Friday, September 28, 2012

Viva La Revolution!

I struggled for a long time this week trying to think of the most influential motorcycle event in history.  There are a great many to choose from, however I landed on a ride that would shape the politics of western civilizations for hundreds of years.  The Ride spanned nine months and over 5000 miles.  But I’m still left wondering, is there more?  Did I miss something or exclude an event, maybe simply forgetting it at the time?  Please tell me, what do you think the most significant or influential ride was?  Submit any and all rides to With this blog we hope simply to talk about the history of a person and his bike, not promote his ideals, his endeavors or his philosophy. Hope you enjoy.

La Poderosa, “The Mighty One” was a single cylinder 1939 Norton 500cc motor bike that carried El Che and his friend Alberto Granado thousands of miles on a transformative journey.  The journey as later remembered by El Che was transcribed into a memoir dubbed “The Motorcycle Diaries.”  The book began as a journey of discovery and adventure but quickly turned as El Che witnessed the peoples of the lands he traveled through in extreme conditions of poverty and social injustice.  He saw exploited mine workers, persecuted communists, ostracized lepers, and the tattered descendants of a once-great Incan civilization all living in conditions of poverty and persecution by their own government of fellow man.  Join us as we explore La Poderosa and her rider El Che’s journey of discovery and transformation in this weeks, Myths, Legends, & Tales.

Over the course of El Che’s travels he dedicates himself to the cause of the poor.  He, being born in an upper-middle-class family, travels for nine symbolic months with his friend and La Poderosa.  In that time he traveled 5000 miles, by foot, boat, horse, bus, hitchhiking and most of all La Poderosa.   In total, the journey took them through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and to Miami, before returning home to Buenos Aires.
The trip was carried out in the face of some opposition by Guevara's parents, who knew that their son was both a severe asthmatic and a medical student close to completing his studies. However, Granado, himself a doctor, assuaged their concerns by guaranteeing that Guevara would return to finish his degree (which he ultimately did).
The first stop: Miramar, Argentina, a small resort where Guevara's girlfriend, Chichina, was spending the summer with her upper-class family. Two days stretched into eight, and upon leaving, Chichina gave El Che a gold bracelet. The two men crossed into Chile on February 14. At one point they introduced themselves as internationally renowned leprosy experts to a local newspaper, which wrote a glowing story about them. The travelers later used the press clipping as a way to score meals and other favors with locals along the way.
Unable to get a boat to Easter Island as they intended, they headed north, where El Che’s political consciousness began to stir as he, La Poderosa and Granado (El Che’s Friend) moved into mining country. They visited Chuquicamata copper mine, the world's largest open-pit mine and the primary source of Chile's wealth. While getting a tour of the mine he asked how many men died in its creation. At the time it was run by U.S. mining monopolies of Anaconda and Kennecott and thus was viewed by many as a symbol of "imperialist gringo domination". A meeting with a homeless communist couple in search of mining work made a particularly strong impression on El Che, who wrote: "By the light of the single candle ... the contracted features of the worker gave off a mysterious and tragic air ... the couple, frozen stiff in the desert night, hugging one another, were a live representation of the proletariat of any part of the world,"

In reference to the oppression against the Communist party in Chile, which at the time was outlawed, El Che said: "It's a great pity, that they repress people like this. Apart from whether collectivism, the ‘communist vermin,’ is a danger to decent life, the communism gnawing at his entrails was no more than a natural longing for something better, a protest against persistent hunger transformed into a love for this strange doctrine, whose essence he could never grasp but whose translation, 'bread for the poor,' was something he understood and, more importantly, that filled him with hope. Needless to say, workers at Chuquicamata were in a living Hell."

