The Palm Beach Knights Newsletter
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An article I read recently...thought I'd share it.
4 ways not to wreck your life (Life lessons from a motorcycle)
I’ve been working on my motorcycle endorsement. In Oregon it’s no longer just a matter of heading on down to the DMV, taking a little ride test, and smiling for the camera.
Now you have to take the Basic Rider Training course, which includes classroom teaching as well as coaching on the range.
For some reason, this became a long and painful process for me. I have good balance. I learn quickly. I’m not a particularly nervous person. Yet I failed. Multiple times. Over two years. You can read more about that adventure here and here.
So far I’ve spent 31 hours with with six different instructors, on top of a whole lot of practice riding. But now all that’s behind me. This past Sunday I passed the test. Now I’m now a trained, endorsed motorcycle rider.
You pay more attention when your life is on the line!
The kind and thoughtful Team Oregon instructors made sure to point out on a regular basis that what we were learning could keep us alive. While I was paying close attention, I learned 4 lessons I want to share with you. They are important if you don’t want to wreck your bike, sure. But they seem bigger than that to me.
Follow these life lessons and I think you’ll go a long way toward keeping out of the ditch.
1. You go where you look.
Where are you looking? That’s where you’re headed. Photo Credit: Unknown
If you don’t ride a motorcycle, you might think that you turn same as in a car. Just turn the thing in front of you! That’s not how it works at all. Turning has more to do with leaning, posture, and where you aim your head.
One afternoon I was riding in my neighborhood. As I rounded a corner, I noticed one of the new Volkswagon Bugs parked on the curb, the new design that looks like it evolved from a Porsche 944.
It was brand new, dealer tags and all. I hadn’t seen one in real life so I slowed down to take a look. My stomach dropped as I nearly ran into the thing. Without me even noticing, my bike had drifted right where I was looking.
I reacted quickly, but was lucky I didn’t dump the bike, or worse, leave a huge gouge down the side of the Bug. My instructor’s words came back to me: “You go where you look!”
In life we get to choose where we put our attention. Where do we focus our eyes and emotional energy? The object of our attention has an enormous impact on the direction of our lives.
There’s a spiritual principle, drawn from 2 Corinthians 3:18. “By beholding we become changed.” What we give our attention to shapes us and the direction of our lives.
So, where are you looking in life? Is your attention on others? Is it on the past? Is it on how you were wronged or hurt? Is your attention focused on worry and fear? Wherever you are looking, that’s where your life will head.
2. Accidents develop in front of you.
One of my instructors asked, “Where do accidents happen?”
There was a long silence as we all tried to figure out what she meant. On streets? On motorcycles? On days that end in Y? Nope. Accidents are developing in front of you.
We were taught to constantly scan ahead, looking for potential hazards: On-coming cars, pedestrians, animals, intersections, drive-ways where someone might back out. While you’re riding, you are constantly thinking about what’s about to happen in front of you.
I’ve noticed people tend to live with most of their emotional energy stuck in the past or in the future. People who are living with regret or bitterness are stuck in the past. People who are living with fear are stuck in an imagined future.
But real life is happening right in front of you. That’s where you build relationships, where you can be connected to God. If you aren’t paying attention to that space, accidents are surely coming your way.
3. Safe riding requires thinking about others.
Learning to ride a motorcycle showed me how self-centered I am when I drive a car. I get in and just go, without much concern for the people around me. You can’t do that on a motorcycle.
If you’re going to ride safely, you have to be constantly thinking about other people. Can the driver ahead see me in their mirror? Does that lady backing out of her driveway knows I’m here?
People in cars take all of this for granted. Most fender-benders are insignificant. A little money changes hands, an insurance claim is made, no big deal.
On a bike, however, any accident can be a serious one. So you ride well aware that being on the road is choosing to take on an enormous responsibility for oneself and for the people around you.
Most people live their lives like they drive their cars, only thinking about where they are headed. They are shocked and offended when someone else’s life runs squarely into theirs. If you lived each day thinking about the people you’re intersecting with and how to safely and carefully be in relationship with them, the whole journey would be safer for everyone.
4. You must be present.
I can drive disconnected from what’s going on around me, paying little attention to the state of my car, forgetting to signal, unaware of my blind spots.
It’s easy! Kids in the back are fighting, the radio is on, my cell phone rings, I’m caught up in the scenery passing by, or in my own internal emotional dialogue. I can get to my destination without having ever really been present to the journey.
On a motorcycle this is a formula for ending up in the hospital. A safe rider checks out their bike every time. When you’ve only got two wheels, you’ve got to take care of any problems before you leave the house!
Then, there’s the drive. You can’t be anywhere except where you are. Scanning your 20-second path of travel is as far away as you can go safely. You’re thinking about the cars around you, the condition of the road, the intersection coming up, the reason why that car ahead might be slowing. If it’s a long ride, you’re thinking about your energy level. You’re taking the weather and time of day into account.
