JULY 2017 NEWSLETTER
God Bless America!
As Glenda and I are blessed to travel the world, make new friends, share time in their homes and with their families, we are reminded over and over again that there are wonderful, honest, and caring people among all races and nationalities and faiths and colors. Some of our most cherished friendships are those of people of other lands that have touched our lives and continue to do so around every curve.
All this being said we are proud to be Americans. We are proud of our country and all that it stands for. Yes, we have our problems here, but we can all stand tall and do our part to resolve the problems rather than to be part of the problems and continuing challenges that we do and always will face in our great nation.
May we all hold our head high and place our hand over our heart as the Stars and Stripes passes before us on this Independence Day 2017.
Expect the Unexpected
Yes, a long smooth ride across an open country side is the relaxation that I often long for. But, whether I am on my Silver Road King on two wheels or in my red C-7 Corvette on four wheels, I always try to remind myself that the unexpected may be around every “curve.”
To minimize our risks we must stay mentally engaged and actively anticipating where potential surprises might present themselves. It is natural to anticipate threats in areas of high activity. But, we must not let our guard down in rural riding where we would least expect a threat.
Of course there is always the threat of animals coming suddenly onto the road, but there are also the unexpected moves of some drivers. There may be an aggressive driver who will make an unexpected move. There may be a distracted or lost driver who is moving slow in the left lane or drifting between lanes. Best move you can make is to put some space between you and them.
Don’t trust others blindly. I can remember so well riding with a group of buddies on an open road. We were at a moderate rate of speed and riding in a tight formation. Suddenly and unexpected one of our group two back from the lead, sees a Forest Service restroom on the left and quickly slows to make a left hand turn for his unexpected and unanticipated restroom stop. Three of the bikers who were trailing him, clipped him and each other’s bike trying to avoid the sudden situation.
We should think 360% awareness. I make it a habit to spend at least 33% of my time glancing in my rear view mirror. I want to be expecting a surprise from all angles. Motorcycle crashes continue to be for the same repeating reasons: a vehicle unexpectedly pulls out in front of us; we rear-end a vehicle in front of us when traffic unexpectedly slows; we run wide on a curve that was tighter that we expected.
There will always be surprises, but our responsibility is to always be actively engaged in anticipating surprises so that we have time for our minds to prepare for our avoidance strategy.
The older I get the more memories I have of the lessons my mother tried to teach me when I was young. The problem is that I had to get old before I really learned those lessons.
She would often say, “Roy Alan, why don’t you learn from your mistakes?” Well, I have now been riding for over 60 years and I have made at least my share of mistakes. My hope is that some of you might be able to learn from my mistakes.
- My good friend and I were on a Saturday ride in the mountains near our home. I was on my Harley and he was on his Suzuki. He wanted to trade bikes to try the Harley. I agreed and jumped on his bike feeling like the switch to a strange bike was no problem. As I entered the next tight turn, I soon found that the different center of gravity gave the bike a completely different cornering feel and down I went. I ended up in the Operating Room at the hospital for over two hours of repairs.
- I was riding on the roads of Tennessee with some friends. It was in a rainstorm and there had been no rain for quite some time. As I approached an intersection to make a stop, I soon found that the mix of oil drips from cars waiting at the intersection mixed with the now new falling rain, created a road surface just as slick as a sheet of ice. I ended up in the gutter on the side of the road.
I am too embarrassed to share more mistakes all in one letter.There are more to share so I will continue these confessions next month.
We at Learning Curves are entirely prepared for the 2017 season. We have postponed our February “Sweethearts in Hawaii” ride until February 2018 to allow us to focus on our time on finalizing our efforts to make our three year effort in Guatemala self-sustaining.
All arrangements are in place for our ride with Gordon and Rella Christensen to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Park and the Cody Night Rodeo in July.
In August, we will have our Smiles for Life Benefit Ride to the Colorado Rockies with Steve Anderson as our featured clinician.
We have a full year of humanitarian efforts on our plate and we extend our gratitude to each of you who support our rides and make that possible. Email Angel now to reserve your spot for 2017.
Be sure to remember that:
Roads without destinations lead to bliss without boundaries.
Want to find a winding road to unwind this year? Please join us on a Learning Curves Adventure. We love the opportunity to serve.
Roy and Glenda and our Learning Curves Family