Life, Death & Bikers

A week ago tonight a friend, a fellow Road Captain in our HOG Chapter, lost a horrible battle with cancer that lasted a few short months. We attended his viewing on Tuesday. Some of my friends, and sometimes their friends, meet death on the road in a flash of flesh, steel and asphalt. Unfortunately I have witnessed it. Sometimes my biker friends, and even my wife, lose a parent to old age. During my five years in the biker community I have been to the viewings of two friends lost to the road, four parents of fellow riders, my father in law and now a friend who died of lung cancer.

Before joining our HOG Chapter I wasn’t part of a community. Members from different riding clubs get to know each other. We see each other at rallies, bike nights and charity runs. It’s great being part of something! It’s like I finally joined the human race! But I see death and experience loss far more than before.

The members of this extended family support each other in grief. All feel the loss and share the family’s heartache. I can’t tell you if our community is more supportive than others. I don’t belong to a church group, a softball team or even a fantasy football league. I can tell you that leather clad bikers come out in droves to support their friends and pay their respects. At these viewings it’s hard to find a parking space. The line usually extends out the door and down the walk. Members of the biker community come to support the immediate family of the deceased. All members share the loss, lean on each other and embrace the family.

If I wasn’t part of this community, I wouldn’t know as much about life. I wouldn’t be as familiar with death. And I definitely wouldn’t know how people, who would otherwise be strangers, put aside their differences to comfort each other when faced with the loss of a friend, lover or family member.

RIP Bob aka Senior. You are missed.