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June 2010 Vol 10 - No 6 PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 09 June 2010 07:05
Article Index
June 2010 Vol 10 - No 6
June Bike of the Month Winner
Safety Equipment: Individual Choice or Social Responsibility?
Motorcycle Diaries: Riding The Okanagan
Video of the month - Star Riders Portugal Egg Run
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Editor’s Letter: What words don't tell

 

By Anton Popov,

Star Cruiser Co-Editor,

Star Riders Russia

 

This thought struck me when I was sorting some of my old pictures lately. I suddenly realized that my most impressive rides were practically undocumented on film (Yup, I still use a film camera. Good old magic, you know). Then I thought that most such rides also remain untold, un-described. When I tell my non-riding friends about my adventures, I always miss something important. “I rode day, night and day again”, I tell them. What do you think they say? “Wow, doesn’t sound like much fun”. Damn!

 

It’s so strange that a whole journey fits so cozily into just one phrase. Day, night, day… Strange that there’s not much to tell, although I saw and felt a great deal. For instance, do you know that the summer night sky, at least at our latitude, is never completely black? There’s a thin line – a gradient from dark blue to subtle red – that just moves from West to East, from dusk to a new dawn. Do you know that even in the hottest summer nights can be so utterly cold that the engine is icy and sputters even at high rev? I guess you know. But what would I tell a non-riding person? “The sky was black, but not really black… The air was cold… so cold you can’t even imagine…” Words suddenly become helpless, and I just miss the whole point.

 

Riding gives you a totally different set of impressions, which are sort of… non-transferrable. When you are just a tourist with a camera, it’s easy. What do we have here? Coliseum? Click! Next! Eiffel Tower? Click!... When you are just clicking, you are an observer. I don’t say it’s a shame. That’s what I do for living as a journalist, after all. But these impressions are easier to share

with others. I guess Coliseum is Coliseum and Eifel Tower is Eifel Tower, even on the worst picture.

 

But when you ride, you are not an observer anymore. At least, not just an observer. You somehow become a participant in what’s happening around. It feels like the world is passing through you, not passing you by. And this is the thing that changes you – ride by ride, bit by bit. I wouldn’t say that it changes my life (though it might someday), but it definitely alters the way I see some things, the meaning of some things. When I say “night”, my body remembers the cold. When I say “sky”, I remember the thin motley line moving around the dark horizon.

 

No wonder that these things cannot be told. It’s my personal, maybe even intimate experience. The only people that can understand, are the fellow riders. “Remember that night ride across Belarus?” I ask the guy who was on the other bike on that trip. “Wooo, was that cold”, he replies with a genuine shiver. And you know what? That is why I am so glad to work here for the Star Cruiser. Because it means speaking to people who know The Thing. The one that words can never tell.

 

 

 


 Bike of the Month Winner

 

Star Cruiser is pleased to announce the winner in the June  “Bike of the Month” contest. Our winner is Tiago Feliziani from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is a proud member of the Sao Paulo Star Riders of the ISRA who spends his free time riding the excellent roads around Sao Paulo.

Tiago receives a limited-edition ISRA belt buckle for winning this month’s contest. So congratulations, Tiago, and ride safe.

 

Motorcycle History

Love at first sight. It's a cliche, but that is how I define what happened when I started looking to buy a motorcycle. My Drag Star 650 black, 2007, was bought in 2008. It's my first - and probably only - motorcycle. When bought, it had run only 4,000 km. Today, two years later, with 19,900 km's. And my dream is: ride more than 80,000 km with my passion.

 

 

Tiago’s Beautiful Dragstar

 

Modifications

 

  • Sports Exhausts JJ
  • Filter air Kuryakyn Hypercharger
  • Small mirrors
  • Grill in place of pillion seat
  • Flashes bullet
  • Rear Platforms

 

 Click On Picture to Enlarge

 


 

Safety Equipment: Individual Choice or Social Responsibility?

 

Second in a series of Editorials by Ben Harper

 

One of the principle concerns for those of us who ride is the increasing dangers imposed by other drivers. Many riders experience dangerous situations in traffic, which often result in accidents. We all need to remain alert, but sometimes collisions and solo accidents are unavoidable.

