Rec and roll: Wind therapy with Manchester Motorcycle Club

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MANCHESTER, NH — Laura Cardinal loves nothing better than what she calls “wind therapy,” riding her Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 to a beach or restaurant, or to no place in particular. The Kawasaki is listed with a silver coat, but has a purple sheen that Cardinal loves. The Nashua truck driver and gas installer has been riding for 20 years. Her father had a bike, and she caught the early, starting with a Honda Silver Wing 500 with “all the bells and whistles.”

Cardinal joined the Manchester Motorcycle Club (MMC) two years ago, and has since added bags, dramatic lights, and a stereo to her bike. She joined MMC for the camaraderie. “I love riding alone to clear my head, but I love riding with other people even more,” she said. As the Road Captain, she plans and schedules group rides.

“The club does a lot for kids who’ve been bullied or have medical needs. We ride together to visit them and collect money for them. They love knowing there is someone in their corner,” Cardinal said.

She proudly cited last year’s Taylor Rose Memorial Ride, which raised $30,000 for a drug recovery center. The club will attend a Fisher Cats game on August 25 and will use all proceeds to build their account for benefits.

“The club is my family now,” said Cardinal.

Below: Laura Cardinal and President Mike Donovan discuss the club.

Second annual Taylor Rose Memorial Ride set for August 18

The club will host the second annual Taylor Rose Memorial Ride on Saturday, August 18.The  “Ride Against Opioids” is held in memory of Taylor Rose Nelson. All proceeds will be donated directly to the Taylor Rose Foundation to provide recovery support programs such as the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club.

The ride will leave from Manchester Harley Davidson, 115 John E. Devine Drive. Registration begins at 9 a.m. until kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. The ride will be escorted to the Auburn town line by the Manchester Fire Department and led by MMC. Riders will travel around 64 miles through the back roads to a stop in Fremont, and conclude at 1 p.m. at The Pizza Man of Hooksett, 254 West River Road, Hooksett for lunch, live music and raffles.

The donation per rider is $25 and $35 for a rider with a passenger.

Freedom Ride set for September 15

In a benefit for veterans and families in need through The Way Home, motorcyclists will participate in the ninth annual Freedom Ride on Saturday, September 15.

Riders will begin at Manchester’s Middle Parking Lot at 342-380 Franklin Street with registration at 8 a.m. with kickstands up at 9:30 a.m. The group will travel under escort along back roads to the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, and will return to Strange Brew Tavern, 88 Market St., Manchester, for BBQ lunch, music by BlackLite Band, and raffles.

The donation per rider is $30 and $40 for a rider with a passenger. Participants can pre-register online.

One of America’s oldest operating motorcycle clubs

Manchester Motorcycle Club (MMC) is one of America’s oldest, continuously operating motorcycle clubs. Established in Manchester in 1915, the club recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. As a formally organized club, the nonprofit operates has officers and bylaws.

The members are men and women from many walks of life who ride a variety of motorcycle brands. The club holds road rides, social events, and fundraisers. It meets twice monthly at its club house in Litchfield.

MMC is affiliated with the American Motorcyclist Association and The New Hampshire Motorcyclists’ Rights Organization.

Rec & Roll is an occasional series on adult recreation in the Greater Manchester area. 

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