The conversation turned to motorcycles, which was pretty typical when my friends met at the coffee pot at work. On this occasion there happened to be an “outsider” within earshot. I was discussing one of my favorite topics – a Saturday morning breakfast ride. This is a topic I know something about. I spend considerable time researching small breakfast-serving diners in my area.
My long time friend and riding buddy commented that a Saturday morning breakfast ride sounded like fun but he just couldn’t get motivated to get up and moving on the weekend. I am just the opposite. I have been working since I was 16. It was drilled in me that I needed to be responsible and show up on time whatever the job was. Over time this was so ingrained in my psyche that I didn’t need an alarm clock. I would just tell myself what time I needed to get up and my eyes would pop open at that time. The problem with this has been that I can’t seem to turn it off. The internal wake-up call happens even on weekends. I envy the people that can sleep on days off. I just can’t do it. (I have gotten pretty good at taking naps though.)
Back to the story line. The bystander in our coffee area mentioned that he had a bike that hadn’t been out of the garage for over a year. He just couldn’t find a good reason to roll the bike out on Saturday morning when the rest of the household was asleep. I mentioned that I didn’t go to breakfast until 8:00 or so. It wasn’t like I was rolling out at 3:00 AM. This passing discussion put an idea in my head.
There are several people in my company that own motorcycles. I thought a few of them might be interested in having a reason / motivation to wheel them out of the garage at a time when family demands are typically pretty low (ie: Saturday mornings). I consulted a few friends that ride and got unanimous approval to set something up. I referred to this group as the “founding fathers”.
The activities involved in organizing the first get-together were extensive. Well actually it involved sending an email and copying all the people I knew who rode bikes. As I recall, there were 11 names on the distribution. I encouraged everyone to invite spouses, children, or friends even though my wife would only be available infrequently. The email was clear that this was not a group ride. We were going to meet up at a diner and have a casual breakfast together. The choice of diner was strategically placed about 1/2 way between my house and the participant farthest from my house.
Since our attendee list included someone from 100 miles from me, my ride would be an hour or so. This seemed like the perfect distance. I figured if I left the garage at 8:00, I could be there by 9:15ish. That became the default time for our festivities.
Along the way, I thought it would be fun to have “colors” since every good motorcycle “gang” wears colors. We ordered some t-shirts with a funny looking stock graphic and put some text on it describing us as “breakfast ride bikers”. I may be the only one that uses that term but at least it’s forever emblazoned on our t-shirts.
We started getting together about 5 or 6 years ago. The group has changed over the years due to some career changes, motorcycle sales, and demands of growing families. The list grew to 26 names at some point and now stands at 21. We have a Virginia chapter and a Wisconsin chapter (OK -it’s just one guy in each of those states that moved away from Indiana). The core group of founding fathers has stuck with it. The breakfasts usually last about an hour and a half and include about 5 pots of coffee. Whether we create an issue for the restaurant involved is a matter of debate. We do take up space but generally tip pretty well (especially if the coffee continues to get delivered).
I’m not a big fan of group rides. This is not that. It is a group of friends that sit at the table and solve the world’s problems (if someone would only listen to us). I love getting together with this group. It’s way better than sleeping in on a Saturday morning.