Two new members of the Iron Steed H.O.G. chapter in Vacaville were killed on July 4. Rick Schwab and his wife, Kelly, were riding in the Lake Tahoe area when they were hit by a drunk driver. Heartfelt condolences go to their family and friends… Happy birthday to all y’all who celebrate in September. Happy birthday to my THUNDER PRESS Editor-in-Chief, Terry Roorda, and to THUNDER PRESS North Editor, Marjorie “Shadow” Kleiman. Happy birthday to Trees’ love muffin, E Linderman, in Watsonville, Peter Crowell in Santa Cruz, Wayne Andlovec of San Gabriel H.O.G., Paula Machen of ABATE Local 17, Robert Allen in Glendale, Kellen Yee, to David Miller and his wife, Ann, in Paso Robles, and to Karen Aldridge, co-manager of Jamestown Harley-Davidson. Happy birthday to celebrity riders Bill Murray and Michael Madsen… Get well wishes go to Bill Campbell of ABATE 17. Bill had a heart valve replacement procedure and suffered a stroke while in the hospital… It is so sad. Debbie Caballero suffered the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease for several years before her recent death. Prayers and kind wishes go to her husband, Larry, and to her extended family and many friends… Why do you suppose that someone in the California Office of Administrative Law ordered the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to remove their safety guidelines for lane splitting? News releases say that the reason is because some people thought the guidelines were rules or laws that could be enforced by the CHP. My question here is, “So what?” What harm does it do to mistakenly think that the guidelines are enforceable? The CHP spokesman said that people liked the guidelines and appreciated them, and Nick Haris of the American Motorcycle Association said he is disappointed to see them removed because, “A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into creating those guidelines, and it’s a pity to see it so quickly removed.” I’m thinking that published guidelines are a resource for safety training for riders, particularly novice riders, and they are a very effective way to inform motorists that lane splitting is, in fact, legal. Not a great many of them know that. So, why would anyone want to eradicate safety guidelines that are supported by both the CHP and riders? Do you think it could be just to set the stage for making lane splitting illegal? Do you think it could be tied to the notion that California wants to do away with air-cooled engines? I don’t have any answers; I just have questions… Before I leave the subject of lane splitting, let me tell you about an asshole I saw splitting lanes on westbound I-80 in Sacramento. Traffic was really jammed, and I was creeping along in the fast lane. The backup was not clearing as soon as I had hoped, so I was considering splitting lanes when I heard some Harleys coming. The lead Harley rider pulled alongside me and popped a wheelie. Harleys are not made to do that, and this jerk had a passenger riding with him. Anyone this stupid is too stupid to be allowed to ride… When did all these asshole, incompetent people get on Harleys and show up for runs and events? Jack and I were on our way to the Hot Rods and Harleys event at the Iron Steed dealership in Vacaville. We were on I-80, approximately a half a block from the exit, and a group of about 10 to 15 Harleys rode up behind us. The leader, his wingman and the next two riders gunned around me only to split Jack and me up at the light and to consequently break up his own group. At a light, a rider in his group that had passed me motioned me to go around and rejoin Jack. I appreciated that. With Jack and me in the lead, we all made a left turn. We got within a half-block of the dealership and the leader, wingman and two behind them come gunning around Jack and me. Once again, he split up his group. I guess he did this to show us how big and bad he is. He certainly was not taking care of his group… I have considered writing a group-riding booklet, but you know what, these are the very riders who need it the most, and they are the very ones who think they know it all and don’t need any advice. What do you think? Tell me about some of the stupid things you have seen riders do. Do you think anyone would benefit from a group-riding booklet? Now I am going to go finish packing and saddle up for a jaunt to Texas. See you in about a month.