Women Riders

Women Riders

Randoms Again

April 30, 2012
It’s May and that means it’s time for Harley-Davidson’s “Garage Party,” women-only social events hosted by Harley dealerships after hours that offer hands-on tips and classes on key areas of motorcycling basics. Special guests, seminars, riding classes and tours are just some of the activities dealerships will be planning, and you can sit on their bikes and get some ideas for your next ride. Helpful staff will be on hand to answer all your questions. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just thinking about starting, it wouldn’t hurt to stop in and brush up on your knowledge and maybe treat…

Randoms

March 31, 2012
Has anyone seen any significant snow this year? Here in the Northeast, our biggest snowstorm occurred in October. While it wasn’t the warmest winter on record, it came close in several areas. Chicago says it is their ninth warmest; someone named James Poling claims it was the fourth warmest and lists 1992 as one of the four. I must disagree with James on that one-I brought my twins home during a severe ice storm on March 20th, 1992. The night of January 27th of that year, the spouse ran his hand through a table saw and I had to drive…

Being a Good Riding Partner

February 29, 2012
Thanks to my stupid error in judgment (not to mention my finances), I have come to the realization that I will most likely always be a pillion warmer. My riding friends have assured me that this makes me no less a biker, and who knows? I could come into some disposable income that just screams, “Get a trike!” and who am I to argue with that? So, for those of you who have never been a pillion warmer or have been but can’t understand why your friend looks like something stinky just crossed his or her path when it’s time…

2011 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year:  Nancy Sabater

January 31, 2012
The Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 was passed following reports that cheap imported toys were tested and shown to have high lead content. Its sweeping language allowed for banning the making, distributing or selling of any product intended for children ages 12 and under that contained more than a trace of lead. This ended up including the banning of kids’ dirt bikes and ATVs because of the trace amounts of lead in the brakes and battery terminals, even though it was highly unlikely those would end up in the mouths of children. Fixing this law would take the support…

Year End Notes, News & Observations

December 31, 2011
On December 12, the AMA announced its Motorcyclist of the Year.Nancy Sabater, from Charlotte Hall, Maryland, was chosen because of her grassroots advocacy in 2011 to save youth motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles from a misguided federal law that would have banned their sale on January 1, 2012. The victory over the "lead law" was sealed when the president signed legislation overturning the ban on August 12, 2011, ending a three-year battle to save youth riding for future generations. Congratulation, Ms.Sabater! ******************************************************************************In an effort to make their streets safer, Honduras has banned motorcycle passengers. Honduras has the highest murder rate in…

Our Love Affairs with Our Rides

November 30, 2011
In May of 2000, I was in the market for a new car and really had no idea what to get. I had settled on a Ford Explorer, even though with the 5 speed, it would be rear wheel drive only (I will only drive manual transmission cars). There was a website that was, I believe, a clearing house for the uglier or unwanted new cars, as the only color I could get through them was something called “Spruce Green.” But the price was great and, after speaking on the phone with a rep, I told her I would call…

Autumnal Changes

October 31, 2011
I love autumn. I love how the scent of the air changes, the changing colors of the leaves, sleeping with the windows open instead of running the air conditioners. Riding on back roads, the smells of fireplaces and, sometimes, smoke houses waft their way into my closed helmet, but by the time I have noticed them and breathe deep, they’re gone. This is, after all, New Jersey, and scents and scenery change quickly and constantly. We are too small to linger. Of course, along with the cooler temps of fall comes the cooler weather riding gear. No more T-shirts and…

Moldy Oldies

September 30, 2011
This column will have nothing to do with riding (much). The reason for that is, life got in the way of my plans. At the very least, it interrupted them a bit. Twice a year, I drive from New Jersey to Tennessee to spend almost a week with my best bud, Becky. So as to not be a boring houseguest, one of things we do is we go to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the NASCAR races. The fact that Becky lives less than three miles from the track just happens to come in handy. So, this August, as in…

Helmet Laws, Usage and Stats

August 31, 2011
Before the year 1966, no state had a helmet law on the books. This began to change after the Highway Safety Act of 1966, requiring the Secretary of Transportation to set uniform standards for state highway safety programs. In 1967, one of these standards would deal with motorcycle safety and included the requirement that states adopt universal helmet use laws mandating the use of helmets by all motorcycle riders. State that did not comply would lose a portion of the federal aid for highway construction funds. By the end of 1967, 22 states had universal helmet laws and 14 more…

Helmet Laws

July 31, 2011
Michigan and Delaware governments are currently mulling over changing their helmet laws, with Michigan’s Senate passing a repeal and Delaware’s governor vetoing the most current version. Delaware’s current law states “Every person operating or riding on a motorcycle shall have in that person's possession a safety helmet approved by the Secretary of Public Safety and shall wear eye protection approved by the Secretary; provided, however, that every person up to 19 years of age operating or riding on a motorcycle shall wear a safety helmet and eye protection approved by the Secretary.' In other words, if you are over 19,…

