Welcome to the Webpage of Mike
Stock Safety & Education Director. This site is
provided for access to public information in an effort to better serve
the Members of ABATE of Ohio, Inc., Residents of Ohio, and the
motorcycling community in general. Phone 419-654-5446 or E-mail
Safety & Education Report
Every month I start by going over fatalities but this month, we are going to go a little deeper into the facts. In 2014 there were 128 fatalities by this time of the year. Out of the past 10 years, 2014 had the 2nd lowest number of fatalities. 2015 has had 132 fatalities and that is making this year 3rd lowest. 2013 was the best in the last 10 years with 115 fatalities. This means we are below fatalities of 10 years ago. Also, every year we keep adding to the number of bikes on the road, and now we are at 414,600 registered motorcycles.
A little history on the 132 fatalities so far this year. Out of all the fatalities, only 12 were Motorcycle Ohio trained. 6 of the MO trained were at fault with 5 crashes in a curve and/or departed roadway (one from a blown tire) and 1 struck a vehicle. Of these, 2 wore helmets and 2 involved alcohol. The other MO trained not-at-fault, 1 struck by a horse and buggy, 1 struck left of center, 1 rear ended and 2 right of way violations at an intersection. Stats for all of the fatalities show that 59% are the fault of the motorcyclist. There are also 7 passenger fatalities this year. As these numbers show, any training (like the MO program) absolutely makes a difference.
These numbers will become more positive because we have laid some great ground work with our Motorcycle Awareness programs, such as Look Twice Save a Life signs, Look Out for Motorcycle magnets and signs, Billboards and electronic signs. ABATE of Ohio has also been going into Drivers Ed schools and talking to future drivers about motorcycle awareness. Either by being active or just a member, every motorcyclist needs to become involved and join a motorcycle rights organization; ABATE of Ohio, Inc. or American Motorcycle Association. I donít know any of my friends that are Hot Rod enthusiasts and donít belong to the NHRA and read that magazine every month. Unfortunately, I know many fellow bikers that donít know what is going on because they donít care enough.
In the up and coming months I will be talking about how age, gender, 3 wheelers and some changes in our road surfaces come into play in accidents. At the end of this article is my question of the month. I would like to get many responses so I can make a good recommendation to ODOT about motorcyclistís opinions.
In March of 2016 ABATE will be hosting a state wide seminar that will cover Legislative issues, Education, Awareness and Safety. Stay tuned and we will be talking more on the time and place.
How can we not talk about Distracted Driving, Riding and Walking? We have to, so what are we going to do about it? I know law enforcement is taking it very seriously and are going to issue citations for lane violations, reckless operation and anything that does not involve getting a warrant to look at your phone. When it comes to our motorcycles, we are getting way too many toys to take our attention from the road and other motorists. Letís get back to enjoying the ride. Sometime when you are at your favorite restaurant, sit in the front window and watch the show - people walking and texting, it is funny.
Fall riding it is such a pretty time of the year but can be very dangerous time of the year. Watch for wet leaves on the road (it is illegal to blow leaves and grass onto the roadway), farmers bringing mud and stuff out on the roadway and deer that are on the move more now than ever. Get your good riding skills out and pay attention. Scan ahead and slow down in deer country. When you put on extra clothing make sure you can still move and see.
Now for my question of the month: Do you think that center line rumble strips would help save lives? If you have any ideas on this, put rumble strip in the subject line and email me. We have a lot of center line violations, and we need to consider if the rumble strips would cause a danger to motorcycles.
Letís get out and enjoy the last good riding days of the season and be safe. Please vote. It is your right and you can make a difference.
I always start my article with the latest stats from the Ohio Dept of Public Safety to inform you of how our efforts in safety and education are working. Some of it is not in our control, like the weather, but I really believe that our efforts at Motorcycle Awareness are making a positive difference. Motorcycle accidents are down a good deal from last year - 2,620 in 2015 vs 3,003 in 2014. Fatalities are almost even Ė 115 in 2015 vs 112 in 2014. Motorcycle drivers are at fault 55.4% of the time. Friends, we need to get people trained to ride motorcycles safely, those who are new riders and those who havenít been on a motorcycle in years. Those of us who have been riding for years need to pay attention because the risks out there are sometimes new ones and sometimes the same old things we take for granted. October is the last month of the year for the Motorcycle Ohio program, and they usually have openings. Spread the word that it is a good time to get your endorsement or take a refresher course. You just might learn something cool.
