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  1. How did GWRRA get started?
  2. Are there different types of Membership?
  3. When will my New Member packet arrive?
  4. What are some of my benefits as a Member of GWRRA?
  5. Can I purchase a membership card for each of my family members?
  6. Why am I getting emails from GWRRA?
  7. How do I stay informed of what is going on in GWRRA?
  8. What is the benefit of belonging to a "Chapter?"
  9. How do I find a local Chapter?
  10. What is Wing World?
  11. When can I expect to receive my Wing World each month?
  12. How do I submit articles or pictures to Wing World?
  13. How do I contact the technical editor?
  14. Does my membership include roadside assistance coverage for my motorcycle?
  15. Does my membership include roadside assistance coverage for my other vehicles?
  16. How will I know when it is time for me to renew my membership?
  17. What is the best way to contact customer service?
  18. How do I post on the Message Board?
  19. Does GWRRA have official-licensed products?
  20. How long does it take my “Official Product” order to arrive?
  21. Does GWRRA have a department where I can order custom pins and patches for my event or organization?
  22. How long until my custom pin or patch order arrives?
  23. How is GWRRA structured?
  24. What is a Director?
  25. What is the Chapter of the Year (CHOY) Program?
  26. What is the Couple of the Year (COY) Program?
  27. Whom should I talk to if I have a problem within my Chapter?
  28. What is the Rider Education Division (RED)?
  29. What is a Motorcycle Rider Course: Riding and Street Skills (MRC:RSS)?
  30. What is the Experienced Riders Course (ERC)?
  31. What is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)?
  32. What is the Membership Enhancement Division (MED)?
  33. What is the Leadership Training Division (LTD)?
  34. What is the Motorist Awareness Division (MAD)?
  35. What are Special Interest Groups (SIG)?
  36. What is a Mall Show?
  37. What are Rallies?
  38. Does GWRRA have a national rally/convention?
  39. What is a Ride?
  40. What is a Field Event?
  41. What is a 50/50 Ticket?
  42. What is a Chapter Challenge?
  43. What is a Charity or Toy Run?
  44. What is a Poker or Observation Run?
  45. What is a Bug Run?
  46. Can you tell me what next year’s Honda Gold Wing will look like?
  47. What is GWRRA’s relationship with Honda
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1.  How did GWRRA get started? [Back to top]
Based on the premise of Friend for Fun, Safety and Knowledge, GWRRA, an international association for Gold Wing and Valkyrie motorcycle Riders, Co-riders, and Associate Members, was started June 4, 1977, by seven people with a common interest in riding their motorcycles. They wanted to establish an association that would allow freedom from regulatory membership, yet provide benefits superior to those available from other, more ordinary, motorcycle groups.

Over 30 years later, the Association continues to grow and flourish. Today there are over 72,000 Members spread across the United States and 53 other countries! There are over 800 Chapters where Members gather to have fun and live the motto of "Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge."

The Association is built on four simple ideals. First is to "promote safety and skill enhancement," so we can continue to enjoy our hobby of riding. The second is to "promote friendship" among the entire biking public. The third is to "promote the positive image of the motorcycle rider" to continue striving to overcome the negative image many non-motorcyclists attach to folks like us. The fourth ideal is to "promote fun." After all, life is too short not to enjoy, and the one common thread that runs through this Association is the FUN factor!

2.  Are there different types of Membership? [Back to top]
Individual Membership: For individual Members only, this membership is for the person who owns a Gold Wing or Valkyrie motorcycle and pays the annual membership fee of $45 for one year, $85 for two years and $120 for three years.

Family Membership: For families with two or more people in the same household, who own a Gold Wing or Valkyrie motorcycle and pay the annual membership fee of $55 for one year, $105 for two years and $150 for three years.

Associate Individual Membership: For those individuals who wish to take advantage of GWRRA and its benefits, do not own a Gold Wing or Valkyrie and pay the annual membership fee of $50 for one year, $95 for two years and $135 for three years.

Associate Family Membership: For families with two or more people in the household who wish to take advantage of GWRRA and its benefits, do not own a Gold Wing or Valkyrie and pay the annual membership fees of $60 for one year, $115 for two years and $165 for three years.

Life Membership: For those individuals who have been a Member of GWRRA for twenty consecutive years and pay a nominal annual membership fee of $20 per year.

