We learned that bikers are not as they appear. Sure, the leather and bandannas, long beards and sweat may look intimidating. But we never had any trouble at all from our biker companions. People smiled and said hello, they opened doors and said excuse me. On the road, bikers waved and honked at our children in passing. No one sneered at our van, no one laughed at our "family vacation." The bikers were just like us--on vacation and enjoying themselves.
One vacation memory in particular reminds us that life truly has no boundaries. As we waited at a gas station for my husband to pay, my children and I watched two young bikers come out of the adjoining restaurant. The first man walked out and hopped onto his cycle. The second followed, in a small wheelchair. He lifted himself out of the chair and onto his bike, folded up the wheelchair, placed it in the sidecar, strapped his legs to the footholds, and the two bikers took off together. "Wow," both children said, amazed. They were right. Wow.
Deanna Sletten lives with her family in Bemidji, Minnesota. Although she once contributed to Minnesota Parent on a regular basis, this story is her first for us in more than two years. She plans to buy a leather bikini with this long-awaited freelance check.