Rusty Creed Insurance Sedona Getaway Winners Announced!

Julie Rick NichiAt TEAM Arizona we’ve partnered with Rusty Creed Insurance for the past several years because he understands motorcyclists and, more importantly, he treats people very well.  Julie and Rick Nichi will be on the receiving end of some of Rusty’s outstanding treatment as they plan their ride up to Sedona to celebrate winning the Sedona Getaway Prize Drawing!

What did they win?  Check out this AWESOME package:

  • Night Stay at The Sunset Chateau (5-Star Rated Bed ‘n Breakfast)
  • $100 Fuel Card to get them up there
  • $100 Dining Card at the Award-Winning Mesa Grill

THE CONNECTION

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Rick and Julie with Jan from Rusty Creed’s Office are all smiles!

How did Julie and Rick make their way to Rusty Creed?  First, they came to TEAM Arizona through their affiliation with the Superstition Harley H.O.G. chapter.  As members of the chapter, they visited TEAM Arizona for the Confident RiderCourse.  Once or twice a year the H.O.G. chapter will make the course available to its members as a way to promote safe riding.  Members also get $50 in HOG bucks upon successful completion of the course, so the cost to attend is minimal and the benefits are HUGE.

Second, Rusty approached them in a parking lot and asked them if they had an insurance agent who understands motorcycle insurance policies like he understands them.  And Rusty isn’t the only rider.  Everyone who works at Rusty Creed Insurance rides motorcycles.  Easy to understand why Rusty is now their agent!

By taking the course, the Nichis automatically receive the newsletter and saw the Sedona Getaway Promotion.   The rest, as they say, is history.

THE WINNING COUPLE

Rick Nichi

Rick standing proudly next to his 2015 HD CVO Road Glide

When we caught up with the two winners, they were in great spirits even though they were about to have their bright, shiny Harley-Davidson motorcycles rained upon.  In a peaceful fashion Rick just stated he doesn’t mind the rain or the clean up whatsoever.

Rick shared with us that they live in Florence, Arizona, after several years of renting in various places around Arizona to determine which area suited them best.  After more than a decade of traveling back and forth from Wisconsin, they finally settled in Arizona.

Julie Nichi

Julie has a “handle” on her 2014 HD Street Glide

Julie announced that they will be heading up to Sedona the first weekend of May.  Why that weekend?  For their anniversary!!!  They’ve stopped to shop and passed through Sedona, but they’ve never taken the time to stay overnight.  We could tell they were both excited to spend quality time in Sedona.

Once again, TEAM Arizona is proud to partner with Rusty Creed Insurance.  Just another example of the high quality, dedicated service Rusty provides to the Arizona motorcycling community.

Keep your eyes peeled…another chance to win a prize from Rusty is just around the corner!

 For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Kelly’s Korner: Riding Long Distance Solo For The First Time

Kelly's KornerA friend recently was asking me about my first (and so far, only) solo road trip and the emotions that experience created. Even though that adventure took place almost six years ago, I still remember exactly how I felt once I decided that, yes, I would ride 1,000 miles to and from Boise, where I grew up, by myself: Fearful, excited, full of self-doubt, excited again, terrified, anxious. Turns out that I was looking for a way to prove to myself that I could live, and thrive, outside of my comfort zone. There’s almost no more effective a way to achieve this, I think, than taking a lengthy ride alone.

The fear, excitement and doubt all set in as soon as I nailed down the dates for the trip and started preparing my Ninja 650R and me. At first I couldn’t believe I was really about to do this. Then I realized I had a lot of planning and mechanical work to do. Having some tangible projects to tackle helped ease the chaos inside.

Of course, as luck would have it, my mechanic (read: my husband) was out of town and couldn’t help me. Our friend Pete stepped in, because he’s that kind of guy and he knows how to work on bikes. First up, a fork rebuild. Once that was done, we did an oil change, various miscellaneous checks and, finally, covered the tank of my pearl-white bike with clear Contac paper so the tank bag magnets wouldn’t scratch. (I invested three months in sanding every fairing and painted that bike on my 11th wedding anniversary. No way was I going to let her get ruined.)