Subscription Only: The subscriber receives 12 issues of Wing World magazine for $40 per year.

Business Membership: Available with three levels of Membership options. Level 1 provides your business name and website link in black for only $250 a year; Level 2 provides your business name, logo and website link in black for just $350 a year and Level 3 provides your business name, logo, website link and a full-color ad for only $500 a year. As a Business Member, you also receive the GWRRA Business Logo for use in your advertising and marketing; biannual listing in Wing World magazine; signage at Wing Ding; certificate to exhibit in your place of business; a listing in the Gold Book; and a 12-month subscription to Wing World magazine. Visit http://www.gwrra.org/businessmembers.html

3.  When will my new Member packet arrive? [Back to top]
Your New Member packet will be mailed within three business days of receipt of your enrollment. Depending on your postal service, you should receive your packet in three-to-four weeks.

4.  What are some of my benefits as a Member of GWRRA?
The benefits of membership are many. Member benefits include a twelve-month subscription to Wing World, one of the finest Gold Wing/Valkyrie magazines in the world! A second benefit, the annual "Gold Book" Service Directory, has thousands of names of fellow Members offering services that range from roadside assistance to lodging. Members also receive Free Rescue Emergency Roadside Assistance for your motorcycle, an attractive gold-plated GWRRA pin, membership card, logo patch, and distinctive logo decals. Other benefits that many of our Members take advantage of are:

Social Amenities / Chapter Life / Interactive Website with Message Boards
Rider Education & Training / Leadership Training
Rescue Plus Emergency Roadside Assistance for as low as $35 per year
GWRRA Official Products / Honda Dealer Discounts at many locations
GWRRA Platinum Plus Visa Card
Access to a Member-approved listing of motorcycle repair shops
For additional information and benefits visit: http://gwrra.org/benefits.html

 

5.  Can I purchase a membership card for each of my family members?[Back to top]
With a family membership, you receive a card for you and for one co-rider. Additional cards may be purchased for $5 each by calling Member Services at 800-843-9460.

6.  Why am I getting emails from GWRRA? [Back to top]
Changing times force us to constantly review the ways in which we do things, especially in the area of communication. Reaching all 72,000-plus Members by telephone would be an impossible task for our small staff at the Home Office. But, the need for the Association to communicate with you is not any less important. Sure, mail is an option. But with as much information that we would like to get to you in a timely and constant manner, it’s extremely cost prohibitive. So that leaves us with the question, “How do we communicate with you in an efficient, constant and cost effective manner? For GWRRA, email offers us the ability to distribute GWRRA information to its membership in a very efficient manner. Information that would be of interest and/or benefit to you today can now be transmitted electronically. If you should know about it today, email allows us to let you know about it today.

7.  How do I stay informed of what is going on in GWRRA? [Back to top]
In addition to Wing World magazine, the GWRRA Website and newsletters from Chapter, Districts and Regions. Just add the various GWRRA email addresses to your email address book as they come to you. The most commonly used email addresses are: Customerservice@gwrra.org; Info@gwrra.org; Info@wing-ding.org. If you would like to receive communications via email from GWRRA, make sure your current email address is registered with the Home Office. You can do so by contacting Member Services at 800-843-9460 or by logging into your membership account at http://membership.gwrra.org/. If you do not want to receive email from GWRRA, contact Member Services via the methods just mentioned and ask “not to be contacted via email.” Finally, if you receive an email from GWRRA that you are not really interested in, we ask that you please do not flag the email as spam but, rather, simply delete the email. This will enable you to get messages from us in the future that may be important to you. This will also prevent us from being treated as a spammer by internet service providers and, as a result, not be able to provide email to other Members. Along that same line, if you notice that an email from GWRRA winds up in your SPAM or JUNK box, please mark it as NOT-spam/junk.

8.  What is the benefit of belonging to a "Chapter?" [Back to top]
Many Members feel the Chapter is the single most important benefit of belonging to GWRRA and for many reasons, some of which are stated below.

New Friends: Countless new friends with a common interest are made. It provides an opportunity to ride our Gold Wings with our friends.

Safe Riding: Safe riding is promoted to make our riding experience even more enjoyable. Skills and safety techniques are learned.

Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge: You really get an opportunity to live the motto of "Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge."

