came first, the A.B.A.T.E. acronym or the definition?
Given the wide range of A.B.A.T.E. definitions that vary from state-to-state,
your editor suspects that the term "ABATE" was adopted first,
then justification was attempted by trying to make the letters stand
doing a web search on New Year's Day, Rot Path found that there is considerable
inconsistency state-to-state and providence-to-providence in defining
what the letters in "A.B.A.T.E." stand for. Here's a partial
Brotherhood Active Towards Education - (Colorado)
A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments - (Easyrider, Florida,
Maryland, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin)
A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education - (Illinois, Iowa, Nevada)
A Brotherhood Aiming Toward Education - (Oklahoma)
A Brotherhood for Awareness, Training and Education - (South Dakota)
Alaska Bikers Advocating Training and Education - (Alaska -- duh!)
Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education - (Delaware, Pennsylvania)
American Bikers Active Towards Education - (Georgia, Louisiana)
American Bikers Advocating Training and Education - (Virginia)
American Bikers Aim Toward Education - (Wyoming)
American Bikers Aimed Toward Education - (Florida, Indiana, Michigan,
Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Washington)
American Bikers Aiming Towards Education - (North Dakota, Ohio, Utah)
American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education - (Minnesota)
American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education - (California)
Arkansas Bikers Aiming Towards Education - (any guesses?)
note: Notice how Florida and Washington can't seem to make up
their minds -- they each have two definitions.]
as interesting as all this might be, it wasn't until a Canadian
A.B.A.T.E. web site was visited that some of the background story
began to emerge. Seems that the folks at Easyrider magazine decided
in the 1960's that bikers, the public, and legislators needed
educating about motorcycling. Easyrider were the ones who came
up with the term "ABATE"
and if you were paying attention as you read the definitions you'll
have noticed they defined it as "A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian
Enactments", same as we use here in Oregon (which sure beats
the one Rot Path won't use when we're at the Capitol).
is a not-for-profit organization. In Oregon, A.B.A.T.E.
stands for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments, which
isn't nearly as subvesive as it sounds. It means that we act
as legislative watchdogs to help ensure that any legislation
affecting motorcycists is fair and that elected officials are
fully informed regarding motorcycle issues.
We are not a motorcycle club or gang. Instead, A.B.A.T.E. is a
not-for-profit organization devoted to raising member and public awareness
about motorcycle issues and safety through education and community involvement.
We also raise money for organizations that represent motorcyclist's
conerns such as BikePAC.
It doesn't matter what brand of bike you ride on. We are not a
manufacturer-specific organization. All are welcome: bikes, trikes,
on-road or off, riders, passengers, or non-riders.
You don't have to ride a motorcycle to belong to A.B.A.T.E. Many
of our members just enjoy being around motorcyclists. (We're just that
wonderful.) And they feel that the social and legislative issues we're
working on are important to their community.
look at the pages of this website and if you like what you see,
check out the Chapter Meetings listing.
Drop in on a meeting and see what we're about. You just might
find a new family in A.B.A.T.E. And as Melinda says: "Bikers
give great hugs."
* with permission, from the February, 2002 ABATE of Oregon newsletter