The holidays are over and soon all of us will be seeing how much we spent when our credit card bills arrive. The last few months for me was a moment to reflect on how truly grateful I am for family and our chosen family here in Colorado. As Publisher of Colorado Rider News and President/Founder of the BikerDown Foundation, I sometimes to get to see the hardship that our riders are facing from behind the scenes. However, the love and commitment to one another by this motorcycle community is something we should all be so very proud of. As we face the risks of riding, I quickly realize the REWARD is worth it.[Read more…] about Happy New Year!
There is always something special about the new year that somehow puts a new hopeful look into the upcoming year. New Year’s resolution posts on Facebook and Instagram start flooding your timelines. Maybe someone you know is planning to quit smoking, hit the gym, drink less – the list can go on. These resolutions usually don’t last long. What about for us motorcycle riders though? If you’re passionate about riding, then it’ll be easier to follow through with biker resolutions.
So, here are some motorcycle resolutions to keep in mind in 2020
Increase your bike/car insurance – not the most glamorous first resolution, but certainly the most important. Colorado riders ride year-round and accidents as we know happen weekly in our community. All riders MUST have at least 250k dollars in under or un-insured motorist coverage. 30% of all drivers in Colorado do not have car insurance and if they do another 25% of them have liability only. No-one like high priced insurance, but FREEDOM of the ride is NO LONGER FREE. Do it for your family and friends if nothing else, family members are the ones who will struggle to help you if or when you have an accident.
Get your Living will and affairs in order – again not on most people’s top 10 of things to do, but vital in the event of an accident. We all know that life is short, and accidents can happen but thinking that your family and friends know your wishes or will honor your wishes after an accident of fatality is quite a different story. We lost many of our biker family in 2019 and the aftermath of confusion would shock most of you. Take a day to do your living will or attend one of BikerDown Foundation’s events. They are planning on bringing in experts who can help you get your documents in order.
Motorcycle Maintenance – Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure motorcycle safety on the road. Just because your bike starts and runs…doesn’t mean it isn’t a risk for a breakdown leaving you possibly stranded on a ride and causing more damage to your bike when you are forced to get it fixed. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then the New Year is the perfect tie to learn. Take your owner’s manual and get more familiar with your specific bike. You should also always check your tire pressure for the temperature and conditions on the road. Your tires will lose pressure in colder riding conditions and not give you the performance you might need…traction is also so important in Colorado with the ice/gravel and other hazards that can be on our mountain roads.
Ride more often – you should try, and ride more than you did in the previous year. Set a goal of riding a specific amount of days per month. It can be hard to do with family, work and other commitments occupying most of your time, but if you are a passionate rider, then it shouldn’t be viewed as a chore. Even if you must go around the corner for a few groceries, make it your duty to take your bike instead. Once the nice weather hits your area, get out and join up with local organized charity rides.
Find a group of riders that share your passion and style of riding is also a great way to get out and ride more. The more buddies you have that want to hit the road, the easier it will be for you to get off your butt and go for a ride.
Plan a Motorcycle Trip – Colorado riders has some of the best riding in the country. Make a list of states that you have always wanted to ride to and start planning. Road trip can get expensive, but if you decide on taking your motorcycle somewhere instead, you will enjoy the freedom and experience of getting to your destination a lot more. Now is the perfect time to start planning something for 2020 because, in Colorado winter is still upon us and will limit our riding over the next few snowy months. There is some amazing riding outside of Colorado…so make your bucket list and start your saving for your trip. The possibilities are endless. You just need that determination and drive to start organizing things and follow through with it. You only live once, so you might as well make it memorable experiencing the unfamiliar.
Get your endorsement – Many riders are riding in our state and nationwide without their motorcycle endorsement. While your state may not require it, many states do…so taking that trip cross country you might head into a state that requires it. I believe there are also some insurance discounts/benefits that you can get from your insurance company by showing them that you have your endorsement or have completed some refresher classes.
Update your riding skills – Many of you have been riding for years, but there isn’t anything better than taking a day to refresh your motorcycle skills and learn some additional defensive driving tips. There are also Accident Scene Management classes sponsored by Rider Justice and BikerDown that can help someone render aid in the event of an accident.
