~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Biker To The End

There are a great many traditions in motorcycling, some have to do with club patches or colors, some with bells on bikes, some with remembering and memorializing dearly departed riding buddies. There is a whole code of unwritten rules and meanings in the design and color of club logos.

One of the more unusual traditions is a biker club tradition of taking a deceased club member's ashes, dividing them up and loading them into empty .45 caliber or .357 magnum bullet casings (really, any manly caliber would do), putting the normal lead projectile in as a cap, and distributing the bullets to the the surviving club members who then wear one on their vest or bike so their brother biker rides on with them. My late buddy "Snake" Holsen had such a bullet and when Snake passed on a few years ago was buried with it dangling from his own riding vest.

I had a neighbor for a while who's very elderly mother was a great patron of one of the local Indian owned casinos. Apparently blue hair and slot machines are a natural combination because the casinos here in Arizona seem to be filled to the brim with gray haired folks gambling away money they could be leaving to the children and grand children who could squander it in some useless way like a buying a new motorcycle or paying for college.

When my neighbor's mom passed on they had her remains cremated and then came the need to do something with the ashes and apparently no one in the family actually wanted them. My neighbor, wishing to leave her mom where she was happiest, one evening took her mom's ashes, drove up to the shrubbery sounding the parking area of her mom's favorite Indian casino and emptied the urn right there amongst the ficus and oleanders.

Now some of you who are not otherwise planted in a traditional "dirt nap" manner might wish to have your remains scattered at sea or on a lofty mountain top. Noble thoughts but were you into fishing or mountaineering? If not, then it makes no sense then does it? No you should have your ashes scattered where you were happiest.

I used to want my ashes scattered around the Grand Prix motocross course at Carlsbad Raceway but I think it's a housing development now so I have to come up with a different location lest I merely wind up as lawn fertilizer. The M&M candy factory comes to mind as a suitable resting place but they probably have some policy against such adoration. All my favorite motorcycle shops are long out of business so those parking lots are out also. Should I suddenly kick it, I think my family will simply put me out with the recycling bin or worse.  Think "gold fish" and "burial at sea."

Finally, I offer for your by now doleful winter consideration the final statement for a real biker: A motorcycle themed urn for his or her ashes. I thought the idea of a flame paint job was interesting. Seems like it would invite some speculation as to the ultimate location of the departed and thus brighten up the wake.


Unknown said...

Well said. Hopefully she won't put your ashes in a small container and allow you to dangle from the RV's rear view mirror.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Rick said...

Well said. Hopefully she won't put your ashes in a small container and allow you to dangle from the RV's rear view mirror.

I would NEVER do that. It would block my view out of the front window.

Lucky said...

I like the cylinder head urn... but with my luck by biker buddies would probably throw my ashes out and scavenge the head for a rebuild!

GregLewis said...

I live close to the M&M plant in Chicago...its a beautiful place...more like a golf course than a factory. If the need arises, I'll do the deed on my 98 VFR...red, of course.

Crusty said...

WTF! blown base gaskets for eternity? What did i do to deserve that??? -Crusty

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