Never has my Conga for Motorcycle Awareness meant more to me than it does this morning.

As I look over the news of the past week and see how many riders have been killed or injured I wonder what can I do, what can we, as a community, do to affect change?

While on the Share the Road, Share the Ride Motorcycle Awareness Conga this year I began filming motorcycle awareness PSA's (Public Service Announcements)

I have begun the process of editing those videos to have them air on web sites everywhere. 
That is step one, but what else can we do to ensure our the safety of our community and the individual riders within it?

It begins with US is what I believe.

WE RIDERS need to be more aware of what is going on around us. 

We need to remember that people in cars and trucks seldom truly see us because they are too busy living their lives in their vehicles - they are eating, talking - be it to a passenger or on their phones, scolding children, shaving, reading novels and newspapers or putting on make up.

As riders we need to constantly be scanning the roads and the ditches and be prepared for danger in a split second - but what do we do as drivers in our cages because let's face it folks - we also drive pick ups and cars - how attentive are we as drivers? Are we guilty of living our lives in our cars and trucks?

I know that in the past I have been - but I have stopped that type of behaviour in my car. I shut my phone off when I am driving - I don't even bother with hands free - I simply DO NOT USE it in my car any more. 
What about you? Does being a motorcyclist make you a better driver? Are you more aware of the fact that you are commanding a weapon of 2,3,4 or 5000 pounds down the road? Do you text while driving? Do you allow yourself to slip into bad habits or are you constantly aware of what is going on around you?

I was saddened and dismayed when I was in Winnipeg Harley-Davidson last week.

What did I see that made me sad? 

A Bluetooth for your helmet - what in heaven's name is that all about? WHY did some genius think that it was OK to invent a Bluetooth to be used on a bike? 
What is so dire and important that we riders need to use a phone WHILE WE ARE RIDING?

As technology advances I fear that critical thinking has been over taken by the love of gadgets and that having the newest shiny toy has become more important to us than safety or rational thinking.

We bought motorcycles to ride, to see this fabulous land of ours and to visit other countries on - we bought motorcycles to escape the everyday grind of life and the incessant demands that are placed on us - right?
We bought motorcycles to put our lives into perspective...and here we are selling Bluetooth's for our helmets...what does that say about motorcycle safety and awareness? 

To me the Bluetooth for your helmet is one of the most dangerous inventions for a motorcycle that has ever been conceived but that is just one woman's opinion - what is yours? I would be very interested in knowing....

So back to my earlier question - WHAT CAN WE - the motorcycling community do to make our roadways safer? To make ourselves better riders and drivers?  Any thoughts people?

I have a few ideas brewing in this brain of mine but I really want your ideas - If we as a community, work together, share the ideas I know we all have, we would be able to come up with some answers and programs that would accomplish the goal of making our roads safer for all not just the always I love it when you talk to me and share your ideas so come on folks...let's share - TALK TO ME!

In Other News:

In Ontario - Winona woman killed in motorcycle crash was a nurse

And the Breast Ride Ever has teamed up with Ladies Hockey to Kick of Stick it to Cancer

In Quebec - Two motorcyclists are dead after two crashes within three hours

In New Brunswick, Moto Moncton is gearing up for it's first year

In the US there is a warning about traffic congestion on highway 95 in Western Maryland and Northern Virginia for the 9/11 Run

And there is news about the break through advancements in electric vehicles
(Personally I feel that while great for our environment, certain electric motorcycles, those for the street- will be another deadly development for our community)

For all of the news that we can find in the news feeds and that is shared by other riders, visit

I hope you all like the new newsletters that now accompany your newspaper - we are working harder than ever to make your news more accessible and easier to read than ever by having provincial newsletters. Share your group or event information with us and we will help to spread that news to others in your province - we feel it is vital that we share so that our events, riding clubs and businesses all flourish and we hope you too will agree and get on the sharing band wagon. We have also set up provincial Facebook Pages so that we can ensure the largest circle of sharing possible. The more informed we are, the better and stronger our community becomes....what say you?

Until tomorrow, I am your editor,
Belt Drive Betty

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous11:11 AM

    You make an excellent point in your editorial when you ask if being a motorbike rider makes us a better driver. Bikers get in an uproar when they hear of a rider getting injured or killed by a cager. We are quick to grab our pitchfork and go on a witch hunt, yet the same day we can find ourselves behind the wheel of a car reaching for a radio dial or wrestling with a double burger and fries. I agree with you on the bluetooth helmet accessories and their use in part. I usually ride 2-up and the communication between rider and passenger used to consist of a shoulder slap followed by finger pointing and head turning. The headsets have eliminated that scenario and I feel they improve safety in that aspect. Fortunately, the quality of sound between helmets is only fair at best and does not encourage meaningless conversation.
    I agree with you that the added feature of bluetooth enabling phone conversations is a huge distraction and for that reason it is only installed on the passenger headset. I stop enough times to check for texts and messages that I don't need to take a call while riding a bike or driving a car. We have to ask ourselves if taking a call is worth taking a life and I believe there are no calls that are that important.
    I lost a friend to a single bike accident last week and the same week saw another rider killed by a careless cager. Neither rider's life was less valuable than the others and both will be greatly missed by friends and family. I found myself asking if I could have been that cager that pulled into an intersection and took a life and the truth is simply "yes". I do believe being a biker makes us more aware of our surroundings, we see loose gravel, wet roads, pot holes, stray animals, hidden intersections, blown tire debris, oncoming vehicle gusts, etc. as potential hazards that we might not consider in a car or truck.
    There are inherent risks we accept being a biker. It requires us to be exceptionally alert and proactive. Anything less is an invitation for disaster. Both tragic losses last week have taken a dad, brother ,husband, son, and friend. We will miss these riders dearly and our prayers are with their families.

    Some riders will call it quits, others will continue on their merry little ways but I can only hope that most of us continue to develop a lifesaving style of riding.