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MEETING NOTES: April 16, 2022, Rattlesnake Saloon, Tuscumbia, Alabama
In attendance:
Kris Cook
Matthew Schroeder
Shane Coker
Richard Comston
Rodney Green
Justin Matney
Andrew Holm
Katie Holm
Blythe Joslin
Amanda Nash
Brian Nash
Luke Nash
Ken Palmer
Paul Hebda
Leigh Copeland
Kris passed out meeting notes from the previous meeting, along with a treasurer’s report. Katie moved to approve these documents, and Andrew seconded. Approved.
Matt gave the legislative report, in Freddy’s absence: We were involved with four bills this past legislative session:
HB24, the distracted driving bill, ran out of time and failed again this year. It would have tightened rules around using a hand-held device while driving. We will support it again next year. Reps we know that are for it: Chip Brown (R-District 105, Fairhope), Phillip Pettis (R-District 1, Killen), Gil Isbell (R-District 28, Gadsden). Kris needs to work on Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham). She has been unresponsive so far, and voted against it when a roll call was taken.
HB37 passed. This bill was introduced by Rep. Charlotte Meadows in response to a constituent who rides an Arcimoto autocycle with handlebar controls because of being incapacitated in the lower body. She wanted people who drive this type of autocycle, which has a roll cage, to be able to be helmet-free. We emailed her and asked her to consider a few changes to/unintended consequences of her bill, but she was unresponsive to any communication after the initial conversation when we were in Montgomery. This touched on a complex issue regarding Alabama’s helmet law, and its passage sure didn’t make things any better.
HB294 failed. This bill was a modification to Alabama’s helmet law to let those over 21 with an adequate health insurance policy, to ride free of helmet requirements. This was introduced by Jamie Kiel (R-District 18, Russellville). He didn’t contact us and did not respond to our emails. We will keep trying to connect with him. If we back this effort, we have the support of the ALCOC (Alabama Council of Clubs).
SB65 failed. This bill was a requirement for helmets to be equipped with reflective features for high visibility, introduced by Senator Clyde Chambliss: This was referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, where it died.
Next year we might want to try a resurrection of some form of 2021’s HB125, introduced by Chris Pringle, which would have required completion of a BRC or BRCII course completion, in addition to passing a written test, for a new rider’s M endorsement.
We continue to keep an eye on E-15 fuel blends. While this blend is authorized for sale from June until mid-September, it is mostly sold in the Midwest. It is not likely to be offered here. If you are traveling, though, be very careful about what you are pumping into your bike.
We welcomed new members Amanda, Brian, and Luke Nash, and Ken Palmer, and informed them about the MRF.
Blythe, our webmaster, reported on her efforts toward getting renewal request letters automated.
Matt announced the MOTM (Meeting of the Minds conference, the MRF’s biggest annual conference). It is September 22 through 24 this year in Des Moines, IA. He also discussed Bikers Inside the Beltway.
Matt reminded everyone that the 2022 Dixie ABATE Court House Challenge is underway. There is a $10.00 entry fee. There are 67 counties in Alabama and 71 county court houses. For example, Pell City has a courthouse, but Ashville is the county seat. It’s like a game of moto tag – you take a picture of your bike in front of the courthouse and post it on the Dixie ABATE group Facebook page. Keep up with how many you have posted, and we will tally the totals at the end of November. At our December meeting, our winner will win $200.00, or $300.00 if a life member.
We are closely allied with the Riders4Riders chapter in Mobile. They are kicking off their 2022 Passport Challenge. We donated $100 to have a page in their “passport”, since we are too far away to be a stop.
We also support the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, but on a personal basis, not as an organization.
Andrew encourages us to post legislative information on our social media accounts. It gets people engaged. We need to redouble our efforts to keep eyes on our social media pages. This will drive an increase in membership and participation.
Our next meeting is at the River Bend Sports Bar and Grill, 108 Hurd Shoals Road, Adger, AL, June 18, at 2 PM. They serve pizza and beer and allow swimming right off their dock