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AMA Get Out And Ride! Blog

May 5, 2011

Meet the winner of the best submission for Week 4 of AMA Get Out And Ride! Month: Sue Sinka!

Sue submitted the following story for our safety theme during AMA Get Out And Ride Smart! Week at the end of April, when we focused on rider training, skills and appropriate gear to make the most out of every ride. For her effort, Sue won a gift certificate good for $200 worth of Tour Master riding gear!

I began riding a few years ago and was very new to the riding scene. It was something that I had always wanted to be able to do, and I was so happy that my life had finally stabilized and I had the opportunity to learn.

My boyfriend was my savior and got me hooked up with all of the right things: long gloves, helmet, jacket, pants, boots, etc. Once I was all suited up, I looked like an abominable snowman. For some reason it was not what I had expected. There are a lot of advertisements and publicity depicting riders in much less apparel.  I dealt [with it] and went on to take a motorcycle safety course. I passed rather easily, and we were already planning my big debut on the road.

It was a chilly spring day, Easter weekend actually, when I went on my first ride. Things were going well when I decided to pull over into a parking lot to wait for a few friends that were behind. Bad idea. The lot was full of gravel and potholes, and my inexperience and lack of appropriate braking [experience] sent me on a mission to outer space.

The bike and I went flying -- I swear I was airborne for a good minute or two.  I got up a little slow and very angry that I’d just wiped out.  The bike was scratched and so was my ego.  Later in the day I tipped the bike again coming to a stop on a sloped road. I put my short leg down and tipped over… After that, I threw in the towel for the day.

My boots were scathed and filthy. My pants were scraped and so were my gloves. My helmet had a good-sized abrasion on it. I did not have a single scratch on my body. I was sore, but if it weren’t for my gear, I would have absolutely broken multiple bones and had a nasty concussion. That stuff saved me.

I worked in a hospital for a while after that and saw a lot of motorcycle wrecks. They had insane looking road rash. I always tell them how my gear saved me a lot of grief.

I try to spread the word when I can. I wish I could reach the people in tank tops and shorts on bikes. I saw a guy in flip flops once… I'll never ride without [good riding gear], it's not worth it for a second!

Thanks Sue for sharing your experience with our readers and riders. Rest assured you are definitely helping spread the word that appropriate, comfortable riding gear can make every ride that much more enjoyable.


May 2, 2011

Meet the contest winner for Week 3 of AMA Get Out And Ride! Month... the organizers of the Peter Makris Run in Laconia N.H!

The AMA message during Week 3 was "Get Out And Ride For a Cause!" and the story about the Peter Makris Run is a great example of the caring and involvement of the motorcycling community.

“Peter Makris was a man who brought out the best in people—and continues to do so—even though he passed at the ripe young age of 82, when younger guys were still trying to catch up with him,” says Lizz Egan, one of the event organizers. “We are honoring his memory and having a ball doing it—just what Peter would have wanted.”

Peter Makris and his offspring created a legendary facility with the NASWA Resort and a proud legacy of giving on beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee.

Started in 1935, the NASWA Resort is a family business that has been supporting the local community for generations. Peter Makris, as a young Boston policeman, a local councilman, and then attorney, had a big impact on his community and his philanthropy started the Laconia Fire Department Life Saving Fund and Water Rescue unit.

“This unit is not funded by local taxes and relies on private funding to rescue people on the large and popular Lake Winnipesaukee,” says Egan. “[Makris] wrote the first $5,000 check and cajoled other area businessmen into contributing, enabling Fire Chief Ken Erickson to buy an Edgewater boat and equip it for water rescue.

“So that is why we do this annual ride, to continue his work,” she says. “To date the Peter Makris Run has raised over $120,000, and last year added another beneficiary: Easter Seals N.H. “Veterans Count” Program. Since Peter Makris was a proud U.S. Marine and a Leatherneck Motorcycle Club member, it seemed only fitting to include veterans in his benefit.”

Congratulations to the organizers of the Peter Makris Run, who will receive a gift certificate good for a set of on- or off-road Dunlop motorcycle tires. And thanks for being a part of AMA Get Out And Ride! Month in 2011!

Hundreds of riders in the Peter Makris Run pass under a giant American Flag hung from a Laconia Fire Department ladder truck

May 1, 2011

What better way to conclude AMA Get Out And Ride! Month than with a national kickoff for Motorcycle Awareness Month in May!

