Motorcyclists talk safety at Rally on the River

Thousands of bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts are in Davenport this weekend for the 19th annual Rally on the River. Amidst the celebration, they’re speaking out on how to prevent accidents like Friday’s fatal motorcycle wreck near Colona, Illinois.

For more than a decade, Steve Colschen has been riding his bike across the U.S. from Clinton, Iowa.

“Just love it. Travel everywhere with it,” said Colschen.

Along the way, he’s learned the only way to drive is defensively.

“When I’m coming to a stop sign, I try to make eye contact with the person at the stop sign, just to see if they notice me,” Colschen said.

Those tips were echoed at Friday’s rally by Abate of Iowa, a brotherhood of riders dedicated to education.

“Ride defensively. Expect the other person not to see you,” said Scott Moeller, assistant coordinator of Abate District 15.

“Sometimes I use my clutch just to gas up, so they can hear the motor, because I don’t think they know I’m here,” added LaDonna Benson.

Drivers of cars and other vehicles, though, aren’t off the hook either. Bikers hope they’ll put down the cell phones, and start looking for the smaller, quicker motorcycles now that summer is in full swing.

“When you go to take your turn, look twice. Bikes could be behind a telephone pole, and you may not see them. Always take that second look,” said Moeller.

No matter how hot it gets, bikers also recommend gloves, boots, chaps and jackets for all riders.

Iowa and Illinois are two of only three states with no motorcycle helmet law in place. The CDC, though, says helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent.

Rally on the River continues through Saturday, June 15.



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