Safety & Education
Mike Stock

PO Box 1658, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
1-800-25-BIKER
local: 614-319-3644
safety-ed@abate.com
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Safety & Education Director
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Phone 419-654-5446 or E-mail

September 2014

 Hi Friends,

    We are almost out of summer and we have had many less motorcycle crashes but deaths are close to the same as last year, an interesting and disturbing statistic. Regardless of why I think the statistics are like this, it is evidence that too many of our Ohio Brothers and Sisters are losing their lives on the roads.

Crashes:† 2014 Ė 1465 and 2013 Ė 2369
† Fatalities: 2014 Ė 70 2013 Ė 77

    When traveling, you need to prepare for the unexpected.

    The first thing you need is a good idea of where you are going, what roads you will be on to get there and how much time you will be in the saddle between rests. Be realistic about how much you, and others in your party, can do in one day. Itís not necessary to log the most miles, only to have a good time. If you use your phone for navigation, also make sure you have a paper map with you. There are places where your phone wonít work. Your passenger should be paying attention to the route and help look for road signs, dangers such as dogs or merging cars, and watching the rear mirrors to make sure the bikes behind are all following. Folks, if you see someone drop off from your group, STOP with them as soon as safe to do so.

    Do not be so oblivious that you leave someone with a problem miles behind. Once a problem happens, the most important thing to know is what you have available for roadside service. Know what your insurance offers or what is available through organizations you belong to, and make sure it will cover your bike. My roadside assistance (recently used) covers 30 miles to the nearest service point. I had to pay $60 but they paid $270 because it was $4 a mile. I sure was happy I didnít have to pay it all.† †

    As summer comes to an end, events and rides are happening everywhere. Every weekend there are 4 or 5 things happening within 20 miles of me. How to choose? Itís not always easy. Since I am an active member of a motorcycle rights organization, I mostly ride for freedom of the road. Us old guys remember when there werenít so many bikes on the roads and we had to fight to keep our lifestyle. Fights always cost money, and local clubs and motorcycle organizations provided that money. These clubs and organizations need our dollars to stay afloat, so we need to support their rides and events whenever possible. As far as organizations, supporting AMA means supporting motorcycling all over the world. Join- ing the MRF gives motorcyclists in the United States a voice in the federal government. ABATE works for you on the state level to combat laws and policies that are not motorcycle friendly. Local club members usually belong to one or more of these organizations, as they understand what it takes to maintain our freedom. The next time there is an event to support a motorcycle club or organization, please be there and let them know you appreciate what they do for us.

   We need to keep checking a few things:††

  • 1. Distracted driving is still a problem. We need to keep reminding our friends and family that we need to pay attention.††
  • 2. Keep checking our new riders and make sure they are getting trained and have proper insurance.††
  • 3. Every time you ride, do a visual inspection on your bike and include your friendís bike. Not everyone gets their bike checked out by a service person every month, so help your friends out. ††

                  Ride Within Your Limits
                            Mike Stock
               State Safety & Education Director
                    mikestock419@gmail.com
                    419-654-5446


  • August 2014

     Hi Friends,

       What a great summerwe are having! Yes,we have had some rain but not much on weekends and not to the point of stopping a great ride. I see more riders on the road this year than years past. With this being said, we need to keep up the fight to ride Smart. The stats for this year are rising:

  • 2013 Ė 1725 crashes and 54 fatalities.
  • 2014 - 1088 crashes and 47 fatalities.
  •     Keep putting signs out, check on your friends and talk up riding smart.

        You have seen our rubber wristbands that say ďLook Twice Save a LifeĒ. We have new stock and would like to get them out to everyone. At the State board meeting we passed out these wristbands to every region to sell on consignment. Letís push them because itís a good way to get the word out. If you are doing a special event and need some for free, contact me and we will see what we can do. Has everyone purchased a new neon Foundation shirt? They are going fast. We have added some new styles since the start, so check them out at the next state event. Starting at $10.00 - what a deal. And itís a great way to spread the ďLook Twice Save a LifeĒ message.