Motorcyclists take to streets and trails huge numbers every spring, and numerous states and municipalities have declared the month of May as Motorcycle Awareness Month or Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to draw attention to the ongoing need to recognize motorcycles in the flow of traffic.

Efforts by the motorcycling community to establish Motorcycle Awareness Month can be traced back to the early 1980s, shortly after the release of the landmark “Hurt Study” conducted by Hall of Famer Professor Hugh H. "Harry" Hurt in 981. Though the title was a little cumbersome -- “Volume I: Technical Report, Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, January, 1981 - Final Report” – the report set the benchmark for motorcycle safety research in the U.S., if not the world. One of the leading causes of crashes, according to Hurt, was this: “The automobile driver fails to detect the inconspicuous motorcycle in traffic. This is due to lack of motorcycle and rider conspicuity and lack of caution and awareness of the automobile driver.”

Recent reports from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal that motorcycle fatalities declined in 2010 by at least 2 percent following a dramatic 16 percent drop in 2009 -- which was preceded by 11 straight years of steady increases in motorcycle deaths. While good news, any motorcycle fatality is one too many and therefore it is more important than ever that motorcyclists and clubs keep up the pressure on local and state governments to maintain or increase funding for motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness programs – two highly effective strategies to reduce the likelihood of motorcycle crashes.

The AMA also strongly encourages the use of personal protective equipment -- including gloves, sturdy footwear and a properly fitted motorcycle helmet certified by its manufacturer to meet the DOT standard -- as part of a comprehensive motorcycle safety program to help reduce injuries and fatalities in the event of a motorcycle crash.

Tell us what your state or city is doing to promote motorcycle awareness this May, and how you and your riding club are taking steps to ensure that, not only is every month the time to Get Out And Ride, every month is also Motorcycle Awareness Month!

April 29, 2011

As we head into the final weekend of AMA Get Out And Ride! Month, we want to know what your riding plans are for May? June? The summer or fall?

Will you be taking a solo adventure to a distant place? Riding with trusted friends to sites you’ve always dreamed about? Traveling to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio on the campus of the AMA, or another of the many fine motorcycle museums such as the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Ala., or the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee? Will you be riding for a charity? Taking a motorcycle skills course? Or riding for a motorcycle cause such as Motorcycle Awareness Month at your state capital?

Tell us about your plans at submissions@ama-cycle.org. And have a great year of riding!

April 28, 2011

We asked, you answered… During AMA Get Out And Ride Smart! Week, we wanted to know, “What are your best tips for staying safe on the road?”

35 AMA Facebook fans responded!

From Thomas Mann: “Keep your head on the swivel and your head in the game!”

Marisol Queenisis wrote, “Never listen to music while riding.”

Phillip Patterson said, “You are invisible and everyone is trying to run you over.”

Lynda Reid posted: “Every car is a potential hazard -- even the ones that look like they're parked.”

Erik Carlson told us, “Stay out of other folks' blind spots, don't let somebody stay in yours, and ALWAYS wear armor.”

Edward Rushton said: “Watch the driver ahead and or oncoming; are their eyes on the road? Or on their phone, stereo or passenger?”

Phillip Patterson had this to say… “Stay in 1st gear at the traffic light when at a stop. I do this until I get a couple of cars behind me. Then I will find neutral and relax my hand. I want to know I can get out of the way if someone fails to stop.”

Paul Andread commented, “Don't ride when fatigued, angry, or depressed. Not to mention, high on any type of drug!”

Brock Wright gave this advice. “Think about what you would wear if you knew you were going to crash... now wear that everyday... and keep the shiny side up... :)”

Teri Medina wrote: “Scan aggressively and always leave yourself an escape path (or way out) at all times.”

Gary Marceau added, “Don't just wonder if somebody is going to do something stupid, know they are and you'll rarely be disappointed.”

David Benoit posted, “I told my boys when they were learning to ‘ride as if they had a target painted on them.’”

And Kevin Steinberg offered this: “I would just like to add to all these great rules. Constantly be running scenarios through your brain. This will help reaction time when it actually does happen.”

Have a story to pass along about how your training and/or gear did its job? Send it to submissions@ama-cycle.org and you might win a $200 Tourmaster gift certificate!

April 26, 2011

This week, April 25-30, is AMA Get Out and Ride Smart! Week. Here’s a story by AMA Road Riding Manager Dave Hembroff on the value of quality riding gear. Tell us how your skills and riding gear have protected you. Just email your story and pics to submissions@ama-cycle.org, and you might win a $200 certificate for Tourmaster apparel!

