CHRISTMAS WISH LIST December 1, 2009
The ski resorts are open and the morning temps are cold enough to turn water into a solid. My bike is winterized and parked in the corner of the garage. That way Iíll have easy access to the snow blower for my 5 am walks. The other day Jackie asked, "What do you want for Christmas?"
As the Maine riding season ends and dreams of 2010 adventures dance in my head whatís a motorcycle enthusiast to do? Friends say, "Take up skiing or go snowmobiling." Years ago I enjoyed cross-country skiing, before having aftermarket hardware installed in my knee. As for snowmobiling, my budget can only support so many toys. Anyway spending time in temperatures that, if they were ages, couldnít order beer is not appealing to me.
Beyond venturing out to the occasional movie or dinner my winter survival plan includes a large serving of "stay indoors". Another suggestion is to read a good book. My co-rider enjoys romance novels and murder mysteries. I prefer historical and non-fiction publications. My Christmas wish list often includes books and DVDs about motorcycle safety and handling. Below are some I encourage you to add to your wish list, with a brief overview of their content:
Staying Safe book by Lawrence Grodsky, published by Whitehorse Press. This is a compilation of Grodskyís safety articles written for Rider magazine over an 18 year period.
Proficient Motorcycling, 2nd edition book by David Hough published by BowTie Press. Hough covers riding techniques, including some that I have not read about in other publications.
Ride Like a Pro DVD series by Jerry Pallidino distributed by Ride Like A Pro Inc. The DVDs focus on low speed handling. Pallidinoís techniques are spot on; just donít be frustrated if you need more space than him to turn around. Remember, he earns a living selling these DVDs.
Total Control book by Lee Parks published by Motorbooks. This is the paper version of Parkís weekend course. Many of his track riding references can be transferred to the street.
Riding in the Zone book plus DVD by Ken Condon published by Whitehorse Press. Condonís book covers handling techniques and includes many pictures to illustrate his points. The DVD has the best images of countersteering I have seen.
One gift that gives all year is a magazine subscription. I subscribe to three: Wing World, RoadRunner and Rider. Wing World is a benefit of GWRRA, so it focuses on a very specific market. RoadRunner magazine has been called the National Geographic of motorcycle magazines. Most of its ink is spent on places to ride and reviewing gear for both rider and machine. Each issue has tear-out maps of the routes discussed. Superb photography, travel stories from around the globe, and high quality paper make this periodical top shelf. Rider magazine includes similar travel stories and equipment reviews. The editors chose to have more pages on the technical aspects of motorcycle design and handling characteristics. They also have a recurring safety column and a technical Q&A section.
Jackie and I wish you Happy Holidays and a 2010 with good roads, clear skies and great friends. Until next year, enjoy a good book so you can ride smarter,
Maine District Educator