Learning Curves Change
Over the years, I have come to the realization that the only constant in life is change. Change can be difficult but change can also bring great joy and open new doors to our future.
This past year brought the most challenging, most difficult, most heart-wrenching change in my life that I could have ever imagined when I unexpectedly lost Frances from my life. No one could have ever possibly prepared me for this change.
This year, I have been determined to pick up the pieces and move forward. To be all I can be for myself, my family and for all of those whose lives I am given the opportunity to touch.
With this in mind, I take this opportunity to share with you a wonderful change that has recently come into my life. This change has not only brought me unimaginable joy but also new strength and resolution to move forward, learn, grow and give.
I share with you the newest member of the Learning Curves Team—my wife Glenda.
Glenda is a new and beautiful addition to the Hammond Family. She has all it takes to give strength to our team. She is here to serve you, our guests of Learning Curves, and most of all, she brings new joy into my life, new hope for the future. She will help me and my family to honor Frances by moving ahead with our commitment to Learning Curves and our Smiles for Hope Foundation, which is supported by the income from Learning Curves. She is a very special woman who we are proud to have as a member of the Hammond Family.
Glenda had her first Harley ride in April. She passed the test with great poise and beauty! She will bring these wonderful characteristics to each ride. She has already done this for our Smiles for Life benefit ride that we just completed one week ago.
We traveled with our Crown Council group out of Las Vegas to Zion, Grand Canyon and Bryce National Parks. We call this ride the Grand Circle Adventure. What a great ride! If you have not experienced this part of our world, Glenda and I invite you to join us in 2011 for this amazing ride. I know that Glenda will welcome each of you, our Learning Curves friends, with open arms and I earnestly hope that you will do the same for her. She is a very special and classy woman. You will all love being on a future ride with her.
I know there will always be another change waiting for me around the next corner. I know that some will knock me down but I also know that some will lift me up. I am confident that having Glenda by my side will give me strength to pull up on my boot straps when I feel there is not strength left to do so.
May each of you be up to the changes and challenges that come your way. Come ride with us and allow us the blessing of your friendship in our lives!
Roy and the Hammond Family
The Blind Side
Identifying and negotiating blind spots is a skill that every rider can improve upon.
“I never saw him.” For that fraction of a second, did the driver of the car or truck not see you and (without any intention) violate your right of way?
I remember when I was 15 years old and my father was doing his best to mold me into a safe driver. He repeated over and over the counsel, “Don’t die proving you had the right of way.” The lesson I want to leave with you today is to always give way.
When a two-wheeled vehicle goes to battle with a four-wheeled vehicle over which vehicle has the right of way, the two-wheeler always loses.
What can we do as riders to improve our chance for safety and correspondingly decrease our risk of a problem? Each vehicle has blind spots—areas around every vehicle which the operator cannot see—even if the driver is using his or her mirrors and windows properly. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spots. The following is an outline of the 4 main types of blind spots, a description of what causes them, and instructions on how to avoid them.
- Fixed Blind Spots. Fixed blind spots are exactly that—they stay in place as a car, truck or bus moves along the road. If you can’t see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror you must assume the driver can’t see you. You are riding in a fixed blind spot.
- Stationary Blind Spots. These are objects like bus stop shelters, parked cars or any other objects that block your vision or that of an oncoming driver. As you ride, you should always be scanning the road ahead to identify potential obstructions of your vision that could conceal an approaching hazard.
- Rolling Blind Spots. This is a blind spot that moves through your field of view. This could be a large truck or an SUV. The danger to the motorcyclist lies in riding too close beside or behind a large truck or SUV so that other drivers on the road are not able to see the motorcyclist until the last minute—or maybe not even at all. Make yourself visible by staying back and continuously adjusting your lane position.
- Interior Blind Spots. These are caused by objects inside a vehicle that block a driver’s view. It could be a parking pass hanging from the rear view mirror, a GPS on the dashboard or a pet in the passenger’s seat. Even the posts that support the roof structure create significant interior blind spots.
Surviving the Ride
So how can we survive around all these other vehicles? First of all, never take for granted that you are visible to another driver. Always assume that the other driver has not seen you. Never tailgate other motorists. As you are now more aware of blind spots, take extra care to stay out of them! Always have your headlight on to increase your visibility. Always communicate your intentions by signaling. Never assume the driver of another vehicle will obey the traffic lights or laws. As the old cliché goes, expect the worst and hope for the best in all situations.
As riders, we must constantly remain vigilant for our safety and aware of our surroundings.
Ride safe and keep the rubber side down,
And don’t forget:
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