Animals in the roadway are certainly an interesting hazard to motorcyclists.  A friend of mine actually had a vulture pick up its lunch from the roadway, fly it across a lane of traffic, and then drop it on the pavement right in front of her!  And then there was the time she used her foot to point out some roadkill, which turned out to still be alive!

These situations happen to motorcyclists all of the time, though I have not found very much specific information on what to do when it happens to you.  The Delaware Motorcycle Operator Handbook reads:

“Naturally, you should do everything you safely can to avoid hitting an animal.  If you are in traffic, however, remain in your lane.  Hitting something small is less dangerous to you than hitting something big – like a car.

Motorcycles seem to attract dogs.  If you are chased, dowshift and approach the animal slowly.  As you approach it, accelerate away and leave the animal behind.  Don’t kick at an animal.  Keep control of your motorcycle & look to where you want to go.

For larger animals (deer, elk, cattle) brake and prepare to stop – they are unpredictable.”

Period.  That’s literally it.  Now seriously, how helpful is that?

Back in the day when I took my Basic Rider Course there was a class segment devoted to this topic as well.  I will never forget what my lead instructor said regarding the matter:

“When it comes to animals in the roadway, there are the Squishables and the Non-Squishables!”

OK, once again…WTF does that mean???  I mean obviously a caterpillar qualifies as a Squishable and a moose would be Non-Squishable, what what about the in-betweens like squirrels and groundhogs?

eastgraysquirrel.jpg groundhog2.jpg

I came across a turtle in the road the other day and started wondering if the poor little critter would qualify as Squishable or not?  I mean, he was pretty small…but then with the hard shell I don’t know that he would actually “squish” as it were. 


What about a bunny rabbit?  How about a fox? 

rabbit3.jpg red_fox.jpg

Where do we draw the line between the Squishables and the Non-Squishables?  What do you think?  Have you had any experiences with any of these creatures?  What’s the biggest thing you’ve run over?  Was it successful, or did it tear up your bike or cause you to crash?  Do you have any funny stories about critters in the roadway? 

Please share your experiences with Squishables and Non-Squishables by commenting below…

Scouting Garrett County Maryland

my favorite road captain

The last weekend of July 2011 attracted HOG members from Delaware and Maryland to Salisbury, Maryland for the 2011 State Rally. The 2012 Maryland/Delaware State HOG Rally will be Father’s Day Weekend in Deep Creek Lake which is a resort area in Garrett County, Maryland. Diana and I took a weekend long scouting mission to check it out.

diana riding western maryland

awesome roads in garrett county

diana rt 9

We took off on our motorcycles on a Friday evening immediately after I got off from work. We jumped on Intersate 95 South just a little ways before hopping off onto backroads taking us across Maryland to Frederick. We got into Frederick, Maryland at 9:00pm and stayed at Motel 6 for the low price of $61.03 including tax. After riding and kickstands are down for the night it’s always fun to find a restaurant that serves cold tall Yuengling draft like The Outback.

Cheers 1

cheers 2

cheers 3

We walked back to the motel and took a few pictures at K-mart.

k-mart 1

k-mart 2

The next day we took off on our motorcycles again heading west. I had read about a great over look in Road Runner magazine that inspired George Washington to expand the United States westwardly. Panorama view on Rt 9 in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia is among the best views in the country.

panarama view 1

Diana at panarame view

Diana took me on a fantastic bunch of backroads into Garrett County Maryland dumping us out in Deep Creek Lake across from the Fort where we got lunch at the Black Bear Tavern. Then we took pictures of all the amusements available at the Fort shopping center in Deep Creek Lake.

The Fort in Deep Creek Lake

black bear tavern dcl

Black Bear Tavern Demolition Car

deep creek lake area in summer

the fort mini golf

go carts atthe fort

water go carts

deep creek lake usa

After lunch at the Black Bear Tavern we headed to Swallow Falls State Park to take pictures of Maryland’s tallest waterfall: Muddy Creek Falls.

swallow falls state park

short hike through million year old forest

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 1

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 2

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 4

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 6

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 7

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 8

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 9

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 11

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 12

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 13

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 14

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 16

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 17

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 18

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 18

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 19

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 19

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 20

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 21

creeks and lakes and waterfalls 22

After hiking through the park and taking a bunch of pictures we got back on our motorcycles and headed to Oakland, Maryland where we stayed at the Oak-Mar Motel Restaurant. This is a nice place to stay just outside Deep Creek Lake close to the West Virginia border on Rt 219. Restaurant on site, clean rooms and affordable rates. We paid $87.69 including tax. The phone number is 301-334-3965. We got beer and pizza for dinner at the Pizza Hut down the street and called it a night.

oak-Mar 1

diana at the oak mar

nice place to sleep

The next morning we got up, had breakfast at the Oak-Mar Restaurant and gassed up and hit the road. We were surprised how cool it was up here in the mountains and we had to pull over to put more clothes on.  In order to get home in a timely manner we did get in some highway and man was it hot when we were cruising I-68 and I-70.

We had a great little trip and took lots of pictures. Click here to see them all.

black eye susans

Gettysburg & Deep Creek Pictures

We have been taking a lot of pictures this summer. Click here for our Gettysburg Bike Week pictures and here for our Deep Creek scouting mission pictures.