In Peru, El Che was impressed by the old Inca civilization, forced to ride in trucks with Indians and animals after La Poderosa, "The Mighty One" broke down. As a result he begins to develop a fraternity with the indigenous campesinos. In March 1952 they arrived at the Peruvian Tacna. After a discussion about the poverty in the region, Guevara refers in his notes to the words of Cuban poet José Marti: "I want to link my destiny to that of the poor of this world." In May they arrived in Lima, Peru and during this time El Che met doctor Hugo Pesce, a Peruvian scientist, director of the national leprosy program, and an important local Marxist. They discuss several nights until the early morning and years later El Che identified these conversations as being very important for his evolution in attitude towards life and society.

In May, El Che and Granado leave for the leper colony of San Pablo in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, arriving there in June. During his stay El Che complains about the miserable way the people and sick of that region have to live. He also swam once from the side of the Amazon River where the doctors stayed, to the other side of the river where the leper patients lived, a considerable distance of two and a half miles. He describes how there were no clothes, almost no food, and no medication. However, El Che was moved by his time with the lepers, remarking that, "All the love and caring just consist on coming to them without gloves and medical attire, shaking their hands as any other neighbor and sitting together for a chat about anything or playing football with them."

After giving consultations and treating patients for a few weeks, El Che and Granado leave aboard the Mambo-Tango raft for Leticia, Colombia via the Amazon River.
While visiting Bogotá, Colombia, he wrote a letter to his mother on July 6, 1952. In the letter he describes the conditions under the government of Laureano Gómez as the following: "There is more repression of individual freedom here than in any country we've been to, the police patrol the streets carrying rifles and demand your papers every few minutes." He also goes on to describe the atmosphere was "tense" and "suffocating" even hypothesizing that "a revolution may be brewing." Guevara was correct in his prognostication, as a military coup in 1953 would take place, bringing General Gustavo Rojas to power.
Later that month Guevara arrived in Caracas, Venezuela and from there decides to return back to Buenos Aires to finish his studies in medical science. However, prior to his return, he travels by cargo-plane to Miami, where the airplane's technical problems delay him one month. To survive, he works as a waiter and washes dishes in a Miami bar.
Although he admits throughout that as a Vagabond traveler he can only see things at surface level, he does attempt to delve beneath the sheen of the places he visits. On one occasion he goes to see a woman dying of tuberculosis, leaving appalled by the failings of the public health system. This experience leads him to ruminate the following reflection: "How long this present order, based on the absurd idea of caste, will last is not within my means to answer, but it's time that those who govern spent less time publicizing their own virtues and more money, much more money, funding socially useful works."
Witnessing the widespread endemic poverty, oppression and disenfranchisement throughout Latin America, and influenced by his readings of Marxist literature, Guevara later decided that the only solution for the region's structural inequalities was armed revolution. His travels and readings throughout this journey also lead him to view Latin America not as a group of separate nations, but as a single entity requiring a continent-wide strategy for liberation from what he viewed as imperialist and neo-colonial domination. His conception of a borderless, united, Hispanic-America sharing a common 'mestizo' bond, was a theme that would prominently recur during his later activities and transformation from Ernesto the traveler, into Che Guevara the iconic revolutionary.
The book ends with a declaration by El Che, displaying his willingness to fight and die for the cause of the poor, and his dream of seeing a united Latin America.

"This isn't a tale of derring-do, nor is it merely some kind of 'cynical account'; it isn't meant to be, at least. It's a chunk of two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams. In nine months a man can think a lot of thoughts, from the height of philosophical conjecture to the most abject longing for a bowl of soup – in perfect harmony with the state of his stomach. And if, at the same time, he's a bit of an adventurer, he could have experiences which might interest other people and his random account would read something like this diary."

— Diary introduction

Doubtless this ride become a major factor of developement and revolution for a large group of people.  But after reading it, do you find that it just isn’t the most impactful ride you can think of?  Is it not the ride you might expect?  Tell us why and what you thought about it at

Information for this article provided by Wikipedia and may be found HERE.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Mako, the perfect Road Glide shield 
Available From 12" to 18" in 4 tints

This new 
re-curve design extends the whole length of the shield for premium wind protection.  Eliminate the most buffeting with your new LRS shield today.

