"The Black Rats". It was a grey, damp day on Sept 19th, but thousands of us turned out, rode in groups around the Garrison and through Richmond and raised over £17,600 for the post deployment support of the servicemen and families of the 4th Mechanised Brigade.
OK, here's another biker/military story from America, which I read in the latest edition of "The Road", the magazine of The Motorcycle Action Group, to which I belong:
An 18 year US Marine Corps veteran and his female passenger were thrown from a motorcycle when they veered off the road near Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. According to newspaper reports, both sustained painful injuries due to total lack of safety gear; no helmets, no gloves, no boots....in fact no clothes at all.
The naked riders landed in a ditch and the marine was knocked unconscious and awoke to charges of `driving without a licence, licence revoked, no roadworthiness certificate, no insurance, and no helmet. His passenger walked nearly a mile for help despite a broken arm and leg, but was only ticketed for failing to wear a helmet. Apparently, riding in the buff is not a traffic offence in Onslow County as neither were charged with exhibitionism or failure to exhibit common sense.
This morning I was in town doing a bit of shopping. As I was getting on my bike, an old guy sporting a USMC cap came up for a chat. He was an 85 yr old US Marine Veteran, over visiting his family who are posted to a military base nearby. He'd fought in the Pacific in WW2, so I was incredibly lucky, and honoured, to meet him. It was a friendly greeting and mutual exchange, which is more than I normally get from the locals in posh northerntown, who usually look down their snooties at the leather clad Hogday and his ilk. I wonder what it is about the military and bikers that prompts such a close bond?