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For auld lang bikersyne

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As we reflect on the past and prepare for the new year, we must remember to thank our lucky stars that we are actually HERE to see 2014 become a reality. Remember those words in that song, “In the year 2525..."? I can remember hearing the lyrics when I was a teenager, thinking, "that will never happen, everybody will be robots by then…" Well, kids, we are not too far from that vision, are we. I mean, really, HOW THE HELL DID WE MAKE IT? The roads for bikers are more dangerous than ever, the cops are more aggressive than they’ve ever been, and bikers are discriminated against everywhere they go, sometimes for no reason other than the fact that the pipes on their motorcycle are “unreasonably” loud, whatever that means!

New York Rider Magazine during 2013 featured numerous memorial articles, stories about bikers who died from disease or were unfortunately killed by tragic accidents. This kind of news tends to overshadow a lot of the positive things that also surround the lives of motorcyclists in New York. However, here in Albany, New York, there were many lights that shone through the darkness that threatened to permeate our local biker world.

For one thing, the countless toy collections continued throughout the Christmas (yes, I said CHRISTmas) season, despite everyone’s wallets getting thinner by the minute. Toy collections heralded by bikers from ABATE, particularly Robert Porter, State President of ABATE, working with Toys for Tots, and Lee Sikes from Broadway Choppers. Also Colleen Nelson started her own collection called “Colleen’s Christmas Collection,” with the help of Rookies Sports Bar, to help two families in need this season. There were some major changes in the Albany area this year. Humpy’s has closed and will soon be opening as Geno’s on the Ave! In the meantime, our friends, Mike and Judy Humphrey have opened the Kings Inn and are enjoying the same wonderful atmosphere and camaraderie that Humpy’s was known for, and new memories are being made every night. The 69ers MC have opened a new chapter in Amsterdam and will be celebrating at an Open House sometime in early 2014. Hold Our Own Destiny MC continues to bridge the gap between Harley and sport bike riders, and several other local clubs continue to thrive.

Many have also reached out to me with support and encouragement, with no expectations. You are my “biker lights.” Rest assured, nothing goes unnoticed or forgotten. A co-worker gifted me with the ornament pictured here. When I unwrapped it, the crystals reflected an amazing light and it immediately reminded me of the biker lights in my life. Think of that tonight when you toast to 2014.

Happy New Year, and may all of the lights in your life shine through!

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