Thank you to Claude "Boda" Chavis, charter lifetime member of CBA/ABATE for writing this history and allowing it to be shared on this website. This is a series as published in The Carolina Rider weekly e-magazine. Please visit www.thecarolinarider.com for more information and for a free subscription.
In the early 70's the director of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Joan Claybrook, decided that motorcycles should be banned from the highways because of the inherent danger of their use. Accordingly, she developed a "10 year" plan to remove them from the road. The following is an excerpt from a letter she sent to the AMA concerning Rider Education.
"We believe that the training can and should be presented in such a way that it does not entice people to ride motorcycles who would not ride if the courses were not available. Motorcycle driver training will have little or no effect on total accidents, injuries, and deaths, if such courses substantially increase the number of novice riders. For these reasons we do not believe that motorcycle rider education courses should be required or part of the curriculum in high schools." Easyrider 1979.
NHTSA, with the help of the American Medical Association and the Insurance Institute, began a very well planned lobbying effort to pass extremely restrictive regulations concerning motorcycles. Ms. Claybrook and her minions knew that banning motorcycles outright would not be very popular, but that increased regulations and the enforcement of them would cause potential riders to give up motorcycles as too much hassle. Soon the use of motorcycles would dwindle till they could be banned completely.
Unlike today, where we can enjoy our sport or lifestyle without major interference from law enforcement, then, it was a different matter. If you were a "biker", almost every ride carried the real potential of being stopped and having your license and registration checked.
Seat height, mufflers, handlebar heights, motor numbers checked and recorded, rearview mirrors, license tag mounting, headlight on, number of foot pegs, and the MANDATORY helmet were regulations which were used to interrupt and delay an otherwise peaceful ride.
A small group of rough looking motorcycle riders began meeting in city parks in Charlotte, NC in 1970 united by their concerns about the eroding of their freedom by the State and Federal bureaucracies. This core group officially founded the Concerned Bikers Association in the spring of led by a diverse group of bikers including Slim Baucom, Dale Luckey, the McLeod brothers, Bob Monaco, Rick Nail, Bob Trimnal and several others.
Shortly after the election of officers, Claude “Boda” Chavis drafted a Constitution for the Concerned Bikers Association of North Carolina. It was based on the constitution of a military fraternity that he had joined in college – the Society of the Scabbard and Blade. This short original constitution was eventually expanded under the guidance of Viki O’Keefe.
This group later expanded into various chapters with Charlotte as the original founding or Mother Chapter of CBA. Twice a year, the Charlotte Chapter hosts the 'Original Swap Meet and Bike Show", which is the oldest and largest on the East Coast, now held at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte, NC. The Spring Swap Meet is always on the 4th weekend in March and the Fall Swap Meet is always on the 2nd weekend of November.
The CBA also host the annual Toys for Tots Ride in support of the United States Marine Corps, which is one of the largest toy rides in the area. It is held on the 1st Sunday of December. The CBA also participates in many other charity rides, benefits, and community activities, along with steady activity in Raleigh, lobbying for fair and just rights for Motorcyclists. We also sponsor and teach The Motorcycle Safety Awareness program to North Carolina Drivers Education students.
At about the same time that the CBA was organizing, Lou Kimzey and Keith Ball of Easyrider Magazine, a biker lifestyle monthly out of California began to publish lists of these laws and the news related to them in their magazine.
NOTE: The Concerned Bikers Association actually predates ABATE. Several years after its founding, the CBA aligned with ABATE and became the Concerned Bikers Association/ABATE of North Carolina.
EASYRIDERS magazine editor, Lou Kimzey, made a plea in issue #3, October 1971, for bikers to come together to fight impending restrictions by joining a new national organization called the National Custom Cycle Organization, but because of a conflict with the acronym the name was changed in February 1972 to A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE). EASYRIDERS began granting state charters around 1974, and Keith Ball was the original national coordinator (Keith was for many years the editor of EASYRIDERS.)
A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments
was the original acronym and it stood for just what it says.
We define Totalitarian Enactments as, laws established without the consent or consideration of the people. The Boston Tea Party was prompted by a totalitarian act perpetrated upon the colonists by King George. The Rally cry against King George, Taxation without representation, still serves as a shining example of the philosophical foundation of our organization.
