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Biker Ezine: Biker Rights Articles

SC Legislative Opportunities and Challenges from a Biker’s Perspective
Written by FastFred Ruddock, September 19, 2007
We are still looking forward to the second half of the current South Carolina Legislative Session. Opprotunities and challenges await the bikers of South Carolina in the second half. Like many football games the second half can make all the difference. We need to stay focused while executing our best plays and watchful of the opposing team's best plays and special teams ... Full Article>>

Round Two in the Fight for Motorcyclist Rights in North Carolina
Written by FastFred Ruddock, September 16, 2007
September 13, 2007 I appeared in court for a helmet citation in Polk County. I patiently waited as we were called in alphabetical order. When my case was finally called the Assistant District Attorney asked me if I had a helmet and asked to see it. I showed her a "safety helmet" and she told me it was not a helmet. However she immediately dismissed my case. This took me by surprise ... Full Article>>

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been
Written by FastFred Ruddock, August 13, 2007
Shortly after writing last month's report the North Carolina General Assembly reinserted language adding FMVSS 218 into North Carolina's current helmet law via House Bill 563. After January 1, 2008 you may be ticketed for wearing a novelty helmet just as someone not wearing any helmet is now. CBA has created a legislative subcommittee tasked with creating a helmet defense packet; I am a contributing member of the CBA's Helmet Defense Project ... Full Article>>

ABATE of SC August 2007 Coordinator's Report
Written by FastFred Ruddock, July 12, 2007
Frankie, Jeff, and Ralph are doing a fine job representing ABATE on the Motorcycle Safety Task Force. This is important because the Motorcycle Safety Task Force has been spearheaded by SCDPS. This committee is tasked with reducing motorcycle fatalities in SC and as you can easily imagine there is a lot of talk about helmets and even helmet laws within the committee. However the biggest missing piece from the motorcycle safety puzzle is ... Full Article>>

ABATE of SC July 2007 Coordinator’s Report
Written by FastFred Ruddock, June 8, 2007
A member of ABATE passed away just prior to the submission deadline for this newsletter. ABATE lost a fine member and I lost a close friend I have known for many years. Chris Blumenberg's last act on this earth was attending a local ABATE meeting. Chris had a motorcycle accident on the Berlin G Myers Expressway and died as he was returning home from that fateful ABATE meeting. I was impressed by the wide assortment of people who came to remember him at his wake; Chris touched the lives of many people ... Full Article>>

June 2007 ABATE of SC Coordinator Report
Written by FastFred Ruddock May 15, 2007
The past month since my last report has been busy as our legislature makes a final push to pass bills prior to recessing until January. As reported in last month's newsletter issue we are working the Gang Bill S141 and trying to find common ground. Ralph Bell has been taking point on this issue in recent weeks. Cliff Dalton and Roach have also been working with Ralph and helping him with research concerning gang legislation and ... Full Article>>

Mayor Riley and the City of Charleston's Motorcycle Apartheid has Flared Again
Written by FastFred Ruddock, April 28, 2007
Once again Mayor Joe Riley and the City of Charleston are discriminating upon a minority. While Charleston suffers a severe lack of parking and major traffic congestion the city leaders choose to spit in the face of reason by discouraging the use of motorcycles. Worst still struggling college students feel the brunt of the intolerance most. Wednesday April 25, 2007 motorcyclists found notes on their motorcycles left by Republic Parking ... Full Article>>

1st Annual East Coast Helmet Law Protest
When: Last Sunday of Myrtle Beach Bike Week May 20, 2007 at 10:00AM. Where: South of the Border, I-95 and US 301/501 Dillon, SC. I may not have dreamed this ride up BUT I certainly support it and encourage others to come out and join the fun. I have ridden the same route up I-95 all the way to Richmond VA without a helmet and without being stopped. The fine is only $25 in NC with an additional $75 in court costs whether or not you fight the ticket. The judge cannot increase or reduce the fine or court costs for 20-140.4 as it is mandated by the General Assembly. I know because I have fought 20-140.4 in court and I will fight it in court again ... Full Article>>

S141 Gang Bill Public Meeting Wrap Up
By FastFred Ruddock, April 17, 2006
The bikers who attended the public meeting concerning S141 in Columbia Tuesday April 17, 2006 deserve thanks for a job well done. Those in attendance can sure tell you that the majority of citizens present share our concerns. Many of the faith community echoed our issues ... Full Article>>

