Tuesday, July 24, 2007



The Tennessee Senate passed the current helmet bill to allow adults 21 and over the right to choose. The bill is currently in the House Finance Committee to be heard by the Budget Subcommittee when they return in January of 2008. Below are the committee members who have NOT agreed to vote in favor of HB1283. Call their local office number or their Nashville office. Ask them to support and Co-Sponsor HB 1283.

Speaker Jimmy Naifeh – Covington 901 476-9593 or 615 741-3774
Lois DeBerry – Memphis - Speaker ProTem 901 743-1133 or 615 741-3830
Craig Fitzhugh – Chairman (Finance) Ripley 731 772-8978 or 716 741-2134
Harry Tindell – Chairman of (Budget) Knoxville 865 524-7200 or 615 741-2031
Joe Armstrong – Knoxville 865 532-6374 or 615 741-0768
Nathan Vaughn – Knoxville 615 741-6867
Bill Dunn – Knoxville 865 687-4904 or 615 741-1721
Doug Overbey – Maryville 865 681-8236 or 615 741-0981
Jason Mumpower – Bristol 423 989-3234 or 615 741-2050
Dennis Roach – Rutledge 865 828-4356 or 615 741-2534
Gary Odom – Nashville 615 356-5096 or 615 741-4110
Janis Sontany – Nashville 615 741-6861
Charles Sargent – Franklin 615 771-7222 or 615 741-6808
John Hood – Murfreesboro 615 893-4651 615 741-7849
Kent Coleman – Murfreesboro – 615 741-6829
Stratton Bone – Lebanon 615 444-1717or 615 741-7085
Rob Briley – East Nashville 615 741-2184
Charles Curtiss – Sparta 931 761-2765 or 615 741-1963
Tommie Brown, Ms., - Chattanooga – 615 741-4374
Johnny Shaw – Bolivar 731 658-8925 or 615 741-4538
Phillip Pinion – Union City 731 885-9175 or 615 741-0718
Larry Miller – Memphis 901 272-7884 or 615 741-4453

The following should be urged to continue their strong support of freedom and HB1283.
Steve McDaniels – Parkers Crossroads 731 968-7883 or 615 741-0750 (Co-Sponsor)
Michael Harrison – Rogersville 615 741-7480 (Co-Sponsor)
Randy Rinks – Pickwick Dam – 731 925-3985 or 615 741-2007
Harry Brooks – Knoxville – 615 741-6879 (Co-Sponsor)
Beth Harwell – Nashville 615 385-0357 or 615 741-0709 (Co-Sponsor)
Mark Maddox – Dresden 731 364-2685 or 615 741-7847

The best discussion you can have with your representative is face to face. Call and make an appointment to see them in your district. Let them know that you are in favor of HB 1283 and that you would appreciate their support. This issue is not about helmets, it is about a law mandating helmets under the threat of fines and jail time! Adults should have the freedom to choose!

Questions? Call Mike Hays – Legislative Director CMT/ABATE 615 469-2567 legislative@cmtabate.com



Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relations jeff@mrf.org (e-mail)


The Motorcycle Riders Foundation issues urgent call to action.

Washington DC July 23rd 2007 9:31 PM

The United States House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the
FY2008 Transportation, House and Urban Development Appropriations bill (HR
3074) Tuesday July 24th 2007. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has learned of a last minute attempt to eliminate the funding of the 2010 motorcycle safety grant program created in the last highway bill (PL 109-59).

Representative Jeb Henserling (R-TX) is the author of the amendment as well as many many more all directed to eliminate funding for various safety programs and other programs deemed by Heserling as unnecessary and a waste of money. Henserling who is head of the ultra conservative House caucus known as the Republican Study Committee routinely attempts to eradicate funding for good programs. The RSC aims to keep the budget balanced, fight off new taxes and advance the uber conservative Republican agenda.

"A balanced budget and low taxes are both good things but Henserling severely missed the mark when he chose to use the elimination of funding for motorcycle safety awareness programs as the vehicle to bring down the national debt" said Jeff Hennie Vice President of Government Relations for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. He added, "with motorcycle rider-ship and fatalities both at all time highs; it's completely irresponsible for Mr. Henserling to want to remove this much needed and wildly popular safety grant program."

