A Chronicle of My Adventures on "The Patriot"

Fortitudine Vincimus -- "By Endurance We Conquer"
ride hard, ride far, ride safe

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Motorcycle vs. Car

My wife and I were traveling in our car last weekend in stop-and-go traffic when we were rear-ended by a motorcyclist.  His pride was bruised and his right leg was scraped up, but the rider is otherwise fine.  We were stopped for a red light and the rider came upon us too quickly to stop.  He swerved to the left to miss us, but the concrete curb prevented him from moving over, causing his crash bar to catch the driver’s side rear bumper, causing him to fly over his handle bars (fortunately into a grass median), and channeling his bike as it moved forward, wedging itself between the curb and the driver's side of the car.  The bike came to rest even with the driver's door with its wheels slightly under the car.  The bike looked in pretty bad shape, but it was still street-worthy.  After we chatted with the local medics and highway patrol, we all continued our respective trips.

I passed this story around this past week because lots of times I have heard that it’s the car’s driver that doesn't see a motorcycle on the road, but I learned first-hand last weekend sometimes a rider gets distracted to his or her great detriment.  So my message is for all riders to be careful out there, because sometimes it’s our fault and not the driver of the car!

A long distance rider friend reinforced my point, with what I thought were some very surprising statistics.  He highlighted that the large majority of motorcycle-involved collisions – including this one – could have been prevented by the rider, and that drivers are truly at fault only about 15% of the time.  For example, my friend passed along unofficial statistics for Oregon motorcycle fatalities in 2011, which identified the fault for 39 accidents as follows:

19 single vehicle accidents were the rider’s fault
13 motorcycle vs. car accidents were the rider's fault
5 motorcycle vs. car accidents were the driver's fault
2 motorcycle accidents caused by animals or other factors

I don’t know how representative Oregon’s statistics are when compared nationwide, but the lesson I learned from sharing this accident with more experienced riders is that there are times when the car doesn’t see the motorcycle, but as riders we can avoid most accidents by always being aware of our surroundings, paying attention to what is in front of us, and looking for potentially dangerous situations.  Ride hard, ride far, ride safe.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Daytona Beach Bike Week - Planning

The 2012 Daytona Beach Bike Week  promises to be a lot of fun this year!  In addition to enjoying Bike Week activities (http://www.officialbikeweek.com/), I will also attend the Annual Daytona Iron Butt Association Party and participate in the Iron Butt Association's "Florida Mountain 1000" (check both out at http://www.ironbutt.com/daytona/).  The "Florida Mountain 1000" is a 1,000-mile ride that must be completed in 24 hours or less!  I plan on arriving Jacksonville on March 14, and participating in the "Florida Mountain 1000" on March 15 and 16.  That gives me a full day left for Bike Week activities on Saturday, March 17, before I return home on March 18.  Click on http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=41244f4291c685061, http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=41264f42935c2f931, and http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=41254f42928c80241 to check out my progress on my trip to, during the "Florida Mountain 1000," and my trip home, respectively.  Hope to see you in Daytona!

2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show

Anne and I had a great time this year showing "The Patriot" at the February 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show.  We literally spoke to thousands of folks who attended.  There were more than 250 bike entries, and "The Patriot" won First Place Trike Full Custom!  "The Patriot's" Marine Corps theme seemed to resonate with everyone.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Back in the Saddle!

Back in the Saddle.  After a year and a half of reduced long-distance motorcycle riding, I have finally beat my colon cancer and am back in the saddle!  Long-distance riding is certainly a sport and an adventure that I have missed.  My longest trip since my last blog was only 190 miles to a friend's chalet in the mountain resort area of Davis, West Virginia, but I have big plans for "The Patriot" in 2012 - starting with showing "The Patriot" at the February 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show (http://www.cycleshow.net/).  Look for "The Patriot" on the Show website under the "Celebrities and Bike Builders' Bios" link!  "The Patriot" won "Best of Show People's Choice" and "Second Place Trike Metric" at the February 2010 Timonium Motorcycle Show.  Hopefully, "The Patriot" will win some mention in this year's show.  I took "The Patriot" out for a short ride today to test my SPOT device and blog connections (http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=40424f242c3aa4b90).  It was a very short ride so there are not many data points, but everything still works.

Trip Report for the 2010 Grand Motorcycle Tour of Virginia.  Anne and I really enjoyed the 2010 Grand Motorcycle Tour of Virginia.  From May 1st through September 11th, 2010, we traveled 3,680 miles over ten days throughout Virginia visiting the Tour's 82 locations.  Our shortest trip was 150 miles to catch six stops in Northern Virginia and our longest trip was 945 miles over two days to catch fifteen stops in Southern Virginia.  Although we really got to see a lot of wonderful and quaint parts of Virginia, I think the most scenic leg of our trip was when we visited the Paint Bank General Store (http://www.paintbankgeneralstore.com/) in Paint Bank, Virginia.  The road to Paint Bank was beautifully scenic through the mountains with lots of switchbacks to make the ride even more interesting.  Plus, the Paint Bank General Store has a very popular restaurant that would serve as a great ride-to-eat (RTE) one weekend.