A few dozen demonstrators attending a rally on the National Mall, once billed as the “Million Muslim March”, were vastly outnumbered by hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders from across America participating in the “2 Million Bikers to DC” ride to honor September 11 victims and to counter the pro-Muslim rally that many said was inappropriate for such a solemn day in U.S. history.
The American Muslim Political Action Committee scheduled the rally to draw attention to what it said is an unfair and ongoing fear of Muslims after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.  Among the bikers, however, the provocatively scheduled rally was considered an insult to the nearly 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, when Islamic terrorists hijacked three commercial jets and crashed them into the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington. Another hijacked plane headed for Washington, D.C. crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Though the biker gathering fell short of 2 million strong, some estimates ran as high as 880,000 riders, and “What began as an idea on Facebook quickly turned into a national movement thanks to social media and dedicated bikers from around the nation,” wrote the Examiner.com; and as bikers from as far away as the west coast began their journey to D.C., Twitter lit up with photos and videos showing thousands of bikes overflowing out of rest stops and parking lots as the hastily organized ride gained momentum.
So many turned out that plans to have them ride through the streets of the Capital had to be changed, particularly in light of the fact that local authorities denied a permit that would have provided the riders a police escort through traffic – a sore spot with organizers who believe the denial was for political purposes.
“We didn’t need a permit in the first place,” National Event Organizer Belinda Bee told a local Fox News station, citing D.C. law; “it shall not be an offense to assemble or parade on a District street, sidewalk, or other public way, or in a District park, without having provided notice or obtained an approved assembly plan.” So the event went on — legally — without the permit, although the group apologized to the public that “What could have been a one or two hour ride through” tied up Beltway traffic from early morning into the afternoon.
Co-founders Belinda Bee and “Top Fuel” Bill Williamson credited everyone who helped with the unprecedented success of this year’s ride, and promised another ride next year, “and every year for September 11.”
“Sending out a BIG Thank You to all who supported and cheered on the 2 Million Bikers to DC ride,” e-mailed Angel Richardson, a member of the NCOM Board of Directors who attended the hugely successful event; “We have a kick ass bunch of patriots!”
reprinted from AIM and NCOM news

Trooper Hits Bikers: No Charges Filed

Authorities are not saying what caused Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Jacob Daymon to slam into Corey and Amy Waldman’s motorcycle on US 35 at 9:45 pm on August 17th of this year. Just released dashcam footage shows Daymon didn’t slow or even appear to see the couple before the crash.
There’s no audio to this video, but its been speculated that Daymon must have been distracted, either from texting or looking down at something in his cruiser.
Fortunately both riders are going to live, although Amy Waldlan required emergency helicopter transportation to the local trauma unit to save her life.
At this time Daymon has not been charged with anything and wasn’t even interrogated until 4 days after the accident.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON celebrates Womens Rider month with a nationwide search for top storied of female independence

May 5, 2013

© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued by Harley-Davidson

MILWAUKEE – As Harley-Davidson’s year-long, global 110th Anniversary Celebration rolls on, the company continues to highlight the independent spirits that have fueled the brand for more than a century. In May, Harley-Davidson will shine its headlight on women riders as part of the fifth annual Women Riders Month.

There’s never been a glass ceiling for women when it comes to Harley-Davidson, as female riders have been an integral part of the family since the company’s early days. In fact, dozens of female Harley riders have blazed historic trails, including the mother and daughter team of Avis and Effie Hotchkiss who in 1915 crossed America – twice – on a three-speed V-Twin Harley-Davidson with a sidecar.

Next month, Harley-Davidson is engaging its fans around the world to uncover modern day stories of independent women like Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, who embody freedom, self-expression and rebellion. From May 1 to May 15, 2013, fans are encouraged to share stories of incredible women riders through a crowd-sourcing application called “Fan Machine” on Harley-Davidson’s Facebook page ( www.Facebook.com/harley-davidson ). Submitted stories should highlight how these women riders have unleashed their inner rebel as well as inspired other women to do the same.

“Our brand unites independents from all walks of life,” said Claudia Garber, Director of Women’s Outreach Marketing for Harley-Davidson. “There are thousands of women who have taken to life on two wheels…and they all have a story to tell. These stories are not only the lifeblood of the Harley-Davidson experience, but are instrumental in inspiring other women to live out their own dreams.”

The top 10 fan submissions will be featured on Harley-Davidson’s Facebook page and other social media channels, as well as the official Web site (www.harley-davidson.com/women ). Each winner will also receive a $200 Harley-Davidson gift card and Harley-Davidson merchandise.

Women interested in riding are encouraged to visit the updated Women Riders section of the Harley-Davidson Web site at www.harley-davidson.com/women . The site features tools designed to help women in their journey toward riding, including information on local Women Riders Month events planned throughout May across the country.

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.harley-davidson.com .

GEICO wants to make motorcycle safety a top priority

May 15, 2013

There’s nothing like being out on the open road with the throttle in your hand and the wind at your back. But the most experienced motorcycle riders know that an accident can happen in the blink of an eye.

May is motorcycle safety month and GEICO is raising awareness among riders and non-riders alike with a multitude of safety tips, educational resources, and a safety video from AMA Daytona Sportbike Champion Martin Cardenas to ensure that everyone has a safe time this motorcycle season.