Just a short time ago they were few & far between, but now we are being overtaken by ROUNDABOUTS. They are springing up everywhere. With them being so new, many drivers are confused about how to yield and enter. The confusion increases the dangers for motorcyclists. I was on a group ride in Hocking Hills over Labor Day. We had 8 bikes in our group and came upon 2 roundabouts in a row with heavy traffic. We got through safely but boy was it stressful. Make sure each person in your group has a general idea of the route because itís almost impossible to stay all together. Judge the speed of the other vehicles so you can merge into the roundabout without coming to a stop if possible. It is safer if you can navigate it without stopping but traffic may force you to stop. Keep your eyes open, check your blind spots and donít take unnecessary chances. You will be through it in seconds, it doesnít even take minutes.
As summer comes to a close, be extra careful in construction areas. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. It seems that everyone is sick of all the construction and very impatient. The DOT has signs posted on some routes that show the number of year to date fatalities on Ohio roads. The numbers are increasing too quickly. Take our slogan and change it to ďLook Twice and Save Your Own LifeĒ when it comes to passing, intersections with tall corn and areas where there can be hidden driveways.
Iím hoping that we have a mild fall so we can keep riding right up to the first snow. Remember, leaves on the road are very slippery. If you have the opportunity, ride some of the back roads in the state when the trees are turning their fall colors. It should remind you of why you enjoy motorcycling Ė seeing the beauty of nature up close and personal.
At this time we have had two weeks of very nice weather, great sunny days, warm nights and very little rain. By the time you get this article we will be thinking about colder weather setting in. With the change of weather we need to be aware of changing road surfaces, the changes in the road construction areas and the added clothing that we will be wearing. This all brings us to awareness of riding safe. At this time, we have been doing a great job. In 2014 we had 2170 crashes and 75 fatalities and in 2015 we are at 1315 crashes and 46 fatalities. Keep up the great riding and keep putting out the ďLook Out for MotorcyclesĒ magnets and ďLook Twice and Save a LifeĒ signs. These reminders are working.
As Motorcyclists, we need to more than ever push awareness of Distracted Driving. It is the cause of many accidents and we need to talk about it with our friends and make sure that everyone knows the dangers. People have been doing it for so long that it is normal and it is getting worse. To text and drive is illegal, but it is a secondary offence so you have to do something else to get caught. Many times itís after an accident has already occurred. I have been doing fatal reviews with the State and if more people would have been paying more attention, some accidents could have been avoided.
We all use hand signals to help fellow riders know what we are going to do or want to do. We use our turn signals and brake lights to warn others what is going to happen. And then on the Internet I saw a picture of the international sign for a biker in distress, a bike sitting alongside the road with a helmet on the ground behind it. Well number one, Iím from a helmet free state so I donít have a helmet with me. Then I thought, that is not the way it works. If you see a bike alongside the road, you should slow down and see if everything looks okay. If everything is under control, they will give you a thumbs up or wave you on. If not, you stop and see if they need help. I have never just rode by a bike of any make or model and I have donated nuts and bolts, wire ties, duct tape and a lot of information to people who need help. Donít ever pass up a fellow biker. Check on them and it will make you feel good. If you are stopped alongside of the road and youíre ok, give the wave on.
The motorcycle world is changing or trying to change all the time. If politicians are not looking at making a new sound law, they are trying to put ethanol gas in our bikes. Then they are trying to take public lands away so our kids canít start the way we did. In Ohio we have around 500,000 +or- registered motorcycles, but we donít have anywhere close to even half that number that are members of any type of Rights Organization. We need the membership power of ABATE or AMA to stop these laws that could put a stop to the way your motorcycle sounds or performs. If we can stop a bill before it becomes a law, it is so much easier than after it is a law. If you are not a member of ABATE of Ohio Inc. call 800-25-BIKER or email me email@example.com or call 419-654-5446. You can make a difference.
