Editors Desk

 

January 2018~

Welcome to 2018! Happy New Year everyone. I hope this year brings much happiness to all, but most importantly, good health and safe travels.

It looks like Old Man Winter and Mother Nature have called on their friend, Jack Frost to freeze the pants off us here in the Northeast. I wonder what this trio is planning for the rest of this winter. Well, for those who have been dedicated readers of my journal, you know that at this time of year I revert to old faithful to answer that question. By old faithful, I mean the Old Farmer’s Almanac. So far, Farmers has been almost dead on in its predictions. The first Old Farmer’s Almanac (then known as The Farmer’s Almanac) was edited by Robert B. Thomas, the publication’s founder. There were many competing almanacs in the 18th century, but Thomas’s upstart was a success. In its second year, distribution tripled to 9,000. The initial cost of the book was six pence (about four cents). To calculate the Almanac‘s weather predictions, Thomas studied solar activity, astronomy cycles and weather patterns and used his research to develop a secret forecasting formula, which is still in use today. Other than the Almanac‘s prognosticators, few people have seen the formula. It is kept in a black tin box at the Almanac offices in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Thomas also started drilling a hole through the Almanac so that subscribers could hang it from a nail or a string. Thomas served as editor until his death on May 19, 1846. As its editor for more than 50 years, Thomas established The Old Farmer’s Almanac as America’s “most enduring” almanac by outlasting the competition.

Becoming Old: In 1832, with his almanac having survived longer than similarly named competitors, Thomas inserted the word “Old” in the title, later dropping it in the title of the 1836 edition. After Thomas’s death, John Henry Jenks was appointed editor and, in 1848, the book’s name was permanently and officially revised to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

There are also a lot of scientists who turn their noses up to the almanac, but given that it claims to have an 80 percent accuracy rate and that its predictions about last year’s mild winter were pretty much spot-on, I wouldn’t take any chances. Regardless of the faith you put into the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it’s good to have some idea of what could lie ahead of us for the 2018 winter season.

Hot off the Press: Commuters and travelers beware. Although the Atlantic Corridor, which includes New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, is on track for a relatively warm winter, folks should prepare for above-average precipitation, including during a 10-day stretch from Jan. 22­ to 31, when rain and snow (sometimes heavy) will alternate and potentially create havoc at airports and on the roads.

So although the temps will be decent, above average precipitation will put a damper on any thoughts of riding. To all those die-hard riders, “I guess it is safe to say that you can start the process of winterizing your bike.”

Whether it is customary or an American tradition, in the weeks leading up to January 1st many folks are thinking about what their New Year’s resolution will be. I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. Why do you have to wait for New Year’s to discipline yourself? I say that it’s all hype. Folks fall into that stereotypical tradition knowing that for the most part, they are not going to follow it through. I can honestly say that when I did make a resolution, I never, ever kept to it, however when I made up my mind to make a change for myself during any given day of the year, I kept to it. I think we pressure ourselves too much over the New Year’s resolution theory just so that when we are asked what it is, we can give the answer. The real kicker is when people make an outrageous resolution that is impossible to keep. Like: “I’m going to lose 50 lbs. in a week” or “I’m never going to gossip about anyone for the rest of my life”. Really?  How about this one:  “My neighbor is absolutely nuts and has been for many years. He doesn’t get along with anyone and has to be heavily medicated to come even remotely close to acting somewhat normal. But, I’m going to become his friend”. Yeah, ok. Maybe it is all in fun for some and maybe it’s not. But if you have made one, good luck and I hope your plan is successful.

In 2017, life once again broke our hearts and snatched away people that we love and who really made a positive difference in many lives. Before moving on with this journal, I just want to say that as part of the biker community and friend to many who we lost in this past year, we all need to take a step back and look at what is around us. Keep the good stuff close and share it with your loved ones, friends, brothers and sisters of the road and neighbors. The bad stuff isn’t going to disappear unless you make the decision to walk away from it. By good, I mean all the positive people and good energy, and by bad, I mean all those who are downright miserable and try to inflict their negative energy on others. Life is so very short and can change in the blink of an eye, so live every day to the fullest and don’t sweat the small stuff. I know I don’t.

Coming up in February and March are two great events that you won’t want to miss…and just in the nic of time as we will be climbing the walls after being cooped up since the Cold Finger Run. Coming up on February 25th is the Hells Angels Long Island MC Cabin Fever event. Contact a member and get your tickets while they last. The other is Daytona Beach Bike Week which is in its 77th year. During March 9-18th motorcyclists will revel about Daytona Beach enjoying all the usual bike week festivities. In addition to the traditional fun, there is also the boardwalks rides and arcades, Daytona Beach band shell free concerts, the beach (of course), Daytona Lagoon Water Park, go-karts, laser tag and waterslides. It’s not just about motorcyclist activities; there is fun stuff to do for the entire family.

G-Man and I attended this bike week for years, but once we purchased FTM, time did not allow us to continue the trip to Daytona. If you have never gone, add this one to your bucket list. For me, one of the great things about attending this bike week is that you get to spend time in the warmer weather, and get out of these northeast cold temps for a little while. We are currently awaiting approvals for Daytona Speedway press credentials. To help fuel your need for speed, we plan to bring you coverage on this year’s racing scene at Daytona. If approved, Mike O’Neill, who is the author of ‘In the Fast Lane’, a racing column that runs in FTM, will provide the coverage.

It comes with much sadness that I must announce the decision to not hold FTM’s 16th Annual Ice Breaker Bash this year. I’m going to be bluntly honest with all of you reading this journal. I’m sure you will agree with me when I say that this past riding season proved to be less active than in the past years. Quite a few annual events did not kick-off, and those that did had very low attendance numbers. I personally have noticed the demise of event attendance over the past few years, with 2017 being pretty grim. Hopefully, this is just a hiccup that will pass and the 2018 riding season will express the strong bond that our riding community has always expressed. When it comes to FTM events, we are firm believers in the adverbial phrase, ‘Go Big or Go Home! With that being said, the Ice Breaker Bash has not been dissolved, just put on hold. Will it be back? I for one, certainly hope so! For those of you who are wondering about the Miss FT contest, Miss FT 2017, Adrianna Amaya, will continue to hold her title until next year!

I would like to close this one with a message to our troops. “God Bless our men and women of the armed forces (past and present), I don’t even want to imagine how our lives would be without you. I never forget in my heart to thank you every single day.” When I see our men and women from the armed forces – I always extend both my hands to them, hold theirs tightly and thank them. We should all thank them.

Live & Let Live

Spike & Chloe’