Not to mention the House Appropriations Committee has already had several rounds of hearings and markups on this bill and then agreed to keep all of the programs fully funded and to increase funding for some the very same programs Henserling wants to cut.

In accordance with House rules, Henserling does not have to pre-print or pre-file any of his amendments. He can simply go to the floor with his amendment in hand and drop it on the desk of the clerk. Because of this no amendment number is available as of press time.

In order to stop this amendment from passing the US House the MRF is asking you to contact your Federal Representative as early on Tuesday, July 24th, 2007 as you can. This bill could be considered as early as noon EST on July 24, 2007. Ask your Representative to vote no on the Henserling amendment to remove funding ($6 million) for motorcyclist safety to the FY2008 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

If you know who your Federal Representative is you can reach the US Capitol switch board at 202 224 3121. You can identify your Federal Representative at this website: http://www.house.gov/writerep/ It is important to make a phone call this time, email will not be quick enough to get the word out. Call early and call often.

The MRF will keep you informed on this issue as it develops.

Jeff Hennie

Saturday, July 21, 2007

ROWV Justice?

Saturday, 07/21/07
Illegal immigrant sentenced to 25 years in fatal DUI wreck
An illegal immigrant convicted in a fatal DUI wreck on Friday described the U.S. as a great country and apologized to the family of the renowned Nashville mandolin maker he killed.
But Julio Villasana's words did little to reduce the pain felt by the widow of Charlie Derrington, who died in an August 2006 head-on collision as he rode home on his motorcycle along Briley Parkway.
After his comments, Villasana was sentenced to 25 years in prison for causing the accident by being drunk and driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic. A federal agent who testified during the hours-long hearing said Villasana, 34, had been deported from the U.S. 14 times before the deadly wreck, only to return each time.
He had four previous DUI arrests.
"I don't know how that can happen," said Derrington's wife, Susan. "I'm very much in favor of closing the borders."
Loss is still painful
Losing her husband of 24 years, she said, has been almost unbearable.
"Just getting out of bed at times has been a daunting task," Susan Derrington said. "I missed two months of work because I could barely function."
Under Tennessee law, Villasana must serve 30 percent, or 7½ years, of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
"I just don't know that there's anything short of a maximum sentence that can protect the citizens from Mr. Villasana's outright disregard and flagrant violations of the laws of the state of Tennessee," Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn said in imposing the sentence.
Villasana's blood-alcohol level was more than four times the legal limit when he crashed into Derrington's motorcycle on Briley in west Nashville.
Witnesses told police that he laughed as he fled the scene of the crash.
Villasana denied laughing and fleeing, but Davidson County Assistant District Attorney General Kathy Morante reminded him that he had agreed with those statements when he pleaded guilty.
Charlie Derrington, 51, was the production manager of Nashville-based Gibson Musical Instrument's mandolin division.
He reassembled bluegrass legend Bill Monroe's prized 1925 Gibson mandolin after it was smashed by a burglar in the musician's home.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Biker Discrimination - End it Now!

Anti-Discrimination bill headed to Washington July 19, 2007 06:40 PM EDT

When you get sick or hurt how do you pay for your medical care? Usually it's through your work. But if you're injured riding a motorcycle, will the same health insurance you receive through your job cover you?

Strapping on his gloves, lowering the visor on his helmet, WAFF 48 Photojournalist Blake Mann goes through his pre-ride routine. Checking for a break in traffic, he knows accidents can, and will happen even to the most cautious biker. One worry many who ride a motorcycle face is if their medical bills would be covered in the event of a crash. While your insurance provider may offer coverage, employers can deny benefit payouts.

Scott Newland, store manager for Rocket City Power Sports in Huntsville, doesn't agree with the law. "The mid-90's law was written poorly. In the first place, leave out that kind of loophole this is something that should have been taken care of a long time ago," says Scott Newland.The American Motorcyclist Association agrees and is fighting to have the law re-written. They want to eliminate discrimination against anyone who rides and get rid of an expensive loophole.

"Basically they said you could not deny coverage to a motorcyclist. They didn't have to pay benefits that's the loophole. Current law. Close the loophole," says Newland.Until new rules are put into place, bikers take their chances on the highways, hoping they are not involved in a crash that could devastate their finances. "Primarily motorcyclists are some of the safest guys on the road. Time for a change time to fix broken law," says Newland.

