Monday, May 25, 2015

Throttle Therapy! - Dealing with PTSD

Today is Memorial day, a day in which our country and its citizens pay tribute to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to secure our liberty and way of life. In our efforts to pay our respect to these heroes we asked one of our most respected customers to come in for an interview and to give us his thoughts on this day and its significance to motorcyclist across the country.

"John" - is a veteran of more than two decades and has served with distinction while in the army, and working in the shadows for an "Other Government Agency" our hero, who has asked for anonymity, has been there and done that to include working EOD as a Special Forces soldier in South America. He has had his own close calls and if you buy him a beer will tell you some of the coolest stories you ever heard. In our opinion "John" is one BAMF.

During our interview we talked about a lot of things that had tremendous meaning with regards to our military today, and those who bore the sacrifices of battle, however we touched on one very important theme that we feels bears repeating and that we know will resonate with bikers across the world.

Throttle Therapy!  - Dealing with PTSD

We asked john why he rides a motorcycle to begin with (he has four of them), his answer was simple:  
"You will never see a motorcycle parked outside a Therapists office!" he said,

After discussing what "John" meant he explained more, and in so many words reminded us that those that die are not the only casualties of war; PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is something that most soldiers bring home with them and in many circumstances it can ruin their lives even as if they were dead, and in the worst scenarios has led some to take their own lives.

"Throttle therapy is my way of dealing with the stress of this world" John told us - " when I'm on that bike I am in Control, I have the reigns and the bike responds to my commands, yet in the some manner I am at the mercy of the road, I am free for the next few hours as I ramble down the road. During that time I'm not thinking about my problems or the past, I'm in the moment and I'm in control."

If you are reading this post then you are most likely ride a motorcycle, if you ride then you know exactly what "John" meant, riding a motorcycle is the Ultimate escape, the ultimate freedom, and to those like "John" who need to deal with their demons, Throttle Therapy may be one of the best ways to hold on and make your way through life.

It's no wonder to us at LRS why so many current and former members of the Armed Services ride motorcycles, and we know exactly what feelings and sense of satisfaction comes with the lifestyle, and so today on Memorial Day we will ride, and we will be reminded of those , who like "John" have made sacrifices for our freedom, We hope that today you heroes will also ride and be free!

Thank You from the deepest part of our biker hearts, we respect you, we honor you and our fallen, please ENJOY THE RIDE!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Interview with my dad.

I remember as a kid visiting the cemeteries with my parents to pay respects to people I was too young to remember. I remember always looking forward to leaving so that I could enjoy barbecue, playing, or seeing my friends. It wasn't until later that I finally understood that this practice was for my parents to remember our family, and for me to learn to be respectful of these memories. It was a little time later when my Aunt Florence (dad's sister) passed away that I finally understood.

We were all sitting around the shop coming up with ideas for the upcoming Memorial Day events, and what we were to write a blog about. The idea of an interview with a veteran came up, and how awesome it would be to hear from a vet on their service and what they recall about motorcycles in their time of service. I instantly thought about my father and remembered my father telling me stories about his service years. I’m glad that I did think of my dad also, as I had not talked to him in a few days. My father is Robert Cavinder, born April 14, 1929. And, is a World War II veteran. I called Dad during a break to ask him a few questions, mainly to see how he would feel about being interviewed by his son for this blog. Dad and I started out with mostly the usual banter, when I told him about the blog and the upcoming holiday. 
Dad began his service at a young age in 1945, and had enlisted to fight in the war. When he finished his basic training the war had literally ended. Dad stayed on in the military to go on to several locations. Eventually, Dad retired while Gerald Ford was in office. Dad became a fire chief for Pan Am when we were living in Salalah, Oman. We moved to the United States when I was 5, and dad would become a fire inspector when we arrived.

