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Members Story: With A Little Help From Their Goldbook!Jim Oliver
by Tanya White, MEC & Craig White
Rider Educator Chapter W of Adrian, MI.

This is the story of how Craig and I got to Memphis, TN this past July 9, 10, & 11th for a ServiceMaster Convention.  We had decided to ride the bike and take the trailer instead of the car, so off we went.  To start things off on the wrong track, Craig forgot to pick up his wallet when we left, so thanks to his daughter Stefanie and Sherrie Greiwahn, we only had to come back-track from Defiance as far as Wauseon. A short 2 hour delay and off we were, thanks again to Stef and Sherrie.  We rode from Wauseon to Napoleon and took the new State Route 24.  Wow is that nice.  Then on to I-69 to Indianapolis where we caught St. Rt. 70, in Effingham, IL we took St. Rt. 57 south.   We had taken this route a few weeks before in Lebanon, MO and found the road was a good road, so we went as far as Mt. Vernon, IL the first day.

Day 2 began with a gorgeous morning of riding and crossing the Mississippi River. Craig and I had noticed the front wheel felt like it was a little shaky, but we didn't feel it all the time so we just thought it was the road.  Across the Mississippi and into Missouri we took a left onto I-55 south to Memphis.  With only about 120 miles to go, we heard what sounded like the noise a rumble strip makes.  I can tell you this much, at the age of 54, I can still dismount a motorcycle really fast.  Craig said "get off" and I was on the other side of the bike before he knew that I had gotten off.  With a quick look around the bike, we noticed the rear tire going flat fast, so we together put it up on the center stand.  I am not sure if you know that when a rear tire of a bike goes flat, it is very hard to get it up on the center stand.  Now comes the point of my little story.  

As GWRRA Members you can get what is called, Rescue Plus. We all hope we never have to use it but if you do it is nice to know that it does truly work. One phone call to the number on the card and help was on the way. In the 90+ temperature, not a cloud in the sky, no trees for shade, and a rest area that was closed due to sewer problems, the bike came to a stop. We walked up to the rest area hoping we could find some shade, we found people inside manning the building who let us in out of the heat. Craig went out after about a 1/2 hour to wait for the tow truck. We had a couple stop that had been to Wing Ding and were on their way home, but there wasn't anything they could do so they wished us well and went on their way. When the tow truck got there, we put the bike on a flatbed trailer with Craig's help and off we went to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Now you probably don't know that it is in the wrong direction from Memphis but the Rescue Plus will take you anywhere within 100 miles and Memphis was 120 miles south and Cape Girardeau was 52 miles north, so off we went, north.   

On the way to Cape Girardeau, we got to know the tow truck driver quite well. He had worked for the tow truck company he now owned for 13 years. Greg has given up a lot to own his business, Satterfield Wrecker Service of Sikeston, MO., and deserves a lot of well wishes for the great job he did in towing us. Greg is one wrecker guy you want to see, if you need to see a tow truck driver. Thanks so much to Greg and the Satterfield Wrecker Service.

Now, not only did this nice young man take us to Cape Girardeau, he took us to the Honda Dealer there as well. He did not want to leave the bike there, as there were no other bikes in sight and so he took us to a motel, about a block away from the Honda Dealer. To go above and beyond the call of duty, he would not take the bike off the trailer until I had gotten a room and could tell them where to put the bike that so we could see it from our room. All this, and it wasn't even noon yet.

Beings how it was Sunday we decided to lay low until it started cooling off in the evening. At about 7:30 we decided to walk down to the dealership to see when they opened. If you guessed that they were not open on Monday, you are absolutely right. Now what, the convention starts on Monday, so we got out the Gold Book and started looking for someone who might know someone who worked at or owned the Honda dealer. Our first call was to Dick McClard, what a wonderful man, he told us he would call us right back.

At this point we all know this can go well, or it can go badly and no one calls you back. Our Little Angels of Mercy came to our rescue. Five minutes later the phone rang and Dick said "We will be over in about 20 minutes" and wanted to put a different tire put on our bike. So, in about 20 minutes Dick came pulling into the motel parking lot in his pickup with a jack to lift the bike up so they could change the tire. Guardian Angel #2, Dave Bollinger, showed up a few minutes later with a couple tires (choices) for us to put on the bike to get to Memphis, where we could then put on a new tire. It was 90+ degrees outside and these 3 men, changed out a tire, rimmed a different one on our rim and had us ready to go in a matter of about 30 minutes. My task during all this was to make sure Dave didn't sweat too much. Man it was a tough job, because all of us were sweating and I wasn't even doing anything.   We asked Dave and Dick how much we owed them and they both replied, "Just pay it forward." It would seem that Dave had a problem in upper Michigan and had made the same call we did and no one called him back, so he said at that time, that if any one called him he would be there. After saying thank you (which didn't seem like much) Dave and Dick left and Craig and I went back to our room for the night.

The next day we got up and went into Memphis, just a short ride of 175 miles, but we were there and the tire was still going. We called the Honda Yamaha of Memphis that afternoon, who did have 1 set of tires, that we took.   We made arrangements for a nice young man from Memphis to trailer the bike to the Honda Dealer, since we didn't know where it was. Our bike rode in style with Chic Hopson of "Arrive in Chic" a Motorcycle Rescue Transporter. Talk about a cute trailer! We arrived home safely and have a group of guys to thank. Rescue Plus is definitely a must now and don't forget to put that Gold Book in your bike so you have it if and when you need it. We stuck the old one in the car.

Read More Featured Stories From February 2012 Wingin' It.