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Safety First – T-CLOCS

Previously we explored preparing ourselves to ride. See the Jan 2016 Newsletter or this post: . Now let’s take a look at preparing our motorcycle for a ride.

If you’ve ever met an airplane pilot – commercial or private – you know they go through a written pre-flight checklist on EVERY flight. Several thousand feet in the air is not when you want to find out you have a mechanical issue.

We may keep our wheels on the ground but we “get high” on riding. A good equipment check is essential to ensure our safety. Ideally we should go over a checklist before every ride. Even if we do not complete a written checklist we should know the basics to ensure our motorcycle is ready.

Luckily we do not need to create our own checklist. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) provides an inspection checklist for T-CLOCS. Let’s go over the highlights. A link to the full checklist is at the end of this article.

It only takes a few minutes to do a basic visual inspection:
T – Tires & Wheels
Tire tread, air pressure (memorize what it should be, don’t rely on the owner’s manual), rims free of cracks or loose spokes, brakes in good working order. Here in FL we do not have the temperature extremes like other parts of the country. I have seen my tire pressure vary 10 or more lbs simply because the outside air temperature dropped. Remember those small patches of rubber are all that is providing traction. Improper inflation of tires has a larger impact than poor gas mileage and increased tire wear.

C – Controls
Hand and foot controls in working order. No loose connections, frayed cables, etc. You checked the brake pads under “T” now check the levers to make sure they engage the brakes.

L – Lights & Electronics
Lights, battery condition, switches. We only have a few switches on our motorcycles. Do they do their job when used? If not, find out why. Proper lighting is vital to seeing and being seen. Don’t find out after dark that you have a bad light.

O – Oil & Other Fluids
Most people will comment about a Harley Davidson “marking its spot” with fluid leaks. That may be an apt description for older models but a modern HD should not be leaking fluids. If it does, get it serviced. Gas isn’t the only fluid you should be able to add yourself. Learn how to check your oil and transmission fluids. Have a “wet head”? Learn about the radiator coolant.

C – Chassis
The chassis – frame, seat, suspension, drive belt – carries you down the road. Look for obvious cracks, loose bolts, proper air in the shocks (like air pressure, memorize your preferred setting for air shocks).

S – Stands
Most people only have a “jiffy” or “side” stand. When parked that small piece of iron is the only thing holding up your motorcycle. Look for bends, cracks, or a worn spring (loose tension putting the lever up and down). Most people will trade their motorcycle before normal wear will break the spring. But if you’re on a ride and it breaks the stand will fall. The spring tension actually holds it in the up position. A friend and a zip tie will hold it in place so you can safely reach a dealer for a replacement or home. That same friend will come in handy when it’s time to get off motorcycle and put the stand back down.

Next time we’ll go over “the ride”, SEE:
S – Search
E – Evaluate
E – Execute

Until then – Ride Safe, ride often.

Reference materials from The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF):

Weekly Wrapper – 03/28/2016

Hello All!

Check it out! We now have a Cigar City merchandise rack just inside the service entrance at Tampa HD.

If you are interested in participating in our monthly pancake breakfast on April 16 – please note that Bill Madison is coordinating the volunteers this month. Please contact him at 813.416.9557 or We have several chapter members close to achieving their volunteer patches. Additionally, the Ladies of Harley will be working the swap meet table from 11-2. If you have items you want to sell, bring the item(s) to the pancake breakfast tagged with your name, asking price and contact information. If the item is sold, LOH will charge a 10% commission. If the item is not sold that day, it will be your responsibility to pick the the item up at the end of the event (2pm). LOH will not negotiate and will accept reasonable offers. Please consider donating your proceeds to the Chapter.

Stay tuned to our website for our next safety webinar, planned to happen in April.

Registration is open for the Florida State HOG Rally to be held at Lakeland’s Sun and Fun from October 26-29th. Visit the rally site at Click the “2016 Rally Invitation” link on the left for an awesome video. Organizers are looking to get sponsors on board. If you know of a firm that may want to participate, contact Frank W.

Come to our chapter meeting this Saturday for discussion with a representative from Fran Haasch’s office. The rep will talk about recommended insurance coverage and what to do if involved in an accident with your bike.

Ride Safe and Take Care.


Weekly Wrapper – 03/22/2016

Hello all,

The Ladies of Harley will meet this Thursday at Grimaldi’s at the Citrus Park Mall. We will be meeting in the back room.

Get ready for Final Friday this week at the Tiki Hut. This is a community event, you can invite even your “yet to ride a Harley” friends!

Saturday is our monthly board meeting, followed by a bike blessing at noon, and Saturday’s ride is a coupon ride.

We have more exciting events coming up along with amazing weather to get out and ride.

We also want to keep Paul Parks in our thoughts and prayers as he undergoes foot surgery next week. Keep an eye on our calendar as other road captains will be picking up Paul’s planned rides. If you are a road captain, and are interested, please get with Dede.

This Sunday is Easter, no rides are planned.

Take care and ride safe.


Swap Meet This Saturday!!!!

Check it out….

Once again, the dealership is opening up the parking lot for a swap meet, Saturday. Of, course we are having the pancake breakfast, AND the dealer is holding their Grill n’ Chill afterwards. The bike washes will be there, as well as the vendor village. And we are again invited to participate in the swap meet. Richie has invited us to set up an area where we might sell our left over /take-off items. And, Larry has offered to bring and set up a tent for the Chapter. Please feel free to participate.
This will be a monthly event following our pancake breakfasts on the third Saturday.

