Saturday, January 12, the weather where I live is usually frosty cold — not conducive to riding a motorcycle. But today we had a break. Predicted for more than a week, the air temperatures climbed close to 60F (15.5C). So what better way for a biker dude like me to enjoy it? RIDE!
23 brave souls — that is, brave enough to agree to follow me — joined me for a ride through backroads and byways of our home state to a quaint old town where we had lunch. I was relaxed and happy leading this ride. I was able to relax because I rode the route by myself two days ago to familiarize myself with the turns and potential trouble spots.
There I am, in full leather (Chip Firefighters, leather jeans, chaps, leather shirt, vest, and jacket) with a bunch of bikers similarly attired — and in this photo, with a sister’s closest friend from childhood (standing with her big Harley). We had a great time — terrific way to shake the winter blues and cabin fever.
Does it matter that a gay man led this ride? Did anyone care? Nope — not at all. I am a safety-oriented ride leader. Not “that gay guy who rides a Harley in leather.” I enjoy leading rides and the camaraderie of fellow safe riders. My being gay has nothing to do with it.
To prove that point… as I approached a group at the far end of the table to thank them for coming, I overheard one new member ask a seasoned member, “are there any gay people in this club?” Two of the members who have known me for years gave me a glance. One of them turned to the guy asking the question and said, “does it matter?” That was the correct response!
I could have gone to a gay leather gathering in Washington, DC, today. But to me, going for a ride, leading a group, and enjoying the comments of “great ride!” from my fellow riders was much more fun.
Life is short: RIDE!