Saturday, 15 May 2010

Motorbikes, Trucks and Court

Thursday 13th May

Early doors felt like the previous nights freight trains were thundering through our heads on a constant loop as we made our way to Logansville to deliver our penultimate presentation. On arrival we discovered the place locked and nobody home although we were only waiting 10 minutes before the first of the Rotarians arrived. This was to be our smallest gig yet with only around Ten people in the audience however it was one of the most moving as a guest to the club Eva Smith told us the story of how she lost her husband to a drunk driver. Eva works closely with Mothers Against Drink Driving M.A.D.D.

Please check out their website here –

We then headed back to Conyers Old Town (scene of the previous nights shenanigans) and met up once again with Gary Moore in his office. Gary took us to the local courthouse where we were introduced to the Georgia legal system and were witness to a number of civil divorce cases and criminal prosecutions. This was a fascinating experience for the whole team and one which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Next stop saw us deliver our final presentation to the Rotary Club of Rockdale County and the team cheekily decided to be ever so slightly economical with the truth regarding some of the facts and figures. For example, did you know that each year the local Eskimos visit the Chill Factor in Manchester to build the largest igloo north of the north pole? Or that Manchester was the location where the first scientist travelled faster than the speed of light? Yep all these things happened in Manchester according to the teams presentation this afternoon.

However unbeknown to the team there was an ex Georgia Tech graduate who had studied Einstein’s theory of relativity so we were rumbled during the Q & A that followed. Oh well, we tried!

The afternoon saw Steve dropped off at the local Harley Davidson Dealership for a test ride. ‘Take your pick from any machine in the shop’ said Malcolm the Kiwi salesman. ‘In fact, pick two’! Mmmmm If Carlsberg did test rides.............

A $20,000 V-Rod Muscle was the weapon of choice and Steve eagerly rode off towards the mountains with Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell ringing around in his head.

Meanwhile the rest of the team headed off to the Georgia Driving Academy where they specialise and heavy goods vehicle training and we were to be shown just what it takes to become an all American trucker.

We were given a tour of the facilities and found out that there is more to being a truck driver than you might think. We all had a go at the driving simulator to begin with, which is to allow the trainee to become familiar with gear changes of which there are many, in both ‘high and low’ ratios.

Anyway after we had proven that we were quite terrible on the simulator we were briskly moved on and introduced to one of the instructors who gave us a quick drive around on the open road so we could feel just what that was like.

Certainly one of the highlights of the drive was when we all were given the chance to pull the cord for the horn and yes it was loud!

After that we arrived back at the training centre where we all were given the chance to drive one of the articulated trucks. It was automatic and the plan was just to go forwards and then backwards. It sounds very simple, however there were cone fatalities a plenty, we were all quite happy with our effort, although based on his performance Roy has promised that from now on he won’t drive anything bigger than a shopping trolley.

In the evening we were taken out to Wales Barksdale’s farm, where dinner was to be provided courtesy of the very entertaining Gary Bridgewater of Jim & Nicks BBQ in Conyers. The food was some of the best BBQ food we’ve had throughout the trip and it was it in the beautiful surroundings of the farm land, complete with roaming cows and even a few mules, one of whom tried to crash the party!

Roy was missing this evening as he had an opportunity to do some football coaching, the rest of the team and all other Rotarians and non Rotarians who attended had yet another great evening, we really would like to thank the Conyers Rotary club for their hospitality, they really worked hard to offer us a more than pleasant stay and we really have enjoyed ourselves with the people and the place.

Photo’s to follow

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