Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Palm Beach Knights April Newsletter

The Knights Table

Monthly Newsletter April 2013

Greetings from your President   Will
April was packed full of fun and adventure.
We had some great times this month and got some new members. We are at just under 60 members and growing!! I want to thank everyone who comes out and participates all the time. I'd also like to encourage all our new members to come out and meet the KNIGHTS.

Hey Knights as we go into the rainy season, we will probably hit rain. I will cancel rides for :
1. Safety: if it is going to pour or we are getting a better than 50% chance of Thunder storms.
2. Comfort:  If it is going to rain the whole ride, no body like riding wet all day.
3. Participation: If people don't want to go out and play in the rain (which is fine) we can do it another day.

Having said that here is my newest article. I hope you enjoy it. Please give me feedback on any part or the whole thing!!!

Rain” is a four-letter Word

By Will                                                                                 

The summer riding season is coming!! If you really want to raise the hackles on the neck of a biker, just say the word “rain.” Now I know that no one in their right mind goes out riding just because it’s raining, (although it can be refreshing) living in Florida chances are that you will get stuck in the rain at times. What can you do to improve your riding in the rain?

Well, the first thing you can do is not waiting until it’s raining to do something. There are things you can do well ahead of the first few drops of rain. Most of this is not rocket science, but you’d be surprised how many of us don’t even bother. Even in the summer in South Florida I still get a negative response when I ask riders if they have a rain suit with them.   Much as you hate to think about it, selecting and purchasing a rain suit is something that you just gotta do. A rain suit should serve two purposes. First, it should keep you dry (see I said it’s not rocket science). Second, and equally important, it should increase your visibility. I went shopping and they range in price from $40- $200. I found mine for $10 at Harbor Freight. Mine is the old yellow PVC. It is bright and keeps me semi dry. When your evasive maneuverability is reduced by lack of traction, you want to be sure other drivers see you.

 Rain Gear

Lots of lights also help you to be seen in the rain. I installed a light bar on my bike, and boy it makes a big difference.  I also have about 20 LED’s that make me look like a cloud. I turn those to flashing in a bad rain. Of course, you keep your lights clean, but have you checked all your lights lately to see if any have burned out? Do you carry any spares lamps and fuses with you? Next time you take your bike in for service; why not restock any spare bulbs you might be missing? You should stock spare fuses as well. I went to show off my light bar the other day and when they didn’t light up, I went looking for a spare fuse.(yep, I had one)

The other important part that needs maintaining ahead of time is your tires (more brilliance). Have you looked at them lately?( I’m not going to mention Fatty Matty by name)  Both of them?  The number one major cause of hydroplaning is worn tires. It’s too late to check them after the rain starts falling. The sole purpose of the tread design on a tire is to carry off the water, but it can’t do its job if you don’t allow it enough tread depth to work with. Some Knights have been using a tire guy in Lake Worth called Spider Racing. (just ask me for his #)

Hydroplaning occurs when the tires are not in full contact with the road. The result is an elevation in blood pressure, increase of heart rate, and an enhancement of ones vocabulary. You’re riding on a thin layer of water, and sometimes oil, on the road. Hydroplaning occurs frequently in light mist or drizzle. When it’s really raining hard, the oil actually get washed away, of course if it’s raining that hard, go have a cup of coffee!(no not Beer!!)  I always carry a cigar just for this reason. Proper tread depth and tire pressures and slowing down are a big help. I was amazed how it helps reduce the chance of hydroplaning first time I tried riding in the tracks of other vehicles. The change in sound, or any decrease in steering or braking may mean you’re hydroplaning. If this happens, slow down without braking and avoid any sudden moves. Then go change your underwear.

Plan alternate routes in case of rain. I will change a route home if I think we can miss the rain. We love those scenic, twisty asphalt roads, but they are a lot more fun when it’s dry. When the rain starts to pour, the scenery turns gray, the turns aren’t nearly as much fun, and the asphalt doesn’t provide the traction you really need. It’s time to look for an alternate route along a duller, but straighter road. When we are out west, we sometimes can see it coming for miles. We can then choose a road that the rain may miss altogether.

Once it starts raining, there are still things you can do to increase your safety, if not your comfort. Pull off the road as soon as you find a place to get out of the rain. The underpass of I95 is a perennial favorite. This gives you a dry place to put on your high-visibility rain suit, and more important, it puts you off the road during the most dangerous first fifteen minutes of rain. When the water first enters the pores of the road, it forces up the oil that has been collecting there. A few more minutes of rain will wash this oil off the road.

Though the main danger of rain is hydroplaning, increasing your following distance, taking curves more slowly, and increasing your scanning distance, and being seen all help your rain riding. One good thing about living in Florida, if you don’t like the weather….just wait 20 minutes.

Riding in the rain may suck, but it can be safer.

Of Note:

I hope everyone joins me in congratulating Steven “Gunner” and Lisa on their engagement. I have truly never met a nicer couple and I’m overjoyed at their announcment!!!!

We have  a mileage program. The first members have already received their certificate and a decal for reaching 100k 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.


We have been having some really awesome rides:


Ride To Alabama Jacks -Key Largo April 7

While this ride had a lot of highway time, it turned into a great day. Mark “Kruzen” led us down to the Keys popular Biker hang out. Lisa took a lot of really nice photo’s,including the bridge she jumped off when she was younger (don’t ask). It was a great meeting our new member David Rhodes; I hope we see him on a lot more rides. Having communication was a big help, we will have to talk about that more. The only negative is when we passed the guy who dropped his pants….it’s never a pretty sight!!


South Florida Ride for Kids/The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation April 14

I want to thank everyone who came out so early and supported this great cause. We raised approx. $900 as a team. We had some first time riders with us Slick, and new member Eric (medrep), good to have them with us. It was really great to see so many of us in our club shirts, we looked awesome!  We had a nice 1 hour escorted ride, and helped a lot of kids. Hope to do it again next year.


Ride is canceled for today?! April 20


Well we had started out with another plan, but due the uncertainty of the weather we canceled.  I said I would go by the meetup spot in case anyone would like to just meet. 10 People showed!! It was great!!!

We had 2 first timers Devon”Viking”, and MJ. We also were happy to see Lauren back with us.  We ended up riding to the Tiki Hut on one of our favorite routes. We ended up mostly dry the whole day.


Leesburg Bikefest/weekend ride

April 26-28 2013

The Knights first over-nighter was a big success. We had a nice scenic ride up on Friday. Leesburg was defiantly a destination for 1000’s of bikers. Friday night was a nice, not too crowded time.  The ride back was just unforgettable. The weather was flawless and the full Moon was the biggest I had ever witnessed. Saturday we had a planned ride to Mt. Dora in some of the finest weather we have ever had. I even managed not to get lost! We found a perfect place for lunch and rode on to Leesburg. Saturday was a little hot and crowded, but the Knights are real troopers and everyone had a good time and. Saturday night Gunner found us an ideal place for dinner. It was close and had great food. We were even joined by Viking and his girlfriend Annie. Sunday’s ride back was also picture-perfect. We stopped at the Okeechobee Airport for lunch and headed home tired, but happy. An atta boy goes out to Neal Alvanos for doing the 550 miles after knee surgery without a single complaint. Great job Neal, I would have been bitchen the whole weekend!


Upcoming Rides don’t miss out on:

Dune Deck Cafe: (Brunch)

 Casa Tequila Mexican Grill Saturday, May 11, 2013
 Harry and the Natives Breakfast/Ride May 25th


Member Photo of the month:
All the guys (and Lisa) who went to Leesburg!!