Those Damn Dirty Bikers

Memorial Day Weekend (2013)

Ottawa, IL

It was a cold and rainy weekend, so the usual Memorial Day happenings, the backyard barbecues, bags tournaments, horseshoes, and other outdoor spring activities had been toned down some.

There was one group in town that didn’t seem to be bothered by the weather. The parking lot at the Hampton Inn, just off of I-80, was full of motorcycles. There were a couple of tents set up, and it seemed that this big motorcycle gang had just taken over the hotel for the weekend.CVMA Ride

The whole place was crawling with bikers dressed in leather, wearing do-rags and bandannas, and they were all gritty looking with long beards and stringy hair. Some of them had tattooed forearms and hands, and their tattered leather vests were covered with pins and dirty looking patches. The whole group of them just sat around the hotel parking lot drinking beer and liquor, sometimes straight from the bottle. It was clearly some sort of motorcycle gang or something, they all had the same dingy looking patch on their backs. It was a red and yellow skull with a black spade in the middle. Why weren’t the police doing anything about this public nuisance?LaSalle

Four of them, two men and two women threw down their beer cans and walked across the road to the local Farm & Fleet store. They went right to the work wear section. Maybe their boots, chaps, jackets, and vests weren’t quite enough leather for them. They looked at the leather jackets and gloves, and then walked around the store like they were casing the place for a robbery. Finally, one of the couples went to the checkout, while the other two waited by the exit.

Shoppers stared at them, and tried to keep their distance.

My wife and I sat down on a bench near the door and waited for our friends to join us. A cute little girl in blonde pig-tails and a pink dress walked over to look at the candy machines next to where we were sitting. She smiled, and we smiled back at her.  The mother quickly came over and grabbed her by the arm and dragged her away.

“Get away from there, it’s not safe,” she whispered through clenched teeth.

My wife looked at the door and then at me. “Weird, it’s not like she couldn’t  see her from the register. She wasn’t so close to the door that she could leave unnoticed.”

I smiled at my wife and patted her leg. “She’s not worried about the door, honey. She’s worried about us.”  JT Theresa CVMA 2