Thursday, April 28, 2011

Monthly Message for April 2011

I am writing this note early in the evening of yet another dreary, rainy, April day.
As for motorcycle riding, this April has given us precious few days to go out and engage in our common activity.  Lack of riding has not kept the owners group from progressing on other fronts.

The first ride of the month was held on the 2nd.  It was sparsely attended.  I was out of town and others were undoubtedly preparing their, or other’s, income taxes.  Why else would attendance be light?  Anyway, those who did attend had a great ride that day.  They were out for 4 to 5 hours, and enjoyed perhaps the nicest weekend day thus far this month.
Our meeting was held on the 5th at 6:30PM at the Triumph Grille.  Attendance totaled fifteen or so members.  Many discussions were held.  The most important conclusion agreed upon, and this is important, is that all the monthly rides will be on the first Saturday of each month, meeting at the Shell Station on Lindbergh Blvd, just south of Interstate 44, on the West side of the street.  Arrival time is at 8:30AM and we shall depart on the ride at 9:00AM.  Period.  It was determined that having one place and time for each ride will make it easier for those members who wish to ride with the group to so do.  The rain date is always the following Saturday.  Same place and time.
In order to keep up with the times, Mark Schomaker, our VP, has our Facebook page up and running.  As of this writing, 11 of our members are friends on the page.  The goal of the Facebook page is to be a place for positive comments and experiences centering on the Ducatistas and Ducati events in our area.  This may be one of the first experiences of our owners group for prospective members.  As we are portraying our owners group as a positive and enjoyable experience, posts on the Facebook page should reflect positively.  With the aforementioned in mind, those posts that are mean-spirited and nasty will be removed.  As mentioned in earlier messages, all of us believe the Gateway Ducati Owners Group should be fun, easy, and accessible.  Let us show the world that is true.  
Another positive sign is that we were contacted directly by the DOC headquarters to determine the delivery method for the official DOC welcome kit for our membership.  Well, I elected to have the kits shipped directly to the membership.  So, sometime in the next 7 months, you should receive your kit.  Part and parcel with the above is that we had a great response by the membership to sign up to receive the welcome kit.  My club email distribution list is 50 people long.  At last count, 32 of the members have signed up to receive their kits.  This includes many of the new members.  If you haven’t signed up yet, and/or are confused, email me at, give me your contact information, and I shall email and telephone you in order to get you set up.   There is still time.
A word on the website.  After you click on the Experience section, then DOC, then request welcome kit- you can find us 11th from the bottom.  Unfortunately, if you use the club locator section, we are not to be found.  Do not worry.  We are an official DOC!  The trouble lies with the website, not us.
Our next bike night will be held on May 3, 2011 at the Triumph Grille at 6:30PM.  We will start at 6:30PM and cover some business and move on to the fun part of the evening.  One item that needs to be addressed is that we need a new Treasurer.  Our current Treasurer, Fred Hecker, has decided to resign his position and move on from the club.  I wish him the best and hope he continues to ride safely and for a long time.  He was an important member of the club and he shall be missed.  So, we need to elect a new treasurer.  One person has expressed a willingness to shoulder the burden.  We shall discuss at the bike night.
Finally, as was stated earlier, this owners group is about having fun, riding motorcycles, and enjoying each other’s company.  It should also be a drama free zone.  Please, if you have an issue with another member, a group ride, or a club matter, please talk to the person or people involved, or bring it to me.  I prefer the former course of action.  Please remember that posts on the Facebook page, the forum, or the website are permanent.  Also, remember, the written word can easily be misinterpreted and lead to hurt feelings on the part of the reader.   In my life experiences, miscommunications occur regularly.  By calmly speaking with the other party, misunderstandings can be resolved.  Just remember, we are bonded by the passion for the Ducati motorcycles and a desire to build a vibrant community built upon that passion.  Let us keep our club focused on that passion!
Please ride safely!
Gary Kwawer
Chief Contact Person and President
Gateway Ducati Owners Group

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