Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cool New App for Motorcycle Enthusiasts

Lately the itch has set in. I’m antsy, can’t concentrate, and am prone to daydreaming. I can’t point to any one factor for this recent emotional state, but feel it’s a combination of a number of factors. For one, the weather in March for a few weeks seemed more like June, and we got out on the motorcycles and enjoyed being back on the open road. Second, my company recently increased their vacation allocations and I’ve been beside myself with the possibilities this presents me with the added time off I’ll be enjoying this year. Oh the places I’d like to travel; the people I’d like to meet, and the food I’d love to experience across this incredibly diverse continent or ours!

My restlessness had me scouring the web for the ultimate destination. To my great joy and delight, I stumbled upon Motorcycle . I was instantly drawn in. The site is neat and clean, easy to navigate and full of useful information without a lot of fluff. Let’s get to brass tacks, it says to me, you want to ride, we have some great suggestions! It didn’t take me long to sign up as a member to receive the e-newsletter although I could see a ton of other benefits I can take advantage of right there at the website.

When I thought I had just died and gone to heaven, I saw the sidebar add for a mobile web app! Where my eyes deceiving me? Absolutely not! I kept reading. “MotorcycleRoads Mobile web app (AKA MCR Mobile) is more than just a navigation aid; it gives you a ton of travel info you can access on the fly for a flawless, fantastic journey anywhere in America!” The app offers perfectly formatted viewing for your device, has route descriptions, photos, video and supporting facts. The routes are rated for scenery, road quality, and include attractions and amenities. And if that isn’t enough for you, there are links to the local weather forecast and rider comments. Some of these valuable comments provide feedback advice on restaurants, pubs, speed traps and safety hazards.

In addition to the great features I’ve just listed, you can customize with your own “My Roads Wish List” and “Roads I’ve Driven.” You can flag roads that look interesting or exciting to you and add them to your personal list. OK, I was IN. For $2.99 this is a great value! Then I hit a roadblock. The app is currently available only for iPhone or iPod Touch. Shucks! I’m walking around with my Android device. I do like my Android so what to do? Not to worry. They are working on apps for other devices such as Android, Blackberry, iPad and Palm. I signed up at this link so that I can be notified when the app is ready for my device. It was easy!

While I’m waiting for this app to be delivered for my device, I hope a few of you will take advantage of this and let me know how you like it. And by the way, my company is the industry leader in application performance management, and is expert in mobile app devices. So if while you’re using it, you run into any quirks, we can help get them ironed out. I want this app and if you are like me, you want it now and you want it dependable and reliable. After all, we don’t want any complications to come between us and the open road.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Another Small Victory

On February 28th, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law H.B. 187. The new law prohibits law enforcement agencies from establishing checkpoints where the only vehicles subjected to inspection are motorcycles. I have spoken on the topic before of our personal liberties being chiseled away bit by bit. Imperceptibly, one by one, laws are being enacted that restrict our liberties, so it’s with interest that I read this article recently in the motorcycle news feeds. One by one the ways in which we unwittingly relinquish our freedoms should be enumerated, and awareness raised in the small victories measured against it.

I want to stress here that I am not against pulling people over and ticketing them when clear violations are evident. Cars, trucks and motorcycles should all be in good running order with valid inspection stickers. People should not take to the roads under the influence and put the lives of innocent people at risk. Targeting groups of any kind without cause however, should be guarded against.

The impetus for the measure that introduced the bill in the Virginia house, came after The Arlington County Police Department set up a motorcycle only checkpoint during the Rolling Thunder ride on May 28, 2011. Motorcyclist who participate in this event, ride to Washington DC every year during Memorial Day weekend to bring awareness to prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) issues. Indeed, it is the very veterans of past wars who are riding so that their fellow servicemen will not be forgotten. Paradoxically the very people who represent freedom preservation are those who are violated against.

I am happy to say that New Hampshire along with one other State, North Carolina, have similar laws on the books. And while the checkpoint was defended as looking for safety violations, the motorcyclist were pulled over in groups and corralled, despite their safety inspection stickers prominently displayed. Communities would be better served if funds were spent on motorcycle rider training and safety along with driver (vehicle operator) awareness programs. Considering that approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most usually a passenger automobile this last seems equally as important as motorcycle training.