The best advice that can be offered is to attend a Chapter meeting (sometimes referred to as a "gathering" or "get-together"). These meetings (normally held monthly) are social events that try to offer something for everyone. New ideas are always welcome!

You do not "join" a Chapter; you are a Member of GWRRA and a “participant” of a Chapter or Chapters. You can participate in as many or as few activities and meetings as you wish! There are no applications or fees needed to participate in a GWRRA Chapter. With over 800 Chapters, when you travel you’re never far from "home."

Most Chapters publish a newsletter, usually on a monthly basis. When you attend your first meeting, you will be asked to sign in, and then you will be on the distribution list for that Chapter’s newsletter. In it, you will find everything from upcoming rides, to recipes, to motorcycle items for sale, to information about other Chapters’ meetings and events.

 

9.  How do I find a local Chapter? [Back to top]
When you receive your Wing World magazine, you will find an "Officers Listing" by District with contact information to locate a Chapter within riding distance of where you live, or go to the map on the GWRRA Website http://www.gwrra.org/regionmap_pop.html.

10.  What is Wing World? [Back to top]
Wing World is the monthly magazine. It concentrates on subjects of interest to the Association’s Members, such as GWRRA functions, Honda Gold Wing and Valkyrie motorcycles and topics that apply to the Association’s motto of Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge.

11.  When can I expect to receive my Wing World each month? [Back to top]
Your first issue of Wing World will arrive in 6-8 weeks from the date your membership is processed. After that, the magazine is shipped from the distributor the first week of each month to all Members. Depending on your postal service, you should receive delivery no later than the 20th of the month. If you do not receive your issue, please contact 800-843-9460 or 623-581-2500. In the meantime, you may access Wing World on-line at http://www.wingworldmag.com using your GWRRA Message Board password.

12.  How do I submit articles or pictures to Wing World? [Back to top]
Contents for Wing World are selected on an as-needed basis in order to create an appropriated mixture of topics per issue. Standard items include tour stories, technical features, letters to the editor, letters to the technical editor, and more.  We welcome unsolicited stories and photos from our Members, though there is no monetary compensation for works published.

Articles emailed or submitted on CD are preferred to typed or handwritten articles on paper for the sake of time and clarity.

Feature-length stories should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length (or less) and can be of any genre. Technical articles are welcomed but should include the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and experiential background of experts quoted along with a bibliography of other sources (i.e., books, Websites, scientific research studies, etc.).  We must check responsibly the facts pertaining to any technical information submitted to us.   

Photos should be high-resolution images (minimum of 300 dpi) or very sharp resolution prints. Focus should be razor sharp and lighting must be even, not harshly shadowed. Though we do welcome posed shots, action shots are also important.  In them, subjects do not need to be visibly moving in each shot (i.e. with their motion causing a visible blur), but they should appear to be performing some type of action (i.e. reaching into a pouch, starting a fire, etc.).  If your attachment is larger than 9 mb, check the directions below for using our FTP site.

Please remember that, because of the large volume of submissions we receive daily, articles and photos submitted cannot be returned. Therefore, please only submit copies of your articles and photos, never originals. Also due to topical needs for each issue, quality of submitted work, etc., not all submissions are chosen for publication.

Email attachments are limited in size to 9 mb; so please place your document on our FTP server at ftp://jmt.gwrra.org. Log on to the FTP site with User Name: “jmtclient” and Password: “graphics”.  After you have placed the document on the FTP site, email editor@gwrra.org and reference the file name. Note: Pictures placed on the FTP server should be 300 pixels per inch, no greater than 8.125" x 10.875" maximum size and in a JPEG (JPG) format.

Send your story and photos via email to editor@gwrra.org or by mail to Editor, GWRRA, Inc., 21423 North 11th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027.

Of course, please include all your pertinent information, such as name, GWRRA Member number, address, telephone number, email address, etc.

13.  How do I contact the technical editor? [Back to top]
The technical editor is not located at the Home Office, therefore is not available by telephone.  You may email to workbench@gwrra.org.

