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Salt Torpedo Chapter 24

By | General Posts

Secret Desert Test Run

On Tuesday, January 22, we nervously took the Salt Torpedo into the desert for some passes on a desolate paved road. I can’t tell you where we went. It’s a top-speed secret, that only coyotes and bleak desert bikers know about. What a trip.

We did exactly as we were told. We pulled off the pavement, cracked open Don’s trailer, unstrapped the Torpedo and pulled it into the sun. Micah quickly donned his helmet and jumped in, fired it to life and we pushed him backwards toward the pavement. The sandy surface leading to the asphalt rolled like the wake behind a sailboat and a couple of times the belly scrapped over the sandy humps.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ADVENTURE ON BIKERNET

Plant City F.A.I.T.H. Riders: Motorcycle Ministry

By | General Posts

The phrase ‘where the rubber meets the road’ is fitting when used to describe the F.A.I.T.H. Riders motorcycle ministry. Employing motorcycles as a tool and transportation, the F.A.I.T.H. Riders ministry is passionate about going into the world and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

Established in 2002 by the late Buddy Newsome, F.A.I.T.H. Riders began as a ministry of Lakeland’s Church at the Mall. Since then, the ministry has spread across the nation encompassing 365 chapters. The Plant City chapter is one of 54 chapters located in Florida and based out of the First Baptist Church of Plant City.

Sam DeMicco and her husband, Roy, are members of the Plant City chapter and work on its assessment team. The assessment team travels around Florida, visiting inactive chapters and educating churches about the ministry.

“Our goal is to show that we are more than a riding club,” explained DeMicco. “We don’t require anybody to ride a motorcycle. We want people who desire to spread the gospel.”

While each F.A.I.T.H. Riders chapter may operate slightly different, it must be a ministry of a local Southern Baptist church and include worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship and ministry. Additionally, chapters are encouraged to support other ministries within the church and its surrounding community.

“The motorcycle is a tool, and it helps us go into places where there’s a lot of unchurched people,” explained DeMicco. “Your average biker is not your average churchgoer.”

Every year, representatives from F.A.I.T.H. Riders set up a tent at Daytona’s Bike Week, where they look for opportunities to reach others for Christ. To draw people to their tent, they raffle off a brand-new motorcycle, and the only way to enter is by listening to a three-minute testimony from one of the F.A.I.T.H. Riders.

She continued, “There are a lot of people who are interested in motorcycles. Getting gas is where I have most of my conversations. People say, ‘nice motorcycle,’ and it opens that door for a conversation, and then I can talk to people about Jesus.”

The F.A.I.T.H. acronym stands for Forgiveness, Available, Impossible, Turn and Heaven. For further description, please visit www.faithriders.com, where you can also donate online to the mission.

The Plant City chapter is based out of First Baptist Church of Plant City, located at 3309 James L. Redman Pkwy. For more information on where it gathers and upcoming events, please visit https://plantcityfaithriders.com or contact its director, Roger Blethen, at 924-9035.

Hundreds of bikers rev engines at funeral so motorcycle-mad boy can ‘hear them in heaven’

By | General Posts

Hundreds of bikers made the wish of a grieving dad come true by revving engines at his young son’s funeral so he could “hear them in heaven”.

Romeo Ferreira, who loved motorbikes, died aged three in December after battling a brain tumour.

His father Leandro made a hopeful plea on social media for roadies to make his son’s final day special.

He said he never expected hundreds of clubs from across the country to appear in Leamington Spa on Thursday.

The bikers rode and revved their engines in convoy behind the Romeo’s tiny coffin in a funeral cart, attached to a bike.

Romeo’s mother Kelly told the riders: “The louder the better. And rev it up so everyone can hear them and Romeo can hear from upstairs.”

“Heaven needs to hear the bikes,” Leandro told BBC Midlands Today. “Most of the bikers, 99 per cent, they don’t know Romeo. Everyone has just been awesome.”

One biker said: “Any support we can show, that’s why we’re here,” adding of the small funeral cart: “I’m big and ugly and it teared me up.”

