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
Well this riding season is winding down fast. If we stay on track, this year may be a three year low. 2017 has been a great riding year - not too much rain and nice warm days. Fatalities for 2017 are 92. That is 45 less than last year. Crashes for 2017 are 2,479 and that is 540 less than last year. I think part of the reason is what we have done; working very hard to decrease the number of distracted drivers on the roads, implementing a new training program and increasing the visibility of Motorcycle Awareness and Education programs.
We need to keep using the acronym Ride SMART. Ride Sober, Ride Motorcycle Endorsed, Ride Alert, Ride Right Gear and Ride Trained. The numbers will keep going down if we keep getting better. As a rider gets more time in the saddle, he/she learns what they should have done differently. Could we have made ourselves more visible by backing off, moving over or changing lanes? Should we have been scanning further ahead so we would have had more time to react? Or should we just slow down and give ourselves more time to make those decisions? Keep riding “like no one can see you” and “know your surroundings”. Ride safe.
Something that we have not ever talked about is our passenger, most of them your better half. This year we have 8 passenger fatalities and we need to make sure we keep them as safe as we can. My wife and my son have ridden many miles with me. Harley now takes his better half as a passenger and my wife is still riding with me. When we first started I had a lot of talks with her on how she should react in dangerous situations and she has always been more help back there than not. When Harley turned old enough to ride on his own, we all went and took the MO program. My wife does have her endorsement now but still likes riding behind me. She is a much better passenger than ever before because she now understands more clearly how it all works. Her being my second eyes and ears may have saved us a more serious accident 5 years ago in a construction zone. So talk to your passenger and let them know how they can help. If you can take course with her, she will be even better. But don’t kick her off the back seat. Maybe she likes you.
At this time of year it is a good idea to keep checking that bike over as if it was the first ride of the year. I just found a broken bracket on my bike, ordered a new one and now it’s fixed. Start making a list of things to do and a wish list of new accessories for Santa. Also go to your manual and look up what service schedule you are going to need, 10,000 miles, 20,000 miles or whatever. Some are a little costly if you have the shop do it so you may need to save up, but don’t skip it. If you take your bike to a shop, let the shop know of your concerns. One example is neck bearings. A mechanic may not feel that niche that you do on a slow turn to the right, so let him know.
October is a great time to check out the colors. You can go almost every weekend to a different part of the state and find some great views. As many of you know I like the southeastern part of the state. Many great roads and when you come to the top of the world and look out, you can see forever. It is so beautiful at this time of the year. If you have never ridden Route 9, it runs north and south and has a lot of “top of the world” views. It’s one of my favorite roads.
On one of our good rides we stopped for the night in Coshocton Ohio, where 36 and 16 come together. It has a great historic place called Roscoe Village where the girls loved walking around the shops. It gave us a nice break. Downtown we found a very good steak house but I do not remember the name. It is really in the middle of the northeastern and southeastern part of the state. A lot of the roads over that way run along a river and that always makes the roads curvy. Hope it is a good experience for you.
We have been promoting ABATE of Ohio Inc., your state rights organization, with the Year of the Member. This year you can join ABATE of Ohio for $10.00 per member. So join or re-up now and save some money and support your state rights organization and most of all your FREEDOM. For information call 1-800-25-BIKER or Mike 419-654-5446. Thank you.
In closing, I want to thank some great businesses and people. We just had the Foundation Bike Raffle to support Motorcycle Safety and Education and without these people we could not have done it: The Original Margaritville , Signature Harley Davidson, all the members and friends that sold tickets and helped, Thunder Roads Ohio Magazine for the bike show and advertising, Ridin’ On Magazine for advertising, all the great bikers that came out and supported the Raffle Day, and Jim “Bushman” Sprague for dragging that bike all over the state to promote the raffle. Thank You. Thank You for everything and if I forgot someone, I’m SORRY and I do Thank You.
I am hoping that these stats stay this way for the rest of the year. Overall the weather has been as nice as one could ask with rains coming during the week for the most part and very nice weekends. The last five years we have had our stats going up every year. Now we have a decline in our stats and I hope that stays true. In 2016 we had 2,416 crashes with 105 fatalities and in 2017 we have had 1,872 crashes with 65 fatalities. That is looking good. We need to keep them down.
Here are some facts that may help in our quest to keep these stats down and keep safety nuts and legislators from making new laws to save us all. In the month of July in 2015 and 2016 we had 31 fatalities and this year we have only had 24 fatalities. Last year in August - 30 fatalities, September - 19 fatalities, October - 34 fatalities, November - 8 Fatalities and December -1 Fatality. Using these numbers, we will still finish this year 25% short of last year’s 200 fatalities. Last year we had almost half of our fatalities in the last half of the year. Remember, in half of the crashes bikers are at fault, most being single vehicle crashes and we still have way too many distractions.
Motorcycle Ohio will still be running classes through most of October. If you have never taken a class, sign up and you will learn something. As in anything we do every day, we get lax in our skills and that is when we need help. The one day course is a very good way to get back to safe riding and stay alive. To check on class openings, go to www.motorcycleohio.gov or call 1-800-83-biker.
As many of you know I did my time in Vietnam 1967, seeing many types of motorcycles and three wheel motorbikes, carrying many people at one time or very large loads at one time. So this month in AMA magazine I see that the Vietnam government is going to banish all motorcycles by 2030. I have seen pictures and I don’t think the roads have improved that much and I don’t think the people have that much money. The reason to banish all motorcycles is to reduce pollution and reduce congestion. As we always say it has to start somewhere. Will we be next? They always look at our pollution and want us to water cool everything. Just saying!!
Every day we read more about Autonomous cars and how they will make driving cars safer. One thing you may want to look at is that they have no distractions. Today we have drivers texting, emailing, making calls for no real reason (most could wait) and eating. No I don’t think these cars are ready to intermingle with motorcycles yet but we need to keep telling them that we are not going away. Figure out how to drive with us before going any further.
My safety tip,(think before you stop reading), pedestrian and bicycle safety. Pedestrian fatalities are going up rapidly. Some of the reasons are distractions and not knowing the laws. Cell phone distractions are very bad and people will walk out in front of you. Pedestrians walking with the traffic don’t know what is coming or how close cars are. You are supposed to walk against the traffic and you should have time to get out of the way. It is now a law that we have to stay 3 feet away from bicycles but they still don’t follow all traffic laws and that is how they get killed.
With fall almost here it’s a good time to start thinking about a colors ride. The southeastern part of the state is great. On the Triple Nickel, Rt. 555 you have a great ride and some beautiful colors. I like to take a map, a paper Ohio map, and put it on the table and hunt for a river and that nice curvy road next to it. You can find some great riding and many stories to tell. One of my favorites is the Muskingum River out of Marietta - check it out. But you’ve got to stay off those 4 lanes. Can’t find stories out there!
We are half way through the riding season and it’s time to look at the stats. In 2017 we have had 1400 crashes and 42 fatalities, and in 2016 we had 1834 crashes and 77 fatalities. If we stay on this track we could finish the year at let’s say 100 fatalities. That would be “Half” of last year. Wouldn’t that be great? Looking at the overall stats, Motorcyclists are a fault 55.9% of the time. Yes, over half of us do it to ourselves. What can we do to help this? Remember the things that we have learned over the years of riding. Don’t take what we do for granted. Scan ahead, check your mirrors, use your turn signals, slow down and always remember to do your pre-ride check. With our reputation and all, something that we can boast about is we have only had 114 crashes and 12 fatalities, to date, due to alcohol. That is way down from our past.
It is never too late to take some time and take the Motorcycle Ohio riding class. Chuck and the crew have been working hard getting the Motorcycle Ohio More class up and running. If you don’t know, Motorcycle Ohio has created its own curriculum. It is structured to Ohio riding conditions and will teach us more about our road conditions. Go to the web site and check out the new classes and schedules at www.motorcycleohio.gov or call 1-800-83-Rider. If you have never taken a class you will learn something and if your passenger wants to become a better passenger, go and take a class. You will see a difference.
As I have found in my trips this year, the weather has been playing with us. In the spring nice warm days ended up not being that warm and you needed that coat that you did not bring. The nice dry and warm days we ended up finding developed some rain and some of us had no rain gear. The point is that you always need to be prepared for all conditions. If you get too cold your reaction time is slower and if the rain gets into your eyes you can’t see. Remember, in the first 15 min to half hour of a rain, the roads are the slipperiest. Stop, take a break and put your gear on, or just wait for the oils to be washed off the roads. And with the rain showers you get gravel washing out on the roadways. Slow down.
