Charles Camden loves the freedom that comes with a motorcycle.
He rode his regularly until 5 years ago, when he hit a pothole and crashed, breaking every rib on his right side and puncturing his lung. He was hospitalized for 18 days and out of work for three months.
Now, though, he’s ready to ride again.
“The wife said no for many years,” Camden said. “She finally came around when the gas prices got high.”
Camden joins a growing number of motorcycle riders on Central Virginia roadways as more turn to the bikes because of rising gas prices.
That has authorities concerned over biker safety, and for good reason. More than 30,000 Virginians have motorcycles, but do not have a motorcycle classification on their driver’s license, according to state records.
Although he commutes just a few miles to work, Andrew Vance has considered making the switch from his car to a motorcycle to save money, particularly on gas.
“It’s cheaper overall to own and maintain a motorcycle and parking is cheaper,” said Vance, 25, adding that if he were to use a motorcycle, he wouldn’t have to pay to park on the streets of Arlington, Va., where he works.
Vance, a resident of Arlington, recently completed a course in the Rider School at Howard Community College, which teaches novices how to properly and safely handle motorcycles.
July 17, 2008 by Hersey · Comments Off on Fun, fuel savings make motorcycles the ride of choice for some
Winchester — For Debbie Orndorff, one of the best things about riding a motorcycle is feeling in control.
“It’s just you and the road,” the local resident said. “I like the open part about the motorcycle.”
Orndorff, who works at Grove’s Winchester Harley-Davidson off U.S. 50 (Millwood Pike) east of the city, said she started riding in 1993. Her husband is also a motorcycle enthusiast.
Like many of the dealership’s employees, Orndorff rides her motorcycle to work often, especially in the summer when the weather is warm and gas prices are high.
“It can save you money on gas,” she said.
Orndorff was among thousands across the country who rode their motorcycles to work Wednesday as part of Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day.
June 16, 2008 by Hersey · Comments Off on Scooting past sky-high gas prices
Motorcycle dealers in the Roanoke Valley say the rise in gas prices has driven a steadily increasing stream of folks into their shops.
A pickup truck, motorcycle, six bicycles and a scooter sit in George Hunter’s garage and driveway.
But for the retired schoolteacher, the scooter is the preferred choice.
“The scooter is just the best choice for what I need — it’s cheap on gas and easy to get around in,” the 61-year-old said.
According to Roanoke Valley bike merchants, Hunter is just one example of the scooter craze in America that is infiltrating Southwest Virginia.
The number of registered motorcycles and scooters in Virginia increased 81 percent from 2001-07 to 166,806, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
LACONIA, N.H. — Rising gas prices may trim the turnout at this year’s Motorcycle Week in Laconia, organizers said.
Motorcycle Week is back for an 85th year, and Gov. John Lynch was on hand to kick off festivities on Friday. But organizers said they would be lucky to approach the 300,000 visitors who came to the event last year.
“Everyone’s psyched up for it,” organizer Jennifer Anderson said. “It’s just going to be a little tighter on the purse strings.”
June 10, 2008 by Hersey · Comments Off on As gas prices soar, so do scooter sales
In his 17 years as a salesman at Sunrise Cycle & Watercraft, Roy Ford has never seen an item sell so fast.
Motorized scooters are flying off the lot. He even bought one himself recently.
The dealership on East Little Creek Road in Norfolk sold 23 scooters in May, compared with the one or two sold the same month last year. Record-high gas prices, Ford said, are driving people to consider two-wheelers as a cheaper alternative to cars.
June 9, 2008 by Hersey · Comments Off on Motorcycle classes full of people wanting to save money
As the price to fill up your gas tank continues to get more and more painful, people all over the country are searching for ways to save on gas. One of the solutions is driving motorcycles instead of cars.
At Virginia Western Community College, Faye Hedrick is learning to ride a motorcycle.
“Save a little bit on gas because I’m furious about the gas prices. I’m furious,” Hedrick said.
She’s taking a motorcycle safety course. Like many people, it’s one way to fight back against the gas prices.