CBA continues to pursue that time-honored tradition... “don't make laws about us, without seeking our involvement.” To that end, we remain actively involved in our government. An important part of being involved is having an established message, and organized activities to help share that message with our lawmakers. Individual CBA chapters have organized Constituent Teams that conduct lobbying trips to Raleigh. These teams speak with their local elected officials and share our concerns and desires. Much of CBA’s success can be attributed to the activities of these teams, and to the efforts of individual members maintaining awareness of the issues and contacting their legislators.
After a couple of years, the folks at EASYRIDER realized that a national organization was next to impossible to form while publishing a new magazine and they gave the rights to the name to anyone in individual states who wanted to carry on at a state level.
In 1973, a nationwide mandatory helmet law was proposed in Washington and defeated because it was viewed as a States right issue. The AMA was instrumental in that fight.
NHTSA then convinced the feds to withhold federal highway funds from states that didn't pass mandatory helmet laws. 47 states passed these laws and the fight for freedom was on.
Claude “Boda” Chavis, back in the 70's parked next to Lake Norman, NC
The past 44 years have been a hard fought battle but there has been time for a lot of partying and riding. Not to tell any big secrets, along the way I got a nickname – Boda. Before that I was Claude W. Chavis, Jr., aka Bear, Biggy, Heavy, and other nicknames that aren’t so nice and some that are known only to my family and oldest friends.
In the early 1970’s bikers were a much different breed than today’s riders. Several of the original core members of the CBA were members of local and national motorcycle clubs with all that entails. The Hells Angels and Outlaws were the most notorious of the local clubs that included the Brothers, the Diablos, the Ghost Riders, the Good, Bad & Ugly, the Pagans, the Southern Gentlemen, and the Tar Heel Stompers.
This was also an era of change. National clubs like the Hells Angels and Outlaws began “patching over” smaller clubs like the Tar Heel Stompers. In most clubs, an individual must start as a “hang around” who associates with club members. After a while, he may gain a “sponsor” to guide him through the customs and traditions of the club as a “prospect”. After serving an indefinite time as a “prospect”, the prospective member is put up for a vote of the membership or “patch holders” to determine his suitability. If he is not “black-balled”, after an initiation, he swears allegiance to the club. In a “patching over”, a club is invited to give up their club patch and take on the patch of another club – usually without the need to prospect. Sometimes this is a mutual decision of the two clubs’ membership. At other times, it’s forced with threats of violence.
Some members of these clubs were involved in drugs and prostitution through a variety of businesses, mostly along Wilkinson Boulevard in Charlotte. Disputes over these businesses lead to a 10-year long war between the Outlaws and Hell’s Angels.
Recognizing that the CBA was working for all bikers, it was decided that membership in the CBA would be open to all who followed the simple rules of the group. CBA members often acted as liaisons to their clubs. Later, several members resigned from their motorcycle clubs to focus on repealing the helmet laws.
In 1973, the fledgling Concerned Bikers Association (CBA) elected its first officers. They included George McLeod (in photo to left,) as President, Bob Trimnal and Rick Nail as Vice-Presidents, Cliff and Ardyth Wayne as Secretaries, and Beau Vernon as Treasurer. Rick Nail was elected President the second year and Bob Trimnal and Gary Earnhardt were vice presidents. Rick went on to serve as State President for 20 years. Meetings were held in members’ homes or in local parks if the weather was good.
At first, the CBA had few ideas about how to approach repealing the helmet laws of North Carolina. None of the members were really familiar with the legislative process. After much discussion, it was decided to hire a lawyer, Donald Tepper from Pineville, NC, to start working for the CBA in January, 1974. He explained some of the complexities involved. Most members felt that his retainer fee of $1500.00 was justified even though raising the money was difficult.
Those early efforts were a far cry from what the CBA does now. Over the years, the CBA’s strategies have evolved and now individual CBA/ABATE chapters have organized Constituent Teams that conduct lobbying trips to Raleigh. These teams speak with their local elected officials and share our concerns and desires. Much of our success can be attributed to the activities of these teams, and to the efforts of individual members maintaining awareness of the issues and contacting their legislators.
Localized groups of a single, large motorcycle club are often called chapters or charters, and the first chapter established for a club is referred to as the mother chapter. This model was followed by the CBA with Charlotte becoming the Mother Chapter once the organization acquired a second chapter in Raleigh, NC on September 8, 1975.