  Testimonial - "I also tested these windshields (the black bike is mine) and I found the protection was a huge improvement. The LRS Mako we tested not only performed well the overall appearance was much better on the bike. 

I am 6' 2" with a stock seat and and the wind buffeting was eliminated with the 12" LRS Mako. I rode the windshield on the interstate at 80 mph with out a problem (ball cap and glasses did not move). I also drove the bike in the air stream of semi-truck at 80 mph and the performance was solid. I then rode the bike on back roads with sharp turns and some cross winds and the performance was solid. I did not have a problem looking over the wind shield and my visibility was good.

Overall I think LRS has produced a great product and have added a new choice in the market for Road Glide owners. " - Peppa

Photos of Long Ride Shields newest product, The Mako! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This story comes from Daryl "KIWI" Hogwood a native of New Zealand Living here in the US.


It was August 2008 Sunday afternoon having a couple of cold ones with the wife at our local Hooters restaurant in Fresno CA . We were thinking about heading home to swim and BBQ so I decided to call my buddy to see if he and his wife and kids wanted to join us . He answers the phone and I invite him to come over and he says he can't hes in Boise ID I asked WTF are you doing there?? I'm going to Sturgis was his reply ..he says the phone went real quiet for at least a minute  yep I was trying to figure how I could go to Sturgis too..I asked him since it was pretty late in the day would he wait in Boise for me to catch up???. NO!! ...oh  okay have a fun time see you when you get back  and I went back to my beer, I told my wife what had happened (with a sad look on my face) she said why don't you go even if you get there after him you will still have a good time (did I mention I have the bestest wife)...that was all it took we were on the bike heading home to pack, by 5.30 the T bag was packed and bike loaded..Keep in mind this had all happened in the space of a little over an hour...I was on my way to Sturgis no idea where Sturgis was but that was the destination I had a GPS and was prepared to follow it where ever it sent me  I ran  out of gas on the Salt Flats within sight of the gas station so started pushing when a group of guys from Napa Valley came by and gave me enough gas to get me to the gas stop ( thanks guys ) my first 24 hours I had  covered 1202 miles and was in Midwest  WY. I didnt realise it but the day before leaving I had got a new iPhone and hadnt set up voicemail so didnt know where my buddy had got to, it turned out I was just ahead of him he had stopped in Cody WY and I was outside Casper WY, he had taken a leisurely trip through Yellowstone and got some great pics. Whenever I would call my wife she would ask me where I was ..I really had no idea the back roads the GPS was taking me on didnt show when I was crossing over state lines so when I would stop for gas I would tell her the name of the town and she would look it up on a map and tell me what state I was in...LOL  Tueday morning I got up about 9am thinking if my buddy left at the same time we would be riding into Sturgis at the same time chance he had gotten up early and set off to beat me there , so I left a message on his cell phone and headed out I called him again from Spearfish and was going to wait for him for 15 minutes not realizing we were coming into town from different directions (hey I'm from New Zealand) was even having trouble with north and south the sun was on the wrong side of Anyway I arrived about 11.30am on Tuesday walked toward the Loud American Roadhouse and when I got to the door there was my bud standing there with 2 cold MGD cans for me and a big smile  I guess that was because he got there first ..I was smiling because I had free cold beer and had made it from Fresno CA to Sturgis in about a day and a half.  We spent a few days rode the Black Hills checked out Deadwood saw all the sights and had a blast.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Lets face it, some pretty interesting things happen out there on the road. Those experiences that bare telling at the bar or with your buddies are part of what make riding such an adventure.

Long Ride Shields is holding a short story contest for all of our devoted customers and friends and we would like to invite you to join. Our plan is to post the best short stories up on our new blog,, where we can display some of the best stories we receive, and if your story is chosen you can win a free windshield of your choice. 