On St. Patrick’s Day, 2011, I did something I haven’t done in over 25 years, I crashed a motorcycle. Of course, this wasn’t just any motorcycle, it was my wife’s – making this into a very serious incident indeed.

At about 6:00 p.m., my riding buddy and I were making our way through Hocking Hills [Ohio]. We’d started out on my bikes so he wouldn’t have to go all the way home before we took off. For the first 50 miles or so, my friend rode my wife’s and I was on my own 2007 FJR. Just before we started up into the hills, however, we swapped bikes so that he could experience the difference between the two models.

Soon, we were deep into the twisties on OH 664 leading to Old Man’s Cave. We came to the turn for what is usually another very nice road, Rt. 374, and decided to head that direction. We immediately regretted the decision. Despite all the rain, the road was still covered with fine gravel and sand in the middle of almost every turn. After only a mile, my buddy flashed the brakes as he topped a rise and signaled to pull over.

I hauled in the clutch coming up the rise and the bike started to slow. When I cleared the top of the hill, I could see the other bike pulling to the right and I reached up and squeezed the front brake. I was doing 45 mph, I remember, because the last thing I saw of the bike before hitting the road was the digital speedometer. My bike low-sided to the left, and as it hit the ground I got launched over the handlebars.

I didn’t even feel the front wheel as it slipped in the tiny mud patch, but I did hear the gravel immediately past the mud as it pinged off the bottom and then sides of the bike. I reached out with my left palm as the bike and I parted ways and that hand catapulted me up and over the windshield. My buddy said the sight of my boots 8 feet in the air and me upside down were his first indications the evening was going to be cut short.

Lesson #1: Proper gear saves skin. No one ever plans to crash. Accidents are called that because they are unexpected. If you only wear the gear when you expect a problem, chances are you won’t have it when you need it. My brand new Tourmaster Centurion 1 suit was totaled in the crash, but even after being thrown head-over-heels and landing on my wrist, shoulder and hip and then sliding 50 feet, I walked away without a scratch. Sure, I was sore the next day, but it could have been so much worse.

Lesson #2: Don’t assume you know the bike. Even though the two Yamahas are very similar, there are differences that factored into my crash. The ’07 has ABS, the ’03 doesn’t. I was braking much more aggressively than I would have on a non-ABS bike and that may have caused the skid even if the muddy patch didn’t. My wife is “height-disadvantaged”, and her bike is lowered 2 inches in the rear and ½ inch up front. Changes in ride height and steering geometry were not my friends. Also, while I did change out the tires on my bike at the end of last season, I was waiting for the beginning of this year to change the tires on my wife’s bike and had not gotten around to it before this dinner ride. Perhaps newer rubber would have been less likely to slide out? It surely would have been stickier and had better tread. I didn’t take any of this into account, and I ended up setting the stage for an expensive crash.

Lesson #3: The environment is rarely your ally. The temperature was perfect. Light was not an issue. Fortunately, there was little traffic. These were all happy coincidences and not really within my control on this ride. I was able to control how aggressively I was riding on roads I hadn’t seen yet this season. I let the otherwise good conditions lull me into a false sense of security and took for granted the road would be okay. Big mistake. This accident could have been much worse in a corner or on the wrong side of a blind hill with oncoming traffic. Every ride has its environmental challenges, and, as is often the case in crashes, I was riding too fast for conditions.

After I slid to stop on the wrong side of the road, I got up, dusted myself off and walked over to where the bike came to rest. I picked it up and rolled it to the side of the road beside by buddy, and then walked back to pick up the mirror and other debris knocked off in the crash. I swore a little, I admit, but mostly I was just thankful because I knew things could have turned out much worse.

Two locals saw the whole episode and came over to ask if I was all right. “I guess that stuff does work,” they marveled, seeing the gear had left me little the worse for wear. These were nice guys, who now had a better appreciation for proper gear – just as I do.

I’ve replaced all my gear with new stuff. It’s expensive, but not nearly as much so as quality medical care or a funeral. My wife won’t let me touch her bike, even though it’s all repaired now. I guess she’s waiting to see if I’ve really learned my lessons.

What Dave's Tourmaster Centurion riding suit looked like before the crash...

...and after. Not pretty but it did it's job.

The boots and 2003 FJR1300 got scuffed up pretty well also.

April 24, 2011

Autumn doing her safety course in Lakewood, Colorado.