S141 Gang Bill Presentation Notes by Cliff Dalton
Criminal Gang Prevention Act- The title is misleading. It lacks any prevention or intervention strategies only suppression ... Full Article>>

May 2007 ABATE of SC Coordinator Report
Written by FastFred Ruddock April 12, 2007
We have certainly gained some ground at the statehouse since last month. The gang bill is still in the House Judiciary Committee; those of us who organize poker runs or just take part in poker runs should still be gravely concerned about S141 the gang bill. Please keep making those phone calls and writing those letters to legislators. Cliff has provided contact numbers for each bill of interest in this month’s legislative report; apparently addressing your concerns to the committee holding a bill of interest has more impact than just addressing one individual. However the importance of developing a working relationship with your senator and representative cannot be over stressed. Please take the time to get acquainted with ... Full Article>>

The War of Attrition to Regain Our Liberties: Fighting NC’s Helmet Law
Written by FastFred Ruddock, April 2, 2007
Sometimes it is more important to stand up and fight for your rights than if you win or lose individual battles. Old timers in the battle against North Carolina’s helmet law told me they were impressed I was able to get as far as I did in bringing my case through the court system. They also admonished me that I may never get the chance again and should savor this experience. Apparently they feel the state keeps a list of “trouble makers” in their database so when a tag number is entered in a computer the police officer knows whether or not to issue a helmet ticket ... Full Article>>

ABATE of SC Coordinator Report
Written by FastFred Ruddock on March 9, 2007
I am happy to report both Dennis a.k.a. Dennis and Bad Bob seem to be healing quite nicely. However both of them have long roads to recovery ahead so please keep the thoughts, prayers, and good will coming. I feel as if I have been pulling double if not triple shifts as I prepare for my day in court, fulfilling my ABATE duties, and working another 40 hours a week to pay the bills. My day in court to fight the NC G.S. 20-140.4(A) helmet use law is just days away on Thursday March 15th as I sit here and write ... Full Article>>

March 2007 ABATE of SC Legislative Report
By The Legislative Team
Please note the legislative process is very fluid and ever changing and this report will be dated by time it reaches your mailbox. The reader is encouraged to attend legislative meetings and contact active members of our legislative team for the latest information on legislation of concern. Please visit or call 803-734-2145 to obtain and read the latest versions of the bills that interest you ... Full Article>>

ABATE of South Carolina Coordinator Report
Written by FastFred Ruddock, February 17, 2007
January and February have been trying times for many of us. Our treasurer Bad Bob was seriously injured while riding one of his motorcycles when a car violated his right of way by pulling out and striking him. Ironically Bob was on his way home from a friend’s funeral that had been killed in another accident. Our legislative coordinator Dennis Welborn is recovering nicely from open heart surgery. Other issues seem to pale in comparison to the well being of our family ... Full Article>>

Tips to Writing Effective Letters to Elected Officials
Written by FastFred Ruddock
It is important that we inform elected officials where we stand on our issues. Our input on motorcycle issues and other important issues shapes the way our representative in the General Assembly and Congress create and implement legislation and social policy. Emails, postcards, and phone calls are good communication tools. However letters and faxes are the most effective and persuasive way of communicating our views to elected officials. Many legislators believe that a letter represents not only the position of the writer but also many other constituents who did not ... Full Article>>

ABATE of SC's February Legislative Meeting Notes
S.141 Criminal Gang Prevention Act: This gang bill is the only one that has moved from its committee of origin. S.141 now resides in the Senate Finance Committee and a Fiscal Impact Statement has been issued. Senator Hugh Leatherman chairs the Finance Committee. Correspondence to the committee may be addressed to or Senate Finance Committee, Post Office Box 142, Columbia, S.C. 29202-0142. S.141 is currently sponsored by the following Senators: Knotts, Malloy, McConnell, Ford, Rankin, Cleary, Campsen, Setzler, Sheheen, Richardson, Vaughn, McGill, Elliott, Fair, Alexander, and Laurie. Other bills related to S.141 include: S.78, H.3049, H.3093, and H.3247. ... Full Article>>

Motorcycle Education of South Carolina: A beginners view
Written by Ralph Bell, February 8, 2007
I am a 42-year-old male. My motorcycle riding started when I purchased a used 2000 FLHRCI Road King on June 20, 2006 from a good friend of mine. I started out just riding around the neighborhood. As time went on I ventured out and tried to get a ride in everyday after work. I had tried the course at the Ballentine DMV but actually dropped the bike once. It was not until a ride back from Aiken that I decided to take a Midlands Technical College course. I had a rear tire blowout on I-26 just past the St. Andrews turnoff with my wife on the back. We were lucky that I handled the bike and no one was hurt. ... Full Article>>

