|Interview with Rik Rommel, Star Riding Association|
From Gary Bunney, Maryland State Director for Star Touring & Riding:
Conceived in 1995 and founded in 1996, STAR Touring and Riding Association is an international family riding organization. As the, "Official Riding Organization of Star Motorcycles.," STAR is a non-political, non-confrontational association. Its main focus is on family, fun, camaraderie and RIDING. All brands of motorcycles are welcome. Comprising over 40,000 families and over 235 chapters, STAR recognizes safety as a first priority. The STAR community is a mix of riders with varied riding experiences. Chapter rides follow the highway laws and limits, to keep everyone as safe as possible. This allows everyone to enjoy the ride and not have new riders feel overly stressed. STAR chapter rides do not include tavern runs, and consumption of alcoholic beverages on chapter rides is prohibited. We want to see you back safely for the next ride. If you are looking for a family motorcycle association, with a lot of pride, spirit and camaraderie without the "attitude" you have found the right organization. Come ride with us and feel the spirit!!!!!
……STAR TOURING AND RIDING ASSOC.
Winslow: I am talking with Rik Rommel, the Chapter President for the Delmar Chapter #365 of STAR Touring and Riding Assoc. Thanks for joining us Rik. I heard about you guys from Bunk over at Cambridge Motorsports. Tell us some about how you got started, who the group is for, etc.
Rik: Star Touring is a the official riding group of Star Motorcycles: Star's mission statement reads as follows: "to pursue, promote and protect the interests of motorcyclists; to develop better and more enthusiastic relations between the general public, the media and the operators and riders of motorcycles; to encourage rider participation in events; to promote motorcycle safety and camaraderie among members; to promote organized events; and in general, perform them in a lawful manner." I got involved shortly after the purchase of my Star, when I moved my family from BelAir, MD to the Eastern Shore in an attempt to slow down a bit. My older children had graduated and were out on their own and it was just my wife , my 8 year old daughter and myself. We were working crazy hours and hardly got to see each other much less find time to ride. So we made the decision to slow down. When we got settled in down here I was online one night looking for anything STAR related. We found Star Touring and Riding. They offered a family atmosphere, they had many different facets including, STAR Vets, STAR Teens, STAR Kids, Tin STAR and L.O.S. (Ladies of the STAR). They welcome all brands of motorcycles. I could not find a local Chapter so I inquired about one. I was contacted shortly thereafter and became the area coordinator. In June 2006 we chartered at Cambridge Motorsports (our host dealer), and Chapter #365 was born. I am now on my second term as Chapter President, and Jonny and the folks at CMS have been extremely supportive of us.
Winslow: Welcome to the Eastern shore! I understand you guys meet each 3rd Saturday of each Month at Cambridge Motorsports then have some kind of an improptu ride. Where do you guys generally ride? Any plans for destinations in the future?
Rik: Correct Steve, We meet every 3rd Saturday of each month at Cambridge Motorsports. The meetings generally last about an hour or so. It's very casual. We plan our ride schedule over the winter months for the following summer . We also have multi chapter rides where some of the chapters in different areas all meet up. Last summer we joined up with the Central MD Chapter #262 and the Virginia Beach Chapter #288 and rode to Chincoteague for lunch and ice cream. The rides always seem to end of with food and ice cream. Anyway our next meeting will be at CMS on June 16th at 9:30 a.m and we are planning a ride to Cape May, New Jersey. Some other rides on our schedule include, "Roar to the Shore" in Wildwood, NJ, Suicide Bridge Ride, Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, Rock Hall, etc. There are other rides that we also get involved with. STAR works very closely with Feed The Children. We do Food Drops in the area for the needy as well.
Winslow: If someone is interested in joining, how would they get in touch of you?
Rik: We encourage those that are interested in becoming a member of Star Touring & Riding to visit the chapter during a regular meeting. We also ask that they ride/meet with the chapter 3 times to ensure compatibility. After three rides they must join the National Organization, and then their membership is voted upon by the general membership of the chapter. The only other requirement is the need to ride. All interested parties should log onto www.star touring.org. You MUST be a member however to get into the member's area. Membership is $48.00 per year and includes the whole family. If someone is interested in joining our Chapter they can email me at email@example.com or call me at 410 896 4089 at home or 410 937 2305 on my cell.
Winslow: It was awesome seeing your group out at the Choppers on the Choptank event helping out and participating in the bike games. Any plans for future events? Where can people see your group in action?
Rik: Well as I mentioned earlier, we are basically a new group here on the shore. We are in the process of recruiting new members. We did the Choppers on the Choptank because we as a group thought it was for a very worthwhile cause. We also wanted it to be a huge success for CMS. They have literally bent over backwards to help our Chapter in any way they can. We have what I consider a great business relationship with them but at the same time a great friendship. Jason from CMS joined our chapter recently as well. It's great. If folks want to see us around they can come to CMS on the 3rd Saturday and just say hello, check us out and if they want, join us for a ride. The next huge thing that STAR is doing is the annual STAR B QUE, in Newport News, VA. Chapters from all over attend. Last year's longest distance award went to a couple from New Zealand. The dates for this are August 10th and 11th. Also STAR DAYS, our National Rally, (July 24the through July 27th) will be held in Chattanooga, TN.
Winslow: You know, it’s always good when a group of bike riders gets together! It sounds like Star has some pretty cool stuff coming up, and you will have to keep us posted. I’m going to add your events to our calendar with your email as a contact. We hear from people all the time looking for groups to ride with, places to go, and yours sounds like one of the more friendly ones.
Rik: As I said before, STAR is a family oriented group. We have VETS and firemen in our chapter I have been contacted by a former member of the Blue Knights who now resides in O.C. about joining We do a lot to help out Feed The Children, which is the purpose of many of our events. What you will notice immediately about us is that there are no egos or attitudes. We all just met each other a year ago. For the most part we're "transplants". We all just seem to get along well and enjoy riding together. The more the merrier though and we welcome new members or those who just want to come see what we're all about, to join us. Thanks again for your time Steve, I appreciate what you are doing to help out Star Touring & Riding, Delmar Chapter 365 by getting our name out there. If there's anything we can do for you in return, just let us know.
Winslow: Oh man, the pleasure was all mine! Good luck, and let us know whats going on in the World of Star Touring!
Article By Steven WInslow
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