Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A "Two-Fer"

A few years ago, a co-worker of mine arrived in a foul mood. Actually, foul mood is an understatement. That morning in the news he had read about a group of war protesters at the funeral of a fallen soldier. When he told me the story I was incredulous. No matter what side of the fence you sit politically, it is inconceivable to me that people were so heartless as to violate the solemnity and dignity of someone’s funeral. Unfortunately it was true. The loved ones of this man had to endure the unbelievable while one of America’s sons; one of their very own, was laid to rest.

Shortly thereafter my co-worker became a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. For those of you unfamiliar with the Patriot Guard Riders; their main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. This organization has grown nation wide and even into Canada. What they have in common besides motorcycles is a respect for those who risk their lives for freedom and security. When attending funerals by invitation of the family they shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions caused by protesters. They accomplish this through legal and non-violent means.

I catch up with news of them now and again by visiting their website. I am impressed with the work they are doing. Not only do they continue the work stated in their mission statement, but they have gone above and beyond. This non-profit organization raises money for scholarships. The recipients are the dependents of US military members who have died in the line of duty. They have a Coins for Wounded Solders program the assist those recovering from injuries requiring Critical Care in VA facilities. They offer Help on the Homefront to soldiers and their families. Visit their website to see all they do for our men and women in the military. I am amazed at what is accomplished by volunteer efforts alone.

Now I have a challenge for you. It’s a “two-fer.” What’s a two-fer” you might ask? It’s one action that gives you two beneficial results. Two for the price of one so to speak. Do you have some decent motorcycle parts or accessories sitting on the garage shelf? Why not donate them to the Patriot Guard Riders? The items you donate are sold on eBay to fund their Legal Defense Fund. Yes, unfortunately even volunteer organizations need a lawyer from time to time. Right now they are working to retain the right to use their logo. The two-fer is that you get a clean garage in the process.

Here are the details I’ve pasted from the website:

As we accessorize and customize our bikes we all end up with a garage full of parts that collect dust and take up space. We can't bring ourselves to get rid of these items, but we have no good use for them and may never need them again. Well, the PGR now has a need for those items. We need you to go through your garage and DONATE all of your good, clean, unwanted motorcycle accessories/parts to the PGR. We will sell these items on eBay and all proceeds (sales less shipping costs) will be used for the Legal Defense Fund. Motorcycle parts/accessories include pegs, seats, lights, handle bars, grips, kickstands, sissie bars, luggage, bags, mirrors, etc...
Please follow the simple steps listed below should you choose to participate in this event.

Ship your donated item to:

PGR Garage Sale
900 N. East Ave.
Panama City, Florida 32401

Include a description with all pertinent info such as Part #, Make, Model, and Year if the item is bike specific.
Please include your name and email address as we will email you a receipt for your tax deductible donation. It will be up to each individual contributor to list the value of the donated item(s) on each receipt when received.
Should you have any questions that are specific to this fund raising event please email them to:
The link to the garage sale on ebay is:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Whiz Freedom ®

I like to keep up with the latest news for women riders so I subscribe to a few sites that update regularly. Yesterday, I received e-mail about new content at one of the sites I frequent. As I scrolled down the page, I was stunned by a new gadget they thought some of us women might like. I stopped munching my apple mid bite when I saw this picture of the new product.

From Blogger Pictures

The new product is called Whiz Freedom. You don’t need any imagination to understand what that means. I thought, “give me a break” if you don’t suffer from a medical condition why in the world would you need such a thing? Just hover for Pete sake! I started to read the article and there among the descriptions for use they are saying I could use it without removing my clothing. Really? How’s that! I look at the photo again. This whiz thing looks big. Do I really want to be seen marching off into the woods lugging that? I couldn’t see anything about the size on the WRN site. If this thing is 12 or 16 inches long, I don’t want to be seen strolling off with that and I don’t want to waste good space in the saddlebags either. The only thing left to do was go to the product web site and investigate.

