Colorado Riders Care
April 11: This interview with Mark Miklos of Dirty Dogs Roadhouse and Laurie Montoya of BikerDown gives an update about how Dirty Dogs is doing during the COVID-19 shutdown and an information about our #2Wheels4Meals movement.
Laurie is our #2Wheels4Meals “boots-on-the-ground” person and has been at Dirty Dogs for the past three weeks helping prep meals. (Thank you, Laurie!) As the president of a non-profit, BikerDown, she has been instrumental in helping collect and manage donated funds.
I was sitting here as I have done for the past 3 weeks trying to think about what to write about. What positive spin or thoughts that I could share with you. All I could come up with is that history has a way of repeating itself and hopefully this world, our country and we, as citizens, will learn this time.
We are in unsettling times. We will speak of this global virus pandemic, the stay-at-home orders, food shortages, gas prices possibly going back to 99 cents per gallon, highest unemployment in recent memory and the aftermath this pandemic had on our economy. Before this, how many of you knew the word Essential business or ventilator? The simple word COVID-19 will flow off our tongues like WWI & The Depression and we will all remember where we were and who we lost. This virus knows no color or race, no religion, no gender and doesn’t discriminate… sounds like a John Lennon song.
Future generations will roll their eyes when we try to tell them the stories of the day when there was no toilet paper and food was being rationed. How manufacturing plants were converted from making pillows or beer, to making hand sanitizers and hospital masks/PPE clothing to save the lives of Americans. GM and Ford converted their plants to make not guns and ammo for WAR, but medical equipment. They will humor us, and half listen at the unimaginable sacrifices people have made to save the lives others.
I remember when I was younger, I went down into my Italian grandparents’ basement, and would see everything that they stocked up on. Every weekend, they would take the Sunday newspaper ads and coupon and spend the whole weekend going to stores picking up the Buy One-Get One free products and then they would proudly stock them on massive shelves in the basement. They would only go out to eat at restaurants they had a coupon for. My beautiful Grandma Ginny was our family Italian drug dealer, because she would pay you to refill your prescriptions and then stock them up in her private home pharmacy. I remember thinking that they were just a little bit crazy, but now I understand that they had lived thru the depression, they had lived in a house with several married families and struggled every single day. My grandma worked at a plant in St. Louis and paid double on her mortgage every month so that she could pay her house off early and the bank didn’t own her. She believed in living within her means, and I can’t tell you the countless times my parents borrowed money from them and thank god they always had it to give. They didn’t have credit card because they didn’t want to owe anyone. If they wanted something, they had an envelope and they SAVED until they could go in and pay cash.
It is my belief and deepest hope that this pandemic and shut down will be a life lesson to world leaders, our government and all of us in some small way and will bring CHANGE in how we deal with things.
I have personally learned a lot about how I will deal with things moving forward and to be the rock for my family and friends.
Our estimated goal date to getting back to some semblance of normal is now April 30th, and I pray each day that more people will honor the stay-at-home orders and practice safe social distancing. Group rides are not encouraged, and we ask all riders if you are going to ride to make sure you take the necessary steps to keep yourself and others safe.
The sooner we all sacrifice and bring this curve of infection down, the sooner we can all get back to the living and rebuilding our lives and our country.
Colorado Rider News is working with a collective group of biker owned business to form #ColoradoRidersCare. Our first initiative was our #2WheelsforMeals program to ensure that our small business biker owned restaurants survive so that we have them when this is over. We are working with businesses like Dirty Dogs Roadhouse, Wide Open Saloon, and Takoda Tavern. Each of these businesses are open for carryout and delivery and we encourage all riders to try your best to support your local biker owned business. If you know of someone that needs a hot meal, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com
Motorcycle Business Directory
CRN has also created a directory of businesses that have modified or adapted to the shut-down. Many of our dealerships are still open and while the showroom may be closed, they are still open for service and parts.
We will always be #COLORADOSTRONG and stand side-by-side.
As always enjoy the ride, let us know what we can do better and BE SAFE OUT THERE
Contact Laurie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: 4/9/20 — Additional auto insurance carriers have followed suit and are offering rebate/pay backs to customers. Be sure to contact your auto insurance carrier and find out what programs are available to you.
