Executive Director

By Dave Chubby Charlebois 

Like most of you, my time is divided up between work, family, and ABATE. Which is just like family, and that makes it easier. Quite often I combine all of these things, because face it, there is only 24 hours in a day. So ABATE's always on my mind both at work and also when I'm out with my family. The other day I visited with an old friend of mine while we watched his son's baseball game. While sitting by the dugout watching and listening to the goings on, I heard the coach talk about some things we could all do. Now I give this guy a lot of credit because firing up a group of kids isn't easy without food or free video games. He talked about giving 110%, giving it your all and then just a little more. He talked about overcoming adversity with mental toughness. And finally, he talked about a little thing called pride. Pride is what drives us to do better when we could get by with doing less. Pride is what drives us to achieve and overcome when others believe we can't. Pride is what separates leaders from followers. And as you should all know, ABATE of Wisconsin Inc is a leader in motorcycle rights in the nation and we can all be proud of that.

While some states struggle with mandatory helmet laws that won't go away, increased right-of-way penalties reduced in committees, and funding cutbacks for motorcycle education, ABATE of Wisconsin, Inc marches on. Setting an example for others to follow, we passed the Roadway Users Responsibility Act 466 in 2006 with five separate issues passing in one bill. This should make all of us feel one thing: PRIDE. When parts of this legislation weren't being handled the way the legislation was intended, we went into action. Following right of way violation cases throughout the state and then working diligently with legislators and the DOT to correct the bill which was signed into law in 2012 as Act 173. This year, we are finally adding violations to enhance the penalties for things that we've always considered right of way violations but weren't written in statute as such. With two successful hearings it looks as if with one final push we can complete working on this issue successfully after a dozen years. We should all be proud of the things that we accomplish when we work our tails off to get the job done.

Are you giving 110% effort to get the job done? I hope everyone can say yes to this because really, the job is never done. When you're at an event show your ABATE PRIDE by telling everyone about what we have accomplished for them. You earned it, now show it off. Our products gals even have a shirt that proclaims "You Ride Free Because of Me" that our members can be proud to wear. Besides freedom of choice, angle parking in metropolitan areas, various bills dealing with licensing, lighting, and supporting our motorcycle culture over the last forty three years, we've been incredibly busy most recently also. I don't know a single biker that doesn't appreciate being able to go thru a red light when the signal doesn't acknowledge his existence without waiting for a cage to show up. What biker won't think we are making significant progress toward justice when his brother is taken down in a right-of-way violation and the cager doesn't get away with an $85 failure to yield ticket anymore? Is mandatory (normally a bad word) motorcycle awareness education not a benefit to everyone on two wheels? And finally, just try to find someone that would like to pay more for something he's already earned and stand in line twice. These things we've done in the last dozen years and a lot of bikers take for granted the work that we do, many not realizing what life would be like if we weren't around. We should all be proud of our organization and share our knowledge. It's not just about helmets anymore, it's about freedom. Show that you're proud of your organization and talk it up about what we've been doing lately. You've earned it.

All of us have a lot of fun at biker events throughout the state including our premier rally, the Summer Hummer, June 15-18 held at ABATE Acres just west of Greenwood. There should be a ton of information on this in this newsletter so I won't waste the words repeating that but I hope to see you there. Also, very near to my heart, in order to get a little more use out of our land and to promote the biker lifestyle to our children ABATE of Wisconsin and the Junior Patriots are holding their annual family campout at ABATE Acres Aug. 11-13. This event was designed as family friendly for kids of all ages at no cost to members. This is a "bring your own everything" event but I imagine a few will bring enough to share if you're worried about not packing enough supplies. Games and activities are planned throughout the days and movies, story telling, and some camp fire songs are planned for the evenings with everyone sharing the cooking duties during the event. The shower and restroom facilities will be open and we will utilize the indoor space evenings and in the case of inclement weather. What better way could you spend a weekend with your family than to spend it with your ABATE family too? I hope to see many of you there.

Finally, as you take advantage of this beautiful weather and long days enjoying a ride on the scoot; take the time to think about all we've accomplished together. As a united voice for bikers, ABATE speaks loud and proud. Although there will always be plenty of work to do to keep us safe and free on the road, remember that we're all in this together. And when you're at work, out with the family, or just putting some miles on the scoot; talk ABATE up. We've done great things for everyone on two wheels for the last forty-three years, make sure they know it. Show your ABATE PRIDE. Until next month ... Ride Free.

Charlebois, Dave Chubby. "ABATE Pride." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Jun. 2017.

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