COVID, Chaos and new members!
Hello! It’s been awhile since I put an article together, as 2020 has been a long, strange trip!
We started the year with our Annual membership drive, and after only two Saturday’s of meeting new potential members, it all went south. Everything was shut down, due to the COVID pandemic. Our sponsoring Dealership had to shut its doors to us as well, and to the public, and as you know, everything from sales to service and parts had to be done via appointments. During this time, the Road captains got together to scope out and plan rides, so we would be ready to go, once restrictions were relaxed. When early spring arrived, we discussed with John Mooney, about getting back to rides, while maintaining “Social distancing” in order to get the Chapter out on the road together. This was accomplished, but we had to keep rides to the Island, since some destination’s and neighboring States, were still locked down. This made it hard to accommodate a group of our size, therefore we were restricted to destinations with large lots, nothing fancy. We accomplished this, while trying to make rides enjoyable. It should be noted that some other HOG Chapters are still not, having organized rides due to COVID.
Due to the pandemic, we had to cancel our annual “Richie’s Ride” honoring our late founding member. Those who did not know Richie, I can tell you the guy was “Top Notch” and would give you the shirt off his back, and its OUR honor to put this ride together! We use this ride to not only honor our friend but raise money for charity. This event is a big undertaking, and I know, we look forward to the challenge of running a great event! THIS EVENT WILL RETURN IN 2021!!! We also had to cancel Road Captain Jack’s ride to York Pennsylvania, where we are given a tour of the Harley-Davidson Plant, as well as some great riding in the Pennsylvania area. Countless other rides, that the Road Captains put together, had to be scraped, but rest assured, once all these restrictions are lifted, they will be working hard to schedule these rides for next year!!
As things did began to open a bit more, we did plan a few off-Island rides to Kent Connecticut, and Motorcyclepedia in Newburgh, NY. Both rides were well attended, and we all enjoyed some nice riding along backroads in upstate New York as well as Connecticut. Hopefully we can do a few more of these before the weather gets too cold. I personally really enjoy riding upstate during this time of year. It really is beautiful!
Due to all the Chaos caused by COVID, the people who requested to join our Chapter in March, had their membership put on hold. Month after month, we had to wait for our new members to finally join us in the Chapter. Finally at the end of August, Head Road Captain, Paul, was able to put together or “New Members” ride. This was a nice 100-mile jaunt around Suffolk, along nice backroads. This ride was well attended, and a good time was had by all. So, finally we welcome you into the Chapter, and look forward to riding and interacting with all of you. All the officers and members welcome you into the group. Glad you are finally here. Remember the Chapter is only as good as what you put into it! Also, of Special note, during this ride, we welcomed the return of our Road Captain “Bob” who had been sidelined because of surgery, caused by an injury. Any of the members of this Chapter, can tell you Bob, is a walking “GPS!” He knows roads on Long Island, which were dirt, and had saplings growing along the way. Bob can take a 10 mile trip and turn it into an overnighter! Welcome back Bob! I know for one, it was hard to find some new roads without you along, for suggestions and advice. Glad you are feeling well enough to get out with us again.
Over the past couple of months, we had some officer changes. John Casey, who was from here from the start, and helped get this Chapter off the ground, has given up his Membership Officer, and Activities Officer duties, and is assuming the Secretary duties. I know we all thank John for all he has done for the Chapter.
Jennifer Cartelli, another “Original” has assumed John’s old roll as Activities Officer. Due to this change, we may have parties at Italian restaurants, instead of “Irish Pubs!” All kidding aside, we all know Jen will do a great job. Congrats!
Ray Palatta, stepped up and took on the Membership Officer duties as will as Chapter’s Sergeant of Arms! Any problems see Ray!
New member Denise Eylers approached us upon joining and asked to be our Chapter photographer. Our chapter was lacking that position, and Thought it was a great idea. Before being “Officially” installed, Denise on day one, was already documenting our activities! Great pictures and video’s Denise! Congrats to Denise. We know she will do a great job!
As the Holidays approach, we will be looking to have a Christmas party as well as other activities that can be done, when we can not ride. I also will be in touch with the Ronald McDonald House, in New Hyde Park to coordinate our annual Toy and Charity run, benefiting the residents of the house. More Info will be shared as I receive it. Last year the House was very appreciative of our Chapter's generosity. They had also talked about our Chapter doing a Dinner for the members, but as you can guess, this is all on hold due to COVID.
As I look back at this Chapter, it started three short years ago, with a handful of members, that could hardly fill a few tables at the “Blue Goose” for a meeting! It has now grown to approximately sixty-five members, and hopefully more will be joining in the future. It has grown not only in members but in enthusiasm. We all have a common interest in riding motorcycles. It’s a great freedom, when astride our bikes. The scenery looks that much better, on a bike, than in a car. As Road Captain Frank always reminds us during rides, when we see something beautiful, such as the Ocean, a mountain, a winding road, etc “That’s why God made Motorcycles!” I agree with Frank, one hundred percent!
In closing, if anyone has any stories, notes, etc., they want documented here, just get ahold of me, and let’s share it with the chapter Also, lets enjoy the ride, and be safe! That’s the important part of this chapter! Making friends, and riding, but importantly riding safe!