Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bikers Against Child Abuse ® - Montreal, Quebec With Special Guest CC Rider

"I am a member of Bikers Against Child Abuse. The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still…I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and showed up for all wounded children.” BACA Credo
Chief, Founder of BACA
Photo © BACA
I first came across Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) in the autumn of 2012 whilst doing research on motorcycle groups and associations for a course that I teach at Champlain College Lennoxville, here in Quebec, Canada. Having worked as a special care counsellor/youth worker in the past in Quebec and in the Republic of Ireland, I was drawn to BACA's guiding principles and backstory; particularly Chief's, the founder of BACA. Chief is a licensed clinical social worker and a registered play therapist/ supervisor who also taught as a part-time faculty member at Brigham Young University for seventeen years (BACA, n.d.). 


Chief
Photo © BACA
The idea came to Chief to form BACA whilst working with a particularly guarded eight year old. Chief visited the young boy one day on his motorcycle. It was then that he realized the impact that the motorcycle as a cultural icon had not only on his eight year old client, as it gave them a common interest and thus, helped the eight year old boy come out of his shell; but as well, society as a whole has romanticized the proverbial biker. Thus, using his credentials and affiliations within the motorcycling community, BACA became a reality in 1995 with the first chapter being started in Utah. According to Chief (cited via BACA, n.d.), he "became keenly aware that while the system was able to offer much in the way of helping children to heal, there were gaps that needed to be filled.  The two major gaps were: providing for the safety of the children and, providing funding for their therapy." Twenty years later and BACA not only continues to grow, with chapters all over the world including Australia, Switzerland and Italy to name but a few, but most recently BACA has successfully started several new chapters in Canada!

BACA Montreal


CC Rider, President of BACA Montreal
Photo © BACA Montreal
Their credo has inspired a generation of bikers from all walks of life to take up the cause in not only raising awareness and funds to protect our most precious commodities in life, our children; but as well to take up the gauntlet and stand for those unable to protect themselves. I first met CC Rider, President of the Montreal Chapter of BACA, briefly at this years Montreal Motorcycle Show. I could tell immediately that he was the right man for the job. With unbridled determination and dedication he succeeded in not only bringing BACA to Quebec; he also honoured the memory of his late son. The process of starting a chapter consists nothing less of nearly two years of training and "extensive background checks including fingerprinting with the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)." (Armstrong, 2015) The aim is to ensure that every member of BACA has no criminal offences against children, women or animals and are trained to work one to one with clients and their families in a therapeutic and supportive manner. 

A Word From The President - CC Rider


CC Rider
Photo © BACA Montreal
I'm a father of 2 girls, 1 boy and grandfather of a girl and 2 twin boys. I coached my son and my youngest daughter hockey from their beginning. My passion for motorcycles is one that goes back many years and although I only owned one since 2008, I always lived by that "biker" mentality of honor, respect and integrity. I passed that passion of two wheels to my son Nicolas but unfortunately it was fatal for him. He passed away June 2013 at the age of 18 in a motorcycle accident. His motto was Ride or Die. Can you spell IRONY? I am not the tallest person and neither was Nick. But one thing that made him special (amongst other things) was his integrity to protect the weak. I remember one time during a hockey game, one of his teammate was getting roughed up by guys from the other team in a corner of the rink. Nick took off from center ice, went to the biggest guy, picked him up and put him down just so to protect his teammate. That resulted in game suspensions for him and of course a reprimand from his (Dad) coach. His answer back: "They were picking on my friend and it wasn't a fair fight so I had to help him". I couldn't argue that. Nick always stood up to injustice. 

Photo © BACA Montreal
During my grieving process, I had been thinking of starting something. An idea I had was to start something like a buddy system for the newly licensed quebec motorcyclist to help with the probation period where they can't ride alone. In November 2013, only months after Nick had passed, via social media, I came across a video of BACA. That hit a cord. Protecting the weaker and while being a biker??? Really!! During that time, I was part of a riding club. I showed that same video to a few of my friends with whom I did the occasional ride but never wanted to join in the same riding club I was part of. 

Photo © James Armstrong
When Groucho, VP (a long time friend) saw that video, he jumped on it like a dog on a bone. Now that's something I will join he shouted. That was all I needed so I contacted BACA international the following day to inquire on the procedure to start a local chapter. We passed the word around to our circle of "biker" friends, gathered 15 people for a first introduction to BACA. Since then, that number dropped to 7, rebuild to 12, back down to 5 and today we are 30 men and women who have gone through all the process: background checks, training and simulations. 

Photo © BACA Montreal
Although, my initial motivation was to start something to commemorate my son's life, that motivation today grew exponentially from the smile I have seen on a kid's face just by doing one thing: showing up on our bikes! I have experienced riding up 35 bikes to a little girl's house who had been abused. You can imagine how intimidating that can be for 7 years old. She actually ran up to her room when she saw us pull up. 45 minutes later, at the end of our visit, she was on the balcony waving us goodbye with a smile on her face and wishing for us to come back soon. That's made the 16 hour ride to her house worth every minute.

A Brief Look At How BACA Works

Photo © Examiner
BACA Montreal is ready to ride and make contact with local police and child welfare organizations and agencies. As part of their mandate, they do not make direct contact with families and their children. Instead, they work along side said groups and are put into contact with families who are open to the idea of having thirty plus bikers act as their child's guardian angels. BACA follows a strict set of guidelines and offer four types of interventions and as well court appearances. These interventions are designed to create a sense of security and safety for the child whereby BACA members create a protective wall, both figuratively and literally, between the victims and their perpetrators. 

Photo © BACA
BACA Montreal meets on the 1st Thursday of every month at On Rock Community Services located at 9554 Gouin West, Pierrefonds, Quebec at 19:30hrs and is open to the public. However, "to become a full-patched BACA member a person must have regular access to a motorcycle that will do the speed limit. They must be 18 years old or older. They must submit to a federal fingerprinted background check. They must attend monthly BACA meetings, rides, court hearings, other BACA events and ride with the BACA chapter for one year “minimum”. They are then presented to the governing Board of Directors and must be unanimously voted in to become a member" (BACA, n.d.). Membership is open to men and women alike. For more information check out their frequently asked questions (FAQ's) page or write to CC Rider directly at:


Montreal Quebec Chapter  
Currently Operating Under Temporary Charter  
Helpline  (438) 794-6200  
P.O. Box 99514 
Gouin West
Montreal, Quebec  
Canada H4J 2R7

*Special Thanks to CC Rider for sharing his story and dedication, reminding us that heroes really do wear black leather and ride motorcycles!

2 comments:

  1. I know a few members in one of the local chapters, and had cause to correspond with some in the mother chapter in the US via email when I wrote about BACA some time ago.

    They struck me as a very professional, upstanding bunch deserving nothing but respect.

    Great article.

    E.G.

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    Replies
    1. Cheers! Much appreciated! Yes, I was impressed with them as well and even managed to speak with Chief himself once. It's a worthy cause and one that I am happy to see CC Rider championing the cause for here in Quebec. Ride safe.

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