After work on Tuesday, a few of us gathered at Legends Tavern for 35 cent wings. We shared some great laughs as we often do, but for me, this evening was a bit different.
Riding with a motorcycle ministry, it is easy to wear my colours outside of my own city. At home though, there is the likelihood that I will encounter people I know, and the awkwardness can creep in. I need to stand completely unashamed of my faith, (which, by the way, is easier to do when it’s not emblazoned across your back), so this time, I rode my bike and wore my colours to the bar. I was not ashamed, even though there were people there who I knew, and a few that felt the need to stare, confused why a Christian flag, and a “Jesus Is Lord” rocker would be at the bar. I’ve been in the bars before with my colours, but typically at the end of an organized ride or fund raiser. Not this time. And it was different.
After wings, Dennielle and I rode down to the beach. We stopped at Mackies in Port Stanley. I have been to Mackies more times than I care to count and consumed more calories that I can count, but there was something different this time.
Mackies is a great place with Orange-ade – the stuff legends are made of – and the best dipping sauce. I have no idea what it is, but it’s fantastic on fries and this sauce kicks Swiss Chalet’s butt. The other great aspect of Mackies is their recognition of motorcycles and local sports celebrities. Joe Thornton’s jerseys from his various teams and leagues are signed and plastered up throughout the place, and outside there is a designated parking section for motorcycles only. There’s something almost magical about bikes and the beach.
When I was walking through the restaurant, I noticed a man with biker colours on, but I didn’t recognize them. They looked Native and that was new to me.
Dennielle and I sat outside for a while just taking in the sights and sounds of the beach. Two people, presumably a couple, were casually scouring the beach with metal detectors in hopes of finding enough for retirement. I read that Dave Booth of Scotland who had only had a metal detector for five days made a discovery that rocked his world and changed his life. He discovered an “incredibly rare cache of five gold treasure pieces that were grouped tightly together – three intact necklace and two fragments of another.” Reportedly, the discovery soon had international interest. According to Kelly Code Detectors, “these four golden neck pieces, referred to as ‘torcs,’ are estimated to date 300 an 100 BC. Early speculation has been that his “Stirlingshire Hoard” could fetch more than $1.5 million!” I think it is safe to assume this isn’t happening in Port Stanley, but if it did, this couples lives would be forever changed.
Aside from treasure hunters, the beach had many families enjoying their evening out, splashing in the water, giggles and childhood yells could be heard. Seagulls had all come home from the Wal-Mart parking lot for the night and were occasionally stirred up as children ran through the flock.
After some time, the biker and two women came outside. They were taking some pictures and I offered to take a couple of the three of them, Lake Erie in the background. As guys in colours do, we got to talking and it turned out that Bill was there with his wife, Sha, and her cousin. Bill and Sha ride with Lenape Nation M.C. out of New York state and were in the area to visit her family.
Most members of Lenape Nation M.C. are part of Six Nations in New York who have come together to share their love and enjoyment of riding. Bill and Sha rode up to Ontario on their 2008 Harley Davidson Street Glide. I admit a shred of envy. It really doesn’t matter what you ride though, as long as you ride.
We talked together for quiet some time about our lives and our groups. We shared some laughs of course; Bill has a patch on his colours that reads “Think you can trust the government, ask an Indian.” Bill has been riding longer than I have but it didn’t matter. This stranger, now biker friend, and I connected well as we swapped stories of rides and rallies. The huge biker world that is often referred to as family has an uncanny ability to break down barriers of all kinds – race, colour and creed. Bill and I know that each are welcome if we find ourselves in the other’s home town. Pictures were taken with our colours together and emails were exchanged before we parted ways to meet again on the road somewhere down the line.
Interesting how on the same day, in one place, colours can separate you from people, yet in another they can draw you together as a commonality.
Everyone has a story from the road. What a great evening.