Rebelliousness and Law Enforcement

Posted  Thursday, Aug 21, 2008 , by  Mark-Hans Richer

Cheerleaders We left McAllen this morning to a mariachi band, high school cheerleaders, and two firetrucks with ladders extended in full salute, complete with hanging American flags.  The mayor blessed the bikes, and we busted a piñata to christen the journey further.  About 25 of us headed out, including many who continued with us from Mexico.   

An hour or so outside of McAllen, we hit a US border patrol checkpoint.  When they learned that we were with Harley, it seemed like the whole department came out to talk with us.  We pulled into a separate lane, parked the bikes and hung out with them. They ogled the bikes, shared some of their own riding stories, and we had a great time just shaking hands and talking bikes.  We have also had fire departments and other local policemen join us on the trip, and they were happy to volunteer to help us - and we were grateful.

Borderpatrol Borderpatrol3


So, how does a brand that stands for rebelliousness and a certain attitude about "the law" find such a bond with law enforcement itself?  It may seem a huge disconnect, but it makes a lot of sense too.  Because Harley-Davidson also represents many of the same values that these men and women work so hard to protect:  freedom and individuality, personal strength and having the guts to be yourself.  And these law enforcers aren't beyond being attracted to a bad boy attitude, because everyone has a little of that in them somewhere.  "Bad boys" doesn't mean they're not "good guys" (and ladies obviously).  And these people are very, very good, and what they do is important to all of us. 

Along the way to our destination in Houston (actually Kingwood), we stopped off at a party in Victoria, Texas, at a cool little corner dealership with a very friendly and casual homespun vibe.  When I showed off the Muscle, a guy at the party called his buddy to get him down to the dealership to see it. Everywhere we've gone people have been surprised how much they like it when they see it in person. And thanks to the dealership for cleaning the very dirty bike (finally) so people could actually see the thing!


To complete the 300+ mile day across the flat green fields of South Texas, we went to another party at the brand new Harley-Davidson of Kingwood, an amazing place that only opened two days ago.  And after we met lots of good folks and heard some more cool road stories, how did I get back to my hotel?  An officer on a police bike (can you guess which brand?) who just wanted to make sure I found the hotel.  Thanks to all law enforcers for what you do.

Tomorrow, a lot more Texas and a little Louisiana... and a military base!

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by Bob Kapp aka(snake)

I was very excited to have been offered a parade pass from a neighbors visiting harley friends.The wife and I also had to lead our group (unexpectedly) to Miller parks staging area.The wait was about 3 hours before we got underway,but it went by enjoyably with all the the people you meet from all over the world.The ride in my first Harley parade was grest.We were just as happy as the parade watchers.I had a lot of good memories of the 105th and am looking forward to the 110th allready.A happy Harley rider. Bob Kapp

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by Bubba Angel

Was a pleasure meeting you here in McAllen, Still sitting here at my desk dreaming of making the trip and flashing back to the 95th. It was a great celebration and in true H-D form, I am sure that the motor company has bigger and better things planned for this celebration of 105 yrs. with more to come in the future. Ride safe and keep up the great work. Bubba Angel RGV So. Texas Chapter

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by Mimi Tinker (South Texas)

Sounds like a great ride and a long one! I am just wondering if you live in Mexico and going to the party or just visiting Mexico? How the traveling is in Mexico and the laws of the land? How about the distance between towns or is it pretty well developed? Am thinking of traveling to the interior. Have only been to the border towns. Thanks and have a great time.

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by rw burch

At 60 years of age I still find riding part of my life and I still like to hear you young guys tell stories. Hope to sit someday and tell stories with you.. GOD BLESS

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by Walt Scott ( mes)

this is great reading. i am one of the ones that couldnt make it because of my job. i want to thank all of you who were willing to share that great experience with us. once again, THANK YOU ALL.

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by JOHN BAGOSY toptiger852

My ride to Milwaukee is dedicated to the men who served with 68 the Assault Helicopter company Viet Nam , and to my never forgotten friend Jose A. Velez - Hernandez 1948- 1969 he died so I would live.

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by John Bagosy (Normal Illinois)

Only in AMERICA !!!!!

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by Rick Borowiak

Well what started off as an routine breakfast with some old friends from high school, ended up with a non-biker heading to Milwaukee for the 105th! Well Dave and another guy Ray told me they were going so I asked them about the trip. They said they were going to camp and I asked how the hell they were going to take everything on their bikes. Well we started talking and I asked if they needed an F-150 to haul the camping gear up and the next thing you know, I got a 105th package sitting on my kitchen counter, maybe by next year Ill be riding up again, this time on two wheels!

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by rj fleming

milwaukee is waiting for you... when you get closer to milwaukee you will see people on the bridges over the highways, waving and having welcome signs... be sure to wave or nod...we are glad you are coming to our city.. sunday, have some bikers in town already... tip of the day.... take a swim in lake michigan. bradford beach has been cleaned up, paid for by miller beer ...

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by Wally Perez from Jacksonville

As a native Texan from San Antonio, Im a little jealous of your ride. And I thought my little ride from Jacksonville, Fl. was long. You guys stay safe (and dry)!

Posted Thu, Aug 21, 11:39 AM by Aunt Susie

I pray for you and think of you every day. You make it home safe....and have the best time with your uncle and cousin at the big party Aug. 29th, Ryans big birthday......Love you,AUNT SUSIE.

Adventure is there for those who seek it. Mark-Hans Richer (H-D CMO) is not afraid to push the envelope. As a man who has 23 years of riding under his belt, he finds the best way to make life slow down is to ride full speed ahead on his new 2009 V-Rod Muscle. The most noteworthy of his many experiences on the road took place while handling fierce hail and rain on his way through the Italian Alps.

Mike Morgan

H-D Staffer Mike Morgan is blogging the sights and sounds from the 105th.

Peter Reitzfeld

Read what Peter Reitzfeld has blogged since he left NYC.

Ken Ostermann

Rolling in from Salinas, California, check out what Ken Ostermann has blogged.

Mark-Hans Richer

Coming up from the roads of Mexico City, see what Mark-Hans Richer has blogged.