Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Labor Day weekend, September 2011

The patch for the remembrance ride, Sept. 11, 2011, 10 years.
A memorial remembrance run was planned for the 9-11, 10-year anniversary. While I did not know anyone who died that day, I remember my horror at seeing it happening on television.

I was getting ready for work, dressing, doing hair and so on. I came out of the bedroom and Biker Bill had he TV on. He was watching a movie that was placed in New York City, the twin towers being destroyed. I asked what he was watching. He told me … and it was not a movie.

It was an ugly, horrific sight taking place before my eyes, and I could do nothing but watch. I could not go to work and called in saying I was watching the terror attack on my nation, one of my cities, my United States of America. I had to see it all. I could not help myself and watched for hours, went to work, and came home and continued to watch for days until I could no longer take any more. It was disgusting, angering, frustrating.

Our nation has the best people in times of emergencies. Firefighters, police, medical professionals, searchers and their dogs, good Samaritans. They were all there that day to help. And in return, many of them lost their lives as they worked to save others.

The back of the shirt for the remembrance ride.  We will never forget.  I am proud to be an American, always have been, always will be.  The best people in the world live in the good ole U.S. of A.

Our memorial ride was to take place over three days, with a symbolic 911 miles being ridden in memory of that attack and those who died.

The group prior to taking off on the symbolic 911 miles in remembrance of the 9-11 Twin Tower attack.

On Friday, Sept. 9, the first leg of the journey, two of my own went down, due to rain and wet paint on the highway. It happened near Fairbanks, and I am grateful and thankful it wasn't worse than it was.

My friend, Birdie, was riding Number 1, and I was riding Number 2. It's hard to describe, except I keep seeing it in my mind, over and over again.

Birdie was up going around a slight corner into a straight stretch, leading us into Fairbanks those last few miles. Suddenly there were sparks on the pavement, and the bike was on its side. It spun round and round, with parts and pieces, and personal items being tossed on the wind as though there was no weight to any of them. Birdie was flat on her stomach, her head up, her arms out and she looked as though she was body surfing as she slid along the pavement, thankfully separated from the bike. The paint was the culprit but also her friend that day as she slid along, barely registering any damage on her body or her attire.

The bike continued to spin first one way, then the other. Then it caught, and began to cartwheel, finally digging in at the edge of the road, and coming to a stop just short of going over the embankment.

Omg, I was shaking, avoiding the debris in the road, riding past Birdie, coming to a stop a ways down the road. I couldn't get the kickstand down, or the bike parked. Finally, I was able to reach a stop and park the bike. I grabbed my cell phone and a pair of glasses and began walking back, picking up her personal items, cell phone, papers. I reached the motorcycle and hit the kill switch and turned off the ignition. My stomach was roiling and I wanted to throw up, my head was spinning and I was shaking like a leaf not knowing the outcome.
And then there she was, our tuff biker girl Amazon, walking around. She was up and moving. We spoke, and all she said to me was, “Put your fucking helmet on.”

Then I saw there was another bike down. When had that happened? Jon had also hit the paint slowing down because of the accident. His bike was scratched up, mostly on the brand new saddlebag he'd just put on, but the bike was rideable. He had a dislocated shoulder and rode to the hospital himself.

Birdie's bike was totaled. Of all the luck, a man came by minutes later and asked if he could haul anything. Yes, and they loaded the bike and Birdie and hauled both to the Harley shop.

By the time the rest of us had gathered up the remainder of Birdie's belongings, gotten back on our bikes and arrived at the shop, Birdie had a new Ultra Classic Limited purchased and rolled off the floor to get it ready for her to ride the next day. From accident to purchase??? Less than an hour. Could the rest of us do that?

Birdie and her new Ultra Classic Limited, 006 miles, Sept. 9.  Our tuff girl.

Birdie is our tuff biker chick, coming through the accident with some bumps and bruises and a very bruised and swollen knuckle. Our girl, our Princess. She's one that others are looking up to, and will continue looking up to. But hopefully she won't be doing this stunt again. EVER!!!

That day others came to our rescue in helping our friend and fellow biker. They stopped to offer medical assistance, to help pick up, to help load and haul both the totaled motorcycle and our friend. That's how people are in times of crisis and need. Thank you all.