2015 Azusa StreetRiders National Rally

To All Azusa StreetRiders and Friends of Azusa StreetRiders:

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

We’re about a month away from our 5th Annual Azusa StreetRiders International Rally to be held this year in Maryville, Tennessee at First Apostolic Church (Pastor Kenneth Carpenter, ALJC General Superintendent). You will not want to miss it!

Each day will be filled will beautiful rides through the mountains of Tennessee and awesome times of fellowship. Then, to top off the day, we’ll have a great time in the Lord with preaching from Bro. David K. Bernard, the General Superintendent of the UPCI.

We have something new and exciting starting this year at our annual business meeting; a time of recognition for our members. Achievement awards will be presented and I will be explaining how your chapter could earn the very first Azusa StreetRiders’ CHAPTER OF THE YEAR AWARD to be presented at the 2016 International Rally! This award will be presented annually and will be based on a simple point system that will be fair to all chapters, large or small. All the details will be presented at our business meeting on August 1, 2015. Please plan to be there or at least have a representative from your chapter present if you can’t make it.

Don’t miss the awesome time of renewal at the Rally! Each year we are greatly blessed by this event. You can be sure that the Lord will be there with us, so if you can only make one trip this year, this is it! Remember, in addition to our Rally, the area is great for a family vacation…Pigeon Forge, TN (Dollywood) is only about an hour away and Gatlinburg, TN is not much further.

God Bless you all for your hard word. We appreciate each all your efforts!

Hope to see you in Tennessee!!!

Rev. Anthony Storey
ASR National Vice President

RIDE FOR THE RANCH 2015

Greetings to you fellow Azusa Streetriders, family members and friends!

“Ride for the Ranch” turned out to be a great benefit ride for the Lighthouse Ranch for Boys in Loranger, Louisiana. In addition to the 70± mile road trip in the country, we had wonderful fellowship and plenty of jambalaya—thanks to Branden Naquin and fellow ASR member Tim Snyder. Pastor Randy Hennigan from the Kenner, Louisiana provided anointed music and a motorcycle “beauty” contest was held and judged by the boys at the Ranch. We also were blessed with a motorcycle skills demonstration by Toby Phillips and his wife from Georgia along with ASR member Steve Amason. Toby and his wife traveled approximately 500 miles to donate their time for this benefit! Thank you Toby and Christy for the great sacrifice and distance you drove to instruct us on motorcycle skills and safety.

Bro. Danny Smith, the director of Lighthouse Ranch for Boys, was able to share the history, present day needs and his burden for the Ranch. Many thanks to Bro. Smith, his staff and the Boys who reside at the Ranch for allowing us to make this event possible. Many bikers attended the Ride for the Ranch fundraiser including the CMA members from Baton Rouge, LA and Slidell, LA. Thank you Southeastern ASR chapter, out of state ASR members and friends for all of your efforts to make this a success! ASR members from Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama rode in to support this great event, including Bro. Todd Story, ASR National Vice President, and Bro. Robert Thompson, ASR National Secretary.

Again, I extend my gratitude to you all, but most importantly thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for a safe and prosperous event! Looking forward to next year!

Rev Ed Sears
Azusa Streetriders
Louisiana District Coordinator

Slaying the Dragon mountain riding 101

Curve-photo-croppedMe On The Dragon

Lines through a corner

Compared to roads in a flat country, roads in mountain areas have far more corners, and those corners are often really tight.

Start in the outside

Very important in the mountains is the line you ride through a corner. Always start at the outside: in a corner to the left you start at the right side, and in a corner to the right you start left.
If the road is narrow, you can even use the part of the road for oncoming traffic. The advantage is that you will see oncoming traffic earlier than when you stay inside the corner.

Look through the corner

Hold on to the outside line for a long time. There will be a moment when you can look through the rest of the corner in one straight line. That’s the point where you turn in for the second time, and then ride along that straight line. That will be the only time that you touch the inside line through the corner.

Try not to reach the lane for oncoming traffic, in a left turn. In that case there will be space if you need more space, and at the same time you train yourself riding tight corners.

And in a blind corner, you should not only expect cars or trucks, but also all types of animals one would expect in the mountains.