I asked Dad about his experiences with motorcycles while he was in service. Dad had ridden a motorcycle before, but never developed a taste for it. Dad told me about the use of motorcycles during the war as messenger services. Soldiers riding Indian motorcycles who were more agile and capable of maneuvering through and around obstacles to get messages to their destinations. I asked Dad a few questions: how long he was in the service, when he decided on his career path, who his favorite president to serve under was, and his most memorable moment. Dad had this to say, 
Me and Dad

“I served twenty five and one half years active and four and one half inactive reserve.” “I went to firefighting school in 1947.” “We weren’t political in those days whoever was commander in chief was decided by the population of the forty eight states.” I asked Dad what his proudest moment was in service, and his response made me very proud when I read it: “Sometime in the fifties the army raised hell about having to take all of the category five trainees [category five was those people who hadn't any formal education] the Air Force was forced to take a share. These people were made janitors or other menial jobs, considered non trainable, I was stationed in Montana at Great Falls air base and we got five of these individuals. After a couple months I got to know the five assigned to the fire station. To make the story shorter, I felt sorry for their predicament and decided to do something. From the first Sergeant down I couldn't find anyone that had a plausible answer. So, I took these guys to the education center and talked to the guy in charge, we enrolled them in the first grade English and reading class that fit their education level. About ten years later while I was in the far east I was walking on the flight line when I heard my name being called. It was one of the five with three stripes on his sleeve he was in the fire department and a crew chief, he thanked me for what I had done for him.”
I asked Dad afterwards about visiting the graves when I was a kid. Dad told me that it was to let our visits be known to them and let them know that we are still thinking of them.

I am very proud of my dad, and I have a high level of morals and tolerances because of his teachings. Dad has taught me so much on how to be a better person, to think better, to be understanding, and how to respect myself and others. These teachings are being taught to my child as well. And, when the time comes for her to understand why we visit graves, view photos, or celebrate, she will know that we do so to remember. Thank you, Pop.

-Brad Cavinder

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why We Hang the Flag at Half Mast

We hang the flag lower in times of mourning. We do this as a sign of respect to honor the departed and remember them, and we do this every Memorial Day. But, where did this tradition come from? There is some history that begins back in 1612 when the captain of the British ship Heart’s Ease died on a journey to Canada. When the ship returned to London, it was flying the flag at half-mast to honor the departed captain.
The idea behind flying the flag at half-mast was to make room for the invisible flag of Death. The sailors of the Heart’s Ease were flying the flag just a flags width below allowing the invisible flag of Death to show its presence.

In the early days of our country, there were no regulations existed for flying the flag at half-staff. As a result, there were many conflicting policies. But on March 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation on the proper times.

During the nation’s time of mourning (title 4, Chapter 1, Section 7 of the United States Code) the flag is flown at half-staff for 30 days if the death of a current or former president, while the vice president, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Speaker of the House receive 10 days following their deaths. Flags fly at half-staff from the day of death until the date of interment for cabinet secretaries, Associate Juices of the Supreme Court, former vice presidents, and the governors of states. The death of a current member of Congress lowers the flag to half-staff on the day of death and the following day.

The President can give an executive order lowering the flag to half-staff to honor the passing of other important figures or tragic events. George W. Bush ordered the flags flown at half-staff until the internment of Pope John Paull II. When Nelson Mandela died in December 5th, 2013, President Obama ordered the flags lowered to honor Mandela until sunset on December 9th. Following the September 11th attacks in 2001, President Bush ordered the flags to be flown at half-staff until September 16th. The only people who have the right to order the flag at half-staff is the President, Governors of states, territories, and possessions have the authority under the federal flag code. The mayor of the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) also has the power to order the flag at half-staff.

There are rules for raising the flag to half-staff. You do not just raise it to half-staff. Properly raising the flag shows honor to our country and to our departed. The flag is to be treated as a living thing, and reflects the time of mourning. To properly fly the flag at half-staff in mourning, the flag must quickly ascend to the peak of the flag staff for an instant, and then lower slowly to half-staff reflecting the nation’s mourning. When the flag is lowered, it is raised to the finial for an instant, before being lowered.
Here is a list of rules and regulations for our American flag:

During Memorial Day, the flag is raised to half-staff from dawn until noon, where it is quickly raised to the top. Memorial Day is a day of mourning, but we celebrate pride in our country and the memories of people who are no longer with us.

Now, what do you do if you have a fixed flag? Tradition says you should place a black ribbon above the flag.

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have passed. Keeping the memory of the departed keeps us strong, and keeps them with us. If they are here with us in spirit they will be happy to know that we still think of them.

Friday, May 8, 2015



Safety by the numbers-

Here are some interesting motorcycle safety facts that come from the the Government - I know you won't all agree with the assessment, as we at Long Ride Shields find some of the stats hard to swallow, but it is a good way to start off  motorcycle safety week!

Just remember: rubber side down and keep it inside the lines!