You probably don’t know me. However, here I am, maybe a total stranger, getting ready to ask you for money.
Wait! Before you discard this request, know this – we may not know each other and we may not have a lot in common, but we do have at least two things that we value… Our past and our futures are woven together with the love of motorcycles and our love of freedom.
Motorcycling and freedom are under assault.The Road to Zero is a Department of Transportation public relations effort to bring highway fatalities to zero in the next 20 years. Great goal!! However, in the DOT’s infinite wisdom, motorcycles have not been included in the plan. And, there are over 8.4 million registered motorcycles in the U.S.!
Add that omission to the fact that the MRF must repeatedly insist that the manufactures of driverless vehicles include motorcycle recognition algorithms as standard equipment– before they are made available to the public!
The threats against motorcycling and the freedoms that motorcyclists enjoy are under attack.
The bureaucrats and politicians attacking motorcycling are not as obvious about it as they were 30 years ago. There are no blatant attempts by legislators to write laws that would outlaw sport bikes, or brand motorcycle clubs as criminal gangs, or blacklist certain motorcycles from insurance coverage. No, this new bunch is a lot more sophisticated than the bunch we had to deal in the ’70s and ‘80s. They’re putting motorcyclists on ignore and forgetting us.
Ten years ago, one motorcyclist was responsible for organizing the first Bikers Inside the Beltway. That direct lobbying effort was started so that motorcyclists could remind members of Congress in their offices that we will no longer be ignored and forgotten.
On May 15th, the legacy of Michael “Boz” Kerr will continue when your MRF leads Bikers inside the Beltway to the Capitol steps and over 100 motorcyclists meet with their members of Congress. We would like you to join us on that ride as we take our message directly to our friends and our adversaries. I understand if you may not be able to fit this ride into your schedule. However, your support of Bikers inside the Beltway is just as important.
The ancillary costs for executing this event including printing, permits, and related expenses total over $4,000. Since January, with the contributions from freedom loving motorcyclists, we have raised nearly $2,000 toward the goal of supporting Bikers Inside the Beltway without tapping into the MRF treasury.
I believe that you value your motorcycle and your freedom as much as I value mine. Your contribution of $10, $20, $50, or $100 will help your MRF bring the voice of motorcyclists to members of Congress. With the leave-behind handouts that your contribution helps purchase, members of Congress and their staff will be reminded that the MRF is not going to be ignored or forgotten.
I greatly appreciate your support and the support that you give to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. The efforts to promote and protect the rights of motorcyclists could not be done without members such as yourself.
Yours in Freedom,
MRF Director, Conferences & Events
P.S. Rooms at the Best Western and Governor’s House Inn are still available. However, this year’s Bikers Inside the Beltway may be better attended than last year’s record setting attendance. The event is free, but you must make reservations now.
P.P.S. Still too busy to make the trip? Go to www.mrf.org and support our efforts to raise $4,000 with your $10, $20, $50, or $100 contribution to offset the printing and administrative costs of sponsoring Bikers Inside the Beltway.
Motorcycle Riders Foundation Responds to NHTSA Document
on Motorcycle Fatalities
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation released its latest iteration of “Fact or Fiction” a document that takes a closer look at a government fact sheet concerning motorcycle injuries and fatalities.
In February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a Traffic Safety Facts document specific to motorcycles. The information is extrapolated from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) which is a census of fatal crashes in all 50 States. Though the information in the fact sheet is contained in a larger agency document, motorcycle-specific information is collated into its own publication.
After reviewing and analyzing the document, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) quickly issued a statement and updated its “Fact or Fiction” paper, reacting to the NHTSA publication. Since 2010, the group has made a conscious effort to understand, analyze and provide additional context to government-issued statistics. According to the MRF’s Director of Motorcycle Safety and Vice-President of the Board of Directors Jay Jackson, this effort helps set the record straight and gives the broader motorcycle community a better understanding of where potential concerns may be identified.
The latest iteration of Fact or Fiction drills down on the data itself, raising concerns that the statistics also include mopeds, scooters and off-road bikes and therefore is not necessarily indicative of a factual problem. Further, that data should not be used in any serious discussion on ways to reduce motorcycle traffic fatalities because its bringing in very different classes of motorbikes, some of which are not even used for street riding. Another interesting statement from the publication takes a deeper dive on alcohol impairment and motorcycles. Though NHTSA cites that 25% of motorcyclists were killed in a crash involving alcohol, it does not mention that in passenger vehicles this figure was 28% in comparison. By not including this, it suggests to the reader that impaired driving is unique to motorcycles when in fact, it’s a broader passenger vehicle problem.
When asked for comment, President and Chairman of the Board for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard explained, “We think its important for the public to understand the full context of these kinds of government publications. I view it as a knowledge versus wisdom argument: knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
If you believe that motorcycle profiling by law enforcement agencies is wrong and should not be tolerated, please use the link below contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to support the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (H.Res.318 and S.Res.154).