On really narrow roads with hairpins, don’t begin on the lane for oncoming traffic: in that case, there might be not enough time to get back to the right side of the road when a local arrives from the other side.

Try to keep your head inside your own lane as well, in corners to the left or to the right.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead

Before entering a hairpin or switchback, always look up or down, so you know in advance what you will encounter during the turn.

Often, you can see through more than one corner (even when the corner before you itself is blind). The more you try to see what is in front of you on the road, the more you know about the oncoming traffic, and where you can expect them.

Throttle

On the throttle

Always try to keep the throttle open (a bit) during a corner. The corner will certainly be easier that way.

When going up, keep the speed above the minimum that is needed not to stall, because you don’t want to stall in the middle of a hairpin, and squeezing the clutch while going up won’t help either.

If you descend, keeping the throttle open often is difficult, but do try, as it will make life easier.

Stalling

When your motorcycle is going to stall mid-turn, let it stall. *Don’t* pull the clutch: the motorcycle will go backward, down, and you would be pulled along.

To brake

Upward: rear brake

When you ride upwards, you can use the rear brake during turns: that will stabilize the bike, and it allows you to keep the throttle open during the turn.

Downward: front brake

But downward, the rear brake is of no use: the rear wheel almost carries no weight, which means it will stop turning very easily when you apply the rear brake.

If you ride steep downward and you have to brake, use the front brake.

Why no rear brake downward?

If you ride downward, almost all the weight of the bike is on the front wheel. Therefore, it is very easy to lock the rear wheel when you use the rear brake.

In that case, the rear wheel will try to get past the front wheel, which will take you and the bike down.

Try to use the compression of the engine to brake, and when you need more brakes, use the front.

Do not brake while in the turn

If you must brake do your braking before the corner not going into it  this will stand your bike upright into the wrong direction you need to be going.

Downward

Preferably with the throttle open!

Riding up is not a problem, most of the time; it is riding downward that is the most difficult.

Try to use the engine brake: shift downward until you have the right speed without the throttle, or with a bit of throttle.

In a turn, open the throttle a bit.

When it is so steep that your speed is too high, even in the first gear, you will have to use the brake as well (the front, that is).

Fear of heights

Look in front of you

Do you have fear of heights, and do you get dizzy when looking down? Then don’t!

Concentrate on the road ahead, and look forward: far, far forward

Stopping and getting away

Upward

If you have to come to a standstill while riding upward, you can keep your foot on the rear brake. Just keep the bike in the first gear, and it’s easy to ride away again.

When the surface of the road is a bit loose, let the clutch go slowly to ride away, You can drag both your feet on the ground for added safety. Once you feel comfortable at that moment, you can open up the throttle a bit, and you let go of the rear brake.

Downward

Downward, you come to a standstill with the front brake. Pulling away is even possible without the engine. Hold your clutch in some while releasing your brake as you are now starting to roll.

Parking

Mind the other traffic

Remember, when you park to enjoy the views, or to take a picture, that you park your motorcycle in a spot where it can be easily seen from both sides.

Sometimes you think to see a spot that is perfectly fit to park, and it happens to be a spot to let cars pass each other on narrow roads. Those spots are there for passing, so don’t use them!

Sloping surface

While parking, you will notice the results of the three dimensions in the mountains: where you would otherwise feel the surface with your foot, there may be nothing… the surface is sometimes further away than you are used to. So look where you stop, and check which foot to use to carry your weight.

Foot on the back brake

If you stop while riding upwards, you should make sure that your right foot can stay on the peg, because you need the back brake in that situation.

Try to park you bike with its front pointing upwards: otherwise, it might ride off the side stand. Also: keep it in first gear.

The side stand

If you have to park with the front of the bike pointing downwards, the bike could fall, even when parked in gear, 

because sometimes gravity pulls harder.

And always try to check the situation with respect to riding away again. In principle, it is no big deal when you first have to let the bike go a bit downward, but if you would have to turn it at the same time, getting away could become a bit of a problem.

The weather

Change of weather

You may experience huge changes of temperature when riding upwards or downwards in the mountains. So always carry something warm, and especially something which keeps out the rain as in rain gear.

What is also likely to happen, is that you ride in very bright sun light, and suddenly, after a corner, you enter a thick fog. or dark shadows of the tress.

