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(photo by Sandy Reece. See more beautiful shots in her ride story below)
March 22nd Edition
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of March 23-29, 2016
Wednesday 76h &sunny, Thursday 78h & p-cloudy, Friday 75h & p-cloudy, Saturday 75h & sunny, Sunday 75h & 40% showers, Monday 73h & 80% rain, Tuesday 69h & sunny (as per weather.com on 3/22/16)
The Carolina Rider crew has plans to be at most of the above events this year .. and there are some that aren't in the collage that will sneak onto the road up ahead we're sure! Footloose and I also plan to get out and take some leisurely personal rides, rowdy playful rides with friends, and lazy spur of the moment rides will definitely be in there too.
We're happy to hear from Sandy who got some wind time with her bike buddy, Batman, recently. As usual, she shares in words and some drop-dead gorgeous photography that will make you salivate for a taste of The Ride yourself!
Boda continues his ride down the history of the CBA; and, as I remind you below again, this weekend is not only Easter but it's the Swap Meet out at the fairgrounds. Gonna be great weather on Saturday (75 & sunny with a chance of rain Sunday but still warm,) so if you can squeeze in a ride in between Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunny decapitation, take a jaunt over to support their event and grab a new fender while you're at it!
So what kinds of events do you have on your calendar? Will we be seeing you at any of the above? Will you be sharing your ride stories this year in The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine? We've got our ears listening for our Inboxes to alert us!
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The Concerned Bikers Association/ABATE of NC, Inc. is recognized as the premier Motorcycle Rights Organization (SMRO) of North Carolina. Nationally, CBA/ABATE is recognized by The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) as well as NC’s Motorcycle Rights community, the North Carolina Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, and NC Bike-PAC. This recognition has not been bestowed lightly.
In previous parts of this history, we have discussed the formation of various Motorcycle Rights Organizations (MRO) that the CBA works with. Most of these were concerned with individual bikers rights. The so-called Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) also felt the impact of discrimination and harassment.
During the late 1970s and 1980s, I was a member of the Undertakers Motorcycle Club in Idaho, Kansas, Oregon, and Washington State. As the National Secretary/Treasurer of the club, I participated in negotiations with other clubs in the Northwest to settle territory disputes. Individual patch holders such as myself working within the framework of ABATE but the clubs did not.In the late 1980's, some patch holding clubs in Southern California felt that they must once again step forward collectively and join the fight to secure their freedoms. A few farsighted club leaders decided that the most productive way to add their support to the cause was to form an organization of patch-holding clubs which would focus on judicial issues and also provide financial support to those causes which the MROs dealt with on their behalf. This seemed a good alternative as it would add a judicial front to the already effective legislative one provided by the MROs; and thus the Confederation of Clubs of Southern California was formed in 1988.
(Confederation of Clubs, Washington)
Their initial efforts in California were concerned with the many turf wars going on across the country. Bikers were killing each other fighting for respect and territory. Eventually the Confederation lead to a peaceful coalition of the major clubs. Disputes were settled in open meetings. Non-conforming clubs were faced with massed opposition and soon toed the line.
(Confederation of Clubs, Texas)
As the clubs realized the benefits of Confederation, the concept spread east and then internationally. By 2006, for the first time in the history of motorcycling in North Carolina, patch-holder clubs in North Carolina have to fight discrimination against their lifestyle, mode of transportation, and dress. Joining the ranks of similar Confederations which have been formed nationwide in nearly every state of the union, the North Carolina Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (NCCOMC) uses every legal means possible under state and federal law to enforce their rights as citizens.
Towards that end, the NCCOMC puts forth the following statement to all patch holders in North Carolina:
“It has been keenly apparent to anyone who is at all aware of what has been going on in this world, that we are losing our freedom to make our own choices. No matter which way we turn, new laws are in place or are being proposed that restrict our very lifestyle. Those groups of people who choose to live a somewhat different lifestyle than what is considered to be 'the norm' in their particular society are even more heavily restricted. Such groups not only suffer under more intense legislative pressure but are also burdened with more severe judicial penalties and law enforcement practices as well.”