Weekly Wrapper – 03/14/2016

Hello all,

Don’t forget our monthly pancake breakfast is this Saturday. If you want to volunteer, contact Jerry Umland at 813.892.2835 or email him at  He will then email you the details regarding the breakfast. Volunteers are needed from 8 am to 10 am plus clean-up time.

If you are CPR/First Aid certified, and wish to share your credentials with us, please send me your name, credentials and expiration dates. If you are interested in taking a CPR/First Aid class, stay tuned for more information, as we hope to offer a class sometime soon.

While we are talking about safety, check the website for more safety Webinars and safety postings. Larry held the first one last week about Group Riding and has more planned.

Don’t forget our rider hotline – 813.966.4838. This recorded message should be updated if a ride is cancelled.

Please note – next week’s wrapper will be sent out on Tuesday due to a scheduling conflict, but the website is 24/7.

Ride safe! Denise

Weekly Wrapper – 03/07/2016

Hello all,

While you are here on the site,check out some of our cool features…You can access links to webinar safety classes being held by Larry Blakely, check out all the new rides and lots of fun events on our calendar. And, click on the FLICKR blue and pink dot icon for photos of your favorite HOG chapter.

Hungry? Need to clean out your garage/attic/closet? Join us for our monthly pancake breakfast Saturday, March 19th and make some money at our swap meet that day as well. Contact Jerry Umland at if you want to volunteer for breakfast (8am-10:30am) and contact Jim Moore at the dealership if you want to participate in the swap meet. Note, donations of sales to the Chapter are cheerfully accepted.

Gotta destination in mind, but need help plotting the route for a group ride? Contact any Road Captain for assistance. You can find a list of our current RC’s under the About Us tab on the site.

If you are CPR/First Aid certified, please send me your name, credentials and expiration date(s). Larry is tracking who is certified and we will likely be offering training sometime soon.

Have a great week and Ride Safe!


Weekly Wrapper – 02/22/2016

Hello All!

Wanna go on strike?  There is still time to join the crew for bowling this Wednesday.  So far our bowlers are: Jerry Umland, Orfita Umland, Paul Gallo and Mrs. Gallo, Donna Madison, Crusher, Mike Lavoy, Paula Lavoy, and Neil Clinch.   If you want to participate or just hang out, eat and watch – please let Jerry know no later than Tuesday (so he can reserve the lane(s) at 813.892.2835.  You need to be at the alley by 7pm.  Contact Jerry with any questions.  Thanks.

Check the calendar for new rides!  The newest is a ride to the Carlisle Winter Florida AutoFest at the Sun n’ Fun, Lakeland, FL. Information about the event is posted on our website calendar.  Bill Madison will be the Road captain.

This is a collector auto auction! There will also be a swap meet for parts and accessories. However, for those who do not want to bid on the cars or buy parts, this will be a great opportunity to view some classic automobiles without bidding. This should be an exciting afternoon for anyone interested in classic cars. Admission is $10.00.

This ride will start after the completion of our monthly board meeting.

Please also consider the Save the Ta-Tas ride this Sunday to Coney Island.  Don’t forget this is a coupon ride!

More details on our website calendar – News and Events.

Ride safe! Denise


Donations and/or Swap Meeting This Saturday at Tampa HD

Hello all!  We know this Saturday is our pancake breakfast and the Grill and Chill, But also, Tampa HD is resuming the bike washes and there will be a vendor village as well.  Come spend the day and bring donations the chapter can sell or maybe even an impromptu swap meet!

Ride Safe!  Denise

Weekly Wrapper – 02/15/2016

Hello All!

Calling All Volunteers!   This Saturday is our monthly pancake breakfast. Now that the Chapter volunteer patch can be earned with six volunteer events, this is a great time to participate with your fellow chapter members and earn credit towards this custom patch.  If you are interested, contact our Actives Director, Jerry Umland at or 813.892.2835 at which time Jerry will fill you in with all of the details, etc.

Also, if you plan on participating in our first bowling night (2/24), RSVP to Jerry is required by 2/23 to ensure we have the lanes reserved.  Also, my prior communications were confusing on the costs. The rate is just $7.00 for two hours of bowling which includes shoes and a ball. Arrival time direct to the Bowling Alley should be no later than 7 pm. For those not interested in bowling, food is available and cheering for the bowlers is welcome. Again, for those interested they should contact Jerry at the above email or they can call me at 813.892.2835.

Please go to News and Events/Calendar on our home page for more information of the upcoming chapter events.
Ride Safe!  Denise



Weekly Wrapper – 02/08/2016

Hello all!

There are a lot of exciting events and rides coming up.  Congratulations to our newest Road Captain, Russell Myers!  Jeannie Del Greco is very close to getting her patch as well.

We are introducing a new function.  Every quarter we will be hosting a night of bowling and games at the Royal Lanes.  Our first time will be Wednesday, February 24th.  Jerry has negotiated rates for $7/pp/per hour. Join us for bowling, socializing or games.  We will have two lanes for up to eight bowlers.  Let Jerry Umland (813.892.2835 or know if you wish to bowl- the rate covers rental of a ball, shoes and the lanes for two hours or three games.  There is food and drink available as well.

New referral program – when a Cigar City Chapter member refers a customer to Tampa HD and they buy a bike, the referring member will receive a scratch-off ticket worth $50-$250 in a HD gift card.

Ride Safe!  Denise