By Bob Cohen, President, JMA
I trust that this finds you, your family and friends healthy. Stating that these are unusual times would clearly be an understatement. Trying to find a consensus as to what the facts are these days is challenging at best. While some JMA club members around the world continue to enjoy life and ride to enjoy their passion, others have “hunkered down” in an attempt to feel like they are making a difference in preserving their health and the health of others. While this is not the forum to weigh these two choices, we should all be aware that not all of us share the same approach to this Pandemic. What is certain is that we are not certain. And in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
For those of you that know me well, I am one that is constantly trying to find humor where there is no humor. Well this is such a moment. I have a solution to the massive unemployment issue facing our country. Our governments have done this in the past and it has been quite successful in putting people to work who are otherwise unemployed. My suggestion is that we re-invigorate something like the WPA (The Work Projects Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of jobseekers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.) The re-activation of a program like this will have a singular purpose, which will be to build “motorcycle-only” highway systems and roads throughout the United States solely for motorcycles. And why not? There are bicycles paths throughout the country that are just for bicycles? And think of all the jobs it would create, to say nothing for the ability to drive safely without the interference from the four-wheeled mechanical beasts that are on the highway system today. So much for humor where there is no humor.
Talking with our clubs around the world, JMA club members continue to ride; some in small groups and some in larger organized rides. The recent Detroit Meet and Greet was a fantastic event in Michigan, and a big thanks go to the club members of the Chai Riders of Michigan who hosted this fabulous event. Some clubs that had initially planned events this year chose to cancel the event due to the COVID 19 virus. Other clubs continue to move forward with their biking plans, including two new events scheduled for September on Labor Day weekend in the Berkshires, sponsored by Chai Riders of NY and one in October in Georgia, a meet and greet sponsored by the Sabra Riders (see details).
Most of the JMA and JMA Club planning at this point is looking into 2021; still with lack of certainty as to how the COVID 19 will affect our plans in the coming year. Plans for an R2R in California are still being addressed; however, no date has been identified due to the uncertainty of the virus’ impact in 2021. Meet and Greets are still being considered for 2021 in Chicago, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Tennessee, just to name a few. These club sponsored events are a perfect opportunity to have a casual weekend with new and old friends in a relaxed atmosphere. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in a Meet and Greet, you may want to consider attending one of these club sponsored events. Each of them are unique in their own way and quite relaxing.
It is more important now that ever to incorporate COVID 19 related health awareness issues with the safety precautions that we all take every time we fire up our motorcycles. We recognize that both are potentially dangerous or even deadly. And for those club members that feel comfortable with the precautions they are taking, whether it is wearing a helmet, or wearing a mask, as motorcycle riders, we are well aware of those risks and try to minimize the dangers associated with those risks.
Please stay safe, stay healthy and stay mentally grounded throughout the current events that are facing all of us these days.