In October, 1975, CBA members Magoo and Boda were selected to try to challenge the helmet law in the Supreme Court. In order to do that, they had to get ticketed for riding without a helmet. It turned out to be surprisingly hard to get a ticket. After riding around Charlotte and Winston-Salem for several hours, they manage to get the tickets by pulling up behind police cruisers and bumping them with the front tires of their motorcycles.
In court, they argued that sound attenuation from wearing helmets represents impairment in the ability of a rider to perceive or discriminate warning or other useful sounds that will decrease the risk of being involved in an accident; and that helmets can increase perspiration in warm weather and lead to sweat effecting vision. Another argument was that motorcycle helmets have no statistically significant effect on the probability of fatality; and helmets increase the severity of neck injuries. Although helmets reduce the severity of head injuries, an individual is faced with a tradeoff between head and neck injuries in deciding whether or not to wear helmets. Unfortunately for the CBA, they won their cases and were not given convictions that would have allowed an appeal to a higher court.
Over the years, other members tried to contest the law. In March, 1976, Wild Man Lovelace tried a new approach. This time, Wild Man had his helmet strapped to his leg rather than on his head. When he went to court, the prosecutor voided the ticket. He said the Assistant District Attorneys were too busy to fool with helmet law tickets.
This was the routine for some time in the 1970s, if you were willing to go to court, you could ride without a helmet. Later, the various District Attorneys informed CBA members that if they persisted in challenging the law, they would be prosecuted as habitual offenders.
In October 1975, North Carolina’s Senator Jesse Helms introduced Senate Bill 2293 to amend section 402 of Title 23 of Federal Code of Regulations relating to highway safety. The bill, known as "the Helms’ Angels Act,” specifically opposed federal requirements for mandatory helmet laws and other anti-motorcycle legislation. House Bill 3869 was also introduced to prevent the Department of Transportation from blackmailing states into helmet laws by threating to withhold highway funds.
In 1967, the Federal government passed legislation that required all states to enact specific laws in order to qualify for certain federal safety programs and highway construction funds. In part it required the mandatory wearing of approved headgear for motorcyclists. Most of the 50 states were eager to comply in order to be eligible for the dole. Connecticut passed its helmet law in 1967. The federal blackmail worked, and by the 1975, almost all but three states had universal motorcycle helmet laws.
California was the most notable exception. A state-wide coalition of bikers lead by Easyriders magazine and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club withstood the pressure until January 1985. When they implemented their first helmet law, it only applied to persons under 16 years of age.
In October 1975, North Carolina’s Senator Jesse Helms introduced Senate Bill 2293 to amend section 402 of Title 23 of Federal Code of Regulations relating to highway safety. The bill, known as the “Helms’ Angels Act,” specifically opposed federal requirements for mandatory helmet laws and other anti-motorcycle legislation. A similar House Bill 3869 was also introduced to prevent the Department of Transportation from blackmailing states into helmet laws by threating to withhold highway funds.
Finally, in 1976, states successfully lobbied Congress to stop the Department of Transportation from assessing financial penalties on states without helmet laws. This did not require states to repeal their existing helmet laws. Having just passed helmet laws many legislatures were reluctant to revisit the issue despite public opinion.
To generate support for repeal in North Carolina, the CBA kicked out with a flurry of legislative visits and helmet protest runs. The CBA also intensified its fund-raising activities to pay for legal fees and lobbyist expenses. One of the most effective fund-raisers was the Bike Shows. Starting in 1974, the CBA held a Spring Bike Show.
Lining up for 1st Protest Run 1
Rick and Dale at 1st Protest Run 1
The 1st protest run was announced at the CBA’s 3rd Annual Spring Bike Show. At that time the shows were held at the American Legion Post on Donald Ross Road in Charlotte. The protest was billed as the First Bicentennial Protest Run against mandatory helmet laws. Held on April 25, 1976, the run started on Golf Acres Drive in Charlotte and crossed Mecklenburg County under a heavy police escort.
The decision to ride in protest was not an inconsequential decision. Bikers in the South were second-class citizens. Most Harley riders were viewed by the public, and more importantly, by the authorities as dangerous, dirty, drug-dealing hippies. It was not uncommon for bikers to be pulled over and grilled by the police at the drop of a hat.
