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With TM Ride eaders l the

A B I - M o N t h ly I N F o R M At I o N B u l l E t I N F R o M t h E M o to R C y C l E R I D E R S F o u N D At I o N M o t o R C y C l E R I D E R S F o u N D At I o N , 2 3 6 M A S S A C h u S E t t S A v E . N E , S u I t E 5 1 0 , W A S h I N g t o N , D C 2 0 0 0 2 Vo l . 1 7 , N o . 4

T h e M R F d o e s n o t e n d o r s e a n y p r o d u c ts o r s e r v i c e s o t h e r t h a n i ts o w n p r o d u c t l i n e . T h i s d o e s n o t a p p l y t o p o l i t i c a l e n d o r s e m e n ts .

July/August 2007

WITH FREEDOM COMES RESPONSIBILITY This past week I went on one of the rides I most look forward to each year which is the “Run to the Wall” ride from Wisconsin to the Rolling Thunder Ride in Washington D.C. over Memorial Day weekend. Joining this ride are many ABATE members, some of them 30 year members going back to the very beginning of motorcycle rights, and of course many Veterans and freedom fighters from many walks of life which is always a significant time for me. And specifically this year we had along a media crew from the Smithsonian institute to document the 15th year of this particular ride, the 20th year of Rolling Thunder, and the 25th year of the Vietnam Veterans War memorial, “the Wall”. A highlight of this event was the fact that 4 of the guys that organized the building of the tribute bike (chopper) whose license plate reads HERO that was left at the Wall in 1995 are the very leaders of this ride and they were certainly a focus of the film crews as this was the first bike left at the Wall and the stories behind it are incredible. During the weekend many of us got to visit the

HERO bike and see some of the incredibly special items left at the Wall over the past 25 years, what an impact that had on me personally. Over this weekend of riding 2,500 miles, being in our Nations Capital on Memorial Day Weekend, visiting our MRF Offices, being surrounded by the very best freedom fighters our world has to offer, and seeing the HERO bike and some of the Wall collection will certainly rank way up there in the highlights of my life and equally important it got me thinking and relating this experience specifically to motorcycle rights and freedoms in general and the fact that with freedom comes responsibility. I have the privilege to attend motorcycle conferences all over the US and in Europe and interact with bikers rights, safety, and education folks from nearly every state in the country as well as Europe and Canada and I am confident we are taking our responsibility seriously amongst us. I hear about significant Right of Way Violation efforts, Share the Road efforts, Motorcycle Awareness initiatives, Rider Education and Training efforts and the preservation of the programs, initiatives to get riders properly licensed, proper roadway design discussions, impaired riding and riding straight campaigns, freedom of choice (helmet) battles, throttle management (sound management) campaigns, the EPA restriction issues

we face, I see the results of combing of statistics for accuracy, the efforts being made in combating the wide array of insurance issues we deal with, and most importantly the impact we have when we lobby and campaign these issues. Without question this all is a major part of many of our lives and we have a significant investment in this world of bikers rights. What concerns me greatly though is the part of the motorcycle community that isn’t engaged with us in these efforts which includes fellow riders and riders groups, various facets of the motorcycle industry and trades, and some of the motorcycle media. It pains me greatly to see two of the top stories to come out about the potentially enormously positive fact that 500,000 bikers rode in Rolling Thunder be a pro helmet editorial from a major TV network and then how a motorcycle going 160 mph near DC caused 2 deaths in a 15 car pile up while eluding police. A State delegate responded by saying it may be time to get these bikes off the roads, that they were death machines in the wrong hands, and suggesting we look at the possibility of saying these bikes should be used on race courses instead of public highways. Additionally not long ago I sat in on a discussion with numerous Law Enforcement agencies suggesting we have a graduated licensing program for bikes like they do in Europe to control riders, that we

have a CDL type of license requiring lowered BAC to operate a motorcycle, to the ultimate of confiscation for DUI and various types of stunts (wheelies) and excessive speeding on public roads. I have also witnessed first hand in Washington D.C., Ann Arbor Michigan, and at the United Nations in Switzerland the serious discussions around the fact that emission regulations would be a legitimate method to get at the excessively loud motorcycles out there. To further this line a leader from a national motorists association recently suggested that a possible attempt at a mandatory helmet law in Wisconsin (previously sacred ground) was really nothing more than an attempt to get even with those loud bikers. Not everyone understands the responsibility part while exercising the freedom part and it is going to cost us if we don’t address it and soon. I have been riding street motorcycles since 1979 and joined my first ABATE (SMRO) back in 1986 and I am confident I know what we have invested and what is at stake for all of us in this movement. It is time to take our responsibility for our freedom to the next level and get through to those in the motorcycling community who may not plan to be around in our world for 20 and 30 plus years and educate them to the fact that along with freedom comes responsibility.

Left: Bikers visit the MRF Offices Memorial Day weekend 07 Right: Memorial Day Weekend Run to the Wall Flag Ceremony and Veterans tribute in near Andrews Air Force base in the DC area

Motorcycle Riders Foundation, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Suite 510 - Washington, DC 20002-4980 PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Phoenix, AZ PERMIT NO. 495


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July/August 2007

MRFAE, an idea who’s time has come “C-4’s” and aggressively lobby the congress had “C-3" affiliates. Organizations, including such lobbying powerhouses as the National Rife Association and the AARP were structured as such. The real kicker was finding out that most Washington “think tanks” such as our neighbor the Heritage Foundation, the Center for American Progress and the Cato Institute were “C-3's.” That was the turning point.

Michael Kerr MRF Vice President

After over two years of debate among the MRF board, after consulting with our SMRO partners, after many delays a new motorcyclist organization has come into being. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness and Education Inc. (MRFAE) is a reality. The MRFAE’s mission is in some ways parallel to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. In time we hope to have the new organization fund a number of activities that are currently paid for by the MRF. Expenses related to putting on conferences, legislative research, motorcycle safety issues and alcohol awareness programs are some areas in which the MRFAE will be providing funding. Because MRFAE will not be engaging in issue advocacy or lobbying of any kind it will qualify as a non-profit organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This means that donations to it will be tax deductible. With this tax status we will be far more likely to receive grants from foundations, corporations and or individuals who are in a financial position make a substantial donation to a motorcyclist organization.

MRFAE will also have what is known as a legacy program. A legacy program is where individuals can donate a portion of their estate to an organization upon their passing. This is understandably a sensitive subject and will be handled in a low key and dignified manner. Although this is something that we don’t like to think about, such programs are common in many high profile organizations and can provide much needed funding.

Assistant to the MRF board Todd Suda will be actively seeking grants from foundations that have an interest in promoting education and safety. Of course, we would never accept grant money from an organization, or foundation that promotes an agenda which is in conflict with the mission statement of the MRF (AAA comes to mind).

It is expected that some in our community will find that this to be a direction that they feel the MRF shouldn’t be taking. That is understandable. The fact is this writer was in opposition to the forming of MRFAE for a long time. In doing research to bolster the opposing argument to my surprise I discovered a number of major players in Washington DC that are

To alleviate any fears the by-laws of the MRFAE will expressly state that it will not be involved in charity work. All funds raised will be allocated to advancing motorcycle rider education and awareness, congressional research, and to funding the portions of our conferences that are used to educate the motorcycling public about the workings and history of the political process in the United States and issues facing motorcyclists here and abroad. MRFAE will not be taking on a life of its own. It will not be a membership based organization. The officers of MRFAE will be: Kirk Willard, Michael Kerr, Deborah Butitta and Charles Coulter. Yes, the same officers as the MRF. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation will of course continue to exist and its status as a 501(c) (4) will remain intact. We will be on the hill everyday the congress is in session actively advancing the legislative agenda that our SMRO partners have agreed upon. MRFPAC will continue to grow and amplify motorcyclists’ voices.

The boom in motorcycling that we have seen has a good and bad side to it. Sales are up, more people are returning to riding and many newcomers have been attracted to our sport. Motorcycle riding has become far more socially acceptable and our legislative agenda is becoming increasingly palatable to members of congress. In seeing this boom in motorcycling skilled entrepreneurs have exploited many fund-raising activities that were used successfully by our SMRO partners throughout the years. Motorcycle raffles seem to be a dime a dozen today. Bike nights at bars are common place. Even the big biker state party concept has been high jacked and more money is being diverted from the rights movement. It’s getting harder and harder to raise money out there and many SMRO’s are struggling. With costs on the rise and income flat, the MRF must begin to look outside its traditional sources for revenue. In forming MRFAE we are optimistic that we can raise much needed capital and continue to maintain and hopefully expand our roll in motorcyclist rights. Rest assured that while we must look for new revenue sources one thing will never change. To quote our late, beloved President Karen Bolin “the MRF is the SMRO’s.” We will continue to serve at the behest of our partners and our founders the State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations and continue to be their voice in Washington DC.

MRF Young Activists’ Scholarship Fund lowship I have enjoyed with members and supporters of our SMROs. by Susan Huttman / Communications Assistant Retirement has taken my husband St. George and myself from the sandy gulf shores of the sunshine state to the rolling foothills of North Carolina. As you might imagine traveling the Florida flatlands is very much different than cruising the ribbons of road curling along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Recently, one such ride reminded me of both the unique challenges and rewards motorcyclists realize all across our nation. In many cases an integral part of that experience for me has been the fel-

Shortly, MRFYAS committee chair Miles France will present the scholarship committee with a slate of recipient nominees who symbolize the best and brightest of our SMROs. He is looking to the leadership the state and local levels to identify the young people in their chapters, regions and districts who have demonstrated creativity, knowledge and dedication to motorcycling. By recognizing these remarkable young adults we discover who will be able to continue the efforts necessary to preserve freedom of choice and protect an unparalleled style of American life.

Every SMRO across the country has potential nominees for the MRF Youth Activists' Scholarship in their ranks who exemplify the future of the riders' rights movement. Evidence of commitment, the enthusiasm to persevere and the willingness to work as a team player are some of the qualities the MRF scholarship committee looks for in candidates. While sitting on the MRFYAS committee I have had the privilege of seeing such promise in the younger SMRO members whose fresh ideas, diverse points of view and boundless energy can only inspire all of us to open new dialogs and discover different ways to approach the challenges that lie ahead. Consider forwarding the nomination

of the young member you believe truly represents the future of riders' rights in your state. Make it possible for them to "Ride with the Leaders" of today and ready themselves to become the MRF leaders of tomorrow. Guidelines and an application for the 2007 Motorcycle Riders Foundation's Young Activists' Scholarship can be found at www.mrf.org/yascholarship.php Questions about the MRF Young Activist Scholarship Fund should be directed to MRF Scholarship Committee Chair Miles France at miles@mrf.org.


July/August 2007

Right to Repair back on track? Jeff Hennie MRF VP of Government Relations

You should remember a piece of legislation that the MRF spent some time on last Congress commonly referred to as the Motor Ve h i c l e Owners Right to Repair act or as HR 2048. This legislation would have leveled the playing field on which auto repair specialists play. Essentially in this game there are two teams; the dealerships, backed by the OEMs, and the small non dealership shops, backed by the aftermarket. While the aftermarket is surely a huge industry, they pale in comparison to Detroit, Japan and the Germans. The aftermarket has many disadvantages to the OEMs but in this case its one of diagnostics. According to 1996 law all vehicles made for sale in the US must have a uniform on-board diagnostic (OBD) plug, this handy tool allows a qualified tech to almost instantly diagnose any and all problems the car may have, some times down to the minutia of a tire being a few psi low. This technology has made the lives of many Americans both easier and more difficult at the same time. The OBD plug puts all of the power in the hands of the OEM team. They hold the master codes, tools and training and they can make it available to your corner mechanic and you, or not. Right now its “or not”. By order of the EPA the OEMS must hand over any information that pertains to emissions and clean air. After that they do not have to make any information available to anyone outside of the dealership network. This forces the consumer to return to the dealership for everything. No more patronizing your corner mechanic after the warranty runs out on that new truck, they just won’t have the right tools, software and training. Unless the right to repair bill passes. Still wrenching on your carbs and drums and you may be fine to carry on life as usual. But anyone running EFI, ABS, any ride by wire technology or that fancy Honda airbag and you are beholden to the dealerships and OEMS for now. So here we are just six months into a twenty-four month Congress and the legislation is poised to be re-introduced. Some changes have been made the legislation in order to adapt the bill to the Democrat majority Congress. Some of the sweeteners include acknowledging some of the intel-

MotoRCyClE RIDERS FouNDAtIoN lectual property rights of the OEMS and giving them right to file a lawsuit if those rights are being compromised. I don’t like it either but (to rip off Donald Rumsfeld) you go to war with the Congress you have, not the Congress you want. The proposed bill does have some very positive points that I will attempt to explain and hopefully without showing too much of my policy wonk side. Both the bill introduced last Congress and this new proposed legislation reach the same end, freedom for consumers to choose between a dealership or an independent route to repair their vehicles. The differences are in how we reach that point. Last years bill asked the Federal Trade Commission to promulgate a rule to level the playing field. Sounds good right? Wrong. When the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on this issue last year the FTC panelist were asked by the Committee; “How many complaints have you gotten about this, thousands?, hundreds of thousands? How many? The FTC’s response: Eight. The Committee gasped and observed that there was obviously no problem here if the FTC has only heard from eight grumpy mechanics and customers. Here is the problem, when was the last time you had a miserable experience at the dealership and went home and called the FTC? If you are like me, never. We have come to expect a miserable, overpriced, inconvenient experience at almost any dealership. When it gets really bad we don’t call the Feds, we call our friends. In redrafting the bill that issue was addressed. Instead of going through the FTC the new bill simply changes existing law. It amends US Code to say that if a vehicle is sold in the US any and all diagnostics made available to any dealership must also be made available to the public, for free or an appropriate cost. The bill has not been re-introduced as of press time so no bill number is available yet.. There is a broad coalition of groups working on this including the MRF. One major issue is House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, who has jurisdiction over this bill, hails from Detroit, MI and does not care much for the bill. That’s a major hurdle to clear, but not an impossible one. One new issue that has brought some new House and Senate supporters is the idea of “going green”. We are very close to securing the support of some very senior Senate Democrats because of the argument made that a well tuned vehicle will get better gas mileage and run cleaner than an out of tune engine will. If Americans are forced to return to the dealership for the life of the vehicle they may not tune the vehicle as often. The MRF will keep you informed of any action this bill may see.