Distracted Driving, Drunk Driving and Drugged Driving are still major problems to Motorcycle riders. In Toledo they are now writing tickets for cell phone use. We have not heard yet how it is going but the prosecutor is prosecuting. We will keep you informed. With drivers on the road distracted or under the influence, we need to be ready to react at any time and be alert to what may happen. If you ever see a Safe Communities event, go check it out and see what you can do to help make our roads safer.
In the past I have talked about the flood walls in Portsmouth. They have murals on them of all different subjects, but the Motorcycle mural is my favorite. Steubenville also has a lot of murals on walls of buildings throughout the town. I have not been there as of yet but at Gallipolis and across the river there are supposed to be some great murals. Hope to get down that way soon, will keep you posted. If anyone finds some nice murals take a picture and send it to me.
This is the month that we all need to come together and support the ABATE of Ohio Foundation Raffle Bike. If you have not gotten your ticket this year and would like to support Motorcycle Awareness and Safety call me and I will send you a ticket. They are only $10.00 per ticket, buy 5 tickets and you get a free ABATE membership, and you get a chance on a 2017 Ultra-Limited Low, trailer, docking system, storage box and 10% off your next trip to Signature Harley. The drawing is Saturday, August 26th at The Original Margaritaville, Sandusky Ohio. The day will be full of Music, Bike Show, Road ride, Raffles of all kinds and Great food. For info call or email me.
Time to end this. I would like to ask everyone to support your local motorcycle events. Too many fund raisers don’t support the motorcyclist but take advantage of our deep pockets and kindness. Fund raisers are important, but so are motorcycle organizations. Continued support is needed so non-motorcyclists cannot vote to put helmets on our heads and take our freedoms away.
Hope everyone is having a great riding season. As I’m writing this article we are working Ohio Bike Week and the weather has been great. I think the overall bike count is down a little but everyone is having a great time. They have a new sign around town that says “We kindly ask… When in Town Please Throttle Down! Help Keep OHIO BIKE WEEK in Sandusky” I hope everyone heeded the warning. It is a great time and a great area to ride.
For the most part everyone is riding safe here at Ohio Bike Week and this means a lot on keeping an event alive. The stats for us this year are settling down. In 2016 we had 1,137 crashes and 35 fatalities as of the first of June. Now in 2017 we have 911 crashes and 23 fatalities. This is looking good compared to the way we started the year. Crashes involving injuries are down over 200. This says that we still have the crashes but not every crash is sending someone to the hospital.
Road conditions have a lot to do with crashes. A rough surface can cause loss of control resulting in a crash. In Northwest Ohio we have a lot of potholes and orange barrels. These lead to uneven road surfaces so we need to slow down. A lot of cages can get through at a faster speed but bikers may need to maneuver more to be safe. So when planning a trip, check for road construction and avoid it if possible. Think ahead, give yourself plenty of space and slow down.
Motorcycle Ohio is hard at work training riders. If you have never taken a riding class, make some time and take a class. You will learn a lot. If you are an experienced rider they do have a one day class that will sharpen your skills. And for you that have been riding on a temporary permit every year, you can take a one day class and get your endorsement. Please check in with Motorcycle Ohio and get trained and always ride SMART (ride Sober, ride Motorcycle endorsed, ride Alert, ride with the Right gear and ride Trained).
I always like to remind everyone to check out your bike before every ride and a good check every week. Before every ride look at tires, look for oil, any loose or hanging parts and then at start up listen for any unusual sounds. Every week check tire pressure, tire condition, lights, brakes, oil levels and general condition of bike. And most important when you have your oil and filter changed always check your bike over very well. In the shop manual and some owner manuals they give you a check list for different mileages and times. This will help a lot. Last and very important, you should have some tools with you; combination screw driver, hex keys, torx keys, pliers, adjustable wrenches and a bag to keep them in. A good way to see if you have the right tools - start by going to the battery and check the battery terminal for tightness and check to see if you can change a turn signal bulb.
On a regular basis I like to support the local AMA sanctioned clubs in the area. These clubs have been around for a long time and need our help. In return they do charity work for us. When these runs are sanctioned that means they have the AMA backing and insurance. That keeps you covered on the runs. So many unsanctioned runs have NO liability insurance. All ABATE of Ohio runs are sanctioned by the AMA and are insured to keep you covered while on the run.
I have been working with my local Safe Communities. These county-wide organizations are set up by the State of Ohio and they are granted money to help communities run safety programs. Part of this grant money is specified for a motorcycle awareness program. I go so I know the motorcycle community gets the most out of that money. At the same time I work with local police, sheriff departments and state patrol officers. I have learned about Distracted Driving, Drunk Driving and Drugged Driving. So we as Motorcyclists can get involved. With our presence we can make a difference.
ABATE of Ohio is promoting “The Year of the Member”. We want every Motorcyclist to be a member of a Rights Organization. We offer two for one memberships for $20.00, two friends $20.00 or $10.00 each if you like. You can go online and sign up at ABATE.com, call the office at 614-319-3644, go to an ABATE event and sign up or just find a member. We all carry applications. Remember, freedom is not free.
Ohio Bike Week 2017 is up and running as you read this article. ABATE of Ohio will be at Margaritaville
all ten days. We hope to see you there. Ohio Bike Week is still down at the waterfront, out at the Fairgrounds, at Mad River Harley and at Margaritaville. There are a lot of activities around Sandusky to make sure we all have a lot of fun. Check it out at www.ohiobikeweek.com.
As we do every month, we are going to check out the facts. We have had a nice spring and the numbers are not
good but could be worse. In 2016, from the first of the year to date, crashes 613 and fatalities 16. In 2017, crashes 445 and
fatalities 14. This year we as motorcyclists need to pay attention to this fact - we are at fault 60.2% of the time. One of the
major things we do is run off the roadway. The best ways to help us from running off the road is to slow down and don’t be
Motorcycle Ohio is back teaching classes every weekend. Go online and sign up soon at
www.motorcycleohio.gov or call 1-800-83-Rider. By taking any of the classes you will find that there is something you’re
doing wrong. They will teach you what to practice to keep yourselves on the road. Every year Motorcycle Ohio has kickoffs
to start the year. They have two in June, so go online, check out the locations and take in a ride. It’s always a good
This is the year we need to watch the 3D’s. First, drunk drivers and drunk riders. Last year we did very well as
riders - only 26% of crashes were alcohol related. Second, distracted drivers. Cell phones are the number one distraction
and we do have distracted riders. Don’t be messing around with anything other than riding on that bike. Third is drugged
drivers and riders. At this time I have no answer for this. Just don’t do it and especially don’t ride when you are under the
Abate is always working to keep roadways safe and
keep the laws benefiting us as riders. The only way we can do this is with members. This is the Year of The Member. We
would like everyone to sign up a friend so we are giving 2 for 1, but really it is $10.00 a membership for a year. So sign up
now and we will keep our laws helping us. Note - if you purchase 5 Raffle tickets you get a free membership, and if
you’re lucky, a free Motorcycle.
So at that I’m signing off. If you need anything ask, I will do my best. My goal this year is to get to more regions
than last year. You may see me at your meeting or run.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month! We are back out on the roads and car drivers need to start watching out for us. This is the month that we have to remind motorcyclists need to watch out for those car drivers. Distracted driving is just getting worse by the day, so be aware we are smaller and some car drivers just won’t see us. So far this year we are not doing great but with the nicer weather, we could be in trouble. Last year, 2016, we had 268 crashes and 10 fatalities. This year, 2017, we have had 201 crashes and 8 fatalities. Remember it is our job to ride aware at all times and ride defensively.
The one thing that would show our Legislators that we are working hard at zero fatalities is to have Zero Fatalities and keep crashes and crash injuries low. We can accomplish this by taking a training program, staying alert, riding sober and practicing in aa empty parking lot. As an Awareness group we are putting up billboards and yard signs to bring “Look Twice and Save a Life” to everyone’s attention. This is all about riding SMART. The best person to control your destiny is you.
If you read this at the end of April, say thanks to Lisa for getting the mag out in time to read what’s coming up. You still have time to make the Motorcycle Awareness Rally 2017. Gates open at 10am Saturday May 6, 2017 at A.D. Farrow Harley Davidson at I71 and 37, North Star. We head out at 12 noon and go to the Ohio State House to have our day on the steps. We read Proclamations and listen to a few, very few, speeches. We’re out of there by 2pm and just down High Street south to Vickers’s for an After Rally Party. This is our time to let our State Government know we are involved. Ride Free!
