A charity helping those hurt in motorcycle crashes in Alberta has already assisted 50 bikers.
Ashlee Atkin, president and founder of One Broken Biker, said the number is significant.
“That’s just this year, which is crazy,” said Atkin. “Considering we’ve only been riding for two-and-a-half months.”
She was in Red Deer Saturday organizing a Poker Run starting from the Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson.
“When a rider goes down, they contact us through our website, and we get one of our injury outreach co-ordinators to reach out and make a donation to help the costs of things like hospital parking, gas, food or anything the family needs help with when an injured rider is in hospital,” said Atkin.
The event involved a pancake breakfast and a poker run, where participants get a playing card and ride to five locations in Red Deer. After that they return to the Harley Davidson where they enter a draw for prizes.
Atkin estimated about 75 to 100 people attended the event, the first one they’ve run in Red Deer. The organization has existed for six years now and regularly gets 400 people out to its Calgary events.
Though they have assisted 50 bikes this year, Atkin said that isn’t near the number of bikers who have been hurt.
Some bikers have refused the money and others don’t know about the group or submit a request for money.
She admitted the increasing number of riders on the road may play a role in the high number of collisions, but riders and vehicle drivers both have a role in preventing crashes.
“If you’re driving a car, get off your phone and signal,” said Atkin. “For riders, they have to be more alert.”
According to Alberta Transportation, there were 38 fatal motorcycle collisions and 607 injury motorcycle collisions in the province in 2016, the most recent year with available statistics. These collisions are about 14 per cent of the fatal crashes in Alberta that year.