Member Letters

Watch For Motorcycles

I’m 74 years old, and have ridden motorcycles from the age of 14. I have given a lot of thought about car drivers who run into motorcycles and swear they looked before they drove into you but you were not there. I believe they are telling some truth, almost!

They probably did look, but they were looking for a threat to them, another car or a truck, but a motorcycle did not constitute a threat. Their eyes saw you, but your image was not what they were looking for, so it was not “downloaded” into their mental hard drive!

I have seen drivers look me dead in the face, and pull right out in front of me.

Barry Gallucci
Longmont, Colo.


Road Angels

Tears formed as I read Marshall Swanson’s tribute to his riding mentors in the October issue Guest Column. My own mentor, Cole Boehler, died in a drowning accident this past April. I thought of him as my Road Angel, and I am still grieving his loss and conversing with him in my mind every time I ride.

Cole was an inveterate rider, generous with his knowledge, wisdom and encouragement. I “met” him through his tabloid motorcycle newspaper, Northern Rockies Rider, a copy of which my Honda mechanic handed me to read while I sat out a bike maintenance visit. I was 64 and had been riding only a year. Every word in that paper seemed golden to me, and I emailed Cole to say so. To my delight, he responded.

Cole often reminded me that, although he was happy to share it freely, his opinion was just one point of view. He challenged me to dig broad and deep when I needed to know something, he took me to task when he found my thinking lazy, and he complimented me constructively when I got things right. His mentoring guided me through difficult situations and probably saved my life at least once.

Cole’s enthusiasm for riding and his invaluable gift of time and attention shaped the joy I experience with every ride. I may never know enough to be someone else’s Road Angel in the same way he was mine, but I hope I will always emulate his example when it comes to encouraging new riders to learn everything they can about safely reveling in the road.

Suzanne Shafer
Milton Freewater, Ore.


Premium Solution

Four seasons ago, I bought a 2003 BMW F650 Scarver. To make a long story short, it had drivability issues—namely, it surged excessively.

Recently, in the town of Bennington, Vt., a convenience store started offering non-ethanol premium at its pumps. My Subaru Tribeca requires premium, so I started using it. With the first full tank, I noticed my engine ran quieter and I was getting 2 more miles per gallon.

I decided to try it on my BMW. Before I left the parking lot, I noticed a significant change. It idled better and the throttle response was improved. Travel to work revealed a reduction in surging. A week later I removed an aftermarket fuel mapping module. That also made a significant improvement.

Now, I have a smoother engine, better idling, and snappier throttle response. My car, my motorcycle, my chainsaw, my 8N tractor are all proof that using non-ethanol is better.

I appreciate what AMA is doing to prevent the marketing of E15.

Sandy Rhodes
Bennington, Vt.


Roadside Works

My wife and I are the Gateway Regional Directors for the Retread Motorcycle Club. We were at a rally in Metropolis, Ill., the week of June 28. We went on a sight-seeing ride when, about 20 miles from the city, we blew a right rear tire on our Goldwing trike. It was hot, and for a moment we wondered what to do next.

My wife pointed out that we have AMA Roadside Assistance so we should call. We did and were happy to receive help from the gentleman on the phone who said he would have help on the way. In about 35 minutes a truck came down the road and helped me load the trike and took me to a tire shop for replacement tires.

We never had to use this service before, but are we ever happy to have AMA on our side and give us old folks a hand.

Harold and Wanda Dissmeyer
Oakland, Ark.


◀ New Riders

I am doing my part to bring up some new motorcycle enthusiasts. Grandsons Ollis, 6, and Logan, 12, are out riding with their grandma and grandpa in this photograph. I have heard them telling stories about our riding with their 57-year-old granny, Ellie. I have four grandsons, and I have made sure to introduce all of them to motorcycles.

Clay Hesson
Orofino, Idaho


Thanks for the testimonial! For members who do not have AMA Roadside Assistance, it is available at no additional cost. For details, call (800) AMA-JOIN.