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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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3/24/2013 8:43:00 PM
Motorcycle group raises issues on rights, safety
Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier
Bike rider Handi Barnett is a member of both ABATE and a sober riders motorcycle organization. When not riding her motorcycle, she works as a florist.
Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier
Bike rider Handi Barnett is a member of both ABATE and a sober riders motorcycle organization. When not riding her motorcycle, she works as a florist.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Officers and members of the American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education gather together with their bikes during their membership drive Saturday afternoon outside the Gurley Street Sports Pub in Prescott.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Officers and members of the American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education gather together with their bikes during their membership drive Saturday afternoon outside the Gurley Street Sports Pub in Prescott.
Patrick Whitehurst
The Daily Courier

Harley-Davidsons and other motorcycles made their presence known Saturday as they rumbled through the tri-city area, many part of a membership drive for the American Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education's (ABATE) Yavapai Chapter.

The mission of the non-profit motorcycle organization is to educate riders and the general public in motorcycle safety and education. The organization, with chapters all over the state and across the nation, works for motorcycle rights through local and national legislative efforts.

Organizers hoped the Saturday membership drive would bring awareness to ABATE and their mission. The drive featured a fashion show, live music, a bike show and more, said Yavapai Chapter Board Chair Deborah Butitta. The organization is open to all motorcycle riders.

"We're a legislative group for motorcycle rights in the state of Arizona and we have a local chapter in Yavapai County," Butitta said. "This chapter has been in existence since 1990."

Butitta herself, a local real estate professional, has been involved in the group since then.

Besides their Prescott membership drive, ABATE recently held a "Day at the Dome" event at the state capital building in Phoenix, she added.

"Every state in the country has a motorcycle rights organization," Butitta said. "We work at state-level legislation and we also go back and work on federal legislation. We're not about helmets. We have language in a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) bill, we're about safety and education, getting lighted signs out during Arizona Bike Week, as an example, to prevent accidents from happening."

The group also worked on an anti-profiling bill in the state senate. Though that bill eventually died, Butitta said it will likely return.

Anyone with two to three wheels is encouraged to get involved in the group, said JD Fillingin, a retired firefighter and Sergeant at Arms for ABATE's Yavapai County chapter.

"ABATE is a very diverse group. We have independent riders, we have people that are patch holders, we have people that are working in the community, and retirees," Fillingin said. "People that ride motorcycles are reflective of the members of the community. You have people that are in commercial real estate, retired firefighters, and all walks of life. When you see someone riding a motorcycle, they're not just a biker wearing some leather, they're a part of the community."

Bike rider Handi Barnett is a member of both ABATE and a sober riders motorcycle organization. When not riding her motorcycle, she works as a florist.

"ABATE is an amazing group of people from all walks of life that are striving to ride in freedom in this beautiful country we have. I am a sober rider. I don't drink or do drugs," Barnett said. "The organization is doing a lot legislatively to keep us riding with our patches or without our patches. It doesn't matter. We want to make sure people are educated, that they look for us and that we are bright enough to see."

Jerome-based musician Moondog, of Dog of the Moon, entertained the riders at the Gurley Street Sports Pub as part of the March 23 membership drive.

"These guys are great. They have a lot of enthusiasm and know how to party," Moondog said.

This year's fashion models included Nichole Rex, also known as Nikki Lee, and first-time model Holly Zinkl. Both wore biker clothing provided by X-Hale - a Prescott Valley-based business.

ABATE will host "Run to the Hills 3" on Saturday, June 1, at the Gold King Mine in Jerome. The 21-and-over event will offer a bike show, treasure hunt, entertainment and more. The $20 per person event begins at 10 a.m.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: @ all the haters

" If our society modeled itself after the code most bikers live by, the world would be a better place."

that just goes to say how washed up you bikers are. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA that was a funny one. you mean it would be better because everyone would have cool a$$less chaps to ride around on. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA bikers still make me laugh.


Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Article comment by: all the haters

