Brian Magness

Brian Magness
Email Me!

Between the Lines August 2017 issue

Return Home

“What Do I Talk About?”

In the article for the April issue, the question was asked; “So once we have prospective members interested how do we hook them?” The response was; “We need to provide them with as much information as we can so they can make an informed decision on whether to join or not.” The first thing to tell them, if they have never heard of A.B.A.T.E., is what the acronym stands for. Then, explain our mission. “An alliance of Bikers dedicated to the protection of the individual rights of motorcyclists through political change, charitable works and public education.” Now, the ice has been broken. From there you can pick any topic you want to cover.

When we talk about ‘political change’ people may just get the impression we mean that we go out and vote. Let them know that we have a political action committee (BikePAC) that is informed on any issue presented to the State Legislature regarding us as motorcyclists. We develop our stance on the issue, be it for or against, and we take action on it. By action we mean that our Legislative Coordinators present the stance to the districts and chapters so we can contact our respective State Representatives or State Senators and inform them how their constituents would like their stance to be. Explain to people that we have our own lobbyist who is at the Capitol just about every day of the week talking with our legislators on our issues. He has also done an outstanding job building relationships that will last and will benefit us for quite some time.

Be excited to tell people about all we have accomplished as an organization. Everyone knows about the helmet modification and us securing the right of choice but tell them about what they might not know. Things like what we have done in the past; Motorcycle Safety Program, C.A.T. Fund, No Handlebar Height restrictions, Unrestricted Parking, 25% Reduction on EZPass Tolls, Increased Penalties for careless driving, Auxiliary Lighting, and legislation enacted Redefining the Definition of a motorcycle. Talk about our most recent accomplishments like “Ride on Red” and “Daniel’s Law” which places more substantial consequences on distracted drivers who cause harm. Mention current things we have issue with such as Exhaust Modification legislature, adding motorcycles to the PA Lemon Law and Group Riding ordinances. Bring up the most important issue affecting us right now which is Motorcyclist Profiling by Law Enforcement. This is just as big as the helmet modification, in my eyes. You need to stay informed on our issues and a great way to do this is to read the Lobbyist and State Legislative Coordinators articles in this publication.

The second point, of our Mission, is Charitable Works. Be proud to brag to people about what your Chapter has done for your Community. Tell about what your upcoming plans are. Talk about all the money you’ve raised for different charities. You will, about 99% of the time, see a smile on their faces or hear a “Wow” from their mouths. Tell people how you feel when you get home after every event and you look in the mirror and say, “I was just a part of that.” People will take notice and hopefully will want to get a few of those feelings for themselves. When you can hear a disabled Veteran say, “That really helps me personally. Now I can tip my barber. It’ll make me feel like a man again.” Just sayin’……

Always remember to tell people about our third point, Public Education. A.B.A.T.E. has developed one of the best programs for teaching Motorcycle Awareness and it keeps getting better and better. The Operation Save a Life (OSAL) program takes their presentation to high schools, retirement communities and social centers throughout the State. They teach teenagers, of driving age, Senior citizens (who maybe shouldn’t be driving) and the general public. Keep yourself informed on what OSAL is up to by reading their article as well. Along the lines of education, I am sure people are unaware that rider training courses are available and FREE to PA motorcyclists. Educate people on what businesses, in your area, are your Gold and Platinum supporters. Let them know how much your Chapter and A.B.A.T.E., in general, are respected in your community.

As you can see, there is plenty to talk about and it is sometimes hard to stop. If you stay informed and up to date, you should have no problems giving the prospective Member the information they need. Make sure you have a Membership packet with you because you probably just signed them up.

Thanks for your interest in the most respected Grassroots organization in the State. Peace and Ride Safe.