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HIPAA Update Jeff Hennie, MRF VP, Gov’t Relations The Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports that legislation to close the loophole that allows insurance providers to discriminate against motorcyclists when it comes to fully funding benefits is beginning to gain some momentum. The House bill (HR 1076) has 48 co-sponsors, while the Senate bill (S 616) has 3 co-sponsors. The impressive part of the list of House co-sponsors is that over half of them are Representatives from states that sent SMRO grassroots lobbyists to DC this year. A huge thanks goes out to all of our SMRO partners and dedicated individuals. Over the past few months MI, WA, WI, NM, NY, NJ, OH, PA, CO, IA, AK, MN, and IL have all sent representatives from their respective State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations to Washington DC to lobby for the advancement of this issue. Those visits resulted in over 200 individual, sitdown office meetings with Senators, House Members and staff. US Representative Michael Burgess (RTX), the bill sponsor, had this to say, “No one should be denied health insurance benefits because they prefer to drive a motorcycle. It is essential to provide health care benefits to those who have slipped through the loophole by protecting their access to substantive health care.” The legislation would close a loophole in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that denies health care benefits for those who participate in legal transportation and recreational activities. In January 2001, a rule was issued that was intended to ensure non-discrimination in health coverage in the group market. That rule prohibits health plans and issuers from denying coverage to individuals who engage in certain types of recreational activities such as skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling or motorcycling. However, because of the way the rule was written, it has allowed insurers to deny health benefits for an otherwise covered injury that results from participation in these activities. Ask your federal Representative to support HR 1076 and your two US Senators to support S 616. Should you receive any

commitments or denials to support the legislation, or if you have any other legislative question or concerns, please contact me in the DC office. As of press time the following individuals in the US House have signed on as sponsors of the House bill. Rep Allen, Thomas H. [ME-1] Rep Biggert, Judy [IL-13] Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] Rep Braley, Bruce L. [IA-1] Rep Camp, Dave [MI-4] Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11] Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] Rep Ehlers, Vernon J. [MI-3] Rep English, Phil [PA-3] Rep Etheridge, Bob [NC-2] Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] Rep Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY-20] Rep Gillmor, Paul E. [OH-5] Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-2] Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] Rep Kagen, Steve, M.D. [WI-8] Rep Kind, Ron [WI-3] Rep King, Steve [IA-5] Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10] Rep Kuhl, John R., Jr. [NY-29] Rep Larsen, Rick [WA-2] Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4] Rep Manzullo, Donald A. [IL-16] Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] Rep Murphy, Tim [PA-18] Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] Rep Obey, David R. [WI-7] Rep Petri, Thomas E. [WI-6] Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] Rep Ramstad, Jim [MN-3] Rep Roskam, Peter J. [IL-6] Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] Rep Ryan, Paul [WI-1] Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [WI-5] Rep Shimkus, John [IL-19] Rep Simpson, Michael K. [ID-2] Rep Stupak, Bart [MI-1] Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] Rep Udall, Mark [CO-2] Rep Walberg, Timothy [MI-7] Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] Rep Weller, Jerry [IL-11] Rep Young, Don [AK]

OPEN BOARD POSITIONS We have filled the Products position this past month, we do still have volunteer position openings for interested parties with experience in Communications, Marketing, and while we have a temporary webmaster in place we continue to look for a full time webmaster as well.

Please contact Deb Butitta, our Corporate Secretary, at deb@mrf.org for general information, the qualifications we seek, and the anticipated time commitments these positions will require, and/or to submit your resume for consideration.


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MOTORCYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECONVENES Jeff Hennie MRF VP of Government Relations

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to announce that the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Motorcycle Advisory Committee (MAC) held its second meeting in Washington DC recently. As outlined in the legislation that the MRF was instrumental in developing and passing through Congress, the MAC’s purpose is to provide advice to the Secretary of Transportation, through the FHWA, on all infrastructure issues and how they affect motorcycles. The Council is comprised of 10 individuals representing all different facets of the motorcycling community including the MRF, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), The National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA), State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials and “road furniture” safety engineers. “Road furniture” refers to anything on the road other than the actual road – so signage, guard rails, bridges, light posts, striping, lane markers, etc. would be considered “road furniture.” The best part is that ALL of the MAC members must be riders. MAC covered a lot of ground over the two-day meeting, and all of the meeting minutes, recommendations and action items will be available soon on the MAC website at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/mac/index.htm. A lot of the meeting was spent on retro-reflectivity of pavement markings, which is essentially the brightness of the markings when headlights light them up. Apparently with materials currently used for pavement markings, when you increase slip resistance you decrease the

level of retro-reflectivity. This fundamental issue puts motorcycling directly at odds with pavement markings the way they are thought of today. In the safety community brighter is better, and very little thought has gone into slip resistance except with pedestrian markings. For years, both public and private highway designers have forgotten to consider the small signature of two-wheeled vehicles. MAC was designed to change that mentality, and as a MAC member who has attended both meetings on your behalf, I can tell you with every confidence that is about to change. Another issue discussed a lot was the cable barriers across the country that are commonly referred to as “bologna slicers” or “cheese slicers.” I have to tell you that the state DOT folks and safety engineers do not agree with motorcyclists on this one. Obviously all types of barriers are bad, and when roadside departure occurs, things go from bad to worse in a fraction of second. Anything you strike with your bike, car or body is going to be a serious factor in the crash. Other potential hazards include signposts, telephone and utility poles, fire hydrants, or anything else commonly found occupying space on the side of the road. According to the engineers, there is no proof that concrete barriers are less deadly than cable barriers; in fact, they claim that the opposite is true. With the use of cable barriers in the state of Texas last year, they went from 54 deaths from vehicles crossing the median or double yellow line down to 2. With results like that, motorcyclists will have a tough time declaring cable barriers unsafe at any speed. Cable barriers came from Europe, like a lot of things these days, and are undergoing many safety upgrades across the pond. Retrofitting wood, plastic and/or nylon to the cable barriers may decrease the chances of the rider being, for lack of a more glamorous term, sliced in half. The MRF and its SMRO partners envisioned and helped create this Motorcycle Advisory Committee to bring the issues and concerns of motorcyclists to the people who design the roads we use. As you can see, the MAC is accomplishing exactly that goal.

July/August 2007

Lobby Reform in Washington DC Jeff Hennie MRF VP of Government Relations

In the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal and not to mention any number of other questionable actions of lawmakers Congress is scrambling to change its image. Anybody remember William Jefferson? The Louisiana Democrat who was caught with 100K in his home freezer last year. I mean I have heard of bribing somebody with cold hard cash but this is ridiculous. Here is the hard part to believe, he got reelected amid an ongoing FBI investigation. Corruption and scandal is not new to Washington and neither is trying to legislate the problems away. Just as you can not legislate common sense, you can not legislate a moral code. This latest round of ethical legislation won’t fix any problems, just trample constitutional freedoms along the way. Democrats who campaigned successfully last year against a “culture of corruption” in the GOP-controlled Congress found themselves one-upped recently by the other party. Republicans won adoption of amendments toughening their lobbying overhaul package, and dozens of Democrats defected from party leaders to embrace the GOP changes. The amended legislation was ultimately passed by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 396-22, with one member voting “present”. It now goes to conference with the Senate, which passed its own lobbying legislation (S 1) by 96-2 on Jan. 18. Among other things, lobbyists and the firms that employ them would have to certify that they have not provided, requested, or directed any gift, including travel, to be made to a member of Congress, or an officer or employee of either chamber, in violation of House or Senate rules. Some of the early versions of the bills tried to single out grass roots groups, like the MRF, and force them to report more frequently on financial issues and also begin to report on grassroots strategy and communications plans. Many grassroots groups in DC vocally opposed the ideas and they were shot down. You know its bad legislation when the MRF, NRA, Right to Life, and the ACLU all oppose it. The final version of the bill, although not pretty, is much more palatable to the MRF than some of the initial ideas proposed in Committee. All of the provisions that the MRF opposed were removed in Committee. What’s going to Change? Under both the House and Senate measures, lobbyists would have to file quarterly electronic reports revealing their expenditures, fundraising activities and political contributions and whether they

had sponsored political meetings that honored members of Congress. The information would be part of a searchable online database. Right now every registered lobbyist, including yours truly, has to file this same information twice a year and it’s also a searchable online data base. Not much new here. Lawmakers would have to reveal negotiations for private-sector jobs while still serving in Congress and would have to recuse themselves from any legislation on which there could be a conflict of interest with potential employers. However, the negotiations would be permitted to remain secret, rather than publicly revealing any member’s job hunt. The House bill would double the civil penalties for violating the disclosure rules, from $50,000 to $100,000; the Senate bill would permit fines of up to $200,000. The House and Senate must now form a conference committee, appoint conferees, and iron the legislative details before any law can be passed. Essentially this legislation will not chase away mischievous lawmakers, lobbyists or any other crook that tries to manipulate the system for their own personal gain. This legislation won’t stop any scandals anytime soon. This legislation does two things, gives politicians something to grandstand about and lines the pockets of already wealthy attorneys as they find ways around the law for the next batch of will be bad guys. The way I look at it, Louisiana must like their politicians crooked, after all they keep re-electing them. This brings me to the solution to this problem, where I believe the real “lobby reform” needs to take place, in the voting booth. Don’t like your politicians? Don’t rely on Washington to clean out Washington. Take out the trash but voting for the best candidate. As I am fond of saying about the political process in our country “It’s not the best, but it’s still the best in the world”. Call me naïve but I truly believe that.


July/August 2007

MotoRCyClE RIDERS FouNDAtIoN

SO WHAT”S GOIN’ ON IN RIDER ED?

Only Us By Warren Woodward Sustaining Member It's amazing that we warrant this much attention but the number of organizations bent on depriving motorcyclists of their rights is staggering. State and federal government agencies, the UN's World Health Organization, insurance industry front groups, AAA, medical associations, bleeding hearts and control freaks of all types--it just goes on and on. The only thing that saves us is us. Nobody else is doing anything for us, even the manufacturers of the motorcycles we love are useless. Almost every magazine ad for motorcycles has a "wear a helmet" command someplace in the fine print. But, as you will see below, in Europe the motorcycle manufacturers have become worse than useless. The fine print has become the large print. I am convinced the only thing that stops them from doing the same here in America is us—organized and united riders taking a proactive approach to freedom through their state motorcyclists’ rights organizations (SMROs) and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). I recently received the press release

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below from ACEM which is the European motorcycle manufacturers association representing BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio (Aprilia & Moto Guzzi), Suzuki, Triumph, and Yamaha. Of course it bothers me that this press release is announcing a campaign against freedom of choice, but Europeans lost their freedom of choice some time ago so what's the point of rubbing it in with this bogus "safety" campaign? Haven't the manufacturers better things to spend their money on? During a month in the late 1990s I rode from Portugal to Belgium and back and never once saw a rider without a helmet. It's the law over there. The details of the manufacturers' mandatory helmet propaganda campaign (highlighted in one of paragraphs below) are truly sickening. Teaching helmets in schools is total brainwashing. This is how myths are manufactured and freedoms buried. The "Shared Responsibility" catch phrase used in the press release is a BS guilt trip. How is it our "Shared (continued page 6)

Jay Jackson MRF Director of Rider Education

Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA).

There is a great deal going on around the country with regard to rider education. Let me start with something that I can actually share some information about. Wait… I can’t really tell you about anything. Why can’t I tell you anything? Well it is either, too early, too controversial, rumor, possibly not legal, still undetermined, off the record, not confirmed or it has already changed before I even had a chance to tell you about it.

I wish there was more specific information that we could print here. Unfortunately, it seems that here are very few in the rider education community at his time that are willing, or able, to stand up and speak their mind. Regrettably, it seems as though those that demonstrate the courage are either ostracized or labeled as hostile, disgruntled or a rabble rouser (I don’t know that anyone has actually been referred to as a rabble rouser, I just threw that in).

