Last weekend, BikerDown hosted two Accident Scene Management classes the better prepared 38 people should they ever witness a motorcycle accident.
By Laurie Easton-Montoya
May 13, 2017 was a beautiful day for a ride and the perfect day to raise awareness about motorcycle riders! The Fourth Annual “BikerDown Look Twice, Save a Life Ride” not only raised $3,400 for BikerDown but captured media and political attention for our cause.
We met at the Rocky Mountain Harley-Davidson at 9am and we were joined by Fox News and Colorado State Representative Cole Wist, who had a personal story to share with the riders.
Rep. Wist told us a heartfelt story about his teenage daughter, who was stopped at a red light when a motorcycle careened into the back of her car. The motorcyclist had been hit by a driver who was texting and driving. Because of that experience, his daughter now puts her phone in the back seat when she’s driving.
I have to give a huge shout-out to Rep. Wist, who also helped pass Senate Bill 27, the anti-texting and driving bill. The bill, which passed in May 2017, increased the penalty for texting and driving from a $50 fee and one point to $300 and four points! Rep. Wist supported the bill and I believe his efforts will save motorcyclists’ lives.
Sometimes politicians show up at events and say a lot of words that really have no meaning. Rep. Wist shared a story from the heart and we are so grateful.
We also enjoyed a speech by Kathy Yevoli from Rocky Mountain Harley-Davidson. She said that her company supports three organizations: Children’s Hospital of Colorado, The Humane Society and BikerDown. Wow! We are in good company! She said that she is very proud to be associated with our organization because we help so many injured riders and their families.
And, of course, the main goal of our Look Twice ride is to raise awareness among drivers about the motorcyclists all around them. This year’s theme was, “Stop Distracted Driving.” Another huge shout-out to Fox31 News and reporter Macradee Aegerter, who posted this story: “Riders Say Distracted Drivers in Vehicles Cause Sharp Increase in Motorcycle Crashes.”
Then, we all got on our bikes for a gorgeous ride down through Palmer Lake and Monument. As a big group, with our bright Look Twice T-shirts (provided by The O’Sullivan Law Firm), I’m sure we raised eyebrows AND awareness!
I have to be honest: BikerDown has been overwhelmed with help requests in 2017. (I’ll share statistics and stories in another blog.) We all attend dozens of events and charity rides throughout the year for riders we know and love… won’t you please consider a gift to BikerDown? This organization provides emotional and financial support to bikers and their families.
Just the other day, I was able to connect a hospitalized rider who had just lost a leg with another rider who lost his leg several years ago. Thanks to their connection, the newly injured rider has hope for his future.
In addition to the all-important emotional support that we provide, we also offer medical equipment and financial support to riders in need.
Bikers are the most generous people I know. Please consider a gift to BikerDown and expand the impact of your giving. Chomper and I will never quit advocating for your needs and rights as a biker!
Remember: Look Twice and Save a Life!
By Laurie Easton-Montoya
I had a great time representing BikerDown at Sturgis 2016! In 16 days, I talked to as many people as I could about BikerDown and I helped as many injured riders as possible. Chomper and I drove out there with a full set of equipment for helping others, including wheelchairs, crutches and walkers.
Here are some statistics from the big event:
- There were fewer riders in attendance than in past years.
- There were 38 accidents and 9 deaths overall, which is down from last year (probably due to the lower attendance).
- Good news: none of the deaths were Colorado riders.
- BikerDown passed out four wheelchairs and four sets of crutches to injured riders.
While it felt good and helpful to support injured riders, I think the most important thing I did was to network with just about everyone I ran into. I want to get the word out about BikerDown! Here are just a few of the ways we spread the word about BikerDown:
- Booth: We had a booth for BikerDown and volunteers helped us talk to people about the benefits of membership as well as the important work that our organization does.
- Legends Ride: Chomper and I also participated in the Legends Ride and luncheon where we met John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and well-known philanthropist. We also met Tom Berenger, the movie star and biker, and talked to the producer of his upcoming movie, American Dresser, about BikerDown! This upcoming movie is about bikers and we’re hoping to participate in a preview of the movie taking place in Breckenridge later this year.
- Buffalo Chip: I spoke with the owner of Buffalo Chip about our organization and its true nonprofit status. Hopefully there are partnership opportunities on the horizon.
- Lady Belles: Chomper and I also rode support for the Biker Belles. At the end of the event, I asked the women to film quick statements on camera around the theme, “Biker Lives Matter.” We are always trying to raise awareness around motorcycle safety!
- Full Throttle Saloon: Out of curiosity, I also visited Full Throttle. I was concerned about the future of the bar since it burned down last year but I’m happy to report that a new one is under construction and it’s going to be massive!
Basically, I tried to plant a lot of seeds for BikerDown. I literally talked about this organization to everyone I bumped into and I helped as many people as I possibly could.
Please consider joining BikerDown, contributing to our efforts and creating a community of proactive riders.
I founded BikerDown back in 2011 with the goal of creating an organization that would allow bikers to help bikers in a consistent and meaningful way. We are always holding fundraisers to benefit other people, but when one of our own goes down, we didn’t have an organized way to make a meaningful difference in their lives.
I also wanted to raise awareness among riders about the types of insurance they should have. I want our community to be proactive in taking care of ourselves so that our family members don’t become burdened if we get in an accident.
Finally, I also wanted this organization to help educate auto drivers about how to drive safely around motorcyclists. I’m happy to report that BikerDown has achieved all of those goals and our impact is growing!
In 2015, BikerDown received 149 help requests. Of those, 49 were from family members whose loved ones had been killed in a motorcycle accident. With a total of 104 motorcycle accident fatalities in Colorado in 2015, BikerDown assisted almost half of the families who lost loved ones!
Of course, I would prefer that there not be any fatalities at all, which is why BikerDown also hosts an annual Look Twice Save a Life Ride. This year’s ride was held on Saturday, May 14.
Look Twice Save a Life Ride – 2016
Over 250 riders joined BikerDown and The O’Sullivan Law Firm (Sturgis Giveaway sponsor) at Rocky Mountain Harley-Davidson where we gave away a Sturgis Getaway! (We hold many giveaways to help raise awareness about our organization and about motorcycle safety.) The ride ended at Quaker Steak & Lube in Westminster.
All told, we raised over $5,900 for BikerDown, which will directly help us to provide injured bikers and their families with support, including hospital visits, community assistance, medical and professional advice, medical equipment and other efforts.
Another big accomplishment: Governor John Hickenlooper declared May 17 as BikerDown Motorcycle Awareness Day! We have our own day!
I am so proud that this organization has been able to help more and more people year after year. But we’re not resting on our laurels! There are always injured bikers who need help, so we are always busy.
I encourage you to join the BikerDown movement by doing the following:
- Become a member!
- Purchase as much auto insurance as possible.
- Purchase another layer of insurance by buying UIM or Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
- UIM covers you against other drivers who aren’t covered or who have low coverage.
- Follow this blog, where I will write about our efforts, the people we help, and tips for
- staying safe and protecting your loved ones.
- Share this blog with every biker you know!
If you’re an annual member of BikerDown, thank you! You should be proud of your participation in an organization that is making a real difference. If you’re not a member, join us today! We are only going to get better from here!