At Learning Curves The Season is Closed
All of us up North realize that two wheels don’t do well on ice-covered roads. With this in mind, our bikes have been given their winter coat and put into hibernation (be sure to check out this month’s bike tip for suggestions to keep your ride safe during a winter of non-use to ensure it is ready to roar into action at the first sign of spring).
We are now getting ready to pull out the snowmobile (if we can’t resist the roar of a gas-powered engine) or get on our skis or snowboards to meet winter. Better yet, we might be planning to imitate a snowbird, travel south, rent a Harley and explore the back roads of warmer states.
For the Learning Curves Team and the Hammond Family winter is our time to take a deep breath (between ski trips!) and prepare to give each of you a life-changing experience on a Learning Curves adventure in 2010. As you may or may not have noticed, each of our rides are scheduled at a time of year that brings together the ideal combination of weather, scenery and wildlife—all while avoiding the large crowds of tourists in the areas we visit.
You also may or may not have noticed that we include at least one National Park in each of our rides. On our International Canadian Rockies ride we visit eight National Parks! I am always full of gratitude for the visionary conservationists who worked and planned to preserve much of the natural beauty of North America. One of the most influential of these people, Theodore Roosevelt, expressed it this way, “There is nothing more practical than preservation of beauty.” There is no one person who should take credit for this innovative and unique means of officially preserving special areas of the country for the joy and enjoyment of generations.
The first area to be designated a National Park was Yellowstone. This area was officially designated in 1872 and the National Park Service was established more than a half century later. Today there are 57 National Parks with 5 found here in Utah. These National Parks cover mare than 84.4 million acres—almost 37% of the US land mass. We in the Hammond Family express our gratitude for all who worked to achieve their vision of preserving these wonderful places of natural beauty.
As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, we also want to express our sincere gratitude to all of you who have blessed our lives this past year by riding with us or by simply just offering expressions of love and encouragement during our extremely difficult circumstances of loss and change in our corner of the world.
P.S. Please take a moment to visit our enhanced web site. The site has been updated to include a photo gallery featuring highlights from all our rides this past year. The website also includes previous newsletters and bike tips that may be of interest to you.
Fits My Backside Like a Glove
There are a wide range of seats that can replace the stock seat on your Harley. For me, the first thing that happens when that new or used bike comes home to the garage is to evaluate seat comfort and the sound of the pipes. Other changes that your new travel partner will need to truly make it your very own custom machine can be made over time as your needs and budget dictate. However, the sound and seat comfort of your ride are essential and must be addressed right up front!
There is a wide range of after market seats that will put your stock seat to shame. The softest seat is not necessarily the most comfortable or healthiest for your back over the duration of a long road trip. It may look plush and comfortable on the showroom floor but as the miles pass under your back side hour after hour, that comfortable look painfully becomes reality.
My two favorite companies for after market seats are Corbin and Mustang. The first essential element I consider is a removable backrest. It might make me look like a pansy but with my profession and my aging body the need for back support far outweighs the need to be on a cool-looking but uncomfortable seat. An added bonus of the removable backrest is that I can take it off for short trips or to show off the lines on my bike. This gives me the best of both worlds.
The second thing I ensure is that the passenger seat is wide enough to give your sweetheart the support she will enjoy on her backside as well as provide a backrest. The stock passenger seats always seem to be narrow and lacking proper “cheek support.”
A great comfortable seat is a must for road trips. You would probably need to invest around $800-$900 to get a good rider/passenger seat combination with matching backrests for both the rider and the passenger. It is an investment that is well worth the extra money. In fact, I have often packed my Corbin seat and taken it with me when I have been traveling and know that I am going to be on a rental bike for a few days in a distant location. Of course, my real joy is to have my own bike and my own seat whenever possible.
Once again, don’t be misled by a plush-looking pillow seat with no support. The essentials are good support of both cheeks and your back. After a 10-day trip to Sturgis or even a 3-4 day road trip you want your back ready to produce dentistry at the dental chair to the best of your ability.
Ride safe and comfortable,
A Final Thought: Trail of the Great Bear
If you are looking for opportunity for one of the most memorable rides of life, sign up now to be part of our 2010 Trail of the Great Bear (Canadian Rockies) adventure. The abundance of scenery, wildlife, and pure riding pleasure is over the top. We take only 10 bikes on this 10-day adventure. Currently, there are only 5 bike spots remaining. You may want to consider shipping your own bike to Provo for this adventure. Learning Curves will cover the cost of round-trip shipping when you join us for one of our rides. You can’t beat that for comfort!
Just do it!
P.S. Why the name “Trail of the Great Bear?” The historical range of the Grizzly Bear is from the Northern tip of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, to Yellowstone National Park. We cover it all!