Pete and I spent a night in his shop going over the entire bike so she would be ready for the haul. I can’t recount all of the steps Pete showed me but I do recall feeling more confident as I helped take my bike apart and put her back together. Having a sense of what was on the inside, what would carry me across those unknown miles, gave me knowledge I didn’t have before. Knowledge equals power.

After that, I began to feel a little less fear and a little more excitement. I next had to figure out how to pack light, make sure all of my gear, including leathers, were up to par, and determine my route. And then the time came when I’d strapped on the tail pack, attached the tank bag, packed my phone and pepper spray, and had no more excuses. It was a late morning in August, in Phoenix. I could have used the heat as a reason to delay but when I’m ready, I’m ready now. So I was off.

The fear crept back in as I headed for the Beeline Highway. You’ll laugh, but one of my biggest stressors was the road itself – whether the lanes, especially as I got into the mountains, would be wide enough in case I had to make an emergency maneuver. I was going to ride through Payson, Strawberry and Pine and take the Lake Mary Road to Flagstaff. And suddenly I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough space or someone would pull out in front of me on one of those fast-moving two-lane roads and kill me.

Fear is almost never rational and a solo road trip is a great way to beat that paralyzing kind of anxiety right out of you. And, for me so far, my fears have proven worse than reality.

At the top of Lake Mary Road, where the road crests and you get the panorama of the lake and, in the other direction, the San Francisco Peaks, I started to relax. I had two more days of riding to Boise ahead of me, but that was the moment I began to internalize my own capabilities. I could do this. I would enjoy this. I would learn new truths about myself and I would process and act on them. I felt empowered.

But as you probably guessed, my feelings fluctuated throughout the trip. I’d feel energized, then the fatigue would kick in and I’d wonder if I had the mental and physical strength to keep going. Self-doubt ran as rampant as I let it. After a stop and food, though, I’d feel energized and optimistic. Later, in northern Utah, in rain and road construction, I wouldn’t feel my booty anymore. In southern Idaho, in cold rain that felt like bullets even through leathers, I felt angry. What was I thinking? Riding into Boise, those last 30 minutes to my destination, I felt empty. (Hint: That’s a sign to stop for another rest, not push through out of stubbornness.) And, on my final day of riding, at the Chevron on the 89 just as you come into Flagstaff from the north, I hit that dangerous wall that motorcyclists confront: I want to be home NOW. I shouldn’t have pushed myself. I should have stayed another night or at least until the sun was setting. But I gave in to the impatience and kept going, to the point that I induced heat exhaustion from riding in 110 degrees in full leathers. Lesson learned: Even when I feel a certain way, I don’t have to act on the impulse.

emotional spectrumThat trip triggered emotions that traversed the spectrum from total, invigorated high to angry, exhausted low. Many of the feelings were unexpected and sudden. Some passed swiftly. Some stuck around, for good or bad. There were moments when I wanted to quit and others when I never wanted to get off the bike. The whole way, in between interactions with people at gas stations, restaurants and motels, all I had was my own thoughts. Sometimes I slipped into that Zen state we all seek, where you’re aware and awake, cruising along in a place of serenity, and sometimes I got mired in my crazy head. And I was the only person who could get me out of it. Those whole 2,000 miles, the only person I could count on was me.

That ride to Boise and back was a huge undertaking for me, someone who heretofore took few risks and who could talk herself out of any challenging idea in a second. It taught me to trust myself a little more and question the negative messages I can tell myself. It showed me a big, beautiful part of the west, complete with epic wildland fire burning just off the I-15. It showed that I can rely on just me and emerge from the experience a better, more interesting, more confident person.

My next solo adventure is long overdue.  First, I want to invite you to join me on a pre-adventure trip to meet my commitment of getting back to basics.   Back to training I go.  I am fearful, excited, full of self-doubt, excited again, terrified, anxious for the 2015 that awaits!

