In Las Vegas a semi lost control & slid into a motorcycle that  then hit and killed rocker Steve Lee - the front man for Gotthard. Gotthard is one of the most successful rock bands in Switzerland.

Steve along with about 7 fellow riders had pulled over to put on rain gear when a tractor trailer unit skidded in to one of the motorcycles which hit Lee and killed him, according  to the reports it was a freak accident.  My heart and prayers go out to his family, friends and band members.

In Bragg Creek bikers and their business are  and are NOT wanted depending on who you talk to. If you are the owner of an art gallery - they don't want you there, if you are the owner of a cafe - well they want you.

The community of Bragg Creek is one divided. They are circulating a survey on the noise from bikes and are going to be setting a town hall meeting date soon as they want to put a noise bylaw into effect. If you read the article that is linked to here you will see that the inconsiderate are yet again making it difficult for those who are polite and respectful.

On a personal note...
I have made some decisions with regards to my business and my volunteer efforts that I want to share with all of you.

I WILL sponsor and support as many organizations and events as I possibly can - I will always do that but beyond the MRFD I will not volunteer for any outside organization.
The reason for this move is simple. I have come to the conclusion that there are too many people who do not see that a person can be a volunteer and a sponsor and that the two have separate rolls and deserve to be treated differently from each other. Sadly there are those who can not separate the two - Sponsor and Volunteer- the way I can and it has lead to unintentional hurt feelings and animosity. I NEVER want to see people hurt in that way again.

One of the organizations that I helped to found, the CMTA has undergone some huge changes and as a result of those changes, the new board of directors has agreed to administer an Injured Riders Fund.  After lengthy discussions it was determined that the CMTA whose primary objective as a registered non profit is to promote motorcycle tourism and responsible motorcycling could and should find a way to impact riders in need.

After much discussion with my lawyer, members of the CMTA and the key stakeholders in Belt Drive Betty & The Busted Knuckle Chronicles a few things have been decided and are now in the works.

To that end - an Injured Riders Fund is being set up to be similar to that of the Downed Rider Society in Nova Scotia where there are no membership fees - if you have a valid motorcycle license/learner's permit in your home province you can ask for assistance in the event of an accident. Assistance will be offered in those provinces and territories where there are NO local groups taking care of injured riders. BC has AIM and Nova Scotia the Biker Down Society, any applications to us from riders in those provinces will be directed to the organizations that are already there to assist. The CMTA will deliver funding - if the funds are available, in Alberta (until F.I.R.R.E. is a registered non profit) Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, PEI, the Yukon and NWT.

If a fund raising event is being held for a rider, and if the funds are there or auction items are there, the CMTA will look at what it can contribute to the effort. In this way, the efforts will no be duplicated.

To access assistance one will simply apply - the only true restrictions on the assistance that can and will be given will be the amount of funds that are available to be donated and that you have to sign off that alcohol, drugs, speed and or distracted driving were not involved as a cause for the accident on the part of the rider. Caps on support and other details are in the hands of the lawyers to sort out.

The wording for the application for assistance is in with the lawyers to be gone over as are the newly amended bylaws for the CMTA and once completed everything will go back in to the government for the amendments to be noted.

Monies for the fund will be raised in a variety of ways - primarily but not limited to auctions both live and on line as well as through corporate donations. If the need becomes big enough at some point in the future the group will look at becoming a registered charity. But until then the law allows for up to $25K a year to be donated back in to the community by a non profit. No charitable receipts will be issued as everyone who donates items to the auctions or funds to the cause will be given advertising as a sponsor and will be able to write off their contributions as an advertising and marketing expense.

The premise is to keep things really simple and easy - no politics and as little volunteer time as possible. Just riders and businesses helping riders and their families during a time of need.

At some point, should the need for individual assistance become moot because there are registered non profits in each province and territory to serve the needs of injured riders and their families - we will revisit everything we do. We will look at how we can support those non profits with donations directly to their funds but until that day comes, we intend through the Canadian Riders helping Riders network on Belt Drive Betty dot Com & the Belt Drive Betty Foundation with the assistance and support of the CMTA to give back to our community.

The primary driving force behind the fund raising will be the Belt Drive Betty Foundation. It is a mutual benefits society - the charitable arm of Belt Drive Betty & The Busted Knuckle. Through the foundation, the key stakeholders in my business help me decide how much to give back to the community every year and how to accomplish that goal.

It is through the Foundation that we decide how many events to sponsor, how much space to give away in the newspaper and phone book, how many free web sites we can afford to build and or host or both.

We will be creating an online store - administering the sale of items where some or all of the proceeds from both Belt Drive Betty & The Busted Knuckle products and those created on behalf of the CMTA will then be donated to the CMTA to administer.

In this way I will be able to stay true to who I am, to what my vision, mission and ethics statements are for Belt Drive Betty & The Busted Knuckle Chronicles. I will give back using the resources of my business in a way that makes sense to my business -  just like Tim Horton's, McDonald's or any number of corporations do and have done for years.

And that's what is fit to print for today.

As always, I welcome your feedback and input but please note I will no longer post anonymous comments - you are either man or woman enough to put your name to what you have to say or I will not publish them.

If you are riding today - you lucky SOB...PLEASE be careful - we need you, your family needs you...

Belt Drive Betty
Rider & Editor

A MAX Award winning web site!

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