Gettysburg Bike Week 2011

gettysburg copper cannon

150 years ago our country was ripped apart by civil war. Two years into a horrible bloody war where Americans fought each other the Union soldier’s morale was at an all time low. General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army took 75,000 of his men and attacked the 97,000-strong Army of the Potomac in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania hoping to conquer and move on northern occupied strongholds such as Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA. It was a grueling bloody battle fought both in the city and in the fields but despite the effort of the Confederate’s the battle was won by the North! The South never won another battle throughout the remaining two years of the war. Gettysburg was the turning point and an important historic milestone in the shaping our young country. The Union’s victory over the south defined the importance and sincerity of our belief as Americans in the right to freedom!

burnout competition winners

burnout compettion picture

drink a beer and do a burnout

I’m no history buff and I have to credit Rebecca L. Rhoads of AAA World magazine July/August 2011 issue for the information paraphrased above from her article Ghost Fields. Although 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, as a Delmarva area biker I’m sorry to say I was more excited about the 10th Anniversary Gettysburg Bike Week than the milestone in our nation’s history! I mean come on! This is the 10th year of this fantastic bike week event! There are tattoo contests, bike games and a burnout competition followed by live bands and fireworks!

battlefield harley-davidson gettysburg bike week

For the past nine years Gettysburg Bike Week was centered on the Eisenhower Hotel and All-star Sports Complex. This campus provided the perfect location for the vendor village, bike games and live entertainment all within walking distance of a great hotel on the same property. Although the largish rooms are a little dated the Eisenhower features great amenities including an indoor pool under a retractable roof! The plumbing gets a huge A+ with strong water pressure and hot water always ready to shower off the road grime after a long day in the saddle. To get such good plumbing you can see PIC Plumbing Services address in San Diego. There is a restaurant and lounge on the premises. Last year was my first introduction to GBW even though I stayed at the Super 8 in Thurmont, Maryland. For the money the Super 8 was a great place to stay! I enthusiastically planned to return in 2011 for the anniversary event and I was excited about staying at the Eisenhower and being within walking distance of all the activity!

eisenhower indoor pool retractable roof

As you can tell I have an appreciation for a good hot shower, thus the idea of camping does not appeal to me. I’m sure the concept of a camping bike rally is a successful one as is demonstrated by the huge success of campgrounds at Sturgis. I for one felt it was a turn for the worse when I found out GBW had been relocated to the Granite Hill Campground. Although many hard core bikers may prefer the camping rally, I was not in the mood to ride all day in the July heat with sunscreen on and then apply bug spray on top of that in the evening without the creature comforts afforded by a clean largish hotel room with air conditioning and running water! So I stayed at the Eisenhower and rode over to the activities held at the campground.

tiger boob tattoo

You can’t rewrite history but you can reinvent your Gettysburg Bike Week experience every year! The event covers the entire town, not just the happenings at the GBW campus! Although you pay event admission to enter the event campus where the vendor village, games and entertainment take place the event itself includes off campus festivities at: Battlefield Harley-Davidson, Bay City Restaurant, Ventura’s Restaurant, The Pike and Sharpshooters. Vendors set themselves up in parking lots around town and all the local businesses are glad to open their doors to the visiting bikers. Last year I spent all my time checking out the vendors, watching the bands and the fireworks on Saturday and then enjoyed touring the historical battlefields on my Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Sunday. This year was totally different! We spent less time at the vendors and didn’t catch the evening entertainment at all. Instead we took in the sights on Steinwehr Avenue. We had dinner at The Avenue Restaurant on both evenings and felt right at home with the super friendly service and old fashioned country style diner food. We strolled along the brick sidewalks and visited the gift shops and civil war reenactment outfitters. The Regimental Quartermaster sells really cool period authentic guns and swords!

civil war period guns and swords

The weekend flew right by leaving dozens of things for us to do on our next visit to Gettysburg. Next year I will go on a ghost tour and check out some of the museums. I would like to see The Lincoln Train Museum and the American Civil War Wax Museum & Gift Center.  You don’t have to wait until next year’s bike week to plan a trip to Gettysburg, but as a biker it always feels a little more exciting when thousands of like minded two wheeled riders thunder into town knowing we are invited guests of the city.

the gbw vendor area

On Saturday we finished checking out the games, stunt show and vendor village at 4:00pm. We grabbed dinner at the vendor village and killed about an hour or so. The sun was blazing and shady spots were few and far between. I wasn’t going to claim a hay-bail and sit in the hot sweltering sun for two or more hours waiting for the bands to take stage. So I missed the live entertainment and the fireworks! Yes, I gave up and rode back to the comfort of my hotel room even though it was the allure of the bright explosions bursting in the sky that probably attracted me in the first place. Even though I was disappointed in the change of venue I would tell you ten times over that GBW is a great rally! I encourage you to visit Gettysburg during Gettysburg Bike Week. Ride the rolling back country roads through meandering hills and farmland. Explore museums, gift shops and local taverns. Ride through the battlefields where our own country men fought each other and thousands died shaping our country’s dedication to what it means to be free and to be an American!

battlefield harley-davidson parking lot activity

Click here to see all the pictures we took.

Biker Bathing Suit Needs Push To Win Contest

We need to help a biker chick (my wife) win this FaceBook contest. This is the last 24 hours of voting so if you have a FaceBook account we are asking you to click this link and sign up to vote for Diana’s Tropical Escape bathing suit design: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/cyberswim?v=app_184712868248864&app_data=vote_entry_id%3D212588

Your Favorite Ride Contest at Competition Accessories

The people at Competition Accessories love riding just as much as you do and would love to hear about those great motorcycling memories! It doesn’t matter if it was an epic ‘round the world adventure, or just an awesome daytrip. Send CA a write-up about your most memorable ride (bonus point for pictures and videos!), and you will eligible to win a $25, $15, or $10 gift card! Please submit your entries to this link, compcontest@gmail.com. The stories can be short or as long as you want. Submission will be featured on their Facebook page and blog, and the staff at CA will be voting on their favorite in the office. The contest runs from Tuesday, August 9, 2011 until Noon (EST) on Friday, August 19, 2011. Winners will be announced on Friday August 19, 2011 around 3pm (EST) via Facebook, Blog and e-mail.