Tag

Freedom Archives — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Montreal woman leaves her job, hits the road for solo motorcycle trip across Canada

By | General Posts

Wendy McGean fulfilled her dream — of driving cross-country on a motorcycle — at 55 years old

Suddenly, in her late forties, Wendy McGean started having an unexpected reaction every time she’d spot a motorcycle on the road.

“My head would just pivot and I’d think: ‘I really want to do that!” she told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak.

At the time, she thought it was an odd feeling for a married mother of two teenage daughters with a white collar job.

“It was a very traditional kind of life,” she said.

Before she knew it, McGean was leaving all that behind — her home, her job, even her marriage.

“Some people thought I’d absolutely lost my mind,” McGean said. “I just completely turned my life upside down.”

Just one kick at the can

McGean started to chase her dream of riding a motorcycle at 51 years old, signing herself up for circuit training. She realized that she didn’t feel comfortable on only two wheels and bumped up to a three-wheeled bike.

She said it was “love at first sight,” and suddenly McGean was buying a bike of her own.

“I think it’s the first thing in my life I found that I thought, ‘this is mine,'” she said. “It represents complete and utter freedom.”

Not long after McGean got a taste of that freedom, she suffered a major loss. Her father died.

“[It] made me realize that if there’s something that I want to do in my life, then I better get at it,” she said. “So I made the decision to leave my marriage.”

After 23 years of married life, McGean said she started to feel like a square peg and her life was a round hole. Something just didn’t fit anymore.

“I was lucky enough to have somebody that understood that I needed to explore that,” she said.

After living on her own for a while, McGean saw that her workplace was offering an early retirement package that she qualified for. She took it, moved out of her apartment and put everything she owned in storage, except for a one-person tent.

“I got on my bike and headed north without any reservations or anything,” she said.

Forging connections, old and new

With no plans and no commitments, McGean spent the next five weeks riding west to Tofino, B.C. and back, stopping in different towns and meeting new people.

One man she met at a gas station was intrigued by her motorcycle and struck up a conversation about his own cross-country ride on a bike. Before pulling out of the station, he gave her a hug.

“Stopping and having conversations with people I met along the way was probably the best part of the whole trip,” she said.

McGean also took the opportunity to reconnect with people she hadn’t seen in years — she spent a night with a friend in Ontario she hadn’t seen since high school, and also stopped to visit some cousins in Manitoba.

McGean’s cross-country treks are over, for now, but she said she’s grateful for the experience.

“At some point along the way, I finally realized that I had to live my life for me,” she said. “I had to do things that made me happy.”

She’s not sure what lies ahead for her, but McGean is now looking for a job doing something she loves in the Montreal area because she wants to be near her daughters, who are now in their 20s.

Looking back, she said her adventures really helped her come into her own.

“I’m comfortable in my own skin now. Probably for the first time in my life.”

The Thanksgiving 2019 Bikernet Weekly News

By | General Posts

Hey,

Making progress is a major motivator. I like to climb out of bed thinking the day is going to be exciting. This week I solved some issues, took my 1928 Shovelhead to Larry Settle for a look-over. We organized and shipped Hugh King’s Discovery Channel biker build-off bike to the Sturgis Museum.

We attempted to get two girders from Spitfire Motorcycles. We scored a few Antiques motorcycle parts from Bobby Stark’s lot.

I solved a minor issue with the Salt Torpedo and we are just a couple of weeks away from our first trial runs. I roughed out another Cantina Chapter.

READ THE BIKERNET WEEKLY NEWS IN THE CANTINA – CLICK HERE –  Join Today

Whacky Bikernet Weekly News for November 21, 2019

By | General Posts

Hey,

A couple of infrastructure changes. From now on, we will post the news on the Free side of the Bikernet Iron Curtain for one week each week. We will also do the same with selected articles before slipping them into Bandit’s Cantina archives for our esteemed members.

We need members, but I want the largest readership to check the news. We also need to inform the largest possible audience of the issues facing motorcycling and of happenings on Bikernet. So, what the fuck, I’m giving it a shot.

Let’s hit the news. It’s going to be a good one:

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BIKERNET WEEKLY NEWS NOW !!!

