The Brotherhood of the Boardroom

INC. Magazine Hosts A Select Group of Motorcycle Riding CEO’s and Business Owners For The First Of Its Kind “Riders Summit” in North Las Vegas This Fall

valley of fireAsk any motorcyclist worth their chaps and he or she will tell you they’ve had the experience of finding an unexpected waterfall, twisty road or breathtaking sunset vista at least once during their time spent in the saddle.

It’s a word INC. Magazine president Bob LaPointe, and author Dwain M. Deville are both familiar with.

But what does that have to do with motorcycle riders and entrepreneurs? A lot more, it seems, than anyone knew or guessed. That is until a year or so when LaPointe put together the first CEO ride at an INC 5000 conference in Phoenix Arizona.

LaPointe, himself a “boomerang” Harley-Davidson rider (someone who grows up riding motorcycles and leaves it while raising a family and returns when the kids are grown) says he wasn’t thinking about the business implications at that first ride.

“I decided that I’d just try getting together a group of entrepreneurs, CEO’s of privately held companies that tend to attend our national conferences and we’d take a ride of 4 or 5 hours together prior to the conference. I did it for the first time in Phoenix and we had 20 riders sign up.”

bob lapointe

Founder and co-host Bob LaPointe is the president of INC. Magazine.

LaPointe says something quite unexpected and magical happened after the ride. “It was serendipity. This group of riders (who didn’t know each other before the event) stuck together like glue through the entire conference. We saw them in sessions together, they would sit at meals together. If someone was local, they would invite all the riders over to their homes for dinner, we’d see them late night at the bar together drinking beer.”

DMD (1)

Summit co-host Dwain M. Deville is a professional speaker, author and entrepreneur.

The bonding that resulted in that first, (and several subsequent rides) inspired this first ever event, INC Riders Summit. Sponsored by Inc Magazine and hosted by author Dwain Deville, (Bikers Guide to Business) scheduled for November 12-15 at the Aliante Casino & Resort, in North Las Vegas NV. The Riders Summit promises to be a very different networking and community event that will bring together some of the most extraordinary CEO’s in the world, INC 5000 companies, growth companies, entrepreneurs, for highly interactive networking and business sessions with afternoon, into early evening rides, sprinkled with other great experiential activity such as trap shooting and premium cigar sampling.

The Riders Summit itself is the result of a chance meeting between LaPointe and Deville. Deville was at a conference promoting his book, Bikers Guide to Business, when he overhead LaPointe talking about surviving cancer. Deville, also a cancer survivor, introduced himself and offered LaPointe a copy of his book, who upon reading the title, revealed that he rode a Harley. The two men struck up a conversation which led to a 90 minute meeting in the offices of INC. Magazine which led into the CEO rides at the INC Conferences, which sparked the birth of the Riders Summit.

Limited to 50 spots, the total cost of the (all inclusive) summit is just under $5,000 which includes meals, hotels, chase vehicle and even the motorcycle you’ll need while you’re there. While that sounds high, think about how much you may have spent for a few days in Daytona or Sturgis during one of the national rallies. From a business standpoint, you probably could not claim any of that as legitimate business expenses, nor were you in a position to meet potential customers or form long lasting business partnerships.

1a speakers

Deville says price was carefully considered to attract the top level CEO’s who can afford it. “If you’re going to drop 4500 dollars you’re already going to understand the investment and the benefit of that investment. Because you’re going to meet people at your level, you’re going to meet people doing business in certain ways.” Deville added, “It’s the opportunity to really create a whole new tribe. A different tribe of people at your level.”

LaPointe and Deville both laugh at the prospect of forming a C-Suite exclusive “biker club” like the Brothers of the Boardroom or the Wall Street Disciples.  Neither men rule out the possibility of a future club, but LaPoint says, “My vision of success is to be riding someday and by serendipity finding somewhere a woman, guy or couple wearing one of our damn cool t-shirts or jackets with INC Riders Summit logo on it.”