Ohio Bike Week this year starts on May 26th and goes through June 4th with great times to be had by all. ABATE of Ohio will be set up at Margaritaville on the west side of Sandusky Ohio. The products trailer will be there and you can get your year pins so bring your coupon and get caught up. We have a very good supply of Look Twice Save a Life shirts in neon colors, only $10.00. We are fully stocked on all products.
Something that I really believe in is the Motorcycle Ohio Training program. We are starting a new year with Ohio’s own program. It’s called the Motorcycle Ohio More Program and it was developed to take in Ohio problems like deer, roundabouts and many different road conditions unique to our part of the country. The goal is to get every rider trained and endorsed because it is a fact that unlicensed motorcyclists are involved in more single vehicle and road departure accidents than licensed riders. In case you don’t know, if you take the course you will have your endorsement at the end. You can enroll online at www.Motorcycle.ohio.gov .
In spite of everything we see on social media, remember we are basically nice people. We need to ride as if we are representing the Motorcycling world and the whole world is watching. As what we do as bikers, there is no international sign for a biker in need of help. When a bike is setting alongside of the road we need to check on that bike and rider. Never just fly by. If they are standing there, look for a thumb up or a wave on, but always slow down and make sure they do not need help. I even check on cars. Remember, we are the good guys.
Ok I’m done for this month so let’s go riding. Always be responsible, take responsibility and ride responsible. If anyone would like me to come and do a presentation about ABATE of Ohio, the 3-R’s or Motorcycle Awareness, call me.
It is April and Motorcycle Season is here. We have already had some very nice days and with those came crashes with some fatalities. The crashes that I have been able to review have told me that over winter, we forgot how to negotiate curves, slow down, watch for distracted drivers and not ride impaired. At this time in 2016 we had 67 crashes with 3 fatalities and 47 injuries. In 2017 to date we have had 76 crashes with 3 fatalities and 62 injuries. Injuries and fatalities do not add up to total crashes because some lucky ones do walk away unharmed. However, as you can see in this short two month period, we have had significantly more injury crashes. Please ride SMART: Ride Sober, Ride Motorcycle Endorsed, Ride Alert, Right Gear and Ride Trained.
Motorcycle Ohio is up and running. Call 1-800 837 4337 or go online to motorcycleohio.gov and get into a class. If you have never taken a class you will learn something. If you have been riding on a temporary permit every year, take a class and walk away with your endorsement. If you are an experienced rider with no endorsement you can take a one day course and get your endorsement. If you want to make some extra money, become an instructor and get paid an average of $26.00 an hour to play on your motorcycle.
Spring is here and it’s time to get those “Look Twice Save a Life” signs out in your yard, still priced at $10.00. Check with your local ABATE member and he or she will get you one. You can also contact me at 419-654-5446 and I will help. The more we make motorists aware, the more they will look out for us. Pick up a “Look Out for Motorcycles” magnet for your vehicle because they are free. If anyone has a spot for a 3X6 “Look Twice Save a Life” sign, it is two sided and only costs $35.00. For all signs check with the ABATE office 1-800-25-BIKER or ABATE.com and someone will get them to you.
There is a picture in this Outspokin’ of a sign made by Donnie and Mark Kalb in Colorado. To get it to Donnie’s sister in Holgate, OH they took it to the Meeting of the Minds in Oklahoma City last year, had ABATE of Michigan members take it to Lansing, MI, Ed picked it up at the Michigan Seminar and took it to Columbus with him and Ed & I finally delivered it to Holgate last week. The sign is on OH 108 in Holgate for everyone to see look Twice Save a Life. We get the job done!
May 2017 is Motorcycle Awareness Month. As in the past, ABATE of Ohio Inc. will be holding the Motorcycle Awareness Rally and After Rally Party. The day will start at A.D. Farrow Harley Davidson, sign in at 9:30am parade leaving at 12:00noon for the Ohio State House. It’s great when we shut down I71 to downtown. It lets everyone know that we are back on the roads for the season. This is one ride that brings bikes from every corner of the state. They will bring with them Proclamations from their local legislators and government officials to read on the Statehouse steps. Please check out our web site, ABATE.com, for more info.
Coming up this month ABATE of Ohio will be hosting the 2017 State Seminar, highlighting legislation, safety and education. It is open to everyone and it’s a great place to learn what is happening with our motorcycling life. You can find all the info online at ABATE.com or call me at 419-654-5446.
If you have not seen it by now, ABATE is calling for your help. We need membership numbers to fight the fight. You can join ABATE with a friend 2 for 1 - $20.00 will get you two memberships. This is The Year of The Member. Renew with a friend or sign up two new members for $20.00. If you purchase five (5) Bike Raffle tickets, you get one free membership in ABATE. Remember this is The Year of The Member, so tell everyone to help us out.
Please ride SMART and don’t drive or ride distracted. You may save the life of a friend or relative.
It is the 2nd of February, “Ground Hog Day”, and they say that it’s going to be 6 more weeks of winter. I think Mother Nature has more to do with it than an underground rodent does, but we will get what we get. Every year at this time we get a day or two of nicer than nice days and we have to get the bike out for a ride. Well, we had one of those days the day before my birthday. I had to run some errands and had to take the cage. I must say my fellow bikers were not setting a good example to fellow citizens. They were riding way too hard for having the bikes in storage for 60 days. People only remember the loud and reckless. At the end of the day I got home and saw on the news that we had a fatality in Wood County involving speed and alcohol , the first fatality in more than a year.
Our stats; in 2016 we had 1 crash and 1 fatality to date. In 2017 we have 23 crashes and 1 fatality to date. It is going to be a long year. There are really many factors that contribute to these stats and we as bikers need to talk about riding safe and respectful. If we think we don’t need to worry about it, we will just keep loosening our right to ride free. If we have a nice day by all means get out and go for a ride but take it easy. The road surfaces are going to change and we need to check them out. They are called Road Evils.
Looking at 2016 there are a few facts that we should keep in mind. In June we had a very large number of fatalities, with June and October having the most fatalities. I have been telling you that we are our own worst enemies, so now I’m going to list some stats that show you how we do it to ourselves. Rider at fault 53.1%. At fault crashes caused by unendorsed riders 44.9%. At fault crashes caused by endorsed riders 55.1%. Fatal crashes 48% single bike. Fatal crashes 26% were alcohol related. 70% of fatalities the rider was at fault. 60% of fatalities happen on the weekends. 37% of fatalities were with fixed objects. Something that I never even thought about, the Ohio Turnpike had 9 deaths and 5 of these are motorcycle related. I hope everyone takes a look this new riding season with a responsibility to ride safer and help our fellow biker to ride safer.
For those of you that are just starting, Motorcycle Ohio is taking registrations for this year at www.motorcycle.ohio.gov. If you can’t get into a class in your area make it a getaway weekend and take your other half and make it fun. We need to get everyone endorsed and trained you can learn something even if you have been riding forever. If anyone is interested in becoming an instructor, check with Motorcycle Ohio at 800-837-4337. Most training sites pay about $26.00 an hour. And to all instructors, you all have refresher workshop on March 18th. I thank all instructors for doing what you do.
ABATE of Ohio, Inc. State Seminar Information Workshop and Awards Banquet. This is a PUBLIC EVENT and a great place to learn what ABATE is all about. Saturday April 8th is full of interesting speakers covering legislation, laws, insurance and what is coming in the future for motorcyclists. You can go to ABATE.com and preregister or just show up. Information: April 7-8, 2017, at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Akron – Fairlawn, 3150 W. Market St. Akron, Oh 44666, deadline for block rooms: March 17, 2017, contact 330-869-9000. If you are interested in how motorcycle laws work and how you change the laws, this is a very good place to start.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, with the Motorcycle Awareness Rally riding from A.D Farrow’s in Sunbury, Oh. to the Ohio State House and Region 9 is hosting the After Rally party. Next month I will have all the details for you or you can go to state web page and check out the flier. This ride lets everyone know that we are back out on the roads for summer.
How do you start a Motorcycle Safety and Education article on the first day
of January and its cold outside and you’re going to read it in February ???