At the time, I was living off Nations Ford Road in Charlotte. One day after a long week working as a welder, I decided to ride to the mountains for the weekend. So early Saturday morning, I loaded up my motorcycle and got ready to head west. As was normal in those days, I was wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans, boots, and a vest. I was also wearing a Ruger 22-caliber match pistol for target shooting and varmints.
I made it less than a quarter of a mile before I was pulled over by the police. Within a couple of minutes almost a dozen police cruisers were parked along the road. For the next hour, I and my bike were carefully checked for contraband and drugs. The pistol was taken from me and I was placed in handcuffs for “the protection of the officers.” The officers were trying to be intimidating, until they discovered my military ID and my military security clearance level. At that point, they became quite apologetic. In a refrain that I heard many times over the years, they told me I matched the description of a murderer they were looking for.
Charlotte Protest Run 1978
That was a common pattern in the early days. For me it culminated one Tuesday afternoon when I came home from work. My landlord told me that some insurance salesmen had been by several time looking for me. I didn’t think anything about it at the time. The next day when I got home, the landlord told me that those salesmen had come back. Then a car pulled into the driveway and the landlord said “there they are now.”
The salesmen turned out to be Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. They asked to look at my motorcycle; they thought it might be stolen. I was a little upset and let them know it. They just ignored me and checked the serial numbers and tags on the motorcycle and then left. Over the next week, I saw them observing me several times. The kicker came when they went into my work and questioned my boss and the other employees.
I had enough at that point and decided to bring things to a head. I rode downtown to the FBI office and asked to meet the agent in charge. When I identified myself, he opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out a file about 1 ½ inches thick. It seems they were keeping tabs on people and had retrieved my records, including the background check for my security clearance.
At the time, I was an Army officer and had just completed the Engineering Officers Basic Course and a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare school. The agent then told me that they had been checking me out and wanted to know if I would be interested in working as an undercover informant. I told him no thanks, that I didn’t know anybody that was doing anything he would be interested in. As we sometimes said then “I đi đi maued (got lost!)”
The Annual Bike Shows and Swap Meets have been an important part of the Concerned Bikers Association life almost from the beginning. Each year the Charlotte chapter of the CBA holds two 2-day bike shows & swap meets, one in the spring and one in the fall, at the Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte. The events include Tattoo contest and Wet T-shirt contests. Other chapters and districts of the CBA also sponsor shows as a means of raising funds and promoting membership. All of the events serve as a sort of “family reunion” for the members and their friends.
The events have changed greatly over the years. The first bike shows were very much local affairs during which used parts were sold or traded by local bikers. Held in small buildings, the shows were more about meeting other bikers and less about business. Hot dogs and soft drinks were the main stays at first.
In March of 1976, the CBA’s Annual Spring Bike Show was moved to the American Legion Post on Donald Ross Road in Charlotte. The tattoo and wet t-shirt contests featured local members and friends at first. Over the years, they became much more organized and attracted contestants from around the country.
As mentioned earlier in this series, the 1st Bicentennial Protest Run against mandatory helmet laws was staged on April 25, 1976. The riders started from Golf Acres drive and rode across the county under police escort.
In May of 1976, the CBA held a well publicize statewide Helmet Protest and Blood Run in Raleigh. Several hundred people were in attendance. This was followed by a much larger protest in September of 1976 that went from the State Fairgrounds to the Capitol grounds. In this well publicized Protest, thousands of bikers flooded Raleigh.
Wanda Hummell Washington DC Labor Day 1975
1976 Raleigh Protest Run
The protest runs had the benefit of making the CBA’s position and membership known to the public and the politicians. Political candidates such as Jim Rowe, Craig Lawing, and Alan Jaffre began speaking at CBA meeting, seeking support. CBA member Chuck Major met with Jesse Helms about the “Helms Angels” Bill to remove the Department of Transportation’s ability to blackmail states into passing mandatory helmet laws.
During this same time, the CBA in Charlotte began lobbying for a Motorcycle Awareness Week. Following their success, other chapters got proclamations from their cities. After a couple of years, the week as expanded to become Motorcycle Awareness Month and a proclamation made by the Governor of the state.
Over the following decade, CBA chapters and districts began sponsoring their own Bike Shows and Protest Runs. The biker calendar became quite crowded in North Carolina. On January 29, 1978, the 1st Easyrider/CBA Swap Meet was held at the Metrolina Fairgrounds.
