Archive for the ‘American Motorcyclist Association’ Category

Motorcycle Touring Without The Pack

Monday, February 5th, 2018

I always enjoy the annual OFMC weeklong trip with the guys but beyond that I am largely someone who likes traveling alone. I can go where I want, stop when I want, and ride just as much or just as little as I want.

AMA Grand Tours logo

The AMA Grand Tours logo.

So I’m the kind of guy who is particularly interested in something like the AMA Grand Tours program. As explained by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), “AMA Grand Tours, which allow riders to travel to destinations on their own schedule, are the perfect choice for motorcyclists who enjoy traveling solo or with a small group of family or friends. Participants document their visits to tour destinations with a photo or a stamp in a travel log. For 2018, the American Motorcyclist Association is highlighting six AMA Grand Tour events.”

I’ll present the list below but first I want to mention one in particular: the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.

This is one of those times when you really know that things do change over time. Holy smokes! The Hoka Hey is now an AMA-sanctioned event!? Wow.

A little history here. In its first year–and it was initially supposed to be a one-off event–this event met with a tidal wave of skepticism, cries of fraud, and just general doubt on the parts of many, many people, including some who participated. I don’t remember all the twists and turns at this point but if I recall correctly, the two guys who reached the finish line at the same time were disqualified and I don’t know if the $1 million prize (was that the amount?) was ever paid out. I mean, I guess it was, but there were people who disputed that, saying the “prize winner” was in cahoots with the promoter. I don’t claim to know.

This must have been about 10 years ago. And now here it is an AMA-sanctioned event. An understatement: I guess they got the kinks ironed out.

So what are these tours for 2018? Here’s the scoop, straight from the AMA.

2018 AMA Grand Tours Schedule
AMA District 2 Polar Bear Grand Tour: Jan. 7-Dec. 23
Residents in the Northeast can join riders starting in the winter season, when groups ride to points each Sunday in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut. Even though they start during winter, the rides continue throughout the year. The 2017-2018 tour marks the program’s 40th year.

Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge: July 13-Aug. 13
Starting in Medicine Park, Okla., this route continues for nearly 10,000 miles, entirely within the lower 48 states, before returning to Medicine Park for the finish. The tour traverses scenic byways and passes through several National Parks and Native American reservations.

SCMA USA Four Corners Tour: Jan. 15-Dec. 15
This AMA Grand Tour offers two USA Four Corner Tours: the “Regular” and the “True X.” The organizer provides a package containing the ride materials and reviews the completion of either ride when they receive the finisher’s package.

SCMA USA 15 Best Roads Tour: Jan. 15-Dec. 15
This challenge started in the spring of 2011 after the AMA published a “Best 15 Roads” article in American Motorcyclist. Two riders took the challenge that year: Kathy and Larry Lamarche from Canada. Since then, many riders have accomplished the feat. The list was updated in 2016 with three replacement roads and a route change to an existing road group unit.

SCMA California Adventure Series: Jan. 15-Dec. 15
The California Parks Adventure challenges riders to visit all the national parks in California. There are 25 national park sites, stretching from Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma in San Diego to the Lava Beds and Redwoods in northern California. The 25th and newest park, Caesar Chavez National Monument, was created in October 2012. The challenge is to ride to each park within a calendar year and document the visit with a photograph and a stamp from the visitor center in the SCMA Passport.

For the California Missions Tour, riders add a photo of themselves at each location in their passport book, purchased from SCMA, detailing all 21 locations. Riders submit the completed passport and attend an annual awards banquet, where SCMA presents them with a California Missions pin and plaque.

Tour of Honor: April 1-Oct. 31
In this unique AMA Grand Tour, riders take any route they wish to stop at seven memorial sites in each state. Riders can visit as many selected memorials as they choose, meaning they can complete one state or several. After registering and receiving their rally flag, riders travel to the sites and photograph the flag, alongside their motorcycles, at the memorial. Visit any seven memorial sites to receive a finisher’s certificate.

I’m not sure at this moment but maybe I’ll discuss the several tours on this list that interest me.

Biker Quote for Today

Two wheels, one engine, zero limits.

Are You A LongRider?

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

I’m not one for patches; I don’t have a riding vest covered with those things the way a lot of people do. And I don’t care about reaching artificial goals just for the bragging rights. Nevertheless, I do like events and programs of that sort for their ability to give me ideas about riding I might like to do.

AMA LongRider program logo

The AMA LongRider program logo.