I have lost most of New Year’s Day due to getting home at 5am from driving the van (as I call it the
drunk bus) all night taking happy people home to keep them and everyone else safe. We would pick up at bars and private
parties and deliver someone home within 10 miles of Bowling Green. The program is called “Swallow Your Pride and Call
for a Ride” and this was our 4th year. Wood County Safe Communities puts this on with the help of many businesses
advertising for us with table tents, stickers on pizza boxes and posters. There was also a very high police presence and many stops we saw began with no head lights or no turn signals. The
program is also offered on St. Patrick’s Day. We feel we are making a difference, and this is one example of how you can get involved in your local community. I feel some people have
a better opinion of bikers because I am involved in this program.
2016 is over and we did not do very well. This is due to several factors - very good weather for most of the year and more motorcycles on the roads. 2016 was the 2nd
highest in the last 10 years with 4,159 crashes and 195 fatalities.
Motorcycle Ohio trains us and motorcycle manufacturers
build better bikes with the best ever brakes, and we still kill
ourselves. In 70% of fatalities the rider was at fault. Some
very important facts from Motorcycle Ohio, June and October
accounted for most of the fatalities, 48% were single unit
crashes, 26% were alcohol related, 70% had the rider at fault,
60% of fatalities happened on the weekend, 62% occurred
between 2-9pm and 37% of the fatalities were from fixed
objects. A fact I look at every year is how many fatalities were
passengers. In 2016, 21 passengers died.
After you read all those facts you say how
can we fix this? Every motorcyclist needs to get some training,
every motorcyclist needs to be endorsed and we need to
ride SMART. Car drivers are distracted, possibly drunk and
drugged drivers keep getting behind the wheel. We need to
ride more aware than ever.
This year the ABATE of Ohio, Inc. State
Seminar will be held on April 8th. It will be a day of information,
motorcycle legislation information, Motorcycle Ohio
updates, motorcycle awareness and safety and education. This
is a great place to get to meet the people that are working hard
to make motorcycling Safe and Free. The seminar is open to
the public and to all riders.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and
time to let every Motorist know that we are back out on Ohio
roads. On Saturday May 6, 2017 Abate of Ohio, Inc. will host
the Motorcycle Awareness Rally and After Rally Party. Every
year we have riders come to Columbus from all around the
state to take part in this great ride. It starts at 10am at A.D.
Farrow, Harley Davison, Sunbury. The police close down Rt
71 and we head to the Statehouse, park around the square and
stand on the State house steps and read Proclamations from all
over this great state. And then to the after rally party at Victory
just 2 blocks away. This is a great way to let everyone
know that we are riding the roads of Ohio.
I’ve said enough so I hope all stay warm
and get those bikes repaired and ready for a long and great
riding season. Ohio has many great roads to ride and so many
places to visit that I know we will run into you someplace.
Stay safe !!
It is a new year and a new government is ready to make it a great year? I have set some new goals for this year, the biggest being Motorcycle Crash reduction. If we can reduce crashes, that will reduce fatalities. With the fatalities we had last year we have big job ahead of us. I’m writing this on the first of December so we may have a few more riding days but will have a final report in a few months. At this time the 2016 Crashes are 4164 and fatalities 189 compared to 2015 Crashes are 3720 and fatalities 158. As soon as I can get a final report I will add more facts like how many new registrations we had, how many trained riders, riders’ ages with the most crashes and much more, with a big emphasis on how can we fix it.
The number one cause of Motorcycle Crashes is Motorcyclists themselves. 54.2% of the time it is our fault. 2083 crashes and 118 of the fatalities we did to ourselves. We need to correct this. Things that could help are getting trained, riding more aware, riding less distracted, and not riding impaired. We need to help our fellow riders, like suggesting to take a class together or having something to eat after a couple beers before we get back on the road. When I started riding, our elders helped us be safe. We have a lot of new riders coming out that have bikers in family so we need to be their teachers.
If you have no idea how to find out about motorcycle rights and what we are facing in the future, come to our ABATE of Ohio, Inc. State Seminar in April of 2016. All the information is on the ABATE.com web site. The dates are April 7-8, in Akron. Information that will be covered include legislative projects coming up and being worked on, Awareness and Education programs and the new Motorcycle Ohio Program. We also have guest speakers, Legislators, insurance representatives and maybe even a lawyer or two. This event is open to the public and everyone is invited. If you need help of any kind contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
To start the riding season and make everyone aware when we are back on the roads, take part in a local run or even better, come to the 2017 Motorcycle Awareness Rally and After Rally Party. The State Event is on Saturday May 6, 2017 starting at AD Farrow Harley Davidson in Sunbury. We will have a parade to the Ohio Statehouse, with the reading of our Governor’s Proclamation and local proclamation’s from cities and villages throughout the state. This kicks off May as Motorcycle Awareness Month 2017. A lot happens before the Rally and at the After Rally, so check out the flier on ABATE.com.
Motorcycle Ohio 2017 registrations start February 23rd 2017. Don’t delay because prime times go fast. If you are a new rider or a rider without an endorsement, take the class and at the end you will have your endorsement. For anyone that would like to be an instructor and make some extra money, Motorcycle Ohio has posted the 2017 instructor course schedule. They are putting on three to start the year. Please, if you think this may work for you give them a call. They need people all around the state.
It’s cold out and the Bike is sitting waiting on me to start my annual maintenance so I’m going to close this and be back the first of February. Don’t be a Procrastinator. Get your bike ready for riding season because it’s only 2 or 3 months away, depending on where you live.
Here we are in December but I’m writing this article on November 1st so I will give you the news thru October. In 2015 at this date we had 3552 crashes with 152 fatalities and now in 2016 we have 3753 crashes with 170 fatalities. With the month of November looking like we are going to have nice weather, these numbers will be going up. At this time we are still at 54.3% biker at fault. For as long as I have been doing this we have never been under 50% and it has been in the 60% a few times. If we could just slow down and not run off of the curves we could be below 50%. Remember “Ride Within Your Limits”.
Motorcycle Ohio is starting a new curriculum. They will be teaching Ohio’s own program and it will be taking into consideration Ohio problems. From what I have seen it looks very good. If you have not taken the course before now you need to do this one. Registration will start on January 23rd 2017. If you have never taken a class you will learn something and you may get a discount on insurance.
Last month I gave you FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. It is saying that the phone is more important than driving. Now I give you the 3-D’s, “Drunk Driving, Drugged Driving and Distracted Driving”. We need to work on ways to get these under control. The new “Drugged Driving” is the hardest to beat because when people are under the influence of drugs, they believe they are good drivers. It is also the hardest to detect. Over the years we have been educated to change our behavior, then new rules are enacted and they don’t work because we have no enforcement. So now we are going to let the cars do the thinking, and that is a whole new story.
We have talked about Road to Zero and Vision Zero programs, which seek to have zero crashes. I have been following these very closely. To get these programs to work we have tried programs like Awareness and Education, new laws and more enforcement. This has to help but has not been enough to make the goal of Zero crashes. Now we are going to make cars and bikes do our thinking. If this does not work then maybe we will just start getting rid of the problem and Motorcycles are a problem. Smart cars are being tested but not with motorcycles in the equation even leaving out pedestrians and bicycles. We as motorcyclists need to stay on top of all these programs and be ready to act.
To make all that I have been talking about work in our favor, everyone needs to join a Motorcycle Rights Organization. I would like to see every biker in Ohio be a member of ABATE of Ohio, Inc. That would make every state Legislator and Official listen. On the back page of this Magazine is an application. Remember that you are not required to come to meetings but you are required to Vote to save our right to ride. With your membership you get the Outspokin’ Magazine, in paper or online, and you will get a $3,500 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance policy. We have a lot to fight for and we can only do it with numbers, so join now.
Even with the riding season slowing we still have a lot going on. Cleveland IX center is having some great shows coming up and Easy rider will be back in Columbus with the Bike Show. I heard that a parts EXPO is coming to Columbus also. In April ABATE will be hosting a statewide Legislative and Safety and Education Seminar - more to be coming. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Well my friends we are at the end of another year and snow will be falling soon. Back in the day we had 9 month riding seasons and 3 month layups for cheaper insurance and our insurance always started first of March. Now we ride for the same price all year. So where am I going with this? It seems like all insurance policies start at different dates so CHECK YOUR RENEWAL. When we have that rare nice day on Christmas Day you can go for a ride.
The same as every month, we need to talk about motorcycle crashes and fatalities. The riding season has been great and we have been logging a lot of miles. This has brought use a lot of crashes and when we have crashes, we get fatalities. In 2015 we had, at the end of September, 3,247 crashes and 141 Fatalities and in 2016 we have 3,146 crashes and 145 Fatalities. The motorcyclist was at error 54.3% of the time, non-motorcyclist drivers 35.9% and animals 5% of the blame. We need to do a better job riding.