Since its inception, the Confederations of Clubs have fought and won most of the judicial cases regarding discrimination that they have undertaken. On numerous occasions they have provided funds to MROs and even independent attorneys to file law suits in local, State and Federal Courts to stop legislative encroachment on the rights of all motorcyclists. Some of these suits have had great effect in gaining these rights back.
(Confederation of Clubs, Texas)
Every Confederation has, of its own choice, joined NCOM ("National Coalition of Motorcyclists") along with many MROs, clubs and other associations. At least twice each year the representatives of these organizations gather at a national and/or regional NCOM convention where they get to know each other and share what is going on in their particular area. The hope of many is that these encounters will eventually develop into an effective network of communication which will result in an even stronger unity between all the freedom fighters across the country and even the world. The Confederations' major focus is in the area of biker discrimination.
In many areas, businesses refuse to allow colors to be worn in their establishments. Likewise, as anyone who wears colors can tell you, the law enforcement authorities treat patch holders more severely in many cases. The Confederations consider such acts to be discriminatory and want it known that they will use every legal means possible to stop such practices. In their effort to achieve this goal, the member clubs gather regularly to discuss incidences which have occurred to members of participating clubs. The facts are laid out and discussed, and if it seems appropriate, a vote is taken as to whether to pursue the matter, even through the courts if necessary. If affirmed, litigation is embarked upon.
At these meetings, clubs are also advised as to how to appropriately talk to proprietors and police officers, and how and when to file complaint forms. The legal approach is stressed as the only method appropriate to any situation. Each Confederation has its own attorney who is present at each meeting - in North Carolina that attorney is Robert "RAD" Donat.
Individual club business is NEVER discussed, only issues of discrimination all too common to bikers. The requests for help from MROs and others who fight on the front lines for the rights of motorcyclists, legislatively and judicially, are considered and voted upon at these meetings as well. If affirmed, the support is provided.
For more information, contact any of the 24 member clubs, or contact one of their Co Chairs; George "Trip" Lowery, or John "Bomb" Baucom. You may also contact their attorney Robert "RAD" Donat or call toll free at 866-377-5660 FREE.
In 2007 - 2008, H563 was introduced by (soon to be former Rep.) Ron Sutton and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Faison, it included a helmet statute portion. There were two motorcycle bills introduced that favored NC motorcyclists; SB 1359, Motorcycles at Red Lights (Sen Allran, R-Catawba-Iredell) which was passed into law as Session Law 2007-206, and; the introduction of SB 1121, the UNC Center for Motorcycle Safety and Crash Prevention (Sen Pete Brunstetter, R-Forsyth), which was not passed but raised awareness in the legislature regarding important motorcycle safety issues in North Carolina.
The CBA actively opposed HB563- Traffic and Personal Safety Changes (Rep. R. Sutton, D-Robeson). Section 7 of HB 563 required all motorcyclists to wear helmets that meet the FMVSS 218 standards established by the US DOT. The language in NC’s previous helmet law provided a legal argument, as long as a rider was wearing any sort of safety helmet.
In a move that I personally disagree with, the CBA/ABATE took the position that:
During Senate Judiciary II Committee hearings on HB 563, after hearing convincing testimony from bikers, Senator Don East (R – Allegheny, Stokes, Surry, & Yadkin), offered an amendment to eliminate the helmet requirement from House Bill 563. The amendment passed and the bill, minus the helmet provision, was scheduled for a floor vote. Unfortunately, Senator Ed Jones (D-Bertie) chose to circumvent the committee process by offering an amendment on the floor that reinstated the helmet provision, in effect, nullifying the Committee process.
During floor debate in the Senate, Senator East, and others argued extensively to convince elected officials to vote against this oppressive legislation. However, Mr. Jones was able to use the power of partisan politics to restore the helmet requirement and push the bill through the Senate. The bill was then sent back to the House for concurrence, and passed with a huge majority (along party lines). Despite the efforts of our champions, in the House and Senate, the bill was signed by the Governor on 17 August 2007 and officially became State Law 2007-360.