Honestly, this is one of the reasons I like riding so much. I’ve lived my adult life not being truly present. On a motorcycle you have no choice. You are in the moment. You are where you are. There is no other place you can be.
If you lived your life with this same level of awareness, you would experience so much more. Deeper sorrow, sure, but also deeper joy. Stronger relationships. A deeper sense of God’s presence. Being present is the path to personal growth
Knights, as you can see by this newsletter, our "story" is sometimes told by the pictures that we take. I'd like to invite everyone to take photos of what we do...it makes for a good Tale(tail)!!
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU READ ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM!! I'LL INCLUDE SOME NEWS ABOUT OUR CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER!!
We need Tailgunners, and Road Capt.'s
Please see Will .
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE ORGANIZER AND OFFICERS WORK HARD TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A FUN SAFE RIDE. WE WELCOME SUGGESTIONS.
I'M SURE THAT THEY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ANY IDEAS FOR A FUTURE EVENT.
I'M SURE THAT THEY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ANY IDEAS FOR A FUTURE EVENT.
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 have been on our schedule so far. I am always looking for feedback and new ideas.
Dale Goldstein 2/24
David Rey 2/23/71
Knights did I miss your Birthday.....sorry, let me know and I'll make sure to get ya next time.
Don't forget our Thank our Sponsor
Don't forget our Thank our Sponsor
Since 1976, South Florida has been the stopping ground for Force-E.
We treat our customers like we run our business, like family. With nerarly 40 years in the business, we could have gone in a different direction by putting dollars above all else, but that’s just our way. Our success is based on our love of snorkeling and diving, the ocean, conservation, education and community.
We have had a hand at shaping the South Florida dive community as it is now. We had in integral part in building the popularity of the Blue Heron Bridge, one of the most famous U.S. dive sites. In addition, we encourage our customers to be environmentally aware by hosting regular reef clean up, lionfish round ups, and educational seminars. And last, but not least, we like to party. Why is this so important? Well, diving is fun, and we should get together to celebrate it.
Join me in welcoming our newest Knight
We have been having some great
rides TIMES !!!!!!
Rib City Immokalee
We changed the original plans on this one as the weather was iffy! So we took a ride along the water and headed down(up?) to Stuart to the Pelican. We had a great ride and the weather held for us. It was good to have David back after the Knightly conquering his throttle issue. Way to go David!!
David Rey " Yes it was ( a great day). Glad we decided to go"
Rick Pirozzoli said "Another great Knight ride"
Breakfast/flea market/ lake ride
Well this was a replacement ride that worked out just great. I had planned the week before to do a ride and got my dates mixed up with the Vintage Bike show at Clematis.... We had a great group for this ride with perfect weather. Ric (Topcat) brought a new Knight with him Jorge. We had an awesome ride down some back roads into Okeechobee to Pogies for one of the best breakfast around (at least mine was). This was the first time Jorge did a group ride, and he did excellent! Probably a Hell of a lot better than I did on my first. We then rode over to the Flea market where Boston Rich picked up a very useful belt buckle. The weather was perfect for riding and we headed around the Lake and stopped on the Ridge to see if it was still there. It is!
richard dipietro said " Was a great time it was nice to meet everybody that came on the ride"
Keith Baldwin said "Minus one star for Pogey's bringing my toast late:) "
Ric (Topcat) said "fantastic run with great bunch
Jorge Posada said
"Great ride and time hanging out. Looking forward to the next one!! "
Fishermen's Village - Punta Gorda, Florida
During the cool.( ok, maybe cold) weather I try to schedule longer rides. The ride to Fisherman's Village is a nice day ride of about 300 + miles. The day started out with it being cold enough for chaps and more than one layer of clothes. The day stayed comfortably cool and dry all day. We even got to see some Bald Eagles on the way. We took a nice route up 70 through the Orange Groves and into Arcadia then headed over to Punta Gorda. The ride there was so pleasant, that we hardly notice time and road going by. When we got there, we were escorted to premium motorcycle parking right in front of the restaurant. The food was average, but the company was exceptional. On the ride back we took the back way down 74 and into the Glades. Definitely one of the best rides of the year.
Rick Pirozzoli said "Great weather , nice scenic ride coast to coast"
Skip Commagere said "What a beautiful Day!!! A little frost on the pumpkin in the morning but layers made the day comfortable. "
Now some news from our CF Chapter.
Ride to Ocala
The CF Knights took a cruise by some scenic horse farms and historic district homes stopping for lunch.
Ozello Trail, Crystal River, FL / Lunch at Pecks Old Port Cove
Neal took the CFK on a ride to the Ozello Trail, Crystal River, FL. Ozello Trail is a scenic ride just great for motorcycles. If you've not been on this ride before, you're in for a treat.
We'll stop for lunch at Pecks Old Port Cove Restaurant near the end of the trail, where they serve a variety of seafood and American cuisine at reasonable prices with plenty of parking.
Next week they are going to:
Have fun Knights!!
THROWBACK PICTURE OF THE MONTH!!
Steve gets his official club shirt!!--