“it’s more than just a ride”
The Knights Table
Monthly Newsletter February 2013
Greetings from your President Will
Once again we had an awesome month for the Knights. I wrote this piece a while ago and decided to recycle it. Hope you enjoy it.
Just because I’m Paranoid……
Or Playing the “What if” game.
Before I got back into riding, I spent some time asking more experienced riders for advice. Well you can imagine the plethora of more colorful and smart ass answers I got. There was a couple however that was useful. The two I thought to be most helpful were to take the MSF course, which I did. The other was to always be playing the “what if” game or as I like to call it “just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean that they’re not really out to get me”. Other than the time a road captain told me I “turn like crap on a roller skate” after I took one that went a little wide (OK a lot wide) the “what if” game stuck in my mind.
Here is how you play. Pretend that when you are riding on the mean streets of SO FLO that every single car, bus, and van on every road on every day is out to get you. Pretend that they are looking for any excuse and opportunity to turn you into a 600 pound, two wheeled pin ball. Oh sure they will try and make it seem like an accident (which is the only thing that keeps me from going completely insane). This exercise in mental health (or illness) is easy to do in town or on our many back roads. Now, unlike the wonderful MSF course that teaches us to watch out for those hidden driveways, oncoming cages and crossroads, this is a whole different level of mistrust. In my world I’m always thinking about who can hit me, and then calculate the odds of them being successful at doing so, and then plan my escape. Then I plan how they will atone for their transgressions, but that is for another article. It’s all part of being paranoid. I try to know what they are going to do before they do. Welcome to Will’s World!! OK you say “now what”. Should you too obsess about every devious driveway, crazed cager, bumbling bus driver, bone headed bicyclist, deranged dog, dive bombing bird (this one actually happened) and that schizophrenic, sociopath, suicidal squirrel that we have read about recently? Or how about this scenario, the ride leader (I won’t mention myself by name) has to stop short because the car in front of him has a hallucination at a green light. The result is that everyone has to stop so short that I give the guy in front of me an unscheduled Prostate exam. Now if that person happens to be Steve Greenies, and since we are both of Polish decent, we may actually be married by Polish law. Just thinking of that is enough to make a person park their bike for a very long time.
Relax, as they say in AA “you can only control so much” (no I’m not a member). Luckily humans have an incredible ability to process and prioritize the world around us. We all can observe our environments, interact with it, and refine our actions within the blink of an eye or the electric firing of a synapse. The more we play the “what if” game, the better we get at it. Now I should say that if you are just beginning your adventures in riding, just stick to the wonderful stuff they teach at the MSF course. The fundaments will serve you well until you are ready for the next level of paranoia. For the rest of us paranoid Cruisers, lets’s talk about some of the things what we can do. First, belonging to a club like the PB Knights is probably the best thing you can do. In the world of motorcycling there truly is safety in numbers. When cars see a pack of 10 bikers coming their way, I promise they will see us. You also have the advantage of having members with many years of varied experiences. That is a well of information that should be drawn from often. Next, while you can’t control the fast and furious pace that these challenges come at you, you can control your pace. Reducing your speed by as little as 3-5 mph allows your mind vast amounts of additional time to process things. Unconsciously this allows your body to relax and be more responsive. Of course this also depends on the kind of road you are on. When riding in denser traffic, it is usually a good idea to roll back just a bit. On the other hand, when braving our interstates and turnpike you’ll want to keep up with the traffic flow. On highways, cars may have a harder time judging your speed and position so keeping up with the pace is safer. Of course you can still worry about Deer, Armadillos, night riding, oil slicks, untold amounts of road debris, people throwing cigarettes out the window, and anything else you want to keep you at that healthy level of paranoia. Of course it doesn’t hurt to keep the club’s lawyer Bob Zimmerman’s phone number handy.
We have started a mileage program. The first members have already received their certificate and a decal for reaching 1000k miles with the PB KNIGHTS! The next level is 5000K miles. Look on the detail of each ride to see how many miles are awarded. If you would like to see your miles, just go to the pages tab and open Palm Beach Knights MRC Mileage Program page.
Don’t forget that any member can make a suggestion about a ride or an event. We are always looking for more new places to ride to. So if you know of a place or an event, make sure to suggest it on our website.
While we try to mix up our rides as much as possible, it's highly unlikely that I'm going to please everyone all the time. I hope everyone has been enjoying the rides that I have been on our schedule so far. I am always looking for feedback and new ideas. Your participation is what makes this club great.
Please remember that as “Knights” we need to do the following:
- Fill out the new members form. (see Will)
- Pay your support dues. ( you can also order a club shirt)
- Participate in an event at least every 90 days.(there are exceptions)
We have been having some really awesome rides:
Seminole Casino Brighton- February 2
Four Knights headed out on a really picture perfect day. We were lead by our Road Capt. Mark “Kruzen”. After a great ride we had a nice lunch and got back on the road. I’m happy to say no one lost a dime!!
Swap Meet- February 9
Nice Swap meet. I think everyone came away with something. I got a light for $5 that didn’t work, but with a little engineering it worked out just fine. We all then headed to the Tiki Hut where we had a really nice lunch on the water. Just another reason why we have the best club around.
Tech day/BBQ @ Will's- February 17
I hope everyone had as good a time as I did. It was great having so many of the Knights at my house. My driveway never looked better! Thank you to all who brought food, expertise and good friendship. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have a club where we can count on our brothers to lend a hand. That was the only way my trunk was getting installed. Paul Manna also was able to get some things done and Gunner was able to plan out what he needs to do. All in all it was a very good time. Congratulations to Paul Manna on winning the 50/50. Let’s not forget to Thank Cody our friend who took such great pictures.
Swamp Cabbage Festival- February 23
Wow, the festival was a lot more crowded then I remember. The ride up to La Belle was perfect. We had great weather and good roads. Parking was a breeze and there was plenty to see and eat. Some choose to eat at the Festival, but I don’t think anyone braved the Swamp Cabbage! Oh, I did loose on a really slow Armadillio. I think he's still running. After, we headed to our favorite BBQ place. There we were treated to free soup, free ice cream and good food. The ride home was almost perfect with the exception of Gunner having some tech problems. I’m sure he’ll get it fixed soon.
Upcoming Rides Don’t miss out on:
Thanks Fatty Matty for the idea!!
March 2nd Renaissance Festival/Quiet Waters Park- $15-Class 3 w/ Highways
Sunday, March 10, 2013- Scotty's Tiki Bar at Roland Martin Marina
Saturday, March 16, 2013- Dania Jai-Alai
Member Photo of the month
Paul Sachse- Paul has been with us almost from the very beginning. A great member and an all-round nice guy!