        I have been out and about spreading the word about Motorcycle Awareness. One event that I think I made a great impression was at the BP Refinery Safety Fair in Toledo. Dan Waterfield helped us get in and we appreciate that. I will be returning to the Worthington Industries Safety Fair in Columbus in September. Love talking to non-motorcycle folks for a change of pace. They are very interested in what ABATE stands for and the things we do. I also always find bikers who are not members and try to educate them on the benefits of joining. Hopefully some of them follow up.

        To pass on some good news, there is a new head guy at Motorcycle Ohio, George ďChuckĒ Stiteler. Welcome and hope all goes well. MO is hunting for Instructors and you can go online and get all the info at http://www.motorcycle.ohio.gov/ . Time is short so they are willing to work with any interested person. Last and then Iím out of here. On TV, ďThe NewsĒ only seems to report the worst parts of everything. We need to let them know immediately when they get the facts wrong, before its old news. And we need to work on not giving them bad things to report, such as NOISE - watch the throttle out time in towns and SPEED - stay within the posted speed limit and set a good example. Remember ride SMART. The police will use these as reasons to stop you and maybe cite you for something else. That would be BAD NEWS and TV news would report it, and blow it out of proportion in a heartbeat.

                  Ride Within Your Limits
                            Mike Stock
               State Safety & Education Director
                    mikestock419@gmail.com
                    419-654-5446


    July 2014

     Hi Friends,

        MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS: We are pushing this statement and for the most part it is working. We also need to keep in our minds that we, the motorcycle rider, need to ride more aware than ever before. There are more cars on the roads than ever before along with the multiplying number of motorcycles, itís crazy. Everyone is in a hurry to get where they are going and drivers are a million miles away in their thoughts. We need to keep our attention on the road and the cars around us and not be distracted by other things.

       The numbers as of June 6th :

    2014: Crashes 619 Fatalities 23
    2013: Crashes 1132 Fatalities 33
        We need to keep pushing Motorcycle Awareness, in every form we have at hand, but not forget that our riding habits mean more than anything we do.

        I went for a ride with new friends of friends, it was different.Everyone was on their own track all over the place and it did not make me feel safe. The friends I ride with the most ride in a formation, that meaning the left front bike is lead the right bike is beside him or just behind, always making sure that he can see himself in the left bikes mirror. Using this formation all the way to the back keeps it organized. I read an article in the past few weeks that called this riding ABATE style, and it made me proud. Itís the safest way to ride in a group. A lot of groups have their own formations but they need to be organized. Donít be afraid to move to the back if you arenít comfortable. There is a problem that is coming to a head in Ohio with our friends that ride year after year on a temporary permit. Letís help them get to riding class or the DMV and get their endorsement because it is hurting all of us. Michigan has just passed a law that a person can only get a temporary permit twice in 10 years. We can police ourselves by helping our fellow riders get their endorsement and make sure they get good Insurance. Itís what a brother does.

        Hope everyone is having a great riding season. The weather has been great on the weekends. It will be getting even better as summer approaches. When it does rain, stop and take a break. Let the rain wash the crap off the roads, get your gear on and go riding again.

        Ok Iím done here and everyone be safe and careful out there. See you down the road.

                  Ride Within Your Limits
                            Mike Stock
               State Safety & Education Director
                    mikestock419@gmail.com
                    419-654-5446


    June 2014

     Hi Friends,

       The Motorcycle season is officially started we have had two warm days in a row. Motorcycle Ohio had its kick off to get them into full swing. One comment I heard was it has snowed, been cold and lots of rain but they are still getting riders trained. Training alone will not keep us all safe. We still need more training, be aware, stay alert and wear the right gear.

       The 2014 Awareness Rally and After Rally went off very well. We had a great turn out for the type of weather we started out with. Overall it was a great day. The tire winner this year was Rodger Kahrs. Thank you for supporting ABATE. The Governorís Resolution was read on the State House steps and our members collected 187 Proclamations throughout this great State. Thanks to Imre Szauter for his words as he is always there for us. To Region 9, I canít say "Thank You" enough. You all came together and put a great After Rally together. GREAT JOB!

       May 30th to June 8th 2014 is Ohio Bike Week. This is our state so letís get out and support this rally. Even if you only come for one day this year you will have a great time. They have great bands and entertainment of all types.

