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About two years ago, as I was returning from one of my Sunday morning lakefront walks, there was a caravan of motorcyclists riding, with singular and full access, on the northbound lanes of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. An unusual sight to say the least – this was clearly not just a bunch of bikers out for a ride. Fast forward a few months, I had looked this event up, and through a process of elimination, had determined that it was part of an annual event, Chicago’s Ride to Remember to memorialize fallen police officers. I am sure there more more than 100 bikers in that processional!
So, a year later, I was out there with my camera, waiting on the bikers to pass me by. Could I get some good or exciting shots of the bikers? I sure hoped so. As an emerging photographer, my answer at the time was “no” – but it should not have been. As I looked back at those images (now a year old), I could see a few gems – probably because my editing has gotten better. So, ladies and gentlemen, here are some outtakes from the Ride To Remember – the annual processional to commemorate those police officers lost in the line of duty.
- Leading the Pack: These vintage police cars led the caravan. I almost felt as if I were watching The Blues Brothers, which I am sure had similarly vintage cars in it. You don’t see THESE often!
- Flags in Mourning: Flags blowing in the wind always catch my attention. When I saw these on the back end of one of the motorcycles, I was glad I had snapped the picture – the black and white stripes instead of the red, and the stars on a field of black, were striking.
- The Caravan: I think I would have had to be on the bridge to have gotten an image of the full caravan. But I still like looking at this line of bikes.
- Bittersweet Ride: As I reviewed these previously unpublished images, the look on this woman’s face stopped me every time. It occurred to me that this was a moment for her that she would rather not have had, maybe because of the loss of a loved one. Yes, I am reading something on the face of a stranger, but they were going fairly slow, and her look was very different than those than some others, as you will see.
- Out for the Ride: I am absolutely sure that these gentlemen lost friends and colleagues in the line of duty. I am equally sure that they were out to enjoy the ride – a beautiful summer day, Lake Shore Drive with NO cars, at a leisurely, sometimes speedily pace….I am not mad at them. Who could be?! The smiles and the fat cigar said it all.
The course on the Ride to remember ends at the Memorial Site, where there is a program for the fallen officers. I didn’t get a chance to see the program — I was far enough away that I couldn’t do both on the same day. My photography intent for the day was to get images of the caravan. I hope you enjoy these outtakes from the processional. Enjoy!
See more outtakes from this and other photography outings by following me on Instagram @eyevpointofview.