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Near and Far

October 5, 2014
 
Close and Far
 
    As the group of 7 bikes departed from Truett's yesterday, we pointed the front wheels in a southern direction towards Perry, GA and the annual State Fair. We have a group within the Herd who enjoys mingling with the farmers in the cow barn while they are getting their animals ready to show, but that is getting ahead of the story.
    Six bikes, in the center lane, pass some vehicles in the right hand lane with no problem. As the acting sweep, I could see this process from the last bike position. I approach the small SUV and there is no signal light blinking, but the vehicle begins to move into the center lane. I look into the left mirror and see nothing in the lane to my left. I begin to move into that left lane. Surely, this driver is just drifting and will rectify the situation. But no, the vehicle continues into my lane, almost hitting me in the back/side door. I complete the move into the left lane, without incident, with multiple thoughts of a proper reaction to this driver.
    I pull even with the driver. She has a phone stuck to her left ear and, naturally, can't see anything to her left. Did she even see the six other bikes pass her? The impulse is to give her a blast of the air horns, but that might scare her and she might reflexively pull into me or someone else. Next the thought is to leave her driver door with a boot print in it, but, as Dave pointed out, that might not be the best "be a blessing to someone today" response. As I passed her, I just shook my head. It would have been a good day to have the CAN YOU SEE ME NOW neon orange shirt on.
    As I always tell the children: "it pays to pay attention." And it pays to pray a hedge of protection around the group before riding. God likes to hear thanks from His children. I did so on the spot and last night during prayer time.
    How about far? In our safety meetings and in our monthly safety sessions, we testify as to the importance of staying together. Once entering a metropolitan area, traffic lights present a challenge to staying together. We ask that all riders group a little closer to each other in town. No, don't rub front tire to rear fender, but all can close the gap some. Why? Well, "cagers" are not tempted to join the group and break the line for one thing. The group has a better chance of "making the lights" if the group is compact.
    The Road Captain is responsible for the group, so he/she should be prepared to safely pull over and wait for all bikes to catch up. I have found that when printing out detailed route instructions, the Herd does not take advantage of them. The mind set seems to be: "I can follow the bike in front of me." When a traffic light catches you, the main group can quickly disappear.
    GPS units are a must these days. I can always punch "HOME" and all is well. One must be sure that "HOME" is set properly. My first Garmin unit had Kansas City, MO set as HOME! Also, one must allow for confusion on the part of the GPS unit in cities, primarily. On one of our north GA trips, the traffic light caught me, I punched HOME and took off. I was merrily speeding down the expressway once out of city traffic, thinking that I must surely be in front of the Herd. Then the familiar voices came through the CB. It took around 45 minutes, but we were all together again. While those things should not happen, they do on occasion.
    CB's are valuable in group riding. Bobby and I stay in touch with each other every hour or so through the CB while on a group ride. Mike stays in touch with everyone every few minutes. Both work and both methods are appreciated. Every Road Captain should have a CB unit when long distances are involved. Some of our Road Captains without a CB will ask another Herd member who has a CB to ride in 2nd position. That works pretty good too.
    Near? It pays to pay attention.
    Far? It pays to plan ahead as in where are you going and how are you going to stay in touch with the group?
    Good Sunday Morning? One of the many banners along the food court read something like "ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN?" The mixed aroma of all kinds of food flowing through the air might make one think that one has already arrived. "My ways are not your ways, My thoughts are not your thoughts." All kinds of trinkets for sale, trucks, 4 wheelers, tractors, huge mowers and not so huge mowers, snow tracked vehicles (in Perry?), leather works, singers, contests: all this and ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN? The area was manned by youngsters and they made personal contact with many. Willie, you would have loved it. I just gave them a thumbs up, a smile and said: "I'm in." They appreciated the response and moved along.
    Wear your colors proudly. Many people take notice. And Be a blessing to someone today.
 
