Gold Wing Road Riders (GWRRA) is holding their first ever Wing Ding in Europe. They've
had 29 of them in the USA. We've been to one of them in the USA and are now going
to our second.
After leaving the ferry we traveled about 30 km. to the town of Saskøbing, Denmark. The
town with the smiling water tower. It sits on an island in the Baltic sea between
mainland Germany and the main part of Denmark.
We were a day early and set up in the campground and relaxed. There were a few others
there but it really filled up the next day. We are in the light blue tent just over
the windshield of the white GoldWing. It is amazing how much space was in some of
these tents, but then almost all of them were towing a trailer. That opens up a
lot of options for carrying additional gear. Most people parked by their tent, but
the ground was soft and if you didn't have a pad to put under the kickstand it was
better to park on the basketball court.
On Thursday evening we had the opening ceremonies with introductions of the various
countries. The farthest away was from New Zealand or Australia, whichever is farther. Iceland
had their entire club show up, 100% (the bikes came by container). There was one
from Israel, and lots from mainland Europe. We had three couples from America; us,
a diplomatic couple from Arizona (but stationed at the embassy in Poland) and the
District Educator from our own District in Washington State, they belong to Chapter
E in Bellevue, Washington. We and the diplomats brought our bikes (but the government
shipped theirs to Europe for them). The "down under" folks were without their bikes,
the Israeli had rented a bike to ride.
The event was held in the town's recreation center. there were several buildings
with open space for vendors, meetings, shows, etc. and there was a hostel on site
and a campground across the street.
In our registration packet was a pamphlet for a motorcycle museum in a nearby town,
we decided on Friday to go to it. Nothing of interest to us was happening until
the Light Parade that evening. We took the smaller roads and got there in less than
a half hour. We toured it and they had some very interesting bikes there. This
one had an engine in which the two cylinders are stacked. We couldn't read the description
(for some strange reason it was written in Danish!). But if you look close you can
see the intake, exhaust and spark plugs one over the other on the same cylinder. It
must have had an interesting set of connecting rods.
The Nimbus is (or was) a Danish made motorcycle. Judging by the poster we found
in the museum we should have bought one! If you look close you will see the couple
on the Nimbus is crossing the water on their bike while the other brand bike, and
it owners, has to be carried by porters. Just think of how much money we could have
saved on shipping the bike to Europe. We could have ridden it!!!!
One of the major interests at one of these events is networking, making new friends
and renewing old ones. We now have contacts in several more European countries and
"down under". That evening there was a keyboardist that played for our listening
and dancing enjoyment. Competing with him was the Light Parade, so most people were
late getting to the music.
On Saturday most of the events were held, the Poker Run, the Grand Parade, and the
big name Band. We did the poker run and the Grand Parade.
The Grand Parade went from Saskøbing to Nykøbing, about 15 km. away. There were
234 bikes at the Wing Ding and almost all went on the parade. The police held traffic
for us and we ran several red lights on the way there. The black bike behind the
antenna is the diplomatic couple from Arizona, living in Poland. The next two bikes
are from Switzerland.
We spent an hour and a half walking through the town, had lunch and then took the
scenic route back, in all about a 3 hour ride that covered 50 km.
The pedestrian mall had a guitarist playing and at the main square there was a four-piece
The Poker Run was a disappointment because we didn't get to run anywhere. I was
told there was a problem with the local police about having the bikes going around. I
think that the police thought it would be another parade type situation instead of
us riding around on our own, at our own speed and at our own time. Poker runs are
an American event and are practically unknown in Europe.
That evening a country band called Desert Track played for the crowd. The Danes
and Germans seem to be very interested in the American "Wild West". In the vendor
area of the rally there were two different booths that would sell you everything
you needed to be a cowboy, except the horse. They even had the long red one-piece
underwear that was made famous by some western actors. The band was very good, but
I'm sure they were chosen to play because a couple of years ago they wrote a song
called "GoldWing" about the bikes.
On Sunday we had the closing ceremonies. Prizes were awarded, gifts given and thank
you's presented. This group consists of, on the left Peter Russell, International
Representative for GWRRA (lives in London), in the center is the local District Director
of District V (the Viking District) whose name I don't have handy to tell you (but
is the guy who did the most work to get this organized and make it successful). On
the right is Ed Price from the home office GWRRA in Phoenix, AZ.
On Sunday afternoon we caught the ferry back to the mainland and headed toward the
Netherlands and the British Isles.