Some time ago I attended an annual charity benefit put on by bikers. For some reason this event always has the biggest turn out and raises more money in Kansas City and the surrounding areas than it does anywhere else in the country for this charity. This particular time it was estimated that over eight thousand bikers showed up to participate in this one day ride. I have heard of many rides that have had many more than this number participating in them. This was just the largest ride I had ever been a participant of.
Now I have to put this in the proper perspective. This was eight thousand riders who paid good money to participate in a ride for charity. During the ride I was amazed at what eight thousand bikes looked like. All along the route as people would stop to get a drink, take a piss, or fill-up their bikes we inundated the filling stations of the small towns. You could stop and use the services take a break while the entire time bikes were flying by continuing on down the road. I remember one poignant moment when I was in the middle of a valley on a two lane black top and as far as you could see forwards and backwards on the road to each horizon was a line of bikes two by two.
As a student of military history it dawned on me that this was the cavalry of the future if there ever was to be all out war in this country, or God forbid, an all-out revolution against our government. One of my most popular posts by far has been Guns in America. You take the numbers from that post regarding gun ownership in America and consider that bike registration in America has increased 75% between 1997 and 2006. The number of registered bikes went from 3,826,373 in 1997 to 6,678,958 in 2006. Since 1997 to 2006 the sale of new street legal bikes increased by 243%.
There is no way to cross reference how many bike owners are also owners of firearms but you could only imagine that outside of the red necks in their trucks with hunting rifles there is an Army of bikers who are armed as well. It made me shudder how a town could be enveloped and literally taken over in moments by bikers. Imagine if they were lead in an organized fashion and they entered the town from different directions. Even a modern mechanized Army would have trouble dealing with the speed and maneuverability afforded by motorcycles.
As a science fiction writer and avid reader who is currently plowing my way through “The Hunger Games” series of books you can see how I live in a world of make believe. Yet in real life I have recently seen more revolution in the world during the last few years than I have ever seen before in my lifetime. From time to time people get restless and corrupt or oppressive regimes get over thrown. More often than not the group that takes over isn’t much better than what they had to begin with. As a student of history this pattern repeats itself over and over again.
The greatest of storms announces itself as a gentle breeze. Only by looking back in history can you identify the little sparks that ignited enormous rebellions. As populations increase, the global economy grows closer together and the frame work of society are stretched it becomes harder to gauge the action reaction of specific events. Atrocities of all shapes and sizes are still being played out in the name of control, greed, and the exercising of power over others. As an old soldier I know that nobody prays for peace more than the soldiers and their families.
I personally own a bike and a gun. I will never relinquish either without one hell of a fight.
By the way there is an unspoken brotherhood and relationship amongst bikers that almost equals that of veterans. I am proud to be a member of both groups. Bikers and Veterans can be the best people you ever meet or the absolute worst! Usually the difference is you and what you stand for or against.