Always wear a helmet – In many states, wearing a helmet is now the law. A motorcycle rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury. Make sure your helmet includes a face shield or protective eyewear.
Wear protective clothing – Leather clothes, gloves and boots with nonskid soles can protect you and minimize severe injuries in case of an accident. Reflective clothing will also make it easier for other drivers to see you.
Take a safety course – There is no such thing as too much training when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Play it safe and take a motorcycle safety course. Safety courses such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s (MSF), will sharpen your riding skills. Experienced riders can also benefit from refresher training. Some insurance companies offer participants and instructors a discount in most states for completion of a course.
Follow the rules – Know the rules of the road, obey the speed limit and local traffic laws. Remember to always pass vehicles and other bikes on the passing lane and give yourself enough time to break.
Ride defensively – Nearly two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver violating a rider’s right of way. Ride with your headlights on and signal well in advance of any change in direction. Always watch for turning vehicles and be extra careful in inclement weather.
Don’t drink and ride – It’s illegal to operate a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol affects judgment, vision and decreases your ability to ride and react defensively.
Check your bike – Make sure your motorcycle is ready for the road by inspecting the tires for proper air and making sure the lights are in good working condition. In addition, test the clutch and throttle, adjust the mirrors and check the brake controls

The GEICO military bike tour will roll into the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, Va., May 18 – 19; Charlotte Speed Street Festival, Charlotte, N.C., May 23 – 26 and the Patriot Festival and Air Show, Virginia Beach, Va., May 31 – June 2.

GEICO Insurance Agency offers protection against risks such as natural disasters, personal injury, theft, accidents, property damage, vandalism and liability, featuring competitive rates, online quoting, multi-policy discounts and multiple pay plan options. For more information, please visitwww.geico.com/information/aboutinsurance/motorcycle/.

taken from Bikersfirst.com

Group Riding Safety

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By Vicki Sanfelipo

Vicki Sanfelipo, RN – Director of ASMI (Accident Scene Management, Inc.)

Vicki Sanfelipo

I have been coordinating group rides for 15 years. As the Head Road Captain for a group of 25 female Road Guardians called Women In Motion, I hope that this article can give you some good advice whether you are the person who is coordinating or participating.

Group riding can be great fun when done safely. This topic has several different facets, including planning, executing and participating in a group ride. I will address each facet separately.

Planning a Group Ride:

Whether you’re planning a short or a long ride, there are a number of things that you, as the coordinator, should consider.

  1. Plan a ride that will address the skill level of your riders. While choosing a route with curves and hills is good, choosing a route with hairpin curves and significant uphill right-hand turns can challenge even experienced riders.
  2. Try to plan your route so that it maximizes right turns and minimizes the number of intersections you need to go through.
  3. Plan to stop every hour or so in order to give riders a chance to eat, drink, stretch their legs and use restroom facilities.
  4. Be sure to plan a gas stop every 90-100 miles.
  5. Try to keep your groups small enough that they can get through intersections with minimal problems. This will require you to have enough experienced riders to help at both the front and the back of each group.

Executing a Group Ride:

Communication is the key.

  1. Communicate with your riders by giving them maps of the planned route, times you will be at each location, planned gas stops and your phone number.
  2. Ask your riders to arrive with a full tank of gas and an empty bladder.
  3. Instruct your group on group riding hand signals and staggered riding. For an excellent group riding instructional paper (complete with hand signals) that can be handed out to riders and/or sent to them ahead of time, see the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Guide to Group Riding. Also check out The Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s 10-minute video on group riding, available here.
  4. Designate someone as the group leader. Your group leader should be the person who gives pre-ride instructions. You should also have at least one person, but preferably two, assigned at the rear of the group, often called the “sweep.”Those at the rear should be familiar with the route and should carry tools for minor breakdown assistance, a cell phone to call for help if needed, and Accident Scene Management (ASMI) training and supplies in the event someone needs medical assistance.The reason that having two people at the back is better than one is so one person can help while the other continues with the group or, if something more serious is happening, one person can help while the other goes for help.
  5. If you have a “chase vehicle,” be sure to stock it with water, medical supplies and tools. Instruct the rider of the chase vehicle to maintain a safe distance from the back of the riders. This person may need to stop for more traffic signals than the rest of the group but will come upon anyone who has pulled over needing assistance.
  6. Inform riders that if they have a medical condition, they should let the sweep know. The sweep should be prepared to record the person’s name, emergency contact, bike model, license plate number and medical condition. This can be done at registration to save time at the rendezvous site.
  7. CB communication can be very helpful between the front and back of the pack. Test your communication devices before you get out on the road.
  8. New riders often want to ride in the back and maintain an excessive distance between themselves and the person in front of them. While this creates an issue with traffic wanting to cut through or into the pack, pushing the new rider to ride beyond their comfort zone is not typically a good idea either, so be patient! Make sure the sweep is behind everyone and help this person have a good and a safe experience.

Participating in a Group Ride

Hand signals and staggered riding are crucial.

Make sure everyone in the group is using the same information and hand signals, and you will enjoy a wonderful experience. For more information, see the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Guide to Group Riding.

Please feel free to contact Vicki Sanfelipo with more questions at: Vicki@roadguardians.org.

– See more at: http://www.allstateridernews.com/safe-ride/group-riding-safety#sthash.XclMs0hC.dpuf