Blessing of the Bikes by Rushing Winds Motorcycle Ministry

March 27, 2013

Red KnightsSouthern Maryland Riders and Advocates Host Safety RallyMotorcycle Safety is a Serious Issue

On Sunday, April 14, 2013 (rain date April 28) riders, rider educators, insurance companies, rider clubs, organizations and other advocates will host a Motorcycle Safety Rally at Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department starting at 11 a.m. for a Blessing of the Bikes by Rushing Winds Motorcycle Ministry with Gordon “Preacher” Bacon, followed by events, outreach, and interactive booths from 11 am to 3 pm.

The event is FREE, open to all and will provide an opportunity for riders to receive information on licensing, pre-ride mechanical checks, and learn about advanced riding skills. Additionally, a practice course will be open to licensed riders over 18 years of age wearing proper safety equipment. The day will include a more challenging course for advanced riders. Grill Sergeant BBQ and Kettle Corn will be on site to purchase some delicious foods. Information from insurance groups, dealers, accessory shops, advocacy groups, door prizes and on-site poker run round out the day. Wallet cards, MVA Motorcycle Manuals, state maps, state and local calendar of events, along with Maryland Scenic Byways materials will be available. Door prizes, Challenge prizes and Poker Hand prizes include gift cards from Red Robin, Lowes, LongHorn, and other stores and restaurants, and items such as T-shirts, wrist-wallets, and motorcycle jackets.

The rally is a combined effort of riders, educators, and advocates. Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s SMARTrainer, Motorcycle Simulator, along with the mobile classroom will be on site and free to try. Three (3) courses will available for those with limited experience to those with more experience to practice and obtain techniques from experience riders and educators. Ride Like a Pro Maryland will show riders more advanced skills, including single-lift for dropped bikes. There will be a separate session for any participate to learn and practice single lift for a dropped bike. There will be a bike provided for this single lift activity. Challenge course will be set up and prizes will be awarded.

A short Blessing of the Bikes will begin at 11 a.m. followed by a patriotic song.

gold wing motorcycle clubBut why a safety rally? Motorcycle safety is an increasing concern in Maryland. Ridership has increased dramatically over the last four years and the numbers of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving motorcyclists has increased as well. Excessive speed on the part of the motorcycle rider is a significant factor in fatal motorcycle crashes. Motor vehicle drivers also contribute to a number of fatal motorcycle crashes each year – caused when drivers are inattentive, violate the motorcyclists’ right of way or are impaired. Rider inexperience and impaired riding by motorcyclists of all classifications are also contributing factors.
Extreme speed has been noted in a number of crashes involving sport bikes. Aggressive driving by a minority of sport bike riders continues to be a problem for state and local law enforcement agencies in Maryland.

Tips for Riders
o Make yourself visible. Choose riding gear that increases your visibility in traffic in addition to providing protection in the event of a crash. Use bright colors and retro-reflective strips or decals, especially at night.
o Ride so you are seen. There is no one safe place to ride. Use lane positioning to be seen. Ride with your headlight on and consider using a modulating headlight.
o Give yourself space and time to react. Allow space for emergency braking or for avoiding a crash. Make your lane moves gradually.
o Signal your intentions. Signal before changing lanes. Avoid weaving between lanes. Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
o Be courteous and respect other road users. Being courteous, non-aggressive and cooperative can go a long way in reducing crashes.
Tips for Drivers
o Respect the motorcyclist. Motorcycles are vehicles with the same privileges as any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
o Look for motorcycles. Motorcycles are smaller profile vehicles that are harder to see and whose speeds are more difficult to estimate. Look for motorcycles at intersections, especially before making a left turn. Check your blind spots frequently and before changing lanes. Always signal your intentions.
o Allow plenty of space. Traffic, weather and road conditions require the motorcyclists to react and maneuver differently. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to maneuver and enough time for you to adjust.
o Be courteous and respectful. Being courteous, non-aggressive and cooperative can go a long way in reducing crashes.

Additional Information:
Helmet LawsMaryland Laws
All applicants of a motorcycle license endorsement under 18 years of age and all new drivers regardless of age must have satisfactorily completed an approved driver education course of not less than 30 hours classroom instruction and six (6) hours behind-the-wheel driver training. Anyone under the age of 18 must also complete either the Basic Rider Course or the Alternate Basic Rider Course before applying for a motorcycle license.

No person shall operate or ride a motorcycle unless they are wearing protective headgear, which complies with the standards established by the Motor Vehicle Administration. All helmets sold in the United States for use by motorcyclists since 1973 must comply with the Federal Vehicle Safety Standard 218 (FMVSS 218). This is the minimum standard for helmets required to be worn by motorcycle operators and passengers in Maryland.

Individuals may not operate or ride on a motorcycle unless they are wearing an approved eye-protective device. Motorcycle operators and passengers must wear an eye-protective device that is in compliance with the Federal Food and Drug Administration regulations on impact resistance, 21 CFR Section 801.410(d)(2). Eye-protective devices include face shields, goggles, and spectacles. Most eyewear sold over the counter complies with the FDA’s impact resistance regulations. Motorcycle operators and passengers must wear clear (non-tinted) eye-protective devices when motor vehicles are required to display or use their lights.

Motorcycles may be fitted with modulating headlamps, provided that they meet OEM standards and are equipped with an automatic nighttime shutoff switch.