I read through all the product information but nowhere does it say how long it is. It does say the thing weighs only .5 oz (14 gr). There are three photos here too. One shows it up against a ruler. It looks like a 12 inch scale. I’m thinking “too long” when the next photo shows how flexible it is. By the photo it would appear that the product is made of some rubbery material as it is shown folded in half. OK, so maybe you can palm it. I can feel myself softening (no pun intended) to this product. When I feel I might be bending to advertising hype I pull myself up by my bootstraps and get a grip. I’m still curious how to use it without removing clothing. The next link leads me to this graphics page. The text here is very helpful too. Now I’m not only impressed with how detailed the website is, I’d also like to meet a few of their technical writers. If you are wondering about that last statement, and haven’t yet visited any of the links, here’s a sample below.

Ensure that the Whiz® is held snugly against the body (it's not designed to enter the body). It will not leak, over-fill or splash back.

Try your Whiz® in the shower and you will see how easy it is to use - sitting standing hovering or crouching - whichever is most comfortable until you're confident enough to use it away from home.

To avoid disrobing completely try pulling your panties to one side (unless you are wearing boxer shorts) and then using the Whiz®.

Aim the Whiz downwards and never use it facing the wind!

Now seriously, tell me you can’t read that without wanting to meet a few of these writers! I’d buy the product just because I’m impressed with their work.

Monday, August 17, 2009

One Commuter's Gift

The clouds part after many a long days of damp and dreary existence. The leaves on the trees are teasing the sun and playing hide and seek shadows that flicker, flash and dance like fireflies across my chest. I am taking in the scent of sweet grasses sprinkled with tiny dew droplets that refract the rays and send a prism of color in tiny orbs away from their centers.

It is a day for riding, yet responsibilities call, and I put jacket, helmet and gloves on to head for work. I leave the face shield up to smell the earth drying out from so much damp. With the damp are scents of fresh baked goods wafting from the local vendor I pass, roasting coffee beans from the specialty store, a gentleman’s cologne from the Lexis to my right. While all these are pleasing to the senses, and make me forget my destination, none compare to one single moment of that commute.

The lean into the bend is intuitive as I follow the circumference of the roadway that takes me around the local town. Here the highway undulates like the waves of the sea, and as I near the crest, I receive an early morning gift from the celestial beings. On the horizon is a lone hot air balloon. It is suspended in the firmament as if time stands still. After so much rain, it’s as if the sapphire sky presents herself as a bejeweled princess; a gift to her subjects below. I pay homage. Then from the crest of the hill, I dip once again and the sight is no more. Yet, it burns in my memory still.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Being a Riding Girl has set me Free

Are you a woman who paints her toenails in summer so your feet look pretty in those strappy sandals? Are you wearing that wire jabbing brazier with the too tight elastic so that everything stays in place when you wear the sundress? Or do you go to extremes to find the sticky stuff dancers use to keep their costume in place so you won’t have a wardrobe malfunction? If this sounds like you and you are wondering what the big deal is, you are not a motorcycle enthusiast.

When I was a teen, (long long ago) it was fashionable to wear your eyebrows in pencil thin fashion. White lipstick (gasp) was in vogue and let’s not forget those go-go boots. You weren’t cool if the hair didn’t hang long and straight as a pin and your legs better look great in those hot pants too. And while the short shorts were mandatory, if you put on a pair of denim jeans, make sure they cover your shoes, and for goodness sake don’t wear white socks!

I have never been the “girly girl” type. Oh sure, I (once upon a time) could put on a few of the requisite outfits and look the part. I even painted my nails, plucked my brows and cared if my hair was mussed. Then I got on a motorcycle. Helmet hair is expected, and the only padding I need is at elbows and knees. No one cares if my toenails are painted, and makeup is optional. I like that the only thing I need to keep stuff in place is Velcro.