14.  Does my membership include emergency roadside assistance coverage for my motorcycle? [Back to top]
Yes. Rescue Emergency Roadside Assistance for your motorcycle is a 24-hour/7-day-a-week Member benefit included free with your annual GWRRA membership. Rescue covers 35 miles of towing (per disablement) to the destination of your choice and applies to any motorcycle you (or, if you have a Family membership, your registered household family members) are riding, including as a passenger. This program also includes fuel delivery and locksmith services (up to $100); emergency trip interruption; travel-related accidental death and dismemberment; mapping services; and rental car and other travel-related discounts. (Some exclusions apply.)

15.  Does my membership include emergency roadside assistance coverage for my other vehicles? [Back to top]
For enhanced benefits, Members can purchase Rescue Plus Emergency Roadside Assistance with 100 miles of towing and emergency roadside coverage while you are driving or riding in any non-commercial vehicle for an additional $25 per year; non-members pay $50 per year. Rescue Plus increases the coverage on your motorcycle, and it covers your trailer too.

16.  How will I know when it is time for me to renew my membership? [Back to top]
You will receive a renewal reminder 60 days and again at 30 days before your membership expiration date, plus your final magazine will have a reminder that it is the last issue you will receive. After expiration, an exit survey letter is sent to the expired Member. You can manage your GWRRA membership from the convenience of your computer at http://membership.gwrra.org/. Here you can renew your GWRRA membership, change your mailing address, change your telephone number, change your email address or register for events.

17.  What is the best way to contact customer service? [Back to top]
On-line:  http://www.gwrra.org/contact.html
Email:  memberservices@gwrra.org
Telephone:  800-843-9460 or 623-581-2500 (Phoenix)
Postal Delivery:  21423 North 11th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027

Our office hours are: Monday-Thursday 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time).

18.  How do I post on the Message Board? [Back to top]
The Message Board is an exclusive benefit for GWRRA Members with a registered email address on file with GWRRA Member Services. New Members must wait until their membership is processed before participating on the Message Board.

Generate your own Message Board username and password:

Username - This is your SIX digit membership number. It is on your membership card, or you can contact Member Services for assistance.
Password: This consists of two parts: the first set of numbers in your address and your four-digit membership expiration date (MMYY).  Keep in mind your password will change each time you move or renew.  Your password is formed as follows:

  1. The first set of numbers in the mailing address you have registered for your GWRRA membership.  If an alpha character is a part of the first set of numbers, it needs to be included in your password (see Example #2).  Alpha characters should always be in lowercase font.
  2. Your four-digit membership expiration date.  Life Members have a "LIFE" expiration date (see Example #3).

Password Examples All alpha characters must be in lowercase font.

Example #1

Address = PO Box 345 Expiration Date = 8/10

Password is 3450810

Example #2

Address = 1234B West Earll Expiration Date = 3/09

Password is 1234b0309

Example #3

Address = 1942 West Earll Expiration Date = LIFE

Password is 1942life

How to update or add your email address:
After an email address is added or updated, allow one business day for updates to replicate to the Message Board server.

• Go to www.gwrra.org and login to "Manage your Membership."
• Call Member Services at (800) 843-9460 or 623-581-2500 during business hours.
• Email your name, Member number and new email address to memberservices@gwrra.org.  Due to the large volume of daily email updates, add one additional working day to process.

19.  Does GWRRA have officially-licensed products available? [Back to top]
Yes. You will find our line of official products in Wing World magazine or visit http://gwrra.org/warehouse/index.html.

20.  How long does it take my “Official Product” order to arrive? [Back to top]
In-stock merchandise orders are usually shipped within 7 to 10 business days upon receipt and processing of your order. Arrival depends on the postal service.

21.  Does GWRRA have a department where I can order custom pins and patches for my event or organization? [Back to top]
GW Pin & Patch has been in business for over ten years. We understand how important those special events and occasions are. Using the finest materials and workmanship, we provide the best quality pins and patches at prices to meet your needs. http://www.gwpins.com/

22.  How long until my custom pin or patch order arrives? [Back to top]
Custom pin and patch orders take approximately 3-4 weeks upon receipt of approved artwork.

23.  How is GWRRA structured? [Back to top]
The Home Office, located in Phoenix, Arizona, takes care of the day-to-day business activities of the Association. For example, this is where your initial and renewal memberships are processed and mailed, where Wing World magazine and the Gold Book are published, and where GWRRA fills daily orders for products displaying the GWRRA name and/or logo. The Home Office has a small, paid staff to do all these things for you. Also located at the Home Office is the Founder of the Association, a Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Board, and the President. These Officers ensure the Association runs smoothly and in the best interest of the membership.

