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It’s finally 2021 – and with any luck, we can start putting 2020 behind us.  Obviously COVID is still here and we will most likely be coping with it for some time to come.  I’m optimistic, though, that things will improve and we will learn to live with it.  I’m guessing that like 9/11, our society will forever be changed in some regards – but we will adapt and move forward.  

My biggest concern moving forward, though, isn’t about COVID itself; but how we function as a nation – ONE NATION. 

It was seemingly a perfect storm with the riots and civil unrest, COVID and the ensuing shutdowns, and of course the election and the controversy surrounding the results.  Regardless of what caused what, what political forces you support, or conspiracies you believe in – we all have to recognize that our nation and really many of our core beliefs have taken a beating this past year.

I’m not bringing this up as a political statement – and YES, I know that this is a “motorcycle mag”.

However, I’ve always believed that our magazine is more about our lifestyle and interests as riders – rather than simply about the machines we ride.  Outsiders may define us by the bikes and leathers, but it’s our sense of brotherhood and celebration of freedom that unites our community.  We love our country and recognize that the folks we ride with and meet along the road are brothers and sisters.  That’s regardless of color, race, religion – or any other classification that others might choose to divide us by.

This month’s Custom Bike Feature is from Donn Ogilvie and Evil Iron Customs from Canal Winchester.  It‘s named “We the People” and is a celebration of our nation, our way of life, and the US Constitution that protects it all.  It’s a beautiful bike that won awards across the country – from Sturgis to Daytona – as people both appreciated the craftsmanship and the message it carried.  We chose to feature this bike as we head into 2021 – not only because it’s an incredible bike – but because of what it represents. 

We are all AMERICANS.  We have basic freedoms that are built upon certain core beliefs – which are represented in the Constitution and woven in the fabric of our communities.  As BIKERS – we celebrate these freedoms as we head out onto the open road and often find ourselves riding with total strangers that become brothers as the miles pass by.  It’s about RESPECT – paying it out as earned and due, and expecting it from those we come across.  It’s about HELPING those that need it and PROTECTING the innocent – while holding those ACCOUNTABLE that need to be.

We all gave up a lot this past year – in the name of COVID and the health of our nation, but we need to get back on our BIKES and ROAR INTO 2021.  We need to reconnect with the friends and families that we “distanced” from in 2020.  We need to help resurrect the events, businesses, and organizations that were put on hold as part of what we will simply call 2020

Regardless of who’s in the White House and what CNN is reporting – we need to remember there are certain truths that we believe to be “self-evident”.  There are certain FREEDOMS that we need to maintain and VALUES that we need to RE-AFFIRM.  We need to RIDE FORWARD together as Americans – not divided but united in our core beliefs and love for our nation. 

My prayers and condolences go out to all of those that we lost and those that suffered in 2020 – it was a devastating year for many and we all share in your grief.   

Looking forward to 2021, I offer everyone Best Wishes and hope to see you all out on the road – at events, rallies, bike nights, and bike shows.  At Ride Stops and on RUNS – and when we see each other, we will great each other as Brothers and Sisters.  We are stronger than 2020 and we will make 2021 our own.

RIDE STRONG America!

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