Learning Curves: Full of Thanks
As you read this month’s letter, Glenda and I are in the Dominican Republic once again spending time at the UCE Dental School in San Pedro and then hosting our group of 53 Crown Council and Smiles for Life volunteers. Snow has capped the peaks that surround our home at Sundance, Utah, and the full colors have faded. Another wonderful riding season has come to a close and we look forward with great anticipation to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. This is a time of year we cherish the opportunity to be with our 10 children and 32 grandchildren and reflect on the gratitude we share as a family for our many blessings and for the birth and life of the Savior.
You have blessed our lives and our family with your friendship and support of our efforts at Learning Curves. Our 2014 season was a great success and our plans are complete for our 2015 season. Our February 2015 ride on the Big Island of Hawaii is sold out and there are just three spots left for our May and June ride to Tuscany in the heart of Italy. We already have several sign-ups for our July, August and September rides out of Provo.
Our Smiles for Life humanitarian efforts will take our teams to the Dominican Republic twice and to Guatemala twice and once into the high mountains of Bolivia and Peru. I had never planned to spend the “Back Nine” in a rocking chair on the porch and I feel so blessed that I have been able to avoid that scenario so far in my life.
Thanks to each of you for being a part of my life and for the love and support that Glenda and I and our family feel from you.
Interesting Motorcycle News
Interesting new models in the world of motorcycles! Here are a few that caught my eye:
- Slingshot – I grew up with my home-made slingshot. David killed Goliath with his slingshot and so I have always thought I knew what a slingshot was until I read the September issue of Motorcycle Consumer news.
Polaris, who developed the now common three-wheeled Spyder, surprised us all with the outrageous Slingshot. It is a motorcycle, legally, but is unlike anything you have ever driven. It has side-by-side seating and the controls of a car: steering wheel, foot-controlled clutch, brake and throttle pedals and a center-mounted gearshift. There are no doors, roof or windshield. It has two wheels in front and one in the back.
Polaris is an engineering powerhouse. They have the Spyder and the Victory and Indian Motorcycles in additions to their ATV’s and snowmobiles. They kept the Slingshot a well-guarded secret. It is now in production and by all reports it really works well. The prices are enticing ranging from $19,999 to $23,999. Keep a heads up to learn more as it rolls out.
- Project Livewire – I grew up learning early in my life that you don’t touch an exposed livewire as I always wanted to know what makes stuff work. My mother also always told me I was a livewire. I never really knew if that was good or bad, but I guess to her I was some of both.
Harley Davidson now has surprised us with their own version of a Livewire. The Livewire has been on a 30-city summer demo tour and all the reports are very favorable. This all-electric motorcycle is comparable in weight and power to the 883 Harley Sportster.
This project is still in prototype, but those who have done a test drive say it feels ready for production. It seems the most impressive element of the Livewire is that it feels and functions like a “real” motorcycle. Look for this one on the road of your future.
- Softail – I grew up hunting rabbits in the wild with my shotgun. We would often save the tails because they were so soft. So what is the Harley line of Softail models all about?
For years, all of the bikes that I rode were softails and I loved the nostalgic look and feel. More recently I have gone to a Touring Bike choosing the Road King. Because I love the look of the Heritage Softail, I have changed out some parts to make my Road King look like a Heritage, but it has the capabilities of a Touring Model. My daughter Angel rides a Softail Deluxe which sits lower and is lighter in weight than the Touring Bikes.
So what is a Softail? The model gets its name from the fact that it appears to have a classic “Hardtail” design in which there is no rear suspension, but it in fact comes with a pair of springs and shock absorbers hidden underneath, hence the “Softail” designations. Whether or not you ever wondered what this is all about, now you know.
Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday filled with an “Attitude of Gratitude” and plan now to put a ride with Learning Curves on your 2015 calendar. If it’s worth doing, it should go on your calendar and then it will happen. We in the Hammond Family would love to serve you in the coming year.
Roy and Glenda
And the Learning Curves Team