Easy Rider? Even Dennis Hopper had to start somewhere!

Easy Rider? Even stars have to start somewhere!

Motorcycles have been a classic image of Hollywood cool for decades. Think Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider, Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, Tom Cruise in Top Gun, Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies… even Mel Gibson in Mad Max mode. Not to mention the celebrities who famously prefer two-wheeled transportation when the cameras aren’t rolling – including notable biking enthusiasts Ewan McGregor and George Clooney.

The thing is they all make it look so effortless. But even if you are a Hollywood superstar, taking to the road on a motorcycle as a first time biker is a daunting experience.

Every year thousands more people pass their motorcycle test and join the motorbike community, some simply hoping for a faster, more convenient commute to work, some hoping to put in some serious mileage on the most exotic motorcycle routes. Whatever your long-term plans, making those first few trips can jangle the nerves of even the most confident new biker.

One of the best ways to overcome your nervousness is to be prepared. UK motorcycle insurance company Bennetts recently released a series of useful tips for new bikers.

First up, take good care of your bike and your bike will take good care of you. Checking your motorcycle regularly should become second nature. Take special care to check your brakes and oil before you set out on even the shortest journey. Safety always comes first!

If you’re biking in the UK, you should already know to expect the unexpected weather-wise! Always take your waterproofs and dress in layers so you can stay warm or cool down as required.

As a new biker, you should build up your confidence by keeping your journeys short and gradually building up your riding towards longer journeys. Always travel at a comfortable speed and make regular stops to rest, hydrate and get the blood circulating.

Finally, stay visible and stay aware! Keep your headlight on and know where other motorists are around you. Never assume that they have seen you, and keep a safe distance at all times. With all these rules in mind you should be cruising like a movie star in no time!

The above article is a guest submission

Tattoo’s Trucks and Muscle Cars

We already know bikers like tattoos. A great many of my fellow riders seem to love their American trucks…probably more than have biker tattoos. In fact I saw the president of our local ABATE Chapter today peeling out of the Advanced Auto Parts store parking lot in a souped up pick up. Like the leather biker vest it took me a little while to gain an appreciation for this biker accessory. But alas, I had to get one. So now a red 2001 Dodge Dakota marks it’s territory in front of my house like an old Harley, or a baby Ram with a bladder problem. We also have a 2005 Mustang GT that’s as tight as a drum. Do you have a love for trucks and/or muscle cars? Please tell us about yours. Or tell me if you know how to clean steering fluid from hardtop now that the Dodge has stopped leaking, I need to clean up the residue.

The Heros Project

So what happens if you’re out on the road and a truck hits you? Is your life over? Maybe, or maybe you come back stronger with more purpose. Maybe you become an ambassador for God and decide to reach new heights and touch more lives. I know a Safety Officer from a nearby HOG Chapter who was hit by a truck. He lost his leg. In the hospital after the accident he still had his sense of humor and was thankful to be alive. We can’t control what happens to us (no matter how hard I try) we can only control how we handle the situations we find ourselves in.

On September 10, 2001 Tim Medvetz was racing his motorcycle through the San Fernando Valley when he was hit by a truck in a catastrophic accident that left him partially paralyzed and fighting for his life. He required 8 surgeries to save his foot, which doctors feared needed to be amputated. Two metal plates and 20 screws were needed to repair his cracked skull. He was not expected to fully recover and walk again — but no one told Tim that.  For six long months Tim struggled to regain the use of his legs and find some meaning in his life. Always looking for an adventure, Tim decided that the best way to recover would be a trip. He quickly found himself preparing to climb Mt. Everest. After climbing Mt. Everest for the first time in 2006, Tim realized that he could turn his passion into action.

A news broadcast about disabled and disfigured returning veterans sparked Tim’s interest. He realized he had something to offer these brave soldiers: the chance to put their lives back together through the challenge of climbing. In 2009, Tim started The Heroes Project, a foundation dedicated to raising funds to help wounded warriors climb the world’s highest peaks and find a renewed purpose in their lives. The foundation is predicated on the idea that we can make a difference and change the lives of our wounded veterans, soldiers, and their families – one soldier, one veteran, one family at a time (www.theheroesproject.org). 

Prayer In The Making

I would like you all to help me formulate a prayer that is spiritual but not religious. I want to elloquently put to words appreciation to God for his magnificent creations. I want put to words a biker’s desire to live life as an adventure and experience freedom while acknowledging the immediate risk involved with riding. I have a great life and riding my motorcycle contributes to that. I am fortunate to enjoy ownership of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I am fortunate to have the travels and the friends that owning this motorcycle has lead to. I am also aware that a mechanical malfunction, a tire blowout, some gravel, a surprise storm, a wild animal, an inattentive driver or a minor lapse in judgement can all bring that cherished life to an end. The smallest mistake or mishap can reult in serious injuries thus changing the whole dynamic of this wonderful life I have. In one second for any number of reasons either one of us could go down and suffer broken bones and damaged organs. Months of hospitalization and rehab could replace that freedom and adventure. Medical bills and loss of income could replace the house and luxuries I now enjoy. I don’t want to live in fear but why should I if I can trade this dangerous passion for another that is less dangerous, more relaxing and as enjoyable? I want to ask God this question. Why would he make motorcycles if I was not supposed to enjoy them? Why would I have a passion for riding them if he did not want me to ride? I want to communicate my feelings of humbleness and mortality. I want God to know I cherish the life I have, I do not take any of these gifts lightly. I humbly request he watch over me and my wife. I want to request he protect us from harm. I want to thank him for the times he already has. How can I put that into a finely worded prayer that I can repeat to him before a ride? I’m not sure why I think I deserve his special attention and protection, but I would like to ask for it and most certainly would like to receive it. I also want to concede to God that if he feels it is my time to leave this earth and my dying is not an accident but part of his plan than I accept my fate. But I do not under any circumstances wish to endure pain and suffering for me or my wife. If I work hard to be a good son, a good husband, a good friend, a good employee and a good person then is it Ok for me to ask for these blessings? Have I earned the right to ask for protection from harm? If I appreciate what I have, and go forth enjoying God’s creations with humility will he listen and afford me the special protection I ask for? If you understand where I’m coming from and what I’m feeling, please say so. If you can help me word these feelings and put it into prayer form please share.

New Improved Look at www.RoadCaptainUSA.com

orange rod

On January 5th 2008 I started this blog. Ten months later I launched an online store at www.Shop.RoadCaptainUSA.com which is doing very well. I have found some unique motorcycle accessories that I don’t think you can find just anywhere. These are items I feel have true value. The Ride Like A Pro products can make you a better rider! The Fix My Hog products can save you hundreds of dollars by teaching you to do your own maintenance and performance upgrades! The Moto-Maps products can help you find scenic roads to ride! I have recently added some new products, more about that later. For now I would like to announce that I have totally redesigned the online store! I was so excited about the new store design I also remodeled the blog to match the store. Please check out the new online store and let me know what you think of both the new blog and online store. Click here to check out the store!

No More Mr Nice Girl!