Pinky's Passion in print and online motorcycle magazine.
Do you plan to ride on Barksdale Air Force Base? If so, contact me at email@example.com and I'll give you the scoop on requirements for training and gear.
by Pierce Egerton
When you see me
When you see us moving past you quickly: Don't take offense or think we're trying to "show off". Ninety five percent of the time, we're trying to get out of your blind spot or taking ourselves out of a potential dangerous situation that has evolved around us. Distancing ourselves from you does not mean we want to race, but that we're giving ourselves the edge we need at the moment. When you hear our horn: Don't take offense or think we're trying to aggravate you. All we're doing is letting you know where we are in relation to you on the road, and we're more than likely aware of your inattentiveness to us while you're talking on a cell phone, eating, reading or involved in some other distracting aspect to your driving. It's important to us, and you, that you know we're there. When you hear our loud pipes: Don't become angry and hostile toward us. Yes, some are quite loud, but for some, there's a purpose behind being loud. It's about letting you know we're close by and we're constantly hoping that our investment in this accessory will help save our lives. Our pipes are really not about our ego...it's a pride and personalization to our form of transportation. When you see us in our clothes: Don't become fearful of us or think us weird. Our leather jackets, chaps, gloves and boots are the barriers between loosing massive amounts of flesh should something cause us to go down...nothing more, nothing less. Safety gear is paramount to our riding. We wear patches on our jackets, and pins on our vests. These are symbols of pride and honor within our group(s), individuals giving back to those who gave. These things bond us as a brotherhood and sisterhood among bikers. Not that we're better than anyone else, but that we have the same kind of nobility and pride in our accomplishments as you may have in the various aspects of your life. I guess one could say; our patches and pins are the decals and the bumper stickers of our involvement with society and the general public, of which we are very pleased to be a part of in our own little way. When you see us in a restaurant: You don't have to shield your child or feel intimidated. We have family, wives, husbands, children and loved ones too, just like you. We smile; we laugh and enjoy the moments we have. We are approachable, and would befriend you, if given the opportunity. When you see us in a parking lot: Don't convince yourself that we're there to "get you". More than likely, we just finished a long ride and are taking a break. Or, we may be meeting up with other riders for a charity run for young children, or another very worthy cause. We may just be admiring one another's bikes, sharing our pride with other brothers and sisters, just like you do with your personal vehicle. It's what we do...it's a part of our lives, and we'd be more than welcome to share with you what riding a bike is all about...if you'd only ask. When you see aggressive riding bikers: Don't put us all in the same stereotypical category as those whose behavior and actions would cause you to react in disgust and intolerance. Many of us do not agree with this style of riding either, and we know and understand that human nature tends to blend us all together as the "same group". Most of us don't want that title...and don't deserve it. When you see a group of bikers on the roadways: Give us the courtesy of sharing the road with you. Please don't "move in" between several bikers in formation. This gets us very excited and nervous, especially when it's done with no due regard for our safety. Provide us with your awareness of the fact that we are much more vulnerable than you. We don't want to challenge you, for all of us are wise enough to know...we'd lose that battle!
Does riding a motorcycle make you a better driver?
When I first began riding, I had no idea that the experience I gained on a motorcycle would make me a better driver in my car. But, it has. And, if you think about it, it has probably made you a better driver, too.
Since I've been riding I've noticed when I'm in my car I tend to give the two finger salute to riders I pass on the road -- even though they probably can't see my gesture through the dark tinted windows. I also notice that I'm constantly scanning the road with my eyes to determine if there are any dangers ahead. I try to decide if the vehicle in front of me might suddenly come to a stop, or if the car on a side road might pull out in front of me to make a left hand turn. I've been known to slow down when I spot a stray animal on the side of the road, anticipating that it might dart out in front of me, and I look for trash or dangerous items in the middle of my lane. I'm aware of vehicles carrying large loads that can come loose and possibly hit my car unexpectedly. And, I prepare for my reaction in all those situations. I can't imagine having this response in a car prior to my motorcycle riding experience.
In order to get a driver's license, I had to take driver's education
, but I've never taken another driving course since. But, since I've been riding a motorcycle, I've taken the basic motorcycle course offered by the MSF and the Rider's Edge Advanced Course offered by Harley-Davidson
. And, I took them of my own volition. Both of these courses helped make me a better motorcycle rider and as a bonus, a better driver. If you get a chance, taking these courses periodically can help you to hone your skills and may just save your life one day. To find out about courses locally, contact your local motorcycle dealership or log on to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
search engine and choose Louisiana
. A complete list with information including city locations, web sites, and phone numbers will be displayed. You'll find that local area classes are listed for both Shreveport
and Bossier City
, as well as Barksdale AFB
You don't have much to lose, so why not take a refresher course today.
Learn Safety by Accident”
By Justin Saunders*
riding season has arrived! We must always keep “Safety First”. For some,
you may be “un-robing” your bikes after several months of being
covered in the garage or in storage and for others it may be time for
some cleaning and maintenance from riding in the cold and rainy
weather. No matter if you are a fair weather rider or a year around
rider, preventative maintenance and scheduled maintenance is
important for all motorcyclists to maintain a safe and functioning
is not only an essential part of motorcycle ownership; it can make
the difference between safe riding and getting stranded -- or worse,
taking a spill. For those that are fair weather riders, it is
important that you understand what is necessary to get your bike out
of storage and back on the road. If you used Sta-Bil or a comparable
fuel stabilizer, your fuel should be in good shape as long as it's
been a year or less. Double check by opening the filler cap and
looking inside for gunk or stratification that may have built up
while it was stored; if the fuel is consistent and clean you should
be o.k. Otherwise you will have to drain fuel tank and fuel lines.
Next you want to check the oil level, even if you changed the oil
before storing your motorcycle, you’ll still want to check the oil
level before riding. If you didn't do an oil change before storage,
now is a good time to consider that oil and filter change, especially
since oil degrades when it sits. Now you want to check you battery.
You want to check for corrosion on the leads and make sure they are
attached securely. Make sure it is completely charged and will hold
a charge; remember batteries lose life quickly especially in cold
weather. Next check your break fluid level; if your break fluid
needs topped off make sure to use a brand new bottle of the same
fluid that is already in the system. Check for leaks around the
break fluid reservoirs and underneath your bike. You should
thoroughly inspect your tires before riding. If your motorcycle
rested on a kickstand, check to make sure there are no unusual stress
marks, cracks, or flat spots on the tires.
the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's T-CLOCS checklist this, and every
time you ride. The list covers Tires, Controls, Lights, Oils &
Fluids, Chassis, and Stands; for a more detailed checklist, go to the
just take off after a thorough inspection; let the bike idle for a
few minutes to get its fluids circulating. Take those moments to get
reacquainted with the bike's ergonomics. Before you go riding off
into the sunset, don't forget that the most important component of a
motorcycle is you, the operator. If you suspect you're rusty (and
there's a good possibility you are), practice riding in an abandoned
parking lot, taking it easy until you're up to speed. When all is
said and done, a little preparation will make re-entry into riding a
lot more fun; look out for yourself and your bike, and enjoy the
are things that all riders need to do on a regular basis. Year
around riders need to check these items daily and stay up to date
with interval scheduled maintenance more frequently, but it doesn’t
make them any less important for riders who store their bikes during
seasonal weather. Don’t assume because you store your bike for a
few months each year that you can go longer between interval
maintenance. I look forward
to seeing you out on the road enjoying life!
*Justin Saunders is the Safety Officer for the Bossier City Harley Owner's Group in Bossier City, Louisiana.