Bikers from across the country answered a grieving dad’s call to come and rev their engines at his son’s funeral so the youngster could ‘hear them in heaven’. Romeo Ferreira died from a brain tumour in December aged three. He loved motorbikes, so his father Leandro appealed for riders to come and make some noise as he was being laid to rest in Leamington Spa. His tiny coffin was even ferried to church in a small sidecar as the convoy of riders followed.

Leandro told the BBC: ‘Heaven needs to hear the bikes, the bikers. Most of the bikers, 99 per cent, they don’t know Romeo. ‘Everyone has just been awesome.’ Romeo’s mum Kelly said she told the bikers: ‘The louder the better. And rev it up so everyone can hear them and Romeo can hear from upstairs.’

As Utah motorcycle deaths rise, cycle groups call for better ban on drivers using hand-held cellphones

By | General Posts

by Lee Davidson from https://www.sltrib.com/

Motorcycle groups revved up a call Thursday for something they say might have saved several of the record 48 riders who died on Utah highways last year: a better ban on the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.

“Every time I ride my motorcycle, I always have to worry that there’s people right next to me, or in front or behind me, that are texting” or talking on cellphones, said Elvecia Ramos, founder of The Riderz Foundation, at a state Capitol news conference. “It drives me crazy.”

She’s not alone.

“We’re getting hit by people who are on their phones. We’re all getting hit by left-hand turns” by drivers without peripheral vision because their phones block it, said Annette Ault, Utah chapter president of American Bikers Aiming Toward Education.

“And we don’t have any protection,” said Terry Marasco, legislative and policy analyst for The Riderz Foundation. 8“We don’t have any air bags. We don’t have any seat belts.”

“And we don’t have any metal around us,” Ault added.

So they are calling for passage of HB101 by Rep. Carol Moss, D-Holladay, to create a better ban.

Hand-held use of cellphones while driving has technically been illegal in Utah since 2007. But it can only be enforced if another moving traffic violation is committed at the same time, such as speeding. So few tickets are ever written.

It also complicates the enforcement of laws that have banned texting while driving since 2009. Police report that when they pull over people they see texting, they often claim to have been merely dialing a phone number — complicating whether they may issue a ticket if they committed no other moving violation.

Moss has tried — and failed — for years to allow direct citations for talking-on-the-phone violations. Republican majorities have repeatedly torpedoed it by arguing that it interferes with personal choice, or that cellphones are no more dangerous than many other distractions, or that it won’t change behavior.

For example, Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, said in debate last year, “I don’t like a bill that has to spell out everything that is forbidden …. I don’t want to live in a society where that is the standard,” and said most people know it is not smart to phone and drive.

Three-year-old girl rides her own mini-motorcycle – with training wheels – as she zooms along a trail with her father

By | General Posts

by Raven Saunt from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

  • The footage was recorded on a helmet-cam by Bob Trabuco in Phelan, California
  • The 39-year-old drives down a sandy track with his daughter, Presley, up ahead
  • Social media users were quick to say that she was too young to be on the track

A three-year-old girl was caught on camera riding her own mini-motorcycle as she zoomed along a trail with her father.

The footage was recorded on a helmet-cam by Bob Trabuco in Phelan, California.

In the video, the 39-year-old can be seen driving down the sandy track on a blue motorbike with expanses of open space up ahead.

His three-year-old daughter Presley, who is wearing a grey t-shirt and pink helmet, has come to a stop on the left-hand side of the screen.

She is straddling her own mini-motorbike with her stabilizers keeping her steady on the ground.

Bob looks toward his daughter and says: ‘This might be the most fun day ever riding motorcycles Presley, do you know that?’

The little girl, who is equipped with her own helmet-cam, turns around to look at him before saying that she is ‘too stuck’.

Bob gives her a helping hand and urges the bike forward with his foot before the pair begin to accelerate around the course.

The pair continue to navigate across the rocky terrain before hesitating outside a tunnel as Presley says: ‘Every time I go through a tunnel its too noisy.’

But her father continues to encourage her to complete the course and the video ends shortly after.

The footage was recorded last month during Presley’s first real outing on a motorcycle.

Marketing manager Bob uploaded the clip to his YouTube Channel, Suburban Delinquent, but was quickly met with criticism by users who said that Presley was too young to be out on a track.