In another milestone, a new motorcycle drivers’ license law became effective in January 1978. By this time, the CBA was active on the national front. Members were participating in meeting and protests across the nation. We started working with people like Wanda Hummel of ABATE of Indiana.
CBA members at the MRF Meeting of The Minds
In much the same way Rick Nail guided the CBA in its early days, Wanda Hummel- Schultz, almost single handedly pulled together bikers in Indiana. Working constantly, she was the catalyst which made possible the organization they have today. As a woman, she faced bikers who didn't respect women, and who argued among themselves and settled things outside. She had death threats from the very people who she was trying to help.
With a gift for gab, she faced ridicule and cynicism. Their membership didn't grow because bikers refused to join an organization led by a woman. With just over 350 members in the entire state, she engineered the repeal of their mandatory helmet law in 1976.
Columbia, SC Protest Run
The CBA also worked with and supported South Carolina in their efforts to repeal the mandatory helmet laws. With a lot of grassroots support, they were able to repeal the mandatory helmet law for anyone over 21 effective June 16th, 1980.
After the repeal, South Carolina reported an increase in motorcycle deaths in 1980. Shortly after the state issued the statistics, they had to retract the report because the figures were incorrect.
• In North Carolina, motorcycle accidents account for 7.1 percent of all traffic fatalities.
• In South Carolina, motorcycle accidents account for 7.7 percent of all traffic fatalities.
• In North Carolina, there are 11.9 fatalities of every 10,000 registered motorcycles.
• In South Carolina, there are 15.9 fatalities of every 10,000 registered motorcycles.
Approximately three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved collisions with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile, according to the Hurt Report. It would seem that concentration on accident prevention and “Look twice, save a life” campaigns would be of great benefit. It should also be pointed out that South Carolina has a longer “riding season” than North Carolina and that many riders in South Carolina wear helmets voluntarily.
Rick Nail & Viki Wilson on RIGHT at National Coalition of Motorcyclists 1989
CBA Bike Show at Metrolina
By 1983, the CBA had grown to twelve chapters. Over the years, chapters would come and go. Chapters continue to sponsor both chapter and charity events in their communities. Initially only the Charlotte Mother Chapter published a newsletter but over the years; especially since the growth of the Internet, other chapters have published their own newsletters. The Charlotte Chapter has also been responsible for publishing a CBA Calendar. I worked on both the Newsletters and Calendars at times, but Viki (Cope) Prevo, was the editor and the heart of the CBA from 1982 through 1990. She is now retired as Mrs. Victoria Wilson of Ciudad Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico – in case you need a contact in Old Mexico.
The CBA attorney William “Piggy” Potter was able to get a bill introduced in the State Legislature to enact a voluntary helmet law for North Carolina in place of the mandatory helmet law in 1983. Unfortunately, the bill died in committee due to lack of legislative support, due in part to the inaccurate accident statistics reported by South Carolina.
By 1983, the Concerned Bikers Association had grown to 12 chapters. The CBA was growing rapidly and many changes were made in the Constitution to accommodate the growth. Membership dues were raised to 15 dollars for a new member and 12 dollars for renewals. Couples membership dues were to 20 dollars for a new couple and 16 dollars for renewals.
Legal and legislative actions continued throughout the early 1980s with the goal of introducing helmet law repeal in North Carolina. Then in 1985, CBA attorney William “Piggy” Potter informed the CBA that we did not have enough support in the legislature to succeed that year. In fact, North Carolina passed a mandatory seatbelt law that reflected the legislature’s siding with the insurance and medical lobbyists. It was decided that the CBA would focus on repeal again in the 1987 legislative session.
In May of 1985, CBA held another helmet protest run in Raleigh. To indicate the spirit of the protest, it was advertised as Freedom Run 1985. It was felt by some of the more politically correct members that protest was too strong a word for the message CBA was trying to convey.
The CBA began to stress motorcycle awareness and safety more than ever. The Charlotte Chapter bought eight billboards along the highways around Raleigh to promote Motorcycle Awareness month. Radio stations advertised the Freedom Run but only about 1000 people attended.
