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As you know, I was a Rally [Committee] Chairman this year. Some people doubted whether I could pull it off, given my limited organizational skills. But, hey, was the rally great? Of course.
Congratulations, Finger Lakes members. Whenever I walked the grounds looking at bikes, people stopped to tell me what a wonderful time they were having, despite the disappointing turnout at the wet t-shirt contest.
It was not my fault. One of the shocking statistics, as Norm reported, was that the average age of the participants was over 50 years (including the girls). So I'm convinced that next year we have to change the handicap system in the wet t-shirt contest from age groups (Teen, 20-Somethings and Seniors), to weight classes (Light, Middle, and Heavyweight). Look, we need to change with the demographics. We obviously don't have many Teens and 20-Somethings, and the Seniors don't like to admit it. But, we have lots of Lights, Middles and Heavies. So, we have to go with the flow. Stay mellow. It will get better.
Another change we have to make is to get better prizes for the winners than the BMW bras from Country Rode (part number Z4012-2007). Clearly, any woman willing to enter a wet t-shirt contest is not going to covet a BMW bra. Unlike other committee chairman, I am completely open to suggestions for appropriate prizes.
Although our average age has crossed the line, there have been a few benefits. There were fewer drunken brawls between rival gangs over tent space since a lot of the guys are now staying in motels or in their motor homes. This is a good thing since the cops were busy protecting the VA Hospitals from terrorists and couldn't help us out. (Sorry, it was the best George could come up with on short notice.)
But being over fifty didn't prevent most of us from having a good old time, like Jane Gilmore, Katie Brudeck and Gretchen Murray, who sang a doo-wop number with the band. Give some of the women in the club a few drinks and they think they are the Supremes. Actually, they were pretty good. But, contrary to rumor, Roxanne Jones did not do her Diana Ross imitation. It was a Canadian woman, and she was doing a Patsy Kline imitation. Was I the only one sober that night?
To all our new members and any who didn't work with us at the rally: join us next year. I personally guarantee you will have a great time. It is a great experience to be among people who know the words to every Hank Williams song, as well as every model BMW motorcycle ever made.
Like most of us, I ride motorcycles for the freedom and independence these machines give us. They are often uncomfortable and inconvenient. But when we ride, we are closer to ourselves and the landscape we ride through, than we could ever be.
Last month I asked you to support our fundraising for the Arthritis Foundation. This month, I am asking you to support whatever cause is closest to you. I have decided to drop out of the Arthritis Foundation program because I am uncomfortable asking people to give to a cause I do not believe deeply enough in. To those of you who gave, we thank you for your generosity. Margaret is still part of the Arthritis Foundation program and will be running for you.
I want to get back to basics, to run the Honolulu Marathon for myself, as I have everything of value I have ever done. I will run the marathon, and I will not disgrace any of you that believe in me. And I will disprove anyone who doesn't think I can do it. It's about freedom and independence. And kicking ass. Back to basics.
— Copyright © 2004 by Notch Miyake.