The weather high in the mountains can change very suddenly, from summer to winter, from thunderstorm to clear skies, from snow to fog to bright clear sun.

So carry a riding jacket and  rain gear  sunglasses.

Slippery

Above 2000 ft  means a chance of slippery roads, or even black ice. When it is raining up on the mountains.

Being polite

Allowing people to pass

When you are experiencing your first mountain ride, your speed will probably be much lower than the speed of people who are used to riding the mountains. Especially people living there will know each corner, and are able to ride certain passes blindfolded.

Don’t be tempted to try to keep in front of them. Try to maintain your own comfort speed, and let people who are faster than you in corners, pass. Move to the right to let them pass you.

So don’t open up the throttle after each corner to make up for a slow corner: on the contrary, use straight stretches to slow down, so people can easily get past you. Ride your own ride.

When you are getting used to mountain riding, and your own speed gets higher, you will notice that some people will let you pass in the same way, and you will be grateful.

So, check your mirrors often!

Oncoming traffic

The same politeness also applies to oncoming traffic. So just try to determine for whom it is most easy to stop (which will often be you, the motorcycle rider).

When you see a Truck, don’t enter a hairpin with the idea that the truck will have to wait because you have as much right on that hairpin as the truck, but find a place to pull aside far right as you can get instead. Because that truck will now take up your lane also on the curves.

Most people who ride and drive in the mountains are very courteous, as you will notice, and it is a pleasant feeling to be one of them.

Badly running engine

Less oxygen

If your motorcycle doesn’t have injection, you may experience a badly running engine at heights. The air becomes thinner, and your bike will receive less oxygen, while the amount of fuel stays the same: so the mix will become too rich.

Some motorcycles will protest. The fuel consumption rises (with a well running engine, fuel consumption will decrease in the mountains), and the engine seems to want to give up.

Air filter

In such a case, don’t fumble with the needles, but, as a temporary measurement, take off the air filter. The amount of air in the mixture will increase, which will compensate a bit for the decreased percentage of oxygen.

Distances

Less miles in a day

When planning your trip, keep in mind that you will cover much smaller distances in the mountains, especially when you go up and down through hairpins. A distance of 50 miles doesn’t mean that you will be there in half an hour!

It applies even more for the distance on the map: on the road, you will cover vertical miles as well.

Also be aware of the fact that gas stations on top of mountain passes are rare. Always make sure you start off your ride with a full take and to top off any chance you get.

Michael Theodore
National Road Captain

 

Stayin’ Safe Overcoming the fear of Tar Snakes

Stayin’ Safe
Overcoming the fear of  Tar Snakes
Who knew the incidence of ophidiophobia would be so high among motorcyclist? Yet nearly every rider I have known through all my years of riding has expressed a distinct and sometimes paralyzing fear of snakes. Especially black snakes; aka Tar snakes. These species are commonly found stretched across the pavement. Of course almost always on a nice twisty road as you approach  the corner or exit it. They are on the back roads and also the supper slab highways. But are these tar snakes in fact a serious threat to riders? The straight answer to that question is….it depends. For the most part, tar snakes on the road is relatively harmless, especially those that are thin,and few in numbers and surrounded by traction-rich pavement. Although you the rider may feel momentary uneasiness as the bike’s tires squirm slightly on the tar strip surface,traction and a more direct feel will quickly return once rubber finds clean pavement. This unfamiliar movement of the motorcycle is generally more disconcerting to you the rider then it is dangerous, provided you remain calm, Granted, tar snakes can become threats in certain conditions. If you see more black tar than tarmac, there will certainly be way less traction avalible. When tar is cold and damp such as in the early morning in spring and fall, it can become hard and slick. In a rain storm it can be very slick. In the hot summer sun can make tar snakes squishy, although they still provide moderate traction. In each of these scenarios, I will say that it is best to stay loose, keep a light touch on the handlebars and look up the road to where you want to go (looking ahead adds a sense of stability). Make subtle steering and throttle inputs, avoid extreme lean angles and just glide though the tar snake. With a little caution and smoothness you can avoid being bitten…and maybe even become an expert snake handler 
Michael Theodore
Azusa StreetRiders National Road Captain
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