Thursday, June 26, 2008
The study has some interesting quantitative data concerning helmet use, injuries (both head and non-head), and motality.
The article is available for reprint for a small fee, however, since WebBikeWorld.com has provided an excellent summary of the report, I opted not to download the article. You can read their summary here.
Without stepping into it too deep, I'll just relay some wisdom from Conchscooter when he wrote "... if you hit the ground with your noggin you stand a better chance of suffering less injury with a lid on."
Thursday, June 19, 2008
It was a good thing that they were riding the HD Road Glide because the fairing offer a bit more protection. In the end, the bike's a mess, Curt and Sharon are beat up and the deer is dead. They were very fortunate.
Ohio has its own version of CHiPs. A few years ago the Ohio Highway Patrol reintroduced the motorcycle division after an absence of about 50 years. There aren't many OHP motorcops yet but their numbers are growing and its always a surprise to me when I see them.
And that's what I saw yesterday. Two motorcops riding side by side. Interesting to see and kinda cool. Especially since they were headed the opposite direction.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I think I can get 2 PCs strapped to the back of the bike. I know 1 will fit just fine.
My daughter saw me bring the live PC home and when she saw it strapped to the bike, she said, "Dad, that bike is so ghetto!"
I said, "No its not. It's Redneck!"
Monday, June 16, 2008
So Sunday afternoon we followed US Route 40 east to Zanesville. US40 was, and may still be, called the National Road. The stretch between Hebron and Zanesville still has a few stone mile markers telling the distance between Columbus and Cumberland.
After about 30 minutes we reached the edge of Zanesville and stopped in at an A&W Root Beer shop. Parked outside of establishment was this high tech beauty...
At first I wasn't sure what it was, but then I realized it was a BRP CAN-AM Spyder. And of course I didn't have my camera with me so I used this web picture.
If I ever get too old to ride 2 wheels, this might be a good second choice.
We went inside and had a root beer float and then headed home. When we got home I took my wife for a ride to the same place (can't play favorites, you know) but the owner had moved on. I can't blame 'em. Something like that needs to be moving.
Gabrielle lived a few doors down from us. She attended her high school commencement exercises the week before. She was 18.
Police say alcohol was/may have contributed to the crash though they aren't saying how or who.
Its all so sad. So very, very sad.
Three killed in crash
Fourth man in serious condition; family, friends mourn victims
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It happened Yesterday, Friday, on my way home from work. I was on the four lane highway and traffic is more than moderate but moving at a reasonable pace.
The van I am following moves over to the left lane to pass a slower moving dump truck. I hit my turn signal, do a quick head check and follow suite. The truck is a semi tractor with a 30 foot dump bed and as the van and I pass, the van slows down.
There are drivers that do this on purpose. I'm not sure if its part of their nature or whether they go to school to learn this technique. You know its true because it has happened to you! These drivers usually employ this technique with me when I have followed them into the left lane to pass slower traffic and then need to exit the highway in a mile or so. That's not the case today, though.
Anyway, here I am, following a graduate from the "Slow Down While Passing School". I have the truck on my right and a 3 foot shoulder on my left. Trapped. I wish these drivers would have bumper stickers identifying them. I would have passed sooner.
We travel like that for about a mile the van holding steady about 50 feet in front of me. My frustration climbs because I can see that there is no one in front of him for half a mile and yet he refuses to accelerate to the speed limit to complete the pass.
I moved over to the center of my lane. Maybe he doesn't see me. Of course he should be able to see the 15 cars behind me. No effect. The van inches forward 10 mph slower than he was traveling.
And then the van swerves, first to the right and then back to the left. I think for an instant, "What demon has possess this idiot?" And then I see the demon coming out from under his rear axle, black, long, wiry, flopping in torment and in my path.
Of course it really wasn't a demon at all, but what looked like an entirely intact truck tire retread. Our valedictorian in the van must have been distracted because he had at least 20 seconds to identify a hazard in the road way and avoid it. I had about 3 seconds.
And 3 seconds might have been enough - 5 seconds would have been plenty - for me to shift to the outside and ride the shoulder had the demon not decided to uncoil all of its 10 feet directly in front of me and perpendicular to my path.
There were 3 distinct thumps; one for each of my tires and one when it smacked the floorboard on the left side and my pipes on the right.
The good news: I was still vertical. The bad news: It smacked my left foot as it rolled past. I raised my foot off the floorboard to make sure it was still attached to my ankle. It was still there but I remember thinking, "That's gonna leave a mark."
I rolled the throttle, cut to the right and quickly slowed to a stop on the right shoulder. I dismounted and did a quick walk around. The tires were still inflated, for now. No oil or other fluids were leaking. That's good. The bike had tread marks on its pipes. Those will buff out. The fenders were still attached. This was beginning to look better all the time.
I started the engine and pulled back into traffic. About a mile down the highway, Mister Graduate had pulled his van to the shoulder and was crawling underneath looking for either damage or brains. I'm guessing he might have found damage. I know he never found any brains since he had none to loose in the first place.
For a second I thought about stopping and asking him why he didn't try to avoid the tire tread since there was no one in front of him and he had clear vision ahead. But like Forrest Gump says, "Stupid is as stupid does.", so I chose not to stop.
At home I took my boots off. There were no tread marks on my foot, just a nasty bruise on the top side. Battle scars that will fade from view. The lesson learned will not soon be forgotten.
I bet if I had stopped to check on Mr Graduate he would have been wearing a sign. Maybe I should get some bumper stickers to hand out, too.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I have got to get me a good textile jacket. My 20 year old jean jacket is an old friend and like slipping on my shadow but its buttons are cumbersome and it offers little protection. It might be time to get to the 'pony'.
On another note, the ride into work was awesome this morning after being caged up for two days. For a stretch of about 15 miles on the outer belt I had another riding following me at a respectful distance. We cruised along at about 73 mph and he stayed back about 4 or 5 seconds.
He must have felt comfortable following me 'cause he had ample opportunity to pass and didn't.
First time that's happened.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The weather forecasters are calling for severe thunder storms today and I really didn't want to get caught in the middle of a lightning light show. I must not be the only rider thinking that thought because many of my fellow two wheeled commuters were absent their two wheels this morning.
Each morning I usually see a red Honda sport bike, a yellow BMW and two Harley's, an Ultra and a Softtail. But only the BMW traveled my path today.
On days when there is nothing but sunshine in the forecast I share the road with a host of riders. A thought has crossed my mind from time to time and I wonder if I am becoming a fair weather rider, as if that were something to avoid. The answer, I think, is, "No." But if it were "Yes," that would be acceptable, too.
I ride because I have a passion for it. I don't have a fear of inclement weather, rather a healthy respect for it. And today, I am reminded that the "better part of valor is discretion."