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Preparing for Biketoberfest

By | General Posts

by Jarleene Almenas from https://www.ormondbeachobserver.com

Preparing for Biketoberfest: Destination Daytona is confident in its itinerant vending plans

The 150-acre property is one of the largest venues in Volusia County.

Come Biketoberfest, Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach believes it can host itinerant vendors and outdoor events in a way that adheres to COVID-19 safety measures.

In its permit application to the city, Dean Pepe, general counsel for Destination Daytona, stated that motorcycle rally events “are critical to the survival of our businesses here at Destination Daytona, our hundreds of employees and also to our entire community.” Some of the measures Destination Daytona will implement include one-way lanes inside stores, spacing outdoor tables apart to promote social distancing and requiring all vendors to wear masks. Bikers frequenting businesses inside the 150-acre event venue will also be asked to wear masks indoors.

“We’ve developed our own message, which is ‘Protect and respect our city, mask up and distance,'” Pepe said. “That’s going to be our message to everybody that comes here.”

When the City Commission in mid-August decided to hold off until September on making a decision to allow event permits for the motorcycle rally, Pepe said they were disappointed, but that they understood the reasoning.

“There was an understanding there that these people were trying to make a good decision,” Pepe said. “The thought of not having it with our normal setup would’ve been disappointing, but we would’ve had to roll with it and come up with an alternate plan.”

They also knew that if the commission reached a decision on Sept. 9, they had time to gather vendors and make preparations for Biketoberfest, even if they had to scramble a bit, Pepe said.

“We were very, very excited and pleased to hear that the city staff and representatives helped this decision,” said Shelly Rossmeyer Pepe, general manager at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley-Davidson in Destination Daytona.

‘We want to do right by the community’

Itinerant vendor revenue is one of the largest components for the year at Destination Daytona, said Pepe, which is why it’s important to hold these events twice a year for Bike Week and Biketoberfest, respectively.

While Pepe acknowledged that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, he also expressed that “livelihoods are important too.” In addition to their own staff, another 30 people or so will be hired to help with the event. In previous years, that number has been higher, but due to the pandemic, Destination Daytona is not expecting the typical large crowds.

What they are anticipating is an increase of vendors, as the city of Daytona Beach has opted against issuing permits. Destination Daytona is also not planning any large concerts to keep crowds manageable, Pepe said.

Rossmeyer Pepe said they’ve traditionally been a daytime venue anyways, as most vendors wrap up in the early evening. Daytime traffic may go up a bit because of the lack of outdoor events in Daytona Beach, but she expects their nighttime traffic will not. She said it’s important for them to “do right” by both the community and the visitors.

“We’re going to do everything to try to maintain a very positive reputation, so they’ll come back,” she said. “We feel good and confident that our customers and our visitors are going to respect the situation we’re all in.”

If the situation was like it was in March, Pepe said perhaps Destination Daytona may not have had enough information to be able to hold events safely, as he is confident they are able to do now.

As a business, they need to be open, he said.

“You have to at some point,” Pepe said. “We can’t not operate our businesses forever hoping that this goes away completely.”

Former motorcycle cop teaching safety, passion on two wheels

By | General Posts

by Peter Mallett from http://www.lookoutnewspaper.com

A former motorcycle cop is encouraging aspiring motorcyclists from the base to get the skills they need before embarking on their journey down the highway.

Bill Laughlin has been an instructor with the Vancouver Island Safety Council (VISC) since his retirement from the Victoria Police Department in 2003, concluding 27 years of service as a police sergeant.

“I have always been a motorcyclist and have been riding since I was 16, so when I was asked by a friend if I would be interested in teaching I knew I would really enjoy it,” says Laughlin.

Each year, he and approximately 20 other ICBC-licensed instructors teach over 400 students how to be safer motorcyclists. Their efforts are focused solely on rider training and education.

“All of our instructors have a passion for motorcycling. We are teaching because we want people to learn, be safe, but also have fun.”

Shortly after joining VISC, Laughlin became its executive director. Today the 66 year old spends most of his days working as an administrator with the end goal to equip novice riders with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate a motorcycle safely.

VISC offers weekday classes at its Western Speedway training centre in Langford; on the weekend training moves to the grounds of Interurban’s Camosun College.

Students train on one of VISC’s 11 well-maintained training bikes, and later in their instruction, 16 street-ready motorcycles as they move towards certification. Helmets are also provided, but other gear such as proper protective clothing is not.