Coveting

June 30, 2011
I do not want a Can-Am Spyder. I covet one. I dream of ways to find the funds for one. I wonder if I should get the semi-automatic or the clutch and what color. Of course, reality packs a mighty punch, and I’m smacked into remembering I have bills, I have kids in college, I have a low-paying job. So I sigh and covet from afar each time I see one and each time a commercial comes on the television with its ZZTop theme (yeah, tease me more by playing my favorite band). I was curious about these unusual rides…

Observations, Goings-on and Sarcasm

May 31, 2011
Every week I scan the web for bike events I might be interested in attending. By the middle of June, there are at least ten every weekend; I once counted fifteen in a single weekend last summer! And that’s only what gets listed. Sometimes I find out about something through friends or from flyers passed around. One event I was directed to I found through a Facebook posting a friend had made. Her post had nothing to do with the event, per se; she was letting us know her significant other was playing guitar with a band during the festivities.…

WBwC: Women Bikers with Cameras

April 30, 2011
I work for a portrait studio in addition to doing my own photography and graphic art.One area our studio hasn’t touched on yet that seems to be taking off in other states is Motorcycle Portraits. Depending on the photographer or artist, the phrase “motorcycle portrait” can mean either the bike being included in a portrait or an artistic image of just the bike. Since I had been photographing bikes (and classic cars) for a few years, I wanted to see what else was out there and, in particular, if there were women photographers who were finding their niche in this…

News Flashes

March 31, 2011
If it’s good enough for Kansas, it’s good enough for Georgia. The Kansas House was the latest to pass a law allowing motorcyclists to safely pass through red lights that only change by use of a weight detection or metal detection sensor. These sensors usually can’t detect motorcycles because they aren’t heavy enough or contain enough metal to trip the sensors. A biker may come to a complete stop and, if the light doesn’t change to green in a reasonable amount of time or if it is definitely known that the light is controlled by a weight or metal detection…

That Bump in the Road

February 28, 2011
It seemed as if no part of the US was immune to the whims of Mother Nature. From flooding on the West Coast to weekly snow storms on the East Coast, we were inundated with extreme weather. It would be bad enough being relegated to waiting just a little longer before donning the riding gear. But if you managed to get out at all this winter, albeit in the heated comfort of your family vehicle, you may have noticed what dear Mother left behind. While pot holes, divots and bumps in the road can be at least annoying and, at…

So That New Bike is Calling Your Name?

January 31, 2011
Spring will be here before we know it, and with rising temperatures come rising thoughts of perhaps looking to trade in your bike for another. Whether it’s to trade up to a larger ride or out to another type, there are a lot of things to consider. Not the least of these things is how much is that ride of yours worth? To you, your bike may be priceless, but whatever the reason you have for *gasp* getting rid of it, the market for it must be your biggest concern. Motorcycle value is placed a little differently than car or…

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010
2010 seems to have flown by faster than a 20-year-old riding a Ninja down I-70 in Kansas. I probably didn’t log in as many hours on the pillion as I have in the past. The economy is apparently improving as I have not been laid off and have, in fact, worked extra hours on occasion. Charity rides, bike nights and biker weekends seem to be increasing in number, and I tried to make as many as I could within this fine tiny state. New Jersey has over 153,000 registered motorcycles within its population of 8.7 million. That breaks down to…

Please Be Safe Out There

November 30, 2010
As a motojournalist, I am constantly scouring the internet in search of ideas for articles. I get two daily alerts into my Google mail plus have subscription notices to a couple of forums. The email alerts usually contain the latest news, and I read most of those articles with a bit of trepidation and sadness. If a fatality is written about, most times mention is made on whether the rider was wearing a helmet. I am a helmet advocate and would never consider riding without mine, both DOT approved. I feel novelty helmets do nothing but keep the cops at…

Sons of the American Legion 2010 Iron Run – Greenville, Pennsylvania

October 31, 2010
Riding with the Patriot Guard these past four years has given me some wonderful moments of participation in things I would otherwise know nothing about. A recent run to escort a piece of the World Trade Center to its final resting place in a memorial in Greenville, Pennsylvania was one of those times. The Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 184 out of East Greenville began a lengthy process to procure a piece of the World Trade Center to be placed in a memorial they had built. Hangar 17, located at JFK airport in New York, is the resting place…

Rural Exploration

September 30, 2010
One of the things I enjoy doing when riding is what I call “Rural Exploration.” When taking rides through the more bucolic areas of my little state, Don and I stay on the lookout for abandoned houses and properties to explore. Much of my photography is of abandoned places; mills, houses, barns and the occasional mansion make up the majority of my work when I participate in art shows. But I never go inside any place alone, and if I hear of or see a place ripe for exploration, we make plans to check it out. In a previous column…