Learning Curves is Ready for 2011
We, the Hammond Family, who are the team of Learning Curves, look forward to this New Year of 2011 with great anticipation. Glenda begins her second riding season as part of our family and she is well prepared having ridden over 11,000 miles during 2010. We have prepared all of the details for our new routes and all of the rides are now updated and complete.
We hope you will review your 2011 calendar now and if you have not already done so, sign up for one of our all-new rides. Our Smiles for Life Benefit ride, which will be the Colorado Rockies this year, is nearly full. We especially encourage those of you out there who have never ridden with us to just do it. This Learning Curves project, which our family loves, is what gives us the opportunity to meet new people involved in the profession we love and the profession that has blessed our family so greatly.
For many riders, technology has become part of the experience. As I watch them disembark at a rest stop or gas stop, they look like an octopus with all the wires connecting them to the bike.
For me, I have always cherished the simplicity of riding. The experience was to get away from technology and partake of the feel, the smell, and the sights and sounds of nature and all of my surroundings. I even rode for many years without a windshield because I thought the only way to be a really cool rider was to have bugs between my teeth.
In today’s biking world, there is the GPS, who needs a map? There is the Bluetooth, your iPod, your radar detector, intercom system to communicate with your passenger and your heated vest. The list could go on, but that makes the point I think.
I must admit, I did break down and get a windshield several years ago and it is a very large windshield and it really does the job. One more admission will now be that Glenda and I added heated vests last year. Wow, that is a comfort of which we are both are so grateful. But, that’s it. No more gadgets, give me the simple life.
Friends of mine who do not ride often ask me if Glenda and I have one of those intercom systems. My response of course is, “No.” I much prefer our system of hand signals, and pinches and squeezes and touching to send my messages. Our communication is non-verbal and it is a lot of fun that way.
As a parting thought, how about safety? Riding a bike takes 150% of your concentration. To ride safe and at the same time keep track of all the gadgets is more than an old guy like me can handle. Don’t ask me to adjust a volume or look at the LED read-out on a gadget and then give proper attention to my riding. As many of you know, I rarely take time to even look at the speedometer. I probably need to work on that one according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
Keep the rubber side down.
Final Thought: Two Up
Riding with Glenda is the most enjoyable thing I do on the road. Having Glenda there to share the seat and take in all the experience as we thunder down the roadways is what it is all about for me. My hope here is to give you a few pointers that can help you build safe and long-lasting memories with your riding partner.
When we take on a passenger, we take on responsibility for the safety of that person. They have no control over the operation of the motorcycle and their life is in our hands. As I think of my riding skill and my total focus on safety, I need to not only protect myself, but also ensure the safety of my riding partner.
Okay, so what is out there to consider?
- When you add a passenger, you add extra weight. This means the bike will handle differently. Your passenger should understand you are riding as a team and you lean together into a turn.
- I feel the best way to load and unload a passenger is to stand up and stabilize the bike while the passenger gets on or off.
- When you feel your passenger wiggling, you know you have gone too far without a rest stop. You need to always consider your passenger’s needs and be aware of those needs.
- You need to establish a simple means of communication. Deciding to have a long, involved discussion while riding is a bad idea. Your mind needs to be 100% on your riding.
Being in control of a motorcycle requires 100% of your attention to the responsibility you have to keep you and your passenger safe.
Enjoy the ride, but be safe and keep the rubber side down.