The origins of the very first motorized bicycle can be traced back to the second half of the 19th century. It was in 1867 when a Parisian Ernest Michaux, fitted a small steam powered engine to one of his fathers ‘velocipedes’, or ‘Michauline’. This has became the first model of bicycle with pedals at the time.
The Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the very first motorcycle available for purchase by the general public in 1894. Only a few hundred examples of this motorcycle were ever built, however, as engines became more and more powerful and designs began to outgrow their humble bicycle origins.
Today, there are three major types of motorcycle and typically seen with many variants within each subcategory. Street legal motorcycles include cruisers, sportbikes, and scooters, while off-road bikes include many types designed for dirt-oriented racing classes such as motocross. Finally, there’s the dual-purpose motorcycle that consists of the dual-sport style, which are made for off-roading but also include features that make them street legal.
According to Steve Swindlehurst, the enthusiastically passionate motorcycle instructor with the Grande Prairie Regional College program Ready To Ride, the passion to ride a bike is a little crazy. Riding a motorcycle is a different way to take in the scenery; a different way to take in the world as you drive around you can actually smell the rain.
For two years, Steve and his wife, Heather Swindlehurst, have been crisscrossing the Peace Country region together. Working in tandem, they teach novice motorcycle enthusiasts everything they need to know when riding a motorcycle, including how to mount a motorcycle.
They provide 4 hours of studying motorcycle defensive riding theory inside the safety of a classroom, and an additional 16 hours of on-bike training. This includes on-road and gravel riding, low speed exercises, and emergency and safety maneuvers.
Throughout these two-day, 20-hour course, riders will learn the latest in motorcycle defensive driving theory and riding skills, and will be prepared for acquiring their Class 6 Motorcycle Road Test.
Steve Swindlehurst agrees that motorcycling can be a dangerous activity, however you should learn how to drive defensively while being in tune with your surroundings, and most importantly, be highly aware of your comfort level and skill. Riders are encouraged to wear motorcycle helmet andriding pants and other safety gears for protection.
The GPRC Ready to Ride Motorcycle Safety Program runs an estimated 26 to 34 classes per year, with a 10 student per class maximum. All motorcycles are included in the cost of $550, but it is mandatory that all students bring with them their own safety equipment.
To inquire about classroom availability or to simply find out more information, you can do so by logging onto the GPRC website, and searching for the Motorcycle Safety Program.
May 4, 2013, Autoevolution posted tips and suggestions on how to beat the summer heat.
They say a motorcyclist who rides much throughout the year is seldom dry, as he or she is either wet from riding in the rain or wet from sweating. Those who are familiar with long rides just know that the blessed state of “I’m 100% OK” is quite a rare thing.
Most of the riders will be aboard their bikes during the warm season between May and September. However, riding in the blistering sun, and not knowing how to defend yourself against the unforgiving heat can easily take away the joy of riding and can even lead to serious problems.
There are several issues to consider before a rider went out for a long ride. First, check the weather forecast. Second consider how long your journey will be or how long you will be riding into the day and lastly, check your riding gear and remember about your potential health issues. Doing all these will increase the chances of having a successful day of riding.
How to beat the heat when riding in a how weather?
1. Know your enemies
There are two archenemies when it comes to riding in very hot weather: dehydration is the biggest evil of all and then there’s the rest of physiological effects of sun/heat on the human body and mind. When exposed to excessive heat, the human body attempts to balance and counteract the overheating process by sweating. Evaporating water cools down the area and this is the way in which our bodies fight against excessive heat. When exposed to excessively high temperatures over an extended period, some individuals might experience nausea, nose bleeding, increased heart rate, sensory delusions and many other nasty effects that are not to be desired, especially when riding a motorcycle.
Knowing the way your body reacts to heat exposure is the key element for taking the best precautionary actions and counter-balance the negative effects.
2. Water and minerals are your best friends
When sweating, the human body eliminates a huge amount of essential minerals that are to be found in the bodily fluids. One of the main things when it comes to preventing the effects of dehydration is trying to re-establish the natural mineral balance in your body. Only water will not do, special beverages, such as Gatorade and the likes of that are more than soft drinks: they help bring back the normal level of minerals in the body.
