Bikers help bikers, warn community of riding risks

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Region 8 bikers hit the road Saturday to raise money for fellow motorcyclists and their families.

B4B of Northeast Arkansas created a fund to help people who have been injured in motorcycle accidents.

The nonprofit helps these bikers' families through the process of recovery with financial and moral support.

"A lot of times they end up being flown to the Med and then you have family back here that's going to be driving back and forth to Memphis so they need gas money, they need money to eat on while they're over there, they may need money for a hotel while they're staying over there," B4B for Northeast Arkansas chairperson Cindy Holder said.

Since B4B began three years ago, the organization has been able to help five bikers recover from major accidents.

"Our first grant, the very day that she had her accident, we were notified," Holder said. "We drove to Memphis that day and her three children were sitting there at the hospital so we stayed there probably six to eight hours for moral support, kind of sitting there, holding their hands and talking with them and praying with them."

This fellow biker was riding her motorcycle when a refrigerator fell off a trailer and hit her bike head on. She flew more than 50 feet and wasn't wearing a helmet.

"It was a pretty severe accident," Holder said. "We weren't sure if she was going to make it or not, but she's recovered. She's doing great. We're proud of her. We love her so we were glad that we were there to be able to help her out."

"We haven't had any fatalities yet so that's also awesome," said Jonny Surber, president of the Paragould chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association. "That's a blessing."

A blessing because motorcycle fatalities are so frequent.

"There's so many accidents where people do get hurt because we don't have any protection," Surber said. "The first thing we do is hit the ground.

"A vehicle is what we call a cage," Holder said. "You've got all this protection around you. We have nothing. Anytime you're in an accident, chances are, it's going to be severe."

The latest fatal motorcycle accident in Region 8 was last month, the start of motorcycle season. A Piggott man died when he lost control of his motorcycle and slid underneath another vehicle.

"It only takes a split second," Holder said.

Holder and Surber said there are safety precautions other drivers can take to make the roadways safer for bikers.

"Put your cell phones down," Holder said. "Don't be texting while you're driving."

"Give them room for error," Surber said. "Just because they're small doesn't mean they're easy to stop."

Because of their size, Surber said motorcycles are also harder to see.

"I believe loud pipes save lives, but a lot of times, you're in your car, you have your windows up, you can't hear them either," Surber said.

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.