The public doesn’t always hold bikers in the highest regard. Whether you are a sport bike rider with a helmet to match your bike, a long range cruiser with more luggage on your bike than the average plane, or a weekend cruiser with facial hair and leather, we are likely to receive disapproving looks wherever we go. We are immediately suspected of being bad citizens and bad characters just because we choose to ride on two wheels rather than four. We get the evil eye from counter clerks, and elderly ladies scurry out of our way like we might bite.
While people’s response to bikers can be funny at times, in general it is just annoying. We are being stereotyped, and just like most stereotypes, they are often dead wrong.
As a group, we bikers are some of the most caring and generous people I know. We are quick to extend a helping hand, or stop on the side of the road to help out a fellow biker. Summers are filled with one charity ride after another, for everything from a sick child to an elderly person with cancer. Memorial rides, charity rides, toy rides and poker runs are all regularly attended by bikers. Despite all our charity, though, we still get that evil eye.
The Harley-Davidson family of customers, dealers, employees and suppliers recently took charity to a whole new level. They presented a contribution of $3.3 million dollars to the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. The 2010 contribution marks the 30th year Harley-Davidson has supported MDA, and brings its cumulative fundraising to more than $76 million.
Harley-Davidson fundraising activities for the Muscular Dystrophy Association included pledge rides, dealer fundraisers, motorcycle raffles, Black and Blue Ball fundraising dinners and commemorative pin sales. Funds raised support MDA summer camps, life-saving research and comprehensive medical care for children and adults with neuromuscular disease. These efforts have again placed the company among the top corporate donors to MDA this year.
Harley-Davidson has been a national sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association since 1980. This longstanding partnership started with the simple notion of “Bikers Ride for MD” and has resulted in millions of dollars being raised to help MDA and the children and adults it supports.
Harley-Davidson is far from the only motorcycle manufacturer to engage in significant charity activity, and generosity is certainly not limited to just those that ride Harleys.
The next time you see a biker on the road give him some space. He may be on a charity ride for someone’s child. The next time you see a biker in the store – instead of giving him the evil eye – consider giving him a hug. His charity work could save the life of someone you love.
Thanks for reading, and ride safe!
Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901
My book, “Would You Ride Your Motorcycle Naked?” is available FREE to New York and Pennsylvania bikers. Follow the link to order your copy today!