American Bikers Aiming Toward Education, a group that helps bring awareness to drivers to look for and see motorcyclists on the road, has schedule a big event in Cape Coral on Saturday, Oct. 19.
It is called "Can you see me now," and they are to not only bring awareness of motorcyclists, but also to stop texting while driving and other distracting behaviors.
"We're smaller than they are and are being hit all the time because they're not able to see us," said Wayne Cerra, president of ABATE's Southwest chapter. "It could be because of blind spots or because they're texting and driving."
The event will originate at Southwest Cycles at 620 N.E. 15th Ave. and Pine Island Road. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the ride begins at 11. Cerra said the group will ride roughly 80 miles throughout Lee County before ending their trip at the Crazy Olive, 1141 Pine Island Road SW at 2 p.m., where there will be vendors and other activities.
Cerra said he had hoped they route would include stops at locations where bikers were killed, but scrapped the idea when authorities wouldn't tell ABATE where those locations were.
They will be escorted by Lee County Sheriff's deputies, who will stop at every intersection, Cerra said, adding he hopes there will be 100 bikes for the event.
"We just want to let people know that we're out here. We'll be wearing bright yellow shirts that read 'Can You See Me Now' on them," Cerra said.
Besides numerous riders, ABATE expects the have a crashed bike mounted to a trailer to precede the group of riders to make an impression on those they pass.
"It's going to bring a lot of awareness. People are definitely going to see this mounted motorcycle going in front of the other bikes," said ABATE member Gwynne Hickman, who works in the city council's office. "I think it's going to make people pay attention to us and stop running us over."
The other idea of the event is to alert people as to who these people are behind the helmets and bikes they ride.
"This ride has been planned for several months. We're doctors, lawyers, mothers, fathers, grandmas and grandfathers," Cerra said. "We ride and we share the road."
The first event was held on Oct. 5, which went from Fort Myers to Venice. Roughly 62 bikers took part, Cerra said.