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MEETING NOTES: August 21, 2021 The Secret Bed & Breakfast, Leesburg, AL
In attendance:
James “Ghost” Johnson
Kris Cook
Rodney Green
Fred Johnson
Gia Johnson
Shane Coker
Ira “Cowboy” Jones
Brenda Matney
Justin Matney
Matthew Schroeder
Ron Braaksma
Blythe Joslin
Richard Comston
Katie Holm hosted the Zoom meeting. Andrew Holm attended remotely.
Kris passed out notes from the last meeting and a treasurer’s report. No exceptions were noted. Cowboy moved to approve, Rodney seconded, motion approved. The above documents are now on record.
This meeting was recorded on a Zoom call for later access by link.
Kris was presented with lifetime membership payments from Fred and Gia, and from Cowboy. Thank you, new life members!
Shane reminded us that we need to carry tools, a tire repair kit, and a way to air up a tire, on the bike at all times. He helped a guy on the way to Sturgis who had been on the side of the road with a flat for hours, with hundreds of riders going past, and no one stopping to help. And it was in an area with no cell service. Shane recommends a Best Rest Expedition air pump. It has a lifetime guarantee. He also recommends the Dyna Plug kit from Cycle Gear. It has CO2 cartridges. Also recommended: Ride-on balance and seal, and a Best Rest EZ air gauge. Make sure you are equipped to help yourself in the case of tire problems on the road.
Matt reminded us that the Meeting of the Minds is a big deal and is SOON. Kris to ask Donna to repost the link to the sign up sheet.
Fred reported on his progress toward getting a Share the Road module into ever driver’s ed classroom. He’s been talking to Cat Terwilliger, of North Carolina. They have a pre-recorded class that the Driver’s Ed teacher can present, complete with 13 pop quizzes embedded. North Carolina has educated over 3000 young drivers in the last year alone.
Fred is looking to see what is actually in Alabama’s statutes regarding Drivers’ Education, and also to find out what is actually taught in our Drivers Ed classes about sharing the road with motorcycles.
North Carolina also funds rider training with a ¼ of 1% sales tax on motorcycles and parts. This pays instructors.
We need to revisit what happens to state funding for motorcycle safety in Alabama. Does it exist? If so, where does it go, how much is it, and what is it being used for? Does Alabama receive any motorcycle safety grants?
Katie suggested we will have more traction on our Share the Road Driver’s Ed initiative if we get the bicycle riders and equestrians in on what we’re trying to do. Several members concurred and said that they knew someone they could contact. Fred is going to get with Cat to track down the actual curriculum that North Carolina uses. Ron generously offered us all the help ABATE of Iowa can give.
Blythe gave the Webmaster’s report. Hits on our website are way down, and we haven’t had any merchandise sales in the last few weeks. We need more Social Media activity to drive traffic to the website.
Cowboy suggested we have more large poker runs. We discussed having something in Central Alabama, advertising it heavily in motorcycle-oriented publications and on social media, which will help us get out name out to more riders.
Fred proposed a spring poker run in March. Shane reminded us that it’s cold in March and suggested something further south. Maybe we could check with Montgomery Harley-Davidson. Matt said we could check with Chris Best. By the next meeting, we will find a location. Mobile might be even better, since we have lots of members there who are experienced in event organization.
Kris organizing a “ride for the new guy” within the next two or three weeks. She will create a Facebook Event for it.
Ron cautioned us of the risk of burnout, and also not to do things differently from other states just to be different. If it is working in another state, chances are that it might be wise to copy it.
Matt read the MRF News, including the Right to Repair.
July 15, 2021 – Right to Repair
This month, as part of a massive roll out of over 70 Executive Orders, President Biden included a directive to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding “right to repair.” President Biden’s order encourages the FTC to “exercise statutory rulemaking authority, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, in areas such as: unfair anti-competitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items.”
The right to repair is a concept that allows consumers the power to repair products themselves or choose a third-party provider to make repairs, instead of going through the manufacturer. Consumer advocates and a variety of industries have long battled over the idea of right to repair. Industries traditionally opposed to right to repair include: the computer industry, appliance manufacturers, farm equipment companies and automakers.
This action by the Biden Administration comes on the heels of a bipartisan FTC report in May entitled “Nixing the Fix” that concluded “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.” In support of the order the White House stated that companies’ restrictions on “the distribution of parts, diagnostics, and repair tools” makes repairs more expensive and time-consuming for the end user.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) believes that the ability of individuals and third-party vendors to replace and repair products is an important part of the motorcycle ecosystem. A vibrant after-market industry is critical to sustaining motorcycling in this country. The right to repair has been, and remains, a key part of the MRF legislative agenda. We applaud the efforts of the Biden Administration to protect consumers rights.
To read more about President Biden’s Executive Orders: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/09/fact-sheet-executive-order-on-promoting-competition-in-the-american-economy/
To read about the Federal Trade Commission report on right to repair: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/nixing-fix-ftc-report-congress-repair-restrictions/nixing_the_fix_report_final_5521_630pm-508_002.pdf
We discussed E-15:
E15 Year-Round Sales Rule Nixed by U.S. Appeal Court
Farm and biofuel groups say they will appeal this decision.
July 06, 2021
NEW YORK—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last week struck down a Trump-era rule that allowed for year-round sales of E15, saying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority by lifting summertime restrictions on the sale of E15, reports Reuters.
In 2019, the EPA extended a waiver permitting 15% ethanol fuel blend to be sold all year. According to the court, the EPA exceeded its authority in that rule when it said E15 qualified for an emissions waiver for E10, fuel blends “containing” 10% ethanol. The court said that statutory language was clearly intended for 10% ethanol gasoline, reports ArgusMedia.com.
“By its plain terms, then, [the exemption] applies to E10, leaving no room for EPA to exempt E15,” the court wrote.
The decision came in a lawsuit filed by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, an oil refining trade group. Farm and biofuel groups said they intend to appeal and will work with the Biden Administration to ensure the continuity of E15 sales through the 2021 summer season and beyond. The ruling is unlikely to go into effect immediately because of a court practice to offer time for appeals.
The decision represents a victory for U.S. refiners, which argued that the E15 exemption was unlawful and could cut into gasoline sales. If the ruling is sustained, it would undermine a long-term strategy from biofuel products to grow sales by expanding the availability of higher-ethanol fuel blends. The EPA is reviewing the court ruling.
Kris to set up the Dixie ABATE booth at the Leather & Lace Boo-B Bike Show October 30 at Montgomery Harley Davidson. Our next meeting is at The Bike Shop, 8001 Parkway Drive, Leeds, AL, at 2 PM on Saturday, October 23. This is a departure from our usual third Saturday schedule for meetings, and is due to an event conflict.

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