Is it time for a new helmet? – In terms of safety gear, a DOT helmet is one of the most important items you can add to the bike, and if you are planning on any road trips outside of Colorado, you will need to carry a helmet. While Colorado riders have always believed in the choice to wear or not wear a helmet it’s astonishing just how many bikers will compromise their safety in a bid to look cool on the road. I too had never wanted to wear a helmet, but now have taken that leap to additional safety when I ride by purchasing a DOT helmet.
Safety clothing and apparel – For years if you wanted to wear motorcycle safety gear you had to go to a sport bike clothing manufacturer and it really didn’t match your clothing or style of clothing. Companies like Tobacco Motorwear Company have brought to the motorcycle riders (male and female) clothing such as Kevlar riding pants and jackets and vests that have D30 back protectors. D30 is a new technology is the thinnest and most advanced protection against impact around. Basically, it is very thin and flexible until impact and then hardens instantly.
Being pro-active with your riding and taking some simple necessary steps to keep you a little safer on the road seems to me to be the BEST Motorcycle New Year’s Eve Resolution!
In October 2019, our community lost our friend Munky at the hands of a murderer name Alberto Calcurian. The loss to our community resulted in one of the biggest celebrations of life seen in Denver in several years. The fundraiser raised enough funds that Munky was able to be buried in Florida by his parents but didn’t leave much for his son Marcus or the estate to deal with the after math of such a tragic loss. But the story doesn’t end there.[Read more…] about Justice for Mark “Munky” Berman
Normally this November issue would be filled with holiday cheer and gearing up for Christmas, but alas our biker community is mourning the loss of Mark “Munky” Berman. It has only been a few weeks and the pain and loss are still so very real to us.[Read more…] about Remembering Mark “Munky” Berman
Nominations for families is Open until November 30th
BikerDown Foundation is in our 8th year of Adopting Families for the Holidays program. The program started with the desire to help 2 families that had suffered a tragic loss due to a motorcycle fatality. While we knew we couldn’t replace the loss they were feeling, we could ensure that the family wasn’t alone and that the children had Christmas under the tree.[Read more…] about Adopt A Family for the Holidays
The fall season is here and fall colors are upon us and you only have a week or so before all those beautiful fall colors will have fallen softly to the ground and in a blink of an eye winter riding will be upon us… are you ready. Halloween can be seen in every store with Thanksgiving not far behind. I then realized that we are 69 days away from the Children’s Hospital Toy Run and 86 days away from Christmas. Where did our summer go?
Motorcycle Fatalities continue to RISE – Our biker community in Colorado has suffered 9 tragic motorcycle fatalities in the last two (2) weekends of September. My calculations, as President of BikerDown, is that we have recorded a record 74 fatalities on motorcycles so far in 2019. That is a staggering number of fatalities as my numbers do not include data on the western slope.
I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said or covered in previous issues of Colorado Rider News, but motorcycle awareness and safety is no longer about “Look Twice Save a Life” bumper stickers or “Can you see me now As*hole” t-shirts or patches.
Motorcycle awareness is now in the hands of the rider, and how experienced you are in defensive driving. It is about how fast you ride for the conditions; it is about being more cautious when going thru intersections and stop lights. Green no longer means GO, it means down shift and see if anyone is coming, looking both ways… before you proceed thru any light or stop sign. It means if you see someone driving distracted… you do all that you can to stay clear of that irresponsible driver – which is almost impossible because 4 out of 10 drivers are using their phones while moving.
Motorcycle Safety – use to refer to whether you wore a helmet or not. Now, considering helmet protection and wearing the right safety gear IS A MUST to stay alive and enable you to recover from an accident. Companies like Tobacco Motorwear are coming out with stylish denim jeans with Kevlar fibers in it, so that in the event of a crash it can help limit the road rash and damages to your body. Kevlar riding shirts that you wear over your t-shirts and under your vest and will protect your shoulders, elbows and most importantly your back. Knox armor in your leather vests or jackets that will protect your spine. Some will say I am not going to spend 300 on a pair of riding jeans or I can’t afford it. We are in a riding age where you can’t afford NOT TO HAVE some safety gear when you ride. This year I would ask all motorcycle riders to put safety gear on your Christmas list.
This month has some special events and CRN is proud to feature them in this issue:
October 12th – Dirty Dogs Roadhouse 2nd Anniversary Birthday Bash – who doesn’t love a party and Mark and Rob are pulling out all the stops for their 2nd year anniversary party. You can read more about that on page 4.