Looking at the crashes we find that motorcyclists make a lot of mistakes. We run off the curves, we fail to stop in time and we fail to use good riding habits. When you read this, Motorcycle Ohio will be done but the first of the year I will be on everyone to sign up for a class to sharpen their riding skills. In February’s article you will see the end of the year statistics and a summary on what we need to do to save ourselves from that crash.
I was at a NHTSA, (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), meeting covering our area. The theme of the meeting was Driving Behavioral Change in Traffic. The goal in NHTSA is to have ZERO crashes and fatalities. How do you accomplish this? Do away with high risk activities. That is not all I got out the meeting. We talked a lot on how to get the communities involved in creating programs to make the roads safer and get law enforcement involved in creating safer programs. This is mostly to create programs to stop distracted driving and drunk driving. In our new day and age we have DRUGGED driving and riding. We need to work hard to stop these practices.
Drugged driving and riding is a whole new problem. Most impaired drivers feel that they can drive and ride okay but let’s face it, that is not true. To detect some of these drugs it takes special testing and officer training. And being the old guy that I am, I feel we need to stop this opioid problem.
In the future we need to watch smart technology. My question is do they recognize a Motorcycle. Columbus has been picked to be a test city for self-driving cars. I want all of us as motorcycle riders to be aware that if those sensors miss us, they will run over us. Everyone that rides a motorcycle needs to belong to ABATE of Ohio, Inc. As a motorcycle legislative organization we are attending these meetings and we will make sure we are part of these programs. In joining you will get the Outspokin magazine that reports the most up to date fact on these programs. To make our voice heard we need numbers and your voting power.
I was at a Safe Communities meeting and learned a new acronym - FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. This was aimed at teens but I think it is true of everyone who just can’t leave that cell phone lay. Now that we have figured out that it is a disorder and could have a cure, we may be one step closer to the solution of curbing distracted driving. I would love to hear your comments on FOMO.
Last of all this is November, don’t forget to Vote. To everyone who supports Veterans, this is what we fought for. It is your duty to go to the polls and vote for someone! Make time for family on Thanksgiving. We all have a lot to be thankful for, so take this one day and enjoy. Be responsible and join a Motorcycle Rights Organization and it may just save what we all enjoy doing.
Here we are getting the bike packed for our Labor Day ride and I’m writing the October article. The facts this month will be one month old, but I think everyone will get the message that we need to ride extra cautious. In 2015 to date, we’ve had 2682 crashes and 124 fatalities compared to 2016, we had 2614 crashes and 116 fatalities. If we look at Motorcycle Ohio’s report we look worse. They look at the Police reports that I sometimes can’t see, so look at the numbers with an open mind and realize that all the numbers are bad so we need to ride with caution.
As we all ride together and compare riding experiences sometimes we need to look into these conversations. One that comes to mind is that car and truck drivers don’t care about us. I would say that this is not true. Most people don’t want to run into us, but most likely did not see us. Let’s look at some of the possible reasons that affect why they can’t see us; the sun setting behind us, we are in the glare of head lights, can be hidden behind a door post and just the fact that we are smaller and cannot be seen. If you are in the sunset, move to one side of the lane or other to make yourself more visible. Do your best to stay out of the glare of head lights behind you. Put your hi beam on so they can tell the difference when you beam down. Don’t ride in the blind spots of cars and trucks. If you look at the mirror and you see them, they can see you. Also don’t hang out next to a car or truck.
I talk a lot about getting trained and sharpening your skills. In class you learn that keeping your eyes moving and scanning ahead will help keep you out of that crash. But sometimes hazards will pop up too quickly. You need to cut speed and try to not hit the big mass. Go for the edge or the small part. Try to protect yourself by wearing boots, gloves, long pants and yes, even a helmet. All of these could help.
Now for the big one, “I laid it down”. Most of the time this statement means you over-braked and down it went. We should all realize we can stop faster with the brakes than if we are sliding to a stop on our side. With good braking and off the brakes and counter steer and back on the brake, you can miss a crash. You can get good at braking if you go to a parking lot and practice.
Motorcycle Ohio is still running classes so if you have the time, this is a good time of the year to get in. If you have never taken a class it will be worth your time. They will show you the reason you do what you do and then you can practice and get better. Also if you were interested in becoming an instructor and just did not get it done, they will sign you up at Motorcycle Ohio and you will be ready to make about $26.00 per hour next year.
This is the last month to make up your mind who to vote for. I can’t tell you the best person, whether we are talking the President, Federal, State or your local Mayor. You need to ask yourself if this is the best person for the job, to represent you and your Motorcycle lifestyle. Will this person support motorcycle friendly laws and help make the roads safe? Know who you are voting for.
In the September ABATE State Board meeting, I passed out a trifold named “A Motorcyclist’s Guide to Safely Riding the State Routes in Holmes County”. It was put out by Holmes County Safe Communities organization. It has some great routes laid out and points out hazard areas. To get a copy contact the ABATE of Ohio Inc. State office, your Region Director or myself. With the fall color changes and the last chances to take a ride, this will help in planning a nice ride. It will even show you some new areas to see and I’m always hunting for that.
Please get out and support your local and state rights organization. If you are already a member, thank you and please sign up a new member. With getting new government leaders we will have new laws introduced that we may not like and we all will need to act on them.
We are in trouble with fatalities. At this rate we will surpass last year and we will be the center of attention to all who think they can fix it. We as Bikers can and need to fix it ourselves. In 2015 we had 2111 crashes and 84 fatalities and now in 2016 we have (as of 8/1/2016) 1948 crashes and 93 fatalities. At this time we can study 80 of these: 16 were trained and 11 of these were at fault, 10 were passengers and 1 was a 3-wheeler. Then we need to look at helmet use because the people that think they know what will fix things think helmets will, but 45% were wearing helmets. The last figure that we need to look at is in 54% of fatalities, the motorcyclist was in error. Now we have the facts but what will fix it?
One thing that would help is if everyone would take a Motorcycle Training Course. In Ohio we have Motorcycle Ohio. For $50.00 you can take their training course. Some say that the beginner’s course is a waste of time because they already know how to ride. Yes you do, but there are things over the years that we don’t practice anymore and the training brings them back to being a habit. There are also advanced courses and even a one day course. For those that have been riding on a temporary permit for years, you will have your endorsement at the end of the course. Being trained can and will fix a big percent of our crashes. Fix crashes and fatalities will come down. Just so you know, I personally have taken the beginner’s course 3 times, and each time have learned something new.
Most of us have two more months of riding. At the end of October we stop riding and go into winter mode. Some of us keep going until they put salt down on the road. I don’t ride until the rain washes it off. Start thinking about getting your bike ready for this time of the year. It’s probably time for a fresh oil change. If you have an oil cooler, find your covers and put them on for the cold weather. If you have an open air cleaner, find the socks that cover it. And check those tires because you need good traction this time of year. I just had to put on a new front tire and I can tell you from experience, tire installation is much cheaper at home than on the road. Don’t forget to get out your cold weather gear that you haven’t had to wear lately. Make sure it is ready to go. Most of the time it takes about two weeks to get a zipper put in. It is great to ride for as long as we can and with the right gear and a well maintained bike, it can be Fun.
I have been getting around Ohio visiting different party and runs. It seems that many of the events are getting smaller and many of these small riding groups rely on these events to support them for the year. One of these small clubs in the Toledo area was my first organized ride. I still go back and do their events. Not as many as I would like but it helps. At the same time I went on my first organized ride, I had to join AMA because back then all rides were sanctioned and insured by AMA. Today we all go on runs and some are not insured. This is not good. If you are involved with the organization of a run, or know who is, please make sure they get insurance. Some of the fatalities I talked about earlier happen on these runs, and insurance protects the organizers.
ABATE of Ohio Inc. is an organization, not a club. We do not require you to come to meetings, but we do require that you stay informed about motorcycling, as we are “Dedicated to the Preservation of Motorcycling”. It’s the same idea as in guns where you have the NRA, an origination to inform gun owners of their rights. ABATE works through legislation to keep motorcycling FREE and inform you on any laws that may hinder your way of riding. In our Magazine you can find articles on what is going on with our lawmakers, information on motorcycle safety and education, information on insurance issues and fliers for events going on around the state. To become a member you can go online, ABATE.com, or call 1-800-25BIKER. We do take credit cards.
