Since 1924, the American Motorcyclist Association has been a unified voice for motorcyclists. Established to organize rider activity of all kinds, the AMA has since been a source for structure, planning, protection and, at the center of it all, community.
Community is at the heart of what we do. As a membership organization, community is the source of our value, our influence and our power. By building our community, we strengthen our hand. With a stronger hand, we can do more for our community.
Certainly, we have all been affected by COVID-19. Much of our AMA activity is built around events, and new federal, state and local laws and regulations are unfortunately impacting those events in big ways. Many rides and races have been postponed, some have been canceled and others have been pared back to keep attendees and organizers safe. We encourage all AMA members and event organizers to comply with all federal, state and local guidelines.
As motorcyclists, we understand that safety matters. But in these challenging and uncharted times, we especially know that keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and other people around us healthy and safe is paramount. This includes first responders, healthcare workers, community volunteers, and others who are on the front lines managing this crisis.
And that brings me back to community.
The AMA is its members. We are a community of riders, joined together to promote and protect our motorcycle lifestyle. The AMA is you, individually and collectively.
This includes our chartered clubs and promoters. For those organizing events, this is a particularly stressful time. Consider the following:
•Prepare for event changes. Make a list of everything your organization will need to address if you have to postpone or cancel your event, as in venue, vendors, participants, AMA sanction, etc.
•Contact the AMA. Reach out to the AMA department coordinator for your discipline if you need to make changes to your event sanction. Please communicate your changes prior to the event date so your sanction fee can be held for your next sanctioned event.
•Communicate to your participants, workers and vendors. You cannot overcommunicate in these situations. Use email, social media, your website and your cell phone to get the word out.
•Refunds or rainchecks. If your participants pre-registered, you could let them know that their entry will be held for the rescheduled date or they can request a refund.
•Hosting a virtual event. Instead of holding in-person club meetings, use email, phone conference and collaboration software such as Zoom or Google Hangouts to meet.
•Plan for the future. This situation will pass. When it does, motorcyclists will want to ride! Look ahead confidently and positively. Brighter days are ahead.
For individual motorcyclists, there is one more thing we can do, and it’s the most important:
Get out there and ride.
I’m sure you’ve seen the meme on social media by now. Under the ominous warning “Be Advised:” it repeats much of the safety guidance we’re getting these days, appended with some smart, specific advice:
•Avoid crowded spaces: Ride motorcycles.
•Do not use public transportation: Ride motorcycles.
•Well-ventilated spaces are virus free: Ride motorcycles.
•Wear gloves: Ride motorcycles.
•Keep at least six feet from other people: Ride motorcycles.
•Keep a positive attitude: Ride motorcycles!
While the meme is intended to be a humorous diversion from the anxiety caused by a global pandemic, I intend to take its advice. I recommend you consider it, too.
I’m going to ride when I can. If I can’t ride, I’m going to plan riding trips, talk about riding with friends and think about riding. I’m going to get some work done on my sidecar project. In short, I’m going to continue to be an active member of the motorcycle community because as a membership organization, community is, after all, how we do what we do.
Stay safe, plan for the future.
But also, join me. Get out there and ride your motorcycle.
Thank you for your support,
President and CEO
American Motorcyclist Association