- This past Sunday I took part in a charity motorcycle ride to benefit the New Hampshire SPCA. I’m not normally a fan of riding with other people but it was an excuse to get out on the bike and it was for a good cause. Besides, I haven’t had that much experience in a group ride anyway, so I figured that I’d try again. Last time I went on one I got stuck at a red light and the group had to wait for me. That may have been what soured me on riding in a large group. This time, we had police officers and assigned “road blockers” stopping traffic at intersections to let the rest of the group through.
- Another reason that I don’t normally ride in large groups is that I normally don’t take part in group activities anyway. But that’s a silly reason not to go on a bike ride, as you can’t really talk to each other while riding. At the two stops I talked to a few people a little bit, for the most part I just hung out with my sister and brother-in-law, who rode their own bikes to the event as well.
- One person that did talk to me during the ride was one of the police officers. After they block traffic and go to the back of the line, they put on the lights and make their way back to the front of the group. People are supposed to ride on the right to let them past. The problem with is that this guy would zoom up right behind people and lay on his siren. If I was watching the bike in front of me just during that moment for whatever reason, such as my brother-in-law who hadn’t ridden in three years and I could tell lacked some confidence at first, the cop apparently would get pissed. One of the times he passed he yelled at me. However, I never found out what he said. And I don’t think that I was the only one that thought he was a jerk. Fortunately, he left after the first stop and we only had the other police officer, who was much better about passing people on the left.
- One of the benefits of the ride were the free meals. At the first stop, a country club in Newmarket, we got free pizza and then there was a cash bar. The pizza was okay—but I’m not going to complain about complimentary pizza. Then the last stop was at Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of vegetarian food aside from some garnish and potato salad. There were plenty of vegetarians there as well aside from just my sister and me. You would think that the organizers of the event would realize that there weren’t just bikers who also wanted to support the animals, but animal lovers who also ride bikes. I ended up going inside and ordering a veggie burger which really wasn’t all that great and overpriced.
- Overall, the ride was fun. But I think that I’d rather just donate to the NHSPCA from now on and not bother with the group ride. I didn’t get anything out of the experience that I don’t get out of solo rides, aside from cops yelling at me. That, and each leg of the ride was an hour and a half, which is a little longer than I like to ride between stops.