October 12th – Rider Justice 2020 Sturgis Giveaway drawing event – To go with the fun festivities at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse. Rider Justice has been taking registrations since August for a 2020 STURGIS VACATION GIVEAWAY. Next year is the 80th and reservations cost top dollar and everywhere will sell out. Take the stress out of the 80th and get up to Dirty Dogs and REGISTER for a chance to win. Registrations taken until 10/12. Also register online: RiderJustice.com/sturgis
October 26th – BikerDown and Wide Open Saloon will be drawing the winner of the 2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide donated by Wide Open Saloon to help injured motorcycle riders with their recovery. Wide Open Saloon will be opening in early 2020 and will be hosting their raffle drawing at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse. A special thanks to Mark & Rob and Todd Hills, owner of Wide Open Saloon for working together to make this a very special event for BikerDown. These 2 businesses truly care about motorcycle riders and their recovery!
October 26th – Dirty Dogs Roadhouse – Halloween party – We all know that Mark & Rob know how to throw a party and their Halloween parties are legendary! So, get your costume ready for a chance to win a great prize!
We welcome your comments and thoughts on what CRN can do better in the future and enjoy the ride!
For several months Colorado Rider News has been advertising the Wide Open Saloon Bike Raffle of a 2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide with the drawing date of October 26th. The proceeds of this bike raffle will go to BikerDown Foundation here in Colorado to help injured motorcycle riders.
With the drawing date nearing and Wide Open experiencing some renovation delays on their property in Sedalia, Todd contacted Mark & Rob from Dirty Dogs Roadhouse and asked them if they would host the raffle drawing for Wide Open. Dirty Dogs has supported BikerDown for many years and felt that if we can’t host the event ourselves, Dirty Dogs was the next best alternative.
The raffle drawing will be at 7pm and tickets can still be purchased online here.
You do not need to present to win, which is a great benefit to anyone purchasing a raffle ticket. BikerDown will do a Facebook LIVE video of the drawing so that all ticket holders can watch the drawing live and see if they won!
100% of the proceeds of this raffle go to help injured motorcycle riders in Colorado.
Ride Free or Die movie is an insider’s look into the political world of motorcycle clubs. The clubs are fighting for their constitutional rights against what they perceive as law enforcement profiling and harassment. The documentary features Mongols MC, Outsiders MC, Devils Disciples MC, Sin City Deciples, and clubs from all over America. Our local leaders in the Colorado Confederation of Clubs were also featured in this movie.
Motorcycle clubs are regularly portrayed as gangs on shows such as Sons of Anarchy, Mayans MC and The Devils Ride. The theme of these TV shows is violence, drug running, as well as demeaning women as pass arounds with no value in the club. While this is entertaining on TV shows, the truth is that most motorcycle club members are family orientated and believe in a biker code of loyalty, honor and respect.
It is important to understand the legal definition of motorcycle profiling because it happens every day to riders across the nation. There are an estimated 10 million registered motorcyclists in America representing all walks of life. They include doctors, lawyers, business owners, military veterans, blue collar workers, and even state legislators.
Unfortunately, the overly broad outlaw biker stereotype embraced by many in law enforcement results in selective enforcement and discriminatory traffic stops targeting a sizable portion of the motorcycling community. To understand your rights as a rider, you should know the definition of motorcycle profiling as it relates to the law.
The definition of motorcycle profiling is as follow: the arbitrary use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest or search a person or vehicle.
Solely relying on appearance as opposed to the legal requirement of conduct amounts to discrimination and violates federal law. You should immediately consult a motorcycle attorney and explore your options. Depending on the circumstances of the stop there are numerous potential claims that may be brought under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act.
Proﬁling violates the 1st Amendment. Being in a motorcycle club or organization, and displaying symbols of association, are both irrefutably protected by the 1st Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971) that individuals have the constitutional right under the 1st Amendment to wear clothing which displays writing or designs and has long recognized and protected the right of an individual to freedom of association. More recent cases confirm that 1st Amendment protection specifically applies to motorcycle club and organization colors and clothing.
