This past Sunday my wife and I, along with two of our riding club members found out, that trusting the driving skills of other bikers can be “Shady,” during a Toy Run. The mild weather brought out lots of bikes to the event. which was hosted by a local Church and The Steel Horse Strangers (Christian) riding Club from Roxboro. I often attend events that they sponsor, because of the way it is organized, usually in a professional manner, with escorts leading and following most events. We started with a brief meeting, covering route, riding formation, and who are the safety people (clearly marked in blue t-shirts). We followed the meeting with “Prayer” and a salute to “Old Glory,” and headed toward our “pre” positioned bike formation, meaning as you arrived, dropped off the Toy, then we were directed into a herd of parked bikes, which I thought, was a great idea. “How well organized” my wife’s voice shouted, as the loud pipes roared in the parking lot.
We had a quick social with fellow bikers, we have not seen for a while, like a big High School reunion we gave hand and hugs, yes, us “big bad” bikers give man hugs too. After taking several pictures I noticed whom I was parked beside, introduced myself and attempted to shake his hand. You ever get that cold shoulder from anyone? Well I did, for my first time ever by a “biker” and it took me by surprise. Why did he not shake my hand, boy does he need a “attitude adjustment” “I thought to myself”. Ten years ago, I would have probably, no, I would have opened that can “you know the one” (Whoop A++) and fine tuned reality for him. However, being the caring man of today, I smiled and said, I hope you enjoy the Toy Run. Soon the Road Captain leading our adventure blew his whistle, signaling all to mount up and get ready to ride.I could not help but think of the guy in front of me he was in his fifties, smoked cigarette, upon cigarette, and had a” Homer Simpson” look to him. I chuckled of my thoughts, and started my Ultra Classic ready for the ride. My wife said to one of our club members, what a great day we are truly blessed yes she smiled, as the large crowd of bikes started to roll from the parking area onto the street. I notice my “fellow” club member was positioned to the left and slightly ahead of the stranger, as I was to her rear and his left flank.We were instructed during the road meeting that we would ride in a staggered formation with at least “three seconds” apart, meaning as the person ahead passes a object you should have at least three seconds before you pass that same object for each row of bikes pretty much “the norm” for a event this big.
During the ride which started great, but soon decayed into a nightmare for my fellow “family” member, often, I watched as she was pushed by the stranger, as he leaned into her path almost every time she attempted to straighten the formation. I thought he is drunk, or something, I need to put an end to this.I revved up my heavy tourer and bolted between him and her with anger and screamed at him “back off “or “we will have a problem”. With a blank look he backed behind me, as I allowed her to move up to my right flank and thus, the whole formation behind, had to readjust for my move. After the ride was over I kept my eye on the stranger where he parked and what he was wearing. “No Trouble,” I was told by the girls as I approached him, What were you doing out their? And have you been drinking? No he said with a nervous voice and “I am sorry”, It’s just that I have never road in formation before, not with so many and I was nervous. Why did you not accept my hand sir? I asked in anger. I have an “OCD,” which is a fear of meeting strangers, and I was weary of all here. I thought, he was neither a fool or a drunk, he was brave and misdirected “that’s all.” I held my hand out for him and smiled, saying if you need a hand with that, here is mine, he looked down and grabbed my hand. We exchanged numbers and parted ways. I will give him a call and have him meat our Safety officer and get him a lesson in group riding for free.