One user, wzrubicon, wrote: ‘Actually, it is too young as a three-year-old’s coordination hasn’t even come close to developing.

‘I know others here are saying how cool and great this is, but it’s really f***** up.

‘This is like saying it’s okay for a three-year-old to climb out on a limb 50 feet up a tree.’

Another, Michael Mulcahey, added: ‘When the kid whines non stop then starts crying it’s definitely too soon and not cute.’

But he reassured the internet that Presley, who had mastered a push bike at the age of two, was perfectly safe.

The father-of-one said: ‘I was the proudest parent ever.

‘Never in my life did I think I would be in a situation like that – I choked up a few times while on that trail.

‘Presley is sharp, caring and a bit of a daredevil – she loves to put herself out there.

‘When we go anywhere she will seek out any other kid no matter what their age is and try to be best friends with them, it’s really fun to watch her navigate in social environments.

‘Since she was an infant she has been exposed to motorcycles in one way or another as I own a few.

‘She took an interest in learning to ride on her own after watching videos on YouTube, she watched another little girl learn and asked if she could also learn to ride.

‘My wife and I felt she was capable of taking direction – Presley is smart, she listens and understands consequences associated with risks.’

He added: ‘Presley absolutely didn’t want to go through the tunnel. I think she thought there might be monsters in there, I’m not sure.

‘I ended up having to ride her bike through it.

‘This is Presley’s second time on a motorcycle, her first experience was on Thanksgiving weekend.

‘I put her on the bike and explained the controls and dangers of operating a motorcycle.

‘She rode in a small circle while I chased after her on foot yelling instructions at her.

‘I was terrified so it only lasted a couple of minutes before the bike was put away.’

Other social media users, however, praised Presley’s fearlessness and Bob’s parenting skills.

One, ParanormalRider1, commented: ‘That’s some wholesome family content right there.

‘Parenting done right.’

Anotehr, 2wheelLove1, wrote: ‘Simultaneously the cutest and most badass thing I’ve ever seen. Lol.’

Bob said he was thrilled with the good feedback after posting the clip online and highlighted that next time Presley will be wearing her gloves.

He said: ‘I do appreciate the concern but I’m confident that we did everything right.

‘I had pretty much everything she needed to keep her safe, I did forget to bring her gloves though – I won’t let that happen again, the internet slayed me for it.

‘The helmet-to-helmet communications kept it safe, it meant I was able to very calmly give her direction and advice.

‘By not yelling stuff over the sounds of the bikes it helped keep emotions to a minimum.

‘Presley understood what she was doing and I knew what to look for, we spoke about everything extensively before the bike was ever started.

‘The day she’s able to pick the bike up on her own and hold it up with at least one foot planted is the day those wheels come off.

‘Besides a few internet trolls, the response to the video has been really positive – with thousands of people from all over the world praising her.

‘It’s really cool to hear strangers share their personal stories of their first time riding or riding with their kids.

‘I can’t believe how many people have been touched through this video, I think it brought back a lot of memories for some.

‘I also think the world is insane at the moment and we all need a “feel-good” video to remind us we are all just humans.’

Presley shows no signs of slowing down with Bob claiming she’s desperate to hit the track again.

He said: ‘I have plans to take Presley out in future as she’s been asking a lot lately.

‘We’ll go again real soon and I’ll make sure to film it and put the video up for everyone to see.

‘It’s really funny, anytime someone new comes over she makes them watch the video – she’s very proud of it and so are we.

‘We haven’t been back out since as I have been looking for a new place without any rocks.

‘The message I would like people to take from this video would be to experience life and do it with those who you love – for me, motorcycling allows me to do that.

‘I hope the video inspires some to get their kids away from the TV or games and try something new.’

Motorcycle taxis and inclusive mobility

By | General Posts

from https://www.rappler.com

The online platform industry – which is easy to enter, is relatively inexpensive, and is clearly innovative – is simply for now, difficult to regulate

In our view, there is enough ambiguity in the law that allows for a provisional framework in regulating motorcycle taxis. A similar approach was used in dealing with Uber and Grab when they began operating in the Philippines. Even without a law, the LTFRB established a system to regulate Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) that continues to be the regulatory framework for that type of service today. The emergence of motorcycle taxis in the past few years has created a lot of debate. Replete with controversies, the motorcycle taxi business has battled car owners and drivers, law enforcers, and regulators. Some argue that it is prohibited by law as Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land and Traffic Code specifically excludes two-wheeled motor vehicles as allowable public transportation; others believe it has become the most viable option for segments of the riding public seeking out a good, reliable, and (relatively) inexpensive transport system.