Proﬁling violates the 14th Amendment. In Whren v. US (Supreme Court, # 95-5841, 1996) the Court made a clear distinction between discriminatory stops and mere investigatory stops. The court said, “The Constitution prohibits selective enforcement of the law.” Although the 4th Amendment is not the proper basis for a complaint, discriminatory or selective enforcement stops are a violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment.
Profiling violates the 4th Amendment. When the duration of the stop extends beyond the reasonable amount of time to adjudicate the traffic infraction then the stop is may be found unreasonable under the 4th Amendment. There is no set time for a reasonable stop because the circumstances of each stop are unique.
This movie will show dash cam and body cam videos of law enforcement violating the 14th and 4th amendments with no probable cause other than the vests and club colors they are wearing.
Ride Free or Die is available to download on Amazon Prime Video and we hope that readers will take time to watch this movie and will walk away better informed.
September is here, Sturgis is over and for many your kids or grandkids have started back to school. While not the end of the riding season, Colorado weather can quickly change without notice so we ask all riders to be careful on the routes that they take. September is when many motorcycle riders start planning and anticipating the fall colors and the rides in Colorado that make living here extra special.
Biker Owned Businesses
We wanted to remind any Biker Owned Businesses that you can list your business in our “BOB” directory for FREE, and Colorado Rider News would love to do more features on what your business offers so that our readers who need services know they don’t have to go far to find a biker owned business that can help them.
Motorcycle Awareness and Safety
BikerDown, Abate, CORD and Rider Justice will begin discussion with Sen. Lois Court again to try an modify and introduce new legislation to attempt to take hand-held mobile devices out of the hands of cagers to lower the number of distracted drivers out there to make the roads safe for our riders.
As we mentioned last month, we chose 2 charities this month to do FREE advertisements. Our first charity that CRN chose the Hornbuckle Foundation. The foundation is hosting their 5th annual Soul Repo Run with the help of the Sober Souls, MC. Their ride is scheduled for September 7th. Addiction is something that affects every aspect of your life and to know that our community can get the sober living grants to help them re-enter society sober is a great cause and helps our biker community.
Our second charity is Whitehorse Riders ministry, and they are hosting a Love Run on October 26th out of Colorado Springs. This Love Run will ask all riders to bring warm items including socks, back pack, gloves/hat and items that will help the homeless endure a Colorado winter. While I have never been homeless, I have known the FEAR of being homeless. Our growing economy in Colorado has forced many families out of their homes, not because they don’t pay their rent, but because landlords can double the price of their rent due to the overwhelming demand for housing.
Enjoy the cooler weather to come and remember, we welcome your comments and thoughts on what CRN can do better in the future and enjoy the ride!
Sturgis always gives small publications like Colorado Rider News an opportunity to see what new products are out there in the biker community, and the Atlas Hitch was a product that I knew I just had to do a review on. The first thing that came to mind when I saw this was WHY HADN’T THIS COME OUT SOONER. As with Shark Tank episodes, it takes someone to with a little ingenuity to solve a problem that all bikers have…which is transporting their bikes.
Traveling on your bike is always the preferred means of travel, but there are times that you just need to tow your bike and drive your vehicle to your destination. Some more mature riders can’t take long rides anymore, and large groups traveling long distances usually travel with some sort of chaser vehicle that can carry everyone’s stuff and help in the event of an emergency. The question is, what do you do when a bike breaks down? Sure, you can call a tow truck and wait sometimes hours for them to arrive especially when you are out of state and don’t have friends that can come get you.
Women riders are growing in record numbers and wanting to travel independently to rallies and events all over the country, but not everyone has a trailer or means to get their bikes to their event.
The Atlas Hitch is for Motorcycle RESCUE and for TRANSPORT and was invented by JAB Dynamics (Patent Pending) and is a MADE IN THE USA product.
JAB Dynamics was founded in July 1996 by owner & CEO, John Berggren. JAB Dynamics is a 28-year old company, which truly defines outside the box approaches to delivering high quality, long-lasting and easy to use products to our customers. We are not waiting around for the next great idea – we are actively creating it.
Since the first motorcycle was built in the late 19th century, committed riders have struggled to find a safe and convenient way to transport their motorcycle, when riding is not a viable option. The Atlas Hitch is designed to be easy and safe to use. It only takes one person just a few minutes to load or unload a motorcycle or Trike. The Atlas Hitch allows you to safely transport your motorcycle or Trike without the fear of injury, high-risk maneuvers or damage to your motorcycle or Trike.