This story comes from one of our local friends and avid rider, Steve Johnson


It’s a lazy Saturday morning which could have been full of household projects or chores that needed to be done a week ago.  I’ve found that my bike makes me more comfortable putting those projects off if I can find just the right excuse to get out for a while.  That day, I thought I might cruse down 395 to pick up an overpriced bag of particularly good smoked beef jerky.  Sure it’s a few hours down and at least a few hours back but what I don’t get done today I’ll just as easily get done tomorrow.
With this new determination I set out.  There is no greater joy than leaving behind all of my other life just to get away for a while.  As the road speeds away under me I can feel that part of my life sloughing off of me and slowly retreating only to be found upon coming back home.  Just before I got out of town I caught sight of her.  She was road tripping with at least a few of her friends and they smiled and waved as I rode by.  
I left them behind me with little more than a nod but the energy in their smiles really drew me back.  By that I mean for the first time that I can remember I cut off the second exit not far enough outside of town for no other reason than to check and make sure no incredibly important work calls came in in last thirty minutes. Now, this is always a long shot move as there is no guarantee of the girls destination or even journey to getting there.  Unfortunately, as long shot moves go, this one just didn’t pay off.
That is, it didn’t pay off until I found myself creeping through one of the bustling metros of 395 S.  I am always just a little more careful when the limit is 25 and the cages go 40.  In any case one of those cages that happened to pass me was the girls with their smiley attitudes and overly bubbly demeanors.  Again the passenger waved and just as they passed they even honked.  It was the perfect way to start my weekend and a better way to ride.
I followed them until a passing zone on a slow upward climb and as I passed I grinned to myself.  I let myself daydream a bit over the next hour before I stopped in a great rest stop just before Mammoth. It’s always a quiet little stop in the trees while the rest of the ride is dominated by sage and open valleys where you can see most of the world before you.  I took it all in for a few minutes and ate a snack I’d packed for the road.  It couldn’t have been a better time or place to just unwind for a few minutes.
Unfortunately a few families on their way in or out of town came in and the silence and peace of it was shattered with boys fighting, parents arguing and a couple of folks shuffling in and out.  I set back out ready for a lunch already but just glad of where the road was taking me.
Just as I was pulling out of the rest stop the girls were pulling in and as I throttled up and sped away they honked, smiled and waved.  I barely heard the horn calling out behind me as I sped away.  The laughter and smiles played on repeat in my head for the next hour until I finally sat down to enjoy a sandwich in my favorite spot.  
Perfectly smoked steak played on my tongue.  The sandwich couldn’t have been better unless that perfect place I found was several more hours out of the way.  Something about getting a sandwich this far from home appeals to me in a way you could only understand having made a similar journey yourself.  I finished my sandwich and wiped BBQ sauce from my chin before setting out back home.  
I looked up toward my bike and found the girls standing outside of their car and next to my bike.  It was too much of a coincidence and to good to be true.  One of the girls caught sight of me and waved and smiled.  
It was then that I realized just who the girls were.  My best friends daughter and her loyal band of friends.  Surely they like me were out just to enjoy the weekend and get away from home, work and chores.  I’d guess from their merriment that they were indeed enjoying the trip.  My realization of who they were only served to embarrass me a bit and I felt my cheeks glow red as my friends daughter introduced us. Soon enough I was on my way home and I didn’t stop at a single store, rest area or dive until I got there.  But what a weekend trip and what a great story it’s become.

Next weekend, I’m riding north to a new sandwich shop in a new town and maybe I’ll find new girls there.  Ideally the type that aren’t as good as blood related.  

