The motorcycle riding season is in full stride with many motorcycle events to attend.
While biker runs are full of comradery, fundraising and entertainment; safety is priority for Blue Knights motorcycle club member Jeff Hunker.
“There is no such thing as a fender bender on a motorcycle,” Hunker said. “If you run into a car on a motorcycle it is a total different story.”
Hunker was the road captain for 17 years for police escorted rides. He said officer involvement makes the group trip safer especially when many motorcyclists take the winter off.
“The car and truck drivers are not used to sharing the road,” he said. “People are texting. It’s not just the radio anymore. You don’t know that little dot is doing 50 miles per hour. You have to be prepared for other people making mistakes. You have to be skilled to evade accidents. Go to the motorcycle foundation to learn how to ride. You always learn something new.”
Motorcycle deaths have recently declined according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
“The number of motorcyclists killed in crashes dropped to 5,172 in 2017, a 3 percent decrease, but motorcycle riders are still overrepresented in traffic fatalities. To keep everyone safe, we urge drivers and motorcyclists to share the road and be alert, and we're reminding motorcyclists to make themselves visible, to use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to always ride sober,” the NHTSA website stated.
Hunker said the police escorted events have many benefits to motorcycle enthusiasts.
“We have EMTs and paramedics,” he said. “The road is safer because it is organized. A police car is in the intersection. Don’t have to worry if they missed a turn.”
Hunker said when the Blue Knights started their ride 30 years ago there were about 10 participants. Now he said there are 1,500.
“Nobody got hurt or injured and you have a place to park,” he said. “A lot of motorcycle clubs follow Blue Knights lead now.”
Rick Anderson, member of Power Keg HOG Chapter, is the sponsorship chairman for the Brian Dulle Memorial Ride. This year marks the 9th annual police escorted event.
“Our ride is basically a non-stop ride,” he said. “A cruiser is in the front and there are bike officers. They break off and block intersections. You don’t have people try to cut into 400 bikes. The idea is to keep us together in one unit.”
Anderson said the memorial ride aids families with children that have cancer. The funds provide scholarships as well.
“Some money has gone as far as Texas and California,” he said. “When a family loses a family member like that bills are still due. We help them continue going until insurance.”
Rider Insurance sponsors police escorted rides throughout the season. For upcoming events view Rider Insurance’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/riderinsuranceco.com.
“Bikers are probably one of the biggest groups of people that help in crisis,” Anderson said. “People like to help with programs like that. After the ride (there are) festivities. They get a little more than just a ride.”