Knowing his history with serendipity, that’s a chance meeting we’d put high odds on happening.

For more information on the inaugural INC. Riders Summit, visit www.riders.inc.com

Motorcycle Hits Pedestrians at Roar on The Shore

The Roar on the Shore was this past weekend and by all accounts it was a successful event with everyone reporting a good time.  Everyone except these pedestrians who were struck by a motorcyclist and thankfully were not seriously injured. Both got up and were walking around when police arrived.  Both refused treatment.  The motorcycle operator stayed and spoke with investigators who did not immediately file charges. However that may change after police review this video.

The video shows the rider rev up his bike, pop the clutch and spin the rear tire sideways before correcting and in an attempt to avoid the motorcycle ahead of him, veer into the crowd and strike two pedestrians.

France In America- One Man’s 21,000 Mile Odyssey

France In America Book Cover

FRANCE IN AMERICA is a visually stunning 400-page volume offering a unique mix of Americana, travel, motorcycling and a personal account of male mid-life transition. The book showcases an extraordinary 21,000-mile solo journey by a man leaving behind his professional life and identity to explore America and fulfill a life-long dream.

Gary France is English and lives near London. In a few short years, Gary’s self-description changed from “Project Management Executive” to “Writer, traveller and motorcyclist, who is happiest when combining all three”. That’s quite a shift, but nevertheless an authentic summary.

Riding with just his thoughts for company, Gary’s description of his 4-month trip unfolds through a down-to-earth record of what he saw, who he met and what he felt on the road, backed up with an impressive photographic inventory. As he clicks up the miles from the New England states, through the Midwest and the Rockies, and closing in the desert states of the Pacific coast, his thoughts, language and photographs become increasingly reflective and vivid as the ‘journey’ progresses – revealing more and more of his internal exploration and steady winding down.

The book will resonate with many. Not just those who wish they could make such a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, but also with the many men who have faced the unspoken uncertainties and reassessments of midlife.

This is not only a detailed guide about where to go and what to see in the USA. It is also a personal story of one person seizing the moment – a living testimony to the maxim that travel is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey itself. One man living his dream, and carefully cornering through the opportunities that midlife presents.

You can purchase the book at  www.garysfrance.com after the March 4, 2012 launch.

 

And You Call Yourself A Biker?

rockstore-5501The Oxford English Dictionary, (OED) was started four years before the outbreak of the Civil War, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the world’s most comprehensive single-language dictionary in print.  The online edition receives 2 million hits per month from paying subscribers.  So, we’ll concede they know a thing or two about the English language.

So it was a little surprising but not unwelcome when the Wall Street Journal reported recently that the Oxford (OED) had “softened” the pejorative  or negative connotation of the word “biker” in its online dictionary.

In the beginning, the term was defined as people who rode bicycles.  Of course in 1903, the Davidson brothers and Mr. Harley attached an engine to a bicycle frame and 50 years later the word “bikers” became synonymous with dirty long hair, denim, leather and tattoos and most often associated with “motorcycle gang members.”

Now OED has tweaked their definition a bit, including the word “motorcyclist” in the description.    Calling someone a motorcyclist brings to mind a more wholesome, family image of a hobbyist.  A “biker” is much more likely to be someone who is interested in the more hardcore aspects of the two wheel lifestyle, such as drinking and partying.

The OED online site still lists the colloquial term as someone who rides a bicycle.  The next official definition is “A motorcyclist, esp. a member of a motorcycle club or gang.”   

But wait a sec!  The article in the WSJ says the dictionary uses the term “one who is a member of a gang or group.”    But either the Wall Street Journal got it wrong, or someone at Oxford changed the words group to motorcycle club after WSJ posted their story.

Not a big difference, but subtle enough to change the connotation.  As someone who rides two wheels,  is Oxford is saying that to be called a “biker” you have to belong to a MC or a gang?

