The unrelenting rain the previous night made many an MRO volunteer nervous about how the weather will turn out the next day. One look at the MRO Facebook page and you can see growing apprehension among the mostly excited participants. As the evening drew to a close and a light shower covering the city, I was pretty sure the following day would greet us with sunshine.
As the day dawned on the 12th, all signs that a clear day was ahead of us were apparent. The sun was out, clouds were present but few and far between, the roads were dry. Time to do this.
Arriving a bit late for the opening ceremonies, I made my way up and down the long lines of parked motorcycles, big and small, that lined almost the entire stretch of White Plains Ave. A big throng of bikes blocked the approach to the people power monument itself so I decided to just anonymously park my bike at the rear of the line, a good 10 minute walk from the podium.
It was good to see familiar faces and better to see new faces. The renewed unity that MRO was bringing back to the community has sparked a guarded optimism in me. As I said during my brief speech on the podium, I have been around for a while and have seen the community unite and divide so many times it was getting rather hard to believe that full unity was even possible. But seeing the participants that morning gave me hope. Here we were, bikers. No classifications, no displacements, no socio-economic gobbledygook separating one from the other. Just kindred spirits and brothers on the road fighting for what all of us believe in.
As the speeches ended and the motorcade began, I felt pride in seeing the community united once again. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that and I hope it stays that way a long, long time.
Congratulations MRO and congratulations to all of us!