Doug Desaulniers: Story behind the story
July 18, 2013
I'm writing about the motorcycle accident that happened July 2 when a German tourist was killed. I'm writing because of a story behind the story.
It just so happens that I was with four of my biker buddies on a long motorcycle trip when we stopped in a little restaurant in Wyoming for lunch July 1. This was in the middle of the prairie in a town I think was called Split Rock. We pull in and see five other Harley-Davidson motorcycles and see the American flags on them. (We did not see the German flags right away.) We go inside and see the other bikers and quickly realize they were from Germany. Between their broken English and our broken German, we figured out what both groups were doing: spending two weeks riding across America. We have done it for the past six years, and the Germans come over every other year.
We talked and laughed, and the Germans presented us with a German flag with their names on it and lapel pins with the American and German flags. They came prepared to make friends, and they did. And we have a picture to remember them by.
As we were winding down, a group of bikers from the U.K. came in. Imagine, a small town in the middle of nowhere and three groups of bikers from three countries converge at the same place at the same time.
As we rode on, we told people we met about the chance meeting because it was such a pleasant encounter. It was truly one of the highlights of our trip.
To hear about the accident and Berni's death puts a damper on the experience. However, as bikers, we know we are more vulnerable than if we were in a car, but we ride because we love it. There is a saying: "Live to Ride, Ride to Live." There is some consolation in knowing that Berni was doing what he loved to do when the accident happened.
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We'd like to let the Germans know we are thinking of them.