It’s early Friday morning and from my desk I can hear the rumble.
Packs of Harleys are roaring up Highway 101 to the annual Redwood Run near the Mendocino County town of Piercy.
Organizers expect 5,000 people for the weekend event famous for its live music, skinny dipping on the Eel River and debauchery of a kind seen only on Bourbon Street.
My office is 1,000 yards from the freeway’s edge and about 140 miles south of the action. I sip coffee and Google the event on the Internet as a cubicle mate curses the steady noise outside.
First the images – biker women flashing their boobs, tattoos, a man on a Harley doing a wheelie. I go to the event website. The official poster describes it as the “last true run” and an “old school” party.
“Two nights of non-stop, kick-ass music. Scenic camping … motorcycle shows and wet T-shirt contests,” it declares.
What’s not to like?
I begin thinking of ways to convince my wife to go. I pick up the phone and call her at her office. We Google together. “Uh, I don’t think so,” she says, looking over the pics.
“What?” I say.
“You suppose a lot of men will be showing their penises?” she asks. “Not happening.”
We get off the phone and I think maybe I’ll just shoot up there myself on the Beemer.
But that wouldn’t be right. You gotta have a Harley. I pick up the phone again and dial a rental company. The guy on the other end just laughs when I ask if he’s got a bike available.
I guess it takes planning to be a biker. That and a biker wife. As I browse through more pictures of tattooed women in halter tops and sunburned men with bulging guts I think they sure seem to be enjoying it.