1986 was a year of great change for the CBA. Chapters and members wanted more involvement on the state level and that required reorganization. The constitution was rewritten under the guidance of Viki (Cope) Prevo. The state was divided into three districts: Central, Eastern, and Western. Each district elected a District Coordinator. The Coordinators were added as members of the CBA’s Board of Directors. Included in the Board of Directors was an Information Director. State Officer Elections were held with any member of the CBA being eligible for office. Under the new Constitution, committees were formed for Legislative, Public Relations, State Events, Products, and Newsletter.
On January 27, 1986, leaders of various motorcycle groups from across America met in Las Vegas to discuss a "coming together" and the overwhelming need for a national voice to protect our lifestyle and right to ride. The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) was born.
NCOM is not another association, but rather a bringing together of existing motorcycle groups for the purpose of mutual exchange of information, legislative strategy and the combined strength to fight all that is adverse to the freedom of the road.
In 1986, the CBA joined the newly formed NCOM. Formed by Atty. Richard Lester of California. The coalition was formed to help protect bikers as consumers, help establish rider education programs, build a legislative data bank, train people on legislative strategies, and to help protect the rights of injured bikers. CBA President Rick Nail was appointed Regional Coordinator for Region Six of NCOM. NCOM has expanded to include other countries concerned with biker rights. They host yearly national and regional conventions to share knowledge.
NCOM has grown to over 2,000 member organizations representing hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists nationwide. The goal and purpose of NCOM is to assist all motorcycle organizations and individual riders with legal, legislative and other motorcycling issues. The Coalition will not dictate to any organization, but will be available to assist NCOM member groups through such FREE services as legislative assistance, nationwide information network, public awareness programs, safety projects, loan program, biker anti-discrimination legal and legislative assistance, etc.
In 1987 the CBA hired North Carolina’s top rated lobbyist, John Jordan, to work towards Freedom of Choice rather than mandatory helmet laws. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful in gaining enough legislative support to pass a repeal bill. Some members felt that Jordan did not make a strong enough effort to support the passage of a repeal bill. Gary Aiken as Legislative Director for the CBA committed to work towards introduction of a repeal bill in 1989.
Although there were no Freedom Runs in 1986 or 1987, there was a grand CBA State Party in 1987, the first since the CBA reorganized. Chuck Jones, the State Vice-President, with the help of the three District Coordinators, Randy Prevo (Central), Andy McClannahan (Eastern), and Cliff Cyphers (Western) were instrumental is staging the event. This was the first of a series of better and much bigger state events for the CBA.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), incorporated in 1987, as a membership-based national motorcyclists’ rights organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The MRF monitors and when necessary, sways federal legislation and regulatory action that pertains to street riders. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists’ rights activists, including the Meeting of Minds and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, The MRF Reports. The CBA has worked closely with the MRF since its incorporation.
Freedom Run 1988 was held in Raleigh to kick off the riding season and promote May as Motorcycle Awareness Month. Viki (Cope) Prevo took office as Legislative Director and was able to make substantial progress in Raleigh.
One significant accomplishment was the formation of the Statewide Motorcycle Awareness and Rider Training (SMART) Committee. The members of the CBA were concerned about the need for safety training programs and making the public aware of the need to share the road with bikers, to “Look Twice, Save a Life”. These programs lead CBA to promote Motorcycle Rider Education and the Motorcycle Licensing requirements.
Current programs offered by community colleges and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation include: Basic Rider safety Course, Three Wheel Basic Rider Safety Course, Experienced Rider Safety Course, and Advanced Rider Safety Course. All NC Motorcycle Safety Education courses are self-supporting.
These programs all grew out of efforts made in 1989 by CBA lobbyists, including Viki (Cope) Prevo as Legislative Director, now retired as Mrs. Victoria Wilson of Ciudad Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico. Her efforts were supported by Charles and Sheila Boone, C.W. Boda Chavis, Chick and Irene Chicarrian, David Gore, Bruce Harris, and many other CBA members. The CBA lobbied heavily for Freedom of Choice and a Motorcycle Safety Education Program. In the end, the legislature passed the Education Program but, once again, rejected Freedom of Choice.
"But wait - What if I want to join but I don't know if I can attend meetings?"
There is NO Obligation Here.
There is NO Obligation Here.
Frequently Asked Questions about the CBA
Is the Concerned Bikers Association a “Club”?
NO, the CBA is not a “club”, nor a gang. The CBA is a Not-for-profit Organization. No one can, nor would, be denied membership.