Yes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into the possibility of developing national standards for rider education. As of this time there are no details with regard to the who, what, when or how. Yes, it appears that NHTSA has been doing some research on “novelty” helmets and comparing them to “DOT” helmets. A “note” (which I guess is not a report, paper, position, policy or study) is supposed to be issued “soon”. Yes, preliminary numbers for 2006 have been released and indicate an increase in motorcycle fatalities. However, we continue to question the accuracy and validity of those numbers, the data and the collection process. Yes, the MSF vs. Oregon law suit is still out there. However, it seems that everyone is afraid to talk about it, especially the National Association of State

What I will suggest is that you contact your state rider education Program Coordinator. If you already enjoy a good rapport with them, ask them what’s going on and what you can do to help. If you have a somewhat adversarial relationship, call them and hold them accountable. Either way, call them. Find out your state’s opinion. See if they know, or care what’s happening to rider education in this country and your state. We would be pleased to hear from you so that we may be able to “keep score” as far as what state programs and the SMROs think about the situation. Keep your eyes open and look to future MRF Reports, releases and the website. Surely I will be able to tell you something “soon”. Ride Safe, Ride Free, Jay Jackson

Call for John “Farmer” Eggars Award Nominations Acting on a suggestion made in 1993, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Board of Directors created the John “Farmer” Eggars Award. This award, one of the MRF’s most prized recognitions, is given in the memory of the late motorcyclists’ rights activist John “Farmer” Eggars. The John “Farmer” Eggars Award is given to an individual who works behind the scenes on behalf of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation in the manner that Farmer did, and who has shown extraordinary dedication to the MRF. The only people who are not eligible for this award are current and past MRF Board members, since Farmer never served on the MRF Board of Directors. This does not exclude MRF State Reps, MRF Assistant State Reps, leaders of state motorcyclists’ rights organizations, or deserving individuals.

Past recipients of the John “Farmer” Eggars Award are: Marc Falsetti of Indiana (1994), Ms. Lee Ryan of Ohio (1995), Sherman Packard of New Hampshire (1996), Tom Greenbank of Maryland (1997), Maggot Mike Williams of Colorado (1998), Ed Youngblood of the American Motorcyclist Association (1999), Joe “Puddy” Lloyd of Missouri (2000), Steve Rector of Iowa (2001), Craig Ashbaugh of Illinois (2002), Still Ray Fitzgerald of Arizona (2003), Buzz Ude of Ohio (2004), Bob LeTourneau of New Hampshire (2005) and Boyd McFail of Alaska (2006). Nominations must be submitted in writing to MRF President Kirk Willard at kirk@mrf.org no later than July 23, 2007.


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Building Bridges Dave Dwyer, SSMRO Board Member

In April I was able to accept the invitation of Doc Reichenbach, President of ABATE of Florida to attend their State Meeting and address their members. The timing could not have been better, their Ride to the Statehouse was the following day so the attendance was good and enthusiasm was high. I got to meet several members who

Only Us

had moved down from Wisconsin, one who was overjoyed to talk to someone else who knew what a “Hodag” is. After Doc introduced me, he surprised me with a donation of $1,000 from ABATE of Florida for the MRF. Thank you Doc, and the ABATE of Florida Executive Board for your generous donation, and for allowing me the time to explain the MRF to your members. Four weeks later I was the guest of NCOM, to give a presentation on the new EPA rules for motorcycles at their national convention in Charlotte NC at the request of Doc Reichenbach, the President of NCOM. During the course of the conference, I was able to visit with some old friends I had not seen in years and meet some new friends. I would like to thank Doc and Richard Lester, founder of NCOM, for their hospitality and making my presentation possible. I look forward to MRF and NCOM working together on motorcycling issues in the future. Dave Dwyer

(continued)

Responsibility" to dress for crashing and being run into? Motorcyclists comprise but 6% of the total transportation-related traumatic brain injuries. Real "Shared Responsibility" would be all road users dressed for crashing. Real "Shared Responsibility" would be car and truck drivers obeying Right Of Way laws. And real "Shared Responsibility" would be a legal system which punishes those who don't. As if we didn't have enough groups to fend off, it looks like we can now add the World Bank to the list. Here's a corrupt outfit that has oppressed people and ruined the economies of countries throughout the world now weighing in on motorcycle issues! They must have run out of numbers to make up regarding economic policy and so are now fabricating them for motorcycle accidents. With the exception of a few countries, Europeans never had much of a heritage

of individual liberty and so they are more apt to lose--and have lost--rights as motorcyclists. Even US car drivers have to knuckle under and "buckle up" in 49 of the 50 states because they wimped out and went to sleep before the lobbying efforts of the same type organizations we face--including in their case, the car manufacturers. On the other hand, American motorcyclists unite, fight, and ride free in 30 states as a result. In many respects we, as a group, are one of the last in this country who really understand, fight for, and practice freedom. Maybe that's why so many others have targeted us. So keep your SMRO and MRF memberships current. Encourage other riders to join. If you are in a club, have it become a club with 100% SMRO/MRF membership if it's not already. There is only us keeping us free. This is why your memberships are so important.

July/August 2007

Colorado’s New Helmet Legislation and MRF’s Roadside America Program Miles France, MRF Director of Reps

May 1st, May Day a day our country recognizes as a very special time of the year. This year in Sunny Colorado a HUGE BLACK CLOUD settled over our state. The Colorado Senate took it on themselves not to let the HB 1117 (Helmets for those 18 and under with a statute leaving the door open for future modification) not die. It was voted on in the Senate Appropriations and came out a tie and for most of us we thought it was dead. Wrong, the Devoted power mongering Democrats found some loophole to reintroduce the HB 1117 back to the Senate floor for another vote and this rush vote came out 21 yes and 12 no. At this point it is on the governors desk and he has till June 4th to sign it into law. ABATE of Colorado, Riders for Justice and the Confederation of Clubs all worked very hard to defeat this bill and for that I am truly grateful. Colorado, the last I heard, has 142,000 motorcycles registered in this state. I thank each of the organizations I mentioned for fighting for our Freedom of Choice. On the other hand I am sickened our state has so many complacent bikers that don’t give a damn, it’s those folks that are to blame for the passage of this bill if the governor sees fit to sign this into law. They’ll all be screaming why we didn’t do anything after the fact as usual. They’ll really be twisted after we get stuck all wearing the lid in the future. Each time you speak to folks with this warped attitude explain how they can help rather than stand around moaning when it’s to late, join an SMRO and the MRF and see what a difference a little involvement can make. These organizations also let you know ahead of time how a members involvement can help make a big difference in the out come of major issues. A new bill the MRF is watching very closely is HR 984 (Executive Branch Disclosure Act of 2007) introduced by Representative Henry Waxman. In layman’s terms this bill would set up a database of all individuals who lobby their Washington DC Representatives. This bill would require certain federal executive branch officials to make a record of and file a report to the Office of Government Ethics of any “significant contacts” between the executive branch official and any “PRIVATE PARTY” relating to any government action. This could hurt all lobbying efforts in the

future if this is passed. To say the least let your DC Representatives know your opposition to this infringement on our rights as free citizens of this country. MRF memberships are rolling in and it’s getting closer for someone to win that $40,000 Lucas Custom Motorcycle. I have heard certain Districts/Chapters are trying to win the scooter so they can then raffle it off for their fundraiser. Remember August 31, 2007 is the cut off date for all chances to be into the MRF Office. Good Luck to you all and I sure hope to see one of you ride that bike home from the MOTM’s in Cedar Rapids, Iowa September 20 to the 23. Have you signed up for the MRF Roadside America? Nothing worse than being on a road trip and breaking down in the middle of no-where. Here one call and you will receive help. One suggestion make sure you tell them you’re on a motorcycle and to send a flat bedroll away. Also if you have a planned trip in mind where you know you’re going to be a certain place ahead of time you can call ahead and receive 10% to 15% off your Hotel/Motel rates. Go to the MRF web site www.mrf.org for all the information on this great package of which there are three different choices and the most expensive is $46.95, which covers any type of bike and cars. It also doesn’t cover the bike or vehicle you’re operating but you, so if you take your brother or sisters scoot for a ride and you have a problem the bike is covered because you have the coverage on yourself. The MRF is still offering MRF Business cards for $20.00 a thousand so if you’re running low let Sarah know in the DC office and she’ll get them to you ASAP. Help us all help each other and do our best to keep our “Brothers & Sisters” from riding after they’ve been drinking. We all want each of us to arrive home for that next ride. Ride Safe & Sober!


July/August 2007

MotoRCyClE RIDERS FouNDAtIoN

Cross-Country Riding and the BEAST

small hotel just outside of town and had some great calzone’s delivered. We had to leave about half of it, too much to eat, but delicious. The next day we needed to make DC. But not before touring the Amish country, and stopping in Intercourse for a big sausage. It was well worth the trip. It is amazing how simply some folks still live. In some ways I envy them. The only problem would be no motorcycle. Guess I’m not converting anytime soon.

Carol Downs MRF Conferences Director

Bruce and I left our house on April 20th. In 16 days we did 13 states plus Washington, DC. We visited 2 children, one grandchild, one aunt and more friends that I can count. We did one successful Conference (BEAST). We rode through sunshine and warm temperatures, heavy winds, light rain and cool temperatures and even got to sit out a tornado in Kansas. It was a great trip that covered 4736 miles; Bruce did a couple hundred extra while I was in a Board Meeting. All in all it was a good time. BEAST went very well. Lisa LaFountain and the folks from Southwest Freedom Riders did a wonderful job. (How they get a name like Southwest Freedom Riders in Vermont I’ll never know, I live close to the southwest and it is no where near Vermont.) One of the few bad things that occurred after the Conference was courtesy of UPS. They managed to loose all of the materials I sent home. What that means is I lost all of the evaluations, comments, notes and to-do lists that came from the Conference. What I do recall from speaking to folks in the halls is that it was a well received event. The workshops got good reviews, some to the point that they will be repeated at this year’s Meeting of the Minds. Some of the topics we covered included Building Membership, Lobbying and Testifying for Novices, Positive Political Relations, and of course Imre Szauter from the AMA was there with a current and concise update of legislation across the country. During our dinner Saturday evening SWFR did a video of one of their Memorial Rides. Their President, Jason Walker, did a great job with a short spiel about SWFR. I still say all the speech was missing was a marriage proposal. Sarge, with the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association also presented a video on that state’s efforts to get Motorcycle Awareness posters put up across the state. What a major, and successful, project that was. It was announced that next year’s BEAST will be hosted by MMA. Look for more details as to date and location later this year. I want to thank all of the folks from SWFR for putting on such a nice time. Hospitality Room was busy, lots of networking in the halls, and a good facility.

I did have to chuckle however. On Saturday morning there were 10 motorcycles in the parking lot (granted it was rainy and cool). Two of those bikes were from Colorado, one was from New York, Bob Bancroft rode up with Bruce and me. Two of the bikes were from Connecticut. They belonged to Sarah Muckenhoupt’s family who were riding back with us. The remaining 4 bikes were other attendees. I have to tell a little about our trip home. Sarah (MRF Office Manager) managed to talk her way onto the back of Bruce’s bike again for a ride home to DC. Bruce, Sarah, her father, brother and I left early Sunday morning to head south. It was a little cool and a little wet, but it was a ride. It didn’t take long to determine this was going to be the “Muckenhoupt Family History Tour” ride. We made a point of staying off any Interstates. We found as many scenic, curvy roads as we could. We rode through Vermont and Massachusetts into Chaplin, Connecticut. Her brother led most of the way, he knew the routes. We did stop at one point and looked out over three states. It is always interesting to understand how close we all really are. We spent that evening with the Muckenhoupt family. What a wonderful treat for Bruce and I. After more than 10 days of hotel food Sarah’s mother prepared us awesome vegetable lasagna, fresh bread and a salad. I will go back for more some day. The next day Sarah, Bruce and I loaded up to continue south. Before leaving Chaplin we got a tour of the school Sarah attended, the park she played in and the woods she rode her horses through. Our destination for that evening was Kutztown, PA. Again, we chose a circuitous route. The weather was nicer and we enjoyed the trip. When we got to Kutztown we got an on-the-bike tour of Sarah’s family home. Seems she was able to find where her grandparents lived and other places of interest. Stayed in a

We did make DC that afternoon and went to Falls Church to visit my family. Bruce rode Sarah into DC and picked up the MRF Intern, Tammy, and took her for her first ever motorcycle ride. While they had to deal with DC rush hour traffic they also got outside the city and took a short ride. What fun Bruce had introducing yet another to the simple joy of tossing a leg over the saddle and letting the wind rush by. At the writing of this article Bruce and I are only a few weeks away from our next Conference ride. This time we are headed to Elko, NV for BEST of the West. I want to hope for slightly warmer temperatures but I’m afraid I’ll get what I ask for. Riding across the desert in late June can often times be quite warm. ABATE of Northern NV will be our host for this event. We do have a full line

Page 7 up of workshops as well as entertainment scheduled. Hopefully you will all be there not at home reading this. I’ll give you a run down of the Conference in the next issue. Meeting of the Minds 2007 is quickly approaching. ABATE of IA will be our host and the Conference will take place in Cedar Rapids, IA. We are using the Marriott Cedar Rapids for our facility. It has just been completely remodeled. When I was there in February it was a mess but they have sent me pictures, it is beautiful. One thing to remember is that the Marriott chain has gone completely non-smoking. I understand this is an issue for some folks. Unfortunately to find a facility large enough to hold our group we have to go to the large chains. Many of them are now non-smoking. In some cases, it is the state as well as the chain that dictates. We are just going to have to work around this issue. My advice to those of you who are tired of one more freedom being taken away is to spend some time at your Legislators door expressing your opinions (sound familiar?). The tentative agenda for Meeting of the Minds should be up on the MRF website by the time you read this article. Get your reservations made. Register for the Conference and I look forward to seeing you then.


