Riding Facts and Tips

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As we hope to emerge soon from the Polar Vortex, it’s nearing the time to put your bike back on the road. But, when you do, that first ride of the year can be one of the most dangerous. This is what to watch out for on your first spring motorcycle ride. Sand/Gravel/SaltOver the winter, the roads will have been covered in traction-aiding substances like these. They tend to stick around for the first few weeks after the snow melts and gather in corners and intersections. We all know what the consequences of hitting this stuff in a corner or while braking is, so keep any eye out for it. PotholesThese are formed as water expands and contracts with freezing; they’re created over the winter. There’ll be more of these in the spring than there were last fall. Small ones aren’t a huge concern so long as you don’t hit one while cornering or braking, but in the Northeast, potholes can get big enough to swallow a Bentley, let alone your bike. SubsidenceWith heavy rains and snowmelt, erosion can occur, undermining the footing of roads, especially in the mountains and out in the boonies where there’s little road maintenance. Pay special attention to the edges of the asphalt and the verges, where previously firm ground can crumble away. AnimalsSpring means babies and animals migrating in search of food. Pay particular attention near bodies of water during dawn and dusk hours. You wouldn’t want to kill a duckling, would you? Flowing WaterSnowmelt or busted water pipes can create streams of water running across roads in unexpected places. Even if water is not currently present, its previous flow could have swept sand and other debris across the road. Cold TemperaturesYou’re eager to start riding again, we get that, but doing so in just-above-freezing temps requires a little extra caution. Even if all other hazards are nonexistent, your sportbike tires aren’t designed to work at temps below about 50 degrees and you’ll need to account for the cold’s effect on your body and dress accordingly. Other RidersIt’s not just you who’s skills are rusty. Other riders are already a major hazard on the best of days, but on their first ride back in the spring? Watch out, particularly on popular riding roads. What You Can Do About ItIn town and on the highway, leave extra following distance behind other vehicles; they can obscure potholes, gravel and other hazards until it’s too late. Ride with extra caution, leaving more room than usual to slow down, change line or avoid hazards. Your skills will be rusty too, so leave some extra speed in your pocket to account for that too. Heading to your favorite...

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New Equinox Commercial on WCSH 6

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Click on the image above to check out our new Equinox TV commercial now airing on WCSH 6 that ponders the question, how do you say Equinox? The commercial stars our very own Training Director, Randy Judkins who explores the argument over the correct pronunciation of our name through the use of his 3 colorful characters. The important thing to remember is, no matter how you say it, Equinox Financial and Insurance Services offers GREAT rates on Auto & Home Insurance – and if you’re a Maine Credit Union Member, you are eligible for special group discounts! Contact us today at 207-774-0837 or Request a Quote Online   Subscribe to our blog If you would like to receive informative articles about saving money, staying safe and protecting your life & loved ones...subscribe to our blog today! Name* First Last...

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Use Caution when Clearing Snow and Ice to Prevent Heating Oil Tank Spills

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AUGUSTA – With the record amount of snow that Maine has seen this year, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cautions about possible damage to outside heating oil tanks from snow and ice. The fuel filter attached to the bottom fitting of a residential oil storage tank is a weak component and makes a good target for falling and settling snow to shear off that connection. If this happens, most of the contents of the tank will be released before repairs can be made. These spills can contaminate drinking water wells and surface waters, degrade indoor air quality and require expensive repair or replacement of the tank, not to mention the cost of purchasing replacement fuel.   Falling snow and ice is the second most common cause of releases from home heating oil tanks (internal corrosion is number one). To help prevent this from happening, DEP suggests having a licensed oil technician install a steel filter protector, regularly and carefully clear snow from over and around the tank, remove snow and ice from the roof above to prevent slides and when doing so, be mindful of the tank below.   If a spill does occur, please report it immediately to Maine DEP’s 24-hour oil spill emergency response hotline at 1-800-482-0777. For more information from DEP about keeping your home heating oil tank safe, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep/spills   Information courtesy of Maine.gov Karl Wilkins, karl.e.wilkins@maine.gov or (207) 287-5842 Subscribe to our blog If you would like to receive informative articles about saving money, staying safe and protecting your life & loved ones...subscribe to our blog today! Name* First Last...

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Governor and Insurance Superintendent Encourages Maine Consumers to Consider Flood Insurance to Protect their Property

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February 27, 2015 Professional & Financial Regulation – Insurance   Governor Paul R. LePage is joining Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa in urging all Maine home and business owners, and renters, to evaluate their need for flood insurance, given the current snow pack and coming spring thaws and rains. “Although flooding can occur anytime of the year, the melting of ice and snow in the spring poses a heightened threat,” Governor LePage said. Fourteen of the 15 federal disaster declarations for Maine since 2004 involved flooding, with 9 of those flooding events occurring between January and May. These floods impacted every county in Maine on multiple occasions. “There is typically a 30-day waiting period before a new flood insurance policy takes effect,” Superintendent Cioppa said. “So now is the time for Mainers to consider their needs and make decisions in order for the policy to be effective this spring.” Cioppa reminds Maine residents that most homeowner and business policies do not cover flooding, whether from rising ground water or overflowing waterways. He also cautions home and business owners and renters from relying on cash assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the event of a flood. Even in a qualifying event such aid is usually made as a loan, which can result in a much larger monthly payment than a flood insurance policy premium. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides homeowners, business owners and renters with the best insurance protection against flooding. The NFIP can provide coverage specifically for flooding or rising ground water, and for both an insured building and its contents. The premiums for flood insurance reflect the property’s location with low to moderate risk properties priced significantly less than high risk properties. Flood insurance is currently available through 61 insurance companies in more than 985 NFIP participating communities in Maine. More information is available from the NFIP by calling 1-800-427-2419 or by visiting www.FloodSmart.gov. Consumers can also contact the Bureau of Insurance with questions or concerns regarding any insurance matter by calling 1-800-300-5000 or visiting www.maine.gov/insurance. The Bureau of Insurance is one of five agencies within the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (www.maine.gov/pfr). Information courtesy of...

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