written for Countyline Publications and printed in Wisconsin and Illinois Biker Information Guide by Judy “Chooch” Kaenel, President DuKane Chapter A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois Inc. There is a saying that A.B.A.T.E. is the best kept secret in Illinois! But the truth is that I and approximately 12,000 chapter members fight for your rights to ride your motorcycle in a safe and unrestricted environment.  To be able to put your Kneeze in the Breeze and ride the open roads with the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin and even the bugs in your teeth is the way most choose to ride.  But how do you as a motorcyclist continue to ride this way? By becoming involved.  And how do you do that? By joining A.B.A.T.E. in your state. A grassroots organization started in 1971 and Incorporated in Illinois in 1975, A.B.A.T.E.of Illinois is divided into 6 regions with 60 chapters throughout the State. We diligently work with elected officials to influence State, National and Worldwide political actions in favor of motorcycle rights.    Believe me, there are some crazy laws that are introduced every day in any given political forum.  Would you like to be covered head to toe on a 95 degree day with Kevlar? Would like to make sure you buckle up on your bike and have an air bag that can catapult you into that wind you so love to ride in?  Well, these are an example of bills that are brought to our attention many times a year and it keeps us hopping and albeit shaking our heads in amazement! The purpose of A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois is not just about helmet laws.  It is about education.  We have programs throughout the State to educate drivers and motorcyclists.  We visit driver’s education programs to teach the kids what we do and how to drive along side us.  We offer Motorcycle Riders Ed programs for the new/experienced rider. Our nationwide awareness programs can be seen everywhere you look with START SEEING MOTORCYCLES billboards and yard signs.  We want you the rider to be safe but also educated on safe and aware motorcycle riding. Besides our efforts to educate not legislate, A.B.A.T.E. strives to preserve your freedom of choice.  To have the choice to ride as you want not as you are legislated to do.  You want to wear a helmet, wear protective gear? You will never find anyone in our organization telling you not to. This is your choice, your freedom. Throughout the year, chapters across our State have runs, fundraisers and various events.  Through these events we raise awareness of motorcycles throughout the community and gain new members. We raise funds to continue on with our fight for your rights.  When you participate, not only do you help support the chapter and A.B.A.T.E but also you have the opportunity to join us in this battle. By joining A.B.A.T.E, your membership dues are used to help continue our education programs and legislative actions.  Just recently, a friend’s daughter just completed her motorcycle training course and will now join motorcycle riders everywhere.  I am excited for her new found passion and would like to let her know, “Your A.B.A.T.E of Illinois Membership Application is on its way-Time to join baby girl” Will you join too?