Subscribe to the Cantina for exclusive access – https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

House introduces Motorcycle Advisory Council Reauthorization Act

By | General Posts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Mike Gallagher (R-WI) along with Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Harley Rouda (D-CA), and Troy Balderson (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation, Motorcycle Advisory Council Reauthorization Act.  The bill reauthorizes the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) for six years and ensures national motorcycle organizations regain seats on the council.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), along with our partners ABATE of Wisconsin, ABATE of Ohio, Harley-Davidson, and American Motorcyclist Association, have been hard at work over the past month ensuring the future MAC membership is representative of the riding community.  This legislation clarifies the membership of MAC which now will include five highway engineering experts from state or local governments, one state or local traffic safety engineer who is a motorcyclist, one roadway safety data expert on crash testing and analysis, and one representative from each of the following groups: a national association of state transportation officials, a national motorcyclist foundation, a national motorcyclist association, a national motorcycle manufacturing association, and a national safety organization.

“As the feds address the vast roadway infrastructure issues and emerging technologies surrounding vehicles and roads, there isn’t a more appropriate time to re-establish the Motorcycle Advisory Council,” said Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, President of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.  “It was originally and effectively designed to give motorcyclists a voice with regards to the unique challenges we face on two and three wheels when it comes to roadway design.”

The MRF is encouraged that this legislation will ensure that motorcyclists will continue to have an open dialogue with government officials about the unique characteristics and challenges that motorcyclists face when they are not adequately considered or accounted for as infrastructure programs are being discussed and implemented. We want to acknowledge and commend the relationships that our state motorcyclist rights organizations (SMROs), specifically ABATE of Wisconsin and ABATE of Ohio, established with their elected officials through attending events such as our annual lobby day, Bikers Inside the Beltway.  This event, along with active engagement with members of Congress in their home districts,  helps the MRF identify the champions of motorcycle issues and achieve our goals.

“We are pleased that our elected representatives from the state of Wisconsin continue to lead the charge in advocating on behalf of the motorcyclists in the country,” said Steve Panten, Legislative Director for ABATE of Wisconsin, Inc. “I am encouraged that years of building relationships, both in our State and by coming to Washington, D.C., every year, continues to elevate our issues on Capitol Hill. We urge other SMRO’s to take the opportunity to do the same.”

The MAC, initially authorized in the SAFETEA-LU in 2005, allotted four of the ten members to consist of representatives from the motorcycling community from various state and federal motorcycle associations. In the FAST Act of 2015, Congress re-established the Motorcyclist Advisory Council in the Highway Bill to advise the Federal Highway Administration on “issues of concern to motorcyclists.” However, the MRF was disappointed the re-established MAC only included one seat for a representative of a national motorcycle organization.

The Motorcycle Advisory Council provides the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with expert first-hand knowledge of motorcycle issues. “Motorcycle registration is at an all-time high, but this increasing popularity has brought with it increasing risks, such as fatal accidents,” said Rep. Gallagher. “Motorcycles require specific – and in some cases different – requirements of roads, and we need an open dialogue between the motorcycle community, infrastructure experts, and the federal government to discuss these challenges.”  The MAC serves as the only official forum for the motorcycle community to have an open dialogue with the federal government to discuss concerns with infrastructure design, issues with intelligent transportation systems, and other areas of safety affecting motorcycles on the road.

“With the number of motorcycles currently on the road, it is critical that the road designers and transportation engineers understand the way that motorcycles and motorcyclists interact with the roadways as well as other vehicles using those same roads,” said Ed Schetter, Executive Director for ABATE of Ohio, Inc.  “Motorcyclists need to be present to help recognize those needs and ensure that motorcycles maintain their place on the road and can be safely operated into a future where technology is creating more and more challenges.”

Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

By | General Posts

November 20, 2019 – Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing entitled Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology. This hearing comes on the heels of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board meeting yesterday regarding the investigation of a March 2018 crash of an Uber Autonomous Vehicle (AV) that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The NTSB released some startling revelations in their investigation of the 2018 deadly crash. Among those that the software did not properly identify the victim as a pedestrian, it did not adequately assess safety risks and the operator of the vehicle was watching a TV show on her phone and was not watching the road. Additionally, the NTSB cited an “inadequate safety culture” at Uber.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) applauds the NTSB and the U.S. Senate for holding public hearings on AV technology and safety concerns. The MRF is committed to fighting for the safety of motorcyclists as this new technology is deployed on our nation’s roadways. While we are hopeful that this technology can reduce accidents on our nation’s roads, we agree with the statement of Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) when he said of AV technology “I think a healthy degree of skepticism is a good thing.”

