When I was on my way back from the BWCA last week I saw an honest-to-goodness old fashioned motorcycle gang on Scenic Highway 61, which runs along the shore of Lake Superior.
When we arrived at our break point, my favorite North Shore coffee shop the Mocha Moose, I noticed the headline of a local paper read something like “Praying for Heaven, Preparing for Hell” and mentioned the Hell’s Angels arriving for a bike rally in August.
Little did I realize the amount of commotion this had been causing until we arrived in Duluth and every headline from the last week had been about the biker gang, with the biggest story being The City of Duluth had gone so far as to not issue permits for Spirit Valley Days or any festivals for a few week time frame as the city feared any disruption the Hell’s Angels may have caused.
Now the Strib reports Police brace for huge rally of Hells Angels near Cloquet
For nearly six months now, hundreds of law enforcement agents from Carlton, Pine and St. Louis counties — plus 30 State Patrol troopers and some federal agents — have been planning to be on hand to greet the Hells Angels.
“You don’t poke a hornets’ nest with a stick, but you sure do like to know where the hornets’ nest is at,” Pine County Chief Deputy Steve Ovick said.
A writer,Julian Sher,that specializes in pissing off the Hells Angels writes,
“public outings like the USA Ride “are largely public-relations dog-and-pony shows for the bikers.”
He said the media tend to cover the roaring motorcycles, and when the club members remain more or less law abiding, their image improves.
“Their PR machine is as well-oiled as their Harleys,” Sher said, noting their high-tech website that allows you to purchase gear (www.hellsangelsmn.com). “The mafia doesn’t have a website.”
He even goes as far as comparing the H.A. to the Taliban having a bake sale.
Though it seems when all the posturing is put aside, most of Northern Minnesota is happy for the tourist revenue.
What do you think?