What can you do?You can send a message in support of "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act" bill to your Congressman and Senators. That website is www.AMADirectlink.com

Right to Repair Your Own Veicle?

Call your US Reps and ask them to co-sponsor HR2694

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation236 Massachusetts Ave. NESuite 510Washington, DC 20002-4980202-546-0983 (voice)202-546-0986 (fax)http://www.mrf.org (website)FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relationsjeff@mrf.org (e-mail)

Right to Repair Bill Introduced in US House

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has re-introduced legislation that would return the right to repair to the vehicle owner instead of the original manufacturer.

Thanks go to Rep Ed Towns, D-NY who introduced the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (HR 2694) into the 110th Congress. Joining Rep Towns as original co-sponsors were Reps G.K. Butterfield, D-NC; Anna Eshoo, D-CA; Steven LaTourette, R-OH; George Miller, D-CA and James Moran, D-VA.

The need for right to repair legislation has become apparent due to theincreasing use of computers and electronics that control nearly every motor vehicle function from fuel delivery, braking, lighting, and emissions to entertainment. Although computers provide many benefits tomotorists through improved fuel efficiency, comfort and safety, they also provide increasing opportunities for motor vehicle manufacturing companies to lock out access by car owners and the independent repair shops whereowners choose to obtain service for their vehicles.

HR 2694 would require that car companies provide full access to all tools and service information needed to repair motor vehicles, thus leveling the competitive playing field between dealers and independent repair shops.HR 2694 is similar to last years measure (HR 2048); however some differences exist between the two bills. This year's legislation had to take into account several factors, including the new leadership in Congress and Committees. In addition, although sponsored by the sittingEnergy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) last Congress, HR2048 barely limped out of subcommittee and failed to be taken up by the full committee or the House floor. Dealing with the new Chairman John Dingell (D-OH), who has been extremely outspoken against this bill, is certainly a challenge. Dingell, who has defended Detroit manufacturing against the environmental lobby for decades, has had a change of heart. Now that the Motor City isn't the vast field of smoke stacks it once was, that change may be sincere. As the newest environmentalist, perhaps Dingell can understand that a well-tuned and maintained vehicle gets higher mpgs, is therefore betterfor the environment, and we should be removing barriers to convenient and proper vehicle maintenance. HR 2694 now has eleven co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce committee. No Senate legislation has been introducedas of press time. The MRF encourages you to contact your FederalRepresentative and ask them to co sponsor HR 2694. As always, the MRF will keep you posted on any developments. Jeff Hennie

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Colorado Noise Ordinance - Bike Pipes

By Daniel J. Chacon, Rocky Mountain News July 18, 2007

A new law in Denver designed to curb motorcycle noise is being challenged in court by an attorney who claims police bikes may be violating the standards that went into effect less than three weeks ago. Attorney Wade Eldridge, himself a biker, also claims the noise ordinance is unconstitutionally vague. The law "lends itself to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement," he said Tuesday. "The police can stop you for whatever reason." Eldridge's claim that police motorcycles may be exceeding allowable noise levels is disputed by police and city officials. "I think that is a specious argument from an attorney who is trying to get his client off," said Ellen Dumm, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Environmental Health. "He's trying to find some fine hairs to split." The law, born out of a growing number of complaints about loud motorcycle noise in neighborhoods, generated criticism from the start, mostly from bikers who said they were being singled out because of a few rotten apples.

The law limits noise levels to 80 decibels from 25 feet and requires motorcyclists with bikes made after 1982 to have a muffler with an Environmental Protection Agency noise-certification stamp. Eldridge represents a biker ticketed downtown. According to court documents, tests conducted by the city on police motorcycles found sound levels at redline of 81.3 decibels and 81.7 decibels. The accuracy of the sound meters the city used is within plus or minus .5 decibels, so police motorcycles may be in violation of the new law, Eldridge said. But Dumm said the city is confident that the police motorcycles meet EPA standards "simply because the device was calibrated before and after, and (the test) was in a very controlled situation." Besides, she said, police are unlikely to ticket a motorcyclist who's exceeding the noise limit by a few decibels.