In this case I’m thinking about the LongRider program organized by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

Here’s how they describe it:

The AMA LongRider program is your chance to show others that you’re serious about riding your motorcycle. AMA members are invited to earn patches for various mileage milestones.

Mileage awards are available at 10,000, 25,000 and 50,000 annual miles. In addition to the awards, AMA LongRiders will be recognized on the AMA website.

If you don’t get a chance to ride that often, let your miles accumulate for a Lifetime Mileage award at 25,000, 50,000, 100,000, 250,000, 500,000, 750,000 and 1 million miles. Riders who achieve 1 million miles will earn a special AMA LongRider plaque.

OK, so this thing doesn’t actually offer ideas about where to ride so much as an incentive to get in some extra miles. There have been a couple years when I could have earned a 10,000-mile patch, and certainly I would now be holding some of the lower lifetime mileage awards. Shooting for that 250,000-mile award would definitely demand that I get serious. Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!

The AMA has rules about participating, such as AMA membership, registering for the program, and abiding by their verification rules. All that info is on that page linked above. And heck, for me, I make note of my mileage every January 1 anyway. All I’d need to do is sign up and register my current mileage.

Maybe I will. As I said, I’m not big into patches and such but it’s still kind of a fun idea to do an I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours thing. I know lots of riders will outdistance me by many miles but I don’t care. Just something to think about.

Biker Quote for Today

You’re a biker wannabe if you carry a lap-top in your saddle bags. (Hey, I do carry a lap-top. I don’t always agree with these quotes, I just collect them and put them out there.)

Danger In The Dirt?

Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Biker Booby Trap

Some people just don't want to share the trails with you.

I remember reading about this some time ago but it seems to be a concern that is ongoing.

I got an email from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) about booby traps on public trails. Apparently some hikers don’t like the idea of motorcyclists using the same backcountry trails they use, and they apparently don’t care if their measures to discourage it results in serious injury or even death.

The report was about deliberately planted devices in Idaho, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. And the piece noted that in recent years similar devices have been found in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Off-highway riders in Massachusetts found cables strung across trails in four state parks, according to the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. Authorities are asking anyone who notices suspicious activity to call the 24-hour Environmental Police line at (800) 632-8075 or the DCR Park Watch Hotline at (866) 759-2824. The New England Trail Riders Association is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.
Members of the Mount Moosilauke ATV Club Riders near Warren, N.H., discovered boards with nails in several places along the multi-use trail system. Before anyone was injured, club members removed the boards, along with scattered nails and broken glass. The ATV club is offering a $1,350 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.
In Custer County, Idaho, riders found a piece of barbed wire strung across a trail about 4 feet from the ground, endangering off-highway-vehicle riders and mountain bikers, according to

Let’s get the disclaimer out: Of course this is only a tiny minority; most hikers (we only assume it’s hikers) are just as appalled as we are that someone would do this. But that minority seems to be spreading. Funny how the “Land of Many Uses” concept seems to be dying.

Of course the really absurd story, one I read so long ago I don’t remember any details, was a time when a group of dirt riders got together and built a trail so they could ride it. And being generous and sharing they said that sure, hikers could use it, too. And a lot of hikers did. So many, in fact, that after awhile they started putting political pressure on to get the motorcycles banned from this trail they liked so much. That is just so, so wrong.

So what’s my point in all this? I really don’t have one, it just seemed like some good information to pass along to anyone who might be going trail riding. But then maybe this is my point: next time you start thinking in us vs. them terms, maybe you could talk yourself back with the idea that we all live here–let’s get along. Otherwise it can get pretty ugly.

Biker Quote for Today

Motorcyclists should be seen and not hurt.

Session Ends, Legislative Update

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Corn and Motorcycle

I really don't want that corn in my gas tank.

After my last post dealing with ethanol in gas I was interested to receive several comments from people in the ethanol industry contesting the remarks I passed along from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and from Stump, the legislative liaison for ABATE of Colorado. These guys were pretty vehement that I didn’t know what I was talking about (“You are an idiot if you believe any of this bulls***.”). I replied that I was passing along what I hear from the AMA and I trust what the AMA tells me on things like this. But I also said I would try to dig deeper and do a follow-up addressing what they were saying.

Well, that is still my intention but we’ve been out of the country and busy since we got back and we’re leaving again in a few days for another trip, so I haven’t had the time yet. In the meantime there are a few more related things I wanted to pass along.

Of course, as you probably know, the legislative session ended. Here’s what Stump said about that.

