First Taste of Deaf Motorcycle Club
Submitted by Martin Teltser, April 10, 2006
When I was growing up, I always wanted to ride a motorcycle. However, I was afraid of talking to my parents about doing it, because I thought they would be upset. I have mentioned the idea to my wife every once in a while since then. Last fall, my teenage son convinced me to take the Motorcycle Safety Course class so we can share a motorcycle after getting our licenses. I convinced my wife that our son would need support so he could get a motorcycle license and eventually, his own motorcycle. She approved of the plan and supported the idea of me taking the class. I contacted a local community college to register for the course but I was informed that all classes in the fall schedule were full, but the college advised me to check with them every week to find out if any openings became available for me. I called the college weekly and in the meantime, I studied a motorcycle operator manual. I took the free knowledge test at a local Motor Vehicle Administration building and failed it about 4 times. I said to myself, "Come on! I don't understand why I failed such an easy test, even though I have earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a driver license". Finally I passed it, and got a learner's permit after paying $30. A few weeks later, I finally registered and attended the class at the local community college for 4 sessions. I did pass a knowledge test in the class but I failed a riding test at first. I took and passed the riding test a second time. I said to myself, "Yeah, I made it." I am really glad that I attended the class because I learned a lot and benefited a lot from the class. Therefore, my learner's permit turned into a motorcycle license at no charge.
A few weeks later, I looked around at numerous motorcycle stores but I realized that it was not easy to find a motorcycle to fit my needs. Finally, I purchased a new motorcycle for the purpose of commuting between home and work. I spent a lot of time to practicing starting and stopping it around my home. I have been commuting successfully between home and work riding on my motorcycle. When my wife and daughter noticed that I handle my motorcycle well, they decided to ride on my bike without any coercion, and enjoyed the ride.
While talking to some people about getting a motorcycle, a few people replied that I have to be careful, and that I can get killed suddenly but they didn't realize that there are a lot of car accidents. The other people looked at me as if I was a "hoodlum," but I told them that a motorcycle just transports me to another place.
I was informed last fall that a deaf motorcycle club existed, which led me to find it on Internet. It was amazing to see several deaf motorcycle club websites. After joining the Eastern Deaf Bikers (EDB), a local motorcycle club in November 2005, I attended the EDB bi-annual meeting on April 2 nd for the first time. The meeting was interesting and I learned something new there. EDB President Dale Ford gave a free T-shirt to Tom Quinn for being a road captain (group leader) to lead us (18 motorcyclists) to the Cindy Dee restaurant near the West Virginia border after the meeting. My first thought was that he just led us there. Before we traveled from the meeting, I admitted to Tom that I was nervous and that I was the most inexperienced motorcyclist in the group. He calmed me down and told me that I shouldn't worry about it and I should be ok. Edward saw and reinforced me, "Don't feel pressured, be relaxed, and take your time." Then I replied "Ok, ok". I was the last person to ride with them but Dale was behind me. While riding with them, I was in awe when I saw the line of motorcycles on the highway for the first time. We stopped by a gas station for a break for a short time after traveling for one hour. Dale taught me how to maneuver the clutch more smoothly. I told him that I was still building up my riding skill. He replied me that I shouldn't worry about it since he did that at the beginning.
After leaving for the Cindy Dee restaurant, we had to stop mid-way, because one motorcycle in our group broke down. I was really impressed that everyone stayed and tried to fix the motorcycle. Dale and a few people still stayed there until the motorcycle was towed. Then we went to the restaurant successfully and we ate excellent fried chicken. I enjoyed talking with the motorcyclists, and collected motorcycling tips from them. I admired Tom, the road captain, who was responsible for spending a lot of time for searching and studying which routes and places are best for our break and final stop. I applauded him and told him that he did a good job as the road captain. I want to join the motorcycle group again next time.I realize that a motorcycle club is like a family, because we need our communication and support to each other. We share our strategies in order to ride safely. For more information about deaf motorcycle clubs across the country, please go to Deaf Bikers of America at http://www.deafmotorcyclelinks.com/dba or Deaf Motorcycle Links at http://www.deafmotorcyclelinks.com.