05 September 2011

Jewish bikers meld leather, chrome ... and faith

Jewish bikers meld leather, chrome ... and faith, by Jennifer Miller (Washington Post, 30 July 2011)

On a Friday morning in May, Betsy Ahrens, 64, rode through the streets of Virginia Beach on a friend’s bright red Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. Ahrens was just one of 250 bikers to travel through the city by police escort that day, and pedestrians gawked, slack-jawed, at the processional. Drivers halted at intersections, aiming their cellphone cameras. A few people waved at Betsy, but tentatively, as though to greet a biker — however friendly she seemed — would be to welcome in potential chaos, the volatility associated with leather and chrome.

As the snake of bikes wound past strip malls and quaint neighborhoods, Ahrens wondered what the onlookers were thinking. She hoped they could make out the Judaism-themed patches fixed to the riders’ leather jackets: the blazing insignias of the Lost Tribe, the Jewish motorcycle club of Richmond and the Tidewater region of Virginia; the Chai Riders of New York City and its environs; the Hillel’s Angels of New Jersey; and Shalom n’ Chrome of Charleston, S.C. Ahrens decided that next year, her cohorts needed to fly more Israeli flags from their bikes.
Link: Jewish bikers meld leather, chrome ... and faith