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July/August 2007

Guest Editorial: An Open Letter to the SMSA Executive Committee and Membership - Part One By H. John Bodeker Program Coordinator, Indiana Motorcycle Operator Safety and Education Program This is the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write in my professional career. The actions, and inactions, of the EC and the SMSA membership as a whole over the past 5 months have left me: (1) Bewildered at the lack of action by the SMSA in providing a show of support for a member program. (2) Disappointed in the inability of the EC and the membership to understand that if Oregon fails in its attempt to develop and run its own curriculum, we are all doomed to the same fate. (3) Angered by the fact that a product vendor has cowered the administrators of legislatively created state programs into turning their backs on our own principles, stated mission, and very purpose for our existence. (4) And bewildered by the doublespeak used as a pitiful excuse for the rejection of Illinois and Wendy Moon as presenters at the SMSA conference because “that could involve us in the current litigation that MSF has filed against Oregon” while producing an agenda that has practically every staff member at the MSF as presenters, apparently, without that same concern. For what will be the last time (one way or the other), I want to go on record, as an SMSA member in good standing for 18 years and a former member of the EC as Central Region Representative and former Vice-Chair, with what I expect, require and demand from an organization to which my state pays $1,500.00 a year for membership and representation. * I demand that the organization follow its own mission statement, ALL Strategic Objectives, and the Purposes of the Association as stated in Article II of our by-laws. To say that Oregon being sued for implementing its own curriculum does not “represent state concerns related to motorcycle safety” (Article II) is ridiculous. By refusing to get involved in any way cannot be construed as “serving the needs and interest of state motorcycle safety administrators and programs” (Mission Statement). And declining potential conference presenters based not on the content of their presentations, but rather because of veiled threats from a single vendor is not “fostering and promoting the exchange of ideas and

resources” (Mission Statement). The argument that staying out of the MSF lawsuit against Oregon (note I did not say litigation between MSF and Oregon – Oregon is not suing anyone – it’s MSF who is suing Oregon) that the EC is protecting the interest of the many over the interest of the one. That is only delaying the inevitable for all. If the MSF succeeds in this lawsuit, then who’s next. Oh, we can’t support Idaho because that would put the Association at risk. Oh, we can’t support Illinois because that would put the Association at risk. Oh, we can’t support Hawaii, Indiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Colorado because it would put the Association at risk. At that point, WHAT Association? As Oregon goes, so goes every state program that wishes to retain any autonomy and control over how state programs conduct business for their citizens. We should at very least issue a press release stating that the SMSA supports its member states and the right of all state programs to develop programs that serve their citizens with the cumulative and collective data and materials that have been developed by state and federal entities over the past 40 years. If we truly want to support all members as this Association should, the SMSA would file a formal “friend of the court” brief in support of Oregon and offer all the resources of our membership in Oregon’s defense. * I require that the EC choose presenters for our conference based on the content of their presentations and not due to the political influence exerted to promote certain points of view while suppressing others. We need to present all relevant data and allow our members to decide what they want to adopt. While the rejection letter sent to Illinois and Wendy Moon cited “all slots being filled” as the reason for not being selected, the true reason (as per EC members) was that the EC did not want to become “involved in the lawsuit “ by allowing Illinois to present an analysis of their field testing of Oregon’s BRT. It is also well known that the MSF made it clear that they were not happy that the SMSA had allowed Steve Garets to present at the Austin conference. Mr. Buche apparently characterized the presentation by Steve Garets in Austin as a “marketing opportunity”. There are also rumors of supposed threats of what could happen if SMSA allowed another “marketing opportunity” for the BRT. First, the lawsuit is filed by MSF against

Oregon. If the EC truly feels they will risk “becoming involved in the lawsuit” if they allow ILLINOIS to present an analysis of their field testing of the BRT, they cannot justify allowing the MSF (as instigator of the lawsuit) to make ANY presentations which would allow them opportunity to promote (market) their product, or to use the conference as a forum to discredit the BRT (not just in presentations but also in the halls, restaurants and bars). I do not, and will not accept the argument that it’s proper to have the MSF make presentations since all the states present use their product. That’s not an argument, that’s an excuse. The MSF has filed a lawsuit against a state program. If SMSA provides a forum for MSF to promote their product, it IS taking a side in the lawsuit in favor of MSF and against its own member state. Worse, if SMSA provides a forum for MSF to present its product, but denies Illinois the opportunity to present its analysis of BRT field testing, the SMSA is not only taking MSF’s side and becoming an intervenor, but the EC is acting as a censor for the membership and a hypocrite to all. Speaking of being an intervenor, the letter from the SMSA attorney offering his opinion that SMSA stay out of the litigation speaks volumes to how the EC has abdicated its duties and responsibilities as leaders of the Association and attempted to hide behind contrived fears of being pulled into litigation. The SMSA HAS significant interests in the issues raised in the litigation as per its very by-laws and mission. In spite of that, the EC told the attorney that it had already decided that the SMSA “has no critical interests in the litigation”. Further, the EC had to be the source for the attorney’s opinion that the members “seem to be nonchalant concerning the issue” (unfortunately, that may be the only factual item to come out of the EC concerning this issue in 5 months). If you tell your attorney that you have no interest in an issue, and that your members don’t care either, then ask him if you should get involved….what opinion do you think he’s going to give you? There is still time EC to save some shred of dignity and professionalism for the SMSA. Either allow Illinois to present, or reject all MSF presentations. Either allow both or neither, but to allow either one and not the other MAKES you an intervenor whether you want to believe that or not. * I expect the SMSA to take an active, vocal leadership role in national issues

such as the proposed national standards for rider education, the discovery project and the accident causation study. I do not expect the SMSA leadership to sit quietly on its hands as these issues are debated and implemented. The NHTSA has proposed that national standards (guidelines) be developed and implemented, and that SMSA take a leading role in developing, implementing and monitoring the guidelines. The SMSA chair stated in a NHTSA stakeholders meeting on this subject that the SMSA doesn’t want to get involved in that. When I asked Ken about that statement, he said that NHTSA just wanted us (SMSA) to “police the standards for them”. If there are going to be national rider education standards, and SOMEONE is going to police them, who do you want that to be? Would you prefer that your state program be evaluated by MSF? NHTSA? AAMVA? MRF? or any other agency who’s willing to do it? Or would you rather it be done by an organization of your peers – the SMSA. The MSF claims it already has a national quality assurance program in place through its RERP program. That’s a self reporting system. SMSA already has a self-reporting Accreditation program in place. We could easily incorporate a national guidelines compliance aspect to that existing system. We need…. no, we must step forward and take charge of our own destiny. If we don’t, and don’t do so actively and vocally right now, we will find ourselves beholden to others if we even continue to exist at all. * I have just a couple parting thoughts I want to express. I don’t want everyone to think this is just my ranting and raving. This is very difficult both professionally and personally, but I feel my options are limited. MSF has made it quite clear in the past that they would like to see SMSA go away. MSF feels they are the one and only preeminent motorcycle safety organization in the world. So to simply quit the SMSA in protest would play right into their hands. To remain a silent member indicates that I approve of the EC’s actions which I actually find detrimental to the Association. So my only option is to remain a member and try to convince other members and our leadership that we must be true to our mission and purpose. I believe, as many others do, that the MSF lawsuit has nothing to do with intellectual property or copyright issues. It is all about intimidation and preventing (continued page 9)


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Guest Editorial: An Open Letter to the SMSA Executive Committee and Membership - Part One (continued) other states from following Oregon’s lead and, apparently, it appears to be achieving that goal. MSF in its current form is a bully, and there’s only one way to deal with a bully….you must confront them. If you continue to cower and hope they’ll go

away, they will just keep coming back to take your lunch money until you stop handing it over voluntarily. SMSA must come to the aid of its member state, Oregon, and stand up to the MSF. Otherwise, we might just as well dissolve the organization and try to re-build with people who believe that rider education is

better served by state programs than by industry. I will expect, require and demand that the EC respond to this letter with its intentions for the issues raised here. There are only three issues listed. But I need to know the EC’s intentions before I can make my decisions concerning the con-

ference and membership status. Thank you for your time and consideration. I will once again plead with the membership to take a stand and make your voice heard.

Guest Editorial: Second Opinion on SMSA Supporting Oregon By H. John Bodeker Program Coordinator, Indiana Motorcycle Operator Safety and Education Program EC and all members, As I discussed with Ken recently, I asked for a second legal opinion on SMSA’s risks in providing support to the Oregon Program. I went to Rod Taylor of the Christopher and Taylor Law Offices. Rod has provided pro bono legal services to the rider education programs in Indiana for over 25 years. Rod focuses on complex litigation that involves motorcycle and aviation accidents, business, class action and product liability. He is AV Rated (the highest rating offered by Martindale-Hubbell), and is listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar register of Preeminent Lawyers. While he practices primarily in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and the District of Columbia, he has handled hundreds of

cases throughout the country. He is the attorney for ABATE of Indiana, ABATE of Ohio, ABATE of Illinois, and is Counsel to the MRF. His law firm has nine office facilities located throughout Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, and has served as counsel or co-counsel in cases across the United States and Canada. Finally, Rod is a rider, and is founder and president of the Miracle Ride which has raised over $3 million for the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Rod’s opinion consisted of three key elements: 1. Based on Freedom of Speech alone, the SMSA has every right to take a position on the lawsuit and publish that position without fear of retribution. 2. States should have the right to do their own curriculum as they see fit to best serve the particular needs of their citizens.

3. If the Court allows, and Oregon wants it, the SMSA may file a Friend of the Court brief. I would strongly encourage the EC to contact Rod directly if you want more detail on his legal opinion. His e-mail address is included in the cc addresses. Finally, another concern expressed by the EC was that to get involved might alienate one party or the other. Well, Oregon is a member. They stand to be the injured party here, along with the rest of us, if MSF prevails in their lawsuit. By NOT acting, the EC has already alienated Oregon as well as several other state program members. And, why would you worry about alienating a vendor who has already shown their contempt for state programs by filing a suit against one. Please remember your recent history. MSF withdrew as an SMSA member, has refused to re-join, has stated publicly that it believes that the SMSA should just go

away, rejected and ignored the SMSA in the development of the BRC (the product that it then forced us all to use), and claimed that state programs were “broken economic models” in a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. And you’re worried about alienating the MSF? Please look at the evidence in front of you. INACTION will potentially cost the SMSA a loss of 10% or more of its members. INACTION has proven to the msf that they can attack state programs with impunity and not have to worry about backlash from all other state programs. And INACTION may give the msf an outside chance of prevailing in what should be a laughable action. Please contact Rod Taylor to see if he will help you develop an action plan to come to Oregon’s aid. John Bodeker

Ohio CMRO Region 8 Seminar April was Ohio's month to educate its rights groups members. Both the CMRO (Concerned Motorcycle Riders of Ohio) and ABATE of Ohio Region 5 performed well. On April 21 Region 8 of CMRO hosted a seminar with several excellent features. AMA's Imre Szauter outlined and explained numerous pieces of legislation affecting riders' rights. He particularly discussed Ohio's Right of Way legislation which is in the works in our state legislature; it is now open for supporting testimony. An Ohio Highway Patrolman talked about safe driving strategies and offered many pointers for us. The Region 8 folks brought in a demonstration by a trucking company to show what a big rig driver can and cannot see on the road. Always bear in mind that big trucks have a huge blind spot not only on their sides, but behind and in front of them Beware, because they might not see you there. Thanks for a good seminar from the CMRO group! The weekend before, Ralph Buss, Region

5 Director and his crew from that area of ABATE of Ohio, sponsored the Freedom of the Road educational seminar in Wilmington, Ohio. Many members of the region worked hard to pull it all together for presentations by numerous speakers. Special thanks to Haskell Combs, Lynn Hardin, Martin Meister, and Cheryl Snowden for all the hard work to assist this major production. Martha Cain and Beth Richmond showed examples of the teen driving instruction classes which now have motorcycle awareness information included. They told the poignant story of an Ohio teen who was driving and killed a motorcyclist; part of her punishment was to talk to other new teen drivers about this awesome burden she continues to carry. Bill Bish of Ridin' On mag helped with some information about how to promote your organization. If Bill Bish doesn't know about promotion, then noone does. Imre Szauter of AMA gave us a national perspective on the motorcyclists' rights movement. Imre's wealth of knowedge and experience is close to inimitable, but more than anything he puts information

in a very friendly and understandable format and knows almost all the answers. Attorney Robert Biallis is a local Court Magistrate in northeast Ohio. He shared interesting war stories about Court appearances and how not to ruin your legal chances if you need to go to Court. There are simple startegies, like being polite and not bringing up irrelevant "stuff", which sometimes seem to elude people who enter the halls of justice unprepared. He further explained legal points of presenting oneself before a Judge. Lynn Wesley of ABATE of Pennsylvania and George Nitsky, of Ohio reviewed NHTSA perspectives on motorcycling and what we need to know about how to protect ourselves from the everpresent government point of view. Jerri Mitchell Tharp, an attorney from Ralph Buss' office presented a reveiw of Ohio's new impaired driving laws. She also specified the strong impact and hard line efefcts on those who have commercial drivers licenses. Impaired driving, and not just alcohol intoxication, is not to be taken lightly. Ohio, like many others across the country, has taken a hard stand

on this issue. Ralph brought in "Sputnik' from the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association. he ralleied the audience with his moving perspective and experience in the rigts arena.. A great job by all involved and it was received well. if we can just translate our passion to nonmembers to join the cause and to spread the education to allpeople who drive all vehicles, the road will be not only a much more free atmosphere, but safer. Thanks to all who worked so hard to educate, one of our primary goals.

