What does it take to make a difference in the community?
The longer Colorado Rider News is around, the more perplexed I am on what type of publication I want this to be. I question every month: do I write this article about texting and driving, another biker fatality or articles about the right kind of insurances a biker should have. Many have said that CRN is so serious and that I should make it more fun to read. They suggest crossword puzzles, scantily dressed women photoshoots so they can pin them on their garage. Some would like to see more biker jokes & comics.
The current crisis’ that this riding community faces can no longer be ignored or left up to a few other organizations such as Abate, CORD, BikerDown and Rider Justice to do for you. I don’t believe the motorcycle community really realizes the POWER it possesses and their ability to make REAL CHANGE with the powers that be. There are 8,597,197 registered motorcycle riders in the United States according to 2017 statitics. That is an massive amount of power to make change. I can’t think of any other group that is over 8 million STRONG. If you can I would love to know who they are. There is a reason that President Trump has Bikers for Trump. In Colorado, we have over 190,000 registered motorcycle riders.
There isn’t a day that I turn on the TV, Facebook or better yet check my email and someone in our community or nationwide hasn’t been tragically harmed or killed at the hands of a cager or some form of distracted driving. There isn’t a month that goes by that we don’t read on blogs a rider being discriminated because of their cut/vest.
As the publisher of Colorado Rider News, I can’t in good consciousness pretend that all of this around our riding community isn’t happening.
- Accidents/Fatalities – there have been over 35 fatalities and over 100 accidents to Colorado motorcyclists since January 2019. Six motorcycle fatalities in Colorado Springs, and the other 29 are in Denver and surrounding areas. That isn’t even counting the rest of Colorado. Most of the accidents are horrible and leave the biker’s life forever changed and their friends powerless to help them at the level they need assistance.
- Law – Every session of government and those public servants voted into office are trying at every level (City, State and Nationwide) to take your rights away. Motorcycle organizations are there with representatives trying to be the voice of a riding community to decision makers who do not understand us.
- Discrimination – riders are being told their patronage and money aren’t wanted in establishments because they are wearing a patch or are a member of a motorcycle club. Besides the Motorcycle Expo over 3 years ago, when was the last time in Colorado that you heard of a biker brawl that trashed a business or caused any patrons bodily harm?
- Profiling – good standing, hard working motorcycle riders with jobs are losing their jobs because someone got on their Facebook and saw that they ride with a group or club and they are being fired with no probable cause just because they ride. Riders in a motorcycle accident are being cited as the one at fault because an officer sees that they ride in a club or group, when the evidence is clear that it was the driver’s fault.
So, I’ve decided I am going to continue to shed light and information to the riding community about what is going on that affects your rights as motorcycle riders on the road. This publication is going to continue to inform riders of the insurance coverages that they should have so in the event they are hurt or killed their families aren’t left picking up the pieces.
Each month, I am going to give 2 non-profits free advertising about their charitable events, and CRN is going to continue to highlight the good works of biker related charities helping injured riders in this community.
CRN will continue to support Biker Owned Businesses in the hopes that our readers will keep our spending power within our community.
We welcome your comments and thoughts on what CRN can do better in the future and enjoy the ride!
Colorado Motorcyclists Can Now Proceed Through “Dead Red” Lights
Motorcyclists who have faced the frustration of sitting at “dead red” lights in Colorado have reason to celebrate! The Colorado State Legislature has passed a bill allowing bikers to proceed through malfunctioning lights. The law takes effect on August 2, 2019. However, as with all laws, there are important details that bikers should be aware of in order to take advantage of this new law properly.
I spoke with Bruce Downs, State Coordinator for ABATE of Colorado, about this new law. Bruce has been an advocate and champion for new red light laws in Colorado and he has many insights about this new legislation.
Why Are Dead Red Laws Necessary?
Because today’s streets are so “smart,” sensors are now in charge of when traffic lights change. Today, there are two kinds of sensors that alert traffic lights when someone has stopped at an intersection. Unfortunately, they don’t always pick up light-weight vehicles.
How Do Traffic Lights Know to Change?
- Over-the-Pavement Sensors: These sensors include motion-sensing cameras, lasers and infrared fields. Over-the-pavement sensors are designed to “see” vehicles that reach a certain point in the intersection and they are often very good at picking up small vehicles, like motorcycles, bicycles and scooters.