To provide a communications link between the Home Office and our Members, an Operations Team, headed by the Director of GWRRA, had been established. This Team is comprised of a large network of Officers, also referred to as "volunteer leaders," at various levels within the organization.

The Association is comprised of "regions." Within each Region are two or more states (U.S.) and/or provinces (Canada) – we refer to states and provinces as "Districts." (To help visualize the Regions, you may want to look at the Region Map on the Homepage.) Within each District are "Chapters."

A Director and Assistant Director(s), who are the network of Officers, or volunteer leaders, comprising the Operations Division, lead each Region, District and Chapter.

24.  What is a Director? [Back to top]
Each Region, District and Chapter has someone who has volunteered to take responsibility. They are known as the “Region Director” (RD), “District Director” (DD) and “Chapter Director” (CD). These individuals can answer any questions you may have. They help organize and run the Chapter, District and Region. Their primary "job" is to make sure the Members have FUN! In fact, upon your becoming a Member, they will initiate contact with you via a telephone call and invite you to attend a Chapter meeting.

25. What is the Chapter of the Year (CHOY) Program? [Back to top]
The Chapter of the Year Award was created to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts and performance of local Chapter leaders and Members. The growth and continued success of GWRRA is dependent on the thoughtful planning and implementation of important local initiatives.

All “charter paid” GWRRA Chapters worldwide are eligible to participate providing the qualifications have been met. Each District shall select a Chapter that demonstrates the greatest combined achievement in the list of criteria. Each Region will select one outstanding Chapter that will be compared to other Region Chapters at Wing Ding each year. The Chapter of the Year Award will be presented to one regional Chapter that demonstrates the greatest combined achievement in the criteria listed.

26.  What is the Couple of the Year (COY) Program? [Back to top]
The Couple of the Year Program, which is managed by the Member Enhancement Division, was started in 1988 as a way to recognize Members by selecting a couple that represents the best qualities and ideals of GWRRA and its Members. The program starts at the Chapter level with "Chapter Couple of the Year," and then through a friendly selection process, Couples of the Year at the District, Region and National levels are selected and recognized. These Couples of the Year normally serve for one year. At the National level, the term "International Couple of the Year" is used because the competition at that level includes Region Couples of the Year from both the U.S. and Canada. (For more information, please see the "Couple of the Year Guide," available from your Chapter Director or at http://med.gwrra.org/guides/coy/Couple.

27.  Whom should I talk to if I have a problem within my Chapter? [Back to top]
It is always best to start with the Chapter Director. If you are uncomfortable discussing the issue with the Chapter Director, the next step is to contact your District Director. If the District Director is unable to assist you, your next step is to go to the Region Director. The only time you need to contact the Home Office regarding Chapter issues is if you do not receive a response from one of the aforementioned parties. We strive to trust in the field Officers and the designated chain of command and structure that already exists.

28.  What is the Rider Education Division (RED)? [Back to top]
The basic purpose of the REP is to make the motorcycle environment safer by increasing skills and awareness. As such, it focuses on the "Friends for Safety" aspects of the slogan. This Program provides various rider education seminars and courses and maintains a close working relationship with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. It also sponsors a "Rider Education Program" whereby Members can achieve advancing levels of rider safety and education and educating other motorists through the Motorist Awareness Division (MAD). http://www.gwrra.org/regional/ridered/index.html.

29.  What is a Motorcycle Rider Course: Riding and Street Skills (MRC:RSS)? [Back to top]
This is a course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) which teaches the basic skills of riding, such as straight line riding, turning, shifting, and stopping. It also teaches advanced turning techniques, maximum braking techniques, and swerving. In addition, mental skills are taught such as street riding strategies and special situations and how to deal with them. The class (on- and off-bike) is about 22 hours, and motorcycles are provided for the students.

30.  What is the Experienced Riders Course (ERC) [Back to top]
This eight-hour course is offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and expands on the physical and mental skills taught in the Motorcycle Rider Course: Riding and Street Skills (MRC: RSS). Unlike the MRC:RSS, in the ERC you use your own motorcycle and, in some states, you can take it "two-up" with your co-rider.

