My first post-gradschool job was in the Windy City during the reign of Richard Daily the First. He was constantly hounded by his critics in the press for fabricating new words. One of my favorites was “insinuendo.” Even though it was a brand new word, the mayor knew what it meant and it meant exactly […]

99 and 44/100ths percent

Ivory soap claims to be 99 and 44/100ths percent pure. Most motorcycle safety experts agree that 90% of all motorcycle crashes are avoidable. Now, while I’m not going to go quite as far as Ivory, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I believe that 99% of crashes are avoidable. I’m […]

If Only …

Don’t you sometimes wish you had the job at your State/County Department of Transportation which gave you total responsibility over every road sign posted? Now before you go off on all the wimpy way-too-slow-for-my-fun-factor conservative speed limits which spoil your day while generating local revenue via Good Driving Awards (aka citations) , let’s agree to […]

The Roads Less Traveled

A few years ago I headed out on my brand new BMW K1200LT (some folks argue that “LT” stands for “Light Truck”) on a ride through the twisties of West Virginia. I was riding two up and enjoying a particularly fun roller coaster section when I saw up ahead that the pavement was about to […]

From 18 Wheels to 2 Wheels

Valuable learning can come from a variety of sources, including driver training programs designed for vehicles nine times the number of wheels we are accustomed to. Tom Balaz, an active motorcyclist and commercial truck driver (and a former Class 8 commercial tractor trailer Driving Instructor), shared some valuable tips from a one day course developed […]

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

On any given ride, we are presented with countless signs along the way that were strategically placed to guide us and warn of potentially dangerous situations. But how much attention do we pay them? From what I’ve observed over the years, riders often fail to heed all but the most intrusive warning signs posted along […]

Riding in the Future

One of the most common questions we hear from our Stayin’ Safe rider students is, “just how far ahead am I supposed to be looking?” My response? “Far enough to be able to predict the future.” In other words, we really like to get our eyes up and looking well ahead. In effect, we want […]

All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Nothing takes away the joy of riding a favorite stretch of road like a few poorly-placed surface hazards.  Instead of looking farther up the road and carving a nice, clean arc, our eyes are drawn down to the surface and our cornering line becomes nothing but a series of corrections to avoid surface issues. Like […]

Separation Anxiety — Your Ideas?

In the September issue of Rider magazine, my Riding Well column’s focus is on being prepared for when things go wrong. This was written following a ride my son had taken back to college when the KLR 650 he was riding suddenly gave up the ghost. As the sun set and his cell phone battery […]

“I almost feel as though your training was instilled intravenously, it has become that natural.”

– John H.