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updated 3/11/2015

2003-2005 Officers
January 2002 Issue 1
Welcome to the inaugural Eastern Deaf Bikers (EDB) newsletter. To save money, these newsletters will be posted on line. This newsletter is open to all members of EDB. If you have things you would like to write up for the newsletter, please let us know. Articles can cover a wide range of topics, from your favorite rides, trip reports, experiences at rallies, etc. Anything you would like to share with the rest of the EDB.

Riding Safety
Louis F. Caplan - EDB Safety Officer

Welcome to the first EDB Riding Safety column. For this issue I want to let everyone know who I am, and what this space will cover in the future. I have been a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor since 1997. Since then, I've taught about 6-8 classes a year. Most of those classes are with all hearing people, but on those occasions that I've had deaf/HOH tudents I've taught the class in sign language. I am also a voracious reader of motorcycle safety material. I'm constantly reading books, magazine articles, and various websites to earn more and more about motorcycle safety. This is what I would like to share with you all in my role as the EDB Safety Officer. I am not the 'Ride Police.' While the EDB president and I are still working on an exact job description, I look at my role as one of spreading awareness. I intend to do this by writing a column in each newsletter with some safety information in mind. I also want to be available either at meetings or through e-mail to answer any safety or riding related questions you may have. If there are any specific safety issues that you would like to know more about, feel free to e-mail me. It may very well be a topic for a future column. I also can assist with people who would like to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses that are being offered in the various states. While I only teach in Virginia, I can provide information on how to sign up in the various state programs, and who you may need to talk with to arrange an interpreter.


Ride your own Ride
Louis F. Caplan - EDB Safety Officer

I frequently hear my students talking excitedly about their plans for riding after they pass the MSF course and get their own motorcycle. Many of them plan on joining a specific riding organization and going out on group rides with everyone as soon as possible. My comments for these novice (and even experienced!) riders is to remember to always ride your own ride.

Frequently when people ride with a group, they feel that they need to keep up, or else they think they will look foolish, or hold the group back. What every rider needs to remember is that she is responsible for her own safety. If the rider starts taking turns at a higher speed than he is comfortable with just to keep up with everyone else, he is creating a higher risk, and making it more likely that he'll be involved in an accident, possibly with others in the group. We have all been new riders at one time or another. Large groups of motorcycles can be hard to manage in a ride, and should be broken down into smaller groups. Those who are not as experienced can form their own group with one or two experienced group riders and go at a more comfortable pace. The ride should have clear directions passed out to all riders, and more than one meeting point for people to gather and socialize without having to worry about keeping up with everyone else while on the road. This will help alleviate the stress and anxiety in the newer riders, and let everyone have fun in the ride together.


Next month I will write about the dynamics of group riding.