A scattered history of our stalwart group!
First NER Ride
contributed by NER founding member, Rich (IMRICHNH)
George was always a friendly guy and always willing to help. We all started in the Shadow Rider’s Forum. Of course with a lot of back and forth chats, talking about our bikes, etc. George always said, let’s ride, not talk about riding! So one day he invited some of us to meet with him for a ride. I rode down from NH toward CT, and if I remember correctly, met Dave on the way to meet George. This was the first time we all had met in person and got together for a ride.
George had a great, bike friendly route planned for us in CT. We had a great ride and stopped at one point to rest, and this is where I took this photo).
When the ride was over and we were back home discussing it online, we decided that New England Riding is some of the best in the country, so we should all get together and form rides and not only talk about riding online. Hence the birth of New England Riders, to get out and ride and enjoy the good company of other like minded bikers.
Origins of NER Website and Forum
contributed by NER founding member, Wayne Carter (KEYMASTER)
I had taken a small hiatus from riding… some 20 years of full time hiatusing… and had just come back to riding again. I started out with a very used Kawasaki 440LTD, but quickly tired of the buzzing and being blown around by compact cars on the road. I got myself an almost new 1998 Shadow ACE Tourer, and proceeded to search for other riders who shared my new found addiction. Scant minutes landed me in the Delphi Shadow Riders Forum, where I not only found riders from all over the country, and the world, but even better, riders from right in my New England backyard.
Ed (STAD) and I became fast friends after realizing our matching bikes were twins from different parents, and it wasn’t long before we found many other riders from the area in the SRF. It seemed half the posts from the SRF forum were tied up with plans for the New England group, and we all started yakking about perhaps starting something of our own.
I worked as sales manager with an ISP at this time, located in the Haverhill MA area. I bought us a domain name, newenglandriders.org and decided to build a little site. My daughter was very ill at the time, and both she and my wife were living in Boston at Franciscan Childrens Hospital, so I spent my sleepless nights playing and creating the original website for the NER. It caught on pretty well, but the guys were still looking for a way to stay in very close contact, and on September 4, 2000, at 5:20pm the New England Riders Forum on Delphi was birthed.
Little did the few of us who started this little community know that the New England Riders would affect so many, and spread so wide. At this writing almost 40,000 posts have been written, and the NER group has touched lives in many ways. The first couple years we passed the helmet on our rides, and raised over a thousand dollars in our first try for the New England Ride for Miracles. That money was donated to the Franciscan Children’s Hospital, and the contingent that rode in to make the presentation could not have been more proud.
We have grown together, and cried together. The passing of loved ones in this extended family has been felt deep, and the sharing of each others burdens and cares has been touching. I know the compassion I have felt from my dear friends at the passing of my daughter, the heartfelt tears shed at the passing of Ed’s dear wife Karen, and the extreme heartbreak we all shared at Georges’ passing…. this is so much more than just a riding group.
The New England Riders are not just motorcyclists. We are individuals, yet woven together so tightly as to sometime feel completely bonded in friendship and caring. We are not just riders, we are a family. We are not ever going to be a club, and no matter what anyone says, it is not all about the pie…. you have all proven it is about each other, sharing lives together, making each contribution so much greater by the multiplicity of our common strength… we are a family, the truest kind, the best kind … a family by choice.
Building a Welcoming and Inclusive Culture
Bob Fesmire helped develop NER’s welcoming and inclusive culture during the ten years that he hosted the group. Bob’s benevolent and patient leadership was instrumental in establishing NER as a group that welcomes all respectful riders.
Bob and wife Bonnie attended many NER events on their red Goldwing. Bob often gave heartfelt speeches at Holiday Parties and other events. He was also an avid photographer with an uncanny knack for taking great event photos in an unobtrusive way.
While he has retired from riding, Bob’s presence remains strong with the group. The friendliness and inclusiveness that is the heart of NER is largely thanks to Bob. Thanks Bob.
Hosts of New England Riders:
Wayne Carter (Keymaster) – From 9/4/2000 to 2003
Ed Stadlen – From 2003 to 2004
Steve LeBlanc – From 4/22/04 to 7/14/05
Bob Fesmire – From 7/14/05 to 9/12/15
Ed Conde – From 9/12/15 to present
MORE HISTORY TO BE WRITTEN…