Winter is on its ugly way and we need to get all the riding in that we can. So ride safe and with ABATEís help, RIDE FREE. And remember if you have friend that rode all this summer on a temporary permit, help him get into a class and get his endorsement. Motorcycle Ohio now has a one day course to get your endorsement called the BRC-2.
Motorcycle fatalities in the US have dropped for the last two years. Fatalities for 2014 in the US were 4,584 and in 2013 were 4,668. This is about a 1.8% drop. Now letís look at Ohio - in 2013 we had 3768 crashes with 133 fatalities and in 2014 we had 3651 crashes with 140 fatalities. Yes we were up, and our vehicle registrations were up also, but our crashes were down. When you sit down and look at a lot of the figures, over all Motorcyclists are getting safer with our Education program and our Riders Training programs. Motorcycle Ohio does a one day class called the BRC2. You can get your endorsement one day. If we keep putting ďLook Twice and Save a LifeĒ and ďLook Out for MotorcyclesĒ in front of all motorists, we will keep those numbers coming down.
I cannot talk enough about construction zones. When you see orange barrels, slow down! Also watch the road surface because the ground is very unforgiving. After the roadway has been ground away in just one lane, there is a step up or down. Be very careful, check for signs that point out dangers, give cars and trucks plenty of space and never take exit ramps to fast. The construction workers are trying to keep us safe so if you see something that is not safe, stop and tell someone or call 911.
We are about half way through the riding season. When is the last time you checked your bike over? Itís time to do a good check of your bike. Look at the ground for any fluids, look for shiny spots for unusual wear, check tire wear and air pressure, check the clutch and throttle adjustments and check all lights and their functions. Then give it a good wash and wax and keep your eyes open for anything loose or out of adjustment.
I have been doing a lot of accident reviews and studies would like to say I found the answer to how to prevent them, but I have not. We need to be more aware of our surroundings. Scan further ahead and to the sides for any changes in traffic flow. We are getting more head-on accidents, left of center, both by bikes and by motorists. Think about what you would do if it was coming your way. If you were the biker, should you have looked ahead further and gave more time? If the motorist starts coming your way, where could you go? Play things out in your head. And then remember that most accidents can be fixed by slowing down and giving yourself more time.
Please stay safe out there and I hope August is a lot dryer than weíve had. There are still a lot of great runs and parties to get to.
Itís June 10th and I pulled the stats for the year and we are not doing that well. I have been tracking a few of our crashes around the state and I would love to find that one thing that we could use to avoid a crash. With over 50% of crashes being the motorcyclist fault, it tells me that we need to do a better job of training riders. 2014 Crashes -1246 and Fatalities Ė 44 and 2015 Crashes -854 and Fatalities -30. If we could get everyone to just think ahead and not have those single vehicle crashes, we would be on our way to 0 fatalities. As it has been said for years, if we just keep educating the motorist and the motorcyclist, we will all be safer.
Blind spots are something that is forgotten over time and we need to be reminded of them. Trucks, RVs, Vans, SUVs and Busses all have very large blind spots. Donít hang out on the side of any vehicle. The larger the vehicle the bigger the blind spot. If you canít see the drivers face in their rear view mirror, then he canít see you. Donít hang out to close to the rear of any vehicle. If they brake suddenly you may not be able to stop and you cannot see what is up ahead. And now to the front - never cut in to quickly. Remember we stop faster than a lot of larger vehicles. And last, a lot of larger vehicles make wide turns. Donít pass on the right. Once they start that turn they canít see you.
We all need to use our blinkers or turn signals more often. As bikers we need this tool to let everyone know what we are doing, and motorists need do the same. If hand signals will bring awareness to your turn, use them. If they donít know hand signals they will at least know something is going to happen. Go online and you can find all kinds of motorcycle hand signals. They are very handy when riding in a group.
