Written by Bruce Cohen, Chaiway Riders member
The Chaiway Riders of Chicago have continued to focus on the 2 primary objectives of our club: riding and eating, with a little rachmones to round things out.
In early September, we combined our riding/eating mission with education of Chicago points of interest, as we performed our “Chicago Boulevards Ride”. After having a group outdoor breakfast in one of the Chicago neighborhoods, we embarked on a tour that took us (a) to the Field Museum of Natural History for a photo op (photo attached), (b) down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to see a statue honoring the “Great Northern Migration’ of African-Americans, (c) into Jackson Park to see the “Golden Lady” statue commemorating the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, (d) down Douglas Blvd to see the many Jewish synagogues (now converted to churches) that supported the early 1900s Jewish community on what is now known as the “OVS” (Old Vest Side)…former Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir once worked in a library in the area, (e) by the magnificent Garfield Park Conservatory, built in 1907, and (f) ending with an outdoor lunch at a restaurant in the historic Logan Square neighborhood.
A few weeks later, several members of the Chaiway Riders hooked up with a local HOG chapter to provide support for Frankie, a 3-year old girl who is undergoing leukemia treatments. Together with the police and fire departments of Cary, Illinois, about 30 motorcyclists performed a slow drive-by at Frankie’s home and then stopped to meet with her and shower her with attention and gifts. We had learned that Frankie loved the movie “Frozen”, so we presented her with the doll “Elsa” and a small trunk full of goodies. Attached is a photo of the group, gathered around Frankie at her home.
During the 6 or 7 months of good motorcycle riding weather that we enjoy in Chicago, the Chaiway Riders motorcycle club usually offers its members a weekly breakfast and day trip on each Sunday, as well as 3 or 4 extended (overnight) trips to such places as Galena, IL; Door County, WI; and Brown County, IN. But what to do during the cold winter months to keep in touch with our members and extend their enthusiasm for supporting the club?
During normal (non-COVID) winters, we would continue to gather for Sunday breakfasts at a local restaurant where we would chat about local events and do a bit of planning for the coming riding season…but most of our members remain uncomfortable gathering indoors at restaurants, even when indoor breakfast service is offered. Our solution has been to take advantage of the “Zoom” option. We have been holding winter Zoom breakfasts every other week, starting at 9:30 AM (might as well sleep late on Sunday) and running for 90 to 120 minutes. We have been spending a lot of time discussing the latest bike-to-bike communications systems (e.g., Sena 50S) since CB communications seems to be waning. We also discuss some of the club trips that are already being planned for this summer, together with the JMA plans to gather for a “Paperclips Reunion” at Whitwell, TN.
Although we all miss the opportunity to see each other “in person”, we are grateful that technology has stepped up to allow the Chaiway Riders to keep communications flowing in a very useful and enjoyable way.