Ralph Buss & Jerri Mitchell-Tharp


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July/August 2007

BEAST of the East Killington, Vermont Hosted by the Southwest Freedom Riders John Pierce has the rapt attention of some Vermont and Massachusetts attendees of his “Retaining Local Membership” breakout session. Imre Szauter of the AMA addresses the BEAST attendees Saturday.

John Pierce discusses the finer points of “Retaining Local Membership” with Russ Brown. A short lull in the action at the Board Meeting.

NCOM

Former Wisconsin State Senator Dave Zien accepting the NCOM Silver Spoke award for Government at the NCOM banquet.

Jason Walker, President of the Southwest Freedom Riders

Dave Dwyer and Doc Reichenbach, NCOM President with the tribute photo of Karen Bolin at the NCOM “Ringing of the Bell” ceremony at the NCOM conference in Charlotte this year.

Dave Dwyer and Paulette Pinkham present their Alcohol Awareness breakout session.

Jeff Hennie, during a General Session, describes what we may be seeing in the near future with Helmet Legislation.

Doc Reichenbach, President ABATE of Florida and Dave Dwyer, MRF BOD at ABATE of Florida State Meeting April 15, 2006. The check is a $1000 donation from Florida to MRF.


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More Pictures from across the Country... April was Ohio's month to educate its rights groups members. Both the CMRO (Concerned Motorcycle Riders of Ohio) and ABATE of Ohio Region 5 performed well.

The latest creation by longtime Master Bike Builder and MRF Sustaining member Ron Finch

POW-MIA Wall Tribute HERO bike pictured with original build organizers "Mongo", "Shooter", "Hogman", and "Polock" pictured with the Director/Regional Curator from the National Park Service and keeper of the bike, Pam West

Bill Bish & Sputnik

ABATE of Ohio Region 5 banner Wyoming Secretary of State, Max Maxfield about to go for a ride in the sidecar of Wyoming State ABATE Treasurer, Julie Cox's Ural.

Attendees Kenny Kourim, Cheryl Snowden and Ken Perkins.

MRF President meets with Canadian Motorcycling Officials at BEAST of the EAST. L-R: Pierre Quevillon, Jennifer Ross, Kirk “Hardtail” Willard and Claude Lacasse.

At the MRF office in D.C. Tammie Kheocha-on, the MRF office assistant, on the back of Bruce Downs’ Harley. Sustaining Member Michael Hupy presents the MRF another Young Activists Scholarship fund donation of $2,000 at the HEARTLAND S.T.E.A.M conference (from left) MRF Board members Dave Dwyer, Jeff Hennie, Kirk "Hardtail" Willard, Sustaining member Michael Hupy, Michael "Boz" Kerr

Bruce Downs, Sarah Muckenhoupt and Tammie Kheocha-on in front of the MRF office in Washington, D.C.

Thanks in part to funds provided through the federal SAFETEALU grant program, state funding and a $10,000 donation from A.B.A.T.E. of Minnesota, the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center was able to purchase this year one hundred new training motorcycles.


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July/August 2007

Guest Editorial: Helmet Laws - A View from the Rider’s Seat By Mike Hays Legislative Director, CMT/ABATE, Inc. In 1967, Tennessee enacted a helmet law under threat from the Federal Government that highway funds would be withheld if the state failed to enact both motorcycle licensing and helmet laws. With millions of federal dollars and countless jobs for interstate construction at stake, state after state enacted helmet laws. In 1976, President Gerald Ford signed HR 3869, effectively ending the federal mandate and by the end of 1977, 22 states had repealed or modified their helmet laws. Today, 30 states have legalized freedom of choice. Of the 12 safest states for motorcycling, 10 are “freedom of choice”. According to the NHTSA, the statistical difference between states with freedom of choice and those without is

small but comes down to the fact that free states are safer overall, with lower fatality to accident ratios and downward trending injury rates from 1995-2004, the last period studied. Tennessee motorcyclists overwhelmingly support the right to choose when or if they wear a helmet, yet the enemies of Liberty bring up all the same old arguments about insurance, public burden, accidents, injuries and fatalities. That forcing everyone to wear a helmet will cause the economy to boom and be the answer to every safety question known to man. It is the one “silver bullet” for which mankind has searched for millenniums. NHTSA says it is, the stats they don’t show you say otherwise. With Tennessee head injury rates in automobiles 12 times higher than that for motorcycles, will we all be wearing hel-

mets in automobiles soon? If the folks who proclaim “if we can just save one life” have their way, it’s possible. Fact: most accidents occur in the bathroom. I wonder when we'll be facing mandatory floor mats and safety gear in all bathrooms, private and public. Don't laugh... helmet laws are okay as long as they apply to the "other guy." The bottom line is that Tennessee motorcyclists sincerely want to reduce injuries and fatalities. The way to achieve this goal is increased availability of rider training programs, motorist awareness programs, addressing the issues of riding under the influence, and the epidemic of motorists driving distracted and running over motorcyclists. Let’s concentrate on preventing the crashes! Look Twice – Save a Life!

1511. Tennessee motorcyclists calling their House Representatives and making their feelings known to those who will vote on this issue over the next few weeks have the opportunity to make a fundamental change in government’s overwhelming desire to control our lives from cradle to grave. The prime sponsor of HB 1283 is also a practicing physician who rides. Co-sponsors include members from law enforcement, PHD’s , lawyers, engineers and other professionals. Mike Hays is in the entertainment business and is the registered volunteer lobbyist for CMT/ABATE, Inc., www.cmtabate.com, Tennessee’s State Motorcyclist’s Rights and Safety organization, and has ridden motorcycles for over 40 years, covering 40 states. legislative@cmtabate.com

The Tennessee Senate has passed SB

Safety: The Responsibility of Both Motorcycle, Auto Drivers By Terri Lynn Land A school bus and motorcycle collide. A motorcyclist strikes a curb and is thrown into a tree. A pickup crosses the centerline and strikes a couple riding their motorcycle. An experienced rider crashes while popping wheelies. All of these accidents occurred in Michigan during the first week of May, which happened to be Motorcycle Safety Month here and across the nation. Sadly, some of them had tragic results. It was simple and wise advice that someone once gave motorcycle riders when they said, "Ride as if your life depends on it." It certainly does, as do the lives of others. There are now more than a half million licensed motorcyclists in our state. They love the feeling of freedom that riding gives them, the exhilaration of the rushing wind and the connection with the outdoors a car cannot provide. More women and families are taking part in motorcycling than ever before, enjoying the excitement and camaraderie it offers. But although the face of the pastime is changing, one thing remains constant: the need for caution and safety.

MRF Lucas Sweepstakes Bike on display at an Easyriders Bike Show Every rider needs a motorcycle endorsement from the state to legally ride on streets and highways. Obtaining one requires taking a knowledge test and successfully complet ing a motorcycle safety class or passing a rider skills test. Get caught operating without an endorsement on your license and you face court fines and a Driver Responsibility Fee of up to $300. Last year in Michigan, 114 people lost their lives in motorcycle-related crashes. Statistics show that those who fail to obtain a motorcycle endorsement are involved in a high percentage of these fatal accidents. What you learn through proper training can make a life-or-death difference. For motorcyclists, it is crucial: * to know the dangers involved

* to observe the rules of the road, and * to wear appropriate protective gear. Whether you ride as a hobby or for daily transportation, remember that you share the road with others. About 30 percent of all motorcycle fatalities involve alcohol or drugs. Never operate a motorcycle if you've taken something that could adversely affect your judgment or coordination. Riding under the influence can lead to a vicious cycle. And never ride recklessly. One spill can kill. Drivers should: * keep an eye out for motorcyclists on the road, and should look twice for them at intersections before proceeding. * check specifically for approaching motorcycles when making a left turn.

Failure to see them is the most common cause of crashes between motor vehicles and motorcycles. * be careful not to follow a motorcycle too closely. A motorcycle stops quicker than a car or truck. The rule of thumb is to keep at least 3 to 4 seconds of time between your vehicle and a motorcycle. During motorcycle riding season, which runs well into September in Michigan, let's all rededicate ourselves to careful and defensive driving. Together, we can make our roads safer for everyone. For more information on endorsements and motorcycle safety , please visit the Department of State Web site at www.Michigan.gov/sos or call (517) 2416850. Editor's Note: Terri Lynn Land is Michigan's 41st Secretary of State.


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PRESS RELEASE: From the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) 30th April 2007

URBAN TRANSPORT: EUROPEAN MOTORCYCLISTS’ CONTRIBUTION Motorcycling is an ideal means of transport in modern traffic, which offers major advantages to the transport mix as well as solutions to many problems present in urban centres. Thus, local transport plans should integrate the PTW’s option with other transport choices to encourage different modes according to their relevance and practicality for each journey. The preparation of the Green Paper deals with a number of headings where the motorcycle has a contribution to make and should be taken into account. Among others: · · · ·

Congestion Energy Usage and Pollution Infrastructure Social and Economic value

1) Congestion Most congestion at peak time – which mainly affects urban areas and has become a major issue for all local authorities - can be attributed to single -occupancy cars. FEMA strongly believes that Powered Two Wheeler can make a uniquely positive contribution to relieve congestion, thereby providing a solution for every local authority‘s traffic problem.

more and more citizens commute to and from their working place using PTW’s. 2) Energy usage and Pollution PTW’s have major advantages compared to any other motorised road transport means, especially on climate change, with less emission of greenhouse gas and lower figures on fuel consumption. Even high performance sports bikes have improved fuel consumption compared to cars on congested roads, consuming between 55% and 81% less fuel than a car on the same journey1. For instance, motorcycles are able to make progress in congested conditions and are thus less polluting than other vehicle subject to a stop/start cycle. They have been subject to EU emissions limits since 1999 and now comply with the Euro 3 standards. In addition, governments and PTW manufacturers are working together to bring down emission levels on a continuing basis. Motorcycle manufacturers have already achieved enormous progress over the past 7 years: minus 94 % of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions, and minus 50 % of nitrogen emissions for the period 1999-2006. Furthermore, this drastic reduction of the emissions has been coupled with more severe test con-

ditions. In other words, the real percentage of reduction is much higher if calculated by the same test method. 3) Infrastructure The current urban infrastructure is increasingly unable to cope with the demands placed upon it by constant traffic flows, whilst budgets can too often not keep up with the level of repairs generated. Inevitably, increased use of cars and public transport will result in costly investment in infrastructure. However, an increase in use of PTW’s will have the opposite effect. PTW’s cause a fraction of the damage to roads compared to other motorised transports and are thus responsible for only a tiny percentage of the maintenance costs. In addition, only minor low-cost improvements in infrastructure would encourage safe use of PTW’s, and thus increase road capacity. 4) Social and Economic Value An important contribution of the motorcycle is to transport people conveniently and inexpensively from home to centres of employment, retail, leisure and medical care. It has a major role in addressing social exclusion where public transport is not readily available, distances are too great to walk or cycle and car is not an

option. Thanks to their permanent flexibility and availability, Powered Two Wheelers hence provide social integration by supplementing private and public transport, ensuring independence and mobility to all. A large variety of choice in terms of PTW’s characteristics and budget is available. PTW’s contribute to a widening of access to education and employment opportunities. They actually increase working time, leisure time which leads to a better quality of life. Given their moderate costs (initial and maintenance), PTW’s are affordable means of transport (some of them cost less than 1000 €) playing a social function and giving young generations and low income citizens more opportunities both from an educational and professional point of view. The Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) is the representative federation of motorcycle (comprising all powered two-wheeled vehicles) users throughout Europe. FEMA represents the interests of citizens' national organisations at the European Union and agencies of the United Nations. FEMA's primary objective is to pursue, promote and protect the interests of motorcyclists. FEMA recognises that specific requirements to be addressed.

