The small of band of Skuldmen MC pulled out and hit the Wilbur Cross Parkway again. Side by side, the best way to ride, they screamed down the picturesque highway in central Connecticut. Ten minutes later they blasted through the Heroes Tunnel in West Rock Ridge. Between the eerie orange glow the sodium vapor lamps gave off and the thunderous roar of the Harleys reverberating off the walls, the nearly quarter mile ride through the tunnel from end to end was exhilarating. Every rider knows this sound. It rumbles through you like a second heartbeat.
After an hour of riding a road well known for its scenic layout, uniquely styled signage, and architecturally elaborate overpasses, shifting and throttle control became a very familiar game that helped to pass the time. As they sped past the Welcome to New York State sign on the Hutchinson River Parkway at seventy miles per hour, Big Keith motioned to Jimmie, indicating their next stop was just ahead. Raising his left hand and pointing to the left side of the road as the exit lane appeared, the motorcycles slowed down together and pulled off into the service area in the middle of the road. When they shut down, the thunder from their pipes ceased, and it seemed eerily quiet in comparison.
Chapter 32/Page 223: One Light Coming: A Biker’s Story (Book 3 in a series) published by Blockhead City Press released on 1Oct2011. Available through bookstores everywhere, and Amazon.com and B&N.com
On the other side of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel at the southern tip of Manhattan, Mike the MapMan suggested a tour of Times Square. Considering we would be traveling a half dozen blocks west of Times Square it was agreed upon. We cut a right on 46th Street and headed across to Broadway to loop down into Times Square for a quick run through. Now, I’ve ridden in the deserts of West Texas, and through the mountains of New England, and across the plains of the Dakotas (both North and South) and all through Wyoming. But nothing is like riding the canyons of New York City. The rumbling of our bikes, the shear thunder bouncing off the buildings as it tries to climb and escape only to tumble back down on us was fabulous. We made the right onto Broadway and did a slow crawl toward Times Square. It was something out of a Ridley Scott movie, what with all of us decked out in leather in the middle of the street surrounded by what seemed like a thousand yellow taxicabs, being looked down upon by 4-5 story high neon and video display billboards. But the sound of our machines is all we heard.
Chapter 7/ Page 125: “Ride To The Wall” – manuscript in progress.
To some, just say Rolling Thunder and they immediately think of the annual ride to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.
It’s held every year in May.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of Riders of all kinds descend on the city to pay tribute. And it is a truly righteous event.
To some, Rolling Thunder is the sound that a pack of Bikers make as we scream down the streets and highways of this country. Get three or four bikes together, riding close and tight, and you get Rolling Thunder.
To me, in the past months, Rolling Thunder has taken on a new meaning; sort of combining both the 2nd definition from above and something else.
Something not so complementary.
On a recent trip out of state, with some boys I don’t typically ride with, when we got to a place to eat, they kinda took over the place. They were loud. They were obnoxious. And they were this way for no other reason except for the fact that they wanted to be.
They wanted to make ‘thunder’ in a small town restaurant, riding big loud machines, with out of state plates, just to prove to themselves that they were tough. Or at least that’s the impression they wanted to make. They were tough and not to be screwed with.
Maybe it’s me, but I prefer to be tough only when I have to be.
I only want to be loud when I want to be heard over the sound of something else.
I want to be tough only when I am protecting those that I love; and there are damned few of those.
I won’t ride with these guys again. I don’t want to be part of that rolling thunder.
I won’t make thunder hoping that some John Q. Public citizen will be scared of me.
I don’t need people to be scared of me, unless I want to scare them on purpose.
And I rarely, if ever, want to scare anyone on purpose.
One is a for a good cause.
One is for no reason.
Think about which one you would want to be part of.