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Archive for December, 2012

Snowflake Wheels By Kimtab

Snowflake Wheels By Kimtab

A little over 5 years ago a small movement was started by this blog in bringing together  a few fellow riders (at least on-line) who have a dedication and a passion for riding motorcycles and enjoying the wind in their face.

I wanted to take a moment to thank all the readers and say may beautiful moments and happy memories surround you this holiday season.  I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a New Year that is filled with much joy, happiness and success.

If my Christmas greeting offended you then… please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday.

I look forward to bringing you even more relevant motorcycle information and interaction in the coming year.  See you on the road.

Photo courtesy of Kimtab.

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HD-Ad-ChristmasYou might be a spammer if you send a holiday e-card.

And I’ve received several from Harley-Davidson and the dealer network disguised as ads.  Nothing says your cheap and out of date more than sending a holiday e-card, especially if there is no personalization involved and it’s really evangelizing discount specials.  You look like some tech retard who doesn’t realize fads come and go and you’ve just dated yourself to 1999.

And don’t e-mail me every day unless you have something to say.  Don’t Facebook me either saying you’ve got something “FASCINATING”…  yet, there it is, another photo advert on “The Wall” or dealer email message or tweet.  I mean if I don’t know you, should I really be on your Christmas list?

Tigard-adSome of us are old enough to remember that once upon a time there was a company called CDNow. It sold CDs over the Internet. You remember CDs, right?  Those shiny discs that were supposed to have the ultimate sound and last forever.

Anyway, CDNow put out a newsletter every 3-months which generated a lot of money.  Then the company went public and in an effort to boost financial numbers sent two newsletters a quarter. They continued to do very well.  To make the story shorter, by the time they were done, CDNow was sending a newsletter every week. And then they were done, the company went into decline and was sold to Bertelsmann.

The audience tuned out.

salem-adIf you’ve got something interesting to say and an audience that wants to hear it, by all means reach out. But if you’re just trying to generate sales, trying to monopolize your audience’s mind, be careful about how often you intrude on them. It’s the best way to turn people off. Banging at their digital door again and again and again.

We pull in today’s world and we hate push.  Yet, there’s an incredible amount of PUSH going on at Harley-Davidson.  It’s especially challenging this year since more of it is combined with their collective dealer network and HOG activities.  It’s an endless stream of “look-at-me” attempts.  Show me someone who love’s commercials and I’ll show you someone who works at a TV network.

Listen up Harley-Davidson marketing… If you’re selling first, most people are ignoring you.  Build the relationship.  Nurture the relationship.  And know that everybody on the other end is an individual, with feelings and desires.

There is a flip side of Internet access. The ability to tune out unreasonable spam.  If you continue to be a culprit then you might be sending it, but no one is listening or checking it out.

Photo’s courtesy of H-D.

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HB4200A-PhotoIt was a very rare event indeed last week.

A single corporate employer caused the Governor to require the state’s 90 Legislators to leave their cozy homes to attend a Special Legislative Session, all for the purpose of making a 30 year, no-new-taxes pledge on non-Oregon income.

Yes, it was a special day for Nike, Inc.

First off, a big shout out to the Nike, Inc. team for agreeing to invest in Oregon at least $150 million in new money and hiring an additional 500 Oregon workers over the next 5-years.  Somewhere on a Facebook page is a photo of champagne corks popping as the Nike negotiators celebrated.  Although, it’s shameful that the same pledge of no-new-taxes for the next 30 years was not extended to all Oregon corporations willing to expand in Oregon and hire more Oregon workers.

The Special Session referenced was about one item:  HB 4200A — “The Nike Bill.”

HB 4200A passed the House by a vote of 50 to 5, and the Senate, 22 to 6.  There was both support and opposition to the bill on both sides of the aisle.  The legislative members who voted against it thought it appeared to them to be a “corporate give-away”.   (I might be off-base, but isn’t it a little disingenuous for liberals who campaigned only weeks ago on the evils of big corporations to be rushing a bill through in a Special Session that pledges to protect one of Oregon’s largest corporations from any corporate tax increase on the main source of its income for the next 30-years?)