Police Capt. Eric Rubin, who used to head the Traffic Operations Bureau, agreed. "We're not really looking for motorcycles that are at 83 or 84 decibels," he said. "The ones that tend to get the attention of the public are considerably higher in decibel rating than that." Eldridge said the law leaves enforcement up to the "unfettered discretion of the individual officer." Eldridge said his client, Stuart Sacks, was told he was stopped because his pipes were too loud. "The officer neither inspected his bike to see if it had the stamp nor did he use a sound meter," he said. "What's this: A gut feeling by the officer that your pipes are too loud?" Rubin didn't know the details of that stop but said officers are using their training and experience in the field "as reasonable suspicion to briefly stop the rider" and check for the EPA stamp.

NC Helmet Law

Since there is no list of DOT approved helmets, challenging the NC law if it passes should get even easier.

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY Senate takes new crack at helmet lawAssociated Press
RALEIGH --Motorcyclists would be required to wear safety helmets that meet federal standards under a bill narrowly approved Tuesday by the N.C. Senate.State law requires riders to wear a helmet type approved by the Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner. But the law means some riders have little protection for their heads, said Sen. Ed Jones, D-Halifax."Right now, you can put anything on your head and call it a helmet," he said. Jones offered an amendment to the highway and traffic bill that would require helmets meet standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation."Your motorcycle riders are not going to love you if you pass this amendment," Sen. Don East, R-Surry, warned colleagues before the provision was approved 27-22 on the Senate floor.The full bill passed also was approved 27-22. It returns to the full House, where members will decide whether to accept Senate changes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Driver Gets 5 Years in ROW

Driver gets five years in traffic injuryby Sheila Gardner, sgardner@recordcourier.comJune 27, 2007A 26-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos woman who left the scene of a traffic accident which cost the victim his leg, then lied to officers about her involvement, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in Nevada State Prison.District Judge Dave Gamble told Kimberly E. Garcia she must serve 24 months before she is eligible for parole."You don't have a clue about right or wrong," Gamble said. "You need some time in prison to figure it out."She pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident March 18 which caused permanent injury or death.The victim, Claude Kelly, 60, of Reno, testified Tuesday about the impact the injury had on his life.Leaning against the jury box for support, he choked back tears as he talked about how much he loved riding motorcycles, an activity he enjoyed since high school."It was the first nice day of spring and I was out for a Sunday drive. I did my best to be out every month. It made me happy and provided a release for me from work to be able to get out and ride," he said.Shannon Litz/The R-C Claude Kelly talks about the accident and his recovery after Judge Dave Gamble's sentencing on Tuesday, June 26.Browse and Buy Record Courier Photos Kelly said he was headed south on Foothill Road near Genoa when he noticed a white pickup heading north cross into his lane."The vehicle seemed to match my movements," he said. "I moved to the right and it moved to the right."He said he remembered the collision and recalled making a cell phone call to his 85-year-old mother from the helicopter which took him to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno."After that, I don't remember anything from the next 3-1/2 weeks," Kelly said.Under questioning by prosecutor Michael McCormick, Kelly said he didn't know if he would ride again."I don't know that I would take that chance," he said. "My mom had to make the decision to have my leg removed. I don't know if I want to put my family through that again."When asked what punishment Garcia deserved, Kelly said it was difficult to answer."My attitude is that I have to live my life now that I've been dealt this blow," he said. "I can't dwell on what happens to her. She needs to go to jail for sure, but that's not going to help me."Douglas County investigator Steven Schultz testified that he questioned Garcia's mother for more than half an hour before she told him the truth. Originally, Garcia's mother said she had been in a single-vehicle accident on Highway 88, but Schultz said her account didn't match the damage to the vehicle.According to reports, Garcia fled the scene, called her mother and took the truck to a tire store to replace the left front tire which was damaged in the collision with Kelly's 2002 BMW motorcycle.Schultz said Garcia did not admit her guilt until after her mother confronted her.McCormick also produced a citation which Garcia received a month after the accident for illegally passing a vehicle."The concerns I have are her veracity, character, whether she should ever be allowed to be behind the wheel of a car again," Gamble said. "She uses cars as an extension of her own anger or as though there is nobody else in the world but her and her own needs."I don't think she figured out even after listening to Mr. Kelly the magnitude of what she did."Her lawyer, Tod Young, said Garcia recognized "the lifelong harm she did, but says, 'this was an accident' to get up every day and look at herself.""It's not a denial of the harm she's done. It does matter that she hurt somebody," Young said.Garcia told Gamble she "felt bad." "It was an honest accident," she said. "I do feel bad. It's not like I can move on with my life. I didn't mean to hurt anybody."She blamed the second citation on another driver."Another car tried to pass me on the double-yellow line. It was his fault," she said.After the sentencing, Kelly said he was glad it was over."It has been a long road. The sentencing puts a little bit of closure on it. I've just got to keep on working to get the leg to work better so I won't need my 'baby-sitter' anymore," he said referring to his mother, Minnie Kelly, who lives in Montana.Kelly said he was conscious after the accident."I remember being hit and I was rolling down the road. I knew my left leg hurt. I was laying on my left side and I moved myself to take out my money clip, my medical card and my license. I remember that I took my glasses off," he said.He said witnesses were at his side within seconds, giving Garcia's license plate number to law enforcement officers."I can't describe the pain," he said. "Sometimes it was more like numbness."He has been fitted with a temporary prosthesis until the swelling goes down. Kelly attends physical therapy twice a week.His cousin, Jan Baker, of Huntington, Ore., has been providing transportation.Kelly said he hasn't received a hospital bill yet, but the total is approaching $280,000. He said employees of the auto parts store where he works built a ramp at his Reno home, donating material and labor out of their own pockets.Garcia also was ordered to pay Kelly $7,751 restitution for expenses not covered by insurance.Gamble fined Garcia $1,000 and ordered her mother to turn over the young woman's driver's license.

