How I rolled into DC on the bikers’ Trumpmobile
Popular thought could lead you to believe that Bikers for Trump are a bunch of vigilante red necks from cowtown, but as it turned out they were just lovely.
When I heard they were going to ‘Ride to the Capital’ for the inauguration of their president, I made my way to Arlington Cemetery to see if I could catch them as they came to remember fallen comrades.
I was in the throws of chatting to a Vietnam War veteran when I heard “I’ve been driving all night, my hands wet on the wheel etc…” by Golden Earring blaring as 70-odd bikers loudly entered the place of remembrance.
Much to my great joy one of them had a helmet for me and gave me a ride.
The patriotic group, which was founded by a 48-year-old chainsaw wood carver from Virginia called Chris Cox, provided the half-time entertainment at the inauguration.
Cox, who started the now 200,000-strong movement with just over 100 people on Virginia Beach in mid 2015, came to public attention in 2013 when he cut the lawn of the Lincoln Memorial during the government shutdown.
He promised before the inauguration that should the ‘citizen crusaders’ be needed for protection, they would form a wall of meat. “We’ll be shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers. And we’ll be toe-to-toe with anyone who’s going to break through police barricades,” he said on Fox News.
As the only pro-Trump group that was given a permit on inauguration day, their services weren’t required.
After joyously, albeit briefly, sitting on the back of a chopper, the bikers and I stopped and I got chatting to them and they told me of their motivation for voting Trump. Some were small business owners who had fallen on hard times, others were single mums who wanted to see change. Either way, they were accommodating.
“I’m just happy to be part of this movement. It spoke to me. People think we’re angry and start fights, but we don’t. We’re peaceful people. We want to make sure everyone is safe,” Steve Hammond from Mansfield, Ohio told me.
“He’s going to be the best president we ever had. I didn’t like him straight away, but once I listened to him, I knew he was for me. Anyone but Hillary. We’ll give him four years and if he’s no good, then we’ll vote him out,” Robert Doss, a retired firefighter from North Carolina, said.
‘Jorma,’ a Finnish national who built the Trumpmobile which accompanied the bikers into Washington, explained his labour of love, which took over 13 years to complete.
“There are over 43 different parts from different cars in this car including two Mercedes station wagons. We brought this car up from Florida on a specially made trailer,” he said of his utterly over-the-top mobile.
“I’m a Yankee now, even though I’ve been here for over 40 years.” The cabinetmaker, who created the car so it could feature in the Guinness Book of Records, turned it into a Trumpmobile around three months ago.
“You wouldn’t believe the attention we’ve had. It’s insane. Even Donald Trump likes it. Everyone does.”
He and his pastor friend from Finland asked if I wanted to ride into town with them.
The idea of driving into Washington in a Trumpmobile was an offer not to be refused. I sat in the back with a lovely lady from Finland drinking wine, eating liquor chocolates and laughing our asses off.
I wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump and I don’t generally care for tack, but driving into town in a car, which has seashells on the side with a big papier mache Donald Trump statue sitting on the top of it shall be one of those great experiences in life.
It also reminded me that America is and shall continue to be utterly, unapologetically, ridiculously great no matter who has the reins.