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Thousands of Bikers Rally at California Capitol

Monday, January 13, 2014
Bikers rally for their rights at California state capitol.
Bikers rallied for their rights at California's state capitol Saturday, addressing issues from police profiling to the harassment of riders in packs of three or more to the right to wear their colors.
It was a scene reminiscent of the cult classic “The Warriors.” You had Hells Angels standing peaceably next to Boozefighters, Henchmen next to Miscreants, with plenty of veteran clubs mixed in between. In a show of inter-club solidarity, packs of riders came from around California Saturday to denounce the quickly diminishing list of personal freedoms, like the right to wear a patch, to speak up against police profiling and harassment of motorcyclists and to lobby for the preservation of California biker culture. One pack 3.5-miles-long rode four-abreast from Oakland to the California Capitol Building in Sacramento to take part in the Motorcycle Rider Unification Rally as thousands of riders from all walks of life showed up to defend the lifestyle.

“This is our life, this is our culture, this is important to us. So, why are we here actually, why are we here today? We are here today because we decided to get off the couch and show our politicians we’re not only bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts, we are the united voice of our rights. We are no longer just a group of people that are a bunch of individuals, like huge human rights organizations, we have the same amount of power that they do with the one thing that makes us over the top – everyone rides a motorcycle. Every nationality, race, lifestyle, no matter what background, all ride motorcycles,” declared the first speaker, a representative of the United Motorcycle Clubs of Alameda County.

The unification rally was officially sponsored by the Biker Rights Organization, California ABATE, the Modified Motorcycle Association and the regional Confederations of Clubs in California according to The Aging Rebel blog. Its agenda included
Motorcycle Rider Unification Rally in Sacramento.
Bikers came from near and far to lobby for the preservation of biker culture and lifestyle on the grounds of the capitol Saturday during the Motorcycle Rider Unification Rally in Sacramento.
California Rider Unification Rally
“motorcycle rider profiling, motorcycle modification laws, harassment of bikers riding in groups of three or more, exhaust pipe noise reduction, reflectors on sportbikes and license plate placement on sportbikes.”

With signs heralding the Fourth Amendment waving above the crowd, other topics addressed included keeping lane-splitting legal, protecting the right to wear patches, and to lobby against lawmakers regulating biker culture into non-existence.

One of the points of contention is a national campaign by the NHTSA for Rider Conspicuity (Reflective Gear). Biker culture has long been identified by black leather vests and cuts that are earned as badges of honor. Clubs identities and loyalties are declared by the three patches they wear on their back. It is a source of fierce pride and bikers will protect the right to wear those patches to the death. The NHTSA “wants motorcyclists to be aware of how conspicuity issues affect their safety and prepare accordingly. We would like states to reconsider regulations that prohibit proven and safe conspicuity-enhancing modifications to lighting systems.” And though there is no known current legislation pending that extends those regulations to riders, there is a fear that underwritings might be snuck into a larger legislative bill that would mandate all riders to wear fluorescent gear, denying bikers the right to personal choice.

Legislation often starts in California before spreading across the US. The motorcycle noise and emission standards established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are the most stringent in the country, and CARB has levied heavy fines for non-compliance this past year, from Vance & Hines to Piaggio. Though these standards are aimed at manufacturers and companies on the surface, they quickly matriculate to the individual.

Saturday’s Motorcycle Rider Unification Rally demonstrated the power bikers can have when they temporarily set aside their differences and work together for a common cause. With preserving the biker culture and lifestyle as their battle cry, one speaker opined “We are the last Americans.”
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RickeyD   February 6, 2014 04:43 PM
"We are the last Americans." Really? What I see is a hoard of belligerent, rude, arrogant, entitled bullies clad in leather acting like an 8th grade girl clamoring for attention. You bully your way through our streets, our neighborhoods and communities while operating illegally equipped, illegally modified motorcycles emitting two-to-three times the legal noise levels as mandated by the EPA. You assault the innocent citizenry with this harmful and illegal noise via an aftermarket exhaust industry that has duped you out of your money and provided you with equipment designed (many labeled) for off-road, closed course and racing environments ONLY! Yet you disobey the law, common decency, the rights of others, you intimidate with your thuggery dress. Where have the real men, the "real" Americans gone? Men who respect others, care for their neighbors, respect and uphold the law, conduct themselves as gentlemen, who are gracious and kind? Any man can yield to his base nature and be a loud mouthed bully and thug. Shame on every one of you loud thug bikers. Loud Motorcycles Suck!!!
wildpig   January 21, 2014 09:13 AM
buncha a dam mo-ped riders, make that bmw mo-ped riders.
JadeW   January 17, 2014 04:08 PM
I'm Aussie. Can someone be kind enough to explain how these laws are being enacted. I thought Cali was a progressive state? In Queensland Australia it is the Republicans who are throwing people in solitary confinement on remand on suspicion of association with bikers. People have to prove their innocent, not the state prove their guilt. Given that is happening here I am very interested to learn more about how laws targeting bikers are managing to be passed in Cali. Cheers.
woodco100   January 15, 2014 08:02 PM
I try never to buy anything shipped out of California or sold by a company based out of there. I still have that freedom!
jim564949   January 15, 2014 09:19 AM
piglet you are the problem that make these asses in the capital think they can do all this crap
Piglet2010   January 14, 2014 08:11 PM
Freedom? The bikers are wrong on the noise and emissions issues, since producing excessive noise or pollutants are an imposition on the freedom of other people, who have no choice in the matter. But the proposed laws against wearing colors and gathering in groups are police state tactics that are non-Constitutional and un-American.
Piglet2010   January 14, 2014 08:07 PM
Fluorescent gear is only more visible in daylight - bright yellow or orange are better at night. There are also reflective materials that appear black in daylight - it would be possible to use these as borders on patches, etc.
Piglet2010   January 14, 2014 08:05 PM
wildpig slamming BMW is an institution on MotoUSA.
Robertodick   January 14, 2014 02:13 PM
I manifest solidarity in the fight for the rights of motorcyclists brothers who participated in this glorious act that fight for our rights to be what we are for loving this life on two wheels, my warm embrace. Brazil.
Madfoxx   January 14, 2014 08:58 AM
wildpig, you are a case in point. If you nothing nice to say, STFU!
wildpig   January 14, 2014 03:08 AM
I heard the bmw moto cyclists were there passing out free geritol and tracks saying-- why can't we all just get along, and we demand more helmet laws.