Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: Tracks, Racing the Sun

The icy/salty/snowy roads that have pervaded my neck of the woods during the last month or so has provided (forced) some down time, so I've been trying to catch up on some reading. Even though I almost never post non-motorcycle content, Sandro Martini's Tracks: Racing the Sun is a worthy exception. A product of ten (!) years' research by the author, this is a highly detailed piece of historical fiction set in the early days of auto racing in Europe. A great read for anyone who enjoys motorsports, politics, WWII-era history, or simply an engrossing story mixing bravery, recklessness, nationalism and larger-than-life characters.  You may even be inspired, as I was, to learn more about the real-life drivers who inspired this novel (some of whom began their careers as motorcycle racers -- ah, there's the connection.) Highly recommended! For more reviews, follow the links at the bottom of this post.

Tracks: Racing The Sun
Sandro Martini,  2014
335 ppg.
Aurora Metro Books
ISBN 978-906582-43-2

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fed funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints to end?

U.S. Senators Shaheen (D-N.H.), Johnson (R-Wis.), Ayotte (R-N.H.), Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Collins (R-Maine) have introduced S.B. 127, the Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act, which would prohibit federal funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints, limiting the implementation of these discriminatory checkpoints nationwide.  

During the past few years, federal, state and local governments spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars on motorcycle-only checkpoints, funds that could have been better spent on programs to prevent distracted driving, increase rider education programs or improve motorist awareness. I've never been pulled into one of these checkpoints, but I have friends who have, particularly in New York State on the major arteries leading to the annual Americade Rally in Lake George.  While I have no sympathy for those riding unregistered or uninsured bikes, or with unlawfully loud pipes, motorcycle-only checkpoints is in my view an unlawfully discriminatory practice. If a governmental entity feels the need to check motor vehicles for certain compliance, then pull all non-commercial (commercial is subject to different rules) vehicular traffic into a given checkpoint, not just motorcycles.

What sayeth thou?