It is of course urgent for Congress to enact a law on motorcycle taxis. We have had enough experience to come up with good regulations. Although there are currently 9 pending bills in Congress as of this writing, in the meantime, the government must regulate pending legislation.

Regulation absent legislation

As a middle ground for pending legalization of motorcycle taxis, a pilot run was allowed (but limited geographically to Metro Manila and Metro Cebu and extended through March 23, 2020) by the Inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) created to monitor the current stream of motorcycle taxi operations. The TWG’s tasks are to set regulatory guidelines to ensure safety and security, ensure compliance of data sharing, general monitoring and evaluation, price regulation, setting of vehicle specifications and operational requirements, and to provide a final report to the DOTr and the House of Representatives, to aid the latter in its future and potential legislative actions. The same TWG, moreover, has now allowed two new players, JoyRide and Move It, to join the current industry player, Angkas.

The regulatory guidelines released last December 19, 2019, is the working document which the pilot run for motorcycle taxis is based on. This document, however, does not contain the ride-capping mechanism imposed by the LTFRB. Section 11 of the document included operational requirements imposed upon the ride-hailing platforms. It included that (1) all bookings shall only be made within and via the app platform; (2) accident insurance should be secured on par with or above Passenger Personal Accident Insurance Program (PPAIP) rates; (3) a comprehensive safety campaign should be conducted for the public so that all passengers become knowledgeable; (4) existing motorcycle units with OR/CR as of December1, 2019 shall be allowed to be included in the pilot implementation; and (5) “one motorcycle-one rider” must strictly be observed in the implementation. Participating Riders shall be registered to one ride hailing platform only. The last statement is deemed problematic.

Competition vis-à-vis regulation

The new and current players are capped at 39,000 registered bikers – or a limit of about 10,000 bikers per transport network company (TNC) in Metro Manila and 3,000 in Metro Cebu. Angkas strongly opposed this cap as their registration is at the 27,000-mark as of late December 2019. Thus, to impose the price cap means 17,000 of its riders can lose their means of livelihood. As a remedy, it has asked the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court to issue a temporary restraining order against the policy. This was granted as the court had said that the policy “puts a cap on the number of bikers that Angkas is entitled to” and enjoined the respondents “from performing any act that limits and impairs their rights to deal with and continue with their contracts with Angkas.” This TRO was only valid for 72 hours.

In a similar fashion, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has, through one of its commissioners, stated that “forcing Angkas to displace 17,000 riders will take away what was rightfully obtained by the company” and appealed to the LTFRB to consider other solutions such as to allow riders to use more than one ride-hailing app.

It is in this very precept that the entry cap imposed shows that the LTFRB regulation is anti-competitive. The regulator’s perspective in this regard,looks to defend its policy of preventing Angkas from becoming monopolistic in nature. However, anti-competitive conduct does not rely solely on how big or how dominant a particular business/company has become; but rather also looks at the interplay of other factors surrounding the circumstances of the industry. Competition authorities all over the world have allowed individual riders/drivers multiple registration in the different ride-hailing platforms (driver/operator non-exclusivity clause) as a solution for competition rather than to restrict. A fundamental concept of competition, after all, is not to restrict entry but to open the market as freely as possible to allow small and big players alike to participate in the market.

It can be conceded that anti-competitive conduct may be affected when unfair individual fare pricing affects the industry as a whole. As an illustration, surge pricing has been disallowed and specifically included in the regulatory guidelines of the LTFRB. This also makes fare prices fixed a justified regulatory intervention. Likewise, it is also not a displaced fear that Angkas might take control because of its first-mover advantage and more commercially popular reputation in the motorcycle taxi market, which can greatly affect consumer welfare in the long term. Look at how Grab has emerged in the TNC market.