I want everyone to stay responsible and ride with care; remember that DISTRACTED DRIVERS ARE EVERYWHERE!! Always look ahead and know where you can go to avoid a hazard and ride SMART.
Well we are half way through this year and we are no way in great shape but not looking to bad. In 2015 we had 1,439 crashes, 53 fatalities; in 2016 we had 1,469 crashes, 51 fatalities. This report was taken the day before 4th of July weekend so if all my friends can keep out of trouble I will be so happy. One of our big facts is that more than 50% of the time we cause the crash. But we are doing better by 1% but will take that as we are getting better. Now for the last fact is that the 21 to 25 have more injuries but the 61 to 65 have more fatalities with 36 to 40 in 2nd in both crashes and fatalities. Lets all of us work hard at riding safe and help your friends stay safe, RIDE RESPOSIBLE, TAKE RESPOSIBILITY and BE RESPOSIBLE.
The MRF (Motorcycle Riders Foundation) Has introduced a new slogan “Ride Aware, Drive Aware and Live Aware”. We need to take this and work on it because it does touch all the bases. We all know that we need to Ride Aware; we work on this from day one. Tell your family and friends to Drive Aware and keep putting those yard signs out “Look Twice Save a Life” and a magnate “Look out for Motorcycles” on the back of every car. And the last is Live Aware this to me means we to get every fellow biker to be a member of ABATE, the MRF or AMA (American Motorcycle Association). And support our freedom to ride and live our life.
Today our world is moving so fast that we keep increasing accidents and fatalities. Many lawmakers see the answer in smart technology, in the next thirty years our country will grow by 70 million people. In solving this problem one factor that is being over looked is the Motorcycle. We need to keep pushing and force these lawmakers to keep us in their objective. Columbus is one of these cities that are leading the way we need to be a part of this. And we will be with all of your help when we call for you to talk to your locale legislator you, the Motorcyclist, need to make that call or stop by their office.
On this same subject off safety, Parise is restricting Motorcycles built before 2000 from being ridden in the city at different time during the week. This is just not for motorcycles but even banding old car. As many of us remember from the past that some countries in Europe do have recycle program, meaning that when you trade in your bike it goes to recycle and you get a credit on you knew bike. With this being said support your Motorcycle Rights Organization so that you are not the last to know.
You hear some of the best things on face book, a couple of riders have written that they were forced off the road. Would be nice to have more info but as I ride and watch other riders I see them riding in the right side of the lane. If you ride more to the left side and let those drivers know you’re in that lane you will be more of a force. When riding in a group and staggered stay close so drivers can’t get in between. And last when riding with friends talk over how you are going to handle emergency situations be smart.
As I said we are half way through this riding season remember more drivers are driving distracted and we need to be ready at all times. If you see your friends starting to ride a little reclus have a talk with them and tell them that we need to be Responsible. Thank You.
I was at Ohio Bike Week this week working at the ABATE trailer and selling Raffle Bike tickets, so I had a very good picture of what was going on. I saw riders with every type of riding gear on that I think was ever made. And as I have always said, if you feel comfortable and safe that is what you should wear and use. I also saw every
size of person on every size of machine, small bikes, large V8 bikes, small V Twin trikes to Large V8 trikes, and I would say
95% of them were in control. If you feel you don’t have control 100% of the time, don’t ride in big crowds. And when
you’re picking out that ride, get it to fit you. With that all being said; I saw 4 big bikes go down on close right hand turns
and so many close calls I lost count. Overall, I had a great time at Ohio Bike Week. You can be entertained by a different
band and all types of music every 6 hours for the whole 10 days! There were lots of vendors and every type of food you
can think of. Attending OBW is supporting all types of businesses and motorcycle support groups. As motorcyclists, we
need to support our core groups and events.
Talking with a lot of different bikers at OBW, I found that many have never heard of ABATE, MRF or even
AMA. This is not good. Maybe they don’t know that E15 ethanol gas can damage your bike, that states are holding motorcycle
only check points or that graduated licensing for motorcycles could become a reality. Also, they may not know
that lawmakers and insurance companies are trying to restrict what types of motorcycles can be licensed and insured. If
nothing else, they can make it very expensive if no one challenges them. That’s where ABATE, MRF and AMA come in.
We are the bikers who fight for your rights and our freedom on the local, state and federal level. You don’t have to go to
meetings, but you do need to join to stay informed and be ready to make your voice heard if the do-gooders start winning.
With this riding season well under way, we need to keep up Motorcycle Awareness. If you don’t have a Look
Twice Save A Life sign in your yard, please get one. It is $10 that keeps going back into Motorcycle Safety and Education.
Also, I can send you Look Out For Motorcycle magnets if you would like some. Remember our goal is to keep better informed
and we can only do that with membership. Everyone, try to get to an ABATE run, swap meet or party and have a
We will start with the facts. So far in 2016 we have had 417 crashes, which is 3.4 crashes every day of this riding season, and 11 fatalities. In comparison 2015 had 335 crashes, which is 2.7 crashes every day of that riding season, with 8 fatalities. What can we do? I have looked at all the fatalities trying to find ways to eliminate them. After going to fatal review meetings and reviewing crashes with authorities, we find we need to educate Motorists and Motorcyclists to not be distracted while driving or riding.
Let’s talk about distracted driving. It is any activity that you do that takes your attention from the task of operating your vehicle. The cell phone is the most common and to me, this even means hands free, because you still don’t have your mind on what you are doing. To my brothers who are using cell phones on their bikes now, “stop it”. Also adjusting your navigation system is a big distraction. Pull to the side of the road and fix it. The list goes on - reading, grooming, eating and drinking, watching or adjusting any electronical device and talking or having a heated conversation with passengers. Please show by example and don’t ride or drive distracted.
The riding season is now well underway with many of our charity groups and riding groups putting on rides that they want everyone to stay together and in a parade. This is the favorite way to move from one point to another, but not always the safest and legal way to get to that point. First, in most areas you may need a parade permit and an escort. Some groups feel they can use road guards to block traffic to get through an intersection, but this is not legal in the state of Ohio. It also gets us a bad rap from motorists who have to wait. Yes, ABATE of Ohio, Inc. has been working with legislators on a road guard bill to make it legal to road guard in Ohio. Until this gets passed we should try do our rides legal and get a parade permit and escorts or use a route sheet and send everyone to the next check point on their own, obeying all laws. I know this will get a lot of comments so if you want change, join ABATE of Ohio Inc. and you can help get that law passed.
Motorcycle Ohio is training motorcyclists all over the state, and they will be for the whole riding season. If you have never taken a class, try to work one in this summer. You will learn something that could save your life. To the rider that rides every summer on a temporary permit and never gets the time to take the three day course, they now have a one day class that you can get your endorsement in one day. If you ride on a temporary permit you have restrictions, and if you get caught not following the rules, your bike can get towed and you will be walking.
In my travels around I have seen a lot of Look Twice and Save a Life signs and would like to see more. We have good supply of the yard stompers and have just ordered banner size 3X5 signs. The yard stomper is $10.00 and the banner size is now $35.00. Both of these signs are on corrugated board. This is a proven way to educate motorists that they need to watch out for motorcycles.
As many of you know I love riding Ohio roads and have some favorites. If you like the Dragons Tail you would like Ohio route 555 “The Triple Nickle”. Another favorite of mine is Route 9 from the Ohio River north. It ends up being very interesting. Up in the Toledo area where it’s mostly flat we have Route 424 along the Maumee River that has a lot curves and things to do along the way.
I hope everyone has a great riding season and that can only happen if we ride alert and defensively. We need to keep our motorcycles in good condition. Do your safety check before every ride. And don’t forget them tires. Check the tread in more than one spot on the tire, and proper air pressure is very important.
As we all know the Motorcycle Awareness Rally 2016 was wet and cold. Because of the brave souls that made the run, we made everyone aware that we are BACK. A big thanks to the BIB’s Memorial for their donation, AD Farrow for coffee and donuts, to Jim for getting the products trailer there, for everyone that set up the sign-in area and did the sign-ins, the Columbus Motor Police and the Delaware Sheriff’s department, our key note speaker Councilman Stinziano for braving the weather, Region 9 for a great After Rally Party and for all the hard core bikers for coming out in that weather.
