Learning Curves Time to Ride!
I have just returned from 10 days in the Dominican Republic serving side by side with 38 Smiles for Life Crown Council members and team. The most special part of this expedition is that my son, Chris, and two daughters, Angel and Amy, were part of the team. In addition, five of my thirteen grandchildren were a part of this expedition.
Our Crown Council team was joined by three volunteer Dominican dentists, three Dominican dental students and three of our Smiles for Hope Dominican hygienists. We were able to perform nearly two thousand separate procedures for the poorest of the poor—these people I have grown to love.
Our Learning Curves team (Hammond Family) now moves ahead looking forward to our 2010 riding season. Our first ride, the Grand Circle Adventure, is only a few weeks away and is sold out. My daughter, Angel, and I will be traveling along the route of this ride the first week of this month in order to pin down the final details to ensure everyone has a safe ride and leaves with the memory of a lifetime. We are in business to make memories as well as to give financial support to our Smiles for Hope Foundation.
We invite you to join us on any of our remaining rides this season and encourage you to contact Angel at email@example.com to check availability.
We remind you that all profits from our Learning Curves project go to support Smiles for Hope, our foundation for outreach dental care.
Come ride with us!
Product Recommendation: Ape Hangin’
You may ask what the big deal is over these so called “Ape Hangers.” When I purchase a new bike, the first thing I do is to change out the stock seat and the stock handle bars. I addressed the importance of seat comfort in a prior newsletter and want to take a few minutes to address the bars in this month’s blurb.
You can change out your bars to almost any height you find comfortable. Handle bars ranging in size from 12” to 16” high are most common. The law in most states is that the top of the bars may be no higher than your shoulder height.
For me, it feels most comfortable to sit upright with my hands higher and back straight. Lower handle bars make me slouch in the seat and my back takes a real beating after a few hours in this position on the open road.
Several people have asked me if my arms get fatigued or if my shoulders are strained with the higher handle bars. This is not the case. I love to ride with “Apes” and would choose to ride no other way. Most riders I know who have switched out their stock handle bars for “Ape Hangers” love them and would never go back.
Another benefit with the higher positioned handle bars is that you have great flexibility to pull the bars back toward you and avoid a reach forward. This allows you to keep your back straighter.
These are just some thoughts that may answer a question you may have never asked but often wondered about.
None of us really enjoy biking in the rain but it is an inevitable part of the ride that everyone on a bike must deal with sooner or later. The most dangerous time for bikers can be when skies first drop moisture on asphalt, particularly when there hasn’t been any rain on the road for a while.
Antifreeze, motor oil and lubricants build up over time on roadways—especially in the center part of a lane. As soon as a few drops of water comes in contact with these fluids, an already slick roadway becomes even more slippery and you can quickly lose traction and control. Plan to slow down and let the gunk get washed away.
Have you ever taken time to look closely at those painted lines on the roads for cross walks or lane control? I bet you never considered them as a road hazard. These painted areas are a slippery hazard and get much worse with a little rain or even water from sprinklers or morning dew. Be aware!
If you encounter a large puddle, squeeze in your clutch and coast through it. Also, be aware of how deep the water might be before sailing through or you could end up needing a sail to get out!
Gravel, loose dirt and sand are culprits that steal traction from a biker. When traveling through these elements, keep your bike as upright as possible and follow through with a steady hand on the throttle.
All things considered, take into account things that can take traction away and plan and adjust for them. Expect the unexpected. For us at Learning Curves, safety tops our list.
Keep the rubber side down,