Learning Curves honors Frances Hammond
Well, as you read this letter, Glenda and I are back in the Dominican Republic. This trip holds a very significant spirit for us in the Hammond Family. All of my children and their spouses have joined together, along with Glenda and I, to honor Frances, the mother of my children and to honor our marriage 52 years ago.
Our group of volunteers from the US and Canada number 51 for this expedition and once again, we will be joined by 20 Dominican dental students and volunteers. These trips always test our energy level, but when each one is complete, we look back with joy in the blessing of serving side by side with family members, new friends, and the many Smiles for Life and Dominican volunteers that join us for each experience. I want to thank each of you once again for your support of Learning Curves because it is the proceeds generated by this project that makes it possible for Glenda and me to carry on our commitment to this aspect of our retirement and the “back nine” of our lives.
I can’t close this note without a huge debt of gratitude to our featured clinicians. My dear friends like Gordon Christenson and Steve Anderson and Doug Andrew, who give of their valuable time to ride and share in support of our Learning Curves effort. In addition, they help the dental profession and community become aware of this unique opportunity that we provide to invest in small group learning, and at the same time, enjoy the unique opportunity of riding a Harley through many of our country’s most beautiful surroundings. Thank you again to each of you for being a part of my life and may this month of Thanksgiving fill your heart and mind with gratitude for the bounties of life that surround us all each and every day.
Flat, Flat, Flat
“Flat” is not only the name I give to my dear brother-in-law Doug, but it is a subject I would like to touch on in this brief narrative.
You see, Doug and I and our wives were returning from Sturgis a few years ago and we stopped at a MacDonald’s for lunch in a very rural Wyoming town. As we left the parking lot after lunch, Doug dropped behind and pulled over because he noticed a strange sensation in the way the bike was handling. A feeling like you are riding on soft sand and the bike wobbles from side to side. Well, as you have now guessed, Doug had a FLAT tire and his new biker’s name became FLAT. Now I love having Doug on our rides and I would not give up these opportunities to spar with him in our teasing way of words, but it seems that Doug (jokingly) becomes the center of our challenges on every trip he joins. This year we changed his name to BATTERY and last year his name was SNOW. I love you Doug. Keep up the good work because there is never a dull moment when you are along; you continue to light up my life whenever you are near and by that my life is abundantly blessed. Thank you!!!!
Now to the lessons learned. The probable cause of Doug’s flat was tire pressure. When we travel with our wives and with no chase vehicle, our bikes are “loaded.” You get a flat tire. There is no evidence of a puncture. You try to use your emergency tire repair kit that I have spoken of. The tire will not hold air. In the case of our Sturgis experience, there are no new tires that will fit within a hundred miles. We rent a U-Haul Truck to carry the bike the rest of the way home.
Later, we found the failure was probably due to under-inflation. Under inflation causes overheating and delamination of the inner carcass. You are lucky if the tire just goes flat and does not blow out.
It seems we rarely check our tire pressure. This rear tire is very difficult to check because of the saddlebags. If we have never had a problem before, why worry about it?
The fact is that as we travel at high speeds, a beautiful woman on the passenger seat and all of her luggage on behind, an under-inflated tire will become a FLAT tire or worse, a blowout.
With only two small tire contact patches to keep you upright, you need to be vigilant to ensure long life for both your tires and for you and your beautiful passenger. Get into the habit of checking pressure on a regular basis and increase pressure to accommodate the added weight of a passenger and luggage.
Keep the rubber side down,
A Closing Thought
Only a biker knows why a dog sticks its head out of a car window.