Call us dirtbags, cry about our mufflers, cry about how we crowd the centerline, cry about glocks on their hips etc. What you whiners don't realize, bikers are the type of people you want as your neighbors. I know of few groups of people that are as real as bikers. How many public events can you people go to and leave your personal things unattended in a tent and not have to worry about someone ramsacking through your stuff or someone stealing it. If your nieghbor is a biker, not only are they less likely to break in to your house, you have a genuine person looking out for your home and personal belongings. Not all I'm sure, but growing up around bikers and their lifestyle they are unfairly sterotyped by hypocrites and haters like most posted here. Bikers I've known are more than willing to lend a hand with just about anything to just about anyone that deserves it. You guys incounter bikers and have preconceived ideas and issues and haven't even met the people you're hating. Bikers are less judgemental than most and understand the importance in individual freedoms. They believe in everyone's right to pursue what ever one wants as long as it doesn't physically harm anyone else. If our society modeled itself after the code most bikers live by, the world would be a better place. I know most of you will disagree and find something to whine about because your all so caught up in your day to day BS and closed off mentally you can't even begin to understand. All of you live in your bubbles, your little safety zones with all your hate and what you think are entitlements. You think your "above" us and look down your noses and talk smack about us when we are out of range. Most of you are jealous you've never had the ... to break out of all your pre-determined, planned out, self righteous, cookie cutter pathetic lives you lash out at us because were doing what you couldn't mount the courage to do, or tried and didn't have what it takes. When your hating on people it usually means your trying to bring them down
to your level. Misery loves company!!
Be less judgemental and think with your heart instead of your hateful mind. Cuz if noisy pipes and the way we look is our worst offense, you're gonna be ok,
REALLY. Worry about important things like the child molester moving in down the street, . or our economy, or our local and fed gov. help the homeless or hungry. Seems like everyone is more concerned about cusswords and middle fingers than real problems. This system everyone is so caught up in is finally bogging down from all the unnecessary laws, rules, regs, etc. Rather than taking control of our own, we pass laws to bandaid the problem or place the burden on everybody else. If you people had your way we would all look the same, talk the same, think the same.
Pick a real cause to get behind and complain all you want. Pick something that has meaning. Cuz what you're complaining about is so pety.
Think beyond the end of your nose, reach higher and think bigger. We will all be better off.


Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: to Dan Panhead

"you will never have the moneys to influance the fat cats in d.c.thay hate bikers too."

The people who hate bikers hate the noise. The scows and facial hair are not big issues.

Clean up your act, comply with the noise laws, and the hatred will go away.

Until then, you will be regarded as dirtbags.


Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: Whats Reasonable

"Tell it like it is" If the centerline is the only thing you can see to guide your two ton beast down the road, I would suggest a visit to the optometrist or MVD to turn in your license. Quite simple.

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: @ J.D. Yavapai ABATE something

You say: 'People make many assumptions about bikers and if you get to know us you will likely be surprised at what you learn. It�s not about loud pipes, it�s not about the type of bike you ride, black leather or drinking. It�s about education of both the rider and the public.'

Run that by me again. About two weeks ago, I was entertaining family members down from MN for a week's visit. Took them to Whiskey Row on a nice sunny weekend day. 'Hogging' quite a few of the parking spots were motorcycles. Not that it's a determent to cars, nor illegal. What was disturbing, were the 'educators' of which you speak so highly. Many men old and young, were gathered on the sidewalks in front of the bars.

Again, their right, just as it is mine. However, I wasn't hoisting a Glock or something on my hip, as many of these 'nice guys' were. So tell me once again, how these 'educators', in their black leathers, pistols, etc., were educating the general public?


Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: dan panhead

to mr. j.d.abate,so is abate a lobby'es group or what.if it is you will never have the moneys to influance the fat cats in d.c.thay hate bikers too.

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: Hypo Critz

So this motorcycle club is OK with everyone?? I thought all the comments I read in the past few weeks indicated that ALL motorcycle clubs were really just gangs. Why are you not all pushing for a criminal investigation of this "gang?" If some police officers are members of this "club" would it still be OK with everyone or would you want to force them to resign?

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: jacob orderst

You bikers will never be taken seriously until you have legal mufflers.

...


Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: Hell Hawk

Rode with bikers in the 1970's and when there are about 20-30 rolling down the avenue, it's loud, but, I lived in a noisy city and no one noticed. Prescott is a small community, but on the highways, again, no one would notice. It does get loud when you live in a small community. Can't please everyone.

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: JD Yavapai ABATE Sgt. At Arms

Come to an ABATE meeting and ride with us to learn about what we do and how we do it. ABATE is a great bunch of people who come from all walks of life and ride all brands and kinds of bikes. People make many assumptions about bikers and if you get to know us you will likely be surprised at what you learn. It’s not about loud pipes, it’s not about the type of bike you ride, black leather or drinking. It’s about education of both the rider and the public. It is about awareness, safety and freedom. It’s about looking out for the interests of motorcyclist everywhere. Come to a meeting and find out for yourself…the coffee will be on me.

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: Mr Maverick

This site should be called the ‘whining corner’. People have complained the speed limits are too slow, too fast, whatever. Now we have a whiner about the noise a motorcycle makes. FYI the loudest noise from a vehicle I have heard was from a car. It was a Cobra on Montezuma and Goodwin. The people who ride motorcycles are spending a lot of money here in Prescott. The Oakland police department petitioned the State of California to make their motorcycles louder thus safer. They were granted that request. But not one post about people driving impaired due to talking on their cell phones.

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: tell it like it is

i don't have a problem with bikes or biker's. i do disagree with the notion that riding a bike close to centerline on a highway is the safest way to ride. what about all us old folks that hug the centerline driving right at you.. (headon) we have to drive there because the centerline strip is the only thing we can see. drive safe.

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: Scotty G.

Nothing says motorcycle safety than watching a crew of bikers leave a bar and ride of without helmets to ride to another bar. I'm sure they are just drinking iced tea.

