Executive Director

Executive Director Report
By Dave Chubby Charlebois 

What do you think is louder, one passionate voice screaming or one thousand passionate voices speaking with conviction and knowledge? We'll soon find out. Our lobby day was just a few short weeks ago and the latter was our approach this year. When ABATE of WI proclaims that "Freedom isn't Quiet" it doesn't mean we've taken a new approach to lobbying and we're going to shout until we're hoarse, the sounds in the Capitol on our lobby day are the sounds of boots on marble. Although it's a little too early to say our lobby day was a success, its never to late to get loud about freedom and I encourage everyone to continue to follow our bills and lend your voices in support of them until they're signed by the Governor.

Noise, by definition, is a sound. Especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes a disturbance. At times I fully understand the need to make noise to get peoples attention, unfortunately it doesn't always work. Like the construction worker that can no longer hear the backup alarm on a truck or forklift, or the urban dweller that has become immune to the honking of car horns, noise that never stops blends in like any other sound of nature. To get things done in the legislature we don't have to be unpleasant or cause a disturbance. But, we're going to have to get loud. We'll save the other part if nobody listens.

Even the quietest gal has it in her. The ability to get loud. Loud about personal freedom. Loud about injustice. Loud about the future of our motorcycle culture. Looking at our current legislative issues it may not look that way to you, but they should.

Every day, vehicle designers and manufacturers are developing more technology to put in every vehicle. Top government agency officials leave public life and go to work promoting what I consider the ultimate insult to freedom, more vehicle technology and less driver interaction. Our black box bill is just the beginning of the battle over who controls our lives.

I don't know many bikers that haven't been affected in some way by a right of way violation incident. Whether it's the loss of a close brother or the loss of a limb. What we've grown to know as right of way violations are not necessarily what our laws define them as. If we are to receive any justice for our downed brothers and sisters we're going to have to make the penalities for irresponsible driving fit the crime. We have a lot of support for our ROW bill, but if we are going to expand the incidents that require enhanced penalties and education we're going to have to continue to voice our support of this legislation loudly.

It can be hard to understand our pursuit of an autocycle bill if you haven't been paying close attention for the last few years. We are by no means anti-Polaris, or any other manufacturer for that matter. In fact, I personally would like to call three wheeled cars anything but an autocycle (North Dakota's Unconventional Vehicle sounds good to me) because the suffix "cycle" puts them closer to motorcycle than they really deserve to be. What we are really trying to do is define a motorcycle. Unfortunately, that would leave some of our current plate holders without a home, and how fair would that be? ABATE of Wisconsin's solution to finding a home for every vehicle that you don't straddle, steer with handlebars, operate from the factory with handlebar and foot controls, and weigh less that 1500 pounds is to either define them as an automobile or an autocycle. Why should we care? The funding for motorcycle safety and awareness and the drive for legislation to keep everyone safe on our roadways is driven by statistics. The more saturated the motorcycle class becomes with unconventional vehicles, the more saturated our funding and legal rights on the roadways becomes. The voices of the bikers of Wisconsin need to be louder than the voices of the manufacturers of unconventional vehicles or the problems will only multiply.

I'm not asking anybody to make noise, yet. But, our voices are going to have to be loud if we are going to follow up our lobby day and ensure the success of our legislative agenda. They should be loud with passion about each and every one of our issues. Freedom isn't quiet and you shouldn't be quiet about it. It's time to get loud, the noise we'll save for later. Until next month, Ride Free ... 


Charlebois, Dave Chubby. "Executive Director Report." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Mar. 2017.

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