· Powered Two Wheelers occupy far less space on the road and do not contribute to traffic congestion. The use of motorcycles will substantially increase vehicle capacity on congested urban roads; · Motorcycles can easily double-up in a lane or filter through congested areas. They contribute to alleviate gridlocks on high volume roads; · In congested areas, PTW’s take approxima tely 16 to 48 % less time to cover the same urban trip as a car; · Four or more motorcycles can park in the same space usually used by a car. Fewer kilometres are driven to find a parking place and less litres of fuel are used. The EU member states totalises more than 30 millions of Powered Two Wheelers in use, including mopeds, scooters and motorcycles, which range from 50cc to over 1000cc in engine size. Looking at motorcycles over the years 1998-2003, one can observe a significant increase of +41% for the motorcycles circulating park. Obviously, people are turning to PTW’s to beat congestion, especially in urban centres. For instance,

Officers from various HEARTLAND S.T.E.A.M. states share what is happening in their states at their recent conference HEARTLAND S.T.E.A.M. (Seminar to Educate and Motivate) brings ABATE's from Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin together at a Midwestern biker's rights, safety, and education conference. It also serves as a fundraiser for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. This year it was the 18th Annual and was hosted by ABATE of Wisconsin, Inc. in Onalaska Wisc. It has been reported that over $8,000 dollars was raised by the Heartland ABATE's and the St. Croix Valley Riders for the MRF. The MRF had 5 Board of Directors present.


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Around the USA Arkansas

Connie Shepherd MRF State Representative The hot humid days of summer are here and with that, are poker runs, rides and events taking place most every week-end somewhere in the state. Arkansas motorcyclists are busy working to raise money for their favorite charities, most of which are for children. The ride for The March of Dimes,that is held in the fall,is one that some ABATE Districts participate in. Several have been recognized for raising the most money in the past. Other ABATE Districts are working to educate themselves, along with the LEO's, first respondors and other emergency personnel by holding classes designed to teach the motorcyclists and emergency personnel the special circumstances they might encounter with a motorcycle accident. We hope everyone has a safe riding season.

Maine

Roger Howard MRF State Representative Like many states across the nation May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in Maine. On the tenth of May United Bikers of Maine and Maine Motorcyclist PAC met in the capital while the Governor read a Proclamation and to discuss issues of concern. During this conversation, things like ROW and Rumbles strips were brought forward. At that time Governor Baldacci introduced me to the Director of Safety within the Maine DOT. The long and short of this is myself and the assistant MRF rep now have seats on the Highway Safety Commission. We are finally getting a voice on what is happening on the roads we enjoy riding. That's the BIG news in Maine. Ride Safe and Free, Roger Howard MRF-Rep UBM-Safety and Ed MMPAC

Michigan

Mike Przybylo MRF State Representative Capitol rally to kick off Motorcycle Awareness Month Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts and police will rev their engines at the Capitol building today in support of Motorcycle Awareness Month, which kicks off today. May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month because it marks the return of summer bikers to the roadways. A rally on the Capitol grounds will kick off at 10:30 a.m. Lansing Police Lt. Bruce Ferguson said the department’s motorcycle officers will be a part of the festivities, alongside bike cops from around the state. Police advise motorists to be aware of motorcyclists, especially when changing lanes or at intersections, as they can be harder to see than cars.

Ohio

Barb Tittle MRF State Representative April was Ohio's month to educate its rights

MotoRCyClE RIDERS FouNDAtIoN

groups members. Both the CMRO (Concerned Motorcycle Riders of Ohio) and ABATE of Ohio Region 5 performed well. On April 21 Region 8 of CMRO hosted a seminar with several excellent features. AMA's Imre Szauter outlined and explained numerous pieces of legislation affecting riders' rights. He particularly discussed Ohio's Right of Way legislation which is in the works in our state legislature; it is now open for supporting testimony. An Ohio Highway Patrolman talked about safe driving strategies and offered many pointers for us. The Region 8 folks brought in a demonstration by a trucking company to show what a big rig driver can and cannot see on the road. Always bear in mind that big trucks have a huge blind spot not only on their sides, but behind and in front of them Beware, because they might not see you there. Thanks for a good seminar from the CMRO group! The weekend before, Ralph Buss, Region 5 Director and his crew from that area of ABATE of Ohio, sponsored the Freedom of the Road educational seminar in Wilmington, Ohio. Many members of the region worked hard to pull it all together for presentations by numerous speakers. Special thanks to Haskell Combs, Lynn Hardin, Martin Meister, and Cheryl Snowden for all the hard work to assist this major production. Martha Cain and Beth Richmond showed examples of the teen driving instruction classes which now have motorcycle awareness information included. They told the poignant story of an Ohio teen who was driving and killed a motorcyclist; part of her punishment was to talk to other new teen drivers about this awesome burden she continues to carry. Bill Bish of Ridin' On mag helped with some information about how to promote your organization. If Bill Bish doesn't know about promotion, then noone does. Imre Szauter of AMA gave us a national perspective on the motorcyclists' rights movement. Imre's wealth of knowedge and experience is close to inimitable, but more than anything he puts information in a very friendly and understandable format and knows almost all the answers. Attorney Robert Biallis is a local Court Magistrate in northeast Ohio. He shared interesting war stories about Court appearances and how not to ruin your legal chances if you need to go to Court. There are simple startegies, like being polite and not bringing up irrelevant "stuff", which sometimes seem to elude people who enter the halls of justice unprepared. He further explained legal points of presenting oneself before a Judge. Lynn Wesley of ABATE of Pennsylvania and George Nitsky, of Ohio reviewed NHTSA perspectives on motorcycling and what we need to know about how to protect ourselves from the ever-present government point of view. Jerri Mitchell Tharp, an attorney from Ralph Buss' office presented a reveiw of Ohio's new impaired driving laws. She also specified the strong impact and hard line efefcts on those who have commercial drivers licenses. Impaired driving, and not just alcohol intoxication, is not to be taken lightly. Ohio, like many others across the country, has taken a hard stand on this issue. Ralph brought in "Sputnik' from the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association. he ralleied the audience with his moving perspective and experience in the rigts arena.. A great job by all involved and it was received well. if we can just translate our passion to non-members to join the cause and to spread the education to allpeople who drive all vehicles, the road will be not only a much more free atmosphere, but safer.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to educate, one of our primary goals.

Tennessee

Mike Hays Legislative Director, CMT/ABATE, Inc. Helmet Bill Gets New Lead Sponsor “There has been far too much emphasis placed on helmet use regarding motorcycle safety. The common sense thing to do is to reduce motorcycle accidents altogether.” To this end, Representative Joey Hensley (R) Hohenwald or “Dr. Joey” as he is called by his compatriots in the motorcycle community, has turned over his lead of the Helmet Law debate to Representative Curry Todd (R) – Collierville, and will concentrate his efforts in encouraging all concerned individuals and associations, particularly those in the medical field, to actively promote programs directed at all motorists’ awareness of motorcycles on the highway, rider education courses, proper licensing of all on the highway, and impaired driving/riding campaigns. Dr. Joey is truly a champion for motorcyclists! Mike Hays, volunteer lobbyist for CMT/ABATE agrees with Dr. Hensley that the emphasis the medical community has placed on helmet laws distracts from the real issues that address the root causes of motorcycle crashes and joins Dr Joey in challenging the medical community to direct their massive resources into campaigns which will reduce the crashes. Motorcycle helmets do not reduce crashes yet motorist awareness campaigns to reduce distracted driving, sober riding campaigns and expanded availability of rider training programs, even in states that do not mandate helmets, result in lower fatality and accident rates. Tennessee’s fatality and injury rates are consistently higher than most of the 30 states that allow responsible adults the option of wearing a helmet. Champion for Freedom, Curry Todd, proclaims "I stand strong on the rights of adults to have Freedom of Choice. Helmets are sold in the apparel department of dealerships, not the Safety Department. There is ample evidence to show that as states have repealed helmet laws, injury and fatality rates have declined. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Tennessee Legislature and the freedom loving motorcyclists of Tennessee to allow responsible adults the right to choose their riding apparel.”

Wyoming

Graydon Wheeler MRF State Representative I don't remember if this has been reported already, so I'll give an update. Wyoming HB0081 (Handicapped motorcycle plates) died in file. We had the votes to get it passed, but the members of the State House were busy debating the wolf issues, and thereby did not getting the chance to pass this bill. Its sponsor, George Bagby (D), Rawlins, plans to introduce it again during next years session. May 4th was the day the Motorcycle Awareness Month Proclamation signing took place on the steps of the capital building in Cheyenne, Secretary of State, Max Maxfield stepped into do the presentation when Governor Freudenthal was unable to attend this year. Mr. Maxfield said he was honored to offer the Proclamation to our

July/August 2007

group and finished his presentation with a ride in the sidecar of State ABATE Treasurer Julie Cox's Ural. The Casper Star-Tribune wrote an editorial entitled, "Wyoming needs to restore motorcycle helmet law". This was prompted from an unfortunate accident that occured on a busy Casper street on the 12th. Two nineteen year old men were reportedly driving at a high rate of speed with a brand new motorcycle when their bike hit a car. Both men were killed (one decapitated) and this has once again raised the issue of mandatory helmet use in our state. Many letters have been written in response to the editorial with the majority explaining that rider and driver education being needed more than a helmet law. Most of the pro-helmet letters and comments seem to be from non-riders that stated things like, " If motorcyclists don't want to wear a helmet I say, let them. But first they have to post a $20 million health insurance policy so that I don't have to have my insurance premiums and my health care costs go up to provide lifetime care to some idiot who didn't wear a helmet. " and " If left in a vegatative state due to not wearing a helmet, should the tax payers have to carry the burden of paying for this zombies medial care?" Here is my reply to that issue: Here are some facts from a University of North Carolina study: "In 1992, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center published a study titled: An Examination of Motorcyclist Injuries and Cost Using North Carolina Motor Vehicle Crash and Trauma Registry Data. The study revealed the following: 1. Motorcyclists admitted to trauma centers for treatment of crash related injuries were just as likely as other road trauma cases to be medically insured, and considerably better insured then non-road, cases. 2. Motorcyclists had the highest insurance payment rate of all groups. 3. Motorcyclists relied on Medicare and Medicaid considerably less than any other groups. 4. Motorcyclists had a higher rate of self-pay than any other group. 5. Motorcyclist average medical cost were less than other road trauma cases. In summary of the North Carolina study, motorcyclists have lower medical bills from accidents, are better at paying with insurance, when they do not have insurance are better at paying with their own money, and rely on Medicare and Medicaid less than all other trauma victims." http://home.tampabay.rr.com/ourplace/Biker /riskpool.htm " One other person responded with this opinion "...half of the fatalities are related to negotiating a curve prior to the crash; almost two thirds of the fatalities were associated with speeding as an operator contributing factor in the crash; collision with a fixed object is a significant factor in over half of the fatalities; More riders age 40 and over are getting killed; almost one third of the fatally injured operators did not have a proper license, and the list goes on. It seems that the automotive industry could do a bit more creative engineering to help alleviate some of these problems. What do you say we stop arguing about helmets and focus on educating the drivers of motorcycles and automobiles, and making our licensing require more actual skills???? " More people are riding = more bikes on the road = more accidents. Ride safe, there are too many control freaks out there waiting for the opportunity to rule us with tighter fist.


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Around the USA

Doobie or Not Doobie by Warren Woodward, President, Maui Chapter, Street Bikers United Hawaii Every non-profit organization dreams of having rich celebrities championing their cause. Giving their cash and fame, a celebrity can help in many ways. When I became president of the Maui Chapter, I wanted to get some of Maui’s motorcycle riding celebs on board with Street Bikers United Hawaii. Willie Nelson, Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers and his wife, Cris, live and ride here. I thought they should be members. Celebrities like these are next to impossible to contact. Their numbers aren’t listed and Internet searches turn up lots of references but no way to get in touch. Over the last 2 years, a few people had professed to know someone who knows someone who knows them but none of

those leads panned out. 2 days before their November 12th, 2006, concert here on Maui I saw the following ad: Meet The Doobie Brothers in person! Rub elbows with the legendary Doobie Brothers during intermission, have a group photo taken with them and receive an autographed poster along with your table seat and catered dinner. Special ticket price of $250. Space is limited to the first 50 people

not a star-struck person. The idea of paying any amount of money for a picture with anyone is idiotic to me. But there I was wearing my special “Meet & Greet” paper bracelet and waiting for my turn with the band who might as well have been cardboard cutouts for the amount of “Meeting & Greeting” that was going on.

ship application (the same one they have ignored at Maui Harley-Davidson), a Maui Toy Run flyer, and a 2 page letter explaining what SBU has done and is doing, where the money goes and where it doesn’t, how I would respect their privacy should they join, and an invitation to the Maui Toy Run.

If “Meeting” means shaking hands, and “Greeting” means saying “Hi”, well yeah, I met the Doobies; greeted ‘em too!

“Rub elbows with the legendary Doobie Brothers” was not false advertising. 5 at a time we were jammed against them for the photo op which was the total extent of the “Meet & Greet” session with them. Willie was there too, and when my turn came, I walked right up to Willie, shook his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Warren and I have an invitation for you.” He was visibly startled, as though I was serving him with a summons, but he took my envelope and put it in his pocket. Next I turned to Pat and did the same.

