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VIDEO: On Women, Motorcycles and Rules for Riding Safely

I became a motorcycle enthusiast while in the U.S. Army. I have always ridden Honda motorcycles and, like many fellow riders, was involved in an accident. Luckily I survived the injuries and I ride today as often as I can. I always wear full protective gear while riding.

I have learned it is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

In the 2015 print edition of Icon’s Limiter magazine (issue #10) is an article on Ewa Pieniakowska (pictured above). Icon reports, “Ewa is a small town girl from Poland, she put her mind to making it big in the freestyle world, and then she went out and did it. Always pushing her bike and her skills to the limit, Ewa ground and pounds ever closer to whatever goal she puts her mind to. Ewa only knows her definitive end goal, but there’s not much on this earth that can stop her.”

Ewa is Poland’s first female Streetbike Freestyle Stunt Rider. She is the first woman in European history to take part in a stunt competition.

After reading the article I went to Ewa’s website EwaStunts.com. I immediately became an Ewa fan. I respect Ewa for her motorcycle riding skills, dedication and passion for motor-sports. She is Polish as is my mother’s family, no ethnic prejudice here. Here is Ewa talking about the importance of wearing the proper motorcycle gear:

I have certain rules when riding my motorcycle:

  1. Always wear full protective clothing (body armor, long Kevlar or leather riding pants with armor inserts at the knees, riding shoes made for motorcycles, full faced helmet and leather riding gloves). I see too many riders on motorcycles and motor scooters who wear no protective clothing. I cringe every time I see one drive by. I call people who ride motorcycles and motor scooters without a helmet “organ donors.”
  2. I don’t ride and drink. Drinking alcohol and then getting on a motorcycle is a death wish.
  3. I don’t drive at night, if I can avoid it. Drivers don’t see motorcyclists during the day, its worse when the sun goes down.
  4. I avoid driving on highways. It’s much more fun, and safer, to take the scenic route and back roads.
  5. I don’t answer my phone while riding. I have a Bluetooth device on my helmet that allows me to sync with my smart phone. Don’t use it as it is a distraction. If the call is important, pull over to the side of the road and return the call.
  6. I don’t start a motorcycle ride in the rain. However, I will ride home in the rain, very carefully!

Riding motorcycles for over 35 years I have met the nicest people. Among them are women riders. Some ride solo, others ride as passengers. Either way, women owners of  motorcycles is a growing industry (go into your local motorcycle dealer and see how many items are in pink). Women riding motorcycles is becoming more popular and that is good for everyone, including us men.

Here is another video of Ewa doing what she does best, pushing herself and her motorcycle to the limit:

As motorcyclists say: Live to ride and ride to live!

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Florida Legislature begins 2015 Session with Introduction of Motorcycle Friendly Bills

The Florida Legislature started its 2015 session this week with the introduction of 10 bills aimed at distracted driving and two pieces of right-of-way legislation designed to protect vulnerable road users.

S.B. 908, introduced by Sen. Thad Altman (R-Cape Canaveral), would require all motorists, when passing vulnerable road users, provide a distance of at least 3 feet between the vehicle and the vulnerable road user. It also would require all accident reports to include information in the official report if a right-of-way violation led to a crash between a motorist and a vulnerable road user.

Under S.B. 908, if a motorist caused bodily injury to a vulnerable road user, the motorist would be required to pay a fine of up to $2,000 and would face a suspension of driving privileges for six months.

S.B. 1376, introduced by Sen. Greg Evers (R-Pensacola), would require that any motorist who commits a moving violation that causes serious bodily injury to a vulnerable user be required to pay at least a $1,500 fine, serve a minimum of 30 days of house arrest and attend a driver improvement course.

A vulnerable road user is defined under Florida law s. 316.027 as:

  1.  A pedestrian, including a person actually engaged in work upon a highway, or in work upon utility facilities along a highway, or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the right-of-way;
  2.  A person operating a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, or moped lawfully on the roadway;
  3. A person riding an animal; or
  4. A person lawfully operating on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the roadway:
  • a. A farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use;
  • b. A skateboard, roller skates, or in-line skates;
  • c. A horse-drawn carriage;
  • d. An electric personal assistive mobility device; or
  • e. A wheelchair.

Additionally, legislators in Florida have introduced ten bills to reduce distracted driving. H.B. 1, H.B. 9, H.B. 17, H.B. 191, H.B. 1313, S.B. 192, S.B. 246, S.B. 270, S.B. 492 and S.B. 1022 would all limit cellphone use by drivers.

“With nearly 80 percent of crashes involving some form of distraction, the AMA supports legislation that provides an incentive for motor vehicle operators to focus their attention on driving,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president of government relations. “The text any driver wants to send is not worth hurting a motorcyclist.”

For more information on the bills please visit the AMA’s Florida state legislative page.

Please visit the AMA’s distracted driving position statement for more information on the topic.