Bike Ride with the Nam Knights: A Short Story
I participated in the event as a co-lead motorcycle rider for the Metric Century ride. It was an exciting start to see such a large pack of bicyclists rolling up from behind in my rear view mirror as we left the brewery and onto John Marshall Highway. They all pretty much stayed together in a pack as we proceeded up Mountain Road towards Road Host Location #4 (at Old Carolina Rd & Buchannon Gap Rd). It was at this point that I noticed a single rider had built a moderate gap ahead of the rest of the pack. That gap continued to grow every mile. By the time were about a mile or so from the first rest area at Hibbs Bridge, there were no other cyclists in sight behind the lead cyclist. It was at this time that I asked the other co-lead motorcycle rider to stop at the rest area and wait for the main pack so that they would have a lead motorcyclist and I would continue on with the single lead cyclist.
I continued on past the first rest stop to see if the lead cyclist planned to continue without stopping. He continued. In fact, the lead cyclist never stopped on the course to take an intentional break. The only time I can remember him putting his feet down was to obey a red traffic light in the town of Marshall. Once the traffic light changed to green, he was quickly back on his pace. After we passed the final rest area, I realized he was not going to stop until we made it back to the Farm Brewery. I then slowed to a pace that would maintain a gap between us of about 75 feet. I did this because there was no shoulder on John Marshall highway and there was now a lot more vehicle traffic on the road compared to when we started the event. I did consider dropping behind the lead cyclist so that my emergency flashers could provide a visual cue for vehicles approaching us from behind. However, I stayed in front just as I did from the very beginning, and I also felt that my emergency flashers could still be seen if I were shortly in front of him.
When we arrived at the brewery and turned up the driveway, I pulled over to the side and stopped to let him pass and be the first person from the Metric Century route to ride into the Farm Brewery. Instead of going by me, he pulled up next to me, stopped, and said “Thank you for staying up there for me.” I told him, “No problem, let’s finish this. You go first.” He rode into the Farm Brewery and towards the main building. I followed behind and went to park my motorcycle. I dismounted and approached the rider (I don’t remember his name), and I told him that he was an “ANIMAL”. He thanked me for the comment and said that he really appreciated that I never stopped along the route because he was using my motorcycle as the rabbit he was trying to catch. He then asked if I would be available to pace him every time he went out cycling. We both laughed, shook hands, and wished each other a good day.
Vice President, Sons of Titans Chapter
Nam Knights of America MC