Numbers to Brag Upon
Written by FastFred Ruddock, February 7, 2007
With a monthly budget like the one below it is no wonder why ABATE of Indiana proudly prints the data for the world to see. Note the size of the October payroll alone at $96,726.81. Opponents at the statehouse know with funds like these it would be no easy feat to pass legislation against bikers even with a full media blitz and legal bribes referred to as ... Full Article>>

SC Gang Bill: New Invasion on Our Civil Liberties
by: Paul N.Uricchio,III of Uricchio and Associates Law Firm, January 26, 2007
I have been a practicing criminal and accident attorney for over 30 years and feel reasonably qualified to express my opinion regarding the new invasion on our civil liberties. Through my membership with ABATE I was recently made aware of a bill pending before the South Carolina Legislature that seeks to amend Chapter 8, Title 16 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina by adding Article 2, so as to enact the “Criminal Gang Prevention Act”. This amendment offends the doctrines of substantive due process, over breadth, and equal protection under the law. It is feared that the enactment will open the door to missteps by local law enforcement which will have costly implications for civil liberties and race relations. ... Full Article>>

Bikers, Civil Disobedience, and the Constitution
Written by FastFred Ruddock, January 15, 2007
First I will provide a little background information to put everything in perspective. This article is the result of a request from ABATE of WV to speak on the subject of civil disobedience at their legislative seminar. Many have asked me why I choose to ride without a helmet in helmet law states such as North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. Others have asked how South Carolina bikers amended their helmet law to remove the artificial consequences for those over 21 years of age. It is my hope this article will help address and answer these questions. ... Full Article>>

Bikers will Lobby Opening of SC's Legislative Session
Written by FastFred Ruddock, December 10, 2006
This year our opening lobby day is more important than ever. Be sure to attend and gather in the lobby of the statehouse early to make the maximum impact and to assure you get your lobby day patch and scavenger list handout. I will be in the lobby by 9 AM near Calhoun’s statue. A large crowd of bikers in the statehouse lobby prior to the opening of the new session will help augment the on going daily efforts of Dennis and others at the statehouse. Please do your part and arrive in the lobby of the statehouse at 9 AM on Tuesday January 9th. There is a lot to do and you’ll need a few hours but don’t worry you will have fun too. If you choose to spend the night in Columbia remember Lexington has a meeting Monday evening ... Full Article>>

Election Results: Let Those Who Ride Decide
Written by FastFred Ruddock, November 10, 2006
At the time of this writing, November 10, 2006, it appears we have successfully weathered the 2006 election cycle. Once again the voter block of ABATE of South Carolina seems to have also made the deciding difference in the race for Lieutenant Governor. My lone disappointment was the lack of ABATE members present at the victory parties held after the polls closed. Only two of us attended the Republican Party Victory Party in Charleston. I know at least one more ABATE member attended the Republican Victory Party in Columbia and suspect two other ABATE members may have attended though I have no confirmation. Elected officials are a plenty at these victory parties and very approachable ... Full Article>>

Governor Sanford and HD Dealers Kill Bikers
Written by FastFred Ruddock, September 21, 2006
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety held 5 press conferences across our state today. They are screaming to the masses about the increasing trend of motorcycle deaths. They are especially concerned about the 35 to 45 year group of riders buying bikes with no experience and getting killed and the fact most of them did not wear helmets. I am personally disgusted that the media is not telling the whole story: the motorcycle death toll has been climbing ever since Governor Sanford cut funding to SC Riders Ed. ... Full Aritle>>

Busted Riding Lidless at 2006 Fall Cherokee Rally
Written September 12, 2006 by FastFred
Riding lidless to Cherokee was cool but cruising into town US19 and US441 past the fair grounds with all the law enforcement present was a rush. I even heard Jerry Grindle give a holler near the Ponderosa Steak House as I rode into Cherokee Friday evening just before dark. Saturday morning I decided to cruise the main drag one more time before taking a trip to Big Cove and Mingo Falls; the main drag was out of the way to reach Mingo Falls. I passed three state troopers near the Cherokee Veterans Park less than one mile from the Thunderbird Motel. Two state troopers on new BMW motorcycles followed closely by a third state trooper in a cruiser who took notice of ... Full Aritle>>

Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow
Written September 6, 2006 by FastFred
I have been riding free all summer even in states with all rider helmet laws such as North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Although I have not worn a helmet this entire summer I have not been stopped or ticketed in any of these states. I was told by many so called brave bikers, rights activists, and hillbillies that I would get a ticket if I rode lidless in Lake Lure. After repeated lidless trips through Lake Lure and other small towns in WNC the same bikers and rights activists changed ... Full Aritle>>

Upstate and WNC Weekend Lidless Tour
Written July 31, 2006 by FastFred
This trip began with a wet ride to Columbia where I met with Bad Bob to attend to some dry administrative work for ABATE. While I was in Columbia I dropped by Bobbys to check on the Helmet Rally plans; all information available points to a great rally this year. Make plans now to be in Columbia on Sunday October 8th. ... Full Article>>

When I Ride I Decide in North Carolina Too
Written July 16, 2006 by FastFred
Bad Bob and Gwen joined me for this free spirited ride in North Carolina. We toured the Asheville area and found some time to see some sights and enjoy a some adventure. On this trip no one ever wore a helmet; this seemed to really frustrate one confused North Carolina Biker. I reckon he figured no one would ride into Lake Lure knowingly without a helmet. We waved and smiled which only seemed to cause more bewilderment. ... Full Article>>

Riding Free in Western North Carolina with No Lid
Written July 10, 2006 by FastFred
The people of the mountains of Western North Carolina have never taken kindly to folks trying to run their lives. I took another wild ride through the land of my grandfathers. This time I really expected to get a ticket for refusing to wear a helmet. To increase my odds of a ticket I rode through several small towns in addition to the city of Asheville. I reckon the old ways of the mountains are still alive and well; I rode through Lake Lure three times without a lid past the usual speed traps to no avail. ... Full Article>>

ABATE of SC State Coordinator Report July 1, 2006
Written June 30, 2006 by FastFred
We all have been hearing the negative press about motorcycle deaths increasing in South Carolina.  Oddly no one is publicly slamming the most responsible person. Our beloved Governor Sanford cut funding to our SC Riders Ed program early in his first term. The death rate of novice riders of all ages has been increasing since Sanford’s veto. I suggest it maybe wise for ABATE of SC to champion increased funding of rider training. I further suggest we can do this without increasing taxes on our motorcycles; Right of Way violators could pay an additional fee on tickets to be placed in a fund for rider training. ... Full Article>>

ABATE of South Carolina Rocked the 116th General Assembly
Written May 31, 2006 by FastFred
The bikers of South Carolina unified through ABATE passed three bills to improve the lives of motorcyclists. Our lone disappointment was the failure to pass S1027 to address defective traffic sensors at red lights. During the first half of the 116th General Assembly we passed S102 to provide Purple Heart tags for motorcyclists who have earned a Purple Heart while serving our country. Prior to the close of the 116th General Assembly we passed S772 to repeal handlebar height restrictions and H4307 to reduce the property tax rate applied to motorcycles. ... Full Article>>

H4307 Motorcycle Tax Bill Endangered by Amendments
Written May 19, 2006 by FastFred
Our bill to reduce property tax on your motorcycle is being threatened by pork belly politics via amendments. Please call YOUR Senator NOW! Ask you senator to to place H4307 on Special Order and protect it from being placed on the contested calendar. Also ask your senator to support prompt passage of H4307 with NO amendments. You may contact your senator through the clerks office at 803-212-6200. Our friends in the senate have been impressed by your calls; they are working hard for us but they still need our help and a friendly senator suggested this call for action ... Full Article>>

SC Bikers Still Have Time to Pass Two Bills
Written April 24, 2006 by FastFred
The Legislative session is winding down in South Carolina but motorcyclists still have time to pass two bills. One bill would address discriminatory taxation of motorcycles. The other would repeal the arbitrary handlebar height law generally enforced in a discriminatory manner; many police motorcycles in South Carolina are in violation of the current 15” limit. Action on your part today may save you hundreds of dollars this year and more in future years. ... Full Article>>

SC Gang Bill May Impact You and Charitable Groups
Written April 14, 2006 by FastFred
The gang bill may have unintended consequences; due to past opinions rendered by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster poker runs and raffles are considered illegal. Additionally South Carolina’s gang bill could impact you and your charitable organization. Raising money for the organization through illegal means is one of the metrics measured to determine if an organization is considered a gang under the proposed legislation. ... Full Article>>