Moreover, the ongoing debate on the seemingly overlapping competition and regulatory issue does not end today. In fact, in many parts of the world, the ride-hailing platforms and similar digital platforms which disrupt different sectors (not limited to transportation alone), are being declared illegal due to industry concerns of “virtual monopoly,” tax arbitrage, surge pricing violations, and labor issues. Some of these issues are not even anti-competitive conduct per se but can be considered more as regulatory setbacks.

We stop at this rider cap issue for now but there lies the bigger problem we might face in the next few years. The online platform industry – which is easy to enter, is relatively inexpensive, and is clearly innovative – is simply for now, difficult to regulate. Joseph Schumpeter is right to think of “creative destruction.” That is precisely what ride hailing platforms has become in the transport industry. Now transportation has to battle the bigger issue of safety and mobility. Do ride-hailing platforms for motorcycles, specifically provide safe mobility for people?

There is a clear pathway so that motorcycle taxis can be mainstreamed into our public transport system

The poor mass transportation system in the Philippines has brought about evident consequences to the traffic and commute situation in the Philippines. This is exacerbated by the car-riding culture that has been inculcated because of the sheer lack (or absence) of proper safe systems for pedestrians and commuters. A safe system does not only include the infrastructure of trains, buses, jeepneys, etc, or the physical infrastructure of roads and engineering systems, but includes the whole spectrum of pedestrian walkways, measured distances of public transport stops, road signs, information mechanisms for traffic flow, and sound policy of implementation and enforcement (see the failure of the PUV modernization policy). This deficiency in a safe system approach to transport has birthed the demand for an alternative form of transportation, that is, motorcycles; and corollarily, as a form of public transport, in the guise of motorcycle taxis.

Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported evidence that motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users (VRUs), along with the pedestrians and cyclists. More than half (54%) of all road traffic deaths are among these VRUs. These vehicles are a significant contributor to deaths and injuries by reason of their large number on the roads, their sharing of the roads with bigger vehicles such as cars and buses, and their innate vulnerability for crash impacts because of the absence of a protective shell present in other types of vehicles. This vulnerability is further augmented by the behaviour of riders on the road such as “zigzagging,” lane filtering, and other unique capacities of motorcycling on the roads. Thus, in the Philippine context, where motorcycles are voluminous, the question of safety when riding a motorcycle is addressed through the enactment of a Helmet Law which imposes to all motorcycle riders the use of helmets.

If in such a case that motorcycle taxis are legalized, there is a higher degree of diligence to be imposed upon public transportation vehicles or “common carriers,” that is, the care required is that of extraordinary diligence. This can prove to bring about implementation problems for it requires an effective and truly working safe system – from the provision of proper exclusive motorcycle lanes, enforcement of traffic laws and regulations, up to par safe specifications for the motorcycles, full compliance of helmet use and safety standards, ready emergency response, and proper training and behaviour of both riders and its passengers. This must go hand-in-hand with educating riders and passengers alike of the recommended behaviour on the roads while aboard a motorcycle and a provision for proper feedback mechanism to improve deficiencies and insufficiencies. Because apart from mobility itself, it is the government’s duty to protect its citizens to be safe at all times.

Motorcycle taxi riders often view motorcycles as a more convenient form of transportation because they are allowed to reach their destination on time beating traffic and are cheaper than taking a cab or Grab (making it more embraceable to the riding masses). Motorcycle taxis also allow riders to be transported to bus, train, or jeepney stops more conveniently and “safely,” as pedestrian accommodations are not always friendly. This unfriendliness has been a result of poor urban and transport planning over the years. Mobility then comes in but admittedly works better if safety is its partner. It can also be argued that making motorcycle taxis legal now is just a band-aid solution to the problem of public transportation, where mass transport is, in the long-term, more reliable and efficient for it transports more people to their destination, rather than a one-to-one correspondence which can be considered more costly in the long-run. This does not equate simply in the monetary costs but also in the lives lost (road crashes and vulnerability) and health impacts (pollution) because of unsafe conditions.

Motorcycle taxis are inexpensive for both the riders and the riding public. Motorcycles allow for personal mobility for countries with smaller per capita purchasing power (as in the Philippine case). It is also fuel-efficient, with an average consumption of 60 kilometers per liter of gasoline and leave less carbon footprint. In the current state of the country where income has not caught up with inflation, cheap is a necessary public good. Motorcycles also allow for faster travel time because of their ability to split lanes and go through narrower spaces beating traffic in record time and reduces risks of losses in terms of income and productivity.

