Onward, Summer!

With the Fourth of July behind us, summer if officially here. With some of the warm weather we’ve had it seems like its been here already for a while.  Hope you all had a great holiday and with your spirits up, our summer riding season hits full throttle this month.

First we had a great month in June. While Barb and I missed our last meeting, Doug Koglin picked up the slack. Thanks Doug. Don Shore led  two groups of riders down through the Forest Preserves and ended up at the Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora.

We’ve already written a lot about our ride to Sturgeon Bay-Door County-Washington Island. The weather held up nicely. The temp was warm for sure, but we seemed to dodge all the rain for the return trip on Sunday. Many people to thank for this great trip. First, all the riders. Without the many participants (and we may have broken a Z2 record on this trip) we wouldn’t be able to share as many memories, stories and fun. Don Shore, for his many hours of planning. Doug Koglin, for his herculean efforts to make sure the accommodations worked out smoothly. This is getting to be an even bigger job as our numbers increase on each ride. Our ride leaders and sweeps (Don, Robert UIlrich, Doug, Al Nurczyk) making sure everyone is safe and together. Our new Chapter Baker, Arlene Graef, who baked multiple dozens of cookies to share in the evening. Robert and Butch Thielenhouse for having snacks to share as well. As you can see, it takes a village to have a successful ride which explains why we have such a good time.

Perhaps most memorable from this trip was a random choice for lunch while we were on Washington Island. Stopping by a place called Bread & Water we piled into the small eatery and took overtook the place. The owner, Valerie Fons, came out to wait on us and introduced us to the area and her son, the cook. It turns out, Steven, was one of several children Valerie has adopted and raised. Because other customers were being affected Joanne, Dawn, and Marissa helped serve beverages to the multitudes. Valerie, quite the friendly personality, then announced she was also a Guinness Book of World Records holder for Kayaking. There was even a small museum in the back of the restaurant to document her accomplishments and had the actual kayaks she used to go over 30,000 miles! See this link: http://breadandwaterwi.com/index-phppaddling-museum/ . On top of all this, Valerie is a cancer survivor and also the Rev. Fons. She is an inspiration to all of us. After taking a picture with our group in front of the restaurant and her son Steven, who was extremely excited to demonstrate his culinary skills, we rode off. I left a card of our Chapter and received a heartwarming email on Monday, thanking us for visiting and what it meant to them all. I’ve never felt better to be a biker and a member of Z2! I have enclosed a copy of the email elsewhere in this newsletter and would like to propose a small collection to benefit her activities.

By the time you read this we may have already gone on our Lake Delevan-Waterfront Eatery ride, being led by Bob Graeff on July 9th. On July 10th we have our regular meeting. July 16th is our planned ride-in to Lake Holiday (Sandwich, IL) to our hosts, John & Katie McHugh. The Chapter will be providing the soft drinks, and riders are asked to bring desserts or snacks. John & Katie are buying the food, so to eliminate any logistics in getting it out there, but we are asking for a donation of $5 per head to cover some of the extra costs.

GWRRA Illinois District is having their summer rally in Pontiac, IL on the weekend of July 22-23. Some riders have mentioned about riding down for the day. Details about the event can be found on the District web site or a link on our own Z2 web site.

To round out the month, July 30th is our planned ride to Fair Oaks Farm, IN. This is another day ride and is lots of fun. There are charges at the farm which we will alert you to in coming emails and Facebook posts, along with other ride details. As always, check the Event Calendar on the web site for the latest information.

So a little of something for everyone…. Rides, social events, GWRRA events, you name it, Z2 does it!

With vacation season in high gear, please take extra caution in riding. Travelers out for a pleasure ride may not be concentrating on their driving. Make an effort to be seen. Wear bright gear and use all the skills we have talked about in our training sessions. We want you around as members of Z2 for a long time. If you belong to some organizations that could use a Motorist Awareness Division talk or materials, let me know or talk directly to Earl Hobbs, who is our MAD Coordinator. Tell them all to START SEEING BIKES!

Ride Safe. See you on July 10th.

Jim & Barb Kopchok
Chapter Director

%d bloggers like this: