Chillin’ out. For most of us it is getting on the motorcycle in open countryside and letting the flow take us. Little traffic and a load of bikes in front of you set the stage for a lovely memorable backdrop for the day. But chillin’ out also implies you are relaxed or in the zone. For a new rider on a new bike, being relaxed tends not to be the norm. It comes with training, confidence and letting your body set the speed you are comfortable with. When I did a MAP (Member Assistance Program) I always checked behind to insure my speed was in the comfort zone for my new MSTA rider. The new rider must know to relax. More rigidity in the arms prevents the bike from turning effortlessly. It also counters your body position inputs. Zen is one term used when you find yourself with a clear mind while riding. When you have a rhythm going, you can find yourself traveling at a much higher speed in the turns than you normally would, as your focus is just on technique and the road ahead. You have cleared your head of all of your daily worries, cell phone interruptions, your breathing is calm, and you are letting the zone determine your speed. To be one with the bike and one with the spirit of your environment is the definition of an enjoyable day on the road.
One item that has frustrated many motorcyclists is waiting at the light and it is not changing to green. This happens in states where a metal detector is used to signal the light to initiate the green cycle for arriving traffic. As of October 1, 2014 Nevada law now states if you are in this situation, you wait for two cycles, then treat the red light as a yield sign. This means you still have to yield to pedestrians, other traffic and follow posted sign directives. See www.safeonred.com for further details.
MSTA sanctioned and “Just for Fun” events also take the limelight in this issue. Norm Kern features the Marietta, Ohio Mail Pouch Fly By. Norm also gives us tips on How to Get More From Your Rally Experience. Iowa’s Scott Johnson relates the fun riders always have at the Ozarks BS (Bull Shoals) Rally.
For those of you with a travel bug check out the following travelogues. Our own world traveler, Dave Edinger (Indiana) writes about his trip to Syria, Jordan and Israel in the Middle East Trip. Ken Snodgrass spins us a tale of his 15 day trip from Michigan to California in Following the Donner Track. Indiana’s Gary Fourman tells about riding to see his daughter in New York City in Ride to the Core of the Big Apple.
Doug Westly gives us a good lesson in the effects of lean angle on a motorcycle. I am this month’s featured Nevada State Director. This month’s Member Profile is Illinois’ Tom Biggs. This month’s “Sweet Rides” article features Tony Suarez’ Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. This month I road test two different types of motorcycles. The main road test is the 2014 BMW R 1200 RT, the 2014 Bike of the Year, a tour de force with all the new technology that transparently enhances your ride. The “Road Test – Quick Look” features the 2014 Triumph Speed Triple R a naked street bike that is equally at home on the track. There are three product tests. The Omni Cruise Control from the AEROstich catalog provides a low cost and easy to engage and disengage cruise control. The Midland XTC400 HD Video Camera features superior capabilities in a very small package for all weather and underwater use at a great price. And the EnerPlex Kickr IV portable solar charger and Jumper Max battery solution for power on the go.
The holiday season is upon us. I wish that you find great offerings under your Christmas tree, Hanukkah or holiday celebration decoration. But this is the time for us to celebrate the most important gift of all, freedom of choice and family to enjoy it with. That family may be those we are born to or friends we “adopt.” From all of our MSTA family to your family, we wish you a joyous holiday season celebration. I also wish you a Happy New Year and for 2015 to bring you good health and prosperity.
To showcase your stories and events in STAReview magazine, email me your articles, and high resolution photos, with the best in portrait mode. Showcase your treasured 2011-2015 motorcycle (Sweet Rides), or 2010 or older motorcycle (Safe Money). I will provide you full editorial support. The embedded hyperlinks will take you to websites for travel planning information, and bikes and accessories to lust over without leaving your digital copy. I want YOU to be the star in STAReview! So kick back with a cool one and enjoy this.
Ride Safe my friend…
Clear skies, clear roads…