California Helmet Protest Run

California Bikers. July 4th Helmet protest run in San Diego! Unlike last year when the local cops decided to write tickets, this year they simply monitored the run. No tickets, period. I would say that the current Quigley/BOLT court cases have a lot to do with the lack of tickets.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Civil Disobedience in NC

The War of Attrition to Regain Our Liberties:
Fighting NC’s Helmet Law
Written by FastFred Ruddock, April 2, 2007

Sometimes it is more important to stand up and fight for your rights than if you win or lose individual battles. Old timers in the battle against North Carolina’s helmet law told me they were impressed I was even able to get as far as I did in bringing my case through the court system. They also admonished me that I may never get the chance again and should savor this experience. Apparently they feel the state keeps a list of “trouble makers” in their database so when a tag number is entered in a computer the police officer knows whether or not to issue a helmet ticket. I can neither confirm nor deny this theory at this time. However when I ride in North Carolina I still decide and plenty of police officers have seen me do so yet none have made any effort to issue me another helmet ticket.

To keep everything in perspective that it is the law rather than the device I oppose: I wore my full face DOT helmet through the full length of I-26 in South Carolina. However I removed that helmet for my 100 plus mile ride from the state line of North Carolina to Bryson City deep in the Smoky Mountains. I passed many state troopers and local police officers along my freedom ride to court. However none of these law enforcement officers made any effort to deter or stop me let alone issue another ticket for violating NC G.S. 20-140.4. I arrived in Bryson City and settled in before dark. I was required to be present in court prior to 9 AM to oppose my helmet ticket. I rode past the Bryson City Police Department as they changed shifts on my way to court; many police officers were in the parking lot by their cars as I rode by without a helmet and they all stopped and stared hard yet none made an effort to pursue.

I arrived early to court to a nearly empty courtroom. The bailiff at the metal detector smiled and told me I looked well prepared with my huge stack of paperwork. I took a seat near the front of the courtroom for what would prove to be a long and educational day. By 9:00 AM the courtroom was packed to standing room only. When roll was called I got a sneaky suspicion the District Attorney or DA knew who I was as he looked right at me when he called my name; I confirmed I was pleading not guilty and representing myself. Most present in the courtroom were content to merely surrender to the DA without a fight and pay fines of $100 or more dollars and court cost ranging upwards to $300 or more. The greatest majority of folks were processed in far under 5 minutes as they paid the state fines without a fight. While I did not count the number present I suggest it would be reasonable to say the number processed easily exceeded 100.