Kelly Teal Signature

 

 

 

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

TEAM Arizona Riding Tip: CORNERING STRATEGY Search-Setup-Smooth

Motorcycle rider perspectiveMotorcycle riding strategies are continually evolving.  As more research is performed in the area of rider safety, massive amounts of data flows in, and organizations like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) analyze the data.  The MSF, from their data analysis, reaches conclusions and revises their curricula accordingly.

One major change from MSF in 2014 was the introduction of a CORNERING STRATEGY.  We as riders know that cornering a motorcycle means an elevated risk from straight line riding.  A conclusion MSF reached is that riders are lacking (or not implementing) a CORNERING STRATEGY.  Thus, the introduction of Search-Setup-Smooth.

SEARCH

road sign curvesBefore entering a corner, motorcyclists will need to acquire a lot of information.  The way we acquire the information is by SEARCHING amongst several key variables:

  • ROADWAY:  What is the condition of the road?  Is the road crowned?  What is the radius, type, and grade of the curve?  Where is our entry point, apex, and exit?
  • MARKINGS:  What signs are present that can help a rider determine entry speed?  Direction of the curve?  Sharpness?
  • MOTORISTS:  What potential risks do oncoming motorists create?  Could curve sharpness create a situation where approaching vehicles could cross the center line?

Before the entry of a curve, it is the job of the motorcyclist to use their vision to acquire as much information possible so that we can make good decisions for the next step.

SETUP

Riding through curves is a lot of fun, especially if we set ourselves up in a manner that maximizes our safety margin and reduces our risk.  When setting up for a curve we are answering these two simple questions:

  • At what speed and gear should we enter the corner?
  • What lane position (Outside-Middle-Inside) should be select and does it maximize our safety margin?  (MSF likes a middle-middle-middle strategy; meaning enter in the middle of the lane, apex at the middle, and exit at the middle of the lane)

Cornering-Strategy-Lane-PositionSMOOTH

We aren’t massive fans of using the word smooth for training unless we obtain agreement about its meaning first.  At TEAM Arizona we define the word smooth as slow, gradual, and precise.  In the new MSF Basic RiderCourse, the word SMOOTH specifically applies to how the rider uses their controls.  In essence, operating the controls in such a way (slow, gradual, and precise) that prevents the motorcycle’s suspension from being upset.

The benefits are many to having a motorcycle that is composed when cornering, including adding ground clearance through smooth throttle application.

WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?

What do you think about this new addition to the Basic RiderCourse?  Do you think this will help reduce rider crashes in corners?  Will you think about this cornering strategy the next time you ride?

Join the discussion on our Facebook page; happy cornering!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Scott and Alec Gastony: TEAM Arizona Riders of the Month February 2015!

Scott_Alec_Gastony_ROTM_2015_02

We love it when everything seems to fall in place perfectly.  When we established the On Any Sunday Movie Events, we weren’t sure if this movie would connect with modern day riders like the original did for us in the 70’s.  The result?  Nothing short of spectacular for one Father-Son combo.  Meet the Gastonys!

For the Gastony family, the riding story starts with Scott’s father (aka Grandpa Mike) in 1972, when Scott’s father decided to start riding because of the oil and gas crisis.  He liked riding so much that in 1973 he started the Loveland Motorcycle Touring Club in Loveland, Colorado.  Scott tells us the part where motorcycling and On Any Sunday infiltrated his life:

old on any sundayThe club was just a bunch of like minded motorcyclists who got together and rode on the weekends.  My Mom and sister rode their own bikes and I used to ride on the back of his Kawasaki Z1 900 on all the rides.  I have lots of great memories of riding all over Colorado with them.

My Dad and I went with a small group of club members to see the original On Any Sunday movie at the local theater.  I remember it was so cool.  What I remember most vividly were the scenes with the ice racers with their studded tires.

FAST FORWARD 40 YEARS

As luck would have it, TEAM Arizona worked out an agreement to create two exclusive viewings of ON ANY SUNDAY: THE NEXT CHAPTER.  RiderCoaches who grew up on the movie were stoked to see the new version.  We knew what it meant to us, but would it resonate with other motorcyclists?  Scott clues us in again:

father_son_win_blog_pic

Alec and Scott basking in the win of the EXCLUSIVE movie poster. Congrats guys!

