ABATE of SC July 2007 Coordinator’s Report
Written by FastFred Ruddock, June 8, 2007
A member of ABATE passed away just prior to the submission deadline for this newsletter. ABATE lost a fine member and I lost a close friend I have known for many years. Chris Blumenberg’s last act on this earth was attending a local ABATE meeting. Chris had a motorcycle accident on the Berlin G Myers Expressway and died as he was returning home from that fateful ABATE meeting. I was impressed by the wide assortment of people who came to remember him at his wake; Chris touched the lives of many people from many walks of life.
June 2nd we held our regularly scheduled ABATE legislative meeting. The weather was somewhat nasty but two riders from opposite sides of the state still rode their bikes to Columbia. Another dozen team members drove their cages and everyone worked together on the many issues facing the bikers of South Carolina. Unfortunately since our meeting the S141 Gang Bill cleared the house and has been returned to the Senate; considering the widespread support for this bill in both houses not even a veto would stop this bill. However ABATE was successful in getting some language inserted to help protect our organization and lobbying efforts. Our members fought a good fight and each of you should hold your heads high.
Memorial weekend many of our legislative team members rode or drove to Saluda, North Carolina for a retreat; some wore helmets and others did not while in North Carolina. Four of us met with members of Buncombe County CBA/ABATE of NC for dinner Friday night in Asheville. We enjoyed a peaceful three day weekend and other than taking the Asheville Brews Cruise we primarily frolicked in the river. We also had some interesting conversations and just plain good ole fun. If you would like to take part in the next trip just drop me a line.
All politics is local. Along this reasoning the newsletter coordinator and I attended the North Charleston Mayoral and City Council Candidate Debates at Park Circle. This forum gave me even more reason to appreciate my city council member, Bobby Jamison. Keep in mind when you attend these functions you are likely to meet tomorrow’s state senators and representatives. Take some time to get involved in your community.
During the last weekend of Myrtle Beach’s Bike Week many ABATE members gathered at South of the Border to help recruit new members. ABATE members from both Carolinas and Virginia came to participate in this first annual event. There is now talk of starting a Dillon chapter of ABATE of SC. Sunday several of us took part in the 1st Annual East Coast Freedom Ride; we passed many North Carolina police officers as we rode north but none seemed incline to issue helmet tickets. Everyone seemed pumped up after the ride and many made plans to do it again next year and likely add a fall event too.
You can learn more about these events and view photos at BikerEzine.com. Please consider joining the biker ezine to keep abreast of the latest information about events and legislative threats from a bikers perspective. Have I done all I can for biker rights? Hell no but I am still trying.