Highway Maintenance

The mission at the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is to efficiently provide mobility for its customers through a safe, well-maintained and attractive highway system that enhances Maryland’s communities, economy and environment. SHA maintains more than 16,000 lane miles of Interstate, primary and secondary roads and more than 2,500 bridges. Safety is SHA’s number one priority.

SHA work hard to provide their customers with a world class highway system. Thousands of dedicated SHA employees work each and every day to make sure roadways are safe for all those that travel them, including motorcyclists. Feedback and information from riders about the condition of the roadways is encouraged. If you find something on your ride that creates an unsafe condition, please let SHA know about it. In St. Mary’s County call 301-475-8035, Charles County call 301-934-8031 and in Calvert County call 410-535-1748.

Rally Sponsors:

Gold Wing Road Riders Association

The Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) is the world’s largest single-marquee social organization for owners and riders of Honda Gold Wing/Valkyrie motorcycles — and some would say, the world’s largest family. Dedicated to our motto, Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge, GWRRA members enjoy the freedom of belonging to a not-for-profit, non-religious and non-political organization.

GWRRA members are men and women from all walks of life with varied interests and backgrounds. We have riders in their teens, riders in their 90’s and every age in between! Many ride solo; many ride with their children or grandchildren! Some ride Wings that are new; some ride Wings that are “classics.” Some belong for the technical information we share; some just for the enjoyment of riding with friends.

To be a member of GWRRA, there are only two requirements: own a Honda Gold Wing/Valkyrie and keep your membership fees current. We have individual or family memberships available. For non Gold Wing/Valkyrie owners there is now a classification of our membership titled Associate, which is also available as individual or family.

There are many benefits to GWRRA membership. Our members enjoy special camaraderie and fellowship and the comfort of belonging to the largest family of Gold Wing/Valkyrie owners. We like to share our pleasure in the freedom of riding motorcycles with others like ourselves. We strive for improvement by attending GWRRA safety workshops. We share technical expertise, news and tips about riding, maintenance and the best touring routes in the world.

Consistently honored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the GWRRA Rider Education Program works diligently to teach you how to ride better, safer and smarter: perhaps, even how to save your life! You can learn how to safely pull a trailer, how to cope with adverse riding conditions, how to keep your Gold Wing in top-notch shape and how your passenger can be a better Co-Rider. Your participation entitles you to the best insurance rates available for your Gold Wing and its accessories. Find us on the web at

Red Knights Motorcycle Club MD 4

The Mission of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club MD 4

To promote motorcycle safety.
To project a positive image of motorcycling.
To enjoy the fraternity of FireFighters.
To engage exclusively in social, charitable and educational activities directed at increasing the general understanding of, enjoyment of, competency, sportsmanship and participation in the sport of Motorcycling.

Hollywood VFDThe Red Knights International Motorcycle Inc. Club® is an organization composed exclusively of Firefighters with International Affiliation dedicated to promoting motorcycle safety and fellowship among firefighters who ride motorcycles. Local chapters sponsor various activities throughout the riding season, as well as the non-riding season, such as “Poker Runs,” dinner rides, tour rides, family and combined chapter picnics, as well as participating in other motorcycle club activities. Any moneys raised by local chapters usually sees a percentage donated to a hospital burn unit to aid children injured by fire, or aid fellow firefighters who may have suffered the misfortune of being a victim of a fire.

Membership is open to ALL firefighters, ACTIVE or RETIRED, who have access to a motorcycle and hold a current valid motorcycle license. Spouses, members’ children, boy and/or girlfriends and brothers/sisters are also welcome for membership as Social Members. Find us on the web at:

Ride Like a Pro Maryland
Quite simply, the “Ride like a Pro” techniques and training guidelines that Motor Officer and Instructor Jerry Palladino developed for civilian riders really works. In fact, this program works so well that every rider should take this course. Size and strength have no bearing on your ability to learn and begin to master the techniques. Everyone will see significant improvements in their skills and confidence in just 4 to 5 hours of instruction. Guaranteed!
Consider this: Motor Officers are among the top riders in the nation.

Now you can receive Motor Officer Style Training too. Never fear dropping your bike again! Never fear making a tight U turn! And never drag your feet like a child again! Your size and strength has no bearing on your ability to learn the techniques used to train Top Motor Officers. In as little as 4 hours with our Motor Officer Style Training, every rider can begin to ride safer and enjoy an improved sense of control and self confidence. Guaranteed!

Got skills? Don’t let another season pass without continuing your motorcycle education and learning – To Ride Like A Pro!
Visit our website at

ABATE of Maryland
ABATE of Maryland, Inc., is a grass-roots lobbying organization which provides a unified, organized and coherent voice for Maryland motorcyclists. We have established and continue to maintain a solid rapport with local, state and federal legislators and regulatory agencies.

ABATE of Maryland, Inc., formulates plans and strategies for developing and introducing motorcycle legislation which strengthens rights of riders. ABATE of Maryland, Inc., lobbies in Annapolis every Monday night when the House and Senate are in session. Members also attend special meetings and special sessions when necessary.

The strength of the organization comes from the strength and commitment of the members. Members is open to all people interested in furthering the aims and purposes of ABATE of Maryland, Inc. Find ABATE of Maryland, Inc., on the web at

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