It is snowing out and I’m writing my May article. That would not mean much to most people but this is Motorcycle Awareness month and we need the sun and warm weather. I’m writing in the future and I will say “the Awareness Ride and After Rally Party was held on a sunny and warm day.” HOPE I WAS RIGHT!
With that being said let’s get down to business. In 2015 on this date we had 147 crashes and 4 fatalities and now in 2016 we have had 166 crashes and 6 fatalities. We have had a very mild winter and it’s looking like spring is going to be the same. We need to keep up the hard work telling all our brothers and sisters to ride safe. Now is the time to get that Look Twice Save a Life sign out & get it back in the front yard. If you don’t have one, call the state office 800-25 BIKER and have one shipped to you.
I would like to thank everyone that came out to the Seminar. The speakers all did a great job and we all got some good information. I would like to thank Chuck Stiteler, Motorcycle Ohio State Program Coordinatorand Sherry Hill, Region 8 Safety and Education Coordinator and a Motorcycle Ohio Instructor for bringing us up to date on the MO program and what it takes to become an Instructor. Thank You
Every year we get our bikes out and somewhere along the way I say “have you checked your tires?” I’m a little late this year but I want you to take a look at it one more time and check that tire pressure. Also do a good check over for any oil leaks, fuel leaks or smell. Make sure all the lights work, check for soft brake pedal or lever and make sure everything is tight. Look at the bolts and see if there are any shinny spots (meaning it is loose) and then take it for a slow ride and listen for noises. Now you are ready to do a rider tune up. Go to an empty parking lot and do some figure eights, some hard stops, left and right slow turns and slow ride (get ready for the bike games). And last of all check your riding gear to make sure your stuff still fits (not saying) and it’s in good condition.
Now let’s hit the road. Something that has been going around is that the international sign of a biker in distress is a helmet behind a bike on the ground. Every bike sitting along the side of the road should be checked on. At least slow down and gets a thumbs up, and if no thumbs up, stop and check on them. There is never a good reason to stop on the side of the road. You should get to a safe place to stop and take a break; gas station, ice cream stand or rest area. If you are riding in a group and a bike breaks down, only one or two bikes should stop. The rest should move on to a safe place.
We always put out information on how we need to stay safe. We put out magnets saying “ look out for motorcycles” and signs along the road that say“Look Twice Save a Life”, but something else that would help to is if we could get all drivers to turn on their lights when it’s raining out and move over when an emergency vehicle is along the side of the road. If we tell our friend and they tell their friend, the word would get out and all would be safer.
The next big event in for me is June Jam 2016. It is coming together and all we need now is you to come to Logan Ohio and have a great time. Keep checking the web for up to date information and we will see you there. I know we could use some more vendors so if you are out and about, tell them to call.
I’m still working on that question that so far has NO answer; how we can stop distracted driving. If you have an idea let me know. We will keep looking and we will keep telling everyone that the life you save may be one of us. “Don’t text and drive”
When you get this article it will be just four weeks till the Motorcycle Awareness Rally and After Rally Party. Before that, we have some hard facts to look at. This year has not gotten off to very good start. To start, on the first day of this year we a fatality and there is now one more making 2 fatalities and 61 crashes for 2016, compared to 0 fatalities and 27 crashes for 2015. Yes, the weather has been better than last year but that is no excuse. We need to start out slow and get back in riding shape and have fun.
Now back to Motorcycle Awareness month, the Motorcycle Awareness Rally and After Rally Party. This year the Rally will be on Saturday, April 30th, one day before Motorcycle Awareness Month begins. We’ll kick it off in great style by shutting down I-71 from Sunbury to downtown Columbus, going to the Statehouse to read proclamations and to get inspired by guest speakers, and let everyone know that we are back out on the Ohio Roads again. (see flier on this page)
ABATE of Ohio Inc. has been informing Motorcyclists and Motorists for years that we need to “Educate, not Legislate”. By educating motorists through “Look Twice Save a Life” signs, billboards , truck signs and bumper stickers, we have made a difference. And with Motorcycle Ohio www.motorcycle.ohio.gov/ training motorcyclists to properly ride motorcycles, we are making a difference. In the past five years we have decreased the number of fatalities. A few facts: Motorcycle riders at fault 53%. At fault crashes caused by UNENDORSED rider 45.8%. Crashes involving UNENDORSED riders 42.1%. Motorcycle Ohio trained in crashes 20.2% and Motorcycle Ohio trained at fault crashes 10.2%. We need to get these unendorsed riders trained they will become safer riders. These riders are our friends so help them get signed up today.
We are still gathering Motorcycle Awareness Month Proclamations to read on the State House Steps. If you can stop at your Mayors office, Town ship Commissioners office, and even your State Legislators office and ask them to give you a Proclamation. I have samples of letters of introduction and proclamations. Give me a call and I will mail or email to you.
Here I am sitting in some of the nicest weather that a man could want - for winter anyway. But you know Old Man Winter just keeps us on the edge. They say snow and then dump brine on the roads. Well, no snow comes but there is tons of brine on the road and no rain to clean things up. Oh well, I’m not going to complain too much. How about the stats for the first month of this year? We still only have that one fatality from the first day of the New Year. It was alcohol related and the guy just drove off the road. But sadly, we have had 6 accidents so far. Last year at this time there were 20 accidents and NO fatalities. So let’s ride responsibly, be responsible and take responsibility. Remember those 3 R’s!
We’re getting ready for this new riding year and if you have the time, sign up for a riders course with Motorcycle Ohio at www.motorcycle.ohio.gov. They have a 16 hour beginners course consisting of classroom and on the range riding. There is BRC2, a one day course to get your endorsement. Also, check on the two-up course for those of us that love our girls close to us. Many years ago I got my dad to go with me and take the beginners course. That was also my first time taking the course but not the last. He even took it again with his old friends. I have to say I felt sorry for the instructors that weekend. As many of your own dad’s would say, “You can’t teach me anything”, but he was quick to take his words back. It kept him on the road until he passed so it was well worth it. Help a friend get a good start and make sure everyone gets endorsed.
In case you all don’t remember, this is the time of the year that we all go out and get our local Mayor, Township Trustees and Commissioner’s to write up a proclamation for Motorcycle Awareness Month. Most of the State offices have Proclamations in their computers so it’s easy for them to fill them out. We also have samples for you. You can contact me for paper samples and the state office has a CD that has all the info on it. Ruby Worchuck did a good job making the CD for anyone to use. During the Awareness Ride we will take all of the Proclamations to the State House and read them on the steps. If you have never gone on the Awareness Ride it is very rewarding. I went with my Dad and I took Harley when he was still riding behind me. When we show the citizens that we are out riding again, it means a lot. Please support May as Motorcycle Awareness Month 2016. The date of the ride this year is April 30th and will start at AD Farrows, North Sunbury (flyer in this magazine).
The 2016 State Seminar at Mohican State Park will be fun and informational. (see flyer) There is a lot of give and take during the talks and everyone’s ideas are discussed. We have lots of info on Safety and Education, Insurance, Legislative Issues and Politics. With the recent issues in Denver, we will have plenty to talk about. We will also be talking about where we want to direct our efforts. Distracted driving is still our top issue. Maybe we can find time to squeeze in talking about autonomous cars and robot systems on the roads and smart technology. Something for everyone. Hope to see you there.
This is the first time that I did not get one single answer to last month’s question. I’m asking for the slogan that we can put on the back of cars that will make people put the phone down! I’m going to give you one more chance to be heard. If you want, send it to me on Facebook.
Ride within your limits
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report
Where to start when it’s February and we are having 45 and 50 degree days and no snow on the ground? What is a
biker to do? We could ride but they keep coming along with brine and they’re putting it down thick. I could peel it off the back of my car so I know what it would do to my bike - pits and rust. And the future of the weather? I just don’t know if it will it be bad late into the spring or if we’ll have nice weather early so we can get out and ride. My crystal ball is not working today.
In 2015 we rode right up to the end. I made my last ride of the year the 19th of December. Even though we had a
slow start to the riding season with all the rain in the spring, we ended the year with a lot of fatalities. So far in 2015 we
have 3725 crashes and 153 fatalities. In 2014 we finished with 3655 crashes and 140 fatalities. Not good, but when you look
at the increase in registrations the percentages are about the same. There was one motorcycle fatality on New Year’s Day in
the Columbus area and alcohol was a factor. We are already counting for 2016. Please be safe and ride smart.
