This article was written by Carmella Brown of New York Rider Magazine. It brings up two points. 1. Watch out for motorcycles and 2. We are people too!
August 2nd was a beautiful morning and my husband and I were on our way back from Albany after participating in the Darren Warnken Ride on Saturday. We were discussing the tragic events of the day before – a man who was on the ride had left early to attend another event and on his way home was in an accident and died. During that same ride, a couple of bikes went down and while no one was seriously injured, Chuck went to the hospital to have his mouth stitched up and Robin had some bumps and bruises but was visibly upset. I am so happy that they were alright.
Then my phone rang, it was Harry (those of you who read the magazine may know who Harry is, we did a story on him in a previous issue), Harry is what I like to think of as a “real biker.” I could tell by the sound of his voice that there was something really wrong. He said that Brenda Force had been killed on her motorcycle on Saturday. My mind was racing trying to figure out who she was and as soon as Harry mentioned the yellow sporty that she rode it hit me like a ton of bricks. I talked to him at length as he explained what happened, he explained that a 73-year-old man with his 11-year-old granddaughter in the car had pulled out of a gas station right into her path (he said he didn’t see her). How you couldn’t see a bright yellow motorcycle or hear it right there is beyond me. Harry and a friend raced to the hospital as soon as he heard. Doctors and Nurses were desperately working to save her but despite their heroic efforts, Brenda passed.
When I got home I headed down to Biker Alley, Sharon and Dave were good friends with Brenda, as many of the people who go there were. We had done a photo shoot at Biker Alley a few years back and Brenda was there and we were looking for those photos. Bikers, as they do, started showing up to talk and to console each other. I finally headed back home and wrote something that I could distribute the next day when I delivered magazines. I got up early the next day because I had to go back to Albany to pick up the rest of the magazines but before I left I sat down at the computer to read what was in the local paper. Under the story there is a comment section so I clicked on it to see what comments were being left; I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Here are a couple of comments taken from Syracuse.com
cindyx on 08/03/09 at 9:05AM
motorcycles are dangerous. even the so called experienced drivers cannot control a bike efficiently. they should be outlawed. the woman riding the cycle was clearly at fault. could not control her vehicle. now look. another one. not the last one.
cindyx on 08/03/09 at 9:34AM
…act out? i don’t think so. Basic high school drivers ed; drive defensively, look ahead, anticipate what other drivers may do. Approaching a store or hidden driveway, slow down, be alert, be prepared to stop altogether. If she drove responsibly, and was in an auto, instead of on a toy, well.
The article states, “nothing fazed her”,? “She was always ready to stand up to the biggest person, sholders back, at the ready”? what’s that all about? Sounds a little aggressive to me. Same aggressive attitude most bikers generally have, nothing fazes them and feel they are the only ones that the right to be on the road. A 16 year old would question why she didn’t look far enough ahead. The bikes should be outlawed.
Another lesson that bikers hopefully will learn here. You need to pay attention. And you all state that cars need to be on the look out for bikes in the summer. Actually, we do just fine, it appears the bikers are having the trouble. Watch out for autos, there are more of us on the road in the summer. Case in point, another accident this morning in hastings in the paper, another biker, wow, no kidding?
While I was reading these awful things, as she stated, another biker was killed not 5 miles from my house. I stopped by Biker Alley on my way to Albany and Sharon said that we should put the pictures of these people on the cover of next month’s magazine. The more I thought about it and the more I read online about these deaths, I decided that’s exactly what we needed to do! It is obvious that people do not hold a biker’s life in the same regard they do other people’s lives. Why is it that people are told to look out for bicycles but not motorcycles? This fact sickens me and I thought it is time to show the faces of these people and let everyone know that we are human and they should feel our loss as a loss, not as “well, there goes another one.” We are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and grand children. We help our fellow man! We raise millions of dollars in New York State alone for almost every charity there is. Where are the people like cindyx? They are sitting in an office or at home somewhere writing hurtful and hateful things about people they never had the privilege to know.
So to you, cindyx, and all you other sorry excuses of American Citizens that share her thoughts, I want to know a few things. My love of motorcycling and motorcyclists has put me in the presence of a Congressional Medal of Honor Winner. Where were you? I rode with 100 other bikers to visit 400 Taps Kids at the hotel they were staying at in Washington, D.C. during Rolling Thunder. Where were you? I was on a ride with about ½ million bikes when someone noticed a WWI Vet in a wheelchair on the side of the road and pulled over to shake his hand and many, many more bikes followed suit. Where were you? I have attended events where either a baby or a child is alive today because of the motorcycling community. Where were you?
I don’t want to make this a negative article but I do need to start telling people who these bikers are and what we stand for. We stand for: Honor, Integrity, Loyalty and the love of the open road. I also realize that it’s not just the public we need the educate about our right to be on the road. We need to educate the motorcycles that speed down the road, passing cars, doing wheelies and killing themselves. There is a time and place for that kind of riding and it’s not on the highways or through neighborhoods or on blind curves. Please think when you get on the machine because as you know, the people in the cars aren’t looking out for you, they don’t have to and some of them don’t want to. I also want to start making a case to go to our Legislators with that “LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES” and the laws they are proposing have nothing to do with our safety. They are a violation of our rights and most definitely putting our safety at risk. Also, to the business owners out there, just think what will happen if the pipe law goes into effect. You will be losing huge amounts of money from the motorcycling community. Anyone entering our state will be subject to these laws so there goes our tourism money from neighboring states. This is bad any way you look at it. The only thing this law is intended for is to give the police the right to stop us at will. Some people told me that the magazine is mostly read by bikers, which is true, and that the public won’t see it so do me a favor. After you read this, please share it with people you know that aren’t bikers. Leave one in the break room at work, on the counter at a gas station, at the doctor’s office, bring it to your next family function, whatever you do, please tell people: LOOK OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES, and the We are People too!!
You are right on Carmella! I look forward to being in Washington, DC with Carmella and the gang from New York Rider Magazine and Rolling Thunder.
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