January 2009 !!!
Happy New Year!!
I was sitting in a pub in a local mall the other day with an old friend of mine with the dubious name of “Crotch”. His wife and mine were shopping as he and I were just kicking back killing time while they bounced all over the mall. It’s long been my opinion that ANYTHING purchased in a mall is unnecessary and/or over priced.
Anyway, Crotch got his name long ago from the type of bike he prefers to ride….a café racer. A “Crotch-Rocket”. And, he’s one of those rare speed demons who rides one responsibly. He races semi-professionally and has way too much respect for the machine to get crazy off-track just for the sake of showing off. I remember I once took his scoot for a short ride and couldn’t even figure out how to comfortably get my big old belly wrapped around the damned gas tank! (They’re designed to sorta lay-down on).
He’s been a member of ABATE for years, and we discussed how to bring more sport bike and café racer-type riders into the organization, an issue ABATE has given thought to in the past, but alas, hasn’t been very successful with.
“We have to convince these people that ABATE addresses issues that apply to them Crotch. We are so much more than just the “Helmet People” and have been for a long time. If we could get our collective acts together and actually form a committee to increase membership, we could target the sport bikers, then in turn go for the off-road riders, the long distance cruising type riders, the modified chopper builders, the clubs, and the list could go on, developing different talking points and strategies for each different type of rider. Our regional legislative director Lion Man tells me that most of the legislative issues we now face could impact all of these people. But most of them have no idea what things like graduated licensing, after market part restrictions, the seizure bill and other important issues are and how they could be directly affected.”
Soon the girls came in and sat down beside us looking sheepish (a very bad sign) and fessed up to how much money they spent. I was fortunate to marry a usually very frugal woman so I didn’t complain and in fact got a kick out of her breaking down and spending a few bucks.
After we got home, she and I discussed the possibility of going to the annual ABATE seminar that will be held at a hotel in the Columbus area on Feb. 7th. (There should be mention of it elsewhere in the magazine you are now reading.) This seminar educates our members on the basic workings of this organization and focuses on different aspects of how to make it function properly, as well as many other motorcyclists’ issues. It’s also a fun time, introducing members from across the state to their regional and state officers and to each other. It’s been a few years since I’ve gone, but hopefully we’ll be able to make it this year. I’m usually heavily involved in the “Partying In the Halls” committee that rules the wee hours of the weekend. We’re not yet sure that we can make it depending on a number of things, but if we do, we hope to see ya there. Every member of ABATE is welcome, and officers new and old are particularly encouraged to come.
Ya know, I first joined ABATE in 1986. For years prior to that I was unsuccessful in finding out how to join because the magazine “Easyriders” stopped running an ABATE page and stopped coordinating the organization on a national level. Not even knowing that here in Ohio ABATE suffered a division in the mid 1980s and therefore became two separate but allied ABATE organizations, I initially joined the CMRO (Concerned Motorcycle Riders Organization) sister group. A few years later when Animal and Bill Wilson formed Region Zero for ABATE of Ohio Inc. I helped, and that’s when I found all this out. My point here is that if all goes well, after about 25 years, it looks like ABATE of Ohio Inc. and ABATE/CMRO are going to finally merge and once again become one! What this means is overnight our numbers are going to dramatically increase and it’s bound to be a win-win situation for everybody.
Please take note that when an apple is cut in half, both halves are original. So it was when ABATE split long ago and so we must remember, now that CMRO and ABATE Inc. are uniting. Please welcome these CMRO members and be aware of, and take advantage of, their valuable experience, as I hope they welcome us in joining them. Our ranks have been split far too long.
Well, I guess I better get on outta here. Julie must be just about ready to accompany me out to paint the town red because I can hear her in the hallway. That “click clack” sound of a woman in high heel shoes always puts a smile on my face!!