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(What a GREAT photo! It's from 1976 from BODA's CBA historical files)
September 29th Edition
In This Issue:
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of September 30 - October 6, 2015
Wednesday 81h & 40% rain, Thursday 68h & 30% rain, Friday 59h & 90% rain, Saturday 65h & 70% rain, Sunday 70h & 60% rain, Monday 71h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 72h & clear (as per www.intellicast.com on 09/29/15)
Ever noticed how most of us call it "a good weather day" if it's sunny and not too hot or cold? Any precipitation is generally looked down on. (Well, unless if it's a kid who's doing the looking and the precipitation is white!) Motorcycle riders generally prefer that narrow window of weather variation; with a few stand-out exceptions like Iron Horse who rides in low-low temps and our Orangeburg Ron who is most-likely going to ride to work rain or no rain, cold or not.
There's a saying, "All sun and no rain makes a desert." Indeed. It's one of those sayings that can be applied in a lot of circumstances besides the obvious; but, in regards to weather, it is so true. We've had "the desert" in my usually-green neck of the woods this Summer. How 'bout yours?
It doesn't rain for long stretches of time and our lakes get low and boats are grounded, gardens dry up and produce stands have less to offer. But then again, motorcycle riders applaud a no-rain day; especially when there's a special ride or a big event planned.
We've been way down deep in The Dry Place this Summer and farmers and home gardeners have struggled to keep up ... or given up completely. But not the grape growers. Apparently a good drought creates some damn good wine. "Cheers!" to that silver lining!
So Summer was dry and Autumn rolled in last Wednesday bringing with her some of the wet stuff that some of us have been looking for. Sure, I'm not looking forward to another week of this but I can just hear all the trees around me saying "ahhhhh...."
We've had some spectacular sunny days to ride free over the past few months. And now for a little rain time....
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The Annual Bike Shows and Swap Meets have been an important part of the Concerned Bikers Association life almost from the beginning. Each year the Charlotte chapter of the CBA holds two 2-day bike shows & swap meets, one in the spring and one in the fall, at the Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte. The events include Tattoo contest and Wet T-shirt contests. Other chapters and districts of the CBA also sponsor shows as a means of raising funds and promoting membership. All of the events serve as a sort of “family reunion” for the members and their friends.
The events have changed greatly over the years. The first bike shows were very much local affairs during which used parts were sold or traded by local bikers. Held in small buildings, the shows were more about meeting other bikers and less about business. Hot dogs and soft drinks were the main stays at first.
In March of 1976, the CBA’s Annual Spring Bike Show was moved to the American Legion Post on Donald Ross Road in Charlotte. The tattoo and wet t-shirt contests featured local members and friends at first. Over the years, they became much more organized and attracted contestants from around the country.
As mentioned earlier in this series, the 1st Bicentennial Protest Run against mandatory helmet laws was staged on April 25, 1976. The riders started from Golf Acres drive and rode across the county under police escort.
In May of 1976, the CBA held a well publicize statewide Helmet Protest and Blood Run in Raleigh. Several hundred people were in attendance. This was followed by a much larger protest in September of 1976 that went from the State Fairgrounds to the Capitol grounds. In this well publicized Protest, thousands of bikers flooded Raleigh.
(Wanda Hummell Washington DC Labor Day 1975)
The protest runs had the benefit of making the CBA’s position and membership known to the public and the politicians. Political candidates such as Jim Rowe, Craig Lawing, and Alan Jaffre began speaking at CBA meeting, seeking support. CBA member Chuck Major met with Jesse Helms about the “Helms Angels” Bill to remove the Department of Transportation’s ability to blackmail states into passing mandatory helmet laws.
(1976 Raleigh Protest Run)
During this same time, the CBA in Charlotte began lobbying for a Motorcycle Awareness Week. Following their success, other chapters got proclamations from their cities. After a couple of years, the week as expanded to become Motorcycle Awareness Month and a proclamation made by the Governor of the state.
Over the following decade, CBA chapters and districts began sponsoring their own Bike Shows and Protest Runs. The biker calendar became quiet crowded in North Carolina. On January 29, 1978, the 1st Easyrider/CBA Swap Meet was held at the Metrolina Fairgrounds.
In another milestone, a new motorcycle drivers’ license law became effective in January 1978. By this time, the CBA was active on the national front. Members were participating in meeting and protests across the nation. We started working with people like Wanda Hummel of ABATE of Indiana.
(CBA members at Meeting of the Minds)
In much the same way Rick Nail guided the CBA in its early days, Wanda Hummel- Schultz, almost single handedly pulled together bikers in Indiana. Working constantly, she was the catalyst which made possible the organization they have today. As a woman, she faced bikers who didn't respect women, and who argued among themselves and settled things outside. She had death threats from the very people who she was trying to help.
With a gift for gab, she faced ridicule and cynicism. Their membership didn't grow because bikers refused to join an organization led by a woman. With just over 350 members in the entire state, she engineered the repeal of their mandatory helmet law in 1976.
(Columbia, SC Protest Run)
The CBA also worked with and supported South Carolina in their efforts to repeal the mandatory helmet laws. With a lot of grassroots support, they were able to repeal the mandatory helmet law for anyone over 21 effective June 16th, 1980.
• In North Carolina, motorcycle accidents account for 7.1 percent of all traffic fatalities.
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