The final week of the American Motorcyclist Association’s Get Out And Ride! Month -- AMA Get Out and Ride Smart! Week -- promotes rider training and the use of appropriate riding gear to help ensure that every ride is enjoyable and safe.

Throughout AMA Get Out and Ride Smart! Week, the AMA be showcasing member stories on AmericanMotorcyclist.com > GetOutAndRide, a dedicated AMA Get Out And Ride! Facebook page and a Twitter feed, @GetOutNRide.

Many are also submitting stories, photos and videos. The prize for the best story during AMA Get Out and Ride Smart! Week is a Tourmaster apparel gift certificate worth $200.

Franco Zacco wrote on the AMA Facebook page, “I'm taking a refresher [from] the MSF. I'm also picking up some back armor to upgrade my leather jacket.”

“All my gear has armor, even my summer mesh vest,” said Nick Nicholson. “I’m also a Rider’s Edge guy [and] would love to start a class for parents and grandparents to take their kids on the back in a riding class.”

Barb Detmer Johnson wrote that she is spending time in an empty parking lot doing circles, figure 8's, panic stops, swerves and quick stops in a corner. “My annual practice day saved [me] two years ago when a Suburban merged into my lane as I was passing him at 70 mph.”

And from Ron Lieback: “When I started riding I could have initially bought a better exhaust for my first bike, but my father insisted on spending the cash on the best helmet and leather possible... the old man’s advice, along with my almost religious studying of anything moto-journalism, kept safety gear a must for any type of ride.”

Watch for daily updates here, on the dedicated AMA Get Out And Ride! Facebook page and a Twitter feed, @GetOutNRide.

April 21, 2011

Meet the contest winner for the best story for Week 2 of the AMA Get Out And Ride! Month celebration: AMA Life Member Mack Ames from Oklahoma City. Ames, pictured above wit his riding friends, won a Blinc Bluetooth Helmet communications system.

“We just completed our ninth annual ‘NoMoSno’ ride in Arkansas,” writes Ames in his submission for AMA Get Out And Ride! Together Week. “We had 12 guys show up this year. There are probably 15 or so in the group with a good number showing up to the ride every year when their schedules permit.

“We all met on an FJR Internet forum in 2002 and decided to get together and ride… There are still several FJRs in the group but now there are many other models as folks have made changes over the years,” he explains.

“We’re from all over: Oklahoma, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Alabama, Florida, you get the idea,” Ames continues. “We love riding the mountain roads during the day and enjoy a little motorcycle fellowship in the evenings.

“It’s not a huge ride, obviously, but I bet it’s a scene that plays countless times per year all over the USA. Our views on things big and small are all over the map but we always come back to one thing, motorcycle people are among the finest in the world.

“We also agree that without motorcycling in our lives, our lives wouldn’t taste nearly as sweet,” he adds. “With the AMA being the unifying force to hold the foolish notions of some politicians at bay, we all say, keep up the good work.”

Thanks Mack, we will, and thanks for telling us about how you and your friends are celebrating AMA Get Out And Ride! Together Week.

April 20, 2011

We always knew motorcyclists had big hearts, and this week they’ve demonstrated just how much they care for their fellow men and women, creatures and communities!

Melissa Reid of Mannford, Okla., wrote: “This is my charity, OK Save A Dog in Prague, Oklahoma… This dedicated organization rescues dogs from kill shelters and adopts them out. I adopted a wonderful older German Shepherd/Elkhound mix in January 2008 and had the privilege of being his person until this past [month]... Although I only had him for 3 years I wouldn’t have traded a minute of my time with him.”

For Bill Bakan, the Pink Poker Run -- designed to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation -- is his inspiration. He’s also “working on getting more info for another event in August that we hope to promote at [AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days] in July.”

Then there’s Lizz Egan, who reported that she and her friends ride in the annual ride Peter Makris Memorial Run to raise funds to support the Laconia Fire Department Life Saving Fund and Water Rescue Unit, and the Easter Seals New Hampshire Veterans Count Program, to honor of the event’s namesake.

Tom Whitt and the Mountain Trail Riders of Bluff City, Tenn., are doing a cancer benefit ride in June. “We are gonna try to do a Alzheimers ride too!” he added. “We also gave jackets this winter to the people in need… We also do a lot more to help keep our trails and try to gain more by working [with] the federal agencies.”