       June Jam is a must because this is our state fund raiser. Even if you canít make it, buy a ticket and support ABATE of Ohio Inc. Iím ready to see some of the members that I only see there. Itís just a great time. Karla is still hunting for more vendors and will take them up to and during the event. Oh yes, I will be there with the Sound Meter. What a great way to check out how much of a Nuisance you are.

        Till the next time have a good riding season and be careful out there. As always if you need me call, text or e-mail.

                  Ride Within Your Limits
                            Mike Stock
               State Safety & Education Director


    April 2014

        Hi Friends,

        The stats are still good; evidence of a bad winter. Our goal going forward is to keep them low.
    2014 Crashes 74
    Deaths 2
                2013 Crashes 168
    Deaths 7

       Here we are the first of May, and as we are getting our magazine, it is time to kick off May as Motorcycle Awareness Month. Some of us will be in Columbus going to the State House to listen to talks from legislators and ABATE officers and then attending the After Rally Party. Iím sure that if the weather man is good to us we will have a great turn out and take in this great event. Take the time to promote Motorcycle awareness, it is the best way we can make our presence known because motorists need reminded on a regular basis.

       The next big state fun event is June Jam and we need everyone to come out and support this event. This event should support the state through most of the year. Itís not just a party, it is ABATEís main fundraiser. Carla and the team have put a great agenda together: new bands, more games and more entertainment from the crowd. Donít forget that Kaeppnerís Woods in the Hocking Hills area is set in some of the best riding roads in Ohio. From now on carry a hand full of fliers with you and hang them up in places you go. Talk the event up - it is fun.

       Now for a little Education. The Motorcycle Ohio riding program is in full swing. All you need is to get out and sign up for a class. Start with the basic course then move up to the experienced class. Even if your wife or girlfriend does not want to ride on the road as a driver, get her to take the course with you. She will be a much better passenger.

       Now for a little Safety. The TV stations have been treating us very good in northwest Ohio this spring season. We have had several awareness type stories that have been very good. If they just keep helping us get the word out to ďLook Twice and Save a LifeĒ or ďWatch for MotorcyclesĒ, it will make a difference. Anytime you can sell a sign or give out a magnet you are making a difference. The last couple times I was in Columbus, the overhead signs have had on them ďLook Out For MotorcyclesĒ.

       Iím so happy that April brought us some nicer weather and Iím sure that we have all been out getting that saddle time in. Donít forget when walking up to your bike to check out tires, any oil under bike, hanging or lost straps and parts not looking like they should. If you see something that doesnít look quite right, get it checked out.

       Every time we get on our bike we are under review. Someone is looking at us or listening to us. Letís remember that our next bike regulation could be SOUND. You can help by thinking: Maybe I should be good now Iím in a residential area or quiet zone. Ok, thatís it. Ride safe and if you need me give me a call. I will come and talk to your group, giving a power point on being Responsible called the 3Rís.

                            Ride Within Your Limits
                            Mike Stock
               State Safety & Education Director
                       ABATE of Ohio, Inc.
                       safety-ed@abate.com or 419-654-5446


    March 2014

        Hi Friends,

       Last year was a good year. We had fewer fatalities than in the previous three years.

    2013 = 133 2012 = 163 2011 = 166 2010 = 168

        We are going in the correct direction and need the number to go even lower. Keep up the good work.

        Keep talking to your fellow riders, family and friends about Motorcycle Awareness.

        When the snow finally goes away you may need a new sign. Make sure you always have one in your yard. If you find a bike shop, leather shop or accessory shop that wants to sell them on consignment, have them contact me to set it up.

        Alcohol is one of our safety problems. I love a beer with the best of them, but with the number of bikes and cars and trucks and SUVs on the road today, we need to be alert and not distracted. Last year we dropped down to 19.44% alcohol related fatalities and serious injuries. This is down from 50%! We need to stay on this and it will help us reach our end goal of less fatalities.

        At the seminar I showed the 3Rs Program. The 3 Rs are to BE RESPONSIBLE, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and RIDE RESPONSIBLE. I know Iím like a broken record but we need to stay after it (IT IS IMPORTANT). Donít let a friend ride impaired.

