As you read this month’s letter, Glenda and I have just completed two weeks serving the students at UCE Dental School in the Dominican Republic. We were blessed to attend the University graduation where, for the second year in a row, we saw young women who had been introduced to dentistry through our Smiles for Hope Expeditions, now graduate from dental school and enter their new profession. On March 1st, our group of 48 volunteers from North America with Crown Council, join us here for our 10 days together serving the poorest of the poor in their very rural communities.
Learning Curves and Trikes
Believe me as I reach the final days of one of these service opportunities, I begin to realize how many miles are on this old frame of mine. When this body starts failing me, how can I stay in the saddle and keep the wind in my face and the bugs in my teeth.
The first wave of baby boomers turned 65 year before last. I am not a baby boomer because I am too old for that, yet they make up the largest segment of our population. As I think about this, I realize why Harley-Davidson, along with the growing number of other companies, has jumped on the Trike bandwagon.
Lehman Trikes are a long-time player in the market. One of my bikes is actually set up with a Lehman rear assembly. They are now located in Spearfish, South Dakota, just a few miles from the famous Sturgis Rally. This past year, they sponsored the first ever All Trikes Ride during the August 2011 Sturgis Rally. There were 80 trikes all in parade formation, quite a sight.
I am not there and I hope I never am. I love my two wheels and the ease and freedom of those sweeping turns. But, for a growing number of people, a trike is the only way to be able to feel the wind in your face. These people truly do enjoy the road and all the experiences that it brings no matter how many wheels they are on. Being one with the environment as we pass through it is what really counts. If it takes three wheels to be in your comfort zone, then go for it. If and when my health changes and I am not comfortable on two wheels, I suppose I will be out on the road on my trike before I would consider an afternoon in a rocking chair.
Keep Your Distance
Riding behind slow vehicles is one of my greatest frustrations. Glenda knows this better than anyone. Yes, I know that what I consider slow may really be a vehicle that is right on the speed limit.
But that said, this frustration can cause us to be unsafe and perceive situations inaccurately. Here is an example that I hope leads you and me to keep our distance as our strategy for safety.
You are driving down a country road and the UPS truck in front of you is erratic in speed and lane position. There are no safe passing zones. You hate being behind a large truck because it blocks your view of the countryside that you came to enjoy. After looking at the brown backside of that UPS truck for what seems like forever, the driver finally slows and pulls toward the right shoulder. You are not sure if the driver is a man or woman because you have been close behind and cannot see the driver’s rear-view mirror.
You are sure the driver realized you were back there and was pulling over so you could pass. So, here you begin your pass just as the driver makes that unexpected U-turn.
End of the story. The driver was lost. The driver did not know you were behind because if you cannot see the driver’s rear-view mirror, then he or she cannot see you. You were in a low enough gear that you were able to hit the throttle and get past and your life is spared.
Keep your distance, be seen and make wise safe choices and keep the rubber side down.
Alps of Europe – Last Chance!
June 16-July 2. Two bikes left.
Email Angel before it’s too late!