Monthly Archives: November 2013

Bikers Do Have Big Hearts

Yes, bikers do have big hearts. Bikers are a different breed. We are all different but alike. There is a bond that’s hard to explain. You see it on the road with the wave, at a gas stop, at restaurants or wherever… Someone will say “Where are you headed” or ask “Where are you from” and the conversation begins.

There is another way that we have a bond… Most bikers have big hearts and are always looking for ways to share their passion of riding with a cause close to their big hearts. There are many stories… Below is a video of one such group sharing a ride with former riders and some want to be riders…  You are never too young… 🙂

This is another group with a big heart.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Ride safe…

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“That’s For People Who Can’t Read Maps!”

On the Texas Independence Trail

On the Texas Independence Trail

Map of Day 2 Ride Route

On our “National Park Motorcycle Ride” in July we stopped for gas in Gardiner, Montana.  When I started my bike the GPS announced “Turn right in fifty feet”. The woman filling up her car on the other side of the pump I was at exclaimed… “What was that!” The guy filling his truck behind her exclaimed…  “That’s for people who can’t read maps!”

To be honest I was a little annoyed… and I wanted to say something back. Fortunately, I couldn’t think of a good come back. It was probably a good thing I had left well enough alone. Thinking back I know there was a time I might have said the same thing. I didn’t have a GPS and I couldn’t figure out why I needed one. I probably would have never bought one for myself… What changed that you ask? My lovely wife bought me one for Christmas! When I got it I smiled and said thank you… thinking I would probably never use it… Besides it was just some fancy electronic gadget that I would have to learn to use. Yeah, it had only a few buttons… buttons that did many things and to know what those things are require reading the user’s manual…  I know some people consider me a bit of a geek but I, like most men, don’t like reading user’s manuals… and besides reading a map was much easier… right.

How did I end up learning to use it? To make a long story short, shortly after I got my GPS, I was put in a situation where I had to use it… In a city I did not know and I needed to get to many places. The GPS got me to those places without a hitch. Now the GPS is an invaluable tool of my travels.

Now back to the guy who said… “That’s for people who can’t read maps!” This is how I might have responded to him and other people like my former self.

Can you get this from a map?

  1. Find motels near you.
  2. Location of the nearest gas station.
  3. Restaurants nearby.
  4. Hospitals
  5. Shopping
  6. Parks, museums etc.

Can a map give you real-time information as you drive? Like…

  1. How far it is to your next turn.
  2. How far it is to your destination.
  3. Whether you will be exiting right or left from a freeway
  4. Does it give lane assignments for proper exiting?
  5. If you miss a turn can a map get you back on course (without stopping)?

Actually, to use a GPS effectively you need to know how to read a map. You must be able to read a map to plan routes… to add via points and add roads of your choosing and not just go from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. A GPS is just a tool just as maps are tools. A GPS is just a better tool…

The other advantage of using a GPS is you don’t have to read it as you are driving or riding. Reading a map while riding is hard… Unless you know the route by heart you will need to refer to the map. Reading those little road names are not easy and distracting…

Now I’ve got that off my chest… What can you add to this?

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I hope I see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…

People say to me… “Aren’t you afraid to die?”

I am forever being asked why I ride motorcycles. I’ve tried to answer that question in an earlier post titled “Why Do You Ride Motorcycles”. It’s not an easy question to answer. I have come across videos that have tried to answer that question. Some are better than others. This video is a good short one from…  It describes my passion in words and video… I love this quote from the video… “People say to me ‘Aren’t you afraid to die?’ and I say are you afraid to live?”

Here is the video… Enjoy…

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I hope I see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…

Riding Fit… Riding Smart…


Riding fit… riding smart… my new motto. I am 66 years young… and not getting any younger ;). This past July I rode my longest ride in terms of miles and days (5500 miles in 16 days). It was the best ride to date.

As I have gotten older I have noticed things don’t function as well as in the past. I am not as strong as I once was. Fatigue takes a toll on me physically and mentally. I get pains in places I have never had pain before.  I don’t like these changes. I have had to adapt these to my riding style.

My daughter Katie is a triathlete and knows how to keep her body functioning at its peak. I asked Katie for some advice and tried to incorporate her tips into my ride.

I’ve always known it is important to stay hydrated, but she suggested replenishing my electrolytes. When you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. Many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. They also have sugar and flavorings to provide your body with extra energy and to make the drink taste better. Electrolytes are what your cells use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, heart & muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. The human body needs various kinds of salts to be healthy and to function normally. Serious salt imbalances, like those that occur with dehydration, may lead to heart and nervous system problems that, unless they are rapidly resolved, can result in a medical emergency. So you can see why this is important to a rider and very important to an aging one…

On previous trips I had, on occasion, bought a sport drink when we stopped. Katie suggested I drink one at every stop. That was a bit of a problem since we sometimes stop in the middle of nowhere and drink just water. Now I would have to carry sports drinks too… Katie suggested we carry electrolyte tablets that we could add to our water. That way we didn’t need to carry both. I actually carried several different brands (Hammer Nutrition & Nuun tablets and Mio Fit liquid). The brand I liked the best because of taste and it seemed to give a better boost of energy too, was by Hammer Nutrition (Electrolyte Fizz Tablets). I am amazed how much this helped. Even on long mileage days I felt great at the end of the day.

I have had a few back problems that have put me out of commission for days. This is always a concern when I am riding. Back problems on a ride would not be good. So far so good. I did have a problem with my back several months before our trip. Since this would be a long trip with many days in the saddle I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent any back problems. Katie suggested I do exercises to strengthen my back muscle. She gave me some exercises to do, but I modified them to suit me and my back. The exercises seemed to help a lot. I never noticed any pains hefting the Goldwing off the kickstand or any pains when staying in the saddle for hours on end.

The other issues I’ve had in the past were getting a good night’s sleep. Long hours in the saddle, not sleeping in my bed and the excitement of the day sometimes take a toll. I have trouble getting to sleep but once asleep I’m out until the alarm goes off. So on this trip I would take half a Ibuprofen PM and one Ibuprofen (muscle relaxer and helps with stiffness) an hour before bed. I slept really well during the whole ride.

Another concern is getting sick while riding. It’s no fun being sick (even a little sick) and having to ride. No fun for you and no fun for the other riders having to worry about you being sick. As a precaution I took an “Airborne” every night. I don’t know if it kept me from getting sick but it couldn’t have hurt and I didn’t get sick…

Riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car… I’ve found too that knowing your limits is as important as all the above. Of course this is continually evolving. Exceeding your limits will put you on shaky ground both physically and mentally. Staying within your limits makes for an enjoyable riding day. At the end of the day you can wind down and reflect on all the fun of the day instead of wishing you had made better choices.

Having taken these steps to ride fit and smart, I can see myself riding for years to come. It was a great ride and an even better ride not having to deal with any above issues.

I hope this is of some use to the older riders and the younger ones too.

If you like this post you may also like these related posts…

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I hope I see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…