Roundabouts are here to stay, and we need to learn how to use them. We need to educate ourselves about roundabouts because they are much safer and reduce head-on collisions. Slow down and yield at the entry to traffic. Stay in your lane within the roundabout and use your turn signal to exit. If thereís more than one lane, use the left lane to turn left, the right lane to turn right, unless directed otherwise by signs and pavement markings. Very important - trucks need all the room, so donít get in a bad spot. Hope this will help with some of the fears of roundabouts.
Every year I bring up tires and I think that it is very important that we look at our tires every week. At Ohio Bike Week I took a look at rear tires in Margaretvilleís parking lot and it was not good. It did not matter if it was old or new, a bald tire could be found. If the owner was there I had a talk with them and most did not know it was in that shape. Donít tell me you have a new one at home, just get it put on. Please check those tires and have a safe ride.
Starting July 1st , Motorcycle Ohio will be able to offer the BRC-2 as a skills waiver class. This means riders with a permit will be able to take the class and earn their endorsement. This is a one day class and it will help get riders that have been riding for years on a permit take one day and show they know how to ride and get their endorsement. If you have any questions please contact MO call 1-800-83RIDER and www.motorcycle.ohio.gov.
Last of all I would like to thank Shanton Wilson for writing a great article in Juneís Thunder Roads Ohio magazine on the 2015 Awareness Rally with some great pictures. If you did not read it, go back and check it out or see it online at www.thunderroadsohio.com. Also, a big thank you to Thunder Roads Ohio Magazine for getting the Legislative and Safety and Education information to our Ohio riders. Great Job!!
Well here we go, itís May and the weather is letting us get out and ride. Now we need to remember all the skills that we have learned over the years to stay out of trouble. I pulled the crash report as of May 8th and they are: for 2014: Crashes Ė 502 and Fatalities -21 and for 2015: Crashes Ė 409 and Fatalities Ė 10. See how just a few days of sunshine will bring these numbers up. These numbers come from reports sent to Columbus and we know in Northwest Ohio we have several fatalities that are not included here.
A great way to ride is to ride SMART. This stands for Ride Sober, Ride Motorcycle Endorsed, Ride Alert, Ride Right Gear and Ride Trained. If everyone would follow this great acronym we would have fewer crashes. It is easy to tell someone they have a bald tire, but so hard to help someone get his or her endorsement.
Now for the hard one Ė Alcohol. The way I like to bring up this subject is to just say the 3 Rís. Be Responsible, know your limits. Donít let your friends change your mind and donít let yourself get caught up in Ďjust one moreí. Ride Responsible. You are in charge! Donít ride impaired and call for a ride if you have had too much. And Take Responsibility is the person that says: Man youíre wasted, I will call home for you and you can stay with me. Individual responsibility is the ultimate way to reduce fatalities.
I would like to thank everyone that came out for the kick off for Motorcycle Awareness Month 2015. What a great day, sunshine all day and no rain. Many thanks to all the volunteers that helped to get everyone checked in. Thanks to Jim and Diane for having the products there. Thanks to the Columbus Police and the Delaware Sheriffs for coming out and keeping us safe. And thanks to AD Farrowís for letting us invade their space. Last of all, a big thank you to Region 9 for a great time at the After Rally Party. It was just a great time for all.
For any one that is hunting for something to do, go online to ABATE.com then to events and you will find a ride in your area. The next big state event is June Jam 2015. There will be bands Friday and Saturday night, Poker run, Bike games and a Bike Show. We have a lot of space to camp and lots with shade. This all takes place just outside of Logan Ohio, on June 19th, 20th and 21st, 2015. More info online.
Everyone check your rear tire and all your lights, and then ride like no one can see you.
Well the year is just getting started and the figures are starting to come in. Remember that the facts I get are depending on when the Police report is finalized and they do get changed along the way. The facts for last year at this date: 2014 crashes 180 and fatalities 6 and 2015 crashes 98 and fatalities 3. In the past 5 years we have had a steady decline in fatalities. This has been done by reminding ourselves that we to must be alert and then remind our friends to do the same. Please ride safe!
