Even though I write about wounded veterans…
Even though I spent five years as a medic in the Army National Guard…
Even though our family business (www.LeaderMotorcycle.com) goes to great lengths to manufacture products in the USA…
Sometimes it takes getting on my motorcycle to be reminded.
And I was recently reminded in spades during the annual Patriot Ride … and from the passenger seat, no less! (Those who know me will be shocked; indeed, I can’t remember the last time I rode bitch.)
The story goes like this: My husband’s battery was giving up the ghost on Friday. He stopped at a battery store and picked up a new one. The sales guy told him it was “ready to go” and didn’t need to be charged. I suggested he plug it in anyway, but after dinner out with friends, it must have slipped his mind.
You guessed it – the next morning he had no ride. It was either miss the Patriot Ride or go two-up. Now here’s another little-known secret: way (way) back, my husband was man enough to ride on the back of MY motorcycle (yeah, I was the biker when we met). He’d done his time; I figured it was only fair to let him drive.
People lined the streets. They sat out front of their homes. They flew American flags. They waved and applauded as we went by (their hands must have been sore by the end – 3000 bikes!). In our hometown, we were greeted by an American flag taller than the people holding it up!
I didn’t realize how much I needed those people. I needed to be reminded that Americans still love their country, believe in their country, and will do what it takes to support their country and those representing it. I was humbled that they took time to appreciate us riders … as we supported America simply by doing what we love to do. How much more American can you get?
My favorite rider? A veteran with a prosthetic leg riding a Harley trike. HE was out there doing. Not letting his physical situation stop him. How can I let setbacks in my life stop me when I see that??
America is still The Great.
I will admit that riding on the back of a motorcycle is NOT my preference (my body told me that in no uncertain terms). But what I felt about Americans that day … it was worth it. Oh, and there are no pictures to prove I rode bitch. 🙂