Learning Curves Dental Adventure Tours


  • 182 Days to New Zealand
  • Time in the Saddle
  • Downhill
  • Bike Tip: LED Headlights

182 Days to New Zealand

All of our rides for 2013 are sold out. We, in the Hammond Family, are so grateful for this overwhelming support. Your support has allowed us to extend our humanitarian efforts further and further each year. Thank you.

Now as we look forward to 2014, we are very excited to be able to escape our northern hemisphere winter and return to New Zealand. It has been five years since we have been able to circle the South Island hosted by our special friends, Donna and Graham Beker. Your flights will go out of Los Angeles on the night of January 6th to arrive in Queenstown on January 8th. We lose one day on the calendar as we cross the International Date Line.

We are received at the airport in Queenstown by our hosts Donna and Graham, and from there, Beker Motorcycle Tours take over for ten days of riding through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, very little traffic, and no stop lights.

We will enjoy high mountain glaciers, thermal pools, huge lakes, the fiords of Milford Sound, the rugged and spectacular West Coast, and, of course, many many sheep on the rolling plains of the Southland and on every mountain side and mountain pass. Glenda and I can hardly wait to leave our snow-covered home at Sundance and head out for this adventure in the peak of the New Zealand summer.

We have space for ten couples. Seven couples have committed and paid their deposit so space is short and now is the time to just do it and contact Angel at angel@learningcurves.net.

We would love to share this lifetime memory with you—

Roy and Glenda

Time in the Saddle

We have just completed our international ride to the Northern reaches of Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Each of our riders received their monogrammed “Iron Butt Award” for staying in the saddle for the entire 3500 miles.

Now, 3500 miles on I-5 or I-15 or I-70 or I-80 is a piece of cake if your goal is to write home or blog all your friends about the miles you put on a bike. Our riders often ask, “How many miles do we ride today?”

I have learned over the years that the measurement of miles, when on a motorcycle experience and adventure, is by no means a measure of the joy or accomplishment of the ride.

For me, the fun factor of a ride should be in the beauty of the scenery and the joy of the winding roads. It is not about the destination. It is about the journey. You can travel the miles and reach the destination in the cage of your car, or by train, or plane. The journey, for me, is in the smells in the air, the changing temperatures, the wind in the face and the 360° view.

So, bottom line is, that the real measurement of the journey is not the distance in miles, but the time in the saddle, the joy of the environment and the curves in the road. That 100 mile day may very well be 300% better than that 300 mile day you just completed. Just a thought for the road.

Be safe—



I have referred to our International Ride to the European Alps in previous letters. The things I learned about riding well on that trip with our friends, Donna and Graham Beker, could fill a book. As I look ahead to riding with them again in New Zealand next January, I know that several new pages will be added to that book. Our ride in Europe was 80% either uphill, or downhill. It always seems to me that the most fearful experience is in the “Downhill.” I hope to leave with you a few thoughts that I try to remember as I approach that steep-winding downhill run.

  • Eyes up – our tendency is to look down while descending a hill. By keeping our eyes up we will be more stable and it slows our sense of speed.
  • Weight – going downhill allows gravity to pull our weight forward and also shifts the motorcycle center of gravity forward. We need to resist this gravitational pull. You need to stay more upright and lean back into the hill. Resist leaning forward against the handlebars.
  • Knees – squeeze your knees against the fuel tank and keep your lower body light. This will allow you to relax your upper body and keep a light controlled touch on the handlebars.
  • Gear Down – Take advantage of engine breaking. Rather than coasting and using your breaks, select a lower gear and keep the engine revs up. This will give you much better control.
  • Breaking – When you need more breaking than the engine breaking is giving, use your front brake. This is where the weight is as you go downhill and so this is by far your most effective brake.
  • Downhill turns – The downhill turns should be handled just the same as any other turn. Slow down into the turn to your comfortable speed and then power out. Keep your eyes up and look all the way through the curve to where you want to go.

I won’t be following the Bekers through the Alps of Europe this year, but I will be with them in January of 2014, and I hope now and forevermore I can remember these downhill riding points to make the ride less stressful.

Ride safe and keep the rubber side down—



Send an email to Angel today to sign up for one of our rides. Glenda and I would love to share these wonderful memories with you.

Next Available Ride:
January 6-18, 2014:
New Zealand

The next available ride is your opportunity to circle the South Island of New Zealand on two wheels at the peak of the beauty of their Summer. There is space for only three more couples to fill our group of ten couples!

Register Now

Bike Tip:
LED Headlights

I totally try to avoid riding at night and normally I am able to accomplish that. When, and if I do ride at night, I am so grateful for my LED headlight and LED passing lamps. The vision available from this technology is amazing and the bright white color is almost like daylight.

But, more important than the ability to see better at night, is the fact that you can be seen so much better in the daylight. When drivers see such bright and white LED’s coming toward them day or night, they take notice.

Many manufacturers now have LED headlights for your bike. LED’s are becoming state-of-the-art for low power draw and very bright white lighting. The lights I put on my Road King are from Kuryakyn and can be installed with a Phillips screwdriver in about 30 minutes.






Learning Curves founders
Roy & Frances Hammond

As always, we're happy to answer any questions you may have, so give us a call!

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