This year at the ABATE State Seminar we had the honor of ODOTís Michelle May giving us a report on how ODOT is taking care of our highways. Whenever any changes are made in our highways, motorcycles are taken into the scope of things. She also gave us many pages of facts that helped us get an overall view of the history of car and motorcycle crashes and their causes. We did have Q and A period and many issues were brought up. Michelle did take notes at this time and assured us that she will check out the problems we told her about and get back to us. One issue that was brought up is cable barriers. She explained how they do save lives and how they put a lot of thought in the placement of them. Even though they scare a motorcyclist, the facts prove they do more good than harm. If you ever see any problem with our roads that you want reported, you can email ODOT at the state level or let your local garage know. At the next BOD we will be passing out a fact sheet of Michelleís info.
Also we had Chuck Stiteler from the Motorcycle Ohio Program (MO Program). Chuck was an instructor and knows the program well, and he does answer his phone. He gave us a very up to date report on what they are doing. The thing that I feel will bring a great change is that they will give a one day course that will get you an Endorsement. This is for riders that just keep getting temporaries and have a lot saddle time. This program will be starting in July. And as in the past they need more instructors. If you want a job and to make some money - get signed up. They also have more mobile sites this year than ever before so you can take advantage of these classes.
I would like to personally thank everyone that presented a program and attended the 2015 State Seminar this year it was very informative and also a lot of fun. Watch for it next year. You will learn a lot. Thank you!
When you all get to read this article we will be heading to the 2015 Motorcycle Awareness Rally. This is the kick off for the Motorcycle riding season. And then I hope to see all of you at the After Rally Party. The entire day is a great time and you get to ride in a great parade to the State House, hear the reading of the proclamations and listen to a guest speaker. Hope to see you there.
June Jam is ABATEís state party where we take a weekend to raise money for our cause, listen to great music and play games. The location is at Kaeppner Woods in Logan. There is great camping and the location has some of the best riding in Ohio. Admission is only $25.00 for three days of fun. For more info go to the ABATE of Ohio web site, ABATE.com, where you can find the flier and a pre-registration form.
I would like to remind everyone that itís a new riding season and we all need to start out slow. Let the motorists get used to us being on the road again. Remember before every ride, perform a safety check. Ride alert, wear the right gear and get trained. Have a safe ride.
Last of all, if you do not belong to a Motorcycle Rights Organization, check ABATE of Ohio Inc. out. We are dedicated to the preservation of motorcycling. We keep you FREE. See you down the road.
Letís start by talking about fatalities, which is not something that I like to talk about, but lowering these numbers is our most important mission. We are looking better than last year and that is good. I pulled these facts on the 10th. In 2014: Crashes - 65 and Fatalities Ė 1 and in 2015 Crashes Ė 17 and Fatalities Ė 0. This year we are off to a good start. Most of our state this year has been very cold; last year the southern half had some nice days. Letís look at what we are up to now that itís getting warm and out comes the bikes. In Northwest counties we have one fatality on one of our river roads. This road has not had enough time to wash off all the salt dust, loose gravel and loose asphalt that will be a pot hole soon. And down goes a bike. In Southern counties we have bikes going down due to speed, and on one of the very first nice days.
Now letís talk about what you should be doing on that first day out. This is after you or your favorite mechanic has checked out your bike. Take a little time and go down to a big parking lot to tune up your riding skills. Do a few figure 8ís, a panic stop or two, and practice slow riding. Get the feel of that bike again. It has not changed but you have lost some of that feel over the last several months. I like to go back to the Motorcycle Ohio Riders program and take one of their great courses. If you want or need to take the course go to www.motorcycle.ohio.gov.
ABATE of Ohio Inc. has the best road side sign - Look Twice Save a Life. It is easy to read at any speed. If you wish, you can get signs with your Company name at the bottom or In loving memory of someoneís name. And if you like to go big, we do offer a 4X6 sign. If you ride or a family member rides, you should have a sign out front. Also you can get Watch Out For Motorcycles magnets for your cars and trucks. If you donít see them at motorcycle functions to pick up, just call me.
