Labors for ‘Liberty’

The western cowboy of yesterday is an American icon that conjures up visions of freely traveling toward a wide open sky while taking in the sights and sounds of nature; sometimes with good friends and sometimes in solitude.

Certainly, the beloved horse is always nearby. Even though this picture belongs to the past, some might say that a motorcyclist is a modern day cowboy just switching the mode of transportation, but with the same benefits.

Those who ride describe it best. One rider, as noted from motorcycles.about.com said, “Being on a motorcycle is similar to jumping on the saddle of a horse, grabbing the reins yelling ‘Yee-hah,’ leaning into the wind and feeling the exhilarating adrenaline rush of speed and scenery flashing by all around you and below you. Like cowboys, who might ride with a group of friends side by side with their horses, motorcyclists do the same. We can ride up next to each other, talk to each other at stop lights, and laugh as we all try to be the first one to get to the speed limit from a red light, and point out wonders of nature as we roll along the winding country roads. When you ride a motorcycle, unlike in a car, you don’t really care where you are going most of the time. Going for a car ride can be fun, but it does not compare to going for a motorcycle ride. Add a set of blue-tooth headsets, and it’s even better!”

One local group of motorcyclists is the Sons of Liberty New York Riding Club. Founded in 2010, it has more than one purpose. First, the club promotes the enjoyment of owning and riding motorcycles along with the importance of motorcycle safety. Secondly, it is a military and community support club consisting of veterans, those on active duty, reservists, law enforcement officers, first responders and other responsible citizens who have an interest in supporting the military, veterans, and the community. In that vein, the riding club strives to serve past, present and future military personnel and veteran organizations, as well as the community through charitable projects and fundraisers to benefit individuals and local organizations that are in need of help.

This group recently completed the large deck for the “Circle of Love” in Dunkirk. As noted in a recent column, “The growing Circle of Love,” this is an organization that supports cancer patients throughout Chautauqua and surrounding counties. Josie Christopher, founder of the Circle of Love, had placed a notice in the OBSERVER asking for volunteers to help complete a large deck for the support group. The Sons of Liberty New York Riding Club responded. Early in August this deck was dedicated in a ceremony attended by numerous people, including members of the club, Circle of Love volunteers and Eleanor Dietzen. The deck was dedicated in honor of her deceased son, Mark Speziale, one of the founders of the Sons of Liberty. It was not known when originally responding to Josie Christopher’s request that Josie and Eleanor were good friends – evidence that there are no coincidences

The namesake of the Sons of Liberty New York Riding Club has origins from a group that every fourth grader learns about as part of his or her social studies curriculum. Before the Revolutionary War began in 1775, groups of colonists organized to protest abuses of the British government. The most famous of these protests was the Boston Tea Party when members of the Sons of Liberty threw chests of tea into the harbor in frustration over the Tea Act. There were groups of these patriots in every colony, with New York known for erecting “liberty poles” as a sign to the British in standing up for rights of colonists also known by fourth graders, which led to our new and independent nation. The riding club’s patch includes red, white and blue to represent the American flag and support of the Armed Forces. The face of Lady Liberty depicts the club’s vision of our country without our military, with a red tear for the suffering and sacrifice our military has endured throughout our history. A shield shape design on the patch signifies the protection of our country with a Latin phrase “Frates Aeterni,” meaning “Brothers Forever.”

Make it a good week and find what makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be complex. As another motorcyclist said at motorcycles.about.com, the reason for riding can be as simple as “to get from point A to point B. Let’s not over-romanticize it. It’s transportation.”

Yet another perspective, “The sound of her four cylinders accelerating is a symphony with no comparison” and “It makes more sense to me for most people to use two-wheeled transportation. Why use four wheels to get somewhere when all you need is two? And it feels twice as good!” The Sons of Liberty are always looking for new members. If interested, contact any one of its members.