If you have a great story and want to share it please send it to  

with the subject line, “Stories from the Road”.  Maybe yours will be the next featured in Myths, Legends & Tales. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

The "Deadly Dozen", Examined

Today on LRS Myths Tales and Legends, I thought I'd take on a different kind of myth. How many times have we heard "Loud pipes save lives" or "one beer won't hurt" . We've all heard some of these safety statements so many times that they've become mantra's. Well, we decided to look just a little closer into just how true some of these conceptions about motorcycles are or aren't. We wanted another take on what some in the motorcycle world, have repeated so often it's become "gospel", but is it? So follow Long Ride Shields as we delve into an article examining the truth of the top 12 motorcycle misconceptions, on this portion of LRS Myths, Legends, and Tales from the Road...


"Get a group of motorcyclists talking about crashes and safety, and you will almost certainly hear some of them—popular misconceptions, incorrect assumptions, urban legends, and intuitive explanations about motorcycle safety that turn out to be wrong when you actually check out the facts. The problem is that believing these misconceptions can increase your chances of being involved in an accident or getting hurt when you do crash.

Maybe you know BS when you hear it, but maybe you have heard some myths repeated so often or by people whose expertise you respect that you think they are actually true. Unfortunately, there are a lot of motorcyclists who do believe them. We thought that some of these fallacies should be brought out into the light of day so that riders have the right information upon which to make informed riding-safety decisions. We also hope it will keep more motorcyclists from repeating such misconceptions to riders who turn to them for advice.

These are the Deadly Dozen, the motorcycle safety myths and urban legends ones that we hear most frequently.

Myth 1: Other Drivers Don't Care About Motorcyclists

It may seem hard to believe at times, but other drivers almost never actually want to hit you. Most of those near-misses come about because they don't always know you are there, even when you are right in front of them, seemingly in plain view. You can be obscured or completely hidden by glare, by other things on or along the road, by the cars roof pillars, the handicap hangtag, or by other traffic. Of course, not all drivers "think motorcycles" and make the effort to look that extra bit harder to see if there might be a motorcyclist hidden by that obscuration or in their blind spot.

Instead of assuming that they will ignore you even when they see you, you should help make it easier for drivers to spot you, especially as the population ages and more drivers have greater difficulty in picking you out. To overcome the fact that you might be hard to see and harder to notice, wear bright colors, especially on your helmet and jacket. Run your high beam during the day. Think about things that can hide you and your bike from other drivers, things that can be as common as the sun behind you, the car ahead in the next lane, or a couple of roadside poles that line up on the driver's line of sight toward you. Make an effort to ride in or move to a location where drivers with potentially conflicting courses can see you before they stray your way.

Myth 2: Loud Pipes Save Lives

Yeah, there are a few situations—like where you are right next to a driver with his window down who is about the to change lanes—where full-time noise-makers might help a driver notice you, but all that noise directed rearward doesn't do much in the most common and much more dangerous conflict where a car turns in front of you. Maybe it's the fatigue caused by the noise, maybe it's the attitudes of riders who insist on making annoying noise, or perhaps loud bikes annoy enough drivers to make them aggressive. Whatever the reason, the research shows that bikes with modified exhaust systems crash more frequently than those with stock pipes. If you really want to save lives, turn to a loud jacket or a bright helmet color, which have been proven to do the job. Or install a louder horn. Otherwise, just shut up.

Myth 3: Motorcycle Helmets Break Necks

It seems logical—you put more weight out there on the end of your neck and when you get thrown off the bike, that extra weight will create more pendulum force on your neck. Turns out, it doesn't work that way. In fact, the energy-absorbing qualities of a DOT motorcycle helmet also absorb the energy that breaks riders' necks in impacts. Studies show that helmeted motorcyclists actually suffer fewer neck injuries when they crash compared to riders who crash without helmets.

Myth 4: Helmets Block Your Ability to See or Hear Danger

The thing you learn when you dig into the research is that motorcycle riders who use helmets crash less frequently than those who don't. Maybe that happens because motorcyclists who decide to wear helmets have a better or more realistic attitude about riding. Maybe it's because putting on a helmet is a reminder that what you are about to do can be dangerous and the act of accepting protection puts you in the right mindset. Maybe it's because a helmet provides eye protection and cuts down wind noise so you can actually see and hear better. Maybe its because, by cutting wind pressure and noise, a helmet reduces fatigue. Whatever the reasons, wearing a helmet clearly does not increase a motorcyclist's risk of having an accident and wearing one correlates to reduced likelihood of an accident.

