Group Ride

Those who have been reading my postings have noticed a theme of firsts. Today was no different. Although this is the first post for December and the first after a long absence of writing (no the “first” for this post), I rode with an open group ride for Domestic Violence. The ride was to bring light to those suffering in silence, hear those who escaped, and remember those who lost their life to an act of domestic violence.

To be honest, I was told about this event last week and only saw it as a reason to ride. Boy was I wrong. It was an eye-opening experience. I, like most, thought domestic violence is strictly physical and a man against a woman. NO! The violence takes many forms from mental to physical. The victim can be anyone – male or female, child or adult. The perpetrator can also be anyone – male or female, child or adult. Violence is violence regardless who conducts or who receives. And the stigma and shame are just as great no matter who is involved. And it affects all walks of life. That said, let’s talk about getting ready for the ride.

The gathering included riders from at least two color-flying clubs that I could see as well as others riding as a group and those riding solo (such as myself). There were even car clubs riding along Registration was by donations only – you gave what you felt – and a notebook in which you could put you name and organization (I put down CMA). Two of the bravest women I know stood up and told their story, that they are a survivor. Of all the “mandatory briefings” I sat through in the military, none of them held a candle to the out-pouring ten minute I witnessed before they announced “kick stands up” (KSU) at noon. That meant more than any briefing ever!

The “Chozen Riders” led the way and provided road-guard support for the ride when we rode out of our police escort. I was not up at the front, but I was close enough that I could see the lead group and how they rode. It was almost like military precision how they rode two by two as a unit. I wrote about taking an online course before the actual riding course and how it opened my eyes to things a car driver does not think about. Watching the hand signals from the lead group and watching how they trickle down through the riding ranks have me now wanting to go back and take some other classes for myself.

I already knew that riding as a group or in a group requires some non-verbal communications because most riders do not have radio means of communicating. Being able to talk with other riders is fun and informative for those such as myself who are learning to ride are open to critiques on their riding. Most information when riding in a group is which way to go and beware of squishies in the road.

Overall, this ride was very enjoyable and the fellowship of riders communing with nature, fresh air, and great weather. All I can say is God is good.

Jeff Allmond

12 December 2020

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