Laughlin says VISC has trained several members of Victoria’s military community in past years and is convinced many of them buy into the philosophy of doing things right, getting the proper training, and learning the fundamentals before taking on any potentially dangerous activity.

You need to get your skills right before the fun part of riding a motorcycle can begin, says Laughlin. “Having fun while on a motorcycle is all about learning how to drive safely and not put yourself in dangerous positions. If you are professionally trained you will have the knowledge and confidence to truly get the most out of riding a motorcycle.”

Their courses are not just for beginners. There are many people who have drifted away from motorcycling over the years but suddenly decide they want two-wheeled transit back in their lives.

“It’s simply not a case of the old cliché: it’s just like riding a bike,” says Laughlin. “Over time the skills of people who haven’t been riding begin to deteriorate, so we highly recommend refresher courses for those looking to get back into riding a motorcycle.”

VISC is a non-profit organization that began its motorcycle training program in 1971. It then saw official sanctioning from the Canada Safety Council in 1974. Today, its novice level training program exceeds Insurance Corporation of British Columbia training course minimums, with its traffic course the most thorough and lengthy of all riding schools in B.C., says Laughlin.

Following a six-week shutdown due to COVID-19 social distancing measures, the VISC motorcycle training program resumed operations on June 1. Due to a backlog of students waiting for instruction during the shutdown, available spaces for August training sessions are almost completely full and its September dates are filling up fast.

Laughlin says VISC is always looking to recruit new instructors, and currently have a recruitment drive underway for paid positions and would greatly value the input of experienced motorcyclists from CFB Esquimalt to assist.

For more information about the VISC, visit their website: http://visafetycouncil.com

State police offer free motorcycle safety course

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by Arabella Thornhill from https://potomaclocal.com

Virginia State Police have invited local residents to take part in a free motorcycle self-assessment, “Ride 2 Save Lives,” course this Saturday.

It is a free course that will be held Saturday, July 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Morton’s BMW Motorcycles located at 5099 Jefferson Davis Highway in Fredericksburg. Space is limited to 30 people.

According to a press release from Public Relations Director for Virginia State Police Corinne Geller, Richmond Division Motors Unit will be instructing participants on all aspects of rider safety through the use of SIPDE (Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute). SIPDE is the same training required of all VSP motorcycle operators.

The course provides riders with proper techniques on how to handle hazards, special situations, interstate highways, curve negotiations, and much more, according to Geller.

Social distancing measures will be in place for the safety of those in attendance, according to Geller. Riders must have a valid operator’s license with a class “M” endorsement, appropriate riding attire, a helmet, and eye protection.

The motorcycles must be street legal and helmets must be Department of Transportation approved to participate in this program, according to the press release.

Registration closes Wednesday, July 22. For those interested, registration is available online through the Virginia State Police Facebook page under “events” or at eventbrite.com.

BMW to Add New Cruise Control System to Motorcycles

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

For reasons that have to do with the way they are built and used, motorcycles do not benefit from the same wide array of comfort or safety systems developed for cars. Strides are being made though to have some of these technologies migrate to motorcycles as well.

As far as cars are concerned, cruise control has been around in some form or another from about the time they were invented, but for motorcycles adapting the tech proved a bit more complicated.

There are a few bikes out there with cruise control, such as the BMW S1000RR, or the Yamaha FJR-1300, but the tech is not widely available, and of course not as standard. BMW Motorrad plans to change that, and announced that it would “soon offer this type of rider assistance system.”

Called in BMW speak Active Cruise Control (ACC), it is a brand new system that has been developed together with Bosch. It can automatically regulate the speed at which the bike is traveling based on the speed set by the rider and the distance to the vehicle driving in front.

The system will try to maintain the distance from the vehicle in front as set by the rider, who can choose one of three settings. To calculate the distance, ACC uses a radar fitted at the front of the motorcycle, and it works together with some of the other systems on the two-wheeler, including the brakes and the ABS system.

The system can detect only moving vehicles, and will not react to stopped cars or traffic lights, BMW warns.

According to company, the new system is also able to automatically reduce speed during lean angle cornering, while at the same time trying to keep acceleration and deceleration within tolerable limits during an increased angle cornering.

The German bike maker did not say when the ACC will be rolled out and what models will get it.