$250 is a lot of money to deliver SBU membership applications but, being the relentless crusader for SBU, I phoned the day before the show and got the very last “Meet & Greet” ticket. “It’s meant to be”, or so I thought. I appreciate talent of all kinds but I am

MRF Young Activist Scholarship Candidate Criteria:

1) Candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 30 with a valid motorcycle endorsement on their drivers license. 31st birthday must fall after MOTM that year. 2) Candidate must be a member in good standing of a State Motorcyclists' Rights Organization (SMRO). Length of membership required in SMRO to be determined by its members if candidate is qualified. 3) Candidates must be nominated by their SMRO. Nominations will be accepted from either state or local (District/Chapter/Local) SRMO groups, and must be submitted on an MRF-approved application form. 4) Nominations must be submitted between October 1st and July 15th and postmarked no late than July 1st of the year for which the application is submitted. 5) Candidates are to submit a minimum three hundred (300) word essay on why biker's rights are important to them. An well-written essay is like a picture of who the candidate is, and it gives the committee members a better perspective of the individual. Winning candidates will be announced via an MRF e-mail news release on or about August 15th. All candidates will be notified with a letter of thanks and encouragement to re-submit their candidacy for the next year if they are not the selected winner.

What Do Winning Candidates Receive?

1) One year membership in the MRF effective the first full day of Meeting of the Minds during the year in which they are selected. 2) Round-trip airfare to MOTM or alternate travel expenses so long as those expenses in total do not exceed the cost of traveling by air. If an alternate mode of transportation is chosen, candidates will be required to provide receipts in order to be reimbursed (receipts will be accepted for tickets on other modes of transportation), hotel accommodations, and gasoline. If there is any question about acceptable travel expenditures, it is the responsibility of the candidate to check with MRF prior to incurring said expense. 3) Hotel accommodations at MOTM. Accommodations will include room and taxes only. Telephone, food, movie rentals, etc. will be the sole responsibility of candidates. 4) MOTM conference and banquet fees waived. 5) Special recognition at MOTM. Recognition to include a plaque and presentation of a one-year individual MRF membership. 6) Winners are to submit one article to the MRF Reports and the Reps Blast telling of their SMRO activities and their experiences on attending the MOTMs.

How Winning Candidates Are Chosen:

MRF Young Activist Scholarship Fund Committee will be responsible for: 1) Promoting the program. 2) Reviewing all applications and choosing winner(s) 3) Chairman of MRF YAS Committee will notify all candidates of their decision. 4) In conjunction with appropriate MRF personnel, ensuring that all financial, travel, lodging and conference issues are addressed in a timely and professional manner. Projected Cost: Estimated not to exceed $750.00 per winning candidate. Number of winners will in part be determined by available funds.

People smiled, sipped from champagne flutes and nibbled nonsense food as they awaited their brush with fame and the picture to prove it. Me, I was hoping nobody I knew would see me and mistake me for someone with more money than brains. I had my precious envelopes with me— one for Willie, one for Pat and one for Cris. Inside each was an SBU member-

(continued page 13)

MRF Young Activist Scholarship Fund Nomination Form Date: ___________________________________________________________ Candidate Name: _________________________________________________ Candidate Address: _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Candidate Phone Number: __________________________________________ Candidate Date of Birth: ____________________________________________ Member of (SMRO): _______________________________________________ Please provide the following information on a separate piece of paper. Candidate Qualifications: 1) Please explain why you feel this person should be selected. 2) Other considerations: Explain any circumstances you feel are appropriate. Submitted by: ____________________________________________________ Signature / Position________________________________________________ (State / Local SMRO Presiding Officer) Mail to: Miles France, 10795 CR 197A, Lot 255, Nathrop, CO 81236 719-395-0360; miles@mrf.org


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Editor’s Note: Based on the feedback that the MRF has received regarding the listing of Sustaining Members, it has been decided that it should be discontinued in the newsletter except for the once-a-year issue leading up to Meeting of the Minds. The reasoning behind this decision is this: We would prefer to use the valuable space to print more news and photographs from Freedom Fighters from around the nation.

Lobbying in Washington DC 2007 Many Sustaining Members have said that they really don’t need to see their name in every issue of the MRF Reports. The listing is still available online at the MRF site, however. You can access it by logging onto www.mrf.org and clicking on ‘Sustaining Members’ from the main navigation. Ed.

Letter to the Editor Dear Editor, I would like to make a suggestion for the reports. The other day I needed the web sites or telephone numbers for the CO elected officials to the Federal Gov’t. I had to call the MRF office to get this info. Could we publish every issue the websites for the House, Senate, and the switchboard telephone # so we have an easy reference to find how to contact our

elected officials contact info. I don’t have the switchboard # but the house web site is: www.house.gov/writerep and the senate is www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_csm. Thanks Bruce Downs

Editor’s Note: U.S. Senate: You may phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

July/August 2007

U.S. House: You may phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the House Representative office you request.

Information about your Federal, State and Local Senate and Representatives is also available from a link at the top of the MRF web site’s home page (www.mrf.org). You will need your Zip+4 number when running this search.

By Fiz MRF State Representative from Michigan

This year’s DC trip started early in the morning on February 5th 2007.This was one of the coldest weeks I have ever seen in our nations capitol. With ABATE of Michigan’s tight budget for 2007 there was only enough in the budget to send two people to DC for a week; that was Jim Rhoades and myself. As many of you who have ever been to Washington DC know, it is a very expensive place to visit. For example, a cheap breakfast there is $10.00. I as well as Jim have been going to DC for many years. Even though the personal cost to us is a week off work and usually at least $300.00 in cash, we both realize the importance of lobbying our Federal Congressional Delegation. Back in 1985 when the Motorcycle Riders Foundation was created and the State Representative Program began, there was a national helmet law. I became the first Michigan State Motorcycle Riders Foundation Representative. I could see the need to lobby our Federal Representatives. ABATE could not afford to send anyone to DC so I put on raffles and anything else I could think of, to get enough money, to take a few board members to DC to lobby against the national helmet law. At ABATE’s Annual Meeting I was $100.00 light to be able to afford the trip. Thankfully an anonymous member donated the last $100.00 that was needed. In February of that year we had our first lobbying trip to DC. Michigan has from that time on been the first State to lobby in DC each year. Many states started sending people to DC after that, and finely in 1995 the Federal Helmet Law was repealed and the rest is history. This year we had only one issue to lobby for and that was to fill a loophole in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). We asked the Michigan Congressional Delegation to tell the insurance industry that they can no longer get away with refusing benefits that have been bought and paid for by motorcyclists. In 1996 to insure proper access to health insurance for all American workers, Congress passed the HIPPA Act. Once the bureaucrats at the US Department of Health and Human Services issued their final ruling on the law, they managed to allow a loophole that can be used to discriminate against motorcyclists when their need for health insurance is most needed, after an accident. The loophole also is used by insurance companies to deny benefits for any accidents that stem from horseback riding, snowmobiling, and snow skiing, just to mention a few.

The Democratic lead is new. Welcome, Michigan Representative Bart Stupak to the picture. He is an 8th term Democrat from the Upper Peninsula. Mr. Stupak’s district has tens-of-thousands of miles of snowmobiling trails and most of his constituents use their snow machines to commute, run errands, and socialize, making the snowmobile an integral part of everyday life. Mr. Stupak is also a close friend with the Chairmen of the House committee that has jurisdiction over the measure; and is a sub-committee chairman on the same full committee. The Senate sponsors are the same returning Senators as the previous session of Congress, Russ Feingold (DWI) and Susan Collins (R-ME). ABATE of Michigan and the MRF thanks all of the champions of this legislation. I urge all ABATE members to contact these Congressmen and thank them for there help. The House bill is HR1076 and the Senate bill number is S616. Please mention these numbers when contacting your Federal Representatives. My own Federal Representative Mr. McCotter was the first person to co-sign the house bill. He has been a supporter of ABATE since he was in the Michigan legislator As of today almost all of the Michigan Congressional Delegation has signed on as cosponsors. Within a 3-day period, Jim and I met with every Michigan Congressional office as well as Peter Nonis of the AMA. To our surprise some of the offices that have traditionally been against our efforts in DC have totally changed their opinion and said they would do what ever they could to help us close the HIPPA loophole. What a refreshing change! I would like to take a few lines to talk about our Vice President of Government Relations Jeff Hennie. I have over the years, of going to DC to lobby worked with every Vice President of Government Relations that have held this office. Jeff is the best and most knowledgeable person the MRF has ever had in this position. Jeff’s knowledge of how the government works is uncanny. His age is in the same range as the legislative aids that we generally meet with, so they tend to listen to what he has to say. Jeff’s experience from working on the hill before coming to the MRF gives him insight as to what the legislative aids are experiencing. I can’t say enough about his ability. If your MRO can send you to DC to lobby you will definitely see why I am so impressed with Jeff’s abilities.


July/August 2007

MotoRCyClE RIDERS FouNDAtIoN

Page 17

The NHTSA Region 5 Motorcycle Summit Well, as Mr. MRF President, Hardtail, duly noted in his article in the last issue of the “MRF Reports” we motorcycle rights activists will do our best to interact with NHTSA whenever the opportunity presents itself. I had mentioned to Jeff Hennie, MRF VP of Government Relations, that I was planning on attending the NHTSA Region 5 Motorcycle Summit and he asked if I would type up a few words about the event. I happily agreed. The summit took place on April 26th and 27th, 2007 in Indianapolis, Indiana and was hosted by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. More than 50 people attended representing the State Highway Safety Offices of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, NHTSA, Media People, and members from the SMROs of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. There were a variety of issues presented and discussed including motorist awareness campaigns, enforcement strategies, state by state problem identification, media perspectives, and methods that would be effective in reducing motorcycle crashes The good news from the conference was, drum roll please, no one said anything

about making helmets mandatory or getting mandatory helmet laws enacted. The bad news was………. no one said anything about making helmets mandatory or getting mandatory helmet laws enacted. Now I know ya’ll might be a bit confused by that sentence but the truth be told, we in the SMRO community are VERY aware of NHTSA’s stand on helmet usage.. So, in my mind, it’s both GOOD and BAD because, while I didn’t want to get into a war of words on this issue, I kinda wonder what they got up that left sleeve of theirs when it comes to helmet issues. Ahhhh well, let’s move on. There was a lot of good information exchange amongst the participants including an interesting development relating to motorcycle fatalities. It would seem, if one listened to the numbers coming from the various state organization that attended, that fatalities, using the 2006 numbers (these are just being released), that fatalities are on the decline in the states that make up Region 5. This is good news by any standard and we, as SMRO activists, should make every effort to get this kinda good news out. We also had an opportunity to interact

Left to right: Jim Elgin, Chairman of the Board, ABATE of Ohio, Inc, George Farris, NHTSA, Bob Secrest, Motorcycle Ohio Program Administrator, Lynn Wesly, MRF, ABATE of PA, Hairy George, State Legislative Director, ABATE of OH, Kristy O'Leary, MRF, OH.

Doobie or not Doobie An obviously more experienced “Meeter & Greeter”, he was more relaxed and actually smiled and said thank you. I gave him Cris’s envelope also. I met ‘em all right—greeted ‘em too! Any meaningful conversation was stifled since everyone faced the photographer who did all the talking—“Move closer!” “You, turn your shoulder.” Click. “Next!” And 5 more smiling suckers ambled in. It’s been a couple months since that day and I still haven’t heard from any of

with a member of the Indianapolis TV media on how to better get our message across on motorcycle safety and awareness issues. It became quite clear very early on in the discussion that, obviously, media outlets across the Region handled story assignments in many ways. It would seem that developing a good working relationship with the assignment editors of your various local media outlets was THE best method for guaranteeing positive media coverage.

We also participated in a “problem-solving” group activity that was, to say the least, a entertaining and educational exercise. We divided into groups, by table, and laid out the steps needed to address a particular issue, like rider “impairment”. I found it kinda kewl watching how the members of our group, which consisted of SMRO people, a State program administrator and a NHTSA member, interacted to solve our “problem”.

Bob Secrest, the Administrator of Ohio’s rider education program, “Motorcycle Ohio”, discussed their innovative new trial rider’s education effort, called the “BRC-2”. This program is targeted at those riders who have been multiple temp permit holders or who have some motorcycle training. It is a shorter version of the standard BRC and, if a participant successfully completes the course, would qualify him/her to receive their full motorcycle endorsement. The program is currently available only in the Columbus area of Ohio but, if successful, it will be expanded statewide. Wisconsin’s “Strategies to Counter Motorcycle Crashes” presentation was also very instructive.

The conclusion of the 2 day event include an news conference about the event and a presentation by ABATE of Indiana announcing their “May is Motorcycle Awareness Month” campaign. All in all I was not surprised by most of the information that I received, with the exception of the declining fatalities number, but the networking of so many different groups continues to show results and is definitely worth the effort. I’m still waiting for that other shoe to drop though……………………………. Ride SMART and I’ll see ya’ll down the blacktop. Hairy George State Legislative Director ABATE of Ohio, Inc.