Michelle Ball runs a child abuse organization. “We don't raise money… what we do is send out lists of the children’s needs to those partaking in the ride, and they get to choose the child they want to buy for. We also teach the children to ride… In so doing we give them an opportunity to focus on something exciting!”

Robert Mulcahy wrote: “We do rides for Multiple Sclerosis [MS] because my wife has had MS for over 20 years. She is in a wheelchair now but always makes it on the bike for those rides.”

And Charles Hood does a number of poker runs for charity. “I ride for many different charities and causes… riding to various places, hot dog stands, parks, dealerships, a random gas station, and all on scenic roads that make the ride interesting… I get to enjoy riding like I always do and help someone else out at the same time.”

There are so many good cause to support, the challenge is finding the time to do them all! Got a story to tell for AMA Get Out And Ride For A Cause! Week? Send it to submissions@ama-cycle.org, and you might win a set of Dunlop Tires!

April 18, 2011

AMA Get Out And Ride For A Cause! Week, and motorcyclists are already telling us about their favorite charities. In response to an AMA Facebook page question asking, “What/when was your first motorcycle charity ride,” readers mentioned a number of worthy causes.

Shawn Sadler posted that his first charity ride took place in 2002 at a Ride For Kids event in Ohio. Similarly, Ginger Jean Lundquist noted her first was the Minneapolis Ride for Kids in 1999.

For Barb Detmer Johnson, it was the Pony Express in 2000. “I was a new solo rider after co-riding many miles with my husband. I raised $2500 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation… I was honored to have a co-worker, who was just completing treatment for breast cancer, on my Gold Wing for the entire 1000 miles.”

D.J. Burdick wrote that he rode for Project Open Hand in the 1980s.

Eric Nilges wrote, “Last year. Ride for the Red Cross.”

Sam Shaw in Georgia mentioned the Off Road Family Fun Ride in 2004. “The eighth annual is coming up May 1, Washington, Ga."

Sara Aimee Herrick gave a nod to the Blue Knights Ride in Williamsport, Penn.

And Johnny Prato recalled the 1997 Inland Empire Charity Ride in Fontana, Calif. “Benefited Loma Linda University Children's Hospital & Fontana We Care.”

All week long we’ll be posting stories and pics of your favorite charity events. Send yours to submissions@ama-cycle.org.

April 16, 2011

What do the following riding clubs, listed alphabetically, have in common? (There are some great club names here!)

…A.B.A.T.E. of MN South Central Chapter, Adirondack Harley Owners Group, Air Assault Riders 803, AMA District 5, Arizona Trail Riders, Army of Darkness M/C, Aztalan Cycle Club, Baltimore Yehudim Riders, Bellingham Dual Sport Riders, Blue Comet MC, Blue Knights, Brickyard Boyz, Checkers MC, Chicago Riders, ChiVinMoto, Christian Cavalry, Chrome Divas, COMPoST, Concours Owners Group, Cousins Jerseypine Cruisers, Crawford Golden Valley Gals, Dayton Motorcycle Club, Dixie Dual Sport, DNF Racing, Eagle Riders, ECEA, Emanon Riders, Gang of Kooks, GARTRA, GWRRA, GWTA, Hawg Ridin Fools, Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts, Iron Indians, Joe’s Rat Pack, Last Chance MC, Loveland Eagles, Michigan Mafia, Middle Atlantic Motocross Association, Mishifts S.C., Motor Maids, MSTA, MTF, Naked Pretzel Racing, NESBA, NETRA, Norsemen MC, Northern Lites MC, Northern Virginia Trail Riders, NWRA, Patriot Guard Riders, Patriots of CCCOM, Rushmore ABATE of Indiana, Permian Basin Motorcycle Assoc., Perry Mountain MC, Pilgrim Sands Trail Riders, Rapid Angels Motorcycle Club, ROAR Motorcycle Group, Rovers M/C, RPMC, Sage Riders, San Jacinto high rollers, Sand Dollar Motorcycle Club, SETRA, Southern Cruisers Riding Club, Southern Virginia American Legion Riders Post 284, Star Touring and Riding Assoc., Steel Horse Maidens, The Infamous Few, The Nassau Wings Motorcycle Club, The Wild Hairs, Tri-City M/C, Two Wheeled Texans, Utah Trail Machine Association, VDOG, VDTRA, Venru Riders, Ventura Riders, Washington ATV Association, West Virginia Sport Touring, Windy City Club, Women In The Wind, Women on Wheels, Yankee Beemers…

AMA members reported these clubs as their favorite groups to ride with during AMA Get Out And Ride Together! Week – we’re impressed!