As the day wore on it became clear they intended to empty the courtroom prior to hearing my case. I suspect they were afraid of educating the masses present about their rights and ability to do more than just surrender and pay. Keep in mind putting up a fight in no way increases the fines or court costs you pay following these methods. Finally there were only four of us in the courtroom and the DA asked my companions why they where present and if they had business; FU let them know he was present in my support. I was then called forward. When I took my seat at the defense table two opposing lawyers took their places at the prosecution’s table. This really tickled me that they were so worried about this case they were willing to pay two lawyers to oppose one longhaired hillbilly biker with no lawyer. I smiled to myself confident they had already wasted far more money than the maximum fine and court costs I could be ordered to pay.

Colorados Noisy Pipes Problem

Can this happen in TN? You can bet your straight pipes! Ride responsibly, including resisting the urge to blast 'em. I love the sound of a HD motor as much as anyone but you can believe that this ordinance is not an isolated incident. They'll come for
YOUR pipes soon!

Priorities in Order?

I'm almost amazed at the amount of energy preferred up by motorcyclists as of late concerning the new Denver noise ordinance – you know, the one that requires EPA labeling on a motorcycle’s exhaust so as to be compliant with the federal standards – and if you don't have that compliant exhaust on your bike, you could be subject to a $500.00 fine in the City and County of Denver.

I'm seeing and hearing this ordinance being argued on TV, radio, the press, and as topics of conversation among motorcyclists. And hear and read about how motorcyclists are going to be stopped and ticketed for their pipes. And the sniping about it being BS. And I say “In comparison to other issues, So What?”

I'll outline a few points for you:

1) Motorcyclists brought this down on themselves – for years they've been advised to “cool your pipes” – the noise issues in Colorado Springs, Golden, Glenwood Springs, Denver (previously, just two years ago) and more that received media attention must have gone unnoticed or ignored. In the meantime, a certain percentage of the ignorant and stupid “bikers” continued to push the envelope, crapping in our own yard and then bitching about the mess (of which those offenders ain't likely to step-up to clean.) All that had to be done was to be considerate and the pipe labeling ordinance wouldn't have come about.

2) The majority of aftermarket motorcycle exhausts are not dB or EPA compliant with either federal or state law – you need to understand this. Colorado statutes controlling dB levels go back to 1973; federal laws have been on the books for 25 years. Just because you have different pipes on your bike doesn't entitle you to them – you have just been getting away with it for years. If you didn't know this, it wasn't because the information wasn't available or not put in front of you. You made your choice to be educated and informed, or not. Ever view the “Excessive Motorcycle Sound Management” document on the ABATE of Colorado website under ‘Position Papers’?

3) The timing of the bill was/is a tactical maneuver on the part of the City and County of Denver; City council served notice on the motorcyclists (as well as other vehicle operators) this season that disruptive exhaust notes in neighborhoods and urban areas was not going to be tolerated for another Summer, and I don’t blame the residents for their complaints. Ultimately, it is likely there will be negotiation in the matter but it will take some time to develop.

4) What I think is pathetic is that more biker attention and activity has been given over to exhaust pipes on a machine than helmets and mandates on your body. Having been involved in the entire process of opposing & testifying against the recently passed minor’s helmet bill in Colorado and being duly aware of the small contingent active at the capitol and among their legislators in comparison to the number of motorcyclists in Colorado, I have to question exactly what kind of friggin’ priorities the Colorado “biker” has. I guess it must be OK for so many bikers to be MIA as your state legislators shove Nanny legislation on the bodies of our children (and YOU next) but somehow your pipes are a big deal. What is evident is that today’s “biker” seems to have no sense of history of the work that their predecessors laid down so you could “ride free” today, nor do they have a sense of obligation to maintain the legacy. Nope, seems like its’ about all the good times and fun with no commitment to any “work.”

5) One of the other area biker newspapers reports that some out-of-staters won't be attending the Veterans Rally in Winter Park this August due to their concerns and complaints about the “pipe law” in Denver. I read two of these letters and noted from which states they originated – California and Nebraska, both of which are adult mandatory helmet law. To those folks I say this: “I'm sorry you won't be coming to Colorado this Summer because of an exhaust ordinance in Denver. Please enjoy your helmeted rides in your own states in the meantime.”