Aside from these drinks, dioralytes or Oral Rehydration Salts are also good. Dioralyte solutions are pretty much the same thing but in a slightly different shape: they are powdered mineral compounds that can be dissolved in water, sometimes coming with certain fruit flavors.
When going for long rides, dioralyte bags are far more convenient as they take up a very small place in your luggage and can be mixed on the spot whenever needed. When riding in very hot weather, it’s crucial to remember to rehydrate periodically. Depending on how much every individual sweats, drinking a small amount of water periodically is a very good way to prevent dehydration.
3. Why avoid dehydration?
Many people believe that dehydration equals thirst and once you had some water, things are back to normal. Dehydration is in fact many times more dangerous than the mere sensation of being thirsty. Medical studies on the negative effects of dehydration states that people should try to avoid dehydration as much as possible, by drinking enough water, before the strong sensation of thirst is present.
Riders should know that feeling a bit thirsty is the initial alarm that the body needs more water in order to keep functioning well. There is a very thin line between “alright” and “very bad” unfortunately when it comes to dehydration. According to studies, a mere 2% drop in hydration levels is already causing short-term memory to become fuzzy, makes some basic math and mental associations seem like harder tasks and so on.
Mild to moderate levels of dehydration lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, decreased concentration, headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness and more. Even more, dehydration makes blood be thicker than the usual, and this will cause the heart to work harder in order to pump the low-pressure fluid into your veins, causing unnecessary stress and decreasing the levels of oxygen reaching the cells.
This will also lead to rapid breathing, as the human body will attempt to supplement the oxygen intake. In more advanced situations, drowsiness may also ensue, increasing the risks of making a severe error hundredfold. Finally, if dehydration occurs, the body will regulate the amount of sweat, thus trying to preserve the water resources: less sweating equals less cooling, and there we go, a very dangerous snowball effect that can turn out extremely nasty results.
It really makes no difference which way you replenish your water resources while on the road, as long as you do it. What you eat and drink just before starting off your journey on the road can prevent dehydration.
Remember that certain types of food and beverages will require bigger amounts of water to be processed by the human body and they might have a negative impact on the water levels. Drinks such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and similar beverages that contain caffeine will cause more frequent urination and need large amounts of water to be processed.
On the other hand, dishes with high-protein content need water for breaking down the proteins, while a diet based on high-fiber content tends to eliminate water by associating it with fiber excretion. Remember that the biggest water consumption is caused by the simple sugars, as they need very much water in order to be metabolized. Candy bars and similar sweets are draining more water from your body than you could imagine.
A balanced meal before the trip will help you stay in better shape (water-wise) and is a key element for “beating the heating,” if a very subtle and often overlooked one. Ride safe and be cool, see you soon with another episode.
Wisconsin, May3, 2013– According to Cycle News, Road America announced that Yamaha has become the Official Motorcycle of Road America as part of a multi-year agreement. Additionally, Yamaha will also play an integral role at the track as part of Road America’s successful motorcycle school programs to educate two-wheel enthusiasts. Endorsed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), Road America’s Basic Rider Courses are taught by award-winning rider coaches who have completed extensive training through the MSF and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Successful completion of the school’s basic rider course enables participants to obtain a Class M endorsement on their driver’s license from the WisDOT.
“The Yamaha partnership is a deeply-integrated program that will bring many new benefits to Road America,” said George Bruggenthies, president and general manager of Road America. “We are looking forward to elevating our programs and offerings as we work alongside Yamaha to bring new experiences and opportunities to fans, motorcycling enthusiasts and the many Yamaha motorcycle dealers in the region.”
As part of being an official partner of Road America, Yamaha will have a presence through multiple areas of the venue and fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the GEICO Motorcycle AMA ProRacing Subway SuperBike Doubleheader, May 31-June 2 at local dealerships. As part of the Road America Motorcycle Schools, Yamaha motorcycles will be used exclusively to train beginner and advanced students how to ride safe.