- In-Pavement Sensors: These sensors are typically the culprit when it comes to dead red lights for motorcycles. In-pavement sensors usually rely on a vehicle’s weight or metal mass to trigger a scale or magnet. You can sometimes tell if an in-pavement sensor has been added to a road because the asphalt has been cut into a circle or square. Beneath that slab of asphalt lies the sensor.
Not only is it annoying for bikers to wait at dead red lights, according to Bruce, it can also be dangerous.
“As we pointed out in testimony, if you’re stuck at a left-hand turn lane and you finally go ahead and make the turn, you’ve made an illegal turn. The other option can be even worse. Sometimes, we have to take a right-hand turn, go down that road and make a U-turn where it’s legal, then go back the other way to cross the intersection. This exposes us to much more danger.”
Bruce says he is aware of many lights that literally never change when a motorcycle is waiting to make a left-hand turn because there’s no oncoming cross traffic.
“A prime example is a light at Highway 83 and Douglas County Line Road,” says Bruce. “There is a light there, and if nobody comes to cross the traffic, it will stay green forever. There are no turn arrows, no crosswalk, nothing.”
New Law Allows CO Motorcyclists to Proceed Through Malfunctioning Light
Senate Bill 19-144, titled “Concerning Allowing a Driver of a Motorcycle to Proceed Past a Malfunctioning Traffic Control Signal,” was sponsored by Senator Rachel Zenzinger (D) and states:
“(1)(a)When a driver approaches an intersection and faces a traffic control signal that is inoperative, that remains on steady red or steady yellow during several time cycles, or that does not recognize a motorcycle that is operated by the driver, the provisions controlling entrance to a through street or highway from a stop sign or highway, as provided under section 42-4-703, apply until a police officer assumes control of traffic or until the traffic control signal resumes normal operation.
“(b)If a traffic control signal at a place other than an intersection ceases to operate or malfunctions as specified in subsection (1)(a) of this section, drivers may proceed past the signal only with caution, as if the signal were flashing yellow.”
In plain English, Bruce restates the law like this: “If a light doesn’t recognize a motorcycle, the driver may proceed as though it is a four-way stop or a blinking yellow.”
However, the law does not require that motorcyclists wait a specified period of time before making this decision, as Bruce had hoped.
“We had requested a two-minute timeframe,” explains Bruce. “If the light didn’t change after two minutes, then the biker would have the legal right to proceed with caution. The new law doesn’t require a specific time limit. It’s just up to the biker to say, ‘The light didn’t recognize me.’”
Clearly, this law leaves a lot of room for interpretation by both motorcyclists and law enforcement, which Bruce was trying to avoid.
Interpreting the New Colorado Dead Red Law
This new law allowing bikers to proceed through red lights could be abused by bikers. For example, a biker might ride up to a red light, wait 15 seconds, and make a left-hand turn. If he says, “It didn’t recognize me,” can he be ticketed for violating the law?
Bruce encourages bikers to follow the intention of the law and not to abuse it.
“I live near the intersection at Iliff and Havana and it’s a longer turn signal than I’d like but I know it works,” says Bruce. “I’ve only seen it malfunction twice in 18 years, but I know it works. I’m not going to abuse this new law and run that light just because I have to wait longer than I want.”
On the flip side, as Bruce makes clear, this law will make bikers safer.
“We can stop at a light and, if it does not recognize us, we do have a legal option to treat it as a four-way stop and go on our way,” he says. “This makes us safer because we don’t have to look for right turns on red or make dangerous U-turns. It’s little things like this that prevent frustration which leads to dangerous choices on a motorcycle.”
There are also concerns that law enforcement may not honor or properly enforce this new law.
For example, if a motorcycle pulls up to a light and it doesn’t recognize him, he may proceed through the light. If law enforcement is coming from another direction and doesn’t see the malfunctioning signal, or if he sees a car recognized and believes the light is not malfunctioning, then the biker may get a ticket.
Time will tell how well this law works.
Turning Left Across a Dead Red Intersection
Because I have seen so many bikers hurt and killed when making left-hand turns, I strongly caution you to wait as long as possible before turning left across oncoming traffic when you’re sitting at a dead red light. If you get hit, it will be your fault because you shouldn’t have turned in the first place. (That’s why nearly every state with dead red laws requires motorcyclists to come to a complete stop and proceed only when it’s safe: the onus is on the motorcyclists to assure his or her own safety.)