Deadpool 2 Production Company Hit Big With Fine After Death Of Stuntwoman Joi Harris

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by Dirk Libbey from https://www.cinemablend.com

In the summer of 2017 while Deadpool 2 was in production, Joi Walker, a professional motorcycle racer who was working as a stunt performer for the first time, was killed when she was ejected from her bike and went through the plate glass window of a building. Now, the Vancouver-based production company, TCF Vancouver Productions LTD, has been fined nearly $300,000 by WorkSafeBC, the British Colombia equivalent of OSHA in the U.S.

The exact fine comes to $289,562 and is due to the finding that the production of Deadpool 2 was in violation of five requirements of Canada’s Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. The finding of WorkSafe BC, is that, among other things, the production failed to identify the hazards involved in the stunt or control the risks. The stunt performer was not only not wearing appropriate safety gear, but according to Deadline, she was actually instructed by the production not to do so.

Joi Walker was working as a stunt performer in place of Zazie Beats as Domino. The motorcycle stunt was Joi Walker’s first stunt performance on the film. This may have something to do with the fact that one of the other violations listed is the fact that the production failed to provide a new worker orientation for Walker.

Joi Walker’s death is not only not the only significant stunt accident in recent years, it’s not even the only significant one that took place on a motorcycle. Two years before the Deadpool 2 accident, a motorcycle crash on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter left stuntwoman Olivia Jackson in a medically induced coma. And while Jackson ultimately survived her injuries, she was left with permanent damage, including an amputated arm. Jackson was recently awarded damages in a lawsuit against the film’s South African production company.

A stuntman on The Walking Dead fell to his death a month before the accident on the set of Deadpool 2.

More recently a stuntman on the set of F9 sustained a serious head injury in a fall. While this most recent injury is from this past summer, it appears that we’ve seen fewer serious injuries to stunt people more recently, which hopefully indicates that extra care is being taken to ensure safety of all involved.

Stunt people have, without question, the most dangerous job on any film set. They’re trained to be able to do these stunts safely, but there is always going to be risk. Considering the great amount of respect that many in Hollywood clearly do have for stunt performers, there’s little argument that nothing is more important than their safety.

WorkSafe BC says the purpose of the fine is to motivate the employer, and other employers, to comply with health and safety requirements. Deadpool 2 was ultimately dedicated to Joi Walker.

May is national Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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from https://www.limaohio.com

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds motorcyclists to ride trained and sober. As summer approaches, motorists should be aware of an increase in motorcycles on the roadways.

There were 3,585 traffic crashes involving motorcycles in 2019 that resulted in 165 deaths and 3,245 injuries. Overall, 79 percent of motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in at least one injury or death.

The patrol issued 1,552 citations to motorcyclists last year; 65% included a speed violation, 21% were for operating a motorcycle without a proper license and 6% were for OVI.

“Being trained and wearing the proper equipment are two ways motorcyclists can be responsible when riding this summer,” said Lt. Jonathon Gray, commander of the Van Wert patrol post. “All motorists should share the road and be aware of their surroundings, as well as other vehicles using the roadway.”

Ohio law requires helmets for riders under 18 and drivers with less than one year of motorcycle experience. Passengers on motorcycles must wear helmets when the driver is required to do so.

Yamaha’s GNCC University Scheduled to Return for 2020

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from https://motorcycles.einnews.com/

Experts Offer Training for Aspiring ATV and Motorcycle Competitors at Snowshoe Mountain Resort

/EIN News/ — MARIETTA, Ga., April 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Yamaha Motor Corp., USA’s, annual Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) University is scheduled to return to Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia this June 24 to 26 during the 2020 GNCC series. While the racing season has been postponed, Yamaha remains committed to bringing back this inspiring and educational hands-on event for up-and-coming racers when the race series resumes.

“We are looking forward to another great GNCC University this year and are working closely with Racer Productions and Snowshoe Mountain Resort to ensure we are not only prepared to host a successful event per the current schedule, but we do so appropriately and safely based on current conditions,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports group marketing manager. “A primary reason this event is so popular with attendees is because it affords ambitious amateur riders the opportunity to grow their skill set with the help of seasoned pros and champions. They are then able to put their learnings into practice that same weekend at one of the most challenging GNCC races of the year.”

“I look forward to GNCC University at the Snowshoe Campus every year,” said Tim Cotter, GNCC University’s Dean of Dirt. “The University promotes a unique learning environment for off-road riders paired with the best athletes in the world. Their classroom is a 10,000-acre lab with every kind of obstacle you can imagine, allowing the GNCC University attendees to substantially improve their off-road riding performance upon graduating.”

