I Hate Biker Funerals!
Published in September 2005 issue of Southern Motorcycle Times

Recently I attended the monthly meeting of a large, manufacturer sponsored riding club. They had just completed a successful bike raffle and had generated many thousands of dollars for their treasury. This group is a great bunch of riders who work their butts off all year to raise this money. Around the holidays they dole out the money to worthy charities that benefit children and families in need. This meeting reminded me of how dedicated bikers are to raising money for charity.

Many different riding clubs generate a lot of money. However, how many of them actually try to help other bikers with that money? How many of them put some of their funds to motorcycle awareness programs? Motorcycle Awareness programs aim to go into the drivers' education classes in high schools and teach the new drivers to share the road with motorcycles. Those programs save bikers' lives every year.

How many of those riding clubs purchase motorcycle awareness bumper stickers, fund radio, TV, or print public service announcements (PSAs), or fund motorcycle awareness billboards on major highways? You have all seen them. "Look Twice, Save a Life. Motorcycles are Everywhere".

Are other charities in our communities more deserving of our charity dollars than bikers? If these motorcycle awareness programs save the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters, why won't more riding clubs fund these awareness programs? Why won't they start their own awareness program if they don't want to help fund the existing programs?

Personally, I've been to a few too many biker funerals. I just don't want to go to any more biker funerals. My extra income will be used to purchase motorcycle awareness bumper stickers since I can't afford to fund a billboard. See the NCRider.com bumper sticker page to purchase these. (www.ncrider.com/bumpersticker-page.htm) I do NOT sell these bumper stickers. But I have links to people who do. These bumper stickers can be bought in bulk for as little as 25 cents each.

My extra income will also go towards funding the only motorcycle awareness program that I know of in North Carolina. The Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Program (M.S.A.P.) created by the Concerned Bikers Association. (www.ncrider.com/MSAP-page.htm)

Some riding clubs promote motorcycle safety by encouraging their riders to take rider safety classes. That is an excellent way for riders to learn how to ride defensively. However, we all know that it is usually not the rider who is at fault. It is the cage driver. That is why motorcycle awareness programs are CRITICAL to our survival on the road.

Two-thirds of at-fault car drivers do not have an emotional connection to motorcycling. They do not ride themselves. They do not have a family member that rides. They do not have close friends that ride. And they have NO REASON to look for motorcycles. It is our job as bikers to give them a reason and to get to know them through awareness programs and get them to look for us on the road. Until we all start taking on this responsibility, we will all continue to attend biker funerals.

If you are a member of a large riding club, and you feel that awareness programs are just as important as charities, then please propose to your group that they allocate some of their charity funds to motorcycle awareness programs.

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