Legalizing Tattooing in South Carolina
Written April 11, 2006 by FastFred
While many of us have been fighting to legalize tattooing in South Carolina for over ten years the battle is not over yet! Help us bring tattooing out of the underground and dirty backrooms. Tattooing is mainstream today and the health of the next generation is at stake. The battle at the state level both in the General Assembly and DHEC has been won. However the battle rages on at the local level. ... Full Article>>

Personal Property Taxes: Airplanes vs Motorcycles
Written March 16, 2006 by Jim Bronder
The arrogance of our legislators and the elitist they serve once again raises its ugly head. The cover up for the reasoning of lowering the airplane personal property tax to 4% is as ludicrous as the hermaphrodite in the side show of an old carnival. To say they can register them in another state cheaper is true, but ... Full Article>>

A Proposed MRF Solution
Written March 14, 2006 by FastFred
Interestingly I have gotten quite a bit of feedback from my recent MRF article but no one has sent any negative feedback. I do support the MRF and its purpose. However I am concerned about the current governing structure and a lack of member representation as I stated in my previous article “Do You Blindly Trust the MRF?” ... Full Article>>

Do you blindly trust the MRF?
Written March 10, 2006 by FastFred
Would you trust Congress if 75% of the body was appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress while the people and interest groups elected the other 25%? Who would Congress serve: their electors or the voiceless citizens? How would you like it if your motorcycle rights organization was governed ... Full Article>>

Thirty Year Tradition of Free Motorcycle Parking Ends in Charleston
Written February 18, 2006 by FastFred
Struggling college students and employees got a rude awakening Thursday February 15, 2006 as a thirty year tradition came to a sudden end. Management employees of Republic Parking Services informed motorcyclists they could no longer park for free at the Wentworth Parking Garage owned by the city of Charleston. No advance warning or explanation of the change of policy was given at the time of notice. ... Full Article>>

NAACP and Myrtle Beach Agree to Discriminate Against All Bikers
Written February 15, 2006 by FastFred
The NAACP and Myrtle Beach have reached an agreement that allows for discrimination against all bikers. Apparently discrimination is fine with the NAACP if it is based upon the means of conveyance. This settlement provides black bikers no relief from poor treatment during black bike week but the city promises to treat white bikers just as badly. It seems to me that the NAACP has forgotten Doctor King's words of wisdom: "injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere." ... Full Article>>

Has McMaster Ended Charity Poker Runs?
Written February 11, 2006 by FastFred
South Carolina State Attorney General Henry McMaster’s ruling against poker runs maybe setting a trend. Recently Texas State Attorney Greg Abbott similarly ruled that a motorcycle poker run was illegal in Texas. These rulings prompt other important question such as will organizers of charity poker runs for groups like the Children’s Miracle Network and Cancer Charities potentially face criminal charges for organizing illegal lotteries? ... Full Article>>

Current Bills of Interest to South Carolina Bikers
Written February 11, 2006 by FastFred
S 1027, H 4631, and H 4641 Summary allows for motorcycles to legally continue with caution after a complete stop at traffic lights controlled traffic sensors that do not detect motorcycles. These bills have a total of 29 sponsors. ... Full Article>>

Impacting the Legislative Process
Written February 10, 2006 by FastFred
The tools of a grassroots activist include acts of civil-disobedience, personal visits, letters, phone calls, emails, pre-written postcards or form letters, and petitions. Each has a different purpose and level of effectiveness. These items are listed in their approximate order of importance and impact. ... Full Article>>

The Best Defense is a Strong Offense
Written February 3, 2006 by FastFred
South Carolina bikers unite. I suggest the time has come to be proactive rather than sitting back and being reactive to the actions of those inclined to legislate away our freedoms. There is a bill in our general assembly that addresses the problem of bikers stuck at red lights controlled by traffic sensors that do not detect motorcycles. The senate version of the bill is S 1027. ... Full Article>>

Inductive Loop Detectors and Motorcycles
Written January 29, 2006 by FastFred
Many motorcyclists are often frustrated by traffic light sensors that fail to detect their motorcycles. The inductive loops is a vehicle sensor that is simply a coil of wire embedded in the road surface. An electronic module in the traffic signal control cabinet sends a signal through the loop. When a mass of ferrous metal passes over the loop a shift in the electrical signal will occur. If the shift detected is great enough, the module tells the computer that a vehicle is present. ... Full Article>>