What does ABATE stand for?
In the 1970’s, “ABATE”, was used as an acronym for “A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments”. Through the years, the acronym has been used to represent similar definitions.
OK, then, what does ABATE really mean?
Remember the Boston Tea Party, “No Taxation Without Representation”?
Applying this purely American philosophy to modern day, “Can our Leadership, effectively Protect and Serve Us, if they don’t Know US?” That idea, with an onslaught of unfair Legislation and discriminatory persecution, lead a group of like-minded, Motorcycle Loving, Tax-Paying Americans, (our Founders) to form the beginnings of the CBA in the early 1970’s. To make their voices heard, to make a real difference, they knew they would have to ‘get into the Legislative Arena’, which is why we are a, “member driven” organization, encouraging members to contact their representative across the State, and constantly Organizing Peaceful Protest Rallies. The1960’s brought many things, but one bad was a new unbecoming image of the American Motorcyclist. It is in Combat to that Misperception, that we go forth in Brotherhood, always striving to Educate with Love and to set the Example for young riders and All Americans.
Back in 1970, a group of like-minded, Motorcycle Riding, Tax Paying Americans, Law Abiding Americans, realized that Government Officials were creating, enacting and enforcing laws that weren’t just infringing on their Rights, harms were being committed, prejudices were openly inflicted upon Motorcycle Riders.
Do you have to ride a Harley? Or do you have to ride a motorcycle at all?
The CBA is a State Motorcycle Rights Organization, striving to protect the Rights of ALL Motorcycle Riders in North Carolina. While many of our members do ride motorcycles, many do not. You will not find prejudice for, or against, any maker or rider of Motorcycles anywhere, in our organization. And we have many members that are girlfriends/wives, Friends and Family Members of Riders, you do NOT have to ride motorcycles to become a member or support our organization. We have many members who are not riders, who wish to support their loved ones, their safe travel and their right to ride.
What does ‘Member Driven Organization’ Mean?
Member Driven Organization simple means, the ‘Members Make Everything Happen’. Many Riders hear the call to action, they feel the hardships upon their Rights and Freedoms, but they fear they have no voice, no outlet, no venue. We have found strength in numbers. Because we have many Members to ‘carry the load’, the burden is less individually, but the reward is Great! There is strength in numbers, and we can make it happen.
If I were to Become a Member, would I Have to attend every meeting?
No. No one is obligated to attend meetings. We do encourage members to attend, but if they cannot attend, we do make the information available electronically and email all members with the information discussed at each Chapter meeting, as well as the State monthly and quarterly meetings. However, please, talk to other members, most of them will tell you that there is no other place, where they, feel more ‘at home’, feel more informed and empowered, feel as though ‘their opinion matters’, and few ‘time better spent’.
How much does it cost to Become a Member?
$20 per person, per year. Yes, we occasionally have member drives when we can reduce the price. . We do not make money from membership. In fact we are a not for profit organizaiton. All moneys taken in, are used to promote motorcycle safety education and legislation that the organzaiton as a whole, votes to push forward.
If It’s a Not-For-Profit Organization, then why do you charge for things? Where does the money go?
Yes, we are designated as a N.C. Not-For-Profit Corporation. No one at the CBA collects a salary. Every Position is Volunteered. However, there are operating costs, at a State and Chapter Level. And as with any Non-Profit, the more money we can make, means that much more that we can accomplish. Whether it’s The Swap Meet, a Rally, an anti-helmet Campaign, Conferences between Motorcycle Rights Organizations, Speakers, Classes, or the NC Certified Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Program, there is much going on through the CBA, but there’s much more we can do! Every dollar is spent to FIGHT FOR AND PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!
What is the MSAP Program?
The ‘Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Program’ is a State Certified, course of education, to promote motorcycle safety awareness to young drivers. One of the legislative feats that that the CBA ABATE has conquered was getting North Carolina to initiate a law that states that ALL students in NC receiving Drivers Education Classes, Must receive one hour of Motorcycle Safety and Awareness. Then the CBA created the program, provides training materials and administers who teach this to hundreds of thousands High School Students across the State every year, FREE of CHARGE!
What Other Types of Motorcycle Safety and Awareness do you promote?
There is much happening at the CBA State and Chapter levels! The many people and the Arenas through which we reach those people, changes every day that we add Members to our strength. As you ride across this beautiful State on a properly paved roadway, every time you see a billboard, a sign on someone’s lawn, a t-shirt, a bumper sticker, or even at home when you hear of a ride or rally, surf the web and see an add promoting motorcycle safety and awareness, you are seeing the results of the Brotherhood of the CBA, striving to protect ALL Riders in North Carolina. And because the CBA is a Premier Member of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and other organizations, we are constantly learning, growing and spreading that education to the far reaches of Our Great Nation.
What difference can I make? How does it help the CBA to get Me, as a Member?
YOU, make ALL the difference! Each one of our Members, is a person, a person with a full life, a person who believes, as we do, that together, we make up a much larger number, and the larger our numbers are, is equally proportionate to the response that our government gives to Our Needs, Our Safeties, Our Rights! By simply becoming a member, you send a clear message to those who have power, by telling them what you want them to do with that power! Imagine for a moment, that Our CBA Officers could approach Our Legislators, with membership numbers of 50,000 or even 100,000 strong? When that becomes a reality, do you think that we would still have to suffer the unfair legislation still in place? Do you think that you, and all others who Ride, would do so on safer roads? And it won’t stop there! You and you alone have a unique perspective and you can bring that perspective to the table. Any table, that is a larger table, is a table with more experience, education, and power. As we are a member driven organization, every member brings something special to give, and your gifts, your thoughts and whatever you have, to give, is welcome here. Your membership proves that you are choosing to fight the good and necessary fight, of lacking representation, the battle for safety that must be fought, and the war against unjust legislation, that must be won and will be enjoyed by ALL.
Are there any benefits to joining the CBA? Do I get reduced prices on goods and services?
We have many Corporate Sponsors who offer discounts on services and coupons on goods to Our Members. Many of those sponsors are members themselves, others believe in Our Cause, and others still, believe in the Safety and Happiness of All Riders. You will be invited to State and Federal Conferences, Rides, Rallies and infamous camping trips. The reward of Acceptance, Affirmation, Brotherhood and Comradery within Our Organization cannot be understated. Members often state that those, in addition to the access to the network of individuals, information and companies who support of the CBA, assures them that no time, with us unwell spent.
Where and When are the Meetings?-What Should I expect? Could I Bring someone with me?
Every Chapter holds the Monthly Business Meetings. The State Meetings are help Quarterly. Absolutely Everyone is Welcome, especially those who are not members.
When you join us, you will meet some of the Original Founders CBA, as well as new members. And what we all have in common is the belief that every person, every action, every bit of time spent with The CBA, matters and makes a difference. As you are welcomed, you will feel the camaraderie of The Brotherhood. And when you participate, you will feel the peace that comes, when you satisfy your own integrity. Because to enjoy The Ride, to feel the breeze on your skin, the fresh air in your lungs and the Pure Unadulterated Freedom, there’s a part of you that knows, that it isn’t really Free, that others have paid a high cost to give us this Freedom, and there is no better time spent, than to join those, who are fighting for that Freedom.
In addition, to properly plan the events that help fund the necessary programs that teach our folk who to watch out for us every day along with billboards and ad campaings. We need every single person's new ideas. Everyone and Anyone, aren’t just welcome, You are Invited! Please see our website at www.cba-abatenc.org for the State Meetings and our list of Chapters. Each Chapter has a website and their meetings will be listed there. Don't hesitate to contact them, they will be so excited to hear from you!
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the CBA!
Email at: LookTwiceNC@gmail.com
Call at: 704-726-9444
Email at: LookTwiceNC@gmail.com
Call at: 704-726-9444
We, at the CBA, Also Operate by CHapter, Please See, Our Motorcycle Safety Program DirectorS by, CBA CHapters.
We offer a warm welcome to our new,
Director of Safety Education & Awareness,
Looking for a School System? Here is a list of the Counties where we are actively teaching the MSAP Program.
Don't see your School System or County? Great! We'd LOVE to bring you on board!
Training only takes a few hours
- and each class is only ONE HOUR !
- and each class is only ONE HOUR !
Visit our INSTRUCTORS Page for more information about becoming and Instructor. If you have questions, please see our FAQ Page. And Please, DO NOT HESITATE To contact us!
That's why we are here!
That's why we are here!
TO SAVE LIVES!