        It may be the time of year that your insurance is due for renewal. A wise man told me that if you donít check your policy and price check it every year that you are paying too much. There are many good companies out there and you need to find one that is in your budget and offers the coverage you want. It is expensive to go to the hospital, so donít take the minimum coverage. Upgrade to make sure you and anyone riding with you are covered.

        Seems like every magazine I pick up has something about sound. We need to be looking at how we can make AJ Public happy. Most of the time, we can help by not overdoing the throttle in residential areas. Remember, some people donít like to be impressed. I have a friend that is still running straight pipes. We have been talking tuned system with mufflers and more horsepower. ďGood BoyĒ And yes, we will be around again with the sound meter this summer.

        Motorcycle Awareness Rally 2014: Itís coming together in a big way and canít come fast enough for me. Everyone needs to get out and get a Proclamation from your local town declaring May as Motorcycle Awareness Month and it will be read on the steps of the State Capital. I have samples and a great cover letter you can use if you would like to make a contribution. You donít need to be a Director to get this done, everyone can help. The After Rally Party will be at Flanaganís Tavern in Blacklick, OH. It is on the Northeast fringe of Columbus. There is a big parking lot, food and entertainment.

        Distracted driving is going to be the death of me! When you see a Mother with a carload of kids texting, nothing but the worst can come from it. Talk to everyone you know about the hazards, especially younger drivers.

        Plan a riding trip in our great State of Ohio. We do have some of the best roads in the nation. You may even see a friend.

        Ride Within Your Limits,

                            Mike Stock
               State Safety & Education Director
                       ABATE of Ohio, Inc.
                       safety-ed@abate.com


    January 2014

        Hi Friends,

        One way I measure whether our work has an impact on keeping motorcyclists safe is the stats I provide in this article each month. As I see less crashes and more importantly, less fatalities, I have to believe we are on the right path. There are lots of things that affect these stats, but ABATE is making a difference!

    2013 Crashes:   4470 Fatalities:   162
    2012 Crashes   2635 Fatalities   126

        It is time to start laying out plans to make 2014 even safer. We are talking to young drivers, making them aware that motorcycles share the road. We have billboards up in different areas, we are selling yard signs all over the state and we make ourselves present at major events all over the state. We also have Awareness rides all over the state to kick off motorcycle riding season.

        Now itís time to do more in all of these areas. We need to talk to our fellow bikers, not at them, about getting endorsed and trained. About one half of the fatalities are not licensed. We have one of the best training programs around and itís cheap. Talk to people you meet and help them if they canít get ti done on their own. If we donít take care of ourselves, no one else will.

        The most important event this winter is the State Legislative Seminar. It will be held on Feb 1, 2014 at Deer Creek State Park Lodge. It is a great place to see your fellow brothers and sisters and get information to fuel the fire for next riding season. There will be breakout sessions on many topics. Show up and learn, then go to the banquet and have some fun.

        Next will be the Awareness Rally on May 3rd in Columbus. This kicks off Motorcycle Awareness Month. Iím working on changing it up a little this year so youíll have to stay tuned.

        The next state event following the Rally will be June Jam, June 20th - 22nd. This party is the main fund raiser for the state. It needs to put money in the state coffer to help us thru the year. Watch the flyers, as they will show you all the fun you can have in one weekend.

        The raffle bike for 2014 (ABATE of Ohio Foundation)has been purchased and it is a nice street glide. Tickets are ready to be picked up and sold. There are some new tricks to make a little money on the early draws along the way. Also, the tickets will only be $10 this year.

        This year, Kay and I went on great rides in Indiana and Michigan, but the most fun we have is in Ohio. Next year we want to try the riding games we read about in Thunder Roads and Ride On magazines. We are ready to find some new places in Ohio we havenít been to yet. Maybe you can join us.

        Last but not least, when you put your bike up, put it on the center stand and disconnect the battery. These new bikes all like to draw your battery down.