A panel of current and pastime Yamaha racing champions and professionals will instruct as many as 80 total students in either ATV- or motorcycle-related sessions. Celebrating 26 years of racing at a pro-level, XC1 Pro ATV rider Johnny Gallagher will lead this year’s Yamaha Racing ATV instructors, along with five-time GNCC XC1 Pro ATV champion – and current undefeated series leader – Walker Fowler, and 12-time WXC ATV champion Traci Pickens. The two-wheel class will be led by seven-time AMA National Enduro Champion and AmPro Yamaha Racing team owner Randy Hawkins, five-time AMA National Hare Scramble Champion Jason Raines, XC1 Open Pro motorcycle rider Layne Michael, XC2 250 Pro motorcycle rider Michael Witkowski, along with the WXC bike competitors Rachael Archer and current unbeaten series leader Becca Sheets.

During the GNCC University, students will participate in lectures about sportsmanship, training, proper nutrition, and mental preparation, along with practicing how to tackle hills, grass tracks, woods, rocks, mud, and starts in a competitive setting. Groups will be determined according to bike size and rider skill level to ensure everyone is learning with comparable peers.

Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis with 80 openings evenly split between ATV and motorcycle disciplines. Tuition for GNCC University starts at $300 per student. To be the first in line for registration information on the 2020 Yamaha GNCC University, message @YamahaOutdoors on Instagram or Facebook.

For more information on the bLU cRU program, including all guidelines and requirements for ATV, SxS, and Off-Road Motorcycle racing, visit YamahabLUcRU.com. To view the entire Proven Off-Road ATV, SxS, and Off-Road Motorcycle lineup and learn more, visit YamahaMotorsports.com. Connect with Yamaha on social media via @YamahaOutdoors or search the following hashtags on all platforms: #Yamaha #YamahaRacing #REALizeYourPodium #REALizeYourAdventure #ProvenOffRoad #bLUcRU #AssembledInUSA #Yamaha10YearBelt #YXZ1000R #YFZ450R #YZ125X #YZ250X #YZ250FX #YZ450FX

Motorcycle safety foundation helps prepare riders for Arizona’s roads

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Kimberly Chapman was known as the “ultimate motorcycle enthusiast,” earning a national reputation for being a motorcycle community advocate.

The 55-year-old was killed in 2011 when she collided with a vehicle that pulled in front of her at a Phoenix intersection.

Months later, some of Chapman’s friends spearheaded the creation of the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for safer practices for motorcyclists and eliminating distracted driving in the state.

“She was heavily involved in the motorcycle community,” said Mick Degn, the foundation’s executive director.

“I’ve been a motorcycle rider and been involved in motorcycle organizations and we just felt that there wasn’t anything that was really being done to help be preventive in regard to motorcycle crashes. So myself and seven other folks formed AMSAF.”

“As we spent time looking at what we wanted to accomplish, our biggest thing was to help reduce crashes and fatalities and promote motorcycle safety and awareness,” Degn added.

In Arizona, 150 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018, a decrease from the 161 killed in 2017.

In Tucson, fatalities doubled from 7 to 15 from 2018 to 2019.

The foundation, which primarily focuses on educating riders of all levels, used a pilot scholarship program to reduce the cost of motorcycle training, an expense reaching upwards of $300, according to Degn.

By 2014, the foundation’s mission expanded to allocating monthly scholarships.

So far, more than 3,500 Arizona riders have been trained.

The foundation’s statewide effort has received support from the Arizona Governors Office of Highway Safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Trauma Association and various organizations in the medical and law enforcement fields.

“We’ve seen an increase in motorcycle registrations — there’s 400,000 plus people registered, but at the same time we also see that even though they’re registered motorcyclists at the end of the day, they’re not trained,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the highway safety office.

“One of the issues that we have with motorcycles is the lack of what I call mutual respect. Motorcyclists need to respect the vehicles and follow the rules of the road and cars also need to have some respect for the motorcycle community.”

In November, the governor’s office provided a $50,000 grant for the foundation’s efforts.

It’s being used to fuel the foundation’s newest effort of operating the state’s first helmet scholarship program for motorcyclists.

“Arizona is a choice state on wearing a helmet, but if you’re going to wear a helmet we want people to wear a good helmet, a department of transportation helmet that’s going to protect them,” Degn said.

The foundation has helped more than 100 riders get discounted helmets, working with five vendors in the state, including RideNow Powersports and Cycle Gear in Tucson.

After applying for the scholarship and giving a $50 tax-deductible donation, the foundation provides $125 off a helmet. The sellers tack on an additional 25% discount.

