Bikers By The Sea

Centavo’s Two Cents

I was on my way to get my mail when I heard the sound of motorcycles. Well, we do ride quads around here…no this was different. About six or seven motorcycles proved to me that quads are no match for Harleys as they zoomed toward our town. The sun and the speed of their machines blurred the helmets and black leather clothes of the owners. I watched. These folks were “bikers”!

Often there is a group of motorcyclists ready to spend a weekend by the sea here. By the time I got back in my car another set of twelve were traveling down the road… then another and another…all day long. They came alone. They came in groups.

They were stopped on the road helping each other. They were getting refreshments at convenience stores. They were…well everywhere!

Bikers to me have always been thrilling, dangerous; dare devils that ride through town looking for a place to play pool. Their leathers and patches and pins and monikers tell you they mean business. Every movie I have ever seen that portrayed them always had them fighting in a bar.

The fact that hundreds were arriving at our town worried me. We certainly couldn’t accommodate their supposed lifestyles here. But I could not have possibly be more wrong!

This was the weekend that our village celebrated the biker, the mechanic who created unbelievable machines, the airbrush artists that decorated them…and of course the people that road them!

Hundreds of bikes were parked along the Malecon that was closed for this event. Tents were set up and chairs. It was a fashion show of dedicated metal, pipes, tires, chrome, leather, zippers, boots and blue jean material. Owners hung by their bikes waving to and kissing folks they hadn’t seen since the last roundup. There was pleasant chatter and distinct camaraderie. It was the Woodstock of the biker world, I thought…and I wanted to be right in the middle of it.

A huge stage celebrated the event with music. Children’s toys were passed up to the stage where lucky kids waited to receive them. An announcer in a bandana spoke from a mike as people clapped for his presentations. Vendors were ready with food, drink, and a plethora of items existed for sale.

Local restaurants were bulging with bikers needing a sit down meal. Their bikes glistened in the sun while they ate and they beamed with pride when locals took pictures of them.

There were bikes so beautiful that you had to get up close.
So many of them looked impossible to ride. Some bikes were so expertly airbrushed that they were pieces of art with stories to be told. All were parked up and down the Malecon next to each other as far as you could see.

The riders were as colorful as their bikes. Women leaned against their Harleys, couples, old and young clung on their bikes like an appendage.
The first time you were able to ride a two wheeled bike by yourself is a distinct memory most of us have. It was so freeing. Wasn’t it? We were able to explore the world around us, without parents and restraints.

Seeing these “bikers” reminded me that our first successful ride is never over. You can attach a motor to it, ride for fun, ride for charity, and ride that “Magic Ship” in endless adventure.

I suppose, in my fantasy, I could have roared into the sunset straddled on any one of those bikes…wind blowing, going 90 miles an hour, perhaps not alone, and just conceivably, as a decent person looking for the return of my youth. I’ll go with that.

Centavo’s Wise Words: Never ride a motorcycle in a dress.