never ate at greasy spoons, I wanted someplace special with good items on the menu. I could sniff them out and it was always a treat to dine where ever we stopped.

Today there are plenty of food chain restaurants for us to choose from that have good family style meals. ie: Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans, Frisch's, O'Charlies, Red Lobster, Applebees and the list goes on. All fast food does for me is make fast indigestion and acid reflux. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good cheeseburger and fries, but not for every meal. In the 60s, 70s and 80s most establishments were small mom and pop owned and had names like Pops, Gary's, Big Mike's, Ken's, Sue's Place, Toby's or Uncle Sam's. They had dippy eggs and fried taters cooked in bacon grease. The home made pie was made with lard and white flour. There were no 90 % lean ground beef or skinless chicken breasts. Your milk shake wasn't fat free or even 2% butter fat, it was whole milk and real ice cream. Gone are those places, etched only in Americana and the memory of us cats over 60 years old. I still enjoy eating out at good places but I do miss those yesteryears.

Today, Chapter events include Ice Cream Rides, Wednesday Night Dinner Rides, Brown Bag Rides, Chili Dumps and Gatherings at eateries and anything else rides to EAT, EAT, EAT. Food has always been my friend and riding a motorcycle to eat is one of my greatest pleasures. Of course not all Members are obsessed with eating when they ride bikes nor is it deter-mental to their health. To most Members, eating is done to sustain life. In the past I lived to eat, instead of eating to live, and I didn't care.

Now that I'm older, eating isn't as important to me. Going out to eat with other Chapter Members is just a fun thing to do. It gives us memorable times and enlightens our social life. We enjoy the camaraderie of mixing with friends and it stimulates our lives. It's comforting to share a meal with friends and discuss current events. It's fun to ride a motorcycle anytime, anywhere for whatever reason.

I will continue to attend Chapter events and outings, I will always meet to eat and ride to eat. I will also remember the old hang outs, drive inns and mom & pop places. I can't stop eating nor will I give up remembering my youth. Riding a motorcycle to eat is a great reason itself. Geno

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