Some riders still give ‘bikers’ a good name

A few of the members of the Valley Riders motorcycle club take in the sights at the Old Molson Museum last Saturday. Those in this group made the loop from Oroville to Molson, stopping to eat at the Kuhler in Tonasket before heading up the Havillah Road and then to Molson and back to Oroville again. Gary DeVon/staff photo

A few of the members of the Valley Riders motorcycle club take in the sights at the Old Molson Museum last Saturday. Those in this group made the loop from Oroville to Molson, stopping to eat at the Kuhler in Tonasket before heading up the Havillah Road and then to Molson and back to Oroville again. Gary DeVon/staff photo

I know motorcycle riders who hate to be called “bikers” and from what we’ve seen on the news in New York recently they may have a point. Many of those who ride motorcycles have experienced times when they’d like to kick the car that cut them off — especially if you can see the driver was busy chatting away on their cell phone. There’s an old saying, ride like you’re invisible and that all the four wheeled vehicle drivers, “cagers,” are out to kill you. Sometimes it feels like it’s true.

Managing Editor Gary DeVonHowever, what took place in New York City recently, with the large group of motorcyclists where a few members broke the windows of a family’s SUV in order to extract some sort of punishment was totally uncalled for. If the video is to be believed the driver can’t be faulted for wanting to get his wife and young child to safety. Despite his large vehicle he was outnumbered by riders, some of who wanted to do him harm.

There are “bikers” who travel in groups who aren’t like that and are a benefit to the areas they visit. Take the Valley BMW Riders which is made up of Canadians and some Americans, mostly from the Okanagan/Okanogan Valley. About 25 members (on a variety of motorcycle brands) and a few visitors from other motorcycle clubs, made the annual trip to Oroville for the “Last Chance” Campout at Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park. This year we had mixed weather, but the group seemed to enjoy themselves. While here they not only ate and drank at the local restaurants, from here to Tonasket, they also spent money at the grocery stores and other businesses. A few, non-campers, even stayed in the local motel.

But most of all they enjoyed traveling around Okanogan County, visiting Molson, Chesaw, Havillah, Loomis and several points in between. They raved about the sights they saw and enjoyed the history of our area. These, and those who participate in the annual Run for the Border Charity Ride are the type of “bikers” we should think about when we see someone on a motorcycle. Most who ride are among the 99 percent and not the few who give motorcycle riders a bad name.

So remember, put down your cell phone and watch out for your two-wheeled companions on the road.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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