As we all continue to practice Shelter-in-Place during the COVID-19 spread, many are working from home or have been temporarily laid off. This stay at home policy is significantly limiting the amount of driving (except for essential travel) and lowering the possibility of a driver/rider’s being in an accident.
I received an email from Esurance, an Allstate company offering insureds up to a 15% payback off their monthly insurance premiums during April thru May. They are also offering other vital services such as:
- Free identity protection from Allstate
You can now get free identity protection from Allstate throughout the remainder of this year. With shelter-in-place orders requiring people to work at home and attend virtual classes, meetings, and events, it’s more important than ever to protect your personal data against increased cyber and financial threats. Enroll by 5/31/20 to get Allstate Identity Protection for free through 12/31/20.
- Extended coverage for commercial
Many auto insurance policies don’t cover commercial deliveries. But while so many people are helping deliver vital supplies to their communities, we’re extending coverage for customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine, and essential services for a commercial purpose. This coverage will be automatically applied in any state where an emergency order is in place. No action is required on your part.
- Payment relief
Customers facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis can contact us for payment flexibility. Call us at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) to learn more.
State Farm is also considering a rebate plan. “We are closely monitoring our automobile insurance loss and are considering how best to take this into account and return value to our auto insurance policyholders,” State Farm spokeswoman Gina Morss-Fischer said in an emailed statement. “We expect a decision in this regard by the end of the week.”
American Family Insurance said it will return about $200 million to its auto insurance customers. “American Family Insurance is doing this out of responsibility to our customers. They are driving less and experiencing fewer claims. Because of these results, they deserve premium relief,” American Family Chief Operating Officer Telisa Yancy said in a news release.
If you aren’t insured with Allstate, I would encourage you to contact your auto policy provider and see what offers they might be putting into place.
Our program to support local businesses is gaining steam. Because of the gaining interest – and to help people maintain social distancing by staying at home – BikerDown has started a fundraiser through their fundraising platform. As a non-profit, they are experienced at managing donations and distribution of funds.
Dirty Dogs Roadhouse has really stepped up to the plate with effort promoting our program that aims at feeding those in our community in need and first responders.
The Times they are a Changing
There is a song by Bob Dylan that is called The Times They Are A-Changin’ and as I was writing this article, I put on the song, closed my eyes and just took a moment to listen to the words and all the stress just took a back seat to a song and lyrics that are so relative in these unknown times.
Right now I want to focus on what everyone can do to try to take care of their monthly bills if your income has been affected by the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. As many of you know, I am the President and Founder of BikerDown Foundation, a non-profit that helps injured motorcycle riders. For 10 years, we have helped injured riders with financial guidance and strategy when their income has been immediately impacted by an accident. The current coronavirus health crisis has suddenly put millions of Americans in that same uncertain financial position that injured riders often experience.
Strategies for Managing Finances Now
When you are injured and out of work for the foreseeable future, you must come up with ways to restructure your finances such as car payments, mortgage, rent and other bills. By restructuring or deferring some financial payments, it enables you to save your cash and possibly make another payment paid that you cannot defer (like food). BikerDown encourages people to be PROACTIVE with their bills before they go in arrears and a computer starts spitting out delinquency bills and the collection calls process begins.
Here are a few helpful suggestions on what everyone can do right now to try and stay ahead of the inevitable financial fears that you may have.
- Car payments – call your financial institutions including
Ford, GM, Hyundai, Chrysler as well as others and ask to have 2-3 of your
vehicle payments deferred to the back of the loan. You will find that most, if not all, of them
during COVID-19 are offering these deferments that will help enable you to pay
critical bills such as your mortgage or rent.
- New car purchases – if you are in the market for a new car, Ford, Chrysler and GM are offering (based on your credit) new car purchases with no payments for 6 months.
- Motorcycle payments – deferring motorcycle payments thru Harley-Davidson finance (www.myhdfs.com) are also offering up to 60 days deferments on bike payments. Other motorcycle manufacturers are also stepping in line to help our riding community overcome the financial obligations that we are all experiencing.
- Cable/Internet bills – If you have a high cable bill and/or are no longer part of a VIP package you are probably wondering how you are going to stay connected. Most packages such as Dish, Comcast or Direct TV won’t want to lose your business and now is an excellent time to re-negotiate your package. Most recently I called Direct TV with the intent of cancelling, and they re-organized my DirectTV bills down to 59.95 per month. Please note that when they re-organize or restructure your cable bills, you will be entering into at least a 1 year or more commitment.