As a Denver personal injury attorney, I am very curious to hear from bikers who receive tickets for proceeding through malfunctioning signals. I want to know if this new law is properly understood by both bikers and police. Call or text me if you receive a ticket for proceeding through a dead red light after August 2, 2019. (303-388-5304)
Dirty Dogs Roadhouse: Open & Ready for Business in Sturgis
Here in Denver as we drive on I-25 you can hear the roll of riders heading up to Sturgis for the 79th Rally and I for one am getting excited for Rally. Mark and Cari drove up a week ago to get everything ready. Dirty Dogs Sturgis will be OPEN and ready to welcome Colorado riders to their own LOCAL bar. A place where you recognize most of the faces there and are greeted by STAFF from HOME!
People don’t go to Sturgis for the food and I worry sometimes when I go to some of the food vendors cooking outside under those tents, but the food at Dirty Dogs is served hot/fresh and made to order and the menu has many of the traditional items that we all have grown to love.
Need service done to your bike? Sturgis Cycle will be open and are conveniently located right next door, so if you need service or your bike breaks down, send it to a shop that has been there for 14 years and worked on by someone you know. Sturgis Cycle is an authorized dealer for Amsoil and can do most bike repairs, tire changes and oil changes
We have confirmed Bag Lady Sue will be on the Rider Justice stage in Sturgis on August 5th & 6th and Bags will be sure to not disappoint.
The new bar/restaurant is located at 1025 Junction Avenue and is right across from the Sturgis Harley Davidson store.
Sturgis Cycle for Sturgis Repairs & Maintenance
Sturgis Cycle is connected to Dirty Dogs Roadhouse and is your ONE-STOP-SHOP for any repairs or maintenance you need done on your bike while in Sturgis.
Come to drop off your bike and then enjoy some Colorado hospitality while your bike is being worked on.
- Bike Repairs
- Tire Changes
- Oil changes
Connected to your favorite Sturgis Bar: Dirty Dogs Roadhouse!
Located at Junction & Main – Directly across from Sturgis Harley-Davidson
Make BikerDown’s Roadside Membership Part of Your Road Trip Checklist for $35.00 per year!
As riders begin to get ready for their summer road trips or that annual trip to Sturgis. Please take a moment to think about do you have the right coverages on your bike in the event of a breakdown or accident?
There is nothing more frustrating than the anticipation of the ride of a lifetime, only to have that trip shattered with un-expected expenses such as an expensive motorcycle tow.
How many of you have had to have your bike towed and cringed when your insurances’ roadside assistance brought the wrong type of tow truck. Being out-of-state, riders deserve to know that when they need a tow, the right type of tow truck will come out and pick them up.
BikerDown’s roadside membership for $35.00 per year includes motorcycle towing in our membership that is now NATIONWIDE. BikerDown has contracted with MTS, LLC to provide its BikerDown members a true Motorcycle Towing service.
We ask all riders to sign-up today before you head out on your next trip join BikerDown for $35.00 per year. This membership level will ensure that if you need towing, you are covered.
Please go to http://bikerdown.org/join-us/
Rally Around the Flag: Veterans Event Ignites Patriotism
Being named Colorado’s largest motorcycle rally is quite an accomplishment. With the huge number of riders in this state, and the vast number of great rides, runs and rallies to choose from, it says a lot more about an event that boasts the largest attendance among its peers.
The annual Salute to American Veterans held each August in Cripple Creek is much more than just a bike rally. Over the past three decades, this event has become a pilgrimage for Veterans from all over the United States, and Cripple Creek has been called “sacred ground” for US Vets to gather, remember, respect and heal.
What began in the late 1980s as a small, grassroots effort to call attention to the plight of American POWs and MIAs has grown into a three-day festival complete with ceremonies, dedications, vendors, music and the display of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling WALL.
“We did not have any goal in mind, or any vision of the future of this event when we began” said Jim Wear, founder and organizer of the rally. “This is not contrived. The rally evolved organically. There was no master plan. The event has made its own path.”