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: quiet motorcyclist

The only reason I can think of for Prescott PD to ignore illegally loud exhausts is that many on the force ride illegally loud bikes. More than just the Iron Brotherhood Prescott PD delegation.

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: tiny ears

wow,what haters.always someone wantting to get some dam law passed.this is not the land of the free anymore.a well tuned car,motorcycle puts out less junk in the air than one with all the crap on it ever here of acid rain?when the cops start given out tickets to drivers that have kids in the car with the music up so loud you can hear it 2 blocks away ill put my mufflers back on.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Fed Up with Noise Pollution

The AZ driver handbook says both loud mufflers & bypasses are illegal. Prescott also (apparently) has a noise ordinance that is "enforced" . Really? Most bikers here have very loud exhaust and the police do nothing about it. I suppose the city wants their money, so forget the people who live here. Do we need the attorney general to come down on this, or what?

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Noise Laws Not Enforced Here.

My compliments to the riders with legal mufflers.

My disgust at Prescott PD for not enforcing the noise laws. Good Grief! are you all deaf?


Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: I Support Our Local Police

I had an incident with a motorcycle traveling at 41 mph ahead of me in the fast lane on 69. I pulled closer to about a car length between us to let him know that a line of cars was forming behind me ~ to move over. He checked me out in his rear view mirror and slowed down even more.

Because he was irritating and I don't like to drive behind someone who is purposely impeding traffic I moved to the right lane. Simply by going the speed limit, I ended up ahead of him shortly. I then moved to the left lane.

He apparently took offense to this, gunned his motorcycle, went around me on the right (accelerating and passing) got in front of me and slowed down again. I stayed behind him, but a huge truck behind me passed both of us on the right along with several cars...

I wish our police were around more often to deal with these road rage, traffic impeding types both on motorcycles and in autos/trucks. We seem to be infested with them here.

It would be great to hear our officers get on their speakers and tell these fools to move over to the slow lane when they impede traffic.


Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: disgusted with all the complainers

@tired of it all. So cars don't go faster than the speed limit. Nor do they weave in and out of traffic. Some are so noisey due to engine/muffler problems or obnoxious music blarring out of oversize speakers. At least motorcycle drivers don't text and ride or talk on cell phones while riding. And no I'm not a motorcycle rider, just a responsible car driver that DOES watch out for motorcycles, even the ones that do break the law.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Kat Dreamweaver

The reasons bikers ride near the center of the lane is to stay out of the oil slick that cars leave on the roadways!! It is very slick and dangerous! When it starts to rain the roads are even more dangerous because of the buildup of the oil and dust that mix together!! They are not riding near the center lane to just irritate you! It's for their safety and the cars around them!! Do some investigating before you start to complain! It's even in the DMV motorcycle manual for a rider to stay near the center of the lane!! Get over it!!!

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: to: Motorcycle Rider

There are a lot of miserable people in this area. Ignore them. Jealousy is the name of their game. Just ingore the trolls.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Ann Ryder

I bet if you had friends or family out there riding motorcycles you’d think differently there “tired of it all”.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: H.D. Ryder

Article comment by: H.D. Ryder

To: ‘tired of it all’, ‘Alan Whitney’, and ‘Harlee Snarlee.

It’s because of people like you that motorcyclists do what they do. Driving nearer to the center makes us more visible to people operating cars. In case you hadn’t noticed, drivers exceeding the speed limit come from all walks of life, operating just about any mode of transportation, anywhere in this country you go. Motorcyclists are in a minority there. You can find show-boaters, and people in a hurry operating recklessly in four wheel vehicles as well as two, but the biggest reason for motorcyclists trying to get around traffic is to position themselves away from fools in cars putting on make-up, talking on the phone, texting, or blasting music, and generally not paying attention to their driving. If that fool runs into another car it’s bad enough, but when they run into a motorcycle it’s generally disastrous. The road out there is for all of us, and you had better start “seeing”.
Headlights have been a part of the ignition on with motorcycles for many years now, and motorists still do not see motorcycles. I’m out on the road everyday and I’ve NOT noticed a great increase in high beam usage, but I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone who did. The same goes with loud pipes.
I’ve witnessed several motorcycle fatalities and scores of accidents where the motorist simply said “I didn’t see the motorcycle!”
Over the years, motorcyclists have developed good and bad habits, and done all sorts of things in order to be noticed on the road. You can complain all day long about us, but YOU, the uncaring, distracted motorist have created all of this. You’ve killed enough of us out there.


Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: bunch of whiners

What a bunch of whiners. "The high beams are too bright". " the pipes cause hearing damage". Really people? All the problems our city and state are facing and you're more concerned with lights and mufflers? Quit starring at the lights and stick your damn fingers in your ears.
What's next, the color of our bikes?


Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Motorcycle Rider

Really people?! ABATE is doing something positive for our communities and trying to help educate (people) like you and all you can do is complain about loud exhaust pipes!! You can't open your eyes until you open your mind!! Get over yourselves!


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