Wings invade the Ozarks

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Over 130 attended the fifth annual North American Steve Saunders International Rally for members of the internet forum www.goldwingfacts.com. Photo courtesy of Rex Cameron

EUREKA SPRINGS -- If there is one motorcycle who name most folks recognize it probably Harley. But in a close second in recognition is the two-wheeled land-yaht known as the Goldwing, produced since 1975 by motor industry giant Honda.

And this week members of a world-wide internet forum are holding their fifth annual rally in Eureka Springs, headquarted at the US 62 Motel. "The rally is named after the founder of the forum, Steve Saunders, from Irland," said Bill Ladigo. Hence, the initials NASSIR -- the North American Steve Saunders International Rally.

In 1999 Irishman Steve Saunders began an internet page for Honda Goldwing enthuasiasts, answering questions and helping others workout problems with their "wings",, short hand for Goldwings. "At first I just answered emails, then it grew into a forum," Saunders said. Then in 2004 he developed the Steve Saunders Goldwind Forums site www.goldwindfacts.com. "Today we have four site moderators and 43,000 members," Ladigo said. "At any one time there will be a thousand visitors on the site." The moderators keep discourse on the site civil and on track. Ladigo said their goal is to keep the forum from getting into a spitting contest. "It really is one big family, and want it to stay that way." It must be working because it's the largest Goldwing forum in the world.

That brings us to the rally in Eureka Springs. "It is our national meet and greet here in the US," Ladigo said. "It's a great way to meet members of the forum personally... it gets you an opportunity to enhance your experience [on the forum] and have a great time. It really is one big family." The four previous rallys have be all across the country. Last year it was in Montrose, Col. NASSIR truely is an internation event. Beside Saunders, his son Dawson and others coming from Irland, members from Canada rode their wings down from Manatoba, Ontario, and other cities north of the border. What do they think of the Ozarks? "We're having a great time, 'Eh?'."

See other photos from event in Gallery.

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