Written and photographed for the Concord Monitor.
For the full series, visit Forever2Wheels.
The richly-diverse characters who attend the annual Laconia Motorcycle Week in Weirs Beach, N.H., took time out of their day to sit in the overstuffed blue chair wedged amid a sea of colorful motorcycles and shared a piece of themselves answering question, “Who are the individuals behind the tattoos, leather and growling machines?”
Zouph Downs, 39, playfu lly embraces his wife Rae Downs, 35, of Maine, during their second visit to the rally. The Downs have been coming to Laconia Motorcycle week now for 20 years.
“It’s like a family around here,” said Rick Johnson, of Maine, while showing off some of the tattoos that cover his body as he worked at the Hells Angels booth at the Laconia Motorcycle Week in Weirs Beach.
Kenneth Underhill, 47, rests his horned and helmeted head on the back of the chair and took a catnap. He later explained that after 10 years of attending the rally, the clamor of the motorcycles put him right to sleep. His late wife had forbidden him from purchasing the helmet because she worried that he would accidentally poke an eye out. “My wife passed away in 2004 with cancer and I was all by myself and I said, ‘“By god, I’m going to go get me that helmet because that helmet is me,”’ Underhill said.
Louis Paz, 48, of Massachusetts, puts his arms lovingly around Deborah Coffin, 53, of Massachusetts, as they watch motorcycles roll into Weirs Beach traveling from across the U.S.
Jerry Padova, 70, of Sunapee N.H., a bike week regular for the past 30 years, keeps a protective eye on his Harley Davidson across the street while inspecting the bikes streaming down Weirs Beach boulevard. “I haven’t seen one as neat as mine yet,” Padova said.
Kitty Lynx poses with her furry friend as she made her way down the motorcycle lined boulevard in her head turning outfit during the Laconia Motorcycle Week.