However, if you thought for a minute the explosion in popularity of the motorcycle subculture had erased any social stigma attached to the two wheel lifestyle, (esp with the stuffy high brow folks who edit English language dictionary’s) then you’re mistaken.

To prove my point, OED defines the term “biker bar” as n. a bar frequented by motorcyclists, esp. one regarded as disreputable.    

The only thing we’re left wondering is “how many bikers  does it take to constitute a biker bar?”  

 

 

Leno’s Pre Ride Joke Turns Prophetic

Jay Leno makes his living making others laugh.  But, at the end of the 2012 Love Ride nobody was laughing, least of all Jay Leno.

A male motorcyclist and his female passenger died after hitting a big-rig truck on the northbound Golden State Freeway at Branford Street near Pacoima. The two, believed to be in their 40s, were pronounced dead at the scene.  Prior to the start, Leno, who was acting as the Grand Marshal of the parade, made a tongue in cheek reference to the event’s impressive safety record.  ”Every year, [the organizer] says, ‘Drive safe.”  “I’m gonna say, ‘Don’t drive safe.’  I wanna see somebody go down.  So it’ll be fun.  I want it to be in front or behind me and see a whole row of bikes go down.  Get drunk, fall off the road.  We’ve all become too damn polite…we haven’t had one incident.”

According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, Leno helped an unnamed motorcyclist who wrecked and accompanied him to  Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.  The hospital did not release the name of the injured motorcyclist or his condition. * UPDATED According to Motorcycleusa.com, the injured man was Tom Kershaw, an associate of Leno, and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Founded in 1984 by Oliver Shokouh, owner of Glendale Harley-Davidson, the Love Ride benefits Autism Speaks, a New York-based autism research and advocacy group.

Jay Leno nor his publicist, Dick Guttman was immediately available for comment and the comedian has not issued a statement regarding his pre-ride joke or the accident.

America’s Original Riding Rally June 11-19

The Laconia Motorcycle Race and Rally event in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire has been known as one of the most scenic and fun events in history. The nine day event started with only a few hundred motorcyclists and is today the host of more than 188,000 participants.

A brief history – Started in 1916 as a one day event, then came the Louden Classic race in 1923 and the Gypsy Tour soon after. Then seven years later, it turned into a week long event until fighting between local cops and gangs lead to the decline of scheduled events. It wasn’t until the Loconia Motorcycle Rally and Race Association  was formed in the early 1990′s, did the event turn into the nine day event you know today that ends on Father’s Day.

This year marks the 88th Anniversary (sponsored by Progressive) and you can expect all the usual exciting events with many new ones that are sure to captivate every motorcyclist. Some events scheduled are:

  • Free Motorcycle Photo Exhibit
  • Vintage Road racing
  • Biker Build Off - sponsored by Spiced Jack 94 Rum and Lobster Pond
  • Tricycle Drags @ Bullwinkle’s
  • Jagermeister Promos all week long
  • Poker Run, Bikini Contest, and Hot Legs Contest on Thursday
  • Pool Tournament and Rally in the Valley

and plenty of live music by some familiar faces… Click here for full info

TxDOT Asks Drivers to Watch Out for Motorcycles

The Texas Department of Transportation is educating drivers on how to prevent collisions with motorcycles.

The agency’s “Share the Road” public awareness campaign urges drivers to look twice for motorcycles at intersections and when changing lanes, the two places where serious motorcycle collisions commonly occur.

The campaign uses TV and radio commercials and billboards to drive home the safety message.

Fort Worth police Sgt. Mike Cagle, a motorcycle patrolman, said educated drivers can reduce the number of collisions.

“Look twice, do a double take, [and] be respectful,” he said. “A motorcycle is a vehicle just like any other vehicle.

Ultimately, drivers aren’t aware the motorcycles are there, Cagle said.

“They [drivers] just don’t see them, and they need to take the time to look. That’s the scariest thing — they just don’t see us when they come over.”