Chuck Stiteler is the director of Motorcycle Ohio and he has provided me the following for publication:
Ohio had another good year for training over 13,000 motorcyclists, mostly new riders. Thanks for your
support. We hear many riders say to other riders that they should take the class…actually been told
by other riders to do it! We have seen an up-tick in the BRC-2 class. This one day class has a lot of appeal.
You can take it yourself and sharpen your riding skills, or take it two-up with your favorite passenger.
It is a great way to practice together in a controlled environment and “get tuned” to each
other on the bike. One of the best kept secrets about this class is you can get your endorsement. If
you or someone you know has been on a temporary permit, send them our way. Better yet, come with them!
Thanks Chuck. We will continue to support the MO Program.
It is a good example of the way we want our tax dollars put to
I have been getting a lot of replies back on center
line rumble strips. Most have been in favor of them, with the
suggestion that they are used on straight roads in areas that
people may drift over but not on curves. It will be interesting
to see what the state does with them. Thanks for the feedback.
Last month my question was about the most beneficial
way to promote motorcycle safety and awareness. It must
be a hard question because I have not had very much response.
The ABATE Foundation Board will be working on
sights to place signs and promotions, so give us some ideas.
The question of the month is: What slogan do you
think we can use on car magnets to get people to STOP DRIVING
DISTRACTED? Maybe that’s it? Some other ideas I have
BUCKLE UP, HANG UP, HEADS UP
I’M A BIKER, NOT YOUR NEXT ROADKILL. GET OFF THE PHONE & OPEN YOUR EYES
Ride within your limits
State Safety & Education Director
Safety & Education Report
You will be reading this the first of 2016 and the annual stats are not good. We’ve had a rough year so far; 2015 has 3596 crashes and 150 fatalities compared to 2014 with 3615 crashes and 138 fatalities. It will be March before I will be able to sum up 2015 showing age groups, single vehicle accidents and impaired causes. The timing depends on how fast the reports get finalized. As I sit here writing this the weather men are telling me that December is going to get warm again, so we’re probably not done. Yes, I would love to get out and make one or two more runs but I’m probably done for the year. I hope everyone who is out there rides safe and we can hope for an early spring.
In the first part of December the U.S. senate approved the Federal Highway Bill and it looks like the President will sign it. This will be the first highway bill spanning longer than two years since 2005.
Re-establishing the Motorcycle Advisory Council
Continuation of the funding of Motorcycle safety grants
Funding distracted driving grant program
Share-The-Road Model Language, on the importance of sharing the road safely with motorcycles
Stop Motorcycle Check Points
Limitation and owner definition on data retrieval from vehicle event data recorders
This will be in place for five years and it gives us new programs that we can utilize. Many of the regulations and programs apply to all vehicles and do not single out motorcycles. This is a very good advancement of what we work for.
As we all hope for warm weather in January, if you ride please remember that salt and brine stays on the roads after the snow leaves. I like to wait for a good rain and then I will suit up and go for that winter ride. If you just can’t wait for the roads to get clean, wash your bike well when you get back. That stuff will just eat at your bike parts. It is nice to say I rode every month this year. We do like a challenge.
How many of you have found the center line rumble strips? The state has started doing some test strips around the state. The one that I found is on Route 68 just north of Kenton. If you get a chance to check them out let me know how your bike handles on them. I will make sure your comments get to the ODOT.
This is the start of a new year and I would like to see all of us have a safe ride. So my question of the month is; What is the most beneficial way to promote motorcycle safety? The use of billboards, bumper stickers or magnets, radio, TV commercials, newspapers or magazines, events? Let me know email@example.com or 419-654-5446
The Sate Seminar is coming up in March on the 19th It is a great place to learn how ABATE works and how we can make a difference. Any questions contact the state office or me. It is a fun way to meet Bikers from around the state that have the same goals as yourself.
I would love to be able to start out on a good note, but facts are facts. We have more fatalities than last year. The added registrations for this year would be some of it but not that great of a change. Let’s look at the facts for 2014
crashes 3529 and fatalities 125. For 2015 - crashes 3212 and fatalities 140.
How it shakes out:
All Crashes Unendorsed Riders 41.9%
Riders at-fault Crashes Unendorsed Riders 46.3%
Motorcycle Ohio Trained crashes 20.2%
Out of all fatalities this year 9 are passengers. We need to take care of our passengers. Take the two-up course at Motorcycle Ohio.
To me, these figures show there are an awful lot of unendorsed riders out there who don’t have the training they need. Let’s get all our friends endorsed and the number of crashes will be cut by as much as 50%. If you have not taken a riders course in the last 3 years, take some type of advanced rider’s course. Motorcycle Ohio has a one day courses. In your everyday riding remember that it is dangerous out there and we need to stay alert at all times, and always Ride SMART (Sober, Motorcycle Endorsed, Alert, Right Gear and Trained). This will keep us safe.
I was having a conversation with a younger rider and he said that he figured that his age group, 20 – 30, was probably high in crashes and fatalities. I told him they have just as many crashes and injuries but a lot less fatalities. The age group 45 to 60 has the highest percentages of crashes, injuries and fatalities. Us old guys just don’t make it through a crash as well the young ones. Plus we think we know it all because we have been riding for so many years. Maybe we all need to ride smart and be responsible to avoid the crashes.
I was on Facebook, yes, I heard it on the internet, that Hawaii has a legislator that want to ban motorcycles because of the noise. I contacted AMA and it is true. It has been in the works for about five months. There is a petition circulating and it has signatures and gaining followers. And as always the feds are looking at that pesky helmet law saying that it will save lives. If they can get sponsors for it, it will take off. These types of laws take so much energy to stop them. Now you say, why I am bringing this up? Because we need support! We need motorcyclists to be aware of what is going on. These days motorcyclists seem to support everything but motorcycles. We have 667,190 endorsements in Ohio as of this month and we do not have 5% that are members of our state rights organization or the AMA. Everyone needs to get involved if we want to keep riding our Motorcycles. Go to ABATE of Ohio and you can join and help fight for our rights and our freedom.
I think it’s time for the question of the month. How can an organization like ABATE of Ohio put an application in the hands of a new rider and get him or her to join to protect his rights to ride that Motorcycle? Mikestock419@gmail.com or 419-654-5446
I would like to wish everyone out there in Motorcycle land a Great Big Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you all.
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 don’t know any of my friends that are Hot Rod enthusiasts and don’t belong to the NHRA and read that magazine every month. Unfortunately, I know many fellow bikers that don’t know what is going on because they don’t 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 motorcyclist’s 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. Let’s 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.
Let’s 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 – 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 haven’t 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 it’s 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 don’t take unnecessary chances. You will be through it in seconds, it doesn’t 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 “Look Twice and Save Your Own Life” when it comes to passing, intersections with tall corn and areas where there can be hidden driveways.
I’m 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 – 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 “Look Out for Motorcycles” magnets and “Look Twice and Save a Life” 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 it’s 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, I’m from a helmet free state so I don’t 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. Don’t 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 you’re 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 can’t start the way we did. In Ohio we have around 500,000 +or- registered motorcycles, but we don’t 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 ABATE’s 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 let’s 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 “Look Twice and Save a Life” and “Look Out for Motorcycles” 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? It’s 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 we’ve had. There are still a lot of great runs and parties to get to.
It’s 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 – 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. Don’t hang out on the side of any vehicle. The larger the vehicle the bigger the blind spot. If you can’t see the drivers face in their rear view mirror, then he can’t see you. Don’t 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. Don’t pass on the right. Once they start that turn they can’t 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 don’t 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 there’s 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 don’t 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 Margaretville’s 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. Don’t 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 June’s 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, it’s 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 – 502 and Fatalities -21 and for 2015: Crashes – 409 and Fatalities – 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 – Alcohol. The way I like to bring up this subject is to just say the 3 R’s. Be Responsible, know your limits. Don’t let your friends change your mind and don’t let yourself get caught up in ‘just one more’. Ride Responsible. You are in charge! Don’t ride impaired and call for a ride if you have had too much. And Take Responsibility is the person that says: Man you’re 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 Farrow’s 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 ODOT’s 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 Michelle’s 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 ABATE’s 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 it’s 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.
Let’s 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 – 1 and in 2015 Crashes – 17 and Fatalities – 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. Let’s look at what we are up to now that it’s 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 let’s 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 8’s, 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 someone’s 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 don’t 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 “NO”.
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 it’s 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.
Let’s 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 – 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 Mayor’s 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.
Let’s ride safe in 2015 and enjoy the freedom of the road. See you down the road.
Ride Within Your Limits
State Safety & Education Director