The Atlas Hitch took years to be developed. The parts are machined, laser cut, and powder coated to last. The Atlas Hitch can be used on any vehicle the comes stock with a 2” receiver & can handle 600 pounds of tongue weight. The Atlas Hitch can handle (most) motorcycles with a tire width of 3.5” to 7”, providing the front foot pegs (mounting brackets) are accessible or up to 10” wide tire with the Spider option. If you choose to tow your motorcycle backwards, then securing the handlebars is REQUIRED so they do not turn (i.e. Dirt Bike, Spider).
The Atlas Hitch is on wheels so you can roll it to your vehicles hitch, then just crank it up until level with your receiver and slide it in. To store the Atlas Hitch, just wheel it under your workbench or in the corner of your garage. Truly our product is built for to be handled easily! Whether you select to utilize our manual crank model or prefer the electric version, both will provide you with the ease of self-independence and care when transporting your motorcycle. Yes, it is that easy!
The Atlas Hitch retails for $1,499.00 and beats the cost of purchasing a small bike trailer. It can easily be stored in your garage and kept in the back of your truck when traveling. It is easy to use for men and women! Jab Dynamics is continually adding accessories to the Atlas Hitch to make it easier for the consumer such as an LED tow light kit, adjustable light bar and Pintle Hitch for 6 different mountain positions
If you ride in a group, club or organization that does a lot of rides, this Atlas Hitch can be an extremely valuable addition as it can be pulled with any vehicle that can handle 600 lbs of tongue weight. The Atlas Hitch allows you to get a bike safely and quickly off the road and keep you moving on your ride.
For more information on the Atlas Hitch, please visit their website at https://jabdynamics.com/Product/atlas-motorcycle-tow-hitch and watch their YouTube video. I am sure many of you will see why we gave this product 5-stars!
Q&A from owner John Berggren
What inspired you to create/build the Atlas Hitch? It occurred to us that when a motorcycle breaks down you only have a couple of options for rescue, an expensive tow truck or a friend with a trailer. Trailers are expensive and you need room to store one. I needed something that allowed me to transport my motorcycle without having to rely on a friend or a trailer to easily load and unload by myself.
Ultimately, I needed a way to take my bike to the shop for routine maintenance without my wife having to pick me up and take me back. I wanted to be able to take the family and bring my motorcycle with me on a trip. The Atlas Hitch solved it all.
Does the Atlas Hitch need to be licensed like a trailer? No, the beauty of the Atlas Hitch, in addition to its convenience and safety, is it does not require a state license or tab. We suggest you check with your local Department of Licensing for specific towing instructions/restrictions.
Can the Atlas Hitch be used on any vehicle? It can be used on any vehicle with a 2” receiver able to tow a trailer of similar tong weight. Most all vehicles, slated for towing, will tow the Atlas Hitch with ease.
Can the Atlas Hitch handle any type of motorcycle? The Atlas Hitch can handle any type of Motorcycle or Trike with a front tire width of 3.5”-7”, if the front foot pegs (mounting brackets) are accessible for the securement system.
Do the handlebars need to be secured by straps to keep them from turning? Only as a secondary safety system or if you haul your bike backward, then securing the handlebars is REQUIRED so they do not turn. We provide a handlebar strap set to use with off-road motorcycles (dirt bikes) and for a secondary safety system.
Is the Atlas Hitch hard to use? It is easy to use. We have a manual crank or an option for the electric version. It stores on wheels so you can roll it to your vehicles hitch. You just crank it up until level with your receiver and slide it in. It’s a breeze!!
How do you store it when it is not being used? It has wheels for storage. Just wheel it under your workbench or in the corner of your garage.
Is the Atlas Hitch safe to use? The Atlas Hitch is designed to be easy and safe to use. It only takes one person just a few minutes to load or unload a motorcycle. Loading a motorcycle on a trailer is dangerous riding or pushing up a ramp and it is more dangerous coasting a motorcycle backward down a ramp. The Atlas Hitch allows you to safely transport your motorcycle without the fear of danger or high-risk maneuvers or damage your motorcycle.
Does the Atlas Hitch come with a warranty? The information for the warranty is viewable on the product page under the terms tab.