In my last LegTeam update I urged you to write the Senate Finance Committee Members to oppose SB-175 (E15 Fuel Bill) and show up on Thursday, 4/14 for the Committee Hearing. Thanks to those who wrote and to Bruce, Bear, and Harry for showing up for the hearing. I also sent e-mails to the committee members and actually had meetings with 3 of the 5 members. All 3 agreed to oppose the bill. As it turned out, Sen. Grantham, the sponsor of the bill, requested the bill get laid over till 4/12. In essence, it killed the bill since the session ends on 4/11. So even though we stopped the increase in the amount of E15 being brought into Colorado by killing this bill, which would have given retailers a tax credit to sell E15, there is a much bigger problem with E15 on the National Level.

Bruce, Bear, Harry and I met with Sen. Neville after the hearing and he told us about a Federal grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand the number of fueling pumps that supply E15. Colorado could get $600,000 to install 7 tanks and 28 pumps at 7 gas stations. Of course the money has to be met 1:1 by the CO Department of Agriculture or private partners. Here are 2 links so you can read more about it: and .

I also found out Kum & Go is the company pushing to introduce E15 in Colorado, so if anybody wants to boycott them, feel free.

Related to this, as noted in the action alert I sent out yesterday, a bill has been introduced in Congress to promote wider availability of E15. On March 22, US Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA) introduced H.R. 4673 (the Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion, and Leadership Act – REFUEL Act) which would provide federal grants to purchase and install new or existing infrastructure for E15. It has 4 cosponsors already (2 from MN, 1 from IL, and 1 from WI) and with President Obama being from the 2nd largest corn producing state, is there any doubt who’s pushing for E15? Tell your US Representative to oppose H.R. 4673.

Of course, what I’m much more interested in is this thing with needing a transponder to ride in HOV lanes without getting fined. Stump hasn’t sent anything out about that so I’m still in the dark. And I haven’t had time to contact him to ask.

The legislature did pass and the governor signed the bill to do an audit at the Colorado Department of Transportation, so that could have an impact on the MOST program.

I’m feeling like this is kind of ragged. I’ll get back more in the swing of things when we get back from this next trip and I finally have time to really settle in again.

Biker Quote for Today

“Why ride?” Why breathe?

Common Sense, Please

Monday, March 14th, 2016
Motorcycle Road Racers

How dare you convert that street bike to track!

I try to stay away from politics here but sometimes I bend that rule. Just to be clear, I’m not a Republican or Democrat. I’m an independent because I don’t like either party.

So this involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I know that there are a number of Republicans who think the EPA should be abolished. I frankly don’t understand that thinking. Do they want us to go back to a time when rivers catch fire from all the pollutants dumped into them? When the air is so filled with smog that people are dying from it? I mean, go look at China today. Is that what they really want?

That said, maybe it wouldn’t hurt if more Democrats were a bit more critical of the EPA when it oversteps. And it certainly does that at times.

Here’s the latest, and this is why I’m writing this in a blog focused on motorcycles. Apparently the EPA recently released some new regulations that, among other things, prohibit converting a street motorcycle into a racing bike. It has to do with the exhaust and the altering of the exhaust system to make the bike into a dedicated racer. What, are you supposed to build a racing bike from the ground up?

Anyway, the American Motorcyclist Association is fighting this and they sent out a release urging members to support legislation introduced in both houses of Congress to nullify this sort of absurdity. An excerpt:

Members of both chambers of Congress have introduced versions of a bill that would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the conversion of street motorcycles and other motor vehicles into competition-only racers. The EPA failed to provide proper notice of this regulation, including it in an unrelated heavy-duty-truck regulation. The proposed rule would hurt thousands of amateur and professional motorcycle racing enthusiasts and the millions of fans who enjoy motorcycle competition.

The bi-partisan Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (H.R. 4715 and S. 2659, RPM Act) would ensure that converting motor vehicles into competition-only vehicles remains legal. Street motorcycles are considered motor vehicles under the Clean Air Act.

The RPM Act was introduced in the House by U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).

The Senate version was introduced by U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Dean Heller (R-N.C.).

The act states that it was the clear intent of Congress when passing and amending the Clean Air Act that motor vehicles, including motorcycles, used solely for competition would be exempt from the Clean Air Act’s prohibitions against modifying emission control devices.

Really, can we have some common sense here? But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I want the EPA protecting the air I breathe and the water I drink. But let’s not do stupid stuff, OK?

