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Today's word on journalism

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dueling masters on words:

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

--William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962), on Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

--Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961), on William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962)

Life looks better from a motorcycle -- especially a Harley

By Kate Bradshaw

March 8, 2006 | Looking at today's incredible motorcycle selection it's hard to believe that the motorcycle began as a wooden bike with an engine attached. But it's true -- the first gas-engine motorcycle was invented in 1885 by German man, Gottleib Daimier, and that is exactly what it was: an engine attached to a wooden bike.

Motorcycles were pretty popular during the 1900s. It wasn't until 1970 that the motorcycle craze died down. The baby boomers have been left with the blame because during the baby boomers period everyone had been purchasing a motorcycle. In the 1970s these baby boomers had gotten older and were starting families and getting jobs that took most of their time. So the motorcycle just plain lost its appeal.

Good motorcycles are made by many different companies, but Harley Davidson surprised everyone in 1981 when they started work on a new engine. It used to be that only a mechanic could own a Harley, but with the new reliable engine anyone could ride. Today Harley-Davidson is at the top of the sales in the United States.

So how are things at the Saddleback Harley Davidson in Logan? "Things are great," says Ashli Belnap, motor clothes specialist. For being the smallest store in their district she says the sales are great. Despite the cold winter months they are staying busy. She says they have lots of winter service specials, and they continue to have monthly events. Perfectly named for those tired of the winter is the March 25th rally called the anti-winter rally.

According to Belnap most of their customers are males anywhere from 18 to 60. Women are represented mostly by riders between 30 and 50 years old. Belnap also said that Logan is one of the most popular bike riding places in the summer, thanks to the canyon and its smooth winding road and beautiful green forest.

Richard Rawlinson is a long time rider; today he chooses to ride the Harley Davidson Electra Glide Standard a smooth ride for him and his wife. He rides mostly in small groups through Utah and Idaho. He also enjoys a ride through Logan Canyon, but says that his favorite place to ride is through the west side of Mendon up to Newton and over to Dayton to the small Viking Leather shop. Rawlinson has not yet been in an accident he says, "Drive defensively, give yourself a lot of room, and look ahead down the road."

In 2004 in Utah alone there was a total of 938 motorcycle crashes, 877 were injured and 31 of those crashes were fatalities. Riders age 20 to 24 were involved in the most crashes.

So is putting your bike up for the winter safety precaution? Or is the threat of the nasty cold just too much for the average rider? If you've been around Utah State University this winter you would have noticed many brave or desperate souls still riding their bikes to and from school. Joey Bradshaw and Chris Wilder are just two local residents who kept the motor running through the snow.

Joey says, "You freeze, your glasses fog up, and you have about a hundred layers of clothes on, but after a good ride you feel like you've scratched that itch that you just couldn't reach before."

Bradshaw wears a helmet through the winter to keep him warm but agrees that the no helmet law is nice in the summer especially for short rides down to the local swimming pool.

Bruce Torson is another local resident who rides through the cold winter months. He doesn't ride when there is snow, but other than that he doesn't use the car if the chance to ride the bike is available. Torson chooses to ride mostly alone, with the arrival of a new baby his wife hasn't been able to ride with him as often. Torson like many others I suppose got into a motorcycle because of the price of gas, and says that everyone should get one. "It feels cool," he says. "It brings a unique sense of freedom."

Torson hasn't been to any motorcycle events yet. But I am sure that he and many other local rides will be among the group at the HOG (Harley Owners Group) rally this summer as it will be held here in Logan on Labor Day weekend.

We've come along way from the wooden bicycle with an engine attached. But the safety tip still remains today "Ride Safe." And for those that haven't yet ventured into the wonderful world of motorcycling keep in mind what Ashli Belnap has to say, "Some of them may look pretty tough, but our customers are wonderful friendly people."

For more information on local rides and events visit


Copyright 1997-2006 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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