Yesterday I washed all the windows in the house and got the screens up. We awakened this morning to fresh air, birdsong, and the muffled roar of many, many motorcycles. It is Laconia Motorcycle Week, known simply as bike week in these parts. For the past week, thousands upon thousands of bikers have been roaring in and around our town.
Residents plan for this week the same way we did for hurricanes when we lived on the shore of Massachusetts. We stock up on groceries and batten down the hatches, and leave the house only if absolutely necessary.
On the upside, it gives the local economy a huge jolt of income and when you do venture out, the parade of bikes and riders can be very entertaining (and divert you from the fact that you are stuck in traffic). Biker culture includes people from all walks of life, and from a stylistic perspective, tends to be more expressive than the garden variety tourists in these parts. Tattoos and black leather abound, as do flowing beards and hair (much of it gray). Helmets are not required in New Hampshire, where the state motto is live free or die, but when worn, they may be decorated as well: much like the modern day Viking in the photo above, who is holding our daughter Jemesii’s hand several summers ago. Jem and our friend Sadie, who took the picture, spent the day at Weirs Beach, really the hub of bike week, shooting photos.
I’d love to go check out the wildlife myself, but I’m afraid it is the sort of gathering where many people will be smoking, so I’ll have to pass. Should the no smoking signs ever go up (in the land of live free or die, I don’t think so), I’m there.