Tag Archive: helmet


Yesterday, I did something I have never done before.  I participated in a “peaceful rally”.  This rally was put on by the members of ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) of New York.  The purpose for this rally is to fight the profiling of motorcycles and illegal roadblocks that target only motorcycles.  We rode downtown to the the Capitol building to make our voices heard.

The New York State Capitol

The bikers came out in large numbers.  I would guess that there were four or five hundred motorcycles that met in Schodack and rode into downtown Albany.  The line of motorcycles for a mile or so in front of you and behind you is quite impressive.

Halfway up the street

A little farther up the street. The bikes went on forever.

One of the main issues that were discussed today were the roadblocks that target only motorcycles on the way to Americade and the Harley Rendevous.  The police pull over motorcycles and issue ridiculous tickets for exhaust, helmet and license violations.  It’s not right.  I understand the helmet and license issue.  I wear a full face helmet all year round and would never ride with a brain bucket or no helmet at all.  That is my choice.  If people want to ride without a helmet, that is their choice.

What bothers me is these roadblocks are basically entrapment.  They only pull motorcycles over.  While you are there, they look at your pipes.  If they are not stock pipes, you get a ticket.  That is total crap.  My bike is obnoxiously loud (quote from my friends) and I wont change it.  I changed my pipes once.  I was going for my road test at the DMV and figured I would get flack for the pipes, so I had them swapped for the day.  On my way to the DMV, a car came over in my lane and I had nowhere to go but into the guard rail  I made my peace, confident I wasn’t walking away from this one.  Quick thinking on my part and a fast bike got me out of it.  I punched it and leaned it hard and was able to swerve clear of the guard rail.

That day, I swore to never change those pipes.  Most people think it’s just to be annoying, but people just don’t see you when you’re on the bike.  They are too busy eating or texting while driving and swerving all over the road.  I saw a t-shirt today that was dead on, but I didn’t get a picture of it.  It said “I’m sorry my loud pipes disturbed your phone call”.  Funny, but sad.  It amazes me how little people pay attention when they drive while talking on the phone.

Most people don’t understand or just don’t care that loud pipes do save lives.  I’m not saying I’ve never made unnecessary noise.  But for the most part, they are there for safety.  With my bike being as loud as it is, if you hit me and say you didn’t hear me (or feel the vibrations from the exhaust) there’s a problem.  You know when I am in your blind spot.  You know when I am next to you.

I can rant and rave here all day, but if I can reach a few people at a time and make them aware of motorcycles, it will make me very happy.  The best thing I have seen so far is a slogan that reads “Look Twice.  Save a Life.  Motorcycles are everywhere.”  There are a few variations of this saying.  Take the two seconds to turn your head and see if we are next to you.  Put down the phone and turn your head to see who’s there.  And this doesn’t just go for bikes.  We wouldn’t have all the accidents we do if people would just pay more attention.  It could save your life.  See ya soon!

On Friday I finally got Rose to take her first ride of the season with me.  I had been a few times already this year, but she hadn’t.  I don’t really mind the cold when riding the bike, but she is much more of a warm-blooded creature.

I got the Yamaha out and we got our gear together.  We are big fans of being safe when on the bike.  There is a term in the motorcycle world called “ATGATT”, which means “All The Gear, All The Time”.  This means that whenever we go out on the bike, we will wear a jacket with armor, a full face helmet, gloves and over the ankle boots.  No exceptions.

Rose had asked that we went to the Ocean State Job Lot in Valatie, as she was looking for something in particular.  I put the tour trunk on the back of the bike so we would have extra room to carry any small things we might buy.

We got on the road and on 90 just past the Corporate Woods exit we saw a Toyota Camry with a very funny vanity plate on it.  When I spotted it, I pointed it out to Rose.  The lady driving the Camry saw me pointing to it and gave me the thumbs up.  Rose had the small point and shoot camera and grabbed this shot…

PEDLSTUK

As we passed her, I gave her a wave and a smile.  That lady has a great sense of humor.  It’s good to see that some people don’t just freak out and give up on a good company.

We continued out 90 to exit 11A towards Pittsfield.  In Schodack, we took Route 9 down towards Valatie.  When we pulled into the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot, I noticed that the outside air temperature was 72 degrees.  So, we grabbed a picture of that as well.

We had no plans for the day, so we continued down Route 9 through Hudson where we picked up Route 23 across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.  After the bridge, we hung a left and went down to the town of Catskill for some lunch.  We had been to a great cafe down there called MOD previously, and were hoping to eat there but they closed at 3 and we got there around 3:30.  Bummer.  So, we found a little pizza joint and grabbed an Italian Mix and a slice to refuel.

It was getting late, so we decided to take the highway home to make the trip a little quicker, as coming home on 9W would have taken close to an hour and a half.  So, we shot down to Saugerties and hopped on 87 for the ride home.  I don’t like being on the highways with the bike, as it is very boring.  I would rather be on the back roads eating up the twisties and having a blast.  This time of year it gets cold quickly after dark, so for Rose’s sake, I took the quick route.

Speaking of twisties, Rose was taking pics while I was going thru some twisties and here’s what she got…

A left-hander

A left-hander

A right-hander leaned way over

A right-hander leaned way over

Please feel free to comment and subscribe.  Also, please watch out for motorcycles.  Look over your shoulder before changing lanes.  Remember the old adage “Look twice, save a life.”  Be safe out there!

**Today’s photos are courtesy of Rose**

My Harley

My Harley

Yesterday, this large bright thing appeared in the sky.  What was it you ask?  Well, it was the sun.  I sort of forgot what it looked like.  It’s been so gloomy for so long that I almost didn’t remember that warmth and the happiness that comes with it.  It’s like a natural high.

I was milling around the house for a bit and then I decided to go fire up the bikes to make sure the batteries had lasted through the winter.  I keep them on Battery Tenders that keep them on a trickle charge, but sometimes they still fail.  I moved everything out of the way and rolled them out of the garage and fired each one up.  They both started with no problem.  I let them run for a little bit to make sure everything seemed OK.  I was about to put them away, when I decided to take the Harley out for a spin.

I grabbed my helmet, gloves and jacket and off I went.  What a rush.  It’s like a little dose of therapy.  The sounds of the engine and the freedom of riding with no windows or doors is amazing.  There isn’t much that tops that feeling.  I only took a short ride, as there is still way too much salt and gravel on the roads, so riding isn’t all that safe.  Soon enough, it will be spring and much more riding will be done.  Until then…