Just what is ABATE?
Written January 25, 2006 by Fast Fred
ABATE is a grassroots organization. Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana coined the word grassroots in 1912 during a speech at the Bull Moose Convention. Beveridge suggested his grassroots party was "... grown from the soil of the people's hard necessities." Grassroots advocacy is a distinctive approach to public participation in which everyday people help shape public policy ... Full Article>>

Motorcycle Rights should be Fun
Written January 16, 2006 by FastFred
Lobbying the statehouse is fun. Recently a scavenger hunt was conducted at the statehouse. New and old members seemed to enjoy playing the game or helping others play. The fun flowed beyond our members to the press covering opening day. Legislators and their staffs were involved ... Full Article>>

Current Bills of Interest to SC Bikers
Written January 16, 2006 by FastFred
Tired of waiting at Traffic Lights that don't Change?
So are we!
Help us change the law in South Carolina.

Will Charity Poker Runs Have to Fold?
Written January 4, 2006 by FastFred
The attorney generals of both Texas and South Carolina have ruled that poker runs are illegal. At least two charity events have been impacted. A popular boating poker run on the Beaufort River was cancelled as a direct result of the S. C. Attorney General's Office declaring it an illegal lottery. A Blue Knights' poker run in Texas was more recently negatively impacted by a similar ruling by that state's Attorney General. ... Full Article>>

What Makes ABATE Fun?
Written December 20, 2005 by FastFred
Older members like Lance Kidd gave me a few ideas for this month’s article. Lance wants to remind his brothers and sisters that ABATE is about brotherhood and fun first. ABATE was begun in 1971 by Easyrider magazine primarily to repeal the helmet laws passed during the late 60s. Easyriders and others realized a national ABATE would not work by the middle of the 80s. ABATE has changed in many states with some focusing more on charity or other aspects rather than biker rights. ... Full Article>>

Undefended Liberty will Cease to Exist
Written December 5, 2005 by FastFred
Anyone reading the paper or watching the news should be well aware that our civil liberties and under attack. Big brother is steadily growing while our elected officials steadily weaken our constitutional protections. ABATE is fighting to defend your rights but we need your help. ... Full Article>>

Current South Carolina Bills of Interest to Bikers
Written November 19, 2005 by FastFred
2260 bills have been introduced thus far in our current legislative session. Our legislators do not have time to read all of these bills; they rely on citizen lobbyists and paid lobbyists for information about the bills. If you do not contact your legislators then they will rely upon paid lobbyists to make up their minds. ... Full Article>>

The Southern Cross Conference of MROs
Written November 14, 2005 by FastFred
The southern states are again taking a stand against a strong overbearing centralized federal government. Sputnik summed it nicely when he said: "The concept of the conference was to get all federal legislators on the same page concerning issues of importance to the southern states. ..." Full Article>>

Organizing Effective Lobbying Teams
Taught at 2005 SCC by FastFred
Organizing effective lobbying teams requires adequate infrastructure and a lobbying plan. Teams form the infrastructure of your lobbying campaign. The infrastructure has two broad categories of district yet interdependent teams, management and functional teams that enable the effective planning, organization, and implementation of your campaign. ... Full Article>>

2005 Helmet Law Support Rally and Tax Protest
Written October 18, 2005 by Fastfred
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. ... Full Article>>

Together Everyone Achieves More
Written October 13, 2005 by FastFred
In response to grievances voiced by a couple of chapters concerning how business is conducted for ABATE of South Carolina, I present the following thoughts. I suggest it is foolish for any person regardless of position in our organization to believe that a divided organization is stronger than a united organization. ... Full Article>>

Deal's Gap and the Dragon Endangered
Written October 4, 2005 by FastFred
Have you had the pleasure of visiting Deal's Gap and riding the Dragon's Tail? This coveted stretch of US 129 in Smoky Mountains crosses from North Carolina to Tennessee state line and has 318 curves in 11 miles. The area surrounding Deal's Gap has become mecca to motorcyclists. ... Full Article>>

Electronic Communications Workshop
Taught at 2005 MOTM by FastFred
This workshop covers email lists and websites. It contains technical advice and tips to help motorcyclist rights organizations. ... Full Article >>

How to start an ABATE chapter
Written September 5, 2005 by FastFred
Interest groups like ABATE have three basic features: members join and affiliate voluntarily; members share at least one common characteristic; and they seek to advance in politics the collective interest that comes as a result of that characteristic. The common characteristic of ABATE members is motorcycling. ... Full Article>>