- Amazon Fire Stick – this is a great option to be able to get out from under any cable commitments and Fire stick and other providers devices just go into your USB port on the back of your television.
- Smart TV – Most TV’s now come with smart options where with an internet connection you can get many of the programs that you get with a cable provider. Today I checked at Walmart.com and you can buy a SAMSUNG 55″ Class 4K Ultra HD (2160P) HDR Smart for $399.00. So, imagine, if you got rid of a 200.00 per month cable bill and kept your internet and bought a smart tv, the money you could save over the course of a year.
- Utilities – Utilities are more difficult to restructure. However, many electric and water companies offer you the option to average out your bills over the year. As an example, in the spring/summer months when your electric or water bills are much higher, companies like Xcel can average out your electric bill based on an estimated usage to even out your payment. Please note however, that if you do that, in the off-season when your electric bills are normally lower, you will see it go up a little bit.
- Credit Cards – Many will use their credit cards to try and get through the next 30-60 days or until your government checks or unemployment arrive. Call any of your credit card providers and ask for a credit line increase or possibly ask what these financial institutions are offering for payments. Talk with your credit card company before you rack up bills so you know what to expect.
As you can see, by taking a few proactive steps and restructuring your monthly obligations, you can free up your cash to enable you to continue to make your rent or monthly mortgage payments and get thru the next few months.
The biker community is strong and at Colorado Rider News we are doing all that we can to help! If you have any suggestions on other comments, we would love to hear from you. Remember #ColoradoRidersCare
We all knew that the COVID-19 situation was serious, but it wasn’t until our Colorado government shut down dine-in restaurants and bars that we saw the potential for small business to severely suffer. This sudden enforcement of the social distancing directives was immediately crippling to the places we bikers love to relax after a ride with friends.
Our Colorado Riders Care team knew that we needed to find ways to support these businesses if we wanted them to be here when the dine-in bans were lifted. It was clear to us that many want to help – but how?
Helping a neighbor
Certainly, encouraging people to order take-out and delivery from their favorite biker bar was a start.
But to take it one step further, we needed to connect people who needed help with those wanting to help. So, we created the #2Wheels4Meals campaign. In short, we have created a system where anyone can donate a meal to someone in need through their participating restaurant of choice, which creates immediate income for that restaurant, and a place where people who are in need can get fed.
We reached out to local biker owned bar/restaurants in different locations throughout the Denver metro area, to find out how they were adapting to keep the doors open.
These businesses are:
We have asked these businesses to implement our #2Wheels4Meal donation program and have them available to customers who come in to grab a meal to-go and ask them to purchase one voucher/sheet to pay-it-forward to someone who might not be able to afford a hot meal.
This past Sunday, I went to Dirty Dogs Roadhouse to visit Mark and Rob and to see how Dirty Dogs was diversifying since the shutdown. #2Wheels4meals launched at there with $400 in food donation vouchers with each of the following businesses donating $100 in vouchers:
If you need a hot meal and just need a random act of kindness, there are meal vouchers up there.
If you have a biker owned business and would like to be added to our Colorado Rider Cares directory, please do so here.
We are a riding community family made up of many bikers owned businesses – both small and large – and we will get thru this TOGETHER.
Our riding community and nation are under siege from a virus spreading worldwide called coronavirus (COVID-19). If you would have asked me in January what the coronavirus was, I probably would have thought it was a new ad campaign for Corona beer. Every part of our daily lives has changed by COVID-19: the way we say hello, the biker hug, handshakes and direct contact. Our Colorado roadways are brisker for those of you going to/from work each day and for some, they are learning how to work from home instead of going to the office.[Read more…] about Colorado Riders Care Launches
While the Colorado legislature is on recess due to COVID-19, it would still be helpful if supporters contacted the House Transportation & Local Gov’t Committee to request their support of SB20-065, Use of Electronic Mobile Devices While Driving. They are currently scheduled to hear the Bill on April 8. We’ll provide updates on the status of the Bill as they become available on the CORD Facebook page. You can also support the bill (with safe social distancing) by signing the online petition on the Rider Justice website.[Read more…] about SB20-065: Use of Electronic Mobile Devices