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is working with the National Council of Clubs and the Motorcycle Profiling Project to call on our elected officials to end unconstitutional profiling of motorcyclists across our county. If your member of congress has signed on, you can still ask them to lean on their colleagues to support these resolutions.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Tell Congress that pulling over a motorcyclist because of his clothes, cut or bike is discriminatory and needs public attention.
Bikers Inside the Beltway is Coming…Will You Join Us?
Tired of just sitting around listening to others complain about Congress? Bikers inside the Beltway isn’t about complaining – it’s DOING by directly lobbying your elected officials and telling them what is important to you as a rider. Don’t be a say-er, be a do-er and register today for the TENTH annual Bikers Inside the Beltway!
The previously advertised block of rooms at the Governor’s House Inn has been filled, however rooms are still available at the host hotel at the non-negotiated room price of $110. We are offering an additional room block at the hotel across the street, The Best Western. Contact Info below:
BEST WESTERN (703) 532-9000
Governor’s House Inn (703) 532-8900
Schedule of Events
Plan to arrive to the hotel by late afternoon on Monday, May 14. The MRF will host a prep session that evening to go over expectations and provide a deep dive of the issues. Kickstands up early Tuesday morning for the ride into Washington, DC followed by a full day of meetings with legislators and staff. This year we will also be hosting a debrief meeting and reception at the American Legion on Capitol Hill from 4pm-6pm. We’ll have some special guests so don’t miss it!
You must register to attend this event! Contact email@example.com or register directly at http://mrf.org/events/ or call 202-546-0983. Though there is not a cost to attend, you will be expected to make appointments with your lawmakers, attend the prep session and report back on your meetings. Please register by May 1 to ensure space for you or your group.
IMPORTANT: Please MAKE SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS with your elected officials. The MRF can supply you with their office contact information to facilitate this. You can start requesting appointments 4 weeks out from the event. NO DROP BYs this year! It’s not an effective use of your time!
More questions? You know how to reach me….
Megan J. Ekstrom
Vice-President, Government Affairs & Public Relations
Let Me Break it Down for You: BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY
Hey, you, yeah, YOU reading this. Are you coming to Bikers Inside the Beltway on May 14 & 15? If not then you can skip this article, but you also should reevaluate your decision making because Bikers Inside the Beltway (aka BITB) is one the MRF’s best events and is a good time for all.
Okay, if you are still reading this and you are confirmed to attend BITB or thinking about attending then you are going to want to absorb the following. Even if you are a long-time attendee – there is some good stuff you need to know. I am going to offer you a roadmap of what to do and how to do it as you prepare for BITB. Play along….
1. Register to attend! WHEN? ASAP!!!!
There’s no cost to you, but you do need to let us know you are coming because we need to make sure we have enough materials/space/etc. You can register at https://mrf.org/events/ or by calling 202-546-0983
2. Book Your Hotel WHEN?By April 15
We have 2 options for you – The Best Western in Falls Church for $125/night OR the Governor’s House Inn at $89/night. They are across the street from each other and a quick ride into the Capitol. Also, we’ll hold our prep session here on Monday night, May 14.
3. SCHEDULE Appointments with your Elected Officials WHEN? Start on April 16!
Okay, guys – this is the most important one. No more “drop bys” which many groups have done in the past. They are nowhere near as effective as scheduling an in-person meeting with the Member of Congress or staffer. Don’t know how to go about doing that? We’ve got you covered, so NO EXCUSES. See more on this below….
Upon registering for the event (see item #1!) we will provide you with a list of contact information for your state’s delegation. It has very useful information like their phone number, email address, and location. USE THIS
Email the contact person for the office you want to meet with – don’t know what to say? Don’t worry, the contact information sheet incudes language you can simply COPY & PASTE into an email. Easy peasy.
Rather call instead? No problem. Call the phone number listed for the office you want to meet with and say, “I am going to be in Washington, DC on May 15 and would like to schedule a meeting with the Congressman (or Senator) related to motorcycling.” The receptionist will take it from there which may be sending an email (see above) or by connecting you to the SCHEUDLER (that’s basically the secretary) who will either give you a time for a meeting or connect you to the appropriate staff person. If they direct you to a staff meeting you’ll want to say: “If the Congressman (or Senator) is unavailable, I would be willing to meet with the staffer that handles transportation issues.” Then pick a time. Write it down. Carry on.
One helpful hint – try to group your meetings in the same building. For SENATORS, that’s going to be Russell, Hart or Dirksen. For REPRESENTATIVES that’s going to be Cannon, Longworth or Rayburn. If you try to group your meetings by building, its going to save you a LOT of walking
One more helpful hint – for those of you with large delegations for which you can’t possibly see all in one day, pick those Representatives where a constituent (that’s someone that lives in their district) will be present for the meeting. Still have time to see more folks? Ask me who you think you should make an appointment to see. I can steer you towards the Representatives or Senators where you’re more likely to make headway on the issues.
4. Find a Way to Get to Washington, D.C.
Fly, train, walk or RIDE – we need you here by Monday, May 14 at 7:00pm. We’ll gather together, go over the issues, provide you with handouts to distribute during your meetings and answer any questions. The early Tuesday morning, we’ll be KSU and headed to the Capitol.
