I went for a bike ride on sunday with 2,000 other motorcyclists to help raise money for the Petit foundation.
I ran into my buddy AJ a few weeks ago and he invited me to go with him. It started at the Harley Davidson dealer in Bristol, and ended at Bozzuto’s in Cheshire.
Aj and I arrived at the dealership, positioned ourselves amongst the line of motorcycles, and guess who idles up next to us? Out of all those people, Dave and his girlfriend were our closest neighbors. What are the chances? You can get an idea of who Dave’s girlfriend is by reading this.
Dave – “I’m tired.”
Me – “Why?”
Dave – “We went over to her friends house for a birthday party last night.” He motions over to Heather who starts giggling.
Heather – “We drank a lot, didn’t get home till 2:30 and didn’t go to sleep until 4.” This made her laugh a lot.
Heather – “And Dave was all over me in bed sound asleep. I couldn’t even push him off me.”
I roll my eyes and go back to talk with Aj and his friends.
The ride was starting, so I saddled up behind Aj and we oozed our way out the parking lot. We were at the tail end – the caboose of 2,000 bikes. I brought my Ipod to listen to for the ride.
We went through all the back woody roads to get to Cheshire. It was absolutely amazing! We passed so many people who sat outside their houses on lawn chairs, holding up the American flag, waving to us, shouting ‘God bless you’. Every time I seen a person wave, give a thumbs up or hold out a peace sign, I would start crying like a baby. It reminded me of why we were there in the first place; The Petit family murders in my hometown of Cheshire.
I’m a baby – truly a big baby. I’m starting to cry again just thinking about it.
The peace sign affected me more than a wave or thumbs up. I’m not sure why. Even the people stuck in their cars, most of them smiled and waved at us, while some others were a little pissed they had to sit and wait for us to pass.
It was an open drive – police escorted. They blocked off roads and intersections so we could ignore red lights. It was a parade basically. I listened to French songs, Italian songs, black-eyed peas – every song on my Ipod seemed to go along with the scenery.
Listening to Adele while on the back of a Harley, driving through a tree-lined road with the changing leaves, some drifting softly to the ground – it was poetry. It was living inside a music video. Then seeing the contrast of natural beauty uninterrupted by the passing of big tattooed men and women on motorcycles, well, I don’t know. You just had to be there. It was spectacular.
When we arrived at Bozzuto’s, they fed us steak and chicken from the Outback streak house. I was waiting in line, talking to Aj’s friend when this big tall man came up to me with teary eyes and shook my hand. He completely took me off guard.
Dr. Petit – “Are you a driver or a passenger.”
Me – “Oh I’m a passenger. Definitely a passenger.”
He couldn’t stop shaking my hand. He was there, but not there. It took all my strength not to burst out crying. We chatted with him for 5 minutes. He said he gets his strength from people like us.
It was a very emotional day for me. After I ate, I went to Black Bear in New Haven to hang out with a bunch of English and History teachers from my old high school. I drank 5 Octoberfest’s in 2 hours because they were only $2. I wasn’t able to drive. I was so exhausted by the time I got home that I went to sleep at 10 pm. I’m still exhausted, as always.
This video is a little re-cap of the ride.