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(What a GREAT photo! It's from 1976 from BODA's CBA historical files)

September 29th Edition

In This Issue:

Riding BE-cause ~ Charitable & Educational Events in the Carolinas

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

BODA: The History of the CBA part 4

Your Myrtle Beach Discount Card

Write Something about Fall Riding!

Shag's Rant: Why Risk It?

Loose Talk with Jon

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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....

I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"

 

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.
After the repeal, South Carolina reported an increase in motorcycle deaths in 1980. Shortly after the state issued the statistics, they had to retract the report because the figures were incorrect.

Current Stats

• In North Carolina, motorcycle accidents account for 7.1 percent of all traffic fatalities.
• In South Carolina, motorcycle accidents account for 7.7 percent of all traffic fatalities. 
• In North Carolina, there are 11.9 fatalities of every 10,000 registered motorcycles. 
• In South Carolina, there are 15.9 fatalities of every 10,000 registered motorcycles.

Approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collisions with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile, according to the Hurt Report. It would seem that concentration on accident prevention and “Look twice, save a life” campaigns would be of great benefit. It should also be pointed out that South Carolina has a longer “riding season” than North Carolina and that many riders in South Carolina wear helmets voluntarily.

(Rick Nail & Viki Wilson on RIGHT at National Coalition of Motorcyclists 1989)

By 1983, the CBA had grown to twelve chapters. Over the years, chapters would come and go. Chapters continue to sponsor both chapter and charity events in their communities. Initially only the Charlotte Mother Chapter published a newsletter but over the years; especially since the growth of the Internet, other chapters have published their own newsletters. The Charlotte Chapter has also been responsible for publishing a CBA Calendar. I worked on both the Newsletters and Calendars at times, but Viki (Cope) Prevo, was the editor and the heart of the CBA from 1982 through 1990. She is now retired as Mrs. Victoria Wilson of Ciudad Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico – in case you need a contact in Old Mexico.

(CBA Bike Show at Metrolina)

The CBA attorney William “Piggy” Potter was able to get a bill introduced in the State Legislature to enact a voluntary helmet law for North Carolina in place of the mandatory helmet law in 1983. Unfortunately, the bill died in committee due to lack of legislative support, due in part to the inaccurate accident statistics reported by South Carolina.

The Fall CBA Swap Meet & Bike Show is on the way ...

By now weve all heard about Bub's accident. I was at work when I got the email, and before I convinced myself that he was ok (obviously he was, he wrote the fucking thing,) I was on full anti-cager mode. Everyone I talked to about it was "you drove a car here, didn’t you, you cock-sucking bastard? Don’t talk to me, I know what you potentially did!".  I was on it man, some shit bird stops paying attention and someone I care about gets hurt over it?! Saddle up the war ponies and get my hammer, we're going PT Cruiser hunting.

This isn’t an unfamiliar situation for any of us. We've all gotten the call that someone we love has been hurt, many have gotten the same call only to hear much worse. Bless my poor mother's heart. In my younger and dumber days, she had to get that call at least once a week.  Often when you hear these stories it's accompanied with the "time to hang it up attitude." I wasn’t really worried about that with Bub. If he wasn’t left limp he'd be back at it in no time, ... which he was!  A week later, or two weeks I don’t know, I don’t really pay attention, Bub sends me another email about riding with the C.P.R.s and coming across an accident that presented them with a view of a Ducati laying in the middle of the road and a limp body covered up laying close behind it. A solomen reminder of how fragile the human existence truly is and the cold hard truth of what can happen when you let that clutch out.

Which brings me to my point ...

... (yeah, there's one in here somewhere.) Bub's mishap could’ve happened to any one of us, as could the fate that befell the Ducati Pilot. So why risk it? Why? Because FUCK YOU that’s why. We all know the risks. The question you need to ask yourself is whether or not it's worth it to you.  When you tell your family you love them before you leave the house, is it worth the potential of never seeing them again? When you stop for that Coke and bag of chips at the gas station, are you content with the fact that that could easily be your last meal? If you answered no to any of these, then sell your bike, buy a Prius and a gym membership because this ain't the place for you.

Pimpin' ain't easy man. Riding a motorcycle, as far as recreational activities go, is like playing Russian roulette with only three empty chambers. You have about a fifty-fifty shot of making it home. Think of that as the object of the game. Don’t cheat yourself by thinking that you found some life hack with all the modern safety gear and abs systems. It all amounts to the same thing. All you are doing is stuffing a high output motor into a warped clothes hanger, hanging a few wheels on it, filling it with a few different flammable liquids, convincing yourself that you are in control, and pointing it in the general direction you want to go. It doesn't work that way, shit-for-brains.

That bike, the road, & the environment around you is anything but in your control.

I'm yelling at my computer as I type this and all the people in starbucks are starting to stare at me so I'm going to wrap this up real quick. The thing that prys all our eyes open in the morning could very well be the thing that closes them for good. Take care of yourself, watch out for yourself, do the same for the ones closest to you. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the cagers don’t give a fiddler's fuck about you, ... watch your flank. Stay ahead of traffic as best as you can, if the traffic comes to a complete stop for whatever reason, pull as close to the shoulder as you can, and above all else, contact me if you come across a white PT Cruiser with front end damage. I been looking for that fuck stain all week and my boss is starting to get pissed.

Heading to Florida

... in a few weeks. Anyone else going to Biketoberfest? We don't go to any bike weeks on a regular basis but we've got the itch and a little time to make it happen so we're taking the BIG RIDE 2 Bus and hitting the road for Daytona Beach mid-October. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, all you trailer-haters; we're trailering the bikes behind the bus. Bitch all you want but we're taking our "house" with us anyway! I can hear you from here, Shaggy .... but are you going to riding in the sweet Florida sun next month??!)

Gonna see some great friends who used to be our neighbors and left us for the Sunshine State this year. Can't blame 'em but sure miss them. No strict plans; but no plan is a better plan ... It gives us plenty of space to breathe.

Anyway, if you see us on the road South, give us a big wave!

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