Biker Quote for Today

You’re a biker wannabe if you take your bike in to the shop for oil changes.

AMA Leaning To Right-Wing Partisanship?

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
OFMC at Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument was created by a president, not by Congress. Was that a bad thing?

Let me say right up front that I understand why the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is very friendly with senators and congressmen who predominantly belong to the Republican Party. The simple fact is that they tend to be more supportive of motorcyclist issues than Democrats. Probably the very best from a biker’s perspective is Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, of Wisconsin.

That said, I don’t like the direction the AMA seems to be going. The group’s membership spans the political spectrum but lately they’re sounding just a bit too Republican. I just don’t think that’s appropriate considering the membership.

Specifically, in the December 2015 and January 2016 issues of the group’s magazine, American Motorcyclist, they have said three times that President Obama has been “sidestepping Congress” by creating new national monuments by executive fiat.

What’s the issue? They say Obama is closing public lands to motorized recreation. What is he doing? He’s using the power that Congress gave to the president–all presidents–in 1906 when they passed the Antiquities Act. In the time since it was passed, 16 of the 19 presidents have used the Antiquities Act to unilaterally create national monuments. They’ve used that power 137 times. In some cases, Congress came along later and turned those national monuments into national parks. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park used to be a monument. Great Sand Dunes National Park used to be a monument. They were created as monuments by presidents “sidestepping Congress” by following the law that Congress passed.

Just to get my biases out in the open here, I am a registered independent voter, who has little affection for the Republicans or Democrats, and I do work at the National Park Service (for a few more days) and the park service is one of the several agencies that administer national monuments.

So there’s no question that I love the national parks–don’t you?–and the monuments and the seashores, and all the rest. I also have some concern with creating any more of these things right now because they add to the National Park Service and other agency responsibilities without adding a penny more budget. You can’t keep doing that forever.

But this business of accusing Obama of “sidestepping Congress”–repeatedly!!–when he’s only doing what so many other presidents have done, just smacks too much of right-wing partisanship for me. The AMA a couple years ago hired former Colorado Rep. Wayne Allard as their legislative liaison and I wondered then if this would lead to a rightward tilt on policy. At the same time, I figured Allard might be more effective than someone else because he would be on good terms with the Republicans who control both houses of Congress. So I withheld judgment. Just wait and watch. Not everyone else did so. There were AMA members who protested right away about Allard’s appointment.

And that’s the point. The membership spans the political spectrum. The AMA has no business playing this partisanship game. And that’s exactly what this is.

And oh, by the way, the president who created the most acreage of new national monuments was George W. Bush, by a lot. Of course Bush’s monuments were largely in the Pacific around islands but do you suppose the scuba divers object to the restrictions these declarations created? And while Ronald Reagan was one of the three presidents who created no new national monuments while in office, he did sign 43 wilderness bills that rendered 10.6 million acres off-limits to motorized recreation. But of course he wasn’t side-stepping Congress. That doesn’t make those 10.6 million acres any less off limits.

And finally, I have to wonder about the interests of AMA members. I would guess the large majority are people who never ride off road anyway, but perhaps love the parks and monuments. Tough luck for the dirt-bike crowd, maybe, but that’s a trade-off the street-riding folks might be very willing to make. And depending on the piece of land, there may not even be dirt-bikers who are affected. I don’t really know.

So I have communicated my displeasure to the AMA. I’ll let you know what, if anything, they have to say to me.

Biker Quote for Today

I like to ride the canyons at night, when there’s a full moon, and you shut the engine off and coast downhill. — Keanu Reeves

Is The Time For Lane-Splitting Coming?

Thursday, February 26th, 2015
Lane Splitting In Paris

Lane-splitting in Paris.

Maybe it’s like gay marriage. Maybe it’s like legal marijuana. Maybe lane-splitting is riding a new wave of public acceptability and is something we’ll soon see all over.

What? Why would I say something like that? Right now the only state in the U.S. that allows motorcyclists to filter between cars that are stopped are plodding in traffic jams is California. Where’s the wave?

How about Washington. Oregon. Tennessee.

I get emails from the American Motorcyclist Association whenever they have news they want to pass along and I was recently interested to receive one that was titled, “American Motorcyclist Association supports lane-splitting legislation in Tennessee.”

That was on a Friday.

The following Tuesday there was another email in my inbox with the title, “American Motorcyclist Association supports lane-splitting legislation in Oregon.” Not only that, that same day there was a second email in my inbox with the title, “American Motorcyclist Association supports lane-splitting legislation in Washington.”