“On July 4, 1776 a nation was born based upon an idea: the fundamental right of human beings to be free. It was a radical idea for the time, recognizing that individuals are not vassals of the state, a king--or a Congress--but, in fact, that each person owns him or herself, by right and without question; a right that is prior to and above any government or social organization.” -- Donald Beezley

One can only hope that more Colorado bikers will dispense with the “cranial-rectum inversion syndrome” so as to reclaim their numbers in power as an active, involved political bloc. Complaining without acting is the same as doing nothing. If you as a biker aren't willing to be active, don't bitch when you lose – and don't forget to look in the mirror.

Dave Christy

Monday, July 2, 2007

Anyone KNow This Guy - Or His Monkey

Follow the link to the best pic I've ever seen of a man and his monkey on a bike!

The question is, who's breaking the law here. the man, the monkey or both?


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Are You a AAA Customer? You might want to reconsider!

Though this story comes out of Michigan, you could easily insert Tennessee since AAA is actively working against "Freedom of Choice" and HB 1283 here as well as most other states where the fight continues. Do you really want to do business with them?

AAA Opposes HB 4749, Which Provides 'Opt-Out' Option for State's Helmet Law

$100 fee makes it OK to go without helmet?

DEARBORN, Mich., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In their latest bid to rid
Michigan motorcycle riders of their helmets, special interest groups in
Lansing have proposed an 'opt-out' solution. For a $100 fee, motorcyclists
would have the chance to buy their way out of a helmet. The State House is
expected to consider legislation on Wednesday (June 5).
American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) conceived the bill,
which would require riders to be 21 years or older, licensed to operate a
motorcycle for at least two years, complete a motorcycle safety course and
have insurance or security of $20,000 for first-party medical benefits in
the event of an accident.
"It's like a 'get out of jail free card,'" said AAA Michigan Community
Safety Services Manager Jack Peet. "Those who can afford the fee don't have
to wear a helmet; everyone else does."
The reality, added Peet, is that no one can afford HB 4749, which would
result in 22 additional fatalities each year, along with 132 more
incapacitating injuries, 610 other injuries and $140 million in added
economic costs to Michigan citizens.
"If the mandatory helmet requirement is repealed or waived through a
fee, there will be a significant increase in severe head injuries and
deaths," said Peet. "Studies show that in a crash, unhelmeted motorcyclists
are three times more likely than helmeted cyclists to suffer traumatic
brain injuries."
In addition, motorcycle crashes account for a disproportionate share of
money paid out of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA), a
fund which is supported by a surcharge on every auto insurance policy in
this state. Although motorcyclists represent 1.7 percent of the assessments
paid into the MCCA, they account for 6.7 percent of all claims reported.
Since its inception in 1978, MCCA has reimbursed member insurers more
than $210 million for 503 motorcycle injury claims exceeding the threshold.
Total reimbursement for all claims exceeds $4.4 billion. If the mandatory
helmet law is repealed, serious injuries to motorcyclists will rise. Since
Michigan's no-fault law allows lifetime benefits for all "reasonable and
necessary" medical costs, the number of claims and the amount paid by the
MCCA to reimburse insurance companies will increase, causing all
policyholders in Michigan to pay more.
The $20,000 first-party medical benefit touted by ABATE, says Peet,
wouldn't begin to cover these catastrophic expenses.
In addition to increased medical costs passed on to taxpayers,
Motorcycle deaths and injuries are on the rise after the repeal of
mandatory helmet laws in Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana. The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in the three years after
Florida's repeal of its mandatory helmet law in 2000, 933 motorcyclists
were killed, an 81 percent increase.
Another study found that fatalities grew by more than 50 percent in
Kentucky and 100 percent in Louisiana after those states struck down
mandatory helmet laws.
Opponents of the mandatory helmet law believe that it infringes on
individual freedom of choice and the right to privacy. They argue that
individuals who do not wear helmets harm mainly themselves. However, that
is really not the case. The consequences of that person's decision not to
wear a helmet is borne by all of society through higher insurance premiums,
lost productivity and increased health care costs.
In Florida after the helmet law was repealed, the cost of hospital care
for motorcycle injuries grew from $21 million to $44 million in the 30
months after the law changed.
AAA Michigan offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial
services to more than 1.6 million members in Michigan. It is part of The
Auto Club Group (ACG), the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest,
with approximately 4.1 million members in eight states. ACG belongs to the
national AAA federation, a not-for-profit organization with more than 50
million members in the United States and Canada.