The White Plains Examiner

Greenburgh Motorcycle Event Highlights Safety First

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Agnes Mebane, 80, testing out a Harley Kick-Starter, at the April 30 Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Event. Photo by Arielle Young


Town of Greenburgh and Yonkers police motorcycle units demonstrated emergency stopping techniques, tight-corner moves, how to pick up a fallen motorcycle and other safety maneuvers at Greenburgh’s first motorcycle safety and awareness event on April 30 near the site where a biker was killed last summer. Organizers intend to make the event an annual affair.

Underscoring the seriousness of the event was a display of the mangled BMW motorcycle Andre Garcia, 37, was driving when he collided with an SUV last August on nearby Hillside Ave., killing him.

Garcia’s sister, Cherie Garcia, a member of the PhatBoyz motorcycle club, was instrumental in organizing the event, along with Arthur Hardy, president of the New York chapter of the PhatBoyz, and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and Greenburgh Police Chief Christopher McNerney.

“The goal of our safety initiative is simple. It’s to increase motorcycle awareness for all members of the motoring public,” McNerney said in a speech opening the event. “We plan to achieve this by implementing a two-prong approach: through education and enforcement.”

Organizers said the event was prompted by the nationwide rise in motorcycle fatalities. In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 4,693 Americans died in motorcycle incidents, up from 4, 295 in 2014 and more than double the 2,056 killed in 1997.  Just last month, a Somers special education teacher died from a motorcycle accident on Long Island.

The demonstrations were conducted in the former Dannon Co. parking lot on Hillside Ave., across from Greenburgh Town Hall.

Attendees also were treated to barbeque, a classic car show, a raffle of safety equipment sponsored by White Plains Cycle Gear and a variety of motorcycle apparel available for purchase from Triumph of Westchester.

Empire Harley Davidson, based in New Rochelle, provided a kick-starter motorcycle and welcomed people to climb aboard and rev the engine–which is exactly what Agnes Jenkins Mebane, 80, of Greenburgh, did.

Cheered on by an energetic crowd, Mebane, a.k.a. “Nana,” hiked aboard the kick-starter and pulled back on the throttle like a pro. Applause erupted as Mebane, an honorary member of the PhatBoyz, grinned and revved the engine louder.

Arielle Young is a member of the Purchase College Community Reporting Team.

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