        See you on the road soon. Be safe this winter. All you old farts, push that snow, donít lift   :)

                       Ride Within Your Limits,
                        Mike


    December 2013

        Hi Friends,

       The Ohio riding season is now just a day here and there, so these stats are not going to change much from now to the end of the year. These do show that we had less accidents and fatalities than last year, but still too many for us to let up on our vigilance. Remember, this year we had a late and very wet spring so bikes werenít on the road so early. Next year we will hopefully have a nicer spring but we need to get these stats even lower. It takes work.

    2013 Accidents: 2,300 Fatalities: 118
    2012 Accidents: 4,188 Fatalities: 152

        In the reports of these accidents, about half of the fatalities had the motorcyclists wearing a helmet. More than half involved alcohol. With freedom comes responsibility, and we need to remind people to be responsible for their choices.

        A good way to help lower these stats is to get training, especially if you are a new rider or have been off of a motorcycle for a number of years. Last year the Motorcycle Ohio (MO) Program trained more people than ever before. We need to keep supporting this program because we pay for it out of license plate fees. Talk it up. Take it yourself, just to see what itís about. Believe that they can teach you something that you donít already know. We will have a MO representative at the State Seminar to answer any questions you might have.

        Speaking of the State Seminar, it is coming up the first weekend in February at Deer Creek State Park Lodge, January 31st and February 1st. Education is the major focus of the Seminar. We want to teach you how to be a better rider, how to be a more effective advocate for motorcycle rights, whether in the larger political forum or in your own town council meeting, what ABATE offers that you arenít taking advantage of and how other motorcyclists around the United States deal with these same issues. If you cannot make the fund-raiser on Friday night, drive down for the seminars and banquet on Saturday. Itís worth your time. Besides, itís the middle of winter. Where else are you going to be able to get together with a bunch of brother and sister bikers in a nice hotel and have a great time.

        TIP OF THE MONTH for everyone trying to get that last ride in. They have already started putting brime on the road along with salt. Make sure you clean that off your bike before storing it. That sh_t will eat your aluminum and rust any steel. Even if you canít see it on the bike, assume it is there and give it a good cleaning. Itís better to have a clean bike first thing in the spring also.

        December is Toledo Mayor Mike Bellís last month in office. I would like to thank him for all his support around the Northwest Ohio area in promoting motorcycling. He always put his personal signature on the Motorcycle Awareness Month Proclamation, which meant a lot to me. I know he will continue to support our cause and I hope to see him at events riding his white Harley. Hereís to many more miles, Mike.

        Last note, Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year. If you need a meaningful gift for someone, buy them an ABATE membership or a new ABATE t-shirt. Itís been a good year!

                       Ride Within Your Limits,
                        Mike


    November 2013

        Hi Friends,

       Well, we are down to 2 months left in the year and the fatalities are rising faster than the accidents.

        2013     Crashes 1955  /   Fatalities 101

        2012     Crashes 4152  /   Fatalities 152

        Crashes are about Ĺ the level of last year but fatalities are ? of last year. I know in my area I see a lot of 30 day tags. That tells me the sales are on. People are buying and not getting trained, and newer and bigger bikes can add to the risk. Talk to your friends if they are not riding properly. This can be tricky and you need to pick the right time and place but in the long run, it will make everyone safer and help with presenting a good image in the citizenís eyes.

        Anyone that did not take the opportunity to go to the Meeting of the Minds missed a lot of good information. I tried to concentrate on the safety and education seminars and it seems that everyone is like us, working the statistics of the accidents. I found out I can have more access to accident reports and hope to dig down into the data on fatalities next year. I would like to report more of the causes of the accidents. One thing I got from other states is that we all have a lot of single vehicle accidents. Also, unlicensed and uninsured bikers are a big problem everywhere. It was very interesting to talk to other bikers from around the country and find out our problems are all the same. Some very smart people are working to keep motorcycling free.

        Now that winter is setting in we wonít have any long rides, so we can all go to our respective region meetings. This is where the rides and get togethers are planned for next year. Go put your two cents worth in - make a difference. If you want your ride to be a success, you should start passing out flyers at the January swap meets.

        Last of all, everyone be safe out there. When you put all that warm weather gear on, donít forget you may move a little slower. And even though your bike has been good, itís been a long season. Keep checking her before every ride.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

                       Ride Within Your Limits,
                        Mike


    September 2013

       Hi Friends,

        We are still trending better this year in our accident and fatality rates. This means to me we are reaching people with our message. Keep up the good workÖ..

