A Straight Stick...

I would like to acknowledge and thank Phil Dansby for making areal contribution to something near and dear to my heart: Motorcycle rider safety.

Phil's restaurant, Up 'N Smoke in Keller is not only very "motorcycle friendly" in general with all the posters, bike engines hanging on the wall, the "atmosphere", etc., but alsoboth encourages and facilitates helmet use. "How?" you ask?

First, there are all the display helmets around the place. I think this sort of creates an association between riding motorcycles, wearing helmets and having a good time in a neat bar and restaurant, especially with some of the new HD types who are trying so desperately to "fit in", be a "biker" and look cool. Kind of makes a subtle statement that it really is OK to ride a motorcycle *and* be smart. I don't know if any of them have "switched sides" in the great helmet debate because of this, but at least they are exposed to the sight of helmets and helmet use a bit more and might even actually give it some serious thought. The typical HD rider these days is certainly not stupid or he couldn't hold the job that pays enough to buy the bike, so maybe hope lies in his native intelligence and ability to recognize the difference between fact and silly dogmatic bullshit, a la "helmet use actually causes injuries &deaths because..yadayada".

And then there is the Helmet Rack. Although lately over-clogged with "show helmets" with little room left for real ones, how many bars have youseen with a place for the old skid-lid? This is useful, appreciated and continues to send the message for all to see, and perhaps ponder over. Although I have never worried much about this part of the riding equation, it may alsosend the message to the non-riding patrons that maybe we biker-types are really not all brain-dead bozos bent on raping, pillaging, plundering and self-destruction. "Murder cycles" and "organ donors" indeed!  And loud pipes notwithstanding.

And most important of all, itsets a good example for younger folks contemplating bike riding and making important decisions about what kind of riders they will be. Wear that helmet kid, you're going to need all the help you can get!

Anyway, I just wanted to publicly thank someone who is making a contribution. One of my favorite business quotations (can't remember who said it though), is:"The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue or debate over it, but to lay a straight stick along side of it." Thanks Phil, for the "straight stick". Operators of other "biker hang-outs" could learn from your example.

Dave Howe


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