Motorcyclists ask drivers to look twice

Abate of Wisconsin takes to roadside with signs to alert drivers

More motorcyclists are getting out on the roads with the warmer weather, and regional Abate of Wisconsin members took to the side of Highway 16 Saturday with signs urging drivers to be more aware.

In Abate of Wisconsin member Bill Roberge’s 40 years of motorcycling, he’s seen a lot.

“People not sharing the road, riding in your lane, just about everything you can imagine. The same thing I’m sure you’ve experienced in a car, but on a motorcycle, the consequences are a lot more severe,” he said. “What would be a fender bender for you could very easily be deadly for us.”

Roberge said intersections are one of the most dangerous places on the road for motorcyclists, and drivers should pay extra attention there, especially when turning left.

“Because the motorcycle is small, they don’t even see it, and they turn right in front of the bike,” he said. “That’s one of the biggest problems we have.”

“Please look twice and save a life,” regional Abate of Wisconsin representative Dean Bartosh said. “We’re out there on the roads, and we’re somebody’s dad or sister or aunt or cousin, and we have families we’d like to get home to also.”

“I’m a grandpa and I’ve got my granddaughters out here today,” said member Chuck Nick. “When I get on my motorcycle and go for a ride, I’d like to get home safely. I look for other motorists, and I would appreciate if other motorists would look for me.”

Nick’s granddaughter Kate Ramsay said she wants to help remind drivers that bikers like her grandparents are out on the road.

“Someday I want to ride with my Poppa,” she said.

Nick said Kate isn’t allowed to ride with him until her feet touch the foot pegs.

“Every day when I go to my Nan and Poppa’s, I always measure, and I always get closer and closer so I can ride,” Kate said.

“Someday they will ride with me,” Nick said. “It’s just a great joy that they would share a similar interest to one that I have.”

And when that day comes, Abate of Wisconsin wants to make sure they’ll be safe.

“Look for us, look a little extra, especially this time of year,” Roberge said. “You’re not used to seeing us, and that’s what we’re here for.”

Bartosh said Abate of Wisconsin also holds rider safety classes and goes to area driving schools to teach teenagers about motorcycle awareness.