        Accidents:
    1,081 for 2103 vs 3,108 for 2012

        Fatalities:
    51 for 2013 vs 120 for 2012

        An e-mail I received indicated the most fatalities are happening in Franklin and Hamilton counties. Region directors can contact me for more information or I will have more information at the next BOD meeting.

        I just ordered more yard signs and this tells me that people feel that this is something that works. I hope everyone is pushing signs as an inexpensive way to remind your neighbors to watch for you. I sent out safety material to several people and I am always happy to do so. If you need items to give out at runs and canít locate any, call me. I have stuff.

        Today I rode in one of my favorite charity rides benefiting the Shriners. Every year we have a meeting and plan the route. Someone rides the route and looks for safety issues. Shovel and broom in hand, we clean stones off corners, pick up trash, note intersections that might need special attention and try to make the route safer where possible.

        We keep the parade section short and then send people on their own with a route sheet and check points. Parades are generally more dangerous, even with an escort, if all driving laws are not obeyed.

        We are still experiencing a lot of annoying rain. But, when we get a good couple of days together, we love riding down to the Ohio river. We actually have ridden the whole length of the Ohio River on the Ohio side and most of the other side. On the Ohio side there are many river towns with plenty to do. We like to find an area just to sit and watch the barges. We also enjoy seeing the river traffic go through the locks. We have mentioned before how much we enjoy the murals on the flood wall in Portsmouth and now we are seeing more towns with amazing murals. Steubenville has quite a few large murals in town. Email me if you know where a good mural is located. I would like to do an article this winter on murals in Ohio.

        I have already been working on the Awareness Rally for next year. Iím making contacts for ways to get more attention. Put May 3, 2014 on your calendar so you can ride with us Ė you may be on TV!

                       Ride Within Your Limits,
                        Mike


    June 2013

       Hi Friends,

        For the last few days I have been watching the news, papers and magazines and everyone is reporting that ďtexting killsĒ. We have known this for some time. With the new laws it should get better but we know that it takes time. With drinking and driving it never ends. We need to keep aware of distracted drivers, drunk drivers and tired drivers, be alert and drive defensively.

        My safety tip of the month:

  • The way you load your bike is very important. Keep the weight low and in between the wheels. In planning the trip, take half as much as you think you need. Remember the last trip and what you did not use.

       Letís talk about being a good ABATE member. First and foremost you need to support the organizationís runs. You donít have to hold an office or even go to meetings if thatís not your thing. If you go to any motorcycle function, wear an ABATE shirt, hand out some membership tri-folds, or just tell people that you get your facts about safety & legislative issues from belonging to ABATE and getting the Outspokin magazine. We need all the help we can get. Everyone who rides a motorcycle needs to be informed about issues and just being a member is a good start.

       This month, I am promoting riding to June Jam. If you donít already know, it is just outside of Logan in Hocking Hills. I bet everyone reading this has ridden through Hocking Hills as itís one of the prettiest places to ride in Ohio. The event is at Kaeppnerís Woods, which is a great place to party. There are plenty of food vendors and they sell beer on site so you donít have to leave for anything. Just bring a tent if you want to party all night long.

       I would like to thank everyone who went to the Awareness Rally to kick off Motorcycle Awareness Month. We had a great time. I thought it looked like about 450 bikes rode in the parade to the Statehouse. That was pretty impressive. Thanks to the Columbus Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Delaware County Sheriff for escorting us and keeping us all safe. Tim Cordray was the winner of a set of Avon tires that were raffled off. Thanks to Ken Howell for getting the donation from Avon tires. Also, thanks to the ABATE Foundation for supplying Awareness Arm Bands for everyone.

       ABATE was awarded the grant for a sound meter, but we donít actually have the meter yet. When we do, we will have it at events to check bikes.

       Ride safe, be alert and I will see you around this great State of Ohio!

                       Ride Within Your Limits,
                        Mike


  • May 2013

       Hi Friends,

    I'll start with stats:

  • 2013
    Fatalities = 5
    Crashes = 66

  • 2012
    Fatalities = 16
    Crashes = 593

        We are off to a good start!

