Saturday, August 20, 2005

Shows, Shows, and more Bike Shows!

Like the ghosts in A Christmas Carol all the shows have similar roles, with the first to visit being the Spirit of the Bike Show Past.....

The Argus Leader reports that local law officials are happy with how Sturgis played out, or rather how the particpants played nice. Law enforcement officers working the 65th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally say it went smoothly."The arrests were normal for the rally: DWIs, open container and simple assaults. No homicides," said Meade County Sheriff Chief Deputy Tom Wilts. "We're very pleased with the outcome of the rally this year." Not only can you read the full article here, but there are also some great pictures.

KELO quoted Sturgis Police Chief Jim Bush as saying 'While official rally numbers have yet to be released, we're not sure whether the low crime rate had anything to do with lower attendance this year or that there's been a change in who's attending the Rally.'

If you do want the down and dirty details of how many went to Sturgis and how many may have stayed longer than they guests of the local law enforcement, The Dakota Voice has it all and even compares the figures to previous years. It looks like all the catagories were down except drug related arrests, but law enforcement has been quoted as saying they focused on that area of crime this year. An interesting note is the number of citations and warnings, a total of 4961 between the two catagories. That's a lot of unhappy bikers!

Spirit of Bike Shows Present
I mentioned yesterday that CLUB H.O.G. Chattanooga starts August 26th, but we can't forget the Cafe Desmo Motorcycle Show Scheduled For Southern California Next Week. Hosted by Pro Italia, one of the nation's top dealers of exotic Italian motorcycles Ducati, MV Agusta and NCR the annual Italian motorcycle show will be held on Wednesday night, August 24th. Best of all, its' absolutely FREE!

So with all this warm and fuzzy feeling going around the country you'd think we'd all be getting ready for one big group hug. Not so fast.......

So what about the Spirit of Bike Shows Future?
It seems that a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce survey of business owners shows the community wants local governments to take action on the Atlantic Beach Bikefest normally held in May. Some residents spoke against what they said was anti-biker sentiment when the survey results were presented at a Myrtle Beach City Council meeting last month.

An editorial in the Sun News published on Friday August 19th wants more from Harley-Davidson Dealers Association who have already agreed to shrinking its May motorcycle rally to only three days. Evidently, the many local folks who have grown weary of the Atlantic Beach Bikefest appreciate the association's show of respect for their feelings. But 'the association's generous gesture alone seems unlikely to render May a more bearable month for local folks. A shorter rally provides too small a disincentive for Harley-Davidson bikers to spend less time on the Grand Strand in May.'

Interesting editorial, this controversy won't most likely end here and will most certainly have an impact on other shows around the country.

And in this corner..................
There's more debate over the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's study released recently which reported that although traffic deaths declined and fewer people were killed in alcohol-related crashes on U.S. highways for a second straight year, motorcycle fatalities grew nearly 8 percent last year to 4,008.

Daily allowed guest columnist John Paliwoda, executive director of the California Motorcycle Dealers Association to give his opinion of the numbers and bring some new ones into the mix. He uses the same thought process mentioned in this blog over the last week, maybe its the sheer number of growing bikes on the road skewing the numbers.

'Why isn't the helmet law responsible for the death and injury decreases?' he writes, 'That's because the 3.71 fatality rate per 100 motorcycle accidents in 2004 has exceeded the pre-helmet law rate of 3.22 for the eighth year in a row, despite a very strictly enforced helmet law.'

Great column with some interesting figures. Read more.....

Of course for every action there's a reaction and this time it comes from Rick Smith a columnist in the Canadian newspaper, Thunder Bay Source. He quotes a Florida study which shows 'that in the 30 months after their law was withdrawn hospital costs in the state from motorcyclists with head, brain, or skull injuries more than doubled to 50 million dollars and the average cost of each case rose by 10 thousand dollars.' He even uses the unfortunate death of the anti-helmet activist, Dorothy Rushton who died while riding her Harley without a helmet as an example. Read the entire column....

Just for the record, I always wear my helmet and encourage my friends to as well. Riding is a hazardous enough past time and every little bit helps. But I also feel that its only fair to present both sides of the arguement.

On a lighter and final note!
Beware if you try to help a friend out by offering to fix his bike. Just ask Kevin Senesac.

His repeated attempts to repair his neighbor’s motorcycle led to a physical altercation that sent the amateur mechanic to the hospital and his neighbor to jail, according to Senesac’s girlfriend.
Senesac, 48, who friends described as a gifted but uncertified motorcycle mechanic, had helped his nieghbor Aaron Milacek make repairs on a used motorcycle the 25-year-old purchased recently.

Unable to fix his bike, Milacek decided it was more trouble than the bike was worth and wanted to dispose of it. Senesac offered to dismantle the bike if Milacek would dispose of the pieces and pay Senesac $10 for blowtorch fuel. But Milacek did not pay the $10 and delayed throwing away the motorcycle parts until the past few days, angering Senesac.

Read the whole thing, and please don't smile too much, he was sent to the hospital with his injuries.


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