April 15, 2011

Riders looking to get out and ride together this year need look no further than the AMA's dual-sport and adventure rides, national conventions, gypsy tours and signature events!

- The 2011 AMA Yamaha Super Ténéré Adventure Riding Series kicks off for 2011 as the country's premier riding series for fans of big-bore adventure-touring motorcycles.

- The 2011 AMA KTM National Dual Sport Trail Riding Series is one of the best programs in off-road riding, with hundreds of miles of trail and backroads in some of the most breathtaking areas of the United States.

2011 AMA National Conventions

- Americade, June 6-11 in Lake George, N.Y., is one of the largest road-riding rallies on the planet. It features legendary roads in the 6-million-acre Adirondack National Park, and makes for a great motorcycle vacation.

- AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 22-24 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, is North America's largest motorcycle-related swap meet, vintage racing, new bike demo rides and much, much more.

- The Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally, Sept. 14-18, is a huge event in the town of Ruidoso, high in the Rocky Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. The rally offers a great way to close out the riding season and start up new friendships.

2011 AMA Gypsy Tours

- The sister rally to the Golden Aspen Rally, the Aspencash Motorcycle Rally, May 19-22 in Ruidoso, N.M., offers a great way to kick off the rally season in the Southwest.

- The famed Laconia Motorcycle Week, June 11-19 in Laconia, N.H., is on par with other mega-gatherings such as Daytona (Fla.) Bike Week and Sturgis in South Dakota.

2011 Signature Events

- The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's national Ride For Kids program has become one of the most successful fundraising efforts among motorcyclists in the nation. Held in cities everywhere, Ride for Kids events raise funds for a good cause -- families struggling with the diagnosis and treatment of a child's brain tumor.

- The Dee Snyder Ride, Sept. 25 in Lido Beach, N.Y., supports a favorite charity of motorcyclists -- the March of Dimes -- while educating people about the seriousness of premature birth and birth defects.

For more information about AMA events and series, go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Riding > Street > Street Events And Series.

April 14, 2011

Riding together is what AMA members and motorcyclists everywhere have in mind during AMA Get Out And Ride Together! Week.  Here are just a few of the many comments on the AMA Facebook page….

Mark Price rode with about 15 friends last Saturday, and has been riding to work every day.

Russ Theis rides with his kids. “They are the only ones I can keep up with (for now) on the trails!”

Bill Werner likes “cruisin’ for new coffee joints with the wife!”

Walt Fulton went riding with a group to "Pork in the Park" this past weekend.

John Joseph Morrissey III rode with “my brothers from the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association!”

Stacy Dixon is driving eight hours to ride at this weekend’s AMA National Hare Scramble in Redding, Calif., with her friend.

ChrisTina Carr is riding this week “with whoever shows up @ mx track!”

David Schiller rides with the San Francisco Motorcycle Club, which was established in 1904.

Scott Foens and Thomas Kauffman both wrote that they ride together with their beautiful wives, and William Curtis Jones rides with his daughter.

Grant Mitchell came over from Hawaii to ride with Eric Mashbir at Carnegie OHV and Indian Reservoir… a “great end to a fantastic vacation!”

Steve Roraus of AMA District 36 plans to ride the Shasta Hare Scramble this Saturday and Sunday.

Christopher Argenziano went riding with old friends from South Florida… “Gave them a tour of Ocala horse farms, then thru two state forests and one national forest all ending up at the Gulf of Mexico at Yankeetown Fl. Nice day!”

Maybe Charles Holmes out it best… he rides with “whoever’s on the streets at the time.”

And MotovationUSA wrote, “We are riding with all of Austin apparently! Weather has been so nice, the bikes are everywhere. Love it!"

April 12, 2011

A little snow isn’t always a bad thing when you are riding – especially when your story lands you a BikeBandit.com gift card! Congratulations to Kathy and Michael of United Dirt Bike School in Denver, Colorado, winners of the best story submission for week #1 of AMA Get Out And Ride! Month. Kathy and Tom, along with their students, braved the onset of a recent snowstorm to finish their dirtbike class. A $100 BikeBandit.com gift card is coming your way. And keep those great motorcycle stories, photos and video coming at submissions@ama-cycle.org. The prize for week #2 best submission? A Blinc Bluetooth Communications System!

