V-Twin Values(C)
Saturday, July 31, 2004

PLAY gives your life balance, perspective, and renewal. You diverge
from your pressures and see things differently with humor.
Play helps you maintain your health and well-being, allows you to
laugh, and offers private time and self-reflection so that you are continually
Question: By nature of riding a motorcycle you implement the "play" aspect of V-Twin Values. Even so, tell a story about how you find balance, perspective, and renewal through your motorcycle experiences. If you do a lot of self-reflection, share something that you've reflected on while riding that has helped you in your life beyond motorcycling.

PERSISTENCE is about deciding to take action and then taking
action. If the results are not as you expected or wanted, then keep
trying until you achieve your “successes.”
Question: Tell a story about how you have been persistent in order to accomplish what you set out to accomplish with your motorcycle experience. What does "success" mean to you?

PEOPLE implies that no person stands alone. You influence and
are influenced by others. You need and are needed by others. Draw
from and give of yourself to others to find not only success—however
you define it—but fulfillment as well.
Question: Tell a story about how others influence you today as a motorcycle rider, or how your riding has influenced or helped others. Where do you find fulfillment in other people? (Keep it clean!)
The PAST is the sum of your past experiences. They shape you
and influence your being who you are and how you think and feel.
The past is not to be ignored. In fact, you must use and learn from
your past in order to create your present and future successes.
Question: Tell us a story about how your motorcycle experiences draw from your past to make a significant impact on you presently, or how you have used your past experiences to influence your motorcycle riding today.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Motorcycles of the past (I know - define "past") had kick-start mechanisms that required the rider to stand on the starter pedal, jump on the pedal, and dink-around with the choke in order to start the engine. This activity - jumping on the kick-start - could go on for several tries before the motorcycle was brought to life. It took patience, persistence, and no small amount of energy to accomplish the task. The rider kept at it until the engine turned over because he (or she) wanted to ride. Keeping at it usually paid off handsomely as the motorcycle came to life, warmed up, and the rider could eventually take the motorcycle off the kickstand, shift it into gear, and ease forward to balance and ride.

My computer is recovering from a four-week episode of not working. Have you ever had your computer work one day, and the very next day a sinking feeling settles in when you power-on the computer and you get a black screen with white letters that say "Operating System Not Found". What do we do? Don't we first stare at the display with incredulity and think, "Oh no! Not MY computer. There must be a mistake!" Then we start sliding the mouse around the desk and tapping keys on the keyboard, as if that will make the message go away and the rest of the power-up sequence get back on track. We tap, tap, tap those keyboard buttons just like the motorcyclist jumped on that kickstart pedal over and over again, certain it would get the bike going with a little more fortitude put into the effort.

We finally realize all that keyboard tapping isn't going to do a thing to get the computer going so we shove our finger against the "off" button in anger or frustration. Then we try again; push "on", watch the screen glow, listen to the fan come on, hear the disk drive start spinning, watch the screen go black, and stare at that frickin' cursor just sitting there blinking with the message "Operating System not Found" scripted across the first line of the screen. And we do it again! Yes, again.

Finally, we realize nothing more is going to happen so we get creative: ALT-CTRL-DEL keys are pressed simultaneously in the hopes that something happens. That little Windows icon on the key on the lower left of the keyboard gets struck a couple of times in the hopes that the icon will appear on the screen, too. Still nothing. We even turn the display on and off as if that will do something to show a different message. It's absurd, but we do it.

Eventually, just like a motorcycle engine that is intent on NOT starting, the computer continues to give us the dreaded message and we come to the conclusion - after checking all manner of input devices to see if we've left anything in them the last time we used the computer - that the system is just not going to start. Next we call the technician to come bale us out. We can't get anything done until he/she does. It's that same sinking feeling we get when we're all ready for that ride and the bike just won't start. Now what are you going to do?

Persistence - determination that "it will work if I try hard enough" and realization that sometimes, it just won't unless we call for help with the situation.
Friday, April 30, 2004

Group riding - everyone has a part to play and each makes a difference to the entire group experience.

When a group rides there is typically a ride leader who is the first rider and leads the group to a destination. He or she has the route directions and sees to the group's safety. She adjusts her riding pace and style to that of the least-experienced rider in the group in order to ensure everyone keeps up. He uses pre-determined hand signals to communicate with the group riding behind him because he cannot talk to everyone during the ride (unless everyone has the technology that allows them to hear voice communications).

The rear-most rider is typically an experienced rider and is responsible for keeping track of the group's riders. If someone has trouble, the rear-most rider pulls off with the individual in trouble and communicates to the ride leader that there is a problem. The rear-most person helps the rest of the group navigate intersections and turns by warning oncoming traffic there are multiple motorcycle riders in formation, if conditions are safe enough to do so. The rear-most rider has the big picture view of the entire group.

Individuals within the group may have roles such as relaying information to the rest of the members behind them regarding road conditions, oncoming traffic, objects in the road, an individual need, or a particularly interesting sight not to be missed. Group supplies such as first aide kits, camping equipment, picnic particulars, or special event needs may be divided up among the group members so that each carries a fair share of the group's burden. Each individual is responsible for keeping an eye out on the members behind them in case someone signals a need to stop, turn, or breaks down on the road so that the group members in front respond accordingly when it is safe to do so.

A group ride is a wonderful example of team work in action. It shows how people need each other to serve a broader group goal than their own individual goals. In fact, individuals within a group have varying ride skill levels and may best be served on their own by riding faster or slower than others in the group. But during the group ride everyone remains in a staggered formation and maintains the group speed. Teams - professional, athletic, research, civic, political, and others - would do well to follow the example of a motorcycle group ride to achieve the larger goal or mission.

(A fable by Aesop)

The Belly and The Members

One fine day it occured to the Members of the Body that they were doing all the work and the Belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting, and after a long discussion, decided to strike work until the Belly consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or two, the Hands refused to take the food, the Mouth refused to receive it, and the Teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two the Members began to find that they themselves were not in a very active condition: the Hands could hardly move, and the Mouth was all parched and dry, while the Legs were unable to support the rest. So thus they found that even the Belly in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the Body, and that all must work together or the Body will go to pieces.

Moral: All must work together.

(Note: Aesop's fables are in the public domain.)
V-Twin Values(C) are thoughts, ideas, principles, and personal truths discovered while riding, because of riding, or metaphors for riding a motorcycle.

04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 /

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