Motorcyclists carrying ‘The (AA) Message’ rumble, pipes roaring, in honouring Big Bruce.
The collective rumble of a hundred motorcycles, mounted by riders hell-bent on staying “clean and sober” and spreading the message of sobriety and goodwill, awakened a traditionally sombre setting in West Texas: A Midland funeral.
The sight and sound initially perhaps conjured up images of the hell-raising gang, the fearsome Hells Angels Motorcycle Club or the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club — “A drinking club with a motorcycle problem.”
But those were not these motorcyclists. Maybe they were drunken hell-raisers in times past but no more. Today, they are clean and sober. Donning riding outfits, sans helmets, and mostly, it seemed, dedicated to smoking tobacco, these riders are more inclined to hug and talk kindly and plainly about sobriety than to fight and throw a drunken ruckus.
Their motorcycles, however, do roar for pleasure, fellowship and cause: “Loud Pipes Save Lives,” for you hear them coming and going.
They came in unison as members of Messengers Clean and Sober Riding Club, which has chapters in Lubbock, Midland, Odessa and New Orleans.
They showed up last Saturday to honour one of their own, Big Bruce, a fallen fellow “Messenger” who wore the outfit’s bold patch on his riding garb: “Messengers Clean & Sober RC.” Most were riding high-powered Harley-Davidson (H-D) motorcycles, some mounted BMW, Honda or other brands. The Messengers’ patch bore the AA triangle angle representing Unity, Service and Recovery.