The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Features

April 30, 2012

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day set for May 12

The roar of motorcycle engines will be heard in Johnstown as enthusiasts gather for fun and education.

Members of the Cambria County Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) are gearing up for the fourth annual Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 12 in Central Park in downtown Johnstown.

Thomas Minana, Cambria County ABATE vice president, said the intent of the event is to raise awareness and ask the motoring public to be on the lookout for oncoming motorcycles.

“We want people to look twice and save a life,” Minana said.

Activities will abound for young and old.

Johnstown Mayor Tom Trigona will read a proclamation declaring May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

There will face painting for children, police K-9 demonstrations, Classic Clowns, free food, Unicycle Sam and balloon artist Paul Marsh.

“Last year, we gave away over 800 hot dogs,” Minana said. “Local companies have been very generous, and we will have potato chips and ice tea, as well.”

Several mascots, including McGruff the Crime Dog, will make appearances.

Festivities will include a blessing of the bikes at noon.

Demonstrations will feature the skills of youngsters from Miller Martial Arts and Turners All Star tumbling and gymnastics.

Also attending the event will be Richland police department personnel providing DNA test kits.

Dark Angel custom motorcycles will be on display.

Organizations such as Women, Infants and Children will have information booths.

Music will be provided by DJ English Invasion.

“We expect about 3,000 people throughout the day,” said Minana.

“We are in our fourth year, and it has grown in popularity each year.”

Minana said ABATE’s mission is to educate motorcycle riders and work to improve or change laws that affect bikers.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a lot of fun and meet a lot of great people,” Minana said.

“We also will be placing our signs in Central Park that say ‘Watch for motorcycles,’ ” Minana said. “We encourage people to pick them up and place in their own yards.”

Free T-shirts will be given away while supplies last.

Minana pointed out that Pennsylvania ranks second behind California in motorcycle registrations.

In keeping with motorcycle education, Minana touted Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Safety Program (MSP), established to teach riders of all skill levels the basic fundamentals needed to safely operate motorcycles.

The Motorcycle Safety Program is free to all Pennsylvania license holders.

Information: Visit msp.com.

If you go ...

What: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day.

Where: Central Park, downtown Johnstown.

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 12.

Admission: Free.

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