Slow Ride

Since we aren’t a music organization we won’t be discussing Foghat’s classic hit Slow Ride, though it’s a cool song, but we’ll take a closer look at a skill the seems to bewilder some riders as to what are the benefits of becoming more proficient with riding within limited spaces.

Many of us have seen riders at rallies or within dealership parking lots riding at slow speeds with the infamous “outriggers” spanned; aka their feet off the pegs/floorboards hovering inches above the ground in the event of a loss of balance to hopefully prevent the bike from having contact with the tarmac. What most of these riders do not understand is that one will have better control for balance at lower speeds with their feet planted on the rests and that the action of the “foot drag” will assist with changing the motorcycles center of balance. Cruising down the roadways may certainly be easier to do than riding inside limited spaces at slow speeds, but it is a skill that is achievable with a bit of information, education and plenty of practice.

While many may consider this level of skill as more of a convenience to be used in parking lots, the fact is that the skill components associate with slow speeds encompass various portions that any beginning or experienced rider uses on regular rides. The understanding of steady speed control with constant adjustments (in this case a combination of throttle, clutch, rear brake control and counterweight), plus looking where one wants to go, and an overall bonding experience between a riders capabilities and what their bike can do is a true benefit to any rider.

One of the biggest issues to overcome when working towards becoming better at these skills is the fear of dropping the bike. Having gone through this process myself as well as working with students over the years, you need to understand that this could happen and in most cases there is not damage that occurs. If you think about it, probably the first reason for a drop is because the speed was at almost a standstill and typically riders will once again extend their outriggers  to try and prevent the drop; hence it’s more of a damage to ones ego than the bike they are riding. Another factor involved with learning to maneuver at slow speeds is the coordination of controlling a combination of skills; throttle control, clutch or friction zone control and proper pressure using the rear brake all while adjusting yourself to counterweight the balance of the motorcycle; that can be a lot to do at the same time. Working with all these at once may be certainly challenging for some, but this is where proper education and practice comes into play.

I know many riders that have gotten their information from instructional videos on this topic and for some they work well. The one problem that may be with using a video to learn these skills, though the ones I’ve watched are very informative, is that if you are doing something incorrectly there is no one around to point out the snag you may be facing and offer a corrective action. Hence the benefit of rider training, whether in a course scenario or private lessons.

Many of us have seen the skills with Motor Officers either in person or videos and have been in awe of what they can do, well believe it or not just about anyone can work towards such skills. Perhaps not to a competitive level of accuracy or quickness but at least the basic portion of riding slowly and smoothly. What does it take? It’s as simple as becoming better informed and educated on the skills and the biggest thing is to practice at every opportunity you have; whether in a vacant lot or wherever the chance arises on your ride.

So besides looking cool to others when doing such skills, is there any benefit of these skills other than making your way around a crowded lot safely? Being able to adjust to low speed maneuvers  can assist with needing to make a turn from a stop or need to make a sharp turn that exceeds a 90 degree angle to adjoining roads that may be within urban and even rural areas. Also the key elements of looking where you want o go to, smooth speed adjustments and a better bonding of your bike and skill abilities will also pay off when riding and help ones level of competence. Pretty go things to have in ones bag of skills to minimize risk.

So if riding at slow speeds have always been a minor nemesis for you, it can be overcome with  some proper info and of course practice, practice, practice and remember the infamous words from Foghat; Slow Ride, Take It Easy. 


Media advisory / Interview / photo opportunity
Saturday, September 19th 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What: New research from AT&T* shows that smartphone use while driving has grown beyond texting to social media, web surfing, selfies and video chatting. Nearly 4-in-10 users tap into social media while driving. Almost 3-in-10 surf the net. And surprisingly, 1-in-10 video chat. This is why AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign is committed to informing people about the dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel.
To drive home these new findings, and the message “It Can (All) Wait,” AT&T has teamed up with the Empire State Motorcycle Safety Education Program to bring the company’s It Can Wait campaign and online simulator to the Brookhaven Highway Safety Day.
AT&T will present the “It Can Wait” program, as part of a national, public education program to curb smartphone use while driving across the country and will bring its “It Can Wait” online simulators that will allow attendees to experience the dangers of driving and texting in a safe environment.
The “It Can Wait” simulator comes with an interactive steering wheel and gas/brake pedals and a smartphone to send/receive text messages. The simulator will tell the driver when to start, speed up, slow down and when a text has been sent. The driver needs to follow all traffic laws, speed limits, and red/green lights while reading/sending texts sent to the cell phone attached to the simulator. The online simulator is also available free at www.itcanwaitsimulator.org.
Nationally AT&T is asking the public to take the pledge on September 19 and share the “It Can Wait” message with their family, friends and members of the community. The public is encouraged to visit ItCanWait.com, where they can take the pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones, and share their pledge with others via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook.  There will also be a large pledge board at the event that attendees will be encouraged to sign.
Event goers also will be educated on how they can change their behavior behind the wheel and ways today’s technology can assist including AT&T DriveMode®, a free app that automatically sends a reply to an incoming text messages when you are driving.
What started as a campaign focused on not texting and driving has now expanded its focus to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has:
  • Helped drive awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to about 90% for all audiences surveyed.
  • Inspired more than 7 million pledges not to text and drive.
  • Worked with departments of transportation in various states on research that suggests a correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a reduction in crashes.
  • Behind the wheel, everything can change in the blink of an eye. A post, a selfie, a text, a scroll, an email—one look is all it takes.  AT&T recently conducted a survey that found even though the public knows texting while driving is dangerous they continue to do it while behind the wheel—and they also use their smartphones to email, post photos on social media- even take video—while driving! That’s why AT&T’s “It Can Wait” public education program to curb texting while driving was expanded to include all activities with a smartphone while behind the wheel—“It Can ALL Wait”.
Where: Safety Town, Holtsville Ecology Site, 249 Buckley Rd, Holtsville, NY 11742
When:  Saturday, September 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.   
Visuals: Online It Can Wait simulator
Opportunity for reporters/videographers/photojournalists to experience simulator
Interview opportunities with simulator “drivers,” representatives from the Empire State Motorcycle Safety Education Program and organizers of the Brookhaven Highway Safety Day
 CONTACT:  Benjamin Roberts, AT&T, 716-262-5883, ben.roberts@att.com 


Sunday September 20th
Dee Sniders Ride to Fight Hunger on Long Island
Empire State Motorcycle Safety Education Program will be at the Vendor Area 
for the Event - Stop by & Say Hi

Click on image for Website and Details


FREE September Seminar is Hosted by
Tramas Gear Shop

Tuesdays September 15, 22, 29

515 Central Ave, Massapequa
PH- 516.779.4327

You can still Join the Program this coming Tuesday 

This will be our last Free scheduled seminar for 2015. We are working on our 2016 schedule which will include additional seminars and information. 

Motorcyclists Tune Up Information for motorcyclists to refresh themselves of skills and awareness needed to have a safer riding season. This will be a non riding course (information only) that will review topics such as proper cornering, braking, general riding skills, group riding, street strategies, road awareness and more. These seminars have been receiving overwhelming fantastic feedback responses noting that the information on situational awareness is a great asset to help prevent possible conflicts on the road. 

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