Saturday May 18th marked the Bigg’s Harley Davidson 11th Annual May Ride. The ride is like most other Harley and motorcycle functions with the exception that the May Ride raises money for our military. Usually I’d be hesitant to pay $40 to register for a ride, but when it directly benefits our Armed Forces I’m more than willing. The ride was founded by two San Diego riders Clint August and Marc Baluch, two men passionate about charity and especially that which benefits the frontline defenders of our country.
Besides the two hour ride, those who took part enjoyed a barbeque, free pancake breakfast, over 60 vendors, street bike stunt shows, a raffle, live bands, a dunk tank, a mechanical bull and a car show. Oh, and the gorgeous waitresses from Hooters of Oceanside.
The ride started from Bigg’s Harley in San Marcos, through Harmony Grove, out to Escondido, passed Lake Wohlford and then back to Bigg’s. There were about five groups numbering between 50 – 100 riders, leaving in fine minute intervals. Each thirty minutes we would re-group at a pre-determined spot where we would receive a poker card stamp that was good for prizes to the winners. We even had “blockers”, riders blocking traffic at intersections to insure the whole group got through. If only we could always have blockers riding with us! I’m sure many the cagers didn’t appreciate the gesture, being forced to wait at a green light for 60 or more bikers to pass.
My approximation is that around 90% of the riders rode Harleys, 5% sport bikes, and 5% dual sports…there was even a scooter or two. The crowd consisted of many chapters, clubs and various other groups. Most had on their full cruiser gear and almost all patches I saw were for supporting our military. It was awesome, and when the national anthem began, we all stopped what we were doing (whether it was talking or staring at the Hooters girls’ butts), removed our hats and listened with just the ripples of the American flag waving in the wind to interrupt the music. In this moment I couldn’t help thinking to myself that bikers might have a bad rap for being too loud, too dangerous, too obnoxious, too hillbilly…but those who ride are a proud people, and aren’t afraid to show that they support our country at all costs. It’s times like this that I have never been more proud to be an American, or a motorcyclist.