These pros must be weighed on the balance with its cons. The second-largest affected vehicle classification of road crash incidents is the motorcycle class second to cars. While Helmets help reduce deaths and injuries, they are merely secondary safety devices which are used to prevent injuries from worsening. Other road practices must still be properly observed by the motorist. There is also the issue of road security. Absent proper identifying marks such as operator helmets, jackets, or vests, colorum motorcycle taxis may be mistaken as “riding-in-tandem” or motorcycling-riding suspects capable of committing crimes on the road.

Inclusive mobility as the solution

This debate cannot end unless citizens see a real solution for transport. For ordinary Filipinos, the motorcycle is a cheap and fast form of transport. For car users, motorcycles can disrupt traffic flow in the roads because of their lane splitting and filtering between other vehicles. In this light, the main issues to consider are (1) road crashes which continue to increase (and will continue to increase as volume increases); and (2) traffic violations which need to be enforced better because motorcycles are subjected to same traffic laws and regulations (e.g., speed, helmet use, distracted driving, drunk-driving, overtaking, lane splitting, lane filtering, etc). Violation of some of these rules has been one of the primary advantages of motorcycles – for its ability to facilitate faster mobility and avoid the traffic congestion. Lane splitting, however, has proved to have other benefits. Motorcycles’ lane splitting has removed commuters from cars, faster travel time through utilisation of road space, and improves fuel efficiency even in extreme weather.

Therefore, in the interim, as we wait for the promise of mass transport and proper infrastructure that can ease our daily commute and make inclusive mobility a reality, the legalization of motorcycle taxis is a pathway forward. We would even argue that for some routes and segments of society, motorcycle taxis will always be a better option.

We are however for strong regulatory framework that ensures that national laws (e.g., Land Transportation and Traffic Code, Motorcycle Helmet Act), LTO and LTFRB regulations, and local ordinances are consistent with each other – taking into account geographical and cultural characteristics of cities and municipalities; an aim for a synergy of laws through the consideration of social circumstances, security risks, and economic impacts (fares, productivity, mobility, etc). There must be better infrastructure in terms of providing proper motorcycle lanes (where motorcycles do not merge with other vehicles, especially bulkier ones) and an effective oversight arrangement for registration, monitoring, control of vehicle fleet, and safety standards for roads and products. Finally, a stronger enforcement of existing laws and regulations (e.g., provision of CCTV cameras, road warnings and signages, etc.); and training programs directed at behavioral change in motorists and enforcers are essentials for such a framework.

It goes without saying that whether it is cars or motorcycles, environmental considerations must be prioritized.

There is a clear pathway so that motorcycle taxis can be mainstreamed into our public transport system. For that to happen, society must have a consensus on inclusive mobility which Congress must legislate and the executive branch implement.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for January 2020

By | General Posts

From Helmet Laws to the Freedom to Race
By Bill Bish, NCOM

  • ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS URGED TO SUPPORT FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE
  • RPM ACT TO PROTECT RACING HAS BEEN REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
  • CONGRESS EXTENDS TAX CREDITS FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES
  • HELMET REPEAL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • NEW DRIVER ACCOUNTABILITY LAW IN OREGON
  • WASHINGTON STATE ENDEAVORS TO MAKE ROADS SAFER
  • MOTORCYCLE MARKET TRENDS
  • HONDA PATENTS VERTICAL AIRBAG FOR MOTORCYCLES

CLICK HERE TO READ THE Newsbytes

Join the Cantina – Subscribe Today

By | General Posts

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The Cross Country Chase

By | General Posts

Kicking off from the Canadian border and motoring towards the Florida Keys, riders on the Chase lit out on their eight-state odyssey just as the weather witch turned the thermostat down and set to soaking the scenery for exactly half of the group’s 2,368-mile route. If you were betting that crappy weather would dampen the doings, however, you’d be dead wrong. Nothing diminished the heightened anticipation of this inaugural run as enthusiastic riders from 28 states layered on weather gear and set their sights on the warm sun and sandy beaches of Florida.

