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Rolling Thunder veterans change image of bikers

June 4, 2009 by · Comments Off on Rolling Thunder veterans change image of bikers 

On Memorial Day weekend in Washington, parents cheered and their babes waved little American flags at hundreds of bikers. What has happened in three decades to inspire this sea change in attitude toward bikers, a group that once was feared by average Americans?

In an event with the almost-menacing moniker Rolling Thunder, almost half a million motorcyclists rumbled across the Arlington Memorial Bridge, snaked around the Mall and dismounted en masse near the Lincoln Memorial. Most of the bikers were clad in black leather, many sported Visigothian manes and beards and almost all straddled brutish, black Harley-Davidsons or H-D clones.

The bad-boy biker image began decades ago. In Hollister, Calif., on the weekend of July Fourth, 1947, a motorcycle rally became rowdy. Some drunken participants (restless war veterans among them) were arrested, and Life magazine ran a story featuring a staged photograph from Hollister of a belching biker perched on his machine’s footpegs, surrounded by beer bottles. In 1953, Columbia Pictures projected a highly fictionalized and sensationalized version of the event on the silver screen in the Marlon Brando film “The Wild One.”

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MRF Leaders Report- June

June 10, 2008 by · Comments Off on MRF Leaders Report- June 

WASHINGTON UPDATE – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to report that the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has renewed the charter for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) for an additional two years. The MAC advises the Secretary of Transportation on all issues concerning motorcyclists and infrastructure issues such as roads, bridges, and barriers. No rulemaking was required to extend the charter; instead it was the positive results of the MAC that warranted the go-ahead from the country’s chief transportation boss. The MRF commends Secretary Peters for recognizing the need for the MAC to continue. Under normal circumstances Secretary do not reauthorize councils that they do not have to. Peters by law did not have to renew the charter which uses some of her very limited discretionary dollars to fully fund this council. That’s why we thank her for her attention to this very important issue.

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