We all, the old biker that has always been around and the new biker who just knew that he always wanted to ride, need to get involved. Going to a meeting or just supporting with your money, you can make a difference. The world is changing and we need to keep informed, because some day they will be making laws that we never heard of. Last year we passed the parking bill and the handle bar height bill. We are still working on the right of way bill and the road guard bill. And now we have Congress looking at Vision Zero. This is the concept of dropping fatalities to zero and in my thoughts this will only happen if we do away with motorcycling altogether. They feel a reduction in speed of 19 mph city (where there could be non-fatal contact between pedestrian and cars (motorcycles)) and 43 mph on all other roads would help accomplish their goals. Sorry but this has been adopted in some of our large cities to slow accidents down. So the purpose of my babbling is to get people to join ABATE of Ohio Inc. and protect our rights as we know them today. Just imagine what will happen if no one stands up to the do-gooders and says ďNOĒ.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and where are you going to be on May 2nd at 10:00am? You need to be at A.D. Farrow Harley Davidson, I-71 @ exit 131, Sunbury, Oh. 43074. This is the starting point of the Motorcycle Awareness Rally that happens every year when we ride to the State house. Then we all gather on the Statehouse steps and read Proclamations from the Governor and Mayors from around the state. Then off to an After Rally party. Just a great day to let everyone know we are back out on the roads throughout this great State. Check out the flyer in this Magazine.
I would like to give you a good report but itís not going that way. Pulled the facts on the 10th and this is it. In 2013 Crashes 3751 and Fatalities 133 and in 2014 Crashes 3426 and Fatalities 135. Now for my insight on all this; we, as Motorcyclists, are not staying focused on riding as if it was the beginning of the season.
Letís talk about one of the problems that keeps coming up and that is maneuverability. Throughout the year we keep seeing the single vehicle accident, running off curves and just plain running into things. To correct this we need to practice and think about our riding skills. Take a Sunday morning early before large parking lots get busy and practice panic stops, figure eights, stopping in a curve and slow ride maneuvering. If you think you need it, take a Motorcycle Ohio course. Sign up will start at the end of February.
Smart Vehicle Technology Ė what is it and how is it going to change motorcycle riding? This is just in my thoughts but I have been riding with a friend who has a new car. It has sensors that tell him when something is in his blind spot. My question is, does it always work on motorcycles? Will the driver get so reliant on this that they will not really look for motorcycles? Just something to think about and I will be writing on this later after more thought and research.
I will be calling out to Safety and Education Directors and anyone interested for a planning meeting in February. How we can reach out and get more people and organizations involved in Motorcycle Awareness?
The planning has started for the Motorcycle Awareness Rally on Saturday May 2, 2015 in Columbus Ohio. Please make plans to make the ride and try to bring a group of friends. It is the beginning of Motorcycle Awareness Month. Starting the first of the year you can find samples of the Proclamation and a cover letter on the Web Site. We need to get a proclamation from every town and village in Ohio. Stop in the local Mayorís Office and show them a sample. If you need tips, give me a call. It is nice when they ask you to come in front of the city council and tell them why we need Motorcycle Awareness.
Remember if you love the freedom of motorcycling, you need to support your local rights organization. They are watching new laws and how they will affect you, and writing new laws that will make our sport better. If you would spend $25.00 to ride free, then join ABATE of Ohio Inc.
Letís ride safe in 2015 and enjoy the freedom of the road. See you down the road.
Ride Within Your Limits
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report December 2014
I just donít have anything that can explain what is going on. The facts say in 2013 Crashes 3698 and Fatalities 130 and in 2014 Crashes 3069 and fatalities 129. I donít have an answer; itís probably a combination of a lot of mistakes on the part of both the Motorcyclist and Motorist. The Motorcyclist is not riding defensively and the Motorist is just not paying attention. I will be looking at accident reports to try to get a better idea on how we got this way.
Here are a few facts that I found that maybe we could work on by taking a Riders Program. Untrained and unendorsed riders are over represented in the accident statistics. Cause of accidents show a lack of skill and poor behavior; 32.09% Intersection, 24.45% Speed related, 19.44% Alcohol related and 33.62% Roadway departure. Lack of training is a problem and if we had more riders trained and endorsed, these percentages would surely go down.