This year we’re also hosting a “debrief” session at the local American Legion just a couple blocks from the Capitol. Starting at 3pm you can drop by, download on your meetings, have a drink and some food courtesy of our BITB sponsors and compare notes and any follow-up that’s necessary.
If you’ve got more questions just drop me a line….
Vice-President Government Affairs & Public Relations, Motorcycle Riders Foundation
For Immediate Release
January 25, 2018
CALL TO ACTION, National Profiling Survey
Your MRF has been hard at work in Washington, DC shoring up support for bipartisan and bicameral legislation to address motorcycle profiling. H.Res.318 and S.Res.154 are pending before Congress and in need of additional supporters in order to move forward in the legislative process.
Like any credible, national organization we make our case for more supporters with cold, hard facts. To get these facts, we work closely with the Motorcycle Profiling Project who is collecting data to demonstrate where profiling is occurring in the country and if it is on the rise.
To help make sure the data we present to our lawmakers is as accurate as possible, I am asking you to take a few moments and fill out the survey which can be accessed by clicking on the link below. Its completely anonymous and its only 13 questions. YOUR VOICE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
On behalf of the entire MRF membership and its Board of Directors, thank you for your support on this issue.
Help the Freedom of Road Riders in Missouri pressure state lawmakers to bring their bill to committee!
SB556 would allow adults the freedom of choice to operate a motorcycle without a helmet provided that he or she has adequate medical insurance coverage. Help tell the Chairman of the Committee and his staff that SB556 deserves a chance to be heard!
You can contact the Chair of the Commitee and his staffers by clicking on the "TAKE ACTION" link below and following the steps - feel free to share the link and tell your fellow riders to help support the cause!
2018 has officially kicked off and lawmakers are starting to descend upon Washington, DC. The House and Senate fully kick off their 2nd session on January 9...
Why not have a message waiting for them in their inbox when they get back into town? Let's remind them that there are a number of pressing issues with which riders need help. These early days will be critical for you to have your voice heard. No doubt, Congress will struggle with what to do about policies that affect your right to ride.
Consider taking action by sending your Member of Congress and Senators a Welcome Back message outlining the motorcycle community's legislative agenda. Now is the time to have your voice heard!
To be automatically matched with your elected official where a pre-drafted letter awaits your signature, click on the link below:
If you haven't received it yet, I wanted to pass along the first ever MRF year-end report. It's a nice little package where you will find highlights of what the Motorcycle Riders Foundation did in Washington, DC on behalf of riders across the U.S.
If you are already a member of the MRF, I want to thank you for helping us to achieve all we did this year. If you're not a member, I'd like to make a personal plea ask you to become a member of the MRF. $30 a year is all it costs.
Help us stay vigilant in Washington, DC in 2018 by joining the MRF. You'll receive regular policy updates throughout the year from the biker's perspective and you'll be the first to get legislative alerts that affect your right to ride. You'll also get reduced rates at any of the MRF events and even receive discounted fees and subscriptions to critical biker resources. Last but not least, your $30/year also gets you a $4,000 AD&D insurance policy.
For now, take the time to skim our year-end report by clicking on the link below:
In 2015, Congress re-established the Motorcyclist Advisory Council in the Highway Bill to advise the Federal Highway Administration on "issues of concern to motorcyclists." This important group would serve as the ONLY official forum on a national scale for motorcyclists to have an open dialogue with the Government. And yet, all but one individual selected was there to represent the technical aspects of the Council, including engineering, construction and traffic safety systems as well as roadway data. Only one seat out of ten was designated for a national motorcycle riders' association to alone speak to the riding experiences and concerns of more than 8.5 million motorcyclists in the U.S.
This is unacceptable, we must petition the government to add motorcyclists to the Council!
Tell the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that biker lives matter....and are MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANIMALS! Last month, NHTSA released a document concerning safety policies for self-driving cars. Not only were motorcyclists not even mentioned in the 36-page document, there was a section that urged automakers to account for detection of pedestrians, bicyclists and animals! And yet, motorcyclists weren't even mentioned.
Tell NHTSA what you think by filing comments with the agency on this critical issue. A pre-drafted letter awaits your signature:
In the last several years, we have seen increasingly higher blends of ethanol like E10 and E15 showing up at the pump. However, these higher blends, specifically E15, have not been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in small engines like those in motorcycles. Studies have shown the potential of clogged in-tank pumps and filters as well as potential damage to fuel lines, injectors, seals, gaskets, and valve seats, as well as to carburetors.
As a result, the EPA banned the use of E15 and higher blends of ethanol in small engines, effectively making its use illegal in a number of instances. In turn, many of the manufacturers of smaller engine vehicles and equipment started including statements that warranties would be voided if E15 was used.
Last month, the EPA actually proposed a reduction in the amount of biofuels, like ethanol, used in the U.S. marketplace.
While this activity is encouraging, the proposed volumes are still extremely high - sitting at levels that our motorcycles cannot handle.
We need your help - Comment on the EPA proposal to let them know while it's a start, it's not good enough!