When I saw that the new On Any Sunday movie was coming out I knew I wanted to take the family to see it.  Unfortunately my older son had to go back to school and my wife couldn’t make it so Alec and I went together.  It was pretty cool to get to see the movie with my youngest child and re-live going to the original with my Dad.  Alec was very close to Grandpa Mike so it was pretty special for him too.  I’m sure Grandpa is looking down on us when we ride, proudly acknowledging to himself that he ignited a passion for riding together as a family.

Heavy stuff.  If that doesn’t make a person teary-eyed, we’re not sure what will.  So how did TEAM Arizona stumble upon this great story?  The Father-Son combo won an EXCLUSIVE movie poster that we gave away before the viewing.  Could there have been any better recipients of the poster?

We know Grandpa Mike’s answer.

Riders, we want to honor YOU!  Do you know someone who should be TEAM Arizona’s Rider of the Month?  Entering their name is SIMPLE.

  • Email Bill (bill@motorcycletraining.com )
  • In the subject line, type “Rider of the Month”
  • In one paragraph, tell us why this rider deserves the title TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month!

Let’s have some serious FUN with this gang!  There are some great stories out there and we don’t want to miss them, so tell us about yourselves!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Tucson Motorcycle Movie Exclusive: On Any Sunday The Next Chapter!

HEY TUCSON!  Here is your chance to watch the highly acclaimed “On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter” with 80 of your closest motorcycling friends.  Spread the word and tell your motorcycling buddies about this AWESOME event.

TEAM Arizona will be providing several cool giveaways in support of the viewing, including:

  • On Any Sunday Movie Poster (Framed)
  • Rider Training Gift Certificates
  • T-Shirts

HURRY!  This movie viewing will only happen if enough people buy tickets to support the event.  To buy your tickets for this EXCLUSIVE event, click the image below!

On Any Sunday Tucson

 

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Law Tigers Goes BIG for Kids!

LT_ML_horzThe Law Tiger’s, America’s Motorcycle Injury Lawyers and long-time TEAM Arizona sponsor, supports events all across Arizona.  This past Holiday Season, they were the proud sponsors of many Toy Runs around the state.

Law Tigers Toy RunIn particular, Law Tigers sponsored the Renegade Classics 4th Annual Toy Run that brought out 900 riders and participants in Tucson, Arizona. An estimated 1,200 toys were collected just from this one run, with over 50 bicycles alone. There were some very happy Arizona children this Holiday Season!

Law Tigers hopes everyone had a wonderful and safe end to 2014.  Look for more exciting news coming from them in 2015!

 

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Kelly’s Korner: Seeking the Beginner’s Mind for 2015

Kelly's Korner

My New Year’s Resolution? No Resolutions, Just One Riding Goal

‘Tis my least favorite part of the holidays: The season for resolutions.

The whole “I resolve to…” line of thinking is fraught with failure. Too often, we expect resolutions to inspire immediate results and, when that doesn’t happen, we give up and return to old behaviors that don’t serve us. So let’s eschew the resolutions trap and focus instead on goals — scratch that, a goal. When it comes to your riding, I challenge you to take just ONE aspect and make it better than ever in 2015.

Here are some ideas:

  • Become more knowledgeable about how your bike works by taking a class and/or reading a manual;
  • Beef up a particular skill such as cornering by taking a class and /or riding with people who can provide feedback and instruction;
  • Map out a major road trip or two for the year;
  • Ride on the track, whether to pursue racing or to improve your technique, or both;
  • Get in shape so your riding experience becomes more enjoyable.

For me, it’s simple: I will be focusing on the basics (I see “basics” as a single pursuit). I’ve been riding long enough that it’s time to go back to the beginning, to identify and redirect any poor habits I’ve formed before they become too ingrained, and to work on the core skills — especially hard stops and swerving — that could save my life. I’ve spent the past year concentrating mostly on dirt and track riding, which has allowed my street skills to deteriorate somewhat.