The Vice Cow
    

Urgent---to Some

August 31, 2014
 
Urgent--For Some
 
    As advertised, the Herd had a ride to Highlands, NC last Saturday. This would be a combined ride of Conyers and Fayetteville. Russ and Mary planned a varied route with stops along the way. If one desires to make Highlands and home during daylight hours this time of year, expressway riding is a necessity. As previously stated, I find enjoyment in riding "the slab" as well as secondary roads. We had a great mix of both.
    Scheduled stops are good for the Herd. We know that filling the tanks and emptying the bladder are requirements of life, but the time of fellowship at the stops has a bonding element that can last a lifetime. When we interact with each other, we find that we have more common threads with each other than do four wheelers.
    By the time we left QT memory says that we numbered 19 in the bike category.  Our numbers suggested two groups with Russ taking one group and Dave the other. Safety is always an issue with us bikers and splitting into two groups can add to safety. Two groups takes up less room on the highway and adds consideration to the cagers. Not that a Herd of Moo Cow Bikers would strike fear in the minds of the general public, but some people don't bother to look closely at all the smiles of bikers like us. They just see bikers and frown. Being considerate to others and "be a blessing to someone today" is part of the Moo Cow Biker code. I do always notice that young children look at the bikes in awe and their eyes are filled with wonder. It's the parents that are sometimes standoffish.
    The ride was a success to those who participated. To those who could not make the ride, I suggest that you make special efforts to join either, or both, clubs for a ride in the near future. One of those motorcycle manufacturers has a slogan: it's not the destination, it's the journey. Yep, that's right: it's the time spent with other bikers that is fun.
    While our Moo Cow Biker Herd was enjoying the beauty of God's creation Saturday another family was experiencing grief. Upon reaching home Saturday, I checked in with facebook to see what was happening with other "friends."
    Those who ride Harleys know that HD has a gathering of dealers this time of year to introduce the new paint schemes for the upcoming year. (I would say new bikes, but we all know HD is a bit backward in the technology department--but not paint schemes) One friend who owns a dealership in Statesville, NC had been posting all week, sharing experiences at the show in Nashville. Don Tilley is a true rider. His wife, Robinette, rides with him often. Don crashed while riding the Blue Ridge Parkway going home from Nashville and died instantly. Robinette is in critical condition, but alive at last report. Please add Robinette Tilley and family to your prayer list. Grief and pain are hard to bear alone. 
    Don started his career in race cars. He had an natural bend for making motors and machines perform better than most. Next he took on motorcycles. Look it up, Don won many championships, either as a rider, a tuner, or an owner who sponsored other riders. His love of Harley Davidson resulted in the dealership in Statesville, NC. He built a very successful business by treating others as he would want to be treated, by sharing with others, by going the extra mile. He was a sponsor of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, offered insight for routes across America, led the pack each year. Lately Don was posting pictures of one of his grandsons and his Tilley HD sponsored race car. Can you imagine having your grandfather as a sponsor, but more importantly having all that wisdom to call on. As fellow bikers, you will be blessed by going to Tilley Harley Davidson and reading the testimonies of employees, clients, friends, competitors--all testifying as to the character, the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather.
    Don Tilley believed in "be a blessing to someone today."
    None of us knows the hour or the day, but we all will have that "come to Jesus" moment. How are you living your life? Not that good deeds will give anybody the key to heaven, but giving your life to Christ will definitely result in good deeds. If you have not, I urge you to kneel and acknowledge your sin filled life, ask God to wash you in the blood of Jesus Christ, who took away the sin of the world, and arise in His mercy, His grace, as a new person. If you are not a Bible reader, start with the book of John. You will be blessed.
    When I shared the news of Don's death with Cheryl, she immediately said: "that's it; you are selling your bike." She doesn't ride with me much any more and that might be wise. Advancing years does dull the senses. Our daughter begged to differ with her opinion--very adamantly. Thankfully, Cheryl settled down and relented. She even agreed to ride with me on our upcoming Savannah ride. I firmly know that God can protect me on that bike just as He can while I run in the mornings, or while I walk across the yard.
    The issue is not when, or if, or how God will protect me. The issue is will I be ready when He calls me home. I'm ready, praise the Lord. How about you?
 
    Ride on bikers and Be a blessing to someone today.
 
The Vice Cow  
    

August 24, 2014

August 24, 2014
 
 Considerations
 
    The Fayetteville Herd had a great day of riding yesterday. We began at the intersection of Ga. 85 and 16. Ten bikes showed up, all with riders on board, but no doubles. We were blessed to have TerriAnn ride with us, as she doesn't get to participate very often.
    Jackie led this ride as though he knew where he was going. He gave a short, but appropriate safety talk, followed by prayer. Hey, that's what one expects from a Moo Cow Biker ride. Well, we arrived in LaGrange safely and proceeded to devour the buffet as though we had not eaten in a few days. Keep your eyes open for a picture of my plate loading skills. It peaked like a mountain.
    After lunch, we rode the ridge of Pine Mountain, then departed for home. Yes, the temperature was HOT, but a good time was had by all. 
    If you paid attention during the safety talk at the August meeting, you will remember the importance of lighting--both front and back. TerriAnn had the best single tail/brake light on the back of her Harley that I have seen to date. The lights must be LED's, AND they flash when the rear brake is used. Very impressive TerriAnn. This must be after market as HD would not install a rear light as visible as this one.
    Update on machines to look for:
    a) Polaris Slingshot. Three wheeler, with steering wheel, center console, gear shift in the console, clutch, brake and gas petals on the floor, six speed, side by side seating, no top, 2384cc GM four, 173 rated hp---great report in Motorcycle News. Take a look. Top of the line machine at only $23,999. For us who are advancing in age, it's worth a look.
    b) 2015 Indian Roadmaster. This is Indians' answer to Honda Gold Wing, & BMW luxury. Appears to have everything, plus Indian styling. AND the tour pack and the saddle bags are removable. This "first impression" is also in the new Motorcycle Consumer News.
    Thought for the day is from the pastor at Heritage Christian Church in Peachtree City: "are you just in church or is Christ in you?" There is a difference Herd. I respectfully submit that if Christ is in you, you can't hide it. As stated last week, Christ's love will overflow and that, my friend is the purpose of life.
 
    Be a blessing to someone today.
 
The Vice Cow