During today’s Senate hearing, it was especially important that two U.S. Senators specifically addressed the concerns of motorcyclists during the hearing. In a question directed to Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation Senator John Thune (R-SD) asked, “In developing a regulatory framework for AVs can you speak to how other roadways users such as motorcycles are considered?” The Assistant Secretary responded by saying “Motorcyclists are well incorporated in the development of policy in the department.”

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) echoed Senator Thune’s interest in motorcycles when he said, “I am avid motorcyclist. The number one reason for accidents is a car hitting a motorcyclist or a car pulling out in front of a motorcyclist.”

Other Senators include Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) raised concerns about the current deployment of AVs without minimum standards from the federal government, “We need some standards.” In response, Robert Sumwalt, Chairman of the NTSB agreed by saying that “Whatever is working now is not working as well as it should.” We at the MRF agree that minimum standards should be in place as this new technology becomes more and more prevalent on the roads we all share.

Chairman Sumwalt of the NTSB closed the hearing with this statement, “I think that AV technology holds great promise to improve safety, but it has to be done properly.” We at the MRF could not agree more.

MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “As a motorcyclist it offends me when bureaucrats are discussing various inevitable, emerging vehicle and advanced roadway technologies they default to classifying us as vulnerable and in need some sort of protection. I would rather and especially in the specific case of Autonomous Vehicles we be thoroughly considered and fully recognizable and therefore not needing extra protection. As with anything affecting motorcyclists this is another example where the Motorcycle Riders Foundation will demand we remain a significant part of the strategy for roadway users.”

You can read the opening statements or watch the hearing by clicking the link below:
Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

Wonders of the Bikernet Weekly News

By | General Posts

Motorcycles are Freedom Personified Forever

Hey,

This is a strange and wonderful week. Shit is happening fast. Shit is changing fast, and shit will go to hell quick if we all don’t get involved.

I didn’t intend this to be doom and gloom, but it just spilled out as I wrote. It’s time we all joined a motorcycle rights group or three and got our boots wet.

Here’s my code of the West: We live in the best of times. Our government needs to focus on the people, our freedoms and happiness not on trying to control everything or make everything safe as in Zero. It’s all about control and it won’t work, so let’s be happy and as free as possible.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEEKLY NEWS – Join the Cantina today

The Shifting Bikernet Weekly News for October 3, 2019

By | General Posts

We Are Living in the Best of Times and should Celebrate

I feel a shift coming. In some respects, I hope it’s a shift in the direction of Freedom. We are actually living in the best of times. Everything on the planet has improved for the better and we need to celebrate, not control and punish.

More and more I hear amazing stories about the lives of folks around me and the amazing things they accomplished. Markus Cuff played drums for Emily Lou Harris for several years. Then he started to shoot photos of bands in the ‘80s and I started to hire him to shoot tech articles for Easyriders. Since then he’s shot features for tons of magazines and for Bikernet.com ™.

I’m working on the Salt Torpedo slowly trying to finish the firewall, the fire suppression unit installations, the helmet cowling and strengthen the front axle swingarm mounts.

I fixed my 1969 Panhead, and the 1928 Panhead battery is toast. I’ve had two of these batteries take a shit and would like to try anti-gravity batteries, but they cost a bunch. I may try again.

In the meantime, ride fast and free forever!

— Keith ‘Bandit’ Ball

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEEKLY NEWS – Join the Cantina Today

Easy Rider at 50

By | General Posts

A relook at the cinema classic on motorcycling lifestyle and freedom
by Blue Miller, 100% Biker Magazine, England

On 4th September 1969, a film was released in the United Kingdom that would have more effect on our little world of custom motorcycling than any other. It was, of course, Easy Rider.

Almost exactly fifty years later, it still resonates with us, although its language and ethos may have dated over those five decades. But, with hindsight, was it really as revolutionary as history has made it out to be?

READ THE ARTICLE IN THE CANTINA – Subscribe Today

2019 Sturgis Hall Of Fame Breakfast

By | General Posts

Article By Rogue – Honoring Those Who Stand Out in Motorcycling

The breakfast is held every year to honor people who have made a difference in motorcycling. There are numerous categories just like the things that make up the wonderful life of motorcycling.

The event was held at the Lodge at Deadwood on Wednesday August 7, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

It was a pleasure to see these people inducted as they are all deserving.

CLICK HERE TO READ IT IN THE CANTINA – SUBSCRIBE TODAY