Archive for November, 2008

The AMA and Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. and the global leader in satellite navigation, are pleased to announce a new benefit that allows AMA members to purchase Garmin products at discounted pricing.

“The line between being lost or found is as thin as the edge of your map,” said AMA Director of Business Development Jim Moore. “With a Garmin GPS navigator, however, you never have to worry about riding off the edge, and now members of the AMA can enjoy this flexibility, freedom and peace of mind for less.”

The AMA member benefit, which is available starting Nov. 19, covers both Garmin navigation units and software. Garmin’s aviation product line is excluded.

“Garmin makes some of the world’s finest GPS navigators, and the company’s zumo line is tailor-made for motorcyclists with a number of features designed with our needs in mind,” Moore said. “With these products naturally becoming increasingly popular with riders, it only makes sense for the AMA to partner with this great company to bring even more benefits to our members.”

Added Mike Sheehan, Automotive and OEM Marketing Manager from Garmin: “In recent years, Garmin has made a concerted effort to expand into new areas, and thanks to their purpose-built design, unique features and top-quality build, our GPS navigator products are experiencing significant growth in the motorcycling marketplace. This exclusive membership benefit deal gives us another way to get our units into the hands of even larger numbers of dedicated motorcyclists — those of the AMA.”

AMA members can use the discount up to twice in a calendar year. To take advantage of the offer, beginning on Nov. 19 AMA members can visit a landing page on the Garmin web site, at http://www.garmin.com/ama.
The zumo navigators should be particularly popular with AMA members. Designed specifically for motorcyclists, they come in a rugged and ready-to-ride case with glove-friendly, left-handed controls, preloaded street maps and a sunlight-readable screen. The zumo navigators are shock resistant, fuel resistant, waterproof and vibration tested. An SD card expansion slot makes it easy to share maps or upload them to online mapping services, such as Garmin Connect at http://connect.garmin.com/zumo/.

The top-of-the-line zumo 550 is Bluetooth ready and can connect to a Bluetooth-enabled headset to deliver navigation voice prompts wirelessly. The 550 also doubles as an XM satellite receiver and features text-to-speech technology for turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names.

The Garmin product discount, which also covers the company’s extensive collection of maps, is just the latest in a long list of AMA member benefits and savings. For more on the benefits of AMA membership, see http://www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com and click on Member Services.

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The “Hello” Wave

Amongst motorcyclists, there is an unwritten code. Unfortunately, because it’s unwritten, I am not privy to its contents. But, I do know about the “hello wave.” While you’re riding, if you cross paths with another cyclist, you extend your left (clutch) hand down with fingers lightly splayed. You don’t need to make eye contact or nod (unless your clutch hand is busy clutching) you simply let the hand speak for you. The wave is a way of saying “I see and acknowledge you. I am amongst the throngs of great motorcyclists which have come before me, and acknowledge you as a member of the pack as well.”

The thing about the wave is that after two years of riding a motorcycle every chance I get, I still get thrilled when one of my waves is returned. The thrill, I think, comes from being just another person in black leather…the person on the other bike doesn’t care if I’m black, white or _______ (include your ethnicity here); if I’m male or female; if I’m gay or straight (or somewhere in between.). We are all simply acknowledging that we are a breed apart.

Now, if you know dogs, you know that sometimes, being a breed apart is not a good thing. In fact, we tend to throw that word “breed” around as if it is one of the lesser words in the language, but let’s think on it for a moment. If a dog is a pure breed, it tends to be worth more than one that does not have a pedigree. Inbreeding and overbreeding usually lead to health problems. A mixed breed, while loyal and companionable, is usually seen as worthless.

In his story “The Open Boat,” Stephen Crane talks of a “subtle brotherhood” that develops among four men who are stranded in a small boat, fifty feet from shore, with no hopes of getting there because of rocks and terrible undercurrents. There are days when, metaphorically speaking, the rocks and undercurrents threaten to keep me from shore as well. Yet, I am aware of the subtle brotherhood that comes with that little hello wave. I am disappointed when I give the wave, and don’t get a return. I am ecstatic when the wave is initiated from the other cyclist.

In these times when we receive the bulk of our validation from television or video games, it is great to actually receive acknowledgement from another human being, even if they don’t know who I am. I am simply a person on a bike, sharing a common interest. And that rates a hello wave.

An article from Susan

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