Last week you read where four motorcyclists from Veterans of Foreign Wars accompanied U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to the airport to fly to the rehab hospital in Houston.
More power to them. Like all motorcycle clubs who provide escorts, they are fuflilling their own desire to give meaning to their motorcycling, and perhaps they are giving people a feeling of support in the meantime.
And I sure understand that. I have a motorcycle, and I too dig meaning.
Did you know I belong to a motorcycle gang?
Yes, except the gang I belong to doesn't go in for that patriotic stuff, like escorting veterans' funeral processions. We don't strap Christmas gifts to our gas tanks and ride them down Western Avenue to give to children so needy they need gas-soaked presents. And we don't ride to Washington to saw a hole in the ozone over the Vietnam Memorial.
The Harley guys have that stuff covered.
Our gang? The Hard Cases?
We ride Triumphs and BMWs.
Our motorcycle jackets have sleeves.
And we bring our rolling thunder to escort battered wives to court dates, gay couples to weddings, corporate layoff victims to the unemployment office, divorcees to the tavern, drunks to their first AA meeting, poor people through rich neighborhoods and rich people through poor neighborhoods, spinsters with lost dogs to check at the pound, sad people to psychiatrists, terminal patients home from the doctor who just diagnosed them, Catholics to confession, kids to get their first cavities filled and panicky people to IRS offices.
It's not glamorous.
But we're the Hard Cases. That's just how we roll.
(Well, when we're asked. Which is never. So we mostly just ride aimlessly around Illinois looking for curvy roads and, when we're ambitious, to breweries in Wisconsin.)