        When this magazine comes out we will all be at the State Awareness Rally. This rally kicks off May as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

        Everyone needs to get their ďLook Twice Save A LifeĒ signs out of the garage and put them in your yard. If you donít have one or if yours is in bad shape, get a new one. Also make sure the yellow ďLook Out For MotorcyclesĒ magnet is on the back of your car.

        I am headed to Region 5 on Sunday, 4/14, to talk to their Region meeting. I hope to see many ABATE members there. The more we talk about safety the safer we will be. Education is the way to spread awareness.

        Last month I talked about places to ride in Ohio. In my area of the state, Northwest Ohio, we are kind of flat but we still have some great riding areas. The Maumee River gives us some great scenery. Starting in Defiance, we take Rt 424 to Napoleon, taking in the river dams and little parks along the way. Napoleon has several good restaurants. You can then travel on either side of the river to Grand Rapids, a quaint village with unique shops, restaurants, a historic canal boat and an old mill. Along the way there are many spots to stop and go for a walk or just view the river. After leaving Grand Rapids you travel to Waterville. At Otsego Park along the way you can rent canoes. Waterville also has a great downtown area with shops and restaurants. Continuing on you come to Maumee and then Perrysburg, both larger historical towns. Perrysburg is home to Fort Meigs where they have reenactments of battles during different times of the year. You can also go into Toledo along the river and visit the new casino or go to a Mud Hens game.

        For my safety tip of the month, I think everyone should go to a large parking lot (I do it early in the morning) and practice panic stops, slow riding and figure eights to get your handling down.

        Donít forget to get your bike blessed. That always helps also.

        See you at June Jam! Itís always a good time.
                       Ride Within Your Limits,
                        Mike




  • March 2013

    Hi Friends,

        I will start this month, as always, with motorcycle crash and fatality statistics. In 2013 we have had 14 crashes vs 97 at this time last year. There have been 2 fatalities already vs 6 last year. With the winter being worse this year, there hasnít been many bikes on the roads yet. When you do get out, please be careful.

       The Motorcycle Awareness ride is not too far away. The first Saturday in May (4th) is when we gather on the Statehouse steps and proclaim motorcycle season is on! Donít put off asking for Proclamations from city and village mayors. If you need an example of one, contact me by phone (419-654-5446) or e-mail (MikeStock419@gmail.com) and Iíll get one to you.

       I would like to spend some time promoting the State of Ohio this month. My wife and I have traveled many miles in this state and there are still so many things we havenít seen. For instance, we plan on going to Marietta this year to see a statue called Start Westward that was designed by the same man who designed Mount Rushmore. We have been to Marietta a couple times but did not realize this statue was there. When we go, we will try to arrange our trip around an ABATE function that will be happening in the area.

       Each month in my article I would like to feature other places around the state that are interesting and would be something to see. I would like people to e-mail me (MikeStock419@gmail.com) what they have seen or what may be in their backyard that others many miles away may not know about. This month I am going to talk about a couple places we have been.

       The first is the flood wall in Portsmouth. Along the Ohio River they have painted a mile long series of murals that are amazing. We have been there at least 4 times and we are always taking new people there. The murals are professionally done and depict life along the river, a long time ago and now. One of my favorite murals is of the Portsmouth Motorcycle Club, the oldest motorcycle club in the Nation!

       I often have people ask me if I have traveled ďThe Dragonís TailĒ and I tell them no, but have you ever traveled Route 555 right here in Ohio? Most tell me no. My two favorite rides in Ohio are Route 9 and Route 555 (The Triple Nickel). They both are in southeast Ohio and have many hills and twists and turns. Fun stuff!

       The last place I will talk about this month is the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial in Sunbury. This memorial honors Ohio Military killed in the war on terrorism. As many of us are veterans, itís important to remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms. This is a well done memorial that I hope doesnít ever get filled all the way up.

       Well, let me know your favorite places and Iíll let everyone else know. In future columns Iíll try to give you tips for keeping safe as you explore the state on 2 wheels.

                        Mike




    Motorcycle Safety Checklist (.PDF File)
    Checklist (.JPG File)




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