As you read this letter, Glenda and I and our great group of special Learning Curves guests are making our final preparations to ride from Utah through Nevada and California and then to head north along the Pacific Coast Highway to Victoria, British Columbia across the tops of the mountains in British Columbia and then turning back south through Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to Utah again. This is our first Learning Curves ride of the season and I can hardly contain my excitement. I guess that somewhere in my DNA is permanently stamped a need for adventure and exploration.
My mind is always churning about where I want to go next on my bike. I am so grateful that so many of you have trusted us and given us the opportunity to provide you with bragging material for your social media to friends and family and all who are out there stalking you on the web.
It is hard to believe that another Learning Curves season is here and there never seems to be enough curves to satisfy my appetite before another season comes to an end.
Our June ride is, of course, sold out. Our July ride with Gordon and Rella Christensen has two spots left. Our August ride benefitting Smiles for Life is sold out. Our September ride on the Grand Circle has four spots left.
Looking ahead to winter and Valentine’s Day 2015 we can take one more lucky rider who wants to really surprise his sweetheart for Valentines by sharing our February winter ride on the Big Island of Hawaii. Check it out at learningcurves.net.
We at Learning Curves and the Hammond Family are blessed to be able to share our love of the open road with so many of you.
Remember Tough Times
As I think back over the fifteen years that we in the Hammond family have been blessed to serve our riders, it is the tough times that I remember the most.
There are those memories of J.D. and his flat tire in Yellowstone. There is the rider of all riders, Rick, with his flat tire on Skyline Drive; there is the flat tire of all flat tires with my good brother-in-law, Doug, and, of course, Doug’s dead battery and his bad alternator. Oh, how I love to ride with Doug. There is the deer that decided to cross the road at the wrong time; there is gravel on the shoulder of a tight left-hand curve; there is an engine that died on an uphill hairpin in the Swiss Alps; there is the panel van that decided to back up into the standing bike on the road; there is the straight-line path through the roundabout. I could go on and on with as many miles as I have been on two-wheels with as many people as I have been blessed to ride side by side with. When was the last time you ever heard someone say, “Remember the time we took that road trip and nothing happened?”
Now, the thought that is on my mind and that I want to leave with you is that as we travel the road of life, it is really those tough, challenging times that we remember the most. It is by taking the challenges and difficult paths where there is a good chance that there will be some hairpin turns that give us a chance to really grow and learn. I never want to approach my days saying, “Let’s see now, what is the easiest least challenging, no chance that I will not be successful, thing I can do today.”
I know I can do hard things. If I can do hard things then I am better prepared to then step forward and help others do hard things because hard things make me stronger and a more able servant.
Well, I know your purpose in reading our letters is not to be given a lecture on life, but this stuff was in me today and I just had to let it out.
Smile around those tough curves,
Riding in rain is never something we plan to do, but the conditions can come up quickly. We have all seen bikes pulled over under an underpass or off on the shoulder to wait out the storm. With the chance for cars on the road losing clear vision or losing control during a heavy storm have me not wanting to stop in those areas.
My preference is to ride with caution to the next exit and then get off the road. For sure, you will get wetter, but I feel much safer this way.
Slow down in the rain and use your flashers, but don’t let your nerves have you go so slow that you become a hazard and take a chance that faster moving traffic does not notice your speed and move to a safe place to wait out the storm.
What about hail. Wow, that hurts. If you don’t have a full-face helmet, you probably just need to get as far off the road as you can and protect yourself.
Snow, yes this can happen. Wait it out if you can. If you must go on, you may find that riding in the car tracks is the most slippery areas. I find it best to slow way down, go to the shoulder and ride in the fresh snow if you must go in the snow.
Best thing is to avoid all of these situations, but for sure, stuff happens, so just be prepared to use your common sense.
Keep the rubber side down.