Learning Curves: Make Things Happen
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.
Well, here we are in our mountain home at 6500 feet elevation at Sundance, Utah. Our home and all the surroundings are covered by several feet of clean white powder snow. Are we just dreaming of a new riding season or do we really make things happen?
There are those who make things happen and those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. Glenda and I have committed to make things happen in our lives. Right now we are packing our bags to host the Learning Curves Valentine’s ride on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Our year is in full motion having made our first trip into Guatemala for Smiles for Life and four more Smiles for Life expeditions to different sites on the calendar before year’s end.
If you have always dreamed of sharing Tuscany with a special person in your life, we will try to add hotel rooms for this one and only international ride in May and June. Our July ride to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons to benefit Smiles for Life is sold out and our August ride to the Colorado Rockies with Gordon and Rella Christensen is filling quickly and there is still space in our September Grand Circle ride among the color of red rocks and fall leaves.
Now is the time to put us on your calendar and allow us the blessing of serving you as we travel some of this world’s most majestic curves.
Roy and Glenda and the Hammond Family
Would You Ride With You?
As I think back over the years I can remember only one time being a passenger on the back of a motorcycle. My son, son-in-law and I were returning from Sturgis several years ago. My bike broke down and as hard as we tried to get it back on the road, we could not. I got on as a passenger on my son’s bike and we started back toward the nearest town to get help. I can remember like it was only yesterday some of those feelings of being in that passenger position with no ability to control the bike and no opportunity to anticipate the next bump or curve in the road. Just thinking about this experience I had so many years ago helps me realize how much trust my wife Glenda places in me as she rides mile after mile in that passenger seat and how much responsibility we as riders have to those who ride with us. I want to help us consider a few things that our passengers face as they ride behind us to give us a better appreciation of the seat they are in.
- It is rougher back there
This past summer Glenda and I were returning from a four-day getaway to Jackson, Wyoming. After one of our gas stops I suggested we take a back road shortcut that I had discovered many years ago. Well to make this long “shortcut” story brief, I will say it was a mistake. The road was rough ten years ago and now ten years later, it was even much rougher. When you are behind, everything is magnified and more uncomfortable. Breaking, gear changes, accelerations, bumps and turns are all very noticeable as a passenger. Our responsibility to our passenger is to become a smoother rider. We should be assessing the road way ahead to anticipate needs for speed adjustment. I have a really sweet signal to Glenda for an approaching bump in the road. I reach back with my left hand to give her a small pat on the butt. Sometimes I think I just look for extra bumps so I can give more pats on the butt.
- It’s faster from behind!
From the rear of the motorcycle everything seems closer and seems to move more rapidly. I guess maybe the passenger seat just travels at a higher speed than the rider seat. Respect your passenger. I want Glenda to be there. I need to respect her feelings and needs. I can still remember the empty feeling I had when, after that “shortcut” ride, she said she had had enough and was done. She got my attention.
- Whose ride is it?
The day's ride is not about you. My joy of riding comes with Glenda on behind. Sharing the wind, the smells, the beauty all around is what makes the miles of smiles what they can and should be. We need to be constantly aware of the needs of our passenger - time for a rest, too hot, too cold, how much farther to the next bathroom. Become a servant of your passenger. You are not the “Lone Ranger” rider. Communicate with your passenger. How can you make the riding experience better for the passenger so that you can also be a happier rider?
Would you ride with you? Do some serious introspection into your skill level and think about the tremendous trust that your passenger is placing in you.
Be honest with yourself. Are you doing all you can to help your passenger have the kind of experience that will generate a desire to take on that role on that seat at the next invitation? Remember there’s a big difference between hours and miles spent on a bike.
Enjoy the ride—