Local motorcycle enthusiast, Andrew Barr, attended the March meetings of two local governments to invite their members to an April 17 "Meet and Greet."
The event will be held by a startup group named ABATE - American Bikers Aim To Educate. Barr was accompanied by another member of the organization, Jeanette Pierce.
Barr spoke briefly to both the Village Board of Cattaraugus and to the New Albion Town Council to explain the club's background and the focus of its actions. "When you look at what the initials stand for, that's pretty much what we're about," explained Barr, "with the accent on the "educate" part."
ABATE President Andrew Barr and Jeanette Pierce, another member of the newly formed organization, appeared before the March meeting of the Cattaraugus Village Board. They invited members to an April 17 “Meet & Greet,” which will be hosted at the Cattaraugus Rod & Gun Club by the newly started chapter of motorcycling enthusiasts.
The newly formed Cattaraugus chapter is an extension of ABATE of New York, which, according to its Web site, "is a corporation, not a motorcycle club." New York ABATE has eight stated aims, all of which are directed toward the goal of improving conditions for, and perceptions of, motorcyclists.
In addition to education, the local ABATE is interested in moving ahead with another of the state organization's goals, which is conducting activities that benefit the community. Ms Pierce has taken charge of that project, and reported that they were tentatively scheduling a May 8 benefit for Yvette Benson Matthews at the Little Valley Fairgrounds. She said there would be plenty of publicity prior to the event.
Barr has a vested interest in ABATE's goals. He barely escaped with his life a couple of years back when an oblivious motorist turned into him at fifty miles an hour. Although he stubbornly refused to die, his injuries were extensive and serious, his recovery slow and painful. Now he's resolute about trying to educate riders and drivers alike on the subjects of motorcycle awareness and safety issues.
"When you look at what the initials stand for, that's pretty much what we're about ... with the accent on the "educate" part."
He believes that ABATE will help him and other local motorcyclists help make motorists more conscious of motorcycles, and by extension, bicycles and pedestrians, on the roadway. "So that's why," he summarized, "we decided to hold a little get-together up at the Rod and Gun Club (just north of Cattaraugus, on Route 353) at noon on Saturday.
In addition to the local governing bodies, Barr said he would invite representatives from Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School, as well as businessmen, local and county police officials, and area politicians. He added that members of the general public were also welcome to attend the gathering, and said he hoped he or other members would be able to answer any and all questions that might arise.