Child's MindAs I consider this goal — and as you look ahead to yours — it will be crucial to bring an open mind to the experience. Zen masters like to call this “Beginner’s Mind” or “Child’s Mind.” I value that approach. However, I also see how it would be useful to consider my personal experience — not so I can resist information, but so I can compare what I have been doing to what I am being told to do. As true beginners, we don’t have a starting point for comparison. I want to make the most of the riding lessons I’ve learned so far by setting my habits alongside new data so I can decide what makes sense to change and what does not.

Give the matter some thought. Define one area that feels right to address in your riding this year, and then figure out the specific steps you must take to reach the goal. For example, my goal requires that I secure some one-on-one training time with a riding instructor, and then get out on my street bike more often to practice.

What are your plans? I’d love to hear what one aspect of your riding you’re going to make better than ever in 2015.

Kelly Teal Signature

 

 

 

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

TEAM Arizona Riding Tip: Top 10 Motorcycling Must Do’s for 2015

This recent Holiday Season we took a moment to reflect on the previous year and to prepare for the upcoming year.  Folks, 2015 looks great.  Why?  We decided to compile a list of the Top 10 Motorcycling Must Do’s for 2015 and promise to give it our best shot to complete them all!  Will you join us in that endeavor?

10.  Watch a Motorcycle Movie

On Any Sunday TucsonThere are a lot of great titles available for viewing.  We are particularly excited about our EXCLUSIVE movie events for On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (Phoenix or Tucson).  If you can’t make one of those, may we recommend one of the following?

  • On Any Sunday (the original)
  • Why We Ride
  • The World’s Fastest Indian
  • Long Way Round
  • Easy Rider
  • Closer to the Edge
  • Faster
  • Cycles South

This list is just the tip of the iceberg, so grab some popcorn and start watching!

9.  Commute on Your Motorcycle For An Entire Week

Sound simple enough, right?  For those of us with button down, white collar jobs, making this commitment may take some planning, effort, and a bit of explaining to our fellow co-workers.  It will all be worth it; especially if you get to use the HOV!

For the rest of us?  Keep on, keepin’ on!

8.  Join the American Motorcyclist Association

Join AMANo group in America works harder to protect your rights as a motorcyclist.  Your membership not only supports their efforts, but will net you some OUTSTANDING benefits as a motorcyclist.  CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

7.  Take A Rider Training Course

Did you really think we’d make a TOP TEN list without this?  Yes, even RiderCoaches need to take training on an on-going basis; in fact, it is a requirement by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

So, when was the last time you practiced swerving to avoid a hazard?  Emergency braking?  If it has been more than a couple years, may we recommend the Confident RiderCourse?

Have you been riding for several years?  Do you put 3-5000 miles on your motorcycle per year?  The Advanced Riding Techniques course might be right for you!

Do you want to have complete mastery of your machine?  The Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic is right up your alley.

Regardless of your skill level, type of motorcycle, or riding experience, make it your mission to advance your skills this year.

6.  Ride a Motorcycle That is New to YOU!

Indian ScoutWe can’t thank motorcycle manufacturers enough for the depth and breadth of motorcycles available today.  If you can’t find one that works well for you, then you’re not looking hard enough!

Our recommendation?  Get out and ride as many as you can.  How?  Local dealerships often have demo motorcycles available for you to try out.  Major events often bring manufacturer demo trucks.  Arizona Bike Week is a popular place to try a motorcycle that is new to you.

Who wouldn’t love gaining experience on a motorcycle that you don’t have to maintain or gas up?!

5.  Go to a Motorcycle Specific Event

Don’t be shy!  Get out and mingle with the rest of the two-wheeled lovers.  There are plenty of opportunities to gawk, drool, and bask in the greatness that is motorcycling.  If you’re not sure where to go, you can also check our EVENTS page on our web site.  Otherwise, here’s a short list (can you name any more?):

There are great resources on the web, like the Phoenix Bike Nights app, that can keep you in touch with all the latest and greatest events that will be popping up around Arizona.

