I stopped by a convenience store recently to grab a sandwich on the way to spend a few hours on the beach. In one of the parking spaces sat a motorcycle with a sidecar. Not unusual but for the paint job and decal. Oh, and more than that, the rider, and passengers.
Meet David, a 42 year-old autistic motorcycling enthusiast who was king of the road when he sat in the sidecar of this Harley Davidson Ultra Classic touring motorcycle equipped with a wheelchair carrier on the back. His parents, Dave and Pat, ride on the bike on the front and back seats respectively.
I was drawn first to the bike and once I met David, I was drawn to their story. The three of them were not too far from their home in Maryland. They had ridden together to destinations all across our great nation hitting some of the must-visits for motorcyclists such as Sturgis in South Dakota, etc. David’s parents told me how much he is in all his glory cruising in the sidecar with his parents. Because of David’s condition, his parents communicate with him using some basic sign language. He cannot communicate back that way but he understands what they are saying to him and he communicates his understanding, agreement, approval, etc, or lack thereof, in his own way.
I was so moved by their story I felt that somebody should write about this. So, I did, if even only a vignette, of a three-wheeling family of three who cruise across this land from sea to shining sea.