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
In February of 2016, Brian and Jacquie Lehner were riding their Harley-Davidson on Highway 83 near Franktown when an oncoming driver crossed the double-yellow line and hit them head-on. Both of the Lehners were killed. The driver, Athina Munoz, was found by police to be texting while driving, and she was also high on multiple substances.
Susan Dane was friends with the Lehners, having met them through her Harley-Davidson Chapter in Parker.
“The summer after they died, I told our Chapter members, ‘Something good has to come out of this!’” says Susan. “I looked up the penalties for texting and driving in Colorado and discovered that it was only $50 and one point. We were all shocked and realized we had to get that changed.”
Dane understood that Colorado’s laws were not strict enough to make anyone change their habits, meaning more people could die due to texting and driving. But she didn’t know how to change laws. She had never been involved in any legislative efforts in her life.
Therefore, Susan and a few of the Lehners’ other friends requested a meeting with George Brauchler, the district attorney who had prosecuted Athina Munoz.
“He said we had two options to change the law,” says Susan. “Either we could create legislation and try to get it passed through the Colorado legislature, or we could try to get signatures on a petition and get it on the ballot. He told us legislation would probably easier.”
CORD was Born
Knowing this would take an organized, grassroots effort, Susan and several other motorcycle riders founded CORD: Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving.
“My role was to go out and find bills that had been introduced or laws that had passed in other states,” says Susan. “I discovered that there was a bill moving forward in Colorado that year! Senator Lois Court had introduced the bill, so I gathered a bunch of bikers to show up and testify on behalf of the bill.”
Susan laughs a bit when she thinks of that day. “When Senator Court saw us all walk in the room – all these motorcycle riders – she was afraid we’d be against the legislation because bikers are typically against more restrictive laws, such as helmet laws. But then we all started telling our stories and she realized we were on her side.”
CORD and Senator Court worked together to cross party lines and get a bill passed that year. It was a victory but, according to Susan, still not enough.
“It was a small victory,” says Susan. “We got the fines increased but it was a very hard law to enforce. Basically, the only way to get pulled over and ticketed is if you’re texting while driving, and you’re driving carelessly, and a police officer sees you.”
(I also testified at that first public hearing and have been working with CORD and Senator Court to pass stricter texting-while-driving laws.)
Sadly, a stricter bill was quickly killed in 2018. But everyone involved agreed that they had to keep trying in 2019. Their first goal was to expand awareness and support of their efforts.
“We got insurance companies, AAA, C-DOT, the bicycle communities and so many others involved,” says Susan. “So many people want safer roads!”
The 2019 bill made it through the Colorado Senate but was killed in the first House committee it faced.
“The opposition seems to come from a perceived profiling concern, and because not everybody can afford a Bluetooth-enabled car,” says Susan, who explains that she has hard data refuting the profiling concern, and that there are many ways to go hands-free in any car.
“We aren’t going away!” she proclaims, insisting that CORD and many others will be back for the next legislative session to get an impactful, habit-changing law passed.
“In my perfect world, I would like to see a fine of $500 and 4 points for the first offense, escalating from there for each additional offense,” she says. “This is just as bad as drunk driving! As a comparison, we have a $1,000 fine for littering!”
Want Safer Roads? Get Involved!
Susan would love to hear from anyone interested in supporting CORD’s efforts, and she understands how intimidating it can be to join the legislative process.
“It’s an eye opener,” she says. “I’ve never done anything like this before. Social studies was not my cup of tea in school so I’m making up for it now. Honestly, it’s very interesting and I have seen how average people can make a difference.”
If you’d like to follow CORD’s work, visit them on Facebook. You can also email Susan directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanksgiving is about traditions and family and familiarity. When most, if not all, businesses are Closed on Thanksgiving Day and families are locked in the house with relatives that they see once or twice a year, about the only place one has to escape to is 7-eleven.
Rob is continuing the Dirty Dogs tradition by opening the bar @ 1pm and giving customers a safe place to escape to. Rob will provide the Turkey and just asks that customers bring a side dish.
The outside patio will be open with footballs games weather permitting and the Buffalo Bills play the Dallas Cowboys at 2:30 pm. So, come on down to Dirty Dog Thursday afternoon and gather with your riding family.
DIRTY DOGS CHRISTMAS SWAP MEET
Dirty Dogs Roadhouse and Colorado Rider News will be hosting the 2nd Annual Christmas Shopping Day on Dec. 14th at 10am. ALL VENDORS are welcome for FREE and bring your tent (this event will happen rain or shine)! We are asking customer to come share Christmas Cheer @ Dirty Dogs Roadhouse and give some small business vendors and opportunity to get some last minute sales!
Colorado Rider News will be offering some gift wrapping for a donation to BikerDown and Rumor has it Santa Clause will be in the house!
If you need vendor information, please call Dirty Dogs and ask for Mark or Rob!
Sunday, December 8th, 2019
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
If you live in the Denver area and ride a motorcycle, there are just a handful of women groups to join and meet other like-minded riders that share the same passion for motorcycles. Three ladies, Sparkle, Khaos, and Xeva started Windsisters of Colorado with the desire to create a positive, warm, and welcoming group of both lady riders and honey huggers. Sparkle emphasized, “Having tried previously to be a part of a formal ladies riding group helped me see that there were not enough networking platforms in Colorado for ladies to connect.” They originally started with a handful of lady riders and have been blessed over the last four years, as it has grown to almost 400 followers!
Windsisters was whispered in other ladies’ groups and soon on social media because of the fun quarterly socials and rides they were hosting and posting. That is how I discovered Windsisters. I know Khaos pretty well for we went on a spectacular motorcycle road trip to Seattle and down the Pacific Coast back to Colorado several years ago. She hosted a social at the Glenn Bar, and I met some awesome lady riders. It’s cool to learn that there are women riders out there from all walks of life and to hear their story on how they got into riding. What I like about Windsisters is that they open their arms to anyone regardless of what they ride, of all makes and models of two and three-wheel motorcycles and all ability levels.
Positive Female Presence
Sparkle boasted about the Windsisters of Colorado Facebook social group page. She continued, “This allows ladies to share experiences in the wind, tips on maintenance or riding gear and allows members to share meet-up opportunities. The goal of the group is to encourage a strong POSITIVE female presence in the Colorado riding community.”
Although started in the Denver metro, Windsisters has now spanned across Colorado. They encourage ladies to share events to help others know what is going on in their areas.
Sparkle articulated, “TOGETHER we can create a beautiful environment promoting lady riders. We are thankful for the people who have helped create the group that we have, as it takes each person to show up, be engaged, and be open to new friendships for it to continue to grow.”
They are always looking for ladies to partner and host a meetup in their area. Their next social event will be January 18, 2020 Holiday After-Party.
If you or any lady friends you know are interested in joining, please request to join Windsisters of Colorado on Facebook.
By Chere Martin, Community Liaison for Rider Justice
There is absolutely no question that bikers are getting injured in Colorado at alarming rates. Certainly, distracted driving by car drivers on the road is one big reason for the disastrous statistics, but no matter the reason for the wreck, the result is the same: A biker is down and probably seriously injured.[Read more…] about Accident Scene Bystander Assistance Class
By Belt Drive Betty
Here in the great white north, the snow is beginning to fly, and we are getting ready for what could be a rough winter. Our election has resulted in a Liberal minority Government, which for Western Canada where I live, is devastating.[Read more…] about Make Alberta a part of your 2020 Travel Plans!