Who is buying and selling your freedom?
Written August 4, 2005 by FastFred
Many bikers in South Carolina take the right to ride lidless for granted. Thirty one years ago ABATE began a battle that took six years to win and amend the helmet law to allow adult freedom of choice. Now other groups are raising money and using lobbyists in an effort to remove adult freedom ... Full Article>>

Steal this Law
Written July 1, 2005 by FastFred
An elected official is stealing your tattoo law; Attorney General Henry McMaster has decided that the new law allowing tattoos in South Carolina is unconstitutional. Many of us worked hard for over a decade and especially during the last legislative session to legalize tattooing in South Carolina. ... Full Article>>

ABATE continues to grow and improve
Written May 20, 2005 by FastFred
ABATE of SC continues to grow and improve.  Please consider becoming more involved by running for an office in ABATE at the chapter, area, or state level.  Nominations are open for state officers and the elections will be help during September.  ... Full Article >>

2005 May Awareness Rally at the Capitol Steps
Written May 4, 2005 by FastFred
Hundreds South Carolina bikers who care about their rights rallied at the state capitol to increase motorcycle awareness on Sunday May 1st. Bikers carried signs promoting their views on various legislative issues. Families mourning loved ones lost to Right of Way violators and spoke at the close of our rally. ... Full Article>>

Successes of SC Bikers
Written April 23, 2005 by FastFred
We are nearly halfway done with this two-year legislative session. The good news is we have defeated or seriously wounded several of the bills we oppose including S1 the seat belt bill, S40 the traffic camera bill, and S79 the gang bill. ... Full Article>>

Letter Writing 101
Written March 25, 2005 by FastFred
First let us give thanks to all the legislative warriors that have been generating letters and lobbying at the state house; you are the folks that make ABATE of SC successful not the state coordinator or other leaders in the spotlight. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. ... Full Article>>

The Battle Continues
Written March 4, 2005 by FastFred
want to thank all the bikers who took time off work and out of their lives to successfully lobby on March 2 nd . I also wish to extend thanks to Michelle's Place for providing free beer and chili to our biker lobbyists; please thank Cathy and Michelle for their efforts and donations. ... Full Article>>

ABATE of SC has the attention of our legislators
Written February 23, 2005 by FastFred
According to all reports ABATE of SC has the attention of the legislators at our state house. Most legislators claim to know what ABATE is and what we stand for. I would suggest that while we have their attention we press harder for the rest of our legislative agenda ... Full Article>>

Welcome to 2005 and another Challenging Legislative Session!
Written January 20, 2005 by FastFred
Welcome to a new year and a new legislative session. Let us begin this year with giving thanks to all our members who have written letters in support of our legislative agenda. The legislative warriors who arrived early Tuesday January 11 th to lobby for our rights ... Full Article>>

We Oppose the Law not the Device
Written January 2005 as an Editorial for the SHJ
We do not oppose the devise or the use of the safety device called a seat belt. Our current seat belt bills in the house and senate do not mention one word about how good a seat belt is or how it would save your life, prevent an accident or injury, or reduce "social burden" or medical costs. ... Full Article>>

Are you having fun yet?
Written December 8, 2004 by FastFred
First I would like to personally thank all of you who lobbied the state house last year; your emails, letters, phone calls, and especially personal visits are why we were successful last year.  You proved that South Carolina's seven highest paid lobbyists could not defeat ABATE’s Legislative Warriors. ... Full Article>>

Legislative Warrior Day 2005
Written November 2004 by FastFred
The level of attendance at our recent Helmet Rally is encouraging; let's hope as many bikers make time to attend the opening of our state's legislative session. Tuesday January 11th the battle to defend our liberties will begin once again. ... Full Article>>

The Game Plan to Take Back Our Government
Written May 21, 2004 by FastFred
Our founding fathers created a fine constitutional republic but as Benjamin Franklin told us the constitution created "a republic, if you can keep it." Until we win back every state in the Union we will never be free. Our friends in Texas are working hard to win back their state and have made incredible strides toward accomplishing that goal; they have elected nine bikers to their state legislature. ... Full Article>>

The Price of Liberty: Is ABATE Ready to Pay the Price?
Written May 21, 2004 by FastFred
The strength of our brotherhood against totalitarian enactments lies within the activism of the membership. We pride ourselves in successfully working the legislature in person and never hiring a paid lobbyist. Our success rests upon our ability to maintain an educated membership ... Full Article>>

