Volume 2                        APRIL 2005                        Issue 2

Newsletter Archives



Hope Ride

On July 26th several members of the Montana Retreads took to the roads and completed the grueling 480 mile one day trip to Fairmont Hot Springs to help raise money for Project Hope. Wes & Diana Matson, Dave & Sue McCormack, JT Meenach, Vicki Ludecke, Doug Heald, Terry & Felicia Sullivan and several guests including Mike Stahl and his son, Rob made the trip. The wives and family of the some of the riders drove to the Hot Springs to take in the parade of bikes and the banquet.  And, Terry Sullivan was honored at the banquet for being the longest participating rider in the program with over 14 year’s continuous participation. Nice going, Terry.

The group of riders from all over the state raised at least $ 82,000 to fund the dreams that many seriously or terminally ill children would be receiving over the next year. It is estimated that to grant a child a wish, it would cost roughly $5,000. With the amount of money raised just in this fund raiser, more than 16 children and families will get their wish next year. For more information on Project Hope got to http://www.montanahope.org

One of the boys was a recipient of the Project Hope “make a wish”
and got to ride on the back of a motorcycle during the parade.

Bike’s getting ready for the parade for the 2005 Project Hope Ride


New Members

Jerry Abbott – 2005 Honda VTX

New Positions Created In Montana Retreads Organization

Due to the increasing membership of the Montana Retreads, it has been necessary for Bill Varien, our state Representative to create new positions to handle the increasing complexity of running a chapter that encompasses members residing in Sula to Polson.

Area Representative is a new title Bill has co-opted from the International charter and he has determined that two slots are open. One slot will cover all the members residing north of and including Lolo and the other will cover the area south of Lolo. The positions will primarily have responsibility for determining area breakfasts and rides and then following through on the organization and execution. Anyone interested in volunteering to manage these areas are encouraged to talk to Bill about the details.

Breakfast Captain – This position was created to help Bill reduce the load he was carrying and to provide logistical support required to book restaurants and get commitments from riders for the scheduled meals. Terry Pohland has stepped up to the plate and did a great job of corralling the members for the August ride to Lochsa, even though he was sorely tested by the membership when some decided to forego breakfast at the Hayloft and instead eat at the Lodge. He got it worked out, though, to everyone's satisfaction.

Riding Safe

I’ve been on several rides this year and noticed an alarming trend. For those of you who have taken the beginning rider course, you may remember this exercise. When passing a vehicle, most of us get it right in terms of signaling our intentions then proceeding along a line that keeps us in the rear view mirror of the vehicle we’re passing for as long as possible. But then, it seems that some of us go brain dead. Instead of continuing to accelerate until we’ve established a 2 second following space in front of the passed vehicle, we pull in abruptly and force the passed vehicle to apply brakes. Maybe we need to practice that maneuver more often because as we force vehicles to brake to accommodate our shortened “pass”, we endanger all those behind by forcing shorter following distances. And, we tend to piss off car drivers and make the world less happy about motorcycles.

So, the drill is (1) pull into the left hand side of your lane so that you are visible to the driver ahead, (2) signal the pass, (3) move to the right hand side of the oncoming lane and accelerate, (4) cancel left signal and signal to the right, (5) continue to accelerate until you have established a 2 second following distance between you and the vehicle you just passed (this must be done with the understanding that your mirrors may not give you the exact position of the vehicle), (6) pull into the left hand portion of the traffic lane and cancel you signal while continuing to accelerate so as to leave an additional 2 second space for any riders behind you that may be attempting to pass. Failure to accelerate properly forces not only braking on the part of the passed vehicle but also leaves no space for other riders and may strand them in the oncoming traffic lane.

One last note to all our riders….the laws that apply to vehicles apply equally to motorcycles and all club members are responsible to make sure that we all abide by the Montana Vehicle Code. And, if you don’t have a Motorcycle Endorsement on your license, you’re pushing the limits. The one rule that we have in the club that is beyond the code is that we insists that all members wear a helmet. The definition of a helmet is that it must at least pass the DOT test.


In Memoriam

Michelle Wonnacott

7-18-1979 – 7-27-2005

Daughter of Brad & Debbie Wonnacott