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COMMUNICATION: VITAL IMPORTANCE OF HAND SIGNALS ON THE ROAD

Head light – check, Running lights – check, Oil – Check, Brake lights – check, Transmission Oil – Check, Front and Back Break Fluids – Check, General Motorcycle Checking routines; “Hand Signal” – Maybe!  Not all motorcycles come with a helmet that has an ear piece that each rider will hear one another.

Starting out riding, I rode with Hubby on his 1972 Sportster; years later – it was given as my birthday present. He showed how different hand signals works just in case someone cannot hear you on top of the Harley pipes.  During that time, I realize the vital importance of hand signals and the funny side of doing hand signal on a ride.

I reside in Missouri with a slang that goes with it “Show Me State”.  In the process of learning the vital importance of hand signals on a ride more than five (5) riders.  The loud pipes of the Harley that I love the most; a rider cannot hear each other very well if  communicating verbally, that is the main reasons of hands signal. Sometimes, even though, we see the brake lights or turn signals coming on; some of us riding enjoy the view mostly (paying attention but not focus).

While learning the hand signal, I’ve notice most riders pick up quickly on movements better than the lights”.  Slowing down, Left turn, Right turn, Engine starts, Road kill or something else on the road; it works for me truly, I like sightseeing when I am out riding, even though there are lights on my Harley I use hand signals for my safety as well as the safety of others on a ride.

The funny side of hand signal – in my learning years; every time my husband notches my side to do a hand signal, someone on a pass by vehicle always wave. At first, I just frown at them, but Hubby said, “It will be alright just return the wave if able to”. We always have a little laugh about it and go on.  It goes to shows I live in the “Show Me State”, and it always brought a smile.  

Earlier in the years, I’ve known some friends who didn’t know hand signal including myself; it is very vital important when there is more than five (5) plus riders, it save a rider or two from an accident, or a group of riders from a major catastrophe. I, myself, encourage all my new rider friends to learn this skill – it is very helpful in the long run.

Even, if all the major lights on our Harley works, it is always good to learn hand signals.  It saves twelve (12) of us riding down the highway and run across an accident in which just occurred. Running at 75 – 80 mph speed on I-49 Hwy and slowing down to 10-15 mph in a matter of 3-5 seconds helps when hand signals were used that day – the movement caught every ones view which made it easy to slow down to a stop without causing a major catastrophe on the ride that day.

Vital Importance of Hand Signal? “Yes” – very important to my view. It plays a major role in regarding safety, road hazard, saving a fellow rider from a major catastrophe, or just someone in need of a restroom stop. Enjoy the ride.

MISCOMMUNICATION : “I GOT A BEE!” or “I HAD TO PEE!”

 

Have you ever wonder when there’s a miscommunication on a ride; it’s hilarious. You pretty much know what someone will say by their expression: the “WHAT”, the “I DON’T KNOW”, the “OH”, the “CONCERN” look, but last – the “GRINS” and the “LAUGHS!”

Riding down the road – over the rumble of the Harleys; I heard someone hollering! “I had to pee?” Or that’s what I thought I heard, it’s one of those scenario that was quite funny at the time but not to the Wayne”.

We just pulled out from the home place, there were seven (7) of us out riding on that beautiful Saturday morning around 10:00 am. It was my third (3) solo since I started out riding. Hubby and Dean were showing me how to ride with a group, what to look for, the distance between riders, the signals, and the formation.

We were about three (3) miles down the road, through the rumbling sound of the Harleys, I heard someone hollering “I had to pee!”. Wayne hand signal Dean to let him know, but Dean shook his head – signal back next gas station! Wayne was riding the outside lane, fourth (4) bike from Dean – leading; third (3) from where I’m at before Hubby (last). At first, I saw Wayne swerving a little, then cussing up a storm, then doing a slap dance of some sort. I heard Wayne hollering at Dean “I got a pee!” Hubby pulled up “signaling” Wayne – nearest gas station, then drop back to his position of riding.

Looked around going down the back highway: MoDot already mowed the ditches probably two (2) or three (3) days before, there’s a new crop of corn in the field both side – couple of inches tall maybe, and a couple of houses. NO TREES or ANY PLACE FOR A PERSON TO GO PEE.

To our dismay; two (2) miles down the road, Wayne pulled off the road, in front of someone’s driveway; before anyone could voice an opinion – he is already off his bike, shirt coming off, and trying to get his helmet off.

At this point, Dean slowed down and he is turning around coming back, everyone else pulled over the far right of the lane and park because there is no shoulder. It’s amazing what type of expression you see on this type of scenario.
Both Dean and Hubby reach Wayne about the same time. Hubby was making sure I pulled over on the far right of the lane safely before he pulls up to check on Wayne.

Hubby pulled up – looking up and down the road, and of course, the house – the driveway that Wayne pulled off at. He look at Wayne and said, “What are you doing Wayne?” “You can’t pee in front there?” Dean said, “We’re only four (4) miles from the nearest gas station, could you at least hold it in until then?”

Wayne, now, finally got his helmet off. “I didn’t say I had to pee!” “I GOT A BEE!” – “Two (2) Bees”; two went through my right sleeve – I got one but another got to my back inside of my shirt and end up in my helmet!”

“Oh”, understatement, that’s everyone’s expression. That makes sense; the swerving, the cussing, the slap dance that I saw earlier before he pulls off the road. Wayne got stung three times that morning; one on the shoulder, his back and by his right ear. Good thing for emergency kit; rubbing alcohol and ibuprofen helps. Between the laughs, chuckles and the jokes, we load up and took off on the ride.

By the end of the ride; Wayne said he’s heading home, he’s hurting. We ask him if he need anyone to ride with him home, he said “No, I’ll be okay but I’ll call you when I get there!”

It makes for a rude awakening on a ride, but it does happen when you least expected. I know it was not a laughing matter for Wayne at the time. But, it makes a good laugh that morning.

Have you ever had this type of miscommunication on a ride?  What I thought I heard is different from what is? Drive Safe!