Speaking of the Occupy Portland movement… where did they go?

At anyrate, the Governor and a majority of the Legislators who passed HB 4200A acknowledged and reinforced a behavior that if successful Oregon businesses do not get assurances that their taxes will not be raised, they will threaten to move future job-creating investments to states that offer more favorable tax policies.

Conclusion?  Head west Harley-Davidson.  Oregon is nurturing its big businesses and making deals because profitable companies need not fret about their tax burdens.

Just imagine the job growth if every Oregon business employer could benefit from such a pledge.

Photo courtesy of Oregon State Legislature.

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A tracing image at El Zotz archaeological site of the Maya sun god

Yep, it’s 12.12.12 and this post went live at 12.12.12am (pacific)!

I’m not superstitious, but I was recently reminded that it’s only eight days until the predicted Maya apocalypse.  

You know… where the earth will be destroyed on 12.21.12 because that date corresponds to the end of the 13th b’ak’tun, or the 144,000-day cycle on the Maya Long Count calendar, marking a full cycle of creation according to the ancient Maya.

So buckle up.

Or maybe not, because according to Maya scholar John Hoopes,  when westerners caught wind of the Mayan calendar, they mixed in their own end-of-the-world mythology, much stemming from Christianity and created a new legend.

Either way don’t worry that it’s game over for your Harley-Davidson.  Inside sources tell me that the best motorcycle for fighting off the Zombies as they exit the Royal Tomb atop the Diablo Pyramid is a Road Glide due to the frame mounted fairing’s ability to take a hit!

Did you find the ‘Glide’ motorcycle in the above image?  You have to concentrate…

Photo courtesy of Stephen Houston.  

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Random-CheckpointIn Oregon non-DOT motorcycle helmets are ALLOWED by definition under ORS 801.366.  See page #59 (HERE).

Independent of your views on the usage of these helmets, many riders would agree that motorcycle-ONLY safety checkpoints are inappropriate.  Yet in spite of the activism and involvement from the motorcycle community to stop or prohibit federal funds for motorcycle-ONLY checkpoints the progress hasn’t always been favorable.

Case in point is the Court of Appeals for the New York Second Circuit which backed roadblocks for the purpose of issuing motorcycle citations.

The back story is that in 2007, the New York State Police began using federal taxpayer grant money to target these motorcyclists with the stated objective “to detect motorcycle safety violations and ensure proper registration and operator compliance with New York State’s motorcycle license requirements.  The first roadblock was set up on October 7, 2007 to hit participants returning from a motorcycle rally nearby in Connecticut. Signs were posted on Interstate 84 ordering motorcycle riders to “exit ahead” while a uniformed police officer directed traffic into a rest area. From there, a total of 280 motorcyclists were detained and forced to undergo “full-blown inspections” that generated 104 traffic tickets. The most common citation was for improper helmet.

In 2008, a total of 17 roadblocks were held, detaining 2278 motorcyclists who were issued 600 tickets for infractions that had nothing to do with safety. Another 365 citations were issued for use of an unapproved helmet. Several detained bikers sued the state police after they were detained 45 minutes or more.

In U.S. District Court Judge Gary L. Sharpe rejected the motorcyclists’ argument that the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures applied to this case.  To get around the constitutional need for individualized suspicion of wrongdoing before a seizure, courts have created a “special needs” doctrine that allows roadblock programs serving a particular government need.

In this situation, the state produced statistics that showed motorcycle fatalities dropped 17 percent in the same year that motorcycle helmet ticketing increased 2175 percent, and Judge Sharpe agreed this was proof that the roadblock’s primary purpose was safety. The courts then must balance whether the government need to enhance safety is greater than the interference with individual liberty.

The appellate judges agreed with the lower court’s analysis that it was:  “Applying this balancing test, we conclude that the well catalogued public interest in highway safety is well served by the safety checkpoint program and outweighs the interference with individual liberty in this case,” the second circuit ruled in a brief, summary opinion. “Accordingly, the district court did not err in concluding that there was no constitutional violation.” A copy of the summary order of November 29, 2012 is at: Wagner v. Sprague (US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 11/29/2012).

