Opening Day of the NC Legislature

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

On Wednesday, January 26, 2005 over 200 bikers from North Carolina and as far away as Albany, New York converged on Raleigh, North Carolina for the opening of the 2005-2006 legislative session. The purpose of this lobby day was for North Carolina bikers to show their elected officials that they care enough about the future of motorcycling to take the day off from work and travel to Raleigh in freezing January temperatures to voice their opinion. Legislative packets were made by volunteers of North Carolina BikePAC. Biker constituents personally delivered the packets to their legislators on the first day of session to show we are serious about getting our legislation passed.

The event was sponsored by North Carolina BikePAC and Full Throttle Magazine of North Carolina. Mark and Molly Infield from Full Throttle along with BikePAC members sponsored a tent and a catered traditional North Carolina barbecue lunch for the legislators, their assistants, and their families. Sutton's Catering reported that 575 plates of barbecue were provided to the attendees. North Carolina bikers would like to thank Mark and Molly for their unwavering support of bikers' rights. North Carolina bikers would not be making the same impact without the support of Full Throttle Magazine.

In attendance were members from all 18 chapters of CBA/ABATE of NC, the CMA (Wide Turn Ministries), NC BikePAC, NC Retreads, Vietnam Vets MC, NC Vulcan's Group, Titans MC, Rolling Thunder, as well as several other independent riders and clubs. We would like to thank Walt and Mary Le Couteur of Wide Turn Ministries for providing coffee for the riders.

Larry Moyer from Albany, New York flew in the night before to be on hand for this event and flew back to NY after the event ended. For those of you who don't know Larry, he and his wife "Tee" were run over by a hit-and-run car driver while traveling through NC in 2003. Tee instantly died from her injuries and Larry suffered debilitating injuries that will effect him for the rest of his life. Larry will be back to North Carolina in the coming months during the prosecution of the hit-and-run driver. For those of you bikers who think it will never happen to you and that bikers rights are for someone else, you need to sit down and talk to Larry. He will explain to you in heart-breaking detail why getting involved in bikers rights is critical. Having Larry fly in from New York to support this event was an uplifting experience for all of the bikers who were fortunate enough to talk to him.
Our hearts are with you Brother.

Also in attendance were Dave "Tweek" and Debbie Hockaday from Scootworks in Zebulon. Not only did they ride their bikes to the event and bring several friends, but they closed their bike shop for the day to attend this event. That should tell you all something about their commitment to supporting bikers rights. If more dealerships and bike shops in North Carolina supported bikers' rights, we would be much further in executing on our legislative agenda. Thanks to the Scootworks team for their attendance. Scootworks is a small, but growing business. Large multi-million dollar dealerships could take a lesson from Scootworks on how to support bikers rights.

NC BikePAC and the CBA's Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Program (MSAP) were both featured under the tent. Several riders became new BikePAC members and the donations to BikePAC were greatly appreciated. US Rider Magazine (formerly Dixie Rider) made a generous donation to the CBA's MSAP and Full Throttle Magazine of North Carolina matched thier donation and pledged continued support of the MSAP. The focus of this program is to teach high school drivers education students to share the road with motorcycles. US Rider and Full Throttle's donation to furthering this program is greatly appreciated. This program WILL SAVE BIKERS' LIVES in North Carolina. Please get involved with this program. Special thanks goes out to Gail and Larry Rumler, Sherry Hand, Cat, and Jim and Peg Burns for manning the MSAP and BikePAC booths the entire day.

CBA Life Member Bruce Harris was interviewed by a reporter and had a nice segment on the Raleigh evening news. Bruce represented us well and we thank him for articulating our legislative agenda so passionately and professionally.

Sam Nobles and Deb Knox started planning this event over 8 months ago. Their preparation and hard work was evident by the appreciation shown by the legislators and the fun had by the bikers who attended. This is the type of event that motivates us all to continue the fight for equality and freedom.

Deb and Sam ... YOU TWO ARE CHAMPIONS !!!

North Carolina CBA and BikePAC members are supporting the following state legislation during the 2005-2006 legislative session:

May as Motorcycle Awareness Month: We support a proclamation that will declare every May in North Carolina as Motorcycle Awareness Month. Passing this legislation will raise awareness for North Carolina’s 150,000+ motorcyclists.

Amendment to Helmet Law: We support a bill that will allow adult riders the right to choose whether they wear a helmet. The current unconstitutional mandatory helmet law reduces tourism and ignores the age of responsibility that has been established for military service to our country and the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

ROW Bill: We support a bill that will increase the penalties for car drivers who fail to yield right of way and kill motorcyclists and all other road users.

Anti-discrimination bill: We support the passing of a bill that will outlaw discrimination against bikers for any reason including discrimination because of attire (back patches).

We also support the MRF's federal legislative agenda at: http://www.mrf.org/legislateagenda.php

Below are over 100 pictures of North Carolina's most dedicated Legislative Warriors.


CLICK on the thumbnails below to enlarge the images


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