Welcome to the Boneshakers

Published 6:53 pm Monday, July 27, 2015

There’s a popular Internet meme making the rounds lately that states, “Not all cops are bad, and not all black people are criminals.” To this we might add, “Not all groups of bikers are biker gangs.”

When a hundred or so bikers in leather and chains dropped by Baron’s Pub on Saturday afternoon, some of the patrons there likely wondered if they’d picked the wrong afternoon to enjoy a Baron Burger.

Hungry and thirsty after their ride to Suffolk from Virginia Beach, the men and women of the Boneshakers Social Club, along with friends from a couple of other motorcycle clubs, had rolled into town amid a thunderous roar. They poured into Baron’s laughing and joking, ready for refreshment. More than a couple of the folks who had been enjoying a relatively quiet repast cast sidelong glances around the room. Perhaps that’s understandable, given recent events.

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But the first clue that the Boneshakers group was not in town for the kind of devilry visited recently upon Waco, Texas, was the fact that the bikers parked their rides in the lot behind the Godwin Courts Building, an action one would not expect from outlaws. A less obvious clue was the preponderance of “99 Percent” patches, which are worn to signify that the riders are part of the vast majority of bikers who do the right thing and follow the law.

In fact, this ride was a fundraiser for the group’s Bikes for Tykes program, which purchases bicycles for kids at Christmas. To participate in the trip to Suffolk, each of the bikers had to pay a fee, and the organization raised more than $1,400 on Saturday toward its $10,000 goal.

It should also be noted that Baron’s and other Suffolk businesses benefited economically from the group’s visit. When lawful people visit Suffolk and spend money in the city’s business establishments, everybody wins.

We look forward to many future visits from the Boneshakers. And if they’ll let us know ahead of time, we’ll even try to be sure to pull our leather chaps and vests from storage to welcome them to town.