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Many of us may have been trained in CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. We probably learned the process at work or possibly on our own. It's a good thing to know to help others and save lives. We also have to participate in refresher training every couple of years to remain certified to perform CPR. There's another type of CPR we should learn as well.

In James Patterson's novel NYPD Red, Zach Jordan is a member of New York's finest assigned to an elite detective group. He says today's NYPD is different because they practice CPR; Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect. This version of CPR can help us save our lives, too, as we ride. Let's look at how each part of this CPR might work for us.

To be courteous to other drivers we need to relax and see what other people on the road are doing. We may not like it, but we don't have to let what they do get to us. Remaining calm enables us to focus on the situation and to identify the subtle indicators of what might be about to happen. By anticipating their moves we are able to reduce the impact their actions have on us.

Courtesy calls for us to be polite to those with whom we share the road. By acting like we would like others to act, we also reduce our stress level. With less pressure, we can more clearly spot the circumstances we are facing and be better prepared to take the appropriate action.

Becoming a professional rider means taking our mental and physical skills to a higher level. Professionals strive to be the best that they can be. Being good enough is just not good enough for a professional. They're always learning and expanding their skill set and they don't overlook practicing the fundamentals either.

The risks we confront while riding don't permit us to be complacent with our abilities. We must keep getting better. Not only do the skills we possess have to be as sharp as they can be, but we must also be expanding our skill set. We have to keep learning about our passion because we can never know enough.

Showing respect on the road by recognizing and appreciating the difference in vehicles and drivers can help us be better prepared for potential problems. Regarding other drivers not as the enemy, but as people who may not understand motorcycles lets us see them in a different light. Although they may not share our passion for riding, they're really people just like us with work, family and financial concerns.

We also need to recognize and respect the differences in vehicles on the road with us. We understand we are more vulnerable, less stable and not as readily seen as other vehicles. But do we know where the blind spots are of other types of vehicles? Do we respect their stopping capabilities, especially of the larger ones?

By practicing CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) we can save another person's life. By practicing CPR (Courtesy - Professionalism - Respect) we can save our own. In addition to saving our bacon, practicing Patterson's CPR will likely make our rides more enjoyable and safer.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!