Holy smoke! It’s looking like a movement!

Of course, if history is any predictor, all of these bills will fail. In fact, I’d bet on it. But I’m also willing to bet that within 10 years California will not be alone, and once that dam starts to give way there won’t be anything that can hold it back.

Sort of like gay marriage and legal marijuana. Those waves took years to build up but gay marriage is sweeping across the country and legal marijuana is just getting started, but with a vengeance. I don’t care what you think about either of those movements, they’re happening. Their time has come. And just maybe lane-splitting is not far behind.

I personally support lane-splitting. I’ve ridden in California and I’ve traveled to a number of countries around the world. The U.S. is one of the few where lane-splitting is not simply the norm. That photo above is something I shot in Paris. You could stand at a street corner and watch it happen again and again: The light would turn red and cars would stop. Then a motorcycle or scooter would come between the cars and take a place in front of the cars. Then more bikes and scooters would join the group. Finally the light would turn green and the two-wheelers would blast forward, leaving the four-wheelers in the dust. And then the light would turn red and the whole scene would play itself out once more.

Nobody got hurt, nobody was in any danger, everybody considered it to be perfectly normal. In the meantime, each of those scooters or motorcycles represented at least part of one car that was not on the road adding to what was already a significant traffic jam. Those drivers were benefiting from the lane-splitting.

Of course the bikers were benefiting more. They got where they were going in probably half the time it would have taken them in a car. At a significantly lower cost. And they were on bikes, for pete’s sake. What’s not to like about that?

Some day these benighted states of America may join the rest of the world. The encouraging thought is that it may come sooner than we expected.

Biker Quote for Today

Born to ride; forced to work.

Exit Tours M/C Does Off-Road Tours

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
V-Strom On Phantom Canyon Road

Phantom Canyon Road appears to be one part of one of these tours.

There’s no way I can keep up with the magazines I subscribe to when I’m working a full-time job–which I am now–so I’m always way behind. I just read the May issue of American Motorcyclist and was very interested to find a cover piece about a tour outfit here in Colorado. Got to check these guys out.

It’s an operation named Exit Tours M/C and it took some reading and some looking at their website to figure out that–at least as far as I can tell–they are a nonprofit organization that puts on three rides a year. Not that they’re a bunch of do-gooders; my take is that folks from three motor sports dealerships in the Buena Vista area put this thing together to offer these rides and they presumably benefit by sales of gear and bikes. Nevertheless, as a nonprofit, their prices for their tours are pretty reasonable.

Ride one is the Rocky Mountain Singletrack trail ride. It was held in mid-July this year and, as they say, “starts and finishes each day at the Tomichi Creek Trading Post in Sargents, Colorado and follows blue ribbon legal singletrack trails through the Heart of the Rocky Mountains.”

As a nonprofit, they ask for a “donation” of $425 for this ride.

Ride two is the Rocky Mountain Dual Sport Adventure which “starts and finishes each day at the County Fairgrounds in Salida, Colorado and follows the headwaters of the Rio Grande and Arkansas rivers for over 500 miles. The 535 mile Colorado 2 Day Dual Sport Adventure is a serious ride, not meant for those who aren’t serious about riding. The adventure will take you over mountain passes over 4 mountain ranges. The Sangre De Cristo, the Northern San Juans, the Sawatch & the Collegiate Peaks and the Mosquito Range.”

This one ran in mid-August. “Donation” for this one was $325.

And then there’s the Rocky Mountain Autumn Hot Springs Adventure Tour, which ran this year in early September. This one started at “Cottonwood Hot Springs in the town of Buena Vista, Colorado and take you through roughly 1,000 miles of the most spectacular scenery the Rocky Mountains have to offer. The Tour will visit 3 Hot Springs on an Epic Journey through the Rocky Mountains laid out by Sean Barr of Mountain Tech Yamaha. This can be either a self guided or guided tour with sweep riders & chase truck with trailer and luggage portage. And will most likely be a ‘3 Day Adventure.’ Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”

For this one, “$600 entry fee includes 3 nights lodging at iconic Hot Springs, hot springs passes, breakfasts, welcome BBQ, chase truck & trailer, luggage portage, guides and sweep riders, GPS Tracks, hoddie, swag and Camaraderie. AMA Membership is required.”

Oh yeah, that’s how this whole thing caught my attention. All three of these rides are American Motorcyclist Association-sanctioned. They are part of the AMA Yamaha Super Tenere National Adventure Riding Series and the AMA Husqvarna National Dual Sport Series.