Last year in the Motorcycle Ohio Program we could have trained about 300 more riders. This tells me that we need to keep the classes full. If you get on the list show up. I will be talking more this winter on how we can help to make our sport safer.
The next big event that we all need to start planning to attend is the ABATE of Ohio Inc. Motorcycle Rights Seminar. If you want to find out what is happening in the state that involves Motorcycles, this is the place to be. We will be talking about old laws, new laws, Awareness programs, M/O program, MRF update and all the events for the year.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, and yes on Saturday, May 2, 2015 we will again be riding to the State house to Rally. As they did last year, Region 9 will be hosting the After Rally party. Make plans to be there because it will be a great time and will make a great impression on our Great State of Ohio.
We had record sales on ďLook Twice Save a LifeĒ signs this year. It is still one of the best ways to get the word out. Now is the time to bring that sign in for the winter. And donít forget to put a coat of wax on it and it will last forever. Putting all the signs out in the spring makes a much bigger impression than leaving them out all winter.
If you would like to get your Biker friend a Christmas gift, think about an ABATE membership. This will benefit your friend and will help ABATE. If every member would sign up one rider a year it would be great.
Now I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Till next year.
Ride Within Your Limits
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report November 2014
Ok, this is how it looks. Not all that great but it goes this way every year, when everyone is relaxed from riding all summer and we stop using our good riding habits.
2014 Ė 2649
2014 Ė 117
2013 Ė 3479
2013 Ė 119
A big factor in this is the growth of motorcycling in Ohio. What we need to do now is ride safe and help others get through the rest of this year.
We at ABATE have been doing a lot to educate the motorist and public about Motorcycle Awareness. The goal is to keep Motorcycle Awareness in front of the public as much as we can. With the use of billboards, yard signs, ďLook Out For MotorcycleĒ magnets and signs and motorcycle runs. It takes everyone doing their part to make it all work.
As a member of ABATE, you are supporting the following activities with your donations and participation in any of our activities. This is where your membership dollars are being used.
ABATE monitors legislative activity regarding laws affecting motorcyclist, especially those designed to restrict our freedom of choice. We mount vigorous campaigns for motorcycle education and related safety programs. We support the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) and MRF (Motorcycle Riders Foundation). These two groups fight for motorcycle rights at the Federal and International level. ABATE is also involved in political awareness, encouraging members to REGISTER and VOTE and to become more politically active. Check out your local candidates and issues and vote on November 4th for those who support motorcycling activities.
Each May ABATE of Ohio sponsors the Motorcycle Awareness Rally in our state capitol to raise public awareness of the fact that it is spring and motorcyclists are back on the road in greater numbers. Plan to join us on May 2, 2015 for this important showing of how important motorcycling is to the State of Ohio. Most regions also sponsor an Awareness run locally to remind folks all over the state, not just Columbus, to watch out for motorcycles.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of ABATE is the creation of an organization that enables you to become educated both politically and in safe riding practices. We also offer activities and the brotherhood of fellow motorcyclists. This ensures that we and our children will be able to enjoy the freedom of choice we fight so hard to keep. We need each of you to renew your membership for another year and recruit a new member, or as many as you can, to support this cause.
In case you thought I came up with all these great thoughts on my own, I will tell you that this is all in the application pamphlet. We donít take time to read it when we give it to someone to join, but it is important to know what we are all about. Read the rest of whatís in there and hand them out while telling the person how important it is to support.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Ride Within Your Limits
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report September 2014
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
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
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
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report August 2014
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
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
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
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report July 2014
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.
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
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report June 2014
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
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report April 2014
The stats are still good; evidence of a bad winter. Our goal going forward is to keep them low.
Crashes 74 Deaths 2
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
State Safety & Education Director
ABATE of Ohio, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-654-5446
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.
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!
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,
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.
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,
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.
Ride Within Your Limits,
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..
1,081 for 2103 vs 3,108 for 2012
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
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
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,
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,
I'll start with stats:
Fatalities = 5
Crashes = 66
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,
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.