I choose to wear a DOT approved helmet, but I dislike discriminatory checkpoints.  Have you been to the Laughlin River Run lately and rode out to Oatman, Arizona on the Oatman-Topock Highway?  How about return to the hotel from a concert at the Buffalo Chip during Sturgis week?  Random LEO check points are the norm.  Officers invade your personal space to check for alcohol.

Could Oregon be next to implement similar “safety” initiatives?  Hopefully not, but you might recall that at an ABATE rally in Olympia, WA a few years ago it become a photo op for “profiling” riders and law enforcement writing down license plate information (video HERE).  In 2011, Governor Chris Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5242  which outlaws profiling of motorcyclists and earlier this year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California Bill AB 1047 which outlaws motorcycle only checkpoints.

If motorcycle only checkpoints raise your blood pressure then write or ride to the Oregon capitol in February and talk to your state legislators.  Explain to them that there is no reason why anybody in any state should be profiling any particular group including motorcyclists and you want them to stop it.

Photo courtesy Doug Chanco.  The 2012 Biker Rally at the Capitol HERE.

UPDATE:  Added the link to Oregon helmet law history HERE.

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e-citationWe’ve all been there.

The riding posse jostles out of a parking lot or a fuel stop and spills out onto the freeway.  The front of the pack has merged onto the freeway as everyone behind must speed up so, we twist open the throttle and try and catch the front of the pack.  Everyone is doing the same thing.  Some cars are smart enough to let us have our way and some are not.  Then you glance down at the speed-o-meter just long enough to see it somewhere north of 70 mph and as the eyes return up to the front you glimpse a red/blue flashing light in the mirror.

Speaking of traffic enforcement…  in the state of Oregon, twenty-four hours a day, the Oregon State Police (OSP) issue traffic citations.  In fact, OSP issues a citation approximately every 2.6 minutes as they hand write more than 200,000 citations annually.  And after a copy is given to the person stopped by the trooper, copies are hand-delivered to the local court and another copy to the respective OSP field office.  It doesn’t stop there as transcriptions of a single citation will occur at the field office into the OSP Records Management System and again at the circuit or justice court.

Clearly all this “processing” leads to a considerable number of resources being dedicated to capturing information on the citations for the respective court system along with a certain percentage of transcription errors.

Enter the OSP Mobility + E-Ticketing Program.  A program which developed an electronic citation process to more efficiently move a citation from the law enforcement officer’s hand to circuit and justice courts all across the state.

Aren’t we lucky to have such visionaries cheerfully remove our wait burdens during the ticket processing?

OSP-EticketThe program started back in January 2011 when the OSP began exploring alternatives as part of a series of technology-based projects to transform how OSP troopers work and how the Department conducts daily business. The Mobility + E-Ticketing Program was successfully rolled out earlier this year as 39 circuit courts began moving from the delivery of handwritten citations to electronically receiving citations in “twitter speed” from the scene of the traffic stop.

It’s all about improving efficiency and automating the tedious act of an officer issuing a traffic citation.  OSP consulted with the Oregon Justice Department (OJD) and the Chief Justice of Oregon to ensure legal compatibility with all state statutes. And, multiple agencies and vendors worked collaboratively to deliver a fully integrated solution that automated OSP systems and helped the courts. By developing an electronic citation process that could be used by all law enforcement agencies across Oregon just think of the utilization metrics and nifty cost saving stats.  With a “we look forward to seeing you frequently” mind-set, E-Ticketing also helped implement the OJD Courts ePay process, allowing offenders to pay citations on-line within 24 hours instead of being involved in a process that could take more than 3 weeks to resolve.

The OSP Mobility +E-Ticketing Program cost approximately $2.5 million including hardware, software, equipment, installations, and other related costs.  The state used a federal grant to upgrade technology and installation of in-patrol-car computer systems. The mobile computers give troopers immediate data sharing capabilities with other law enforcement agencies while they are involved in a stop.

So, the next time you twist the throttle, know that the nice folks at the OSP, OJD and Trial Court collaborated to deliver you a citation efficiently with the intent of helping you move along to your destination as quickly as possible – of course within the legal posted speed limits!

Photo courtesy of OSP.

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