Learning Curves Passing this Along
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company has had its share of problems (maybe even more than its share!) during the current worldwide economic downturn. Closer to home, we have seen our friends at Timpanogos Harley-Davidson go through major change with the bankruptcy of the original ownership group and now the new ideas and commitment of the new owners. Both the previous owners and the new owners are long-time friends in addition to being the team at the dealership that serve you and I so well. I personally wish them all success and joy in their future endeavors.
You are all aware of the devastation that continues to affect all aspects of life in Haiti. This earthquake hit very close to home with me as I spend a great deal of time in the neighboring country of the Dominican Republic serving the people there through our Smiles for Hope Foundation.
On February 2, 2010, less than a month after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake ravaged the island nation of Haiti, Harley-Davidson announced it would be donating 28 new Buell and Harley-Davidson motorcycles to assist with the rebuilding and improvement efforts in Haiti. The motorcycles were shipped through the Dominican Republic to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. These motorcycles can offer a higher degree of maneuverability and access to areas in need than other types of vehicles.
As I speak with my many friends in the Dominican Republic, I discover the extent of the severe challenges that continue to affect the people of Haiti, most of whom have been displaced from their homes and are forced to take refuge in the hundreds of temporary “tent camps” that have sprung up across the island. Complicating these conditions are the continuing rains that are prevalent during this time of year. One special effort being made by our sister humanitarian group in the Dominican Republic, Esperanza International, is to help with providing clean potable water sources for the residents of these “tent camps.” Currently, more than $700,000 has been raised by Esperanza, primarily from donations by major-league baseball players, to purchase many water purification units at the cost of $25,000 per unit.
Each of these units is capable of providing drinking water for approximately 5,000 people per day. This is an amazing device, which will be able to convert sea water to drinking water at the same rate by this time next year.
The world moves on and we discover that we can all do hard things.
On the same note of giving back to our communities, even in these tough times, we at Learning Curves remain committed to offering each of you wonderful, safe and memorable rides that allow us to support our Smiles for Hope Foundation.
New Iron in Your Blood
It is time to get some! I read recently in Bottom Line some very interesting information regarding happiness. Philosophers, psychologists and self-help gurus all have advice on how we can be happier—but what really works?
Journalist Gretchen Rubin devoted a year to “test driving” different strategies to find happiness. She called her research the “Happiness Project.” One strategy that stood out to me was this:
Try doing whatever you enjoyed doing at age 10. The person we are as adults has more in common with the person we were at age 10 than we realize. What made us happy at age 10 may very well make us happy now. For example, I remember when I got my very first Schwinn bike at about age 5 or 6. What really stands out to me about that bike is when I purchased two accessories. First, I saved my money and purchased a speedometer. It featured a device that would rub against the side of the front tire as it rotated around and transferred, via a cable, the rotation information to the speedometer. This information was converted to give a fair indication of my speed in miles-per-hour. My goal was to push that speedometer dial to the max on the display! That required a very steep hill and a lot of pedal power. I managed to do it on several occasions but always kept it a secret from my mother. Only through my youngest brothers did word leak out!
When I was 10 I always kept a deck of playing cards nearby. This was not to play strip poker or 21 but rather to make my Schwinn bike sound like a motorcycle. I would position one of the cards on the fender strut and attach it with a clothespin so that it would flip up and down as the spokes passed by and make a sound like a motorcycle. After a while, the card would wear out and need to be replaced with a new card from the deck I always kept handy. If I wanted the Schwinn to sound like a Harley, I would need two or three cards on each fender to increase the intensity of the sound.
Maybe you, too, had a Schwinn at age 10 and now a Harley is in your future. Seek novelty and challenge even if you value consistency and comfort.
I didn’t expect exploring new challenges, like dating again at my age, would make me happier—I was wrong! I find that trying new things (and feeling those inevitable butterflies in my stomach) is a whole new challenge. What a great blessing! Taking on these challenges have brought me more happiness than I could ever have imagined.
Maybe having a first date is not your challenge right now. But maybe having your first Harley ride is! We at Learning Curves would like to share with you the happiness that this new challenge could bring to your life and to the life of your riding partner.
Come ride with us,
The Hammond Family
A Final Thought
We have just returned from our international ride through the Canadian Rockies. Traveling from our home base in Provo, Utah, we made an approximate trip of about 3,400 miles of pure beauty and joy.
Our international ride for 2011 will be to New Zealand in January 2011. Check out our entire 2011 schedule on our website at and plan now to join us on at least one ride!
And don’t forget:
Register Now for Our 2011 Rides