Let's Ride on Solidarity

by Alberto Borghi, picture by Francesco Borghi

March 2009. Cavazza, venue for the motorcycle rally of the Bologna Chapter, the exclusive Harley Davidson Club.

When travelling through Florence or Rome, it is impossible not to jump with surprise when you see the statue of David or the dome of San Pietro even though, and most of all, when one is a little distracted. In the same way, it is impossible not to be attracted by the sound (outsiders would say "noise") that is typical to the Harley Davidson, that deep roar unique to these motorcycles.
Many were the passersby on Via Castiglione who turned around to watch, on March 7th, 2009, when Cavazza's courtyard was pacifically swarmed by about twenty such Milwaukee motorcycles, each one equipped with special and aesthetic characteristics, and their eccentric and passionate riders.
Certainly, the Harley Davidson riders who were there did not really present the demeanour of the classic Hells Angels who create such fear and confusion as a group in the land of origin of the motorcycle, the emblem of the "on the road" Americans, the first example dating back to 1901.
They were rather fine people, members of the Bologna Chapter, association formed by Harley Davidson owners who have overcome a series of challenges certifying

their actual participation in the group activities at the national and international levels, expression from Bologna of the Harley Owners Group which has ramifications all over the world. Formed in 1997, it began in 2000 to get involved with charitable activities and in 2006 it adopted at a distance three children living in difficult areas. The motorcyclists were as always proud to wear the "uniform" of the perfect Harley Davidson rider: jeans or leather pants and leather coat adorned with numerous patches earned on the numerous field excursions, those extremely well organized motorcycle rallies and excursions. With their earned stripes, riding on two wheels made to satisfy the desire for freedom and the pleasure of feeling the wind on their face (remembering the emotion brought on by the wind in their hair when the helmet was not yet mandatory which it now is, understandably); but also doing other projects like gathering money for charitable organizations. It is therefore with a certain curiosity that the President of the Istituto Cavazza, Professor Pier Michele Borra, and a few people welcomed the delegation on two wheels, accompanying them on their visit of the offices of Via Castiglione and the activities that are led with competence and passion for the blind and visually impaired. The riders admired Anteros, the tactile museum, the room where

Picture - Harley Davidson motorcycle

Picture - Rider on a Harley

Picture - Motorcyclist

is used the adaptive technology for people living with low vision; the one where professional training is provided and, finally, the large hall where took place the informal ceremony for the presentation by Director Antonio Grillo to the President of the raised funds by motorcyclists.
Needless to say that no one there wanted to lose the performance given by the departure of the Harley bikes whose engines produced a fantastic roar that is so typical, symbol of freedom and generosity without limits, beyond any possible stereotypes.

Picture - Group of motorcycle riders from the Chapter Club of Bologna visiting the Istituto Cavazza