“You wouldn’t believe the number of phone calls I get from parents who want to get their kid a motorcycle, but they want them to take a motorcycle course first and they want to get them a good helmet,” Degn said.

“We help them in both ways … we’ve been able to save them money in both areas and now they can help their child.”

The scholarship saves riders hundreds of dollars for a full-coverage helmet, which could cost nearly $600.

While “safety is hard to sell,” according to Degn, the foundation’s future includes finding partners with large Arizona employers and organizations as they continue to promote their mission.

“That’s why we have to continually talk about distracted driving, sharing the road, meaning looking out for each other, looking out for the two-wheeled vehicle and the four-wheeled vehicle down the road,” he said.

Major traffic switch headed to I-10 near Ruthrauff: Construction crews are shifting traffic on Interstate 10 near Ruthrauff by the end of the week.

On Friday, all westbound I-10 lanes will shift to the westbound frontage road and all eastbound lanes will shift to the westbound I-10 lanes by Saturday.

Crews will work from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., reducing I-10 to one lane in each direction.

The Sunset Road exit ramp from westbound I-10 will move to the southeast, ADOT says. This exit will provide direct access to westbound I-10 frontage road businesses.

Electric scooters can help cities move beyond cars v pedestrians

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by Alex Hern from https://www.theguardian.com

The government is showing signs of legalising electric scooters on roads, but new laws should be about safety, not horsepower

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that being hit by a scooter hurts less than being hit by a bike. That may sound like a strangely negative place to start, but it’s sort of fundamental to why I’m glad the government is finally showing signs of legalising the use of electronic scooters on public roads across the UK.

The current state of the law is a mess. Its broad strokes are reasonable enough: powered vehicles require an MOT and registration to use on public roads, while unpowered vehicles do not. Pavements are for foot traffic only. Access requirements complicate matters, but only a little: wheelchairs, both manual and powered – legally, “class three invalid carriages” – can go on pavements, while some – class four – can go on roads as well.

Then, in the 1980s, the law was modernised to support the first generation of electric bikes. Fitted with simple motors that aided hill climbs, it felt silly to ban them as electric vehicles, and so a new category – the “electrically assisted pedal cycle” – was invented, and the laws amended further in 2015 to remove weight limits, allow for four wheels and increase the maximum power of the motor.

Which means, as the law stands, you can ride a four-wheeled vehicle of potentially unlimited weight, largely powered by a motor up to 15.5mph, on public roads without training, licensing or registration. But not an electronic scooter. Nor, for that matter, a 5kg, 10mph “hoverboard”, unlikely to hurt anyone save its rider.

Looking at the laws from the ground up, the distinguishing characteristic should be safety, not how a vehicle is powered. It’s hard to argue that an electric motor is inherently more dangerous than pedal power. In fact, given the variability of human strength, it’s almost possible to argue the opposite: electric motors in e-bikes are capped at 250W of power, after all, but no such limit is possible for people, where a fit cyclist can easily exceed 300W or more.

And so a set of regulations which allowed, alongside bikes, skateboards and scooters, electric vehicles of limited weight, power and speed is surely the only justifiable outcome of any consultation.

But more than justifiable, such a set of rules would be good. One of the truisms of the cycling world is that the safest thing for cyclists on the road is more cyclists on the road. It’s not all about public policy and accessible cycle lanes: sheer weight of numbers is important too, in forcing other road users to treat cyclists as a viable third transportation mode, rather than just annoying slowpokes ripe for close passes and aggressive overtakes.

Expanding that constituency, to encompass a wide variety of mid-speed vehicles, would only help push cities towards the tipping point where they can consider transport beyond a simple car/pedestrian binary. And that’s a point every city needs to reach, sooner rather than later, in the face of a climate crisis that much see car usage drastically curtailed.

But. While laws need to be rewritten to support electric scooters, they don’t necessarily need to support the peculiarly American model of dumping a load of scooters on a pavement and hoping enough people will ride them before they get stolen or damaged for the unit economics to work out favourably. That model, unfortunately, has defaulted to its present state: unregulated, unmanaged and cutthroat, with councils left fighting back with nothing but their powers to prevent littering.

Here, the trade-off is more painful. Dockless rideshare – of bikes, e-bikes or e-scooters – can be great for promoting access, but it can also harm those least able to cope, as anyone who has tried to navigate a wheelchair or pram around a pile of Uber bikes knows. Micromobility can succeed with or without the Silicon Valley business models – but it can’t succeed without being given a chance on the roads.