Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — ALBION — With the weather once again warm and dry, the roads will soon be populated by motorcycles once again.
To bring awareness to that fact, the Orleans County Chapter of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) of New York held its annual Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Rally on Sunday.
About 150 to 200 bikers showed up to hear brief remarks from County Legislator Lynne Johnson and Representative Steve Hawley before taking a scenic ride through the county.
Johnson read a proclamation declaring May to be Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in Orleans County. In the proclamation ABATE was praised for dedicating itself to dedicating itself to rider education and freedom of the road. It also lauded the organization for discouraging the “misrepresentation” of motorcycles in the media.
Hawley kept his remarks short, and thanked ABATE for helping him do so.
“‘Look twice, save a life’ is pretty succinct,” he said of the bikers’ slogan to other drivers. Hawley added May’s warmer weather and sunshine definitely mean it is “time to ride.”
Fran Abrams, Orleans County ABATE’s Public Relations Director, said Sunday’s event drew from several Western New York areas, most prominently riders from Monroe and Genesee Counties’ ABATE chapters and the Buffalo/Erie chapter. She said the Buffalo/Erie chapter held its rally on Saturday.
“We help each other out,” she said.
The riders took a picturesque ride through Orleans County, starting south from the County Courthouse to Route 31A, then east to Clarendon and Route 237 North. From there, it was off to Route 104, a jaunt north to Route 18, a ride west toward County Line Road, and quick turn south back toward Route 104 East. Finally, the ride ended with a turn south on Route 63 where the motorcyclists made their way to the Medina VFW.
“It was a peaceful ride, especially up along Route 18,” Abrams said. “There wasn’t too much traffic.”
Abrams said the ride’s purpose was to simply be seen.
“We just want people to know we’re back on the roads, and with an event like this we try to make it a long ride because it’s such a beautiful day,” she added.
ABATE rally rides normally try to set routes through towns “so we’re seen” and the Sheriff’s Department helps out by blocking intersections periodically so riders do not get separated from the group, Abrams noted.
Bikers can come from all walks of life and ride any number of size or style of motorcycle, Abrams added.
“There’s something for everybody,” she said. When asked to describe why a biker rides at all, Abrams gave a multifaceted response.
“It really depends on who you talk to,” she explained. “For some it’s a cheaper form of transportation. For others it’s recreation, a hobby. And for others it’s just a weekend thing.”
However, she said anyone who rides with the wind in their face has friends who ride, too, and that comaraderie is a major plus.