|From the Editor's Desk
Editor in Chief
Assistant Production Manager
n speaking with dealers I sometimes feel that other than an occasional sporting event, there is a possibility that you get so wrapped up in your own business environment, you forget there is a whole world out there to enjoy. Perhaps I get this feeling because the only thing discussed regularly is hobby business. I suppose this is inevitable though, when hobby industry professionals and hobby journalists get together the commonality is what else - hobbies.
Recently I had the opportunity to check out several postings by the AMA, but this time it was a different AMA than you are used to reading about. The American Motorcycle Association has also spent quite a bit of time lobbying our government.
Federally the American Motorcycle Association has been lobbying against mandated E-15 fuel usage in motorcycles. Understand, before you get your undies in an uproar, I am all for anything that can be done to reduce emissions. I have repeatedly argued against anyone who feels he can improve the performance of his motorcycle by removing the catalytic converter from his bike. Additionally, I'm not a fan of noise pollution either. My bikes are all, at least for Harley Davidson motorcycles, rather quiet.
The problem with E-15 fuel is that it reduces emissions by introducing 15 percent ethanol into the gasoline. Older fuel injection units have not been designed with E-15 in mind and the damage done by running this fuel in an older motorcycle is prohibitively costly to repair and the AMA is working hard to keep these older bikes on the road.
On the local level the AMA has been active as well. Parke Co. Indiana, located in the south central part of the state, has 31 covered bridges located within the county, and a ride through the area is breathtaking, especially in the fall when the trees have begun to change. The vibrant colors this time of the year can drive any artist crazy trying to duplicate them on canvas. Oh! and the food; there's no question I enjoy a good meal.
As peaceful and serine as Parke Co. is, there is something of a downside if you are a motorcyclist. Parke Co. has a huge percentage of an Amish population. The sect is well known for their skills with carpentry, farming organic crops and raising livestock. But, the Amish beliefs keep most of the population adhered to "the old ways.”
Just like reducing emissions, I have no problem with the Amish way of life. The problems experienced with the Amish lifestyle are the excessive amount of droppings present on the roads. Okay, so you're now starting to grin, but it goes way beyond washing your jeans after a day's ride through the countryside. Fresh piles of horse dung are like grease, and hitting one means traction takes a break resulting in the loss of steering control. It was so bad, that as beautiful as Parke Co. is, since the late 90s I have refused to ride through the area on a motorcycle.
Tourism is one of the county's major industries and once the AMA, along with several other organizations, got involved it didn't take much convincing for the county to pass an ordinance. Late last year it became law in Parke Co. Indiana, that any horses using public roads are now required to wear diapers, A.K.A. poop bags if you need an even better description.
What does this have to do with the hobby industry? Absolutely nothing, and that's the point. Take a break, laugh a little, and check out what's going on around you. It'll do you, and everyone you know, a world of good. HM
Until next month,