Focus on Fostoria - Oct_15_03

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Fostoria Focus - October 15, 2003

GHS Residents Enjoy Two-Wheeling Fun
By Leonard Skonecki

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Remember the song lyrics from the 1969 motorcycle flick Easy Rider – "Get your motor running, get out on the highway?"

The residents at Good Shepherd Home figured that was good advice so about 30 of them went for motorcycle rides recently courtesy of Chapter 5 of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association.

The Road Riders are from Fremont, Tiffin, Sycamore, Bradner and Gibsonburg. They brought four motorcycles as well as one motorcycle with a sidecar and a Miata sports car convertible for residents who might be leery of riding on a motorcycle

They took some residents on longer rides, as far as Bascom, and others on shorter spins, up to the curve on SR18 and back

One resident, Waunita Smith, has ridden several times. Her son has a bike and she occasionally rides with him when he comes to visit. One day, she went all the way to Fremont and back with him.

Several others such as Doris Bolen had never been on a motorcycle before and wanted to try one out.

"I had never been on a motorcycle before. I was never even close to one. I loved it. I thought they were dangerous, but now I know why these guys like to ride them," she said.

"My kids couldn't believe I went on a motorcycle ride," she said. "The driver was great and he couldn't believe I was 87!"

Cleona Lee chuckled and said, "I did it so no one could say I was chicken. I liked it. They offered me a ride in the sidecar, but I said if I was going to do it I'd ride on the bake."

Cleona likes trying new things so she can keep her daughter on her toes.

"My daughter is surprised at all the things I do here. She was really surprised that I rode a motorcycle," she said.

Residents weren't the only people who got to ride. Helen Leonard is the president of th4e GSH Auxiliary.

Helen said she had ridden on a motorcycle when she was in high school. A boy gave her a ride on his. She didn't care for it too much then.

"We went over a bump and I left the seat" she said. But she had a good time this time.

"I enjoyed it. I didn't know we were going to go so far. We went all the way to Bascom," she said.

A number of residents such as Glada Wetherill said they, too, had ridden on motorcycles before. She liked the smooth ride.

"Sometimes when you're going down the highway, it feels like you're going on air," she said.

Phyllis Munson said her husband had a bike.

"I had a nice time, but my husband had a motorcycle and I rode with him. We rode a lot," she said.

The Road Riders are a public-spirited bunch. They participate in highway clean-ups, donate items to soup kitchens in Fremont and Tiffin, and along with Hampton Inn donate presents to a Toys-For-Tots program.

They have a "Teddy Bear Ride" each year to donate stuffed animals to Tiffin Mercy Hospital's pediatric wing. They even have weekly "Ice Cream Rides."

They visit around four nursing homes a year and say they love doing it. This was their first time at Good Shepherd.

They said they really enjoyed how the residents were gathered outside and clapped when they arrived. They were also pleasantly surprised when 30 residents were ready to ride. It was the most participation of any home they've visited.

Martha Nogle was another resident who got a big kick out of her jaunt on a motorcycle.

"Oh, yes. We sure did have fun. I know I sure did," she said. In fact, Martha decided she likes motorcycles quite a bit.

"I don't know," she said with a mischievous grin, "I think I'd like to have one myself."

Wonder what Good Shepherd's activity department is going to do about that?