Myth 5: A Helmet Won't Help in Most Crashes

People look at the seemingly low impact speeds used in motorcycle-helmet testing and assume that if you are going faster than that, the helmet will no longer be up to the job. That ignores a few critical facts:
Most accidents happen at relatively low speeds.
Most of the impact energy is usually vertical—the distance your head falls until it hits.
Helmets (or at least helmets that meet DOT standards) perform spectacular life-saving feats at impact speeds far above those used in testing.
When a helmeted rider suffers a fatal head injury, it frequently doesn't matter, because, to hit hard enough to sustain that fatal injury, he sustained multiple additional fatal injuries to other parts of his body. In other words, the fact that the helmet didn't prevent the head injury was of no consequence.
The numbers clearly say that riders using DOT helmets simply survive crashes more successfully than those without them.

Myth 6: A Helmet Will Leave You Brain Damaged in an Crash When You Would Have Simply Died

Of course that's possible—your helmet attenuates the impact energy enough to keep the injury from being fatal but not enough to keep all of your eggs from getting scrambled. However, that's rare, and if you hit that hard, you are likely to get killed by some other injury. It's actually the un-helmeted rider who is likely to cross from animal to vegetable kingdom, and often from a relatively minor impact that would have damaged nothing but his ego if he'd been wearing a DOT helmet.

Myth 7: A Skilled Rider Should Be Able to Handle Almost Any Situation

The sharpest, most skilled motorcyclist in the world isn't going to be up to the task when a car turns or pulls out in front of him a short distance ahead and stops directly in his path broadside. Believing that your superior skills will keep you of trouble is a pipe dream, even if they are as good as you think. No matter how skilled you are, it's better to ride to avoid situations that can turn ugly. Slow down, scan farther ahead, and think strategically. And dress for the crash.

Myth 8: If You Are Going to Crash, Lay It Down

I suspect this line was developed by riders to explain why they ended up flat-side-down while trying to avoid a crash. They over-braked or otherwise lost control, then tried to explain the crash away as intentional and tried to make it sound like it wasn't a crash at all. Maybe motorcycle brakes once were so bad that you could stop better off your bike while sliding or tumbling. If so, that hasn't been true for decades. You can scrub off much more speed before and there be going slower at impact with effective braking than you will sliding down the road on your butt. And if you are still on the bike, you might get thrown over the car you collide with, avoiding an impact with your body. If you slide into a car while you are on the ground, you either have a hard stop against it or end up wedged under it. Remember that the phrase "I laid 'er down to avoid a crash" is an oxymoron, often repeated by some other kind of moron.

If you are going to ride a...

read full caption

The only events where being on the ground might leave you better off are: 1) on an elevated roadway where going over the guardrail will cause you to fall a long way, or 2) in that situation you see occasionally in movies, where the motorcyclist slides under a semi trailer without touching it. That's a good trick if the truck is moving.

Myth 9: One Beer Won't Hurt

Maybe not while you are drinking it, but if you get on your motorcycle after that, the effects of a single beer can get you hurt for life. No matter how unaffected you are sure you are, all the studies say differently. You increase your risk to yourself and to others when you drink and hit the road. Also, as you age, your metabolism slows down, and those "coupla drinks" you had last night may still be affecting you when you hit the road the next morning.

Myth 10: It's Better to Stay in Your Lane than Split Lanes

In most parts of the world, motorcycles split lanes all the time, everywhere traffic is heavy. Here in the U.S., people often act as if lane-splitting is insane. But when someone actually studied it in the only place in the U.S. where it's legal (California), they discovered it's actually slightly safer than staying in the lane in heavy, slow-moving traffic. Still many motorcyclists berate others who do it, when they should in fact be endorsing it.