When you see me riding by with the wide smile of my face, (no grin as that lets the bugs in) it isn’t just the wind therapy for the spirit that’s affecting my soul, but the freedom from all the trappings that hold women hostage. Keep your hair spray, ribbons and bows; I’m off riding with the wind in my face and the sun on my back. No one cares if my jacket is the latest style, if my gloves are soft calves leather, or if my boots make my feet look petite. Least of all, me; as I have been set free.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Little Souls

I’m peeling away the layers of my emotions as one would peel away the protective riding gear after an untimely slide down the asphalt. As happens, life is not all joy riding, happy motorcycle travels or shopping for bike toys. Just as the flesh oozes with anguish from angry road rash, so are my emotions. I dab at them as with antiseptic and try to sooth myself with sleep to shut out the world.

Our family has suffered a loss. It leaves me stepping away from the bike, folding my gloves, and hanging my helmet by the strap. Then slipping the jacket from my arms, I wrap them around my daughter and try to console her. She has suffered a loss so profoundly deep, that only others who have been here can understand. Her joy, only so recently shared, has turned into grief. The new life within her has been cut short. The ripple is spreading wide, and we are taken up in the wake of sorrow for her and for us. For we have suffered too; suffered a loss, a dream, a hope and a promise.

While our grandchild’s heart has ceased to pulse with life, this child will not soon be forgotten. This child will live forever in our memory and in our hearts. Left behind are two parents that loved this child from conception. In our helplessness, we scoop the other babies in our arms and realize, as if for the first time, the true miracle of life. As my daughter moves forward stepping each day away from this sorrow, she tries to be hopeful.

“I know there is a little soul out there that needs a home. I don't know when, but I do know it will happen.”

I know too, that she will be ready when that time comes.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


MMA ALERT: Motorcycle-Only Safety Checks in Sterling, MA
Friday, July 24, 2009
This year, a significant number of cases have been reported of Law Enforcement creating their own versions of Massachusetts General Law concerning Sound Enforcement for Motorcycles. This has taken the form of roadside stops and warnings, to the recently enacted City Ordinance in Boston, to a recent “Motorcycle-Only Safety Check” in the small hamlet of Sterling, Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association is working with our members to be more aware of these incidents as well as help our members fight unlawful citations.

In the latter case, Police have worked diligently over the past few weeks to stop only Motorcycles around the intersection of Routes 140 and 62 in Sterling to perform “Safety Checks”. Reports of “hundreds” of Motorcycles being stopped and cited for anything from illegal Helmets to a lack of EPA stamp on their Motorcycle Exhaust or other safety equipment violations. More than a dozen MMA members have corroborated this report and the MMA is providing them with Information Kits concerning the “real” Massachusetts General Law. We encourage all Motorcyclists to join the MMA to obtain this information and fight any citations issued that they feel are unjust.

In order to collect and provide more information, the MMA invites all Motorcyclists - Members and Friends - to attend the next monthly Worcester County meeting at the Singletary Rod and Gun Club 300 Sutton Ave Oxford MA on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 730 PM. This issue will be the main focus topic of discussion - more background on the issues, the "real" Massachusetts General Law, and how to respond. Several MMA Board Members will be in attendance to address these and any questions.

In the interim, if you are stopped, without question, you want to be respectful and cooperative. While perhaps ill informed, these are still Law Enforcement Officers. Please remember to:
•Obtain the officer’s name and department – he or she should be wearing and/or carrying identification. You have every right to it. If the officer refuses to provide any, you have the right to call 911 and inform them you’ve been stopped by someone who has refused to identify themselves. •Make notes (and if possible take pictures – many cell phones have cameras today) of the procedures being used to inspect and test your motorcycle. You are NOT legally required to assist in those tests. •You are NOT legally required to answer any unreasonable questions without advice of legal counsel. •Contact the MMA with the name and description of the officer and any other details you can provide regarding the incident. If you are issued a warning or citation, we would like a copy of that document and will work with you to fight it in a Massachusetts court of law. For additional information, please contact or


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On My Soap Box

I try to be diplomatic and see two sides to ever story. Even if I am alerted about some issue, I see myself as listening to the whole story to see if I can find middle ground. I said I try. However, recently there was an ongoing thread on my favorite forum that had me stewing. There are two items actually the seem to fly in the face of violating our constitutional rights, but I will focus on one that concerns motorcyclist since this is the main theme of my blog.