So this is just an FYI. If you or anyone you know is looking for this sort of thing, guess what, here it is. Maybe next year I’ll try to wangle a free trip in exchange for writing about it. You’ll see it here if I do.

Biker Quote for Today

Serious. Just like that scene from the matrix, except the chick was me and the ducati was a klr. — DirtyDog

Free App Provides State Helmet Law Info And More

Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Helmet Law App

You can get a free app that will tell you the helmet laws in every state.

I guess if you always wear your helmet it doesn’t matter what the helmet laws are in different states. But if you sometimes like to go without, you know how important it is to laws in different states you might ride in. There’s an app for that.

I got an email yesterday from Catherine Kazda at Buckfire & Buckfire, PC–which is to say they are attorneys–plugging this new app they have made available on their site for no charge. It will give you not only the state by state laws in the U.S., but also has information on Canada and Europe. Maybe some other places as well–I forget. The video goes into all that but my memory isn’t that good.

So it’s kind of a good idea. And I think it’s probably a great promotional idea for them. They apparently deal in motorcycle crash litigation so of course they want bikers coming to their website.

The app offers other information as well. It basically covers motorcycle laws in general, not just helmet laws. And they have a link on it to information on what to do if you’re involved in a crash. I’m sure one of the things it tells you to do is call an attorney, preferably Buckfire & Buckfire. But OK, it’s still probably good information.

So hey guys, your marketing plan is working. I’m passing this along, and I have already seen a link to some other site that did so, too.

Of course there is one other way to get all this information, though I don’t know if it’s quite as easy as a smartphone app. You can go to the American Motorcyclist Association site, to their page where they list all the state-by-state info.

And I guess I might as well tell a couple stories here because they’re totally related.

The first time John and Bill and I came down into Nebraska from the Black Hills we stopped at a wayside picnic area and got to talking to a guy there. Somewhere along the way he mentioned that we ought to be aware that “Nebraska is a bucket state.” He had seen us ride in without our helmets on. OK, thanks.

Another time, our first time in Nevada, we pulled into Vegas–coming from Arizona, I guess–and it wasn’t until after we had checked in to a hotel that we learned Nevada is a helmet state, too. We hadn’t been wearing ours. Oops. After that we made it a point to find out about states we were going to before we went there.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Motorcycle safety studies continue

Biker Quote for Today

You’re a biker wannabe if you grab for your hairbrush before your old lady.

Colorado’s Mark Bruckner Nominated To Motorcycle Hall Of Fame

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I have to admit to ignorance here, but in the last half hour I’ve been learning a lot about Mark Bruckner. That’s because the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) just released their list of this year’s nominees to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Bruckner is the first name on the list.

Mark Bruckner has been nominated to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Colorado's Mark Bruckner has been nominated to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Of course, what they said about him in the announcement was guaranteed to catch my eye: “National/international motorcycling rights advocate, past state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado, past board member/president/chairman of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.”

Oh wow, and until I read that I’d never heard of him. So he’s a previous state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado. I know Terry Howard, the current state coordinator, very well, but I’ve never met Bruckner. Turns out he was in that position from 1991 to 1994. After that he went on to the MRF, as stated above.

Currently Bruckner is Executive Director of BIKEPAC of Colorado. I get to show my ignorance again here. I’m not familiar with BIKEPAC of Colorado. Turns out it is a political action committee (PAC). Here is what it says about its mission.

As the organization’s resources grow, BIKEPAC will contribute to candidates running for office in the State Senate and the State House of Representatives. BIKEPAC may also contribute to Gubernatorial candidates. BIKEPAC will not contribute to candidates for office at the federal and local government levels. BIKEPAC believes that the most effective way to protect motorcycling in Colorado – and to best utilize our resources – is to contribute to the campaigns of pro-motorcycling candidates at the State Senate and House level. BIKEPAC employs a full-time lobbyist. Unlike many lobbyist who represent multiple clients at the State Capitol, the lobbyist for BIKEPAC represents only one group – the motorcyclists of Colorado.

Except that maybe this info is outdated. The link I tried to follow to the website doesn’t go there, and on a lobbying site I found it listed the organization as being registered through 2006. I have more digging to do. I’ll put up more as I learn more.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Another terrific Motorcycle Travel Network experience

Biker Quote for Today

Bikes are better than women because you don’t have to talk to your motorcycle after you ride it.