31.  What is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)? [Back to top]
The MSF is a national, nonprofit organization sponsored by Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and BMW. Its purpose is to improve the safety of motorcyclists on the nation’s streets and highways. The MSF offers programs in rider education, licensing improvement, public information and statistics.

32.  What is the Member Enhancement Division (MED)? [Back to top]
The MEP focuses on the "Friends for Fun" aspects of our motto. It oversees various programs which (a) promote a positive image of the Association and motorcycling in general, (b) publicize fun activities to ensure our Members enjoy their GWRRA experiences, and (c) encourage Members to retain their membership and to recruit new Members into the Association. http://med.gwrra.org/

33.  What is the Leadership Training Division (LTD)? [Back to top]
The LTP provides a smorgasbord of formalized training programs that provide opportunities for new learning experiences and personal growth to any of our Officers and Members who wish to take advantage. This Program is responsible for the "Friends for Knowledge" aspects of our motto. http://www.gwrra.org/regional/Training/Training.htm.

Throughout the Association, there are thousands of Members who have volunteered to be on staff at the National, Region, District, and Chapter levels, to perform the functions of these last three Programs. These Members contribute their time to help ensure the motto and ideals of the Association are achieved.

34.  What is the Motorist Awareness Division (MAD)? [Back to top]
The Motorist Awareness Division is a subdivision of the Rider Education Division. MAD’s campaign is “Ride Aware!”

"Ride Aware!" is an international effort to reduce the number of crashes, conflict situations and hazards occurring between motorcycles and other highway users. "Accident" is a term we choose not to use, because the term implies crashes -- conflict and hazardous situations that were not preventable.

In "Ride Aware!" we believe most crashes are predictable, preventable and a culmination of many factors. It is our belief that riders and drivers can minimize the interaction of factors and by so doing reduce or eliminate the possibility of hazards, conflicts or crashes through use of an active strategy and good judgment. "Ride Aware" is GWRRA's campaign to realize these ends. Join us as a "Motorist Awareness Liaison" and "Ride Aware!"

35.  What are Special Interest Groups (SIG)? [Back to top]
The primary purpose of a Special Interest Group is to provide the opportunity and organizational support to GWRRA Members who share and enjoy a common area of interest.  SIG’s operate as a subdivision of the Member Enhancement Division (MED) and function autonomous of the operations of the Association.  SIG’s can be formed when sufficient interest has been expressed to warrant the formation and operation of a SIG.

The organizational format of Regions, Districts and Chapters (or local groups) should normally suffice.  It is important for a SIG to not become a distraction within the Chapter and take away from the primary purpose of the Chapter, motorcycling.  Some SIG’s, such as bowling, classic Gold Wings or classic cars, for example, could blend very well within the Chapter’s structure.  Other SIG’s such as golf, scuba diving or photography may not have sufficient interest to operate within the Chapter structure and may warrant the formation of an outside group.  The SIG is supplemental to the Association, and its activities do not interfere with the daily operations and activities of the Region, District or Chapter.

36.  What is a Mall Show? [Back to top]
This is a pre-scheduled "bike show" set up at a local shopping mall. This gives us an opportunity to set up and display our beautiful machines to the general public. It also assists us in recruiting new Members or Associate Members who may not otherwise have heard about us. (For more information, see the "Public Relations Guide" available from your Chapter Director or through the Membership Enhancement link on the GWRRA Website.

37.  What are Rallies? [Back to top]
Each year GWRRA conventions are held at the District, Region, and International levels. They all have one express purpose in mind: to provide a fun, educational, and social environment for the participants. District conventions are normally two days in length, Region conventions are normally three days, and Wing Ding is usually four or five days in length. Conventions may be held at convention centers, hotels, fairgrounds, schools or other locations.

Regardless of which convention you attend, they typically have several things in common. For those who like to compete, there is a bike show, field events (on-bike skill events), a talent show, seminars, poker or observation run, and many other fun-filled things to do. Generally the conventions have vendors selling everything from leather wear to chrome, polish, pin striping, cargo trailers, campers, tires, tune-ups, oil changes, helmets, CB’s, intercoms, and a multitude of other "must have" accessories. Many of the conventions also have Rider Education classes, seminars, and training to enhance the GWRRA experience.

