When We Are Helping, We Are Happy
As you read this month’s letter, Glenda and I are hosting our group of 51 Crown Council volunteers and 16 Dominican volunteers in the south east corner of the Dominican Republic. This is our second of our three trips there in 2013 as we will return again in October. These efforts continue to be made possible through your support of Learning Curves and the Hammond Family. We are more than grateful for your trust and support and friendship.
With only one more ride left this season, our planning and booking are shifting to our 2014 schedule. Now is the time to plan to be with us in 2014.
Since our last letter, we had a great group of folks with us for the Sturgis Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. People always ask me, “Well, how was Sturgis this year?” I always reply that it is not about the destination, it is about the journey.
What I love about our ride to Sturgis is the journey. I see so many people with their bikes in a trailer or in the back of their truck or motor home. It is my strong opinion that they miss out on the real purpose of the experience. I look forward to the Tetons, Yellowstone, Bear Tooth, Chief Joseph Trail, the Big Horn Mountain and the grass lands of Montana and Wyoming. I look forward to the bugs and bees and the smells and the wind and the rain and the dead batteries. This is the journey. This is why we do it. Is this not what life is? Life is a journey of experiences that both challenge us and bring us joy when we meet those challenges. We hope you will join us on a journey in 2014 and experience the challenge and the joy of being able to step up and meet the challenge.
Keep the rubber side down—
We have had so many new riders come with us this year that I thought it would be good to share some suggestions and feelings with you on this topic. I don’t mean new to our Learning Curves Adventures, but new to this wonderful sport that I love. We are so grateful for those of you that refer friends to our rides and express your enthusiasm to friends. This is how our circle of contacts and guests expand. But, I want to address those who checked our rides off their bucket list and got behind the bars. Especially to the women who jumped on the new adventure.
- Learn the right way.
Get involved in a Rider’s Edge Program or another Motorcycle Safety Foundation program in your area. Even though I have been riding bikes for nearly 60 years, I learned so much when I took this course a few years back.
- Ride at your own ability level.
Practice will build skill and confidence, but in the meantime ride for “you.” Ride within your own ability. If you are on a group ride, make riding choices for you and don’t just make a riding choice of the group you are with. If the group passes a car ahead, you should only pass when you feel it is safe and clear for you to pass.
- Wear the right gear.
Don’t ride in shorts and flip-flops. I can speak from my own experience. The one time in my life that I have laid down my bike, I did not have on my leather chaps. I was riding in my Levis and lost all the tissue over my left knee cap. Had I been wearing leather chaps, I would have escaped with a bad bruise. My helmet and leather coat saved the rest of me.
- And to all riders, I must say once again: Expect the unexpected.
Expect every driver of every vehicle you see to pull out in front of you or suddenly stop or not stop. I do not ride at night and I do not use my bike as inner city transportation. I know that riding is risky and I am always looking for ways to reduce that risk factor.
Thanks for listening again and remember that when you are out there on your bike and you love being in the smells and sounds and the feel and sights of this beautiful world, the greatest challenge is staying focused on the road.