Editor’s Note: Blogger Jeff Maddox, who has been contributing to the J&P Cycles blog for three years, lost his son-in-law Chanse Sanderson in a motorcycle/truck accident on April 13 in Colorado. Chanse left behind his wife Kelly, and three children, Kylie, 7, Casen, 4, and Corbin, 2 months.
There is just something about the biker community that sets it apart from anything else I know. I’m sure there are similar communities of like-minded folks that have that same sense of camaraderie, but I can only speak of motorcyclists as I am one of them.
There are many rules of the road that can’t be found on the pages of any biker handbook that define the heart and dedication we have for one another. We care. We stop on the road when another biker is pulled over needing help. We often give whatever it is they need without asking for anything in return. Gloves, gas and cash—and moral support—when we have nothing else to give. Good people.
But there is more to the average biker than meets the eye. The desire to help runs deep and it shows in the participation of poker runs, benefit rides, toy runs and a general belief that there is strength in numbers and together we can make a difference. Even though this has been going on for decades, its become more apparent as social media provides a window into the world of all the good coming from the biker community.
I should know—recently I have been the recipient of the love and support of the biker family. It is humbling to me and a reflection of who I choose to surround myself with. And really, this is a family. Friends, acquaintances and even riders I don’t know have been here for my family during a very difficult time. No questions asked and a sincere offer to help in any way they can. And they mean it. Truly.
Whether you are on the giving end with your time, money or resources, or on the receiving end of such kindness, it is the common bond of the motorcycle that brings us all together. But the motorcycle is just the vehicle in which we spread this kindness. It is the people who come together that make a difference in so many lives.
Handing over an extra pair of sunglasses at a gas station to a rider in need or pulling together to raise money to cover medical expenses for a family in an unfortunate situation can speak volumes to anyone touched by those who ride these amazing machines. There is strength in numbers but it is also the biker walking across the parking lot to return a wallet with cash in it before the person drives off that makes a difference. We ride motorcycles, and we care.
I want to say thanks to all of you who do care, because you really do make a difference. All of you care about kids and causes, family and fellow bikers. Thank you. I have seen and felt first hand how YOU make a difference in people’s lives including mine.
I am proud to be a motorcyclist and I am grateful to be associated with a community of like-minded people with big hearts and a willingness to put others first for the greater good. Sometimes words aren’t enough, but the one thing we can all do is pay it forward. Ride safe!