The 2019 Veterans Rally will continue on it’s natural path, providing the opportunity for honored Veterans and loyal Patriots to gather together in the old-west mining town, rallying around the Stars and Stripes and igniting patriotism in all who attend.
The annual POW MIA Recognition Ride, the ride which spawned the Salute to American Veterans Rally, takes place Saturday morning, with thousands joining Colorado’s largest escorted procession of motorcycles. The Brotherhood of Veterans motorcycle club, the Colorado Patriot Guard Riders and the Colorado and Kansas American Legion Riders step up to help organize the effort annually.
Beneficiaries from this year’s event include the Vets4Vets organization (helping local homeless Veterans), The Pueblo POW/MIA Memorial effort and the scholarship fund for the child of fallen 10th SF Green Beret and Teller County resident Elliott Robbins.
The Veterans Rally will also play host to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling WALL as it has for the past 12 years, making the Veterans Rally the longest standing annual host for the traveling wall in Colorado.
For the third year in a row, the Combat Hero Bike Build organization returns to Cripple Creek and will present Sgt. J.J. Guerrero, a battle wounded double amputee Army / USMC Veteran with a new customized machine during the ceremony in Cripple Creek’s City Park.
“The Combat Hero Bike Build is an awesome project, and we support their efforts 100%.” Said Wear, “To take a wounded Veteran who can no longer ride and get them back in the wind accomplishes more than most people will ever understand. These Vets have many issues to contend with, and getting them on a bike not only brings back the feelings of freedom and independence, but it makes them feel “more normal” if you will… and that is something that goes beyond dollars and cents.”
The American Legion will be recognized for 100 years of service during the rally with a plaque dedication, guest speakers and a great history of the Legion being read during the ceremony.
Other features include FREE “Red Friday” T-shirts for the first 800 patriots, military static displays, Veterans parade, benefit silent auction, pancake breakfast, live music, aircraft flyovers, beer garden, vendor show, Friday poker run and much more.
“I’m sad to say that Patriotism is under attack by radical factions in this country,” said Wear. “America needs Patriotism now more than ever, and this event provides the opportunity for everyone who attends to express their love for our Flag, our Veterans and our Country. The camaraderie, honor and respect that the attendees of this rally have for each other is what makes it all happen. All we do is set the table… and our guests ignite the fires of patriotism that they then, hopefully, carry home with them when the weekend concludes.”
For more information, go to www.theveteransrally.org.
Women: No Longer Just Back Seat Riders
The number of women motorcycle riders is on the rise and the manufacturers are beginning to pay attention. According to the latest national survey by the Motorcycle Industry Counsel (MIC) they found that among the age group of women now make up 19% of motorcycle owners compared to 10% ten years ago.
Nearly one in five United States motorcycle owners are now female, compared with one in 10 less than a decade ago, and the data suggests that American women could soon make up one quarter of owners, which would be a major shift in motorcycling demographics, according to the latest national survey by the USA Motorcycle Industry Council.
The survey also found that women owners among younger generations is growing with 26% of motorcycle owners being women. As the number of mature motorcyclists shrink, they are being replaced by new riders and increased number of women.
The surveys also concluded that women are riding the following:
- 34% of female riders
- 33% scooters
- 10% sport bike riders.
Data from this survey also concluded that:
- The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males.
- More than 49 percent of women motorcyclists do their own maintenance or have a friend or relative do it, instead of taking their bikes to a shop.
- New motorcycles are preferred over used by 57 percent of female riders.
- 49 percent of female motorcyclists are married.
- 47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree.
“Today more women are getting off the fender and into the driver’s seat. For many years motorcycle riding has been a male dominated culture. But our brothers on the asphalt are making a lane for us ladies. I didn’t start riding until I was 47. I feel free and incredible joy behind those handle bars. The days of catty behavior being in style are gone. Women need to stand shoulder to shoulder and support one another. Each one bring one. I can’t imagine my life now without a motorcycle.”– Dazzlin, President, Bling Devas, MC
The riding community is also seeing a greater number of women motorcycle clubs such as the Bling Devas, MC and Rebel Queenz. There are women riding groups such as Women in the Wind and Sin City Moto Girls, are expanding and involving their groups in ALL THINGS MOTORCYCLE.