ABATE the Most Powerful Lobbyists in South Carolina
Written April 24, 2004 by FastFred
According to John Monk of the State paper we are now the most powerful lobbyists in South Carolina. He informed me via telephone that we have defeated or deadlocked the seven most powerful professional lobbyists in the statehouse. That said there is still much room for improvement ... Full Article>>

Bikers help to thwart vote on seat-belt bill
Written April 5, 2004 by John Monk
Biker power is helping keep the S.C. Senate in gridlock. In the ongoing Senate filibuster blocking a vote on a strong seat-belt law which might resume Tuesday the most influential behind-the-scenes people have turned out to be a group of long-haired, blue jeans-and-leather-clad motorcycle riders. ... Full Article>>

Happy 30th birthday ABATE of South Carolina
Written March 20, 2004 by FastFred
ABATE of SC is now thirty years old but still seems awkward as an adolescent; ABATE has yet to grow into its full potential. Those who have recently lobbied at the Statehouse know the impact we have on the legislators. Senators and their staff notice when dozens of bikers walk the halls together visiting and leaving letters with each and every senator. ... Full Article>>

March 17th Lobby Day Report
by FastFred et al
Legislative warriors of ABATE of South Carolina rode iron steeds to the Statehouse to do battle in defense of the civil liberties of all South Carolinians. Over a half dozen bikers took to the halls of the Gressette Building lobbying state senators before 9 am. By 9:30 over forty bikers joined the tour of senate offices. ... Full Article>>

Emergency Lobby Day Tuesday March 9, 2004 Report
by FastFred
Bikers and ABATE of SC members began arriving at the state capitol before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. We met and discussed the morning's strategy between the Gressette building and the Statehouse; bikers from various counties were represented ... Full Article>>

ABATE of SC State Coordinator February Report 2004-02-22
by FastFred
Since last month's newsletter you have all been busy at work lobbying for biker rights. Our Horry and Pee Dee chapters have been busy gaining new sponsors for our failure to yield right of way (ROW) bill 3653. ... Full Article>>

How to organize a biker friendly lobby day
Recruit early! Make a goal of putting together a group of 10-15 dedicated bikers who would be willing to meet with legislators about motorcycle rights and other liberty issues. Make an appointment to meet with legislators. ... Full Article>>

Lobbying 101: How to be a Biker Lobbyist
To make biker rights a reality, you must convince legislators that your position makes sense. Visiting a legislator is an essential tactic for furthering your campaign. Lobby visits can be made on the local, state, or national level, depending on the particular issue you are supporting. ... Full Article>>

ITS THE LAW, not the Device
Written 1998 by Jessie McDugald
Over the past thirty-plus years of our helmet law there has been a lot of confusion about exactly what we've been working to achieve. Popular slogans such as "Let those who ride, Decide," and "Freedom of Choice" have been misleading because they indicate that we haven't had a "choice" or that we haven't been "deciding" on helmet use, when in fact we've always had the choice ... Full Article>>

The History of South Carolina's Helmet Law and Biker Rights
Written 2001 by FastFred
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one to operate or ride upon a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears a protective helmet of a type approved by the department. ... Full Article>>

Unconcerned Biker Association
by Vinny
Last week Fast Fred told me about an organization that is expanding it's membership throughout the southeast United States. They are called the Unconcerned Bikers Association (UBA). The UBA is a group of riders who join MROs but don't actually do anything to help secure our lifestyle and preserve our freedoms. ... Full Article>>

A Modern Day Rip Van Winkle
By Parkay
As in a dream, Guy Williamson found himself standing inside a sterile white hospital room with absolutely no recollection as to how he had gotten there. A soft humming sound, punctuated by regular beeps and clicks, permeated the room, sounds of the machines that were attached via rubber, plastic, and metal umbilical cords to the slumbering figure in the lone bed. ... Full Article>>

The Five Steps to Liberty
Adapted from Sputnik's Five Steps to Freedom
Before you can have any input in the political process you must become a registered voter. Registering is easy and it is free. In order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. To be eligible to register in South Carolina you MUST: ... Full Article>>

The War Prayer
Written 1905 by Mark Twain
It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding ... Full Article>>

Editors Bio by FastFred
Riding is in my blood. I have spent most of my life on two wheels. I enjoy racking up miles on my motorcycles; I have a mild 2003 FLHT for travel and commuting to work and a modified 1989 FXR for fun. I generally average about 30,000 miles a year. I currently do not own a cage by choice. ... Full Article>>

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