4.  Read a Motorcycle Based Book

Lee Parks Total ControlReading.  Does anybody do it anymore?  We do and think there are some great reads awaiting you should you decide to pick up on or two from this list:

There are a ton of motorcycle oriented books to read; these are just a few of our favorites.  On our list?  One Man Caravan by Robert Fulton.

3.  Plan and Ride a Day Trip to Somewhere You’ve Never Been

We like to refer to these days as “squiggly line on a map day”.  Pick an area of the state where you’ve never been, find the most convoluted, twisted route, and make it happen!

2.  Tell Someone about Rider Training; It May Save Their Life

We do our best to make sure people are informed and know about our services.  Ultimately, the most powerful way to spread the message is for YOU to share your experience with those folks looking to start a new life on two wheels.  Will you make it a point to help us spread the word about the benefits of rider training?

Coronado Trail1.  Ride the Coronado Trail

Does perfection exist?  We know it doesn’t, but we’re almost fooled when we tip our motorcycles into the first curve of 150 miles of pure bliss.  We have to physically remove the smiles from our face.  And when we do?  We ride it AGAIN!

HAPPY 2015

So that’s it folks.  That’s our Must Do List for 2015.  Would you add anything?  Subtract anything?  Let us know why; join the discussion on our Facebook page.  Have a happy, safe 2015!

Marvin Wyrick: TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month January 2015!

Marvin Wyrick

Our TEAM Arizona Bike Night brings riders out from all over the Valley.  From Buckeye to San Tan, riders flock to our Bike Night on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.  The riders who show up vary from month to month, but we bet on a few familiar faces showing up for sure.  Marvin Wyrick is one of those “usual “suspects”.  In the last two years, we’d be willing to bet Marvin has a perfect attendance.  For this reason, we celebrate Marvin as our first Rider of the Month for 2015!

Marvin’s connection to riding is a very personal one.  His love for riding started at age nine (9) when his grandfather purchased a mini bike for him.  With a generous gift like that, how could riding not be in the blood?

We’ve seen Marvin over the years show up on different motorcycles.  Each one receives his love and care as he nurses them into healthier states than which he acquired them.  Recently, however, a new ride made its way into Marvin’s stable.  He can now owns the red beauty in the picture above; a 2014 Kawasaki Concours 1400.  We are excited Marvin was able to make the purchase.  We know it is cherished and receives only the best treatment!

Riders, we want to honor YOU!  Do you know someone who should be TEAM Arizona’s Rider of the Month?  Entering their name is SIMPLE.

  • Email Bill (bill@motorcycletraining.com )
  • In the subject line, type “Rider of the Month”
  • In one paragraph, tell us why this rider deserves the title TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month!

Let’s have some serious FUN with this gang!  There are some great stories out there and we don’t want to miss them, so tell us about yourselves!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Red Bull Media House Partners With TEAM Arizona for On Any Sunday Movie Events

TEAMARIZONA_On_Any_Sunday_PromoTEAM Arizona is excited to partner with Red Bull Media House to host several On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter movie events.

For those of you familiar with the original iconic On Any Sunday film, you know the impact the movie had on a generation of motorcyclists.

If this stunning movie trailer is any indication about the quality of the film, then we’re all in for a real treat.  This movie may be catalyst for a future generation of riders, and you have an opportunity to be a part of it!

At the event we will be providing some outstanding giveaways including framed movie posters, shirts, and riding courses from TEAM Arizona.

SEATING IS LIMITED AND THESE EVENTS ARE SURE TO SELL OUT!  Purchase your tickets as soon as they become available.  They can be purchased online through these links:

ON ANY SUNDAY: NEXT CHAPTER – SCOTTSDALE, AZ

(Tickets On Sale NOW)

ON ANY SUNDAY: NEXT CHAPTER – TUCSON, AZ

(Tucson Tickets Go On Sale December 19, 2014 at 12am)

We look forward to going on this adventure with all of you!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE