Seeing various groups of motorcyclists along the highways and byways could leave one wondering, “Just where they are going and what are they doing?”
Some could be members of the DuKane Chapter of ABATE, Illinois (A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education), committed to journeys in the name of safety issues, and volunteering for charitable events.
DuKane Chapter of ABATE is a motorcyclists rights organization dedicated to preserving motorcycle, off-road, and all-terrain vehicle riders’ rights, through education, safety, awareness, and political activities. It represents the state organization in Northern DuPage and Kane Counties.
Training and Safety for Individuals
DuKane Chapter ABATE member Wally Elliott said he thinks motorcycle riding has improved due to the implementation of a lot of safety standards. Along with fighting for individual motorcyclists’ rights, such as the choice of whether to wear a helmet or not, Elliott said ABATE focuses on texting laws and other factors that are distracting to drivers, such as road conditions and potholes, in order to make riders seen on the road.
Helmets may impair vision and distract a motocyclist, and therefore wearing one should be the individual driver's choice, pointed out Elliott.
President of the DuKane Chapter Judy Kaenel noted that the Chapter also provides training for elderly at senior centers regarding distracted driving, and participates in charitable events.
Kaenel said motorcyclists in general are a generous bunch who are known for getting involved in events for charity, such as the DuKane Chapter of ABATE’s annual Toy and Food Run, held in the Batavia area in October. The organization also supports its members in cases of illness, death, and job loss.
“We’re not a club, we’re an organization,” said Kaenel. “We don’t care what’s on your back patch, we care about the person inside of the jacket. Motorcyclists will give you the coat off their back; the patch off their jacket. We’re an organization based on mutual respect.”
But, Kaenel points out, not all “motorcycle runs,” which count on numerous motorcycle riders to run huge collections for the needy, are run with the highest safety standards. “That is a big part of what ABATE is all about,” she noted.
“There are so many runs every weekend, that it caught on with corporations, but some have no clue how dangerous it can be,” Kaenel explained. The DuKane Chapter has done a lot in its 25 years of running their main event, to increase safety standards; one being having less parade time and the use of lots of volunteer runners.