On The Road Again
Coney Island has always been a place where those who are let's say, a little weird, feel right at home. The now defunct "Freak Show" was home to a lot of people who don't fit society's description of normal. Take for example, "Insectavora," a beautiful young woman tattooed from head to toe to look like an insect (the surgically split tongue is the piece de resistance) or "The Great Fredini," a purple suited burlesque game show host who hammers nails into his head while tap dancing. Well it's sad to say that the freaks are gone. Some have joined traveling freak shows; others have quietly begun to fade into obscurity; and still others have taken jobs in the straight world, which for them is the real freak show. But fear not you lovers of the unusual, you connoisseurs of the crazy for at least once a year the freak show rolls back into Coney Island when the "Trashed Motorcycle Club" holds their annual anniversary party at Peggy O'Neils.
The "Trashed MC" is a motorcycle club that was founded by employees of the Department of Sanitation NYC who share a love of the open road and a desire to improve the lives of their friends, families and the community at large.
With over 350 guests in attendance, representing 42 motorcycle clubs there is no doubt as to the group's popularity. Bikers from the Bridge Runners MC, Low Riders MC, Fire Riders MC, Sacred Steel MC and many other local clubs partied into the wee hours as they celebrated the anniversary of one of the areas most active motorcycle clubs. To the outside observer this scene would certainly appear wild, even freakish. Hundreds of Harleys lined the street in front of Peggy O'Neil's as prospects (new members) directed traffic and guided leather clad, tattooed party guests into parking spots along the curb. The patches on the backs of the crowd read like a who's who of the local motorcycle scene as the dismounted riders sought out the members of 'Trashed' and wished them a hearty Happy Anniversary. The weather was pleasant, even balmy and therefore conducive to hanging out on the sidewalk as many people did. Cigar smoke wafted through the crowd and the familiar sound of approaching Harleys signaled the arrival of even more guests. The atmosphere was electric as the crowd grew with each turn of a distant throttle. Handshakes and man-hugs punctuated the happy event as club members greeted their friends not seen since before the winter frost. This fantastic spring break-out was just what the doctor ordered and was surely a success for all concerned.
So, maybe you're wondering, what exactly does a motorcycle club do besides riding their bikes and looking tough? In the case of the "Trashed MC" there is something of a list to address. Since 2005 the club has performed escort duty for department funeral motorcades, attended many charity runs and last year assumed stewardship of the Michael Hanley Foundation raising over $11,000 for the widows and orphans of DSNY employees who are killed in the line of duty. Most recently "Trashed" became involved in Dee Snider's "Bikers for Babies" run. "Bikers for Babies" benefits the March of Dimes and was in danger of becoming extinct due to a lack of volunteers. That is until the boys from "Trashed" stepped up. With literally thousands of bikers riding in this one day rally there is a pressing need for road captains to maintain the cohesion of such a large group. By volunteering their services in areas of traffic control and parking the "Trashed MC" has insured that the "Bikers for Babies" run will continue to provide much need funds for the March of Dimes. So to all my buddies in the "Trashed MC" especially VP Dave Savarese, please accept my wishes for a Happy Anniversary! You are a credit to the Department, the biker community and everyone whose lives you touch.
Shevy's Biker Tip of the Week: When riding on gravel or loose chip fill avoid using your front brake to stop. Instead, downshift early if possible and use only your rear brake to bring your bike to a halt. Using your front brake causes the weight of your bike to surge forward which continues even after the caliper is locked up. In a case like this, gravel acts like marbles under your tires as the bikes forward impetus forces it to roll across the "marbles" on the road. Using your rear brake only creates drag which will safely bring you to a stop.