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!