Why I Joined?
Written by RAZ
Copyright RAZ 2005


I am not a joiner. What’s the old Groucho Marx line? “I’d never belong to a club that would have me as a member”? . There’s nothing wrong with group activities, but it’s just not for me. I would rather ride alone or with a few trusted friends and hang out away from the crowds.

But in the last few years things have been happening in this country that bother me. The rights that have been won and preserved for us (at a great cost, by the way) are slowly slipping away. In our society there is always someone else to blame. We make a choice to use tobacco, then blame the tobacco company when it makes us sick. We eat junk food and blame the restaurant for our heart disease. Even when it is a result of our own action (or inaction), we look to the courts or the government to look out for us. That’s when I realized that by not taking responsibility for things we have control over, there is always someone to take over for us. It seems to me that as we give up our personal responsibilities, we are also giving up our liberties.

In this world of uncertainty, many of us will embrace security regardless of the cost. I agree that we should give authority as needed to deal with the enemies of our country. But should every citizen sacrifice his privacy? And even if those currently in power would never abuse the power now being given to them, what will prevent someone in the future from abusing them to go after their personal or political enemies?

So what can I do about all this? Probably not much. But I realized that there may be a fight that I have a chance of winning. A smaller fight, but a fight for some of the important things in my life. The freedom to choose the way I ride. The freedom to ride what I want to ride. The freedom to ride without being discriminated against. The right to medical coverage even if I ride a bike. To have a voice about our freedom and the opportunity to speak out against those who want to restrict it.

That’s why I joined a Motorcycle Rights Organization. There are MRO’s fighting for our rights in our home states. There are national rights organizations working with Congress in DC. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) are two that have worked closely with both House of Representatives and the Senate on the issues important to us. There are also state organizations like ABATE and others. MRO’s are involved in safety issues, from assuring the involvement of motorcyclists in highway planning and safety, to educating cagers and make them aware of our vulnerabilities. Oh yeah, and fighting for the freedom to choose to wear a helmet.

The safetycrats, EPA, and insurance companies have lots of big bucks to help spread their misinformation. MRO’s are supported solely by their membership. See a funding gap? So join something- even if you personally don’t get involved, your membership fees will help support the freedom fighters.

So I belong to something now. I can join in rides, attend meetings, make new friends, or take part in “social events”. Or I can choose to ride by myself. It’s my right.

RAZ is a newly involved biker rights activist from North Carolina. You can contact him at Dragonglide91@yahoo.com

Copyright RAZ 2005