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(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. How do I become a member of the Panther Creek Chapter?
A. First you must be a member of the National Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) then you need to fill out an application for membership with the Panther Creek Chapter.

Q. Do I have to have attended the New Rider's Orientation to go on a Panther Creek HOG dinner or group ride?
A. No, but we encourage you to make a New Rider's Orientation meeting at your earliest convenience. We learn as much from you, your riding experiences and your questions as you do from us. Whether you are already an experienced rider or just starting out, YOU have thoughts and ideas to share that will help us and help fellow riders.

Q. What is a "Dinner ride"?
A. Almost every Friday evening of the year, Panther Creek HOG members meet at the Allen Harley-Davidson Shop for a group ride to an area restaurant. The rides leave at 7:00 PM (but please plan to be there by no later than 6:30 PM for the pre-ride briefing). The rides are usually 30 to 45 minutes. We go to a different restaurant on each ride.

Q. What is a "pre-ride briefing"?
A. Before every ride, the Road Captains bring the group together to remind everyone of the safety policies, the hand signals that we will use to communicate during the ride, and discuss the route. We want everyone to be comfortable and safe on every ride. At the briefing (or privately to a Road Captain before the briefing), if you are a new rider or are riding a new motorcycle that shouldn't be ridden over 50 MPH because of break-in procedure, you can tell a Road Captain and we will try to put a group together of similar riders.

Q. What is a "Road Captain" and how big are the "groups"?
A. Road Captains are a group of people that have been selected for their knowledge, experience, and riding skills and then trained to lead a group safely. As you can imagine, there are big differences between riding solo, riding in a group, and leading a group. The Groups or "Pods" as we call them are usually six to eight riders with a Road Captain leading and a Road Captain in the rear in case anyone has problems. Road Captains wear an orange armband and many wear orange do-rags that say "Panther Creek Road Captain" on the front, to make them easy to spot.

Q. Do I have to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to go on a dinner ride?
A. No. We have several spouses and friends who ride on "other" bikes in our dinner rides.

Q. What speeds do you ride on these dinner rides?
A. We lead the rides at legal speeds. Our goal is to get everyone there safely and comfortably. We obey all traffic laws on all chapter rides.

Q. When I am riding by myself (not on a group ride) what do I do if I have a flat or other mechanical trouble?
A. First, if possible always ride with a cell phone, and then if you have problems, you can call for help. You should have the phone number of your bike shop. They often have either roadside recovery service or can call a tow service for you. You should also have the number of a tow service known for transporting motorcycles. One such service in the Plano area that in equipped to carry bikes is Jon's Tow Service (972.248.4649). That is not meant as an endorsement; just a number if you need it. You should also carry, if possible, a tire plugging kit and a can of "canned air" (available at most auto parts stores for about $10 total). That may get you home. If you are traveling over 100 miles from home, you may want to look into the HOG road assistance insurance. This is like AAA insurance and costs $20 annually. The $30 plan includes the cost of overnight lodging while your bike is being repaired. HOG members also have a program where you can be reimbursed for some towing costs if you are over 100 miles from home.

Q. What is "MSF"?
A. Motorcycle Safety Foundation. This is a national foundation sponsored by all the motorcycle manufacturers. In conjunction with each state's Department of Public Safety, they license motorcycle safety instructors who in turn offer courses. We highly encourage you to take the beginning MSF or the Experienced Rider MSF - or both. HOG will give a $50 in store credit (limited to one per year) to persons completing either course. Most insurance companies will give a 10% discount for having passed the course, and of course, if you are getting a license, if you pass the beginner's course, you only have to take the written portion of the state test.

Q. What is the HOG "Mileage Program"?
A. HOG encourages you to get out and ride. One of the ways that they do this is with the Mileage Program. You need to get your bike registered at the dealership as soon as possible. When you send (or FAX) the registration to HOG, they will send you a Mileage patch. When you have put on 10,000 miles (those come quicker than you think) on the bike from the mileage at registration, you will receive a 10,000 mile rocker to go under the Mileage patch. Then at 25,000 you will receive another, etc. You are going to be riding those miles anyway so go register. It costs nothing.

Q. What is the "ABC's of Touring"?
A. That's another fun program that you should get involved in. The complete details are available from the WWW.HOG.COM WEB page. In a nutshell, you get points for every town where you take a picture of your bike in front of an "official" sign (maximum of 26 points). You get a point for each county as well (26 maximum here also). You also get points for states, HOG rallies, etc. HOG gives prizes to everyone reaching 26, 36, 46, 56, and 66 point levels in a calendar year. (You can get 46 points without getting over 50 miles from D-FW.) The ten top point winners receive plaques and other prizes, but those people usually have 150 plus points. There is no cost to register.

Q. How do I get Panther Creek Patches, T-Shirts, name tag and other merchandise?
A. This year, Kevin Bethke is handling our merchandise. He does his best to be at most of the Dinner Rides and Panther Creek Events. An assortment of chapter patches are aslo available at Harley Davidson of Dallas in Allen, at the front counter.

Q. What is the Panther Creek "Mileage Program"?
A. Like HOG, our chapter encourages you to get out and ride. That's the fun of owning a Harley, riding it. Find a Road Captain, if one doesn't find you first and get your odometer reading recorded. You will receive a Mileage card with your begining mileage recorded on it. At the end of the year, at the Frosty HOG Run, we will record your ending mileage and we will give you a Panther Creek Mileage patch, if you don't have one already. Once we tally up all of your miles, we will award mileage rockers at the first Quarterly meeting of the year, to the nearest 2500 mile mark. Miles add up quicker than you think, in 2006 our chapter collectively rode over 1.2 million miles, becoming one of three HOG chapters that have done so. We also recognize the Male and Female member of the chapter that have ridden the most miles on their bike for the year.

Q. What is the password to gain access to the Chapter Newsletters and Chat Board on the website?
A. The current password can be found in the monthly newsletter or by emailing our Membership Officer.


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