For anyone interested in learning how to ride at Road America, the Basic Rider Course or (BRC) consists of 16 hours of combined classroom and practical riding instruction. Participants in this course learn basic riding techniques on motorcycles and scooters supplied by Yamaha, along with important safety skills to minimize the risks of motorcycling.
For the experienced enthusiast, Road America offers a Level 1 Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic, developed by world-renowned motorcycle journalist and race champion, Lee Parks. This one day clinic will make a specific, measurable improvement in an individual’s skills regarding throttle control, throttle/brake transitions, corner entry, line selection, body position and corner exit.
Road America also offers Supermoto (Demo & Basic). These courses are taught on Road America’s Blain’s Farm & Fleet Motorplex, a purpose-built 1-mile paved and dirt track with multiple configurations and elevation changes.
About Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., (YMUS), is a leader in the motorsports market. The company’s ever-expanding product offerings include motorcycles, ATVs and Side-by-Side vehicle, outboard motors, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, boats, outdoor power equipment, accessories, apparel and much more.
About Road America
Established in 1955 as the first permanent road racing course in the United States, Road America is located midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The 640-acre, park-like grounds offer amazing viewing opportunities, fantastic concessions and high-speed excitement to hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. In addition to public race weekends, Road America offers a variety of group event programs, the Blain’s Farm & Fleet Motorplex for karting and supermoto, and the Road America Motorcycle and Advanced Driving Schools.
Autoevolution released the final part of their long and instructive guide dedicated to those freshmen in the two-wheeled world.
After they discussing the key elements which can help a new rider get used to what motorcycling is and how to keep him or her free from danger as much as possible, they released these quick final considerations:
8. Bike condition
One of the best ways to prevent accidents to happen or any unfortunate event is to make sure that the motorcycle is in good working condition. It is imperative to know the condition of the motorcycle before going out!
Motorcycle riding is already more dangerous than driving a car. Riding bikes in great working condition eliminates the potential hazards riders face every day.
9. Route planning
Getting away from the confinements of a car is one of the most exhilarating feelings for the new rider. However, failing to properly asses the present situation and anticipate the potential future ones could lead to a less pleasant ride and in some extreme cases to very serious troubles.
Being prepared and aware will not only account for a truly glorious ride, but it offers more chances to make it safe home if the going gets tough.
10. Consider all of the above, show respect and ride well.
The final advice would be to run through all the previous chapters once more and try to understand some of the basic things about bikes and road usage.
Autoevolution reported last week that a truly controversial law was proposed by Nebraska state Senator Paul Schumacher. The law states that motorcycle ridersare to be allowed to run the red light after waiting two or more minutes and in case no other vehicle is around.
This law project claim that in the case of traffic light coordinated by sensors, most of the two-wheeled vehicles fail to trigger these sensors the way cars or trucks do. Riders are forced to wait 5 minutes or more for nothing. Motorcyclists sometimes have to wait in inclement weather (rain, cold, wind) and this bill would really help easing their riding.
Similar exceptional traffic regulations are to be encountered in Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Idaho, Arkansas, Tennessee and Minnesota, but the opinions are strong on both the supporters’ and the opponents’ sides.
According to Engadget, TomTom released their newest gadget – the TomTom Rider. This is a new portable navigation device created especially for bikers. TomTom Rider has been designed to give bikers the ability to choose the type of route they want to ride; from the fastest; to the most scenic; to their own personalized route.
According to Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director of TomTom Consumer, with the use of TomTom Rider, bikers can not only choose where to go, but more importantly how they want to get there.
He also said that the creation of TomTom Rider is prompted by feed backs from motorbike communities. Riders are looking for a device that was customized for the way they want to ride. It was found out that an overwhelming majority of bikers use their motorcycle for recreational purposes and many actively seek out routes that offer fantastic scenic touring experiences.
“TomTom Rider gives bikers the ability to find and ride the best scenic routes in the world.” he added.