The exhilaration of the gathering for the group photo along Saint Mary’s River extended to the next day’s gloomy send off from Sault Ste. Marie in the early morning of September 6. Riders headed off into the predawn darkness along Michigan’s rain-soaked roads and, ironically, crossed the fog-enshrouded Mackinac Bridge just as 1,500 antique tractors were crossing the five-mile long Mighty Mac. Coming from the opposite direction, the annual trek of the tractors seemed perfectly timed to accent the Chase crossing. Adding an air of excitement as the motorcyclists passed the tractors, riders simultaneously checked out the tractors while eyeing the steel grate of the bridge into the frigid white-capped waters of Lake Huron below. The unrelenting drizzle kept riders soggy until a welcomed break lasting just long enough to enjoy a nice lunch hosted at the Hagerty Insurance headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan, which was followed closely by the group’s first pop quiz.

Studious riders stood with clipboards, pondering the 10-question, multiple-choice test that was based partly on motorcycle history and partly on scenery along the miles they had just ridden. This exact scenario would play out every day for the duration of the run and would be a general point of consternation for the group. Many feigned test anxiety, but some discovered that the questions served to heighten the awareness of their surroundings during the ride. Either way, testing was the hot topic that evening as pilots discussed the day and readied their machines for the next lap, which included a ride on the historic S.S. Badger.

Dawn broke as riders rolled onto the last functioning coal-fired steam ferry in the world. In service since 1953, the Badger shuttled riders and machines for 62 miles across Lake Michigan. The ship is a moving bit of nautical antiquity and even has an onboard museum, which served to keep anxious Chase riders entertained during the four-hour voyage before docking in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The group would end their day with dinner and a bike show at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee where rider #72, Larry Luce, barely managed to roll into the parking lot before the tire on his 1938 Velocette KSS went completely flat. Luce spent his time before dinner making repairs as a celebration played out across the museum campus. Between the rolling museum of Cross Country Chase bikes displayed outside and the Harley-Davidson exhibit inside, visitors to the museum were well steeped in historic motorcycles of all marques, though some were already starting to show exhaustion. As Stage 3 was flagged off the next morning, James Malone, #05 and Don Gilmore, #22 would both have left the run.

It would be Stage 4, the longest day of the run with 315 miles, before riders would peel off wet weather gear in exchange for the oppressive heat of the south. As the weather leapt into the triple digits, both man and machine began to wear down and one rider was sent home to recuperate from exposure to the heat as CCC staff nurse, Vicki Sanfelipo, was kept busy tending to the group’s health. By the time riders rolled into Harley-Davidson of Bowling Green, Kentucky, one rider’s saddlebag had caught fire and another’s engine shot flames as he tried to kick start his tired machine. It was easily extinguished and Matt Miller, #46, rode his 1947 H-D U off to prepare for the next day’s adventure. One rider crashed and was sent to the hospital for minor wounds, though Mike Bruso and his wife, #42, would rejoin the CCC at the finish line each night.

Scoring was a combination of mileage and testing totals, offset by certain handicaps afforded for things like age of an entry. The varying range of test scores meant the leader board was subject to change on a daily basis, though rider #99, Todd Cameron, took the lead from day one and held the position to the end. Todd’s rare 1930 BSA Sloper was the oldest British bike entered, but not the smallest. That distinction was shared by two bikes: #90, Paul Warrenfelt’s 1935 Triumph as well as #62, Scott Funk’s BSA, both with 250 cc.

There were three categories for Chase machines and each bike was inspected for compliance. Class I motorcycles had the smallest engines and, if successful in getting all the miles, were the most likely to win the race that offered legendary-status bragging rights along with a $7,500 purse. Class I consisted of motorcycles with a displacement of 500cc or less and were required to maintain 45 mph on a straight flat road. Class II were machines with a displacement of 501cc to 1000 cc that could maintain 50 mph on a straight flat road and Class III machines had a displacement of 1001 cc or more that managed 55 mph on a straight flat road. The list of marques consisted of 44 Harley-Davidsons, 15 Indians, three BSAs, three Triumphs and one each of Velocette, Nimbus, Norton and Zundapp. But by September 12, with three days left in the competition, 10 riders had dropped out. The drop list included only one Brit, Scott Funk’s BSA. Scott respectfully chose to withdraw rather than to abuse the old girl once he heard a suspicious lower end clatter.

