The Story of "Fast Eddie"
There once was an old scooter tramp named Eddie. He'd ridden a lot of miles in his years and he had reached a point in his life to where he wanted to kick back, share some of what he'd seen and learned during his years on the road and to bask in the warmth of the brotherhood of belonging. He could see there were a lot of up and coming young bikers in the world today. Hell, there were men and even women bikers and many more than there were back in his day. In his day the public treated bikers like outlaws or troublemakers or malcontents. Now days you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting someone claiming to be a “biker”. Today the term "brotherhood" was thrown around more than a midget at an Irish Pub. So old Eddie started searching for a place to be, a place where the old ways were still respected, a place where a person was judged by the way he carried himself and not by how new his scooter was or how much he'd spent on his leathers. A place that still understood and valued "respect" and "honor" and "trust".
Much to Eddie's surprise, there weren't many places out there that still held to the credo of a biker's lifestyle. Sure there were a lot of MC's that still lived by the code of the road and brotherhood, and still held love and respect for one another. But Eddie was too long in the tooth to try and make his bones with an MC these days. All he wanted was to be a part of a group who loved motorcycles and loved to ride and shared the concept of brotherhood and friendship and who didn't just talk about it but actually lived the biker life.
Eddie made a few stops and talked to a few groups, but none seem to have what he was looking for. There was too much bullshit politics, game playing, lying, posturing and hustling one another going on. He couldn't get his mind around the abundance of "weekend bikers" who might own a year old Fat Boy or Heritage that had less than 1,000 miles on it. People whose idea of a run was to don their leathers from head to toe and put on all their biker regalia and ride down to the local H-D dealership and strut around like a peacock during mating season. He wondered why these people didn't just go ahead and buy two motorcycles. At least then they'd have a cool set of bookends.
One evening after allowing his brain to cloud with the disappointment in the realization of what the biker world seemed to have turned in to today ol' Eddie knew he needed a dose of the therapy that always pulled him out of whatever funk he was in. He got on the old Panhead he'd ridden for 30 odd years, kicked her to life and pulled out on to the old two lane black top that lead out of town. As he put the throttle to her and felt the old Pan shift smoothly from 3rd to 4th gear as it always did, he leaned back and cracked the wick on the old scooter. As he gained speed he suddenly felt the strangest sensation begin to creep over him. A feeling of being lost but at the same time of the elation of discovery and the realization of just what his destiny was to be. Eddie pulled back on the throttle and watched as the needle on the speedometer slowly climbed up to 85, then 90 and on past 100 mph. Sometimes he was amazed at just how much thunder the old Panhead still had in her. As the thrill of the speed continued to build and the wind blew threw his hair he could not believe his eyes when he looked down and saw the needle climb past 120 and travel in to the area of the dial where speed was not indicated. As he felt the road go flashing by under him and the roadside became a continuous blur, Eddie felt a sense of freedom and joy like he had never known. All of his feelings of loneliness and being without a purpose or place in life just seem to melt away. The realization of where he was truly supposed to be crept in to his brain like a cat gliding through the darkness of night. He knew he needed to be a traveler on this highway, the highway that seemed to have been lost to the younger bikers of today. A highway meant to be traveled or even known about only by those who "truly" understand the meaning behind the words of “being a biker”. As Eddie pulled the throttle back even further than he knew it should be able to go, he felt his body and his mind slide into a place that he knew he never wanted to leave again…ever. It was a place that defined who he was and where he wanted to spend eternity. On a highway that is lost to all but a few who truly know and understand the freedom and joy of life as a biker. A highway where a person can do the things society says they can't do, and do it with people they love.
So if you're ever riding down a long and dark stretch of highway some night, and you see in your mirrors the single headlight of a motorcycle coming up on you fast, move over a little and share the lane. And when he flashes by you, remember to raise a clenched fisted salute to ol' "Fast Eddie" and be proud of having ridden a short stretch of highway with him and his group of "Lost Highway Riders".
LOST HIGHWAY RIDERS
Written by: Ken “Kennybo” Baker, LHR – 12/2010