 

One of the ways we can protect ourselves is through the use of safety equipment, primarily in the area of protective clothing. Whether you prefer traditional leather or modern synthetic clothing, such clothing will reduce the amount of bodily damage that you experience in an accident.

 

Leather jackets and leather chaps have been the standard in protective clothing, in America at least, for decades. Leather protects the wearer from most “road rash” in that it takes the majority of the damage from sliding on the pavement, while minimizing the damage to your skin. Leather also fits the “image” that many cruiser riders prefer, reminiscent of the “good ole’ days” in motorcycling history.

 

Modern materials such as Kevlar, Cordura, and others are the current alternative to leather, and have many advantages. Most synthetic riding gear has protective plates to protect elbows, shoulders, hips (in pants), and your spine. Many synthetic materials also are better at absorbing “road rash” than traditional leather garb. If you can live with the lack of the traditional look (and most Americans can’t), then you gain superior protections, adjustable temperature inside the clothing, and less weight than leather.

 

While most countries and U.S. states require the use of helmets, there are still some places where helmet use is optional. I live in Colorado, where the option still exists. Wearing a helmet in such areas is optional, but highly recommended.

 

Some advocates swear that helmets save lives; in some cases this is true. Some say that a helmet only makes the difference between an open casket and a closed casket; in many cases these people are also correct. Since in most cases this is a moot point, I address this only to those who live in those areas where helmet use is optional; if you ride, it is strongly recommended that you wear a helmet. Most urban accidents put you at risk of a head injury; striking the curb, hitting the other drivers vehicle with your head, and colliding with your motorcycle as you fall are only a few of the situations where a helmet might save your life.

 

It also amazes me when I see riders without gloves. Your hands are the most easily injured part of your body. It is instinctive to reach out when you fall, and that obviously means that your hands will be injured in a fall. The use of heavy, protective gloves is almost a no-brainer, in this writer’s opinion.

 

Most of this is common sense, and it makes sense to point out these facts to your friends and acquaintances as a gesture of concern. You may not change anyone’s habits, but as a friend and ISRA member, it is prudent to show concern for your fellow riders safety.

 

After all, we all want to get together some other time and ride, so we want to get home safely.


 

Riding the Okanagan

 by Barry and Gayle Herbert

 

The Okanagan is located in the interior of British Columbia. With its picturesque mountain ranges there are very few straight roads, lots of twisty turnies that make an excellent riding experience on either 2 or 3 wheels.

The area featured here is the Salmon Valley located just out side the city limits of Salmon Arm BC. On any given day you will find riders from all over BC who come to ride what I would call a mini Dragons Tail.

This road has curves that the most experienced will temp fate with. Posted speed is 60 km per hour, they can be taken comfortably at 80 km on a cruiser. Sport bikes will push the limit at 100 km. But be forewarned, if you over ride your skill level you’ll transition from bike rider to pilot flying out over a farmers freshly ploughed field 30 to 50 feet below.

Our trip starts on the Foothills Road which takes us out of Salmon Arm and winds along the bottom of a long extinct volcano, Mount Ida.

Foothills Road

 

Mount Ida from the Salmon Valley floor

 

The next section of the ride is on the flats of the Salmon Valley floor where you can open it up for a short while, then you have 90 degree corners to deal with.

 

Start of Salmon Valley Road

 

Looking south down the valley, there’s still snow on the mountain tops

 

Approaching one of those 90 degree turns, on a trike you have to drop to first gear to avoid being thrown off, on 2 wheels you have to drop speed also to make it safely.

 

 

See the sign on the right? The road is that twisty for the next 16 km.

 

Coming up is one of those areas where you can become air born if you over ride your skill level.

 

At the bottom of the Valley is this really cool butt rest that has the greatest ice cream to quench the heat and calm the nerves.

 

 

The Salmon Valley Junction General store is kept busy all summer with bikers and bike riders who were in abundance this day. They also offer excellent home cooking for the hungry traveler. 

 

Gayle cooling off by the ice machine

 

Just south of here is highway 97 which runs from Kamloops to Vernon, or you can continue along the back roads, which are plentiful, east to Armstrong BC.

 


This event is hosted by Star Riders Portugal for worthwhile charities.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 23:59
 
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