Tag Archive: animals

Speedwell Wolf Sanctuary

Cori and I led a group of 10 riders and friends to visit the Speedwell Wolf Sanctuary in Lititz, Pennsylvania last weekend.

In the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, quietly secured on 22 acres of natural woodland, you will find the home of the Speedwell Wolves. For over 20 years the Darlington Family has offered refuge to Wolves who have found themselves without a place in the natural world. It has been over a hundred years since the last wild Wolf was known to exist in Pennsylvania.

Originally created as an educational facility, the Sanctuary has allowed the Wolves, as nearly as possible to associate as a pack, choose their mates and raise their offspring. The Wolves of Speedwell hold a unique position as Ambassadors to the wild. It has been said that “the best wolf habitat resides in the human heart.” Perhaps it is also that the best habitat for our own wildness resides in the heart of the Wolf.

The Sanctuary currently provides food, shelter and veterinary care for over forty Wolves with no government or corporate assistance. Only, by your continued support and interest do the Wolves thrive.

If you get the chance to visit you the tour takes approximately an hour and I guarantee you will be impressed by these amazing animals. Please visit the site and if possible make a donation to support their cause.

The Road Often Travelled: ATGATT

The article “The Road Often Travelled: ATGATT” was originally published on the “RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel” magazine website on 03/11/2012.

My bike disappearing from beneath me remains the strangest sensation I’ve ever experienced. You get used to the sound and vibration of the engine and wind noise, which ordinarily only ends when the ride does, and you shut the bike down. This time, in an instant, there was complete silence as I flew through the air. Next came a dull smack of plastic from my helmet and the armor in my jacket and pants impacting the road, followed by some tumbling sounds, and then no sound at all until some passersby stopped to help me.

I’d been struck in the side by a deer at about 45 miles per hour. After a few minutes of body inventory I stood up, brushed myself off, and realized I was fine. I did find out later that I’d broken my collarbone. It’s a testament to the quality of today’s protective gear that, except for my helmet, the same jacket and over-pants I wore that day lasted another two years.

The worst part of crashing is having to tell those close to you what happened. You know what most reactions will be. The majority of people who don’t ride have preconceived notions about how dangerous motorcycle riding can be, and crash stories only reinforce their beliefs. Being able to say, “Yes, I’ve crashed and walked away,” makes it easier to allay some of their fears, and wearing proper gear increases the likelihood of this should the unthinkable happen.

I’ve always been safety conscious and still wear a light jacket all summer, along with a helmet, boots and gloves. My reasons are many, primarily my own safety of course; but it’s equally important that the people we leave at home when we set out for a ride know that we are aware of the risks and are serious about riding safely. It’s important for me that they have that small peace of mind. Let’s face it, there are dangers involved in motorcycling; but as a former rock climber, I’ve always said that just because something involves some element of risk doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pursued. It means it should be pursued seriously and with an eye towards being as safe as possible.

To that end, I’ve taken the safety courses available locally, wear all the gear all the time (ATGATT), read what I can about proper technique, and let my loved ones see me suit up. It’s the least I can do for myself, and certainly the best thing I can do for those who care about me.

Ride safe.

How to handle a vicious animal ;-)

Many years ago I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginners’ safety course with my brother Dave. During the classroom portion we divided into groups, read the manual and took turns answering the questions as groups. We covered how to tackle an obstacle in the road (railroad tracks or a 2-by-4 for instance). The rules were “slow up, stand, bend your knees to absorb the impact, hit the obstacle square at 90 degrees, throttle up and ride over it and away”. Simple enough.

Next we covered what to do if an angry dog comes at you. It was my brother’s turn to answer for our group. Just before he answered I saw the grin creep across his face and he answered “slow up, stand, bend your knees to absorb the impact, hit the obstacle square at 90 degrees, throttle up and ride over it and away”.

Everyone roared, touche Dave.

Ride safe.