Learning Curves: Why We Do What We Do
A new year is upon us and our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude for the abundance of blessings of 2014 and the anticipation of our opportunities and challenges and responsibilities of 2015.
All arrangements are made for a wonderful 2015 riding season as we look forward to serving many of our previous riders and we also have great anticipation of the opportunity we cherish to make new friendships.
Why do we do this year after year? This Learning Curves effort is not in our life as an income stream, but as an on-going opportunity for new friendships, new adventures, and new opportunities to learn and grow and serve many people we love.
Glenda and I have five International Outreach opportunities on our calendar for this year as we now continue our efforts in the Dominican Republic and now add to our opportunities by reaching into Guatemala, Bolivia, Nepal and Kenya. We have two bent-wood rocking chairs on the porch of our home here in the mountains at Sundance, Utah, but the raccoons and squirrels spend more time in those chairs than we do. We have not planned our “Back Nine” with the intent of wearing out the cushions on those chairs.
Maybe due to the fact that we do not invest our funds in marketing projects, the Learning Curves opportunity remains a secret that only a small number of dentists know about. Word of mouth is our channel of outreach.
That said, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the prologue to a wonderful photo book assembled by Dr. John Wispelwey and his wife Pat after attending his third Learning Curves tour this past year. These are his exact words and they encompass the vision and culture of our Hammond Family efforts so well that I am honored to repeat them here:
“This book is dedicated to Roy and Glenda Hammond, and the memory of Frances Hammond, who had the vision and insight to create Learning Curves Dental Adventure Tours. By combining great dental continuing education with the experience of motorcycling through America’s most scenic roads and National Parks and adding in the opportunity to meet and make wonderful new friends, they have created a lifetime of memories for all who participate. Every detail is covered to make this a first class experience from the time of arrival to departure; all this while helping to fund Smiles For Hope Foundation which provides on-going dental outreach expeditions for dentists and their family to help people in underserved areas of the world.
A special thank you to Gordon and Rella Christensen whose dedication to dentistry is unparalleled. Their wisdom, knowledge and love for our profession is unprecedented and their love in sharing that knowledge makes this time a golden opportunity to grow as a person and a professional.”
As my lifelong friend, Dr. Omer Reed, always taught me, “If it’s worth doing it’s worth putting on the calendar.” Now is the time to put Learning Curves on your calendar.
Our Valentine’s Ride on the Big Island of Hawaii has been sold out for many months now.
Our once-in-a-lifetime trip to ride your Harley through the unmatched scenery of Tuscany is nearly full, but our hosts, Donna and Graham Becker, said they can get a few more hotel rooms. This ride runs May 22 through June 5.
Our Smiles for Life Benefit ride through the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Cody, Wyoming July 15-18 will sell out at month’s end at the Crown Council Annual Event in Las Vegas. If you want to join us, email your application now.
Our annual opportunity to be up close and person with Gordon and Rella Christenson will be August 19-22 as we travel the Heart of the West, Colorado Rockies. Now is the time to register.
Our final ride of the year will be September 23-26 with the Grand Circle taking in five National Parks and three National monuments is four days. I love this ride during the fall autumn colors.
He who hesitates is lost, just do it.
We have passed from the old year and passed into the New Year. I guess it is a big deal, but it seemed pretty simple.
Now what about passing a slow moving vehicle (over taking) as we travel the road this coming year; this passing needs to always be taken seriously because it is a big deal.
You have been following a slower vehicle for mile after mile along a two-lane road where you are yearning to be free. There has been an endless ribbon of painted double yellow lines. Finally the dotted line appears, our opportunity to be free to get on to the world of open road that lies ahead.
Now is NOT the time to press our luck, to take the risk, to squeak through where there is just enough room before the next approaching vehicle. This IS the time to evaluate all the risks and pass only with extreme caution after so evaluating.
- Take note of driveways, side roads, and parking lots that line your passing zone. Too many unsuspecting riders have been seriously injured or killed when the vehicles they were passing unexpectedly turned left while the rider was accelerating around them. I have observed this terrible consequence occurring and resulting in a fatality with my own eyes. This and many life experiences have given me more wisdom in things that are really important. Passing with care and completed caution is really important.
- From a safe distance behind, develop a plan for your passing well in advance of the passing zone. Notice the behavior of the driver. Does it look like the operator is lost looking for his next turn? How fast will you need to go to get around? What is behind you? Is the vehicle behind you going to pass at the same time you are? What if you needed to slow down when a threat appears midway through with a vehicle right behind you? Look at all the potential hazards before you obligate yourself to pass.
- All looks good, seal the deal. From a safe distance, just before you pass, signal and make a final check. Mirror check, head check, move and accelerate. Get by quickly. Once you are well past the vehicle with plenty of space, signal and make your return to the right lane. Leave plenty of room for other vehicles behind you that may be passing to return to the right lane.
You may have always felt that passing was no big deal, but, it is. My hope is that these few brief thoughts will give you greater insight into the added awareness necessary to reduce your risks and stay safe.
Keep the rubber side down
The greatest challenge is staying focused on the road.