With the passage of SL 2007-360 motorcyclists no longer have the freedom to select from among the many light-weight safety helmets (that had been interpreted by NC courts to be) acceptable under the previous law.
Our fight against oppressive laws will not stop, but we must change venues and focus on seeking relief from the NC judicial system until such time as we can identify a sponsor for a bill to repeal the helmet law.
In response to the passage of the new helmet law, CBA/ABATE formed the North Carolina Helmet Citation Defense Project. The knowledgeable individuals of the project team are willing to work with cited bikers to prepare them for a not-guilty plea and defense in court. We won one, and lost one, but know that we can be proud that we fought the good fight, and we learned that we have allies in Raleigh who will continue to do all they can to safeguard American freedoms and liberties for the citizens of North Carolina. We will continue to work with them on a variety of other initiatives.
Several helmet law tickets were subsequently dismissed. Case in point – Fast Fred Ruddock appeared in court for two helmet citations. As he explained:
“In the first case, the judge spent a great deal of time reading my brief of case complete with many points of law supporting my case. He took copious notes and appeared to be quite engaged with the reading. After studying the materials for nearly 15 minutes he looked up and said, “Mr. Ruddock I am very impressed with your brief”. However I failed to gain standing to make a constitutional challenge because I misspoke at the traffic stop, in print, and in court. My mistake was referring to my chosen 'safety helmet' with any words other than 'safety helmet' such as 'head cover' or hat. As a result the judge found me responsible and I was fined $25 and charged $75 in court costs.”
“In the second case, I patiently waited as we were called in alphabetical order. When my case was finally called, the Assistant District Attorney asked me if I had a helmet and asked to see it. I showed her a 'safety helmet' and she told me it was not a helmet. However, she immediately dismissed my case. This took me by surprise. Upon parting, the Assistant District Attorney asked in a somewhat worried tone if she would be seeing more of me. I am not sure of the why or why not, but the state trooper spoke with the judge and other side just an hour before my ticket was tossed.”
Ride Time from North to South Carolina….
It was time for Batman and I to get out for some air. No takers for the jaunt, so I head out for a lone ride to find some nice scenic spots for photography.
I left the Winston Salem area and headed West towards Rutherfordton, NC. My ride itinerary was to make it to Landrum, SC by way of Highway 11 – better known as Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway.
Connecting to Highway 11 in Chesnee, SC, I rode until I found some nice scenic hotspots for photos.
Turning right on County Rd 42 – at a historic sign…
First location was 1820 Poinsett Historic Bridge near Landrum, SC. Parking is located across from the bridge and is packed gravel. This beautiful scenic stone bridge and waterway was nice and serene for picnics and cool water dips. Lots of rocks, so watch out for snakes! I didn’t hike the surrounding trails, but they looked inviting to those who like the sport. The road to travel to the bridge is nice and winding.
Photos taken and back on the road, I headed back to Highway 11 in search of Campbell’s Covered Bridge. Going on my instructions, I find it easy enough off Glassy Mountain Rd-State Rd 414-Campbell Covered Bridge Rd. The covered bridge area is another very nice park with picnic areas and walking areas. Parking area is packed gravel – motorcycle parking is fairly easy.
Ok…time is running short for Batman and I to return home for supper. We head back towards Chesnee and jump on I-26 towards Asheville. Mother Nature didn’t play fair and dumped a little bit of rain on us heading back towards home. We took the exit on I-40 East heading homebound. There is nothing like a warm bath and hot supper prepared by husband Mark after a long day’s ride for approximately 380 miles’ roundtrip.
More ride plans coming… tis the season!!
Keith Larson, host on WBT 1110 Radio is having his annual charity ride again on April 30th. This is ride #14 and something that has helped dozens of Charlotte area children who are battling for the lives against life threatening illnesses. Keiths' site says, "The Club LAMA Kids Fund is Larson's 501c3 charity is the beneficiary of the annual ride and 100% of the rider proceeds go to the kids." That's impressive and as it should be.
Edge just sent us a box of Smoke Out flyers to give out at upcoming events. As always, a cool design that I'm sure some of you will want to add to your collections.
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
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