Biker Entourage Message Board › ON TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY, BIKERS SHOUT AHOY!
New York, NY
Here's a great article by NYU journalist NIDHI CHAUDHRY, who rode with us on our Talk Like A Pirate Day ride and lived to tell the tale arrrrghh!!:
ON TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY, BIKERS SHOUT AHOY!
NIDHI CHAUDHRY; SEP 19, 2011
With the exception of Halloween, it's not often that you see a group of full--‐grown adults, dressed as pirates, revving on bikes through the city and shouting out "Arrrrrs" and "Avast me hearties" at unsuspecting yet amused passers--‐by. But that is precisely what the city saw on Monday night at the city's first Annual Pirate Bike Ride.
Organized by Biker Entourage, a group of biking enthusiasts, the annual ride raised the jolly roger to the ninth International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a parodic holiday that started as a joke between two friends but gained exposure in 2002 with the help of various media outlets, notably syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry. Since then, the day has gained popularity, in part with children though mainly with party--‐makers, as a day to dress up as pirates, play pretend and let their hair down – pirate style.
Indeed, at Monday night's ride, bikers were dressed in pirate gear complete with swords, scabbards, pirate flags, tattoos and eye--‐patches even as peg legs, parrots and treasure maps were missing.
However, for the Biker Entourage group, it was about more than just dressing up. "There's a pirate in all bikers," explains Deme, the group organizer for biker entourage and the event. "It's about the spirit of adventure. So instead of hoistin keel, pillagin 'n plunderin' as real pirates did, we just be dressin' in our best pirate garb 'n ridin' round the city 'n raisin a wee bit hell to remind all the gentlefolk that pirates really did walk these same streets in days of yore."
When it comes to pirate history, New York has a surprisingly rich plate. Cap'n Kidd, often called one of the most notorious pirates in history, was a resident of New York and a major contributor in the building of Trinity Church. The Annual Pirate Bike Ride paid homage to the captain by riding across the city in full pirate garb through Times Square as well as historic landmarks connected to Captain Kidd. At his former residence at 56 Wall Street, the group pulled out a very real Épée and not--‐as--‐real swords and cutlasses and engaged in a mock sword fight that drew the amused attention of NYPD cops and other by--‐standers.
Perhaps the most surprising bit about the event was the variety of backgrounds represented. Almost like in a Clark Kent--‐Superman duality, IT consultants, bank executives, special education consultants and entrepreneurs, among others, turned into pirate--‐bikers attempting pirate impressions, posing like Captain Morgan and making "booty" jokes without shame.
D'Artagnan Delgado, 43, who in his "Clark Kent" life is a construction safety manager at the new World Trade Center, looked and sounded and acted every bit like the pirate he played.
"I'm a pirate at heart," he said. "A big fan of sword play and archaic sword fight stuff and a complete Alexander Dumas buff."
It is all too easy to dismiss these bikers and their event as Boys with their toys, but that would be missing the point altogether. The pirate bike ride event, much like the parodic holiday that inspired it, celebrates the spirit of fun; that life is short and unpredictable and should be made fun of, as often as possible.
D'Artagnan Delgado put it more appropriately in a pirate gruff, while thrusting and whooshing his Épée:, "To err is human, but to 'arr' is pirate!"