It is my pleasure to introduce you to the new president of Washington Road Riders Association: Mr. Rolf Vitous.
Rolf has been serving in the role of Vice President for a while, but his contributions go back several years. Rolf was one of the first people to propose the idea of lane filtering/sharing in Washington State, and although the issue has not yet gained broad acceptance, Rolf has been driving a conversation about the issue that has changed many peoples’ perception of the underlying questions. Rolf is also a member of the motorcycle safety training community and, as such, one of the people “on the ground” with many of the issues we have driven over the years.
I asked Rolf to take on the role of Vice President because I saw passion for our interests that was reasonably tempered by an understanding of the realities of the political environment in which we work. He has engaged with key players – especially Texas Larry Walker – to expand his grasp of the mechanisms through which we work. And further, he has sought out me to learn what I have learned about who we are and how we see the world so that he may better represent you, our membership. It’s a challenging transition between “I want this” and “we want this”. I’m confident Rolf will speak for “us”.
I am not going away. I will continue to contribute as best I can as a member of WRRA. This includes being present for next week’s Black Thursday, which includes my providing an introduction for Larry to my new State Representative. Never underestimate the power of being a constituent: you can get an appointment that Larry won’t get, despite his impressive reputation, especially with the “new kids.” But you get to introduce Larry, who is happy to then do the heavy lifting over the long term. Black Thursday has morphed from a “shock and awe” event to one of raising awareness that we motorcyclists are going to bring our issues to our Legislature and we expect – no, we DEMAND to be heard.
OK, I digress.
Please join me in welcoming Rolf as our new president. I look forward to where he will take us as an organization, and I know he is looking forward to hearing from you as to how he can best serve us as members and motorcyclists and citizens.
Finally: thank you for allowing me to serve you. I am a better man for having been privileged to be here, and I am proud to be:
— Ian King, Past President, Washington Road Riders Association