This picture is related to the "Problem Solving" part of the summit, one of which features Jay Jackson, MRF Director of Rider Education.

More of the "Problem Solving" portion of the summit, including Dan Jefferies, Indiana Criminal Justice Instittue and myself, Hairy George.

(continued)

them. Pat’s bio on the Doobie’s website says, “He and Cris are avid motorcycle enthusiasts. Both love to ride their Harleys and enjoy attending motorcycle events….” Sure. That’s why we never see them at any of the runs here on Maui. The website also boasts of their supporting Hurricane Katrina relief, the National Veterans Foundation, and Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui. The concert I paid $250 (of my money, not SBU’s) to attend was a benefit for the private Montessori School of Maui. All good causes I’m sure, but what about us?

The biker band front man doesn’t have even $20 for SBU? I’ve had people buy memberships with the last $20 in their pocket and these “avid motorcycle enthusiast” celebrities don’t have $20?!

And so it is with too many celebrities who ride. They are Freedom Freeloaders. They enjoy freedoms hard won by others but contribute absolutely nothing themselves.

Willie is listed in the $25,000 to $49,000 per year donor category at the Montessori School website. His support for various causes is well known. And Mana’o Radio constantly reminds us that he’s one of their benefactors. But what about us? He rides on Maui but doesn’t have $20 for SBU?

Oh well, it was a good concert, but I don’t think I’ll be going again.


July/August 2007

MOTORCYCLE RIDERS FOUNDATION Board of Directors

Board Assistants 

MRF Reports

Tom Greenbank Products

EDItoR

PRESIDENT Kirk “Hardtail” Willard 715-421-0717 kirk@mrf.org

Miles France State Reps Program Director 719-395-0360 miles@mrf.org

VICE-PRESIDENT  Michael “Boz” Kerr 773-583-2764 boz@mrf.org

Products Director OPEN

Polly Schoeller Membership polly@mrf.org

John Pierce Membership Director 901-409-7170 john@mrf.org

Susan Huttman Communications susan@mrf.org

Gary Slawter State Reps Board Member 989-614-6475 slawterbiker@yahoo.com

Paulette Pinkham Safety paulette@mrf.org

VICE PRESIDENT OF GOV’T RELATIONS Jeff Hennie 202-546-0983 jeff@mrf.org SECRETARY Deborah Butitta 928-445-8010 deb@mrf.org TREASURER Chuc Coulter 208-343-7452 fax 208-345-2003 chuc@mrf.org Communications Director OPEN Carol Downs Conference Director 303-369-2684 downs@mrf.org Dave Dwyer SSMRO Board Member 608-742-0144 dad@mrf.org Cindy Hodges Member Representative 919-266-2653 cindy@mrf.org Jay Jackson Motorcycle Safety/Rider Ed. 317-422-8040 jay@mrf.org Steve Zimmer MRFPAC Director 614-985-4727 steve@mrf.org

Todd Riba State Reps Board Member mrfrep@abatemn.com

Todd Suda Grant Writing dukestodd@excite.com

Carol Simpson Member Representative 615-944-9797 simpson@mrf.org Steve Zimmer Supporting SMRO Board Member 614-985-4727 steve@mrf.org Eric Hampton MRF Reports Editor 602-788-4132 editor@mrf.org Webmaster OPEN Sarah Muckenhoupt DC Office Adminstrator mrfoffice@mrf.org

MAIL TO BOARD MEMBERS

may be sent to the MRF office and will be forwarded. If you must mail time-sensitive material to a board member, contact that person by phone or email first to make arrangements.

Ex-Officio Board Mark Buckner, Colorado 303-833-3195 markbuckner@msn.com Marc Falsetti, Indiana 317-422-8040 marcf@abateofindiana.org Rick Gray, Pennsylvania 717-393-0266 rick@mrf.org Lynn Oldenburg 301-854-0891 lynn@mrf.org

Mission Statement

Eric Hampton editor@mrf.org Send all submissions for publication to:

editor@mrf.org 602-788-4132

To continue developing an aggressive, independent national advocacy for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle, which is financially stable and exceeds the needs of motorcycling enthusiasts.

DEADlINE

The FIRST of every even-numbered month ADDRESS ChANgE

Please send in writing to: Motorcycle  Riders Foundation 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE Suite 510 Washington, DC 20002-4980 mrfoffice@mrf.org

MRF Office

236 Massachusetts Ave. NE Suite 510 Washington, DC 20002-4980 Phone: 202-546-0983 Fax: 202-546-0986 mrfoffice@mrf.org Website

http://www.mrf.org

Mission Goals Maintain and improve our ability to act as an advocate before national, state and local legislative, executive and judicial bodies, and with private or public entities, regarding issues affecting motorcycles, motorcyclists or motorcycling. Maintain and improve our financial base and ensure financial stability. Maintain and improve our capability to meet and exceed the needs of our membership base and all state motorcyclists’ rights organizations. Maintain and improve our capability to be the national information center for motorcyclists’ rights information. Enhance the training of national, state and local motorcyclists’ rights activists.

This newsletter is an official publication of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Suite 510, Washington, D.C. 20002-4980; phone (202) 546-0983; fax (202) 546-0986. All rights reserved. Portions may be reprinted with proper attribution. MRF Reports is published six times a year and distributed nationwide. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent those of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, its officers or representatives. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation will not knowingly contract with or do business with any entity that discriminates against motorcyclists in any way, shape or form.

For your convenience, we can accept memberships, donations,conference registrations and product orders by phone or fax, or via our website, using VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.


July/August 2007

MotoRCyClE RIDERS FouNDAtIoN

Page 19

New Board Members Needed Goodday MRF Members, This year the MRF has two opening on the Board of Directors. One is the MRF Member Representative and the other is the Supporting State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organization Board Member. All the criteria involving these positions is explained in detail following this FYI. Miles France Chairman of Elections Committee ============================= 1. Member Representative Board Members: There shall be two (2) member representatives, elected after Meetings of the Minds by the membership through a ballot in the next MRF REPORTS. The Board of Directors shall nominate no less than two (2) persons for any such position, additional nominations may be received by Petition of fifty (50) then active members of the MRF. Anyone nominated for such a position must have been a member in good standing of the MRF for at least one year prior to the date of their election. Voters are Individual, Individual Sustaining and Joint MRF Members. 2. Supporting State Motorcyclists’

We are there…watching

Support Your Voice in Washington, DC

Help Build MRFPAC! Contributions of $5 and $10 can go a long way to make our voices heard in DC and coast-to-coast Send to:  Motorcycle Riders Foundation, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE,  Suite 510, Washington, DC 20002 Please make checks payable to MRFPAC Donations to MRFPAC are not Tax Deductible We cannot accept corporate checks 

Rights Organizations Board Members: There shall be two (2) at large board members elected by the state motorcyclists’ organizations which have requested recognition and fulfilled the requirements of a supporting state motorcyclists’ organization as specified herein. Each supporting state motorcyclists’ rights organization shall have one vote for each position which shall be cast by its highest elected officer. Any organization open to membership on a statewide basis may choose to participate in the election of Supporting State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations Board Members. State Organizations wishing to do so must meet the following qualifications: (A) Having previously been recognized by the MRF as a supporting SMRO, or (B) Having existed as a viable functioning entity for at least two years prior to the time of voting; be in support of the MRF’s purposes and be a sustaining member of the MRF for the year in which they choose to vote. If the MRF BOD questions the status of a viable functioning entity for at least two years, articles of incorporation shall suffice. Recognition once given may be withdrawn only by ¾ votes of the members of the Board of Directors and after notice to the SMRO that the Board of Directors will be considering withdrawing such recognition together with an opportunity to be heard.

No Need for Training Wheels by Tammie Kheocha-on MRF intern/office assistant The textbooks tell me that as a "young adult," life is pretty exciting because this is when all the "firsts" happen. I left home for the first time, I went on my first business trip, and most importantly, I went on my first motorcycle ride. It has been a little over a year since I first began working for the MRF and I've never been on a real motorcycle (it is ludicrous). Fortunately, Bruce offered to take me for a ride when he came out to Washington.

on the school bus for the first time. "Just lean right when you see a right turn coming up, and lean left when you see a left turn coming up" were Bruce's instructions to me. Eager to depart, I hopped on, sat back, and just took in the scenery. For some reason that I cannot explain, it was much different to see the monuments and federal buildings from the back of a bike. Although I have walked and driven by these sights many times, I felt as though I was seeing them again for the first time.

Do you remember those early days when you sat there, leather-clad and hair blowing in the wind? How the bike roared like a lion declaring its reign? As nice as that may sound, I can't say the same. Waddling out of the MRF building, there I was -- hidden in an over-sized jacket with my face squeezed into a helmet. I was equipped to go out into orbit, not take a ride through downtown Washington, DC.

Leaving the city and going on the highway was another new adventure for me. It was nothing less than thrilling to be out of "stop and go" traffic and riding smoothly down the road. I loved being in the open air because it was liberating (except when we were next to a semi). The outdoors is much nicer without a roof over your head. Sadly, my ride had to come to an end in Falls Church, Virginia. Stepping (or tumbling) off the bike, I realized that although it was over, it was not going to be my last ride.

Sarah and Jeff were waiting to send me off like proud parents putting their child

The author is extremely grateful to Bruce for bringing her out on her first ride!


MRF Committees By-Laws: Michael “Boz� Kerr (Chair), Carol Downs, Deborah Butitta, Kirk Willard, Paulette Pinkham Communications: Deborah Butitta (Chair), Jeff Hennie, Susan Huttman, John Pierce, Michael “Boz� Kerr, Paulette Pinkham, Eric Hampton Conferences & Meetings: Carol Downs (Chair), Kirk Willard, Jeff Hennie, Cindy Hodges, Carol Simpson, Todd Riba, Steve Zimmer Elections: Miles France (Chair), Chuc Coulter, Dave Dwyer, Cindy Hodges, Dave Anderson Finance: Carol Downs (Chair), Kirk Willard, Chuc Coulter, John Pierce, Dave Anderson Grants & 501(c)3: Michael “Boz� Kerr (Chair), Kirk Willard, Chuc Coulter, Susan Huttman, Todd Suda, Dave Dwyer, Jeff Hennie, Deborah Butitta, Jay Jackson, Paulette Pinkham, Dave Anderson Marketing: Deborah Butitta (Chair), Susan Huttman, John Pierce, Cindy Hodges, Todd Riba, Eric Hampton Membership: John Pierce (Chair), Miles France, Sarah Muckenhoupt, Cindy Hodges, Polly Schoeller, Todd Riba MRF PAC: Steve Zimmer (Chair), Michael �Boz� Kerr, Chuc Coulter, Dave Dwyer, Jeff Hennie, Dave Anderson Products: Carol Downs (Chair), Chuc Coulter, Lynn Oldenburg, Polly Schoeller, Helen Wesson, Dave Anderson Reps Growth Group: Miles France (Chair), Cindy Hodges (co-chair), Carol Simpson, Susan Huttman, Polly Schoeller, Todd Riba YAS Fund: Miles France (Chair), Cindy Hodges, Carol Downs, Jeff Hennie, Susan Huttman, Steve Eggleston Farmer's Award: Kirk Willard, Mark Buckner Federal Leg. Awards: Dave Dwyer (Chair), Michael Kerr, Carol Simpson, Steve Zimmer, Jeff Hennie, Todd Riba Lifetime Achievement Award: Kirk Willard, Deborah Butitta Reps Awards: Miles France (Chair), Polly Schoeller, Todd Riba Safety Recognition: Jay Jackson (Chair), Carol Downs, John Pierce, Chuc Coulter, Paulette Pinkham

+0$+##2',%-$2&#+',"1.0#0#%'1202'-, (Must be received by August 20, 2007 to qualify for discounted rate) Registration includes all workshops, workshop materials, and Saturday banquet. $60.00 Current individual MRF member (before Aug. 20th) $70.00 Non-MRF member (before Aug. 20th)

State Leg. Awards: Dave Dwyer (chair), Cindy Hodges, Steve Zimmer, Jeff Hennie, Carol Simpson, Todd Riba Alcohol Awareness: Jay Jackson (chair), Steve Zimmer, Jeff Hennie, Dave Dwyer, Lynn Oldenburg, Susan Huttman, Carol Simpson, Carol Downs, Paulette Pinkham Outside Conferences: Carol Downs (chair), Jeff Hennie, Steve Zimmer, Carol Simpson, Kirk Willard, Lynn Oldenburg

$70.00 Current individual MRF member (after Aug. 20th) $80.00 Non-MRF member (after Aug. 20th)

PLEASE PRINT NAME ADDRESS CITY

STATE

ZIP

PHONE Send check or money order to: MRF, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20002-4980 before August 20, 2007. After August 20, 2007 registration fee increases $10.00 per person. For room reservations call the Cedar Rapids Marriott 319-393-6600 (mention MRF for group rate). Room rate $69 per night. Room reservation cut-off date, September 1.

MRF Reports - July/August 2007  

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the leading voice for you, the street rider, in Washington, D.C. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is com...

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