April 11, 2011

The first two rounds of the AMA Yamaha Super Ténéré National Adventure Riding Series kick off this coming weekend during AMA Get Out and Ride Together! Week. The series offers the best routes, roads and two-track trail for showcasing the abilities of adventure bikes like the Yamaha Super Ténére. The two-day events include ample, challenging rides that are well marked and thoughtfully designed by local clubs, but they are built around a full weekend of activities that typically includes bon fires, camping, food and prizes.

April 16-17 -- Pine Barrens 300, Hammonton, N.J. Contact: Jack O'Connor, Cross Country Cycles. Email: info@pinebarrens500.org; www.pinebarrens500.org

April 16-17 -- Slate Creek Adventure Ride, Bybee, Tenn. Contact: John Strange, JB SAKI Promotions (865) 322-0193. Email: jbsaki@gmail.com; www.volunteerriders.com

To see the full schedule, click here.

April 9, 2011

Next week marks the beginning of week two of the American Motorcyclist Association’s (AMA) Get Out and Ride! Month. And the theme -- “AMA Get Out and Ride Together! Week” -- is all about AMA members riding with their family, friends and fellow club members.

Some of us have already made our plans.

“I'm tied up with work this weekend, but I managed to talk a few friends into leaving work early on Monday for some trail riding,” wrote Ron Lieback on the AMA Get Out And RIde! Facebook page. “Great cure for the Monday blues!”

Lefty Squeeker posted that he will be taking an “evening ride with my wife! Woo hoo, it’s spring!”

And not a moment too soon.

Sunday will find rider Ed Murray “doing the V-twin Cruisers ‘Blizzard Run’ without the Blizzard.”

Meanwhile Cheryl Langham plans to ride “down to Eureka Springs for a Hot Scooter Rally!”

AMA Get Out and Ride Together! Week continues a month-long online celebration of all things motorcycling, including weekly themes and the giveaway of some cool prizes. Showcased throughout AMA Get Out and Ride! Month are AMA members and other motorcyclists doing what we love to do – RIDE!

Daily updates are provided at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Riding > GetOutAndRide, a dedicated Facebook page and a Twitter feed, @GetOutNRide.

April 8, 2011

During AMA Get Out and Ride Your Way! Week, it’s always fun to look back and recognize those who inspired us to do so. This Honda commercial featuring Steve McQueen still inspires today!

April 7, 2011

We know that the week of April 18-24 is “AMA Get Out and Ride for a Cause! Week,” but we couldn’t help ourselves and just had to post this news from the good people and fundraisers who attended the South Florida Ride for Kids® in Deerfield Beach, Fla., last Sunday. Over 650 people turned out to support the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, raising $66,828 to kick off the Ride for Kids 28th season. AMA member Tina Herring sent in this picture, way to go everyone!

April 6, 2011

Weather, weather everywhere, but AMA members will not be deterred during AMA Get Out And Ride Your Way! Week…

Snow, what’s that? That was the message from Kathy and Michael at United Dirt Bike School (www.uniteddirtbikeschool.com) in Colorado.

“Sunday the weather was 61 at 9 am when we arrived to set up for the class. It was probably 50, windy and getting cloudy when we started at 10 am. It continued to get cloudier, rained a little, and got much colder during the morning. At 1 pm, we broke for lunch, ate in the trailer and heard the snow start. Our two awesome students decided to do the last 4 exercises in the snow and mud. Hey, it is dirt biking after all!!”

Things looked a little rosier for AMA member Shawn Torrey in western New York.

“The wife and I took a ride on April 2nd to get out for some fresh air. We’re registered with the [AMA] Smoke Chasing Grand Tour and decided to make a stop to add to our BBQ list. Attached is our photo submission for Smoke Chasing. Notice, there’s still some snow on the ground. Get Out And Ride!!!!!!

Just getting ready to Get Out And Ride! is an exercise in fulfillment, no matter what the weather may be outdoors. Here’s a post from Rodger Williamson on the AMA Get Out And Ride! Facebook page.

“Over last two days: changed oil & filter; blew out air-filter; changed spark-plugs; adjusted valves; sync'ed carbs; changed front tire; washed and waxed it; put on new seat and new tank bag. I've been averaging 17,000 miles a year and we're just rolling into prime riding weather!”

Yesterday we posted a link for riders who commute, with a featured “look back” to 1965. Well, AMA commuters responded…

From David Lowe: “It's what I do every day and at 51 years still love it!”

“I ride everyday and live in [Connecticut),” said Charles Hood. “I don't need a ‘get out and ride’ week, I have a ‘get out and ride’ year.”