A forum member reported that at a particular intersection in their local town, the police set up a roadblock and pulled every motorcycle over. No cars, trucks or any other vehicle, just motorcycles. Through inquiry and by an article in the local paper it was learned that the citizens of this fine town were tired of the loud motorcycles at this intersection. OK, this is a legitimate complaint, especially if there is a noise ordinance, or decibel level requirement for motorcycles in this area. So why was each and every motorcyclist pulled over? One can hear a loud motorcycle. Why not just pull that one over? This is not what happened. One person was even ticketed for loud pipes although the officers did not use a meter to measure the decibel level. One forum member made a statement that you don’t need a meter to see straight pipes. (His assumption of course was that the pipes were indeed straight.) Still, if the law requires a meter, then one should be used.

There is another concern. It seems the police were checking for motorcycle endorsements on the licenses. I didn’t read anywhere that indicated the police pulled over cars and trucks to see if the drivers had a license? There is a whole ball of wax I could go into with this. For example, in some states, you cannot be pulled over simply for non-seatbelt wearing, but if pulled over for other reasons can be ticketed if you are not wearing your seatbelt. Well, if the pipes are loud, pull the person over, and then look at his license, check to see if he’s inspected, if he has an approved helmet etc. Can you see how things would go if the police pulled over every vehicle on a particular given day to inspect if your wearing your seat belt, if your license plate is displayed properly, if you are indeed licensed? We can’t seem to get habitual offenders off the road, but it seems OK to target a particular group.

In three other towns of this fine state, checkpoints are being set up to stop bikers with loud pipes. The police will be equipped with decibel readers and will not ticket but “educate” the rider about legal noise limits. That sounds better to me. In NY, the police set up roadblocks and stop motorcycles that are on their way to Lake George for the annual rally. There are some legal and constitutional issues with targeting groups. Motorcycle only roadblocks in my opinion violate Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Stopping a particular group on the way to a gathering is a violation of the First Amendment rights to freedom and assembly and freedom of association.

“What’s the big deal” I have had some say to me. It is believed that it will blow over, and the citizens will once again have a quiet corner. The big deal is that as a nation we have become complacent at having are liberties chiseled away, little by little. Why? Because “what’s the big deal” or “why rock the boat.” I say if you don’t stay vigilant you will soon be stripped of the liberties that are granted to you in the Constitution. Now don’t even get me started about banks demanding they fingerprint you just to cash a check.

I know I have rambled and this is not my typical free flowing form, so here are a few links to help you understand the magnitude of the problem.,0,7908266.story

And I don’t have a link for this but here’s the text:

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 8, 2009) - Proner & Proner, Attorneys at law, have filed a Federal class action lawsuit in the Federal Court for the Northern District of New York against the New York State Police as well as New York State and county authorities to stop them from conducting motorcycle-only roadblocks near popular motorcycle events. Last year the New York State Police and county sheriffs stopped every motorcycle en route to twelve different events for "safety checks." With the riding season starting, the New York State Police expect to conduct up to fifteen motorcycle-only roadblocks throughout the state this year. The events targeted include Americade in Lake George, the largest motorcycle event in the Northeast.
Mitchell Proner, an active motorcyclist and personal injury attorney, is initiating the lawsuit on behalf of all motorcyclists. Mr. Proner said that the New York State Police "uses the pretense of safety inspections to delay and harass motorcyclists without any reasonable belief that any laws are being broken." Although courts have upheld DWI checkpoints as generally permissible, "These motorcycle roadblock stops are lengthy and do not address any legitimate safety concerns," according to Mr. Proner.
Mr. Proner alleges that these motorcycle-only roadblocks violate the motorcyclists' Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. In addition, by specifically targeting motorcycle events, New York State is infringing on the motorcyclists' First Amendment rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of association.
For further information please contact Proner & Proner at 60 East 42nd Street, Suite 1448, New York, New York 10165, (212) 986-3030 or on the web at