Myth 11: I'm Safer on the Street than on an Interstate

The thinking here must be that slower is safer, but that's only really true after the accident begins. Controlled-access roadways are inherently safer because all the traffic is going the same way, and there are no side streets from which someone can pop into your path, no pedestrians, and, often, less roadside "furniture" to hit if you depart the roadway. Running down the road at 70 mph side-by-sidewall with the whirling wheels of a semi may feel hairy, but you are actually safer than at half that speed on a city street or even a country road.

Myth 12: A Skilled Rider Can Stop Better with Conventional Brakes than with Anti-Lock Brakes

Extensive testing done recently disproves this popular notion. Even on clean, dry, flat pavement, skilled, experienced riders (who did hundreds of panic stops for the testing on outrigger-equipped motorcycles) stopped in less distance with anti-lock brakes (ABS) than with conventional or linked braking systems. Though the tests didn't include samples on surfaces with slick, dirty or wet spots, ABS certainly would have performed even better under those conditions while eliminating much of the risk of crashing.

The other cool thing about ABS on a motorcycle is that allows you to safely practice panic stops without risking a crash caused by lock-up.

Anyway, the next time tells you that he had to "lay it down" or that green bikes crash more than purple ones, you can nod and snicker internally or challenge them. Just don't base your own riding choices on what other people assume unless their is some solid science to back it up. '

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Legend of The Hairy Hands

Have you ever been forced off the road by a set of "hairy hands" that weren't your own? While the big tough bikers among us snicker, maybe once you hear this legend, it won't give you the giggles anymore. Many things can ruin an awesome day of cruising down the highway, the sound of your motor purring along and your music blaring in your ears. But a pair of disembodied "Hairy Hands" grabbing your handle bars and causing you to swerve off the road??? We thought that a bit odd too, but apparently in a certain part of the United Kingdom, meeting a "hairy" situation isn't as odd as it sounds. Follow LRS, as we investigate the legend of the "Hairy Hands" on this portion of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales From the Road...

On the quiet stretch of road between Postbridge and Two Bridges, England, lies a stretch of road with an unusually high number of motorcycle and car accidents dating back to 1910. Of course, we'd think, maybe the road is narrow, perhaps there are animals in the road etc etc. But what do the accidents on this stretch of road have in common? Those involved in many of the accidents, report that a "disembodied pair of Hairy Hands" grabbed the handle bars or steering wheel, and forced them to the side of the road! Sounds like perhaps some of these accident victims had spent too much time in the pub. That's what local police though as well, at least until June of 1921, when Doctor E.H. Helby, the medical Officer for local Dartmoor Prison was killed in a motorcycle accident on the stretch of road. He had been traveling along the road, with his two young daughters in the sidecar of his motorcycle at the time. Although he was killed, his daughters survived the accident. His daughters reported that their father had seen "hands" on the handlebars forcing them off the road just before they crashed. While one incident may be written off as a fluke, the hands would strike again.

On August 26, 1921 an army Captain would suffer an accident in the exact spot as the doctor. He would report to police that a "pair of hands, covered in hair" had taken hold of him, and forced his motorcycle off the road. Following the Army Captain's report, the newspapers would report the story in London, and the story became known nationwide. The reports of accidents caused by a ghostly pair of hands continue to this day. An official investigation was even launched into the stories, and the road investigated. While no "official" findings on the "hands" were found, the road was improved in several areas.

So now along with the other risks involved in riding your motorcycle in the UK, such as fog, animals, and rain, you can now add disembodied hands to the list! This was one legend we just had to look into further, and if any of our friends in England can add anything to this please let us know. Until then, keep the rubber side down, and don't let anyone "lend you a hand" unless you ask for it. This has been another portion of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road...