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2005 Helmet Law Support Rally and Tax Protest

First let there be no doubt that this Helmet Law Support Rally is held annually to support South Carolina’s current helmet law that allows adults to decide whether or not to wear a helmet. ABATE won a six year battle in 1980 defeating the all rider helmet law. Let us not become complacent and lose the ground we worked so hard to gain.

I want to thank all the members who attended our rally. Attendance was good despite overcast skies. A couple of members asked me before the rally why we keep moving the starting location; the answer is we keep out growing parking lots as attendance continues to grow each year. I suspect we may need an even larger location next year.

The rally at the steps was opened by the state coordinator who welcomed everyone and introduced the first speaker from Aiken. Jim Bronder of our Aiken chapter did a great job explaining the unfair personal property tax on motorcycles. The elected officials in attendance all took note of Jim's talking points. Representative Mac Toole suggested ways for us to address the unfair taxation of motorcycles. Reb Sutherland addressed the crowd on the steps of the statehouse concerning her upcoming campaign for state superintendent of education. Andre Bauer our Lt. Governor rode his motorcycle right up to the steps of the capitol and he was not wearing a helmet. I'm glad he is part of our team and has the power to send bills to committees of his choosing.

The after party at the Flying Saucer was the best attended yet. The Flying Saucer Restaurant had great food and all Carolina Micro-brews on sale for $2.50 a pint. More importantly it was an easy place for out of town biker to find and a great place to network with fellow members. DB Bryant kicked out the jams and entertained the crown from 2pm to 6pm. You can learn more about both online at and

This year’s rally got more media attention than those of years past due largely to efforts to improve media relations by our media coordinator Ed Haas. Pickles of our Lexington Chapter did an enormous job planning the parade and rally at the steps; my hat is off to Pickles and his team of hard workers. Cathy Dillon did a great job planning the after rally party close to the capitol and arranging entertainment. Keeping the after rally gathering close to the capitol helped increase our visual impact. I see great things in the future for ABATE of SC and our state rallies. The party after the rally did not cost ABATE one red cent; next year ABATE will likely make money for our cause with the after party. We will be taking bids from businesses in the Vista interested in hosting our after rally party.

The next major event on the ABATE of SC calendar is our Legislative Warrior Day on the opening day of the legislative session Tuesday January 10 th. Please make plans now to attend; we can send a powerful message together if we have over 500 motorcycles parked around the capitol on opening day. Arrive early at the statehouse for the best parking. Early arrival increases your chances to speak with your legislators; appointments are also encouraged.

Our Lexington Chapter will hold its normal monthly meeting 7:30pm Monday January 9 th. Last year many legislators attended this primer for our Legislative Warrior Day; bikers from as far away as Tennessee and North Carolina came to observe ABATE of SC’s strategy and tactics. Food will be served and everyone is welcomed. The Lexington Chapter meeting is held at the VFW located at 424 Cedarcrest Drive, Lexington, SC 29073. Come early and spend the night in Lexington or Columbia. The more involved you get in ABATE the greater the reward; I look forward to seeing you there.

FastFred Ruddock
ABATE of SC State Coordinator

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