According to TxDOT, 66 percent of motorcycle crashes result in the death or serious injury for the motorcyclist. The agency says 434 motorcyclists were killed and almost 6,000 were injured in 2009.

Cagle said intersections and lane changes are the deadliest places for motorcycles,  especially when the motorcyclist is turning left or when a vehicle is changing lanes.

Experienced motorcycle rider David Morrissey, who learned to ride in his teens, said drivers just need to be aware of their surroundings.

“Look for us,” he said. “Stop, and talk on your telephone when you are stopped. And don’t text, and please no sandwiches and mascara at the same time at 80 miles an hour down the road,” he said. See Video

 

How the River Run Riot changed history

Nevada Casino Harrah’s Laughlin – April 27,2002

Hells Angels and The Mongols started a brawl that left dozens in the hospital, six members on both sides sent to prison and sent one biker evading capture for  six years. On February 23, 2007 Hells Angels members James Hannigan and Rodney Cox were sentenced to two years in prison.  “Cox and Hannigan were captured on videotape confronting Mongols members inside the casino.”

Laughlin River Riot Brawl Video

Police report states there were 65 knives and nine guns found in and around the casino.  Mongol- Anthony Barrera, 43, was stabbed to death

Hells Angels – Jeramine Bell, 27, and Robert Tumely, 50, were shot to death

Frederick Donahue was indited afterwards and evaded police for six years until he turned himself in.

Thirty-six  others had there charges dropped and several legal suits followed the years to come. Many believe that the members of Hell’s Angels did nothing until they were force to protect their fellow members. The case is still unclear as there are just too many secrets still. The code of silence will never be broke so the truth will never come out.

The riot changed the event and you can see it on the ride in every year. Police cars line the sides of the interstate leading in, signs are displayed telling bikers not to wear their colors or any gang related clothing and streets are overrun with heavily armed cops. The days of burning your tires at this event are over, one rider describes. Even in the small towns, outside the main attraction where you can put up your feet and drink a beer is crawling with cop cars.

“They get the message…”, a cop explains. “They know we aren’t joking around”. Even with all the police cars and extra “protection”, motorcyclist say there is plenty to do and they wouldn’t miss it. Why would they? The event has some of the wildest nightlife and the most beautiful scenery around. The event has changed but most would say for the good. You can bring you mother or grandmother to this event…if she is a biker.

Going too fast for the upcoming curve? Future Bikes will let you know

Early version tested by MCN

We’re still waiting on cars that fly above traffic and we might be waiting another decade, but for the motorcyclist who loves high tech gadgetry, the future is just around the corner and it’s coming to the US from across the big pond.

The project, called Saferider, has been funded by the European Commission, which wants to see the systems on road bikes within five years, and backed by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations.

In the UK, the Motor Industry Research Association is working on systems that will use GPS and digital mapping technology to provide motorcycle operators visual as well as tactile feedback on speed and approaching highway conditions.

MIRA installed sensors that vibrated slightly in the seat and cheek pads in a motorcycle helmet to warn the operator of a vehicle approaching in the riders blind spot.

The report said the cheek pads can be programmed to alert the rider to the danger on the right or the left side.  The system will also alert the rider if the motorcycle’s speed is unsafe for the approaching curve or intersection.

MIRA believes that manufacturers in the UK will begin offering the system to consumers  in as little as 18 months.

If adopted overseas, riders can expect to see the technology available in the US soon thereafter.

Arizona Congresswoman Part of Motorcycle Fraternity

photo from Hell for Leather.com

By now you probably know more about Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords than you do about your own Congressman or woman but there’s one fact that only a few of the mainstream media is reporting.  Representative Giffords is an avid motorcyclist.  A freedom of choice advocate, and was the chair of the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus.   She’s been riding motorcycles in her home state for the past 20 years.   There is a good report in the NY Times about her background.