Here in Colorado, a group of ladies have organized a ride on August 24th to attempt to break the world record for the largest number of women riders on a ride. If you are a woman rider and available that day, come out and support this World Record Attempt. The event starts at High Country Harley Davidson at 8am.
August 24 Womens World Record FACTS
If you would like to apart of Colorado history, please join us! All you need to do is pre-register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/colorado-women-ride-world-recordparade-attempt-tickets-57664702678 and meet at High Country Harley Davidson, 3761 Monarch St, Frederick, CO 80516 at 8 a.m.
- If you want to be in a section with your posse, please ride in together because you will immediately be assigned to a section. You can meet each other some where before riding in.
- When you ride in, a traffic coordinator will direct you to where to park and a section lead will inform you of what to do next.
- The parade will start approximately 10 a.m. and once you return, the festivities will begin.
- Angry Steve will be performing on stage from 12 – 3 p.m.
- Team Wildlyfe is a unique group of local fire and LED performers sure to entertain.
- Special Guest: Helen Tornquist, Rolling with Ronda, DJ Jones, Paty Juarez, and Kimberly Chavez
- Trophies will be awarded for Farthest Distance Traveled, Eldest Woman Biker, Youngest Woman Biker, best looking trike, and Most Women Club Members locally and out of state.
- Prayer: Robert Espinosa will be honoring Wind Brother Bret Kerr
- The Unofficial Party will be at Jerry D’s, 604 8th St, Dacono, CO 80514.
More information at www.missbubblesproductions.com.
Christopher’s Angels Fund – Poker Run
By: Susan Dane
On August 25, the 9th Annual CAF Poker Run will be held as a fundraiser for The Denver Hospice.
Christopher’s Angels Fund (CAF) was founded by Bob and Donna Johnson in memory of their son. Christopher died in the care of The Denver Hospice when he was two years old. The Johnsons struggled financially during Christopher’s illness and struggled to find resources to help. They hoped that by creating this fund, they could ease the financial stress on other families coping with terminal illness.
Family assistance grants from Christopher’s Angels Fund can be requested for non-medical needs like food, mortgage/rent payments, home and auto repairs, special occasions, outings and celebrations, travel expenses, summer camps and other activity fees for children. It can also cover funeral/memorial service costs and direct care expenses not covered by insurance.
Christopher’s Angels Fund truly makes a difference in the lives of families serviced by The Denver Hospice. As families reach the end of a long battle with a terminal illness, their financial resources are often depleted. Many hospice families find themselves not only dealing with the stress of illness, but coping with being stretched beyond their limits, trying to fit work and other responsibilities into a physically and emotionally demanding experience.
Because everyone who helps with the CAF Poker Run does so in a volunteer capacity, 100% of the funds raised go into the Fund to help the families in need. Check out the Facebook Event Page (9th Annual CAF Poker Run) for more info. The Poker Run starts/ends @ In the Zone with registration beginning @ 9:00 am.
Hornbuckle Foundation 5th Annual Poker Run set for September 7th
By: Michael Hornbuckle
This will be the 5th consecutive year the Hornbuckle Foundation holds the “SoulRepo” poker run. September 7, the organization will team up with friends from the Sober Souls MC to host the roughly 80 mile ride that ends at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse, where the event will provide world class blues from Texas slinger, Chris Duarte, and Colorado native, A.J. Fullerton, along with raffles, best bike competition and prizes, and a few words from founder, Michael Hornbuckle. Kai Turner of 103.5 the Fox will be handling MC duties. It’s sure to be a don’t-miss event.
The Hornbuckle Foundation continues to play a part in the recovery community through the generous donations of people wanting to help those that suffer from substance use disorder. The organization has helped to establish sober living homes and provide scholarships. Michael Hornbuckle (Founder/Executive Director) and wife, Sarah Hornbuckle (Director of Operations) have found a particular interest from (but not limited to) musicians/artists seeking a path to recovery. The pair are both in the music industry, in recovery, and certified sober coaches. They have developed a unique skill set while working with recoverees and want to be able to reach more people.
The goal of this year’s fundraiser is to raise the necessary funds to train and employ a diverse roster of coaches that can be offered to the community. Sober coaching is a proven tool that can complement, and at times supplement the more conventional methods of treating substance use disorder. “Remix Recovery Coaching” will launch in 2020.