A total of three women riders signed on for the Chase and all three, Cris Sommer-Simmons, Andrea Labarbara, and Jody Perewitz, arrived to cross the finish line at Mallory Square in Key West with solid numbers. There were three sidecar teams that also included women, two of which saw the checkered flag in Key West. Entrants included teams of brothers, brothers-in-laws and married couples and became a gathering of riders with heart who shared their passion for the sport of motorcycling in a very personal way. By the time the gaggle of riders had navigated their way across the country, most everyone was a family bound by the collective goal of seeing their friends finish the ride beside them.

Some modifications were allowed on the bikes, typically such things as upgraded headlamp, brakes, and fuel capacity. GPS was not allowed, but the addition of a speedometer/odometer in order to maintain accurate mileage was permitted since the route sheets handed out before each morning’s ride were quite complex. One missed turn would serve to knock a rider out of the scoring if he or she came in late.

The well-planned route included a heart-pounding trip over the old Wabash Cannonball Bridge on the Illinois and Indiana borders, cruising the gently rolling hills of Kentucky, a visit to Coker Tires and a train station converted into a hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before they had the honor of sharing dinner with the 98-year-old owner of Harley-Davidson of Macon, Georgia. Grover Sassaman and his family invited the Chase to an elegant spaghetti dinner at the family-owned dealership and riders were delighted when the personable and cheerful Grover offered sage advice and wrenching tips on the gathered bikes. He picked out rider #61, Robert Zeolla’s, 1939 H-D EL as what he considered the most original of the Harleys in the group and posed with the bike for photographer Michael Lichter. Lichter had set up temporary studios all along the route to capture the CCC moments and the Sassamans took advantage of the opportunity to sit for a family portrait.

Riders made a stop in front of the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. Buoy before promoters Jason and LeeAnn Sims waved the group in with the checkered flag against the bright blue waters surrounding Key West’s Mallory Square. As a last-minute panic, rider #18, Willie Earhart, had a mechanical moment when his 1948 Harley died at the finish line with the minutes ticking down on the final clock. As the gathered crowd reached an exhilarated frenzy, Jason came close and shouted words of encouragement as Willie kicked for all he was worth in the blazing afternoon sun. Finally, after several tense minutes, the engine sputtered and came to life as the crowd screamed in elation. Everyone cheered as Willie pulled onto the pier and, with great relief, dropped his kickstand next to the rest of the overheated Chase machines. Later that evening as the sun set over fans, friends and family that gathered on the beach to watch as awards were presented, there was a collective sense of pride for a journey well done mixed with an air of melancholy as the group realized the magic of the ride had come to an end. And the obvious question was… will there be another Cross Country Chase? Stay tuned race fans… there’s more news to come!

JOIN THE CROSS COUNTRY CHASE 2020 – https://www.scooterscribes.news/the-cross-country-chase/

2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey

By | General Posts

The 2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey has only 6 questions that are designed to help define the profiling trends so we can focus our resources in the areas that need it the most. Your participation will have a long lasting, positive impact on the community.This survey on average will take 4 minutes to complete.

The information collected in these surveys has been an essential part in lobbying efforts at both state and national levels, and without a doubt provide critical data points for the grassroots activist to intelligently communicate issues impacting the motorcycle community and influence change.

With over 23,000 survey participants from all walks of life, the National Motorcycle Profiling Surveys, with 99% accuracy, has proven that many motorcyclists are being targeted by law enforcement based on appearance. This information was the foundation of the argument that resulted in the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (S. Res. 154) passing in the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent on December 11, 2018.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Notes:

**NO PERSONAL DATA IS REQUIRED. YOUR PRIVACY AND ANONYMITY ARE IMPORTANT AND RESPECTED. By asking for no more than your zip code, which is also voluntary, there is no personal information to maintain or protect.

**If you or your organization are interested in cosponsoring this survey, or would like to get survey results specific to your state, please contact David “Double D” Devereaux at:
doubled@motorcycleprofilingproject.com