All of the conventions we’ve described thus far have been those normally held when the weather is conducive to riding the Gold Wing or Valkyrie. However, when the weather turns colder and the bike has gone into hibernation, many Districts also hold "winter conventions" to give their Members an opportunity to socialize during the off-season months. These conventions go by various names, such as "Wingless Weekend" and "Cabin Fever." They offer many of the same activities as the warmer weather conventions, with the exception of anything that requires a Gold Wing or Valkyrie, e.g., bike show or on-bike field events.

38.  Does GWRRA have a national rally/convention? [Back to top]
Currently GWRRA has one annual national convention, Wing Ding, which occurs around the 4th of July and travels to various cities. Visit http://www.wing-ding.org for additional information.

Wing Ding is the granddaddy of all conventions. This event is the largest GWRRA convention of the year, drawing over 10,000 participants and over 150 vendors! The Gold Wingers basically fill a convention center and surrounding town for four or five days of clean, wholesome, family fun! Since 1979, Wing Dings have been held in places such as Madison, Wisconsin; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Greenville, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Billings, Montana; Huntsville, Alabama and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

39.  What is a Ride? [Back to top]
As the name implies, an All Day or Weekend Ride is generally a scenic trip that is planned well in advance and includes several meals and normally quite a few miles (over 100 per day). There are shorter rides such as to a dining spot or sometimes merely a quick gathering for dessert.

40.  What is a Field Event? [Back to top]
At conventions you will hear about "field events." These can be both on-bike or off-bike. On-bike events are done at low speed (usually first gear) within a designated area and are designed for fun! Some are done with just the rider, and others require a co-rider, such as when the co-rider tries to take a bite out of a hot dog that’s dangling from a string overhead as they slowly ride by! Off-bike events are similar to on-bike events except they are done off the bike. Plaques, trophies, and other similar forms of recognition are normally given to acknowledge the winners within each event.

41.  What is a 50/50 Ticket? [Back to top]
To help fund expenses, tickets are sold (where legal) and later, ticket stubs are drawn. Half of the money (50%) is given away, typically in increments of 25%, 15% and 10%, to the persons holding the drawn ticket numbers, and the other half (50%) is deposited into the treasury. At Chapter meetings, conventions and other events, 50/50 tickets are sold. Partake if you like, but you are under no obligation.

42.  What is a Chapter Challenge? [Back to top]
This can be on or off the bike. It is an event that allows us to act like the kids we usually think we are! Normally there is a timed event in which a team of 4-6 Members representing a Chapter plays a game or takes some sort of a harmless and fun challenge.

43.  What is a Charity or Toy Run? [Back to top]
You will find people in this Association to be a lot like you – they have big hearts and like to help the less fortunate. Many times a "Charity" or "Toy Run” is held where you will meet at a pre-arranged point with a new stuffed toy. With the assistance of local law enforcement, you will be "escorted" to a children’s hospital or ward to deliver your toys to children with critical and even terminal illness. Visits are also made to nursing homes, homeless shelters, etc., to share some joy and happiness.

44.  What is a Poker or Observation Run? [Back to top]
A poker or observation run normally serves as a fundraiser for the Chapter, District or Region, as there is usually a small registration fee to participate. There are many formats but these basically are conducted as follows: You sign in and receive a set of directions for a scenic ride.

For a "poker run" you may be required to stop at certain checkpoints and draw a card. At some events, you may draw all your cards at the end of the ride when you check in. As in poker, the best hand wins normally some pre-announced percentage of the proceeds, or a plaque, trophy, or fixed cash prize. An "observation run" is similar but requires that you answer questions about sites along the route. The person who answers the most questions correctly wins.

45.  What is a Bug Run? [Back to top]
Same as a "Poker Run" or "Observation Run" except you have a target on your windshield. The bike that returns with the bug closest to the bull’s-eye or with the most bugs on the target wins. (For more details, see the "Fun Activities Guide," available from your Chapter Director or visit http://med.gwrra.org/guides/me/FunActivitiesGuide(complete).pdf.

46.  Can you tell me what next year’s Honda Gold Wing will look like? [Back to top]
GWRRA receives no information about new models earlier than Honda dealers.

47. What is GWRRA’s relationship with Honda? [Back to top]
GWRRA has no direct affiliation with Honda; they are two separate entities

January 2012