For some, like Daryl Penny, it’s two wheels all the time. “I ride Monday thru Friday. I ride my manual powered 2-wheeler on the weekends.”

And for off-road enthusiasts, how about some cool two-track at RPM Play Days at Texana Ranch? This is a video from Shorty De' Ogg showing his favorite place to ride!

April 5, 2011

Commuting to work on a motorcycle is nothing new, and for many riders it is the ultimate expression of riding “their way” all year long, not just during AMA Get Out And Ride! Week.

And it’s a trend that started a long time ago. Not surprisingly, more and more riders took up commuting when the popularity of motorcycling exploded in America in the 1960s.

Here’s an excerpt from a profile of Pat Parnell, a mother of two, which appeared in American Motorcycling magazine in April 1965.

No motorist could tell this particular rider was a woman. She rides the 40 miles to work in blue jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, a ski jacket, and a safety helmet over her curlers.

“I think the only way you could tell I’m a girl is by my purse on the handlebars,” Mrs. Parnell laughed.

The ride is an hour long, and she travels about 55 miles per hour. A rainy Houston morning can disguise her from head to toe with mud.

To read the full story, go to http://tinyurl.com/PatParnell-April1965.

Have a cool commuting story of your own? Send it this week, along with a picture or two, to submissions@ama-cycle.org, and you might win a $100 BikeBandit gift certificate!

Monday, April 4, 2011

You can’t let a little snow stop you when it’s AMA Get Out And Ride Your Way! Week. Just ask AMA member Allen Marker, whose 2002 KLR650 was more than up to the task yesterday in the Laurel Mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania.

“A quick trip to church & back on the Big Green Pig. It's hard to keep this bike in the garage regardless of the weather. Side tracked by some side trails on the way home.”

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Who are some of the AMA Get Out And Ride!rs this weekend?

Tommy Dietz and his friends with the Northern Virginia Trail Riders are running their annual Spring Trail Ride in King George, Va.

For Raphael Sassi, it’s riding the Peak to Peak Highway from Denver to Estes Park and back.

Michelle Marshall rode on a nice private track in So Cal, at the Chaney Ranch.

David Benoit rode to Eastham, Cape Cod today for coffee… a nice little 300 mile round trip…

And Renate DelVecchio is still waiting for the snow to melt… in Alaska!

What does AMA Get Out and Ride Your Way! Week mean to you? Send your articles, pictures and video links to submissions@ama-cycle.org!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

AMA Get Out and Ride Your Way! Week is here! What does riding “your way” mean to you?

“I already got stuck in two snowstorms this month here [in northeastern Pennsylvania], but will suit up [April 1] just to support the opening day of Get Out and Ride!” wrote Ron Lieback on the AMA Get Out and Ride Facebook page. “I already have my first four-day trip planned down south in two weeks time, so I'm hoping Mother Nature directs her snow-making ways far north!”

“82 degs F in [Las] Vegas and ridin' my BMW R1200GS Adventure,” said Robert Starling.

Texan Greg Todd wrote: “"Here in Texas, motorcycling is like BBQing: it's not seasonal. So I try to ride at least once a day.”

Sandy Langford Reece echoes the sentiments of many: “I'll be riding!!!!”

Tell us what AMA Get Out and Ride Your Way! means to you… Send your articles, pictures and video links to submissions@ama-cycle.org and maybe you’ll see them here on our blog!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April in Arizona is one of the last times in spring to get out and ride before the daily temperature tops 100. Here’s a link to video posted by AMA member Jim Hineman of a ride he and a friend took in Rio Verde north of Scottsdale.

“Great single-track through cactus, granite boulders, sand washes and mesquite trees. Hope you enjoy the video!”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mark Huddleston NH Rte 112

Can you believe it's nearly April and spring has already sprung? For some of us, spring sprung and then it went back into hibernation… No worries, though, because we're rough-and-ready riders, right?!

It's time to "get out and ride" during AMA Get Out And Ride! Month. Some of you have already been doing so, like our friend in the picture, Mark Huddleston, who took this pic along New Hampshire Route 112, the Kankamagus Highway.  

Throughout April we’ll be celebrating all the on- and off-road riding that AMA members are doing, so be sure to tell us all about it! Just send your stories, images and URL links to submissions@ama-cycle.org, and we’ll pop them up on this blog or mention them on the AMA Get Out And Ride! Facebook page.

Get Ready – Get Set – Let’s Ride!