How the Biker Community Comes Together

How the Biker Community Comes Together

by March 12, 2015

Story & Photos submitted by: Stacey “Snoopy” Conly
Loggy Bayou, Louisiana

The first I heard of Joal Woodard Barbour being missing was on February 7, 2015 through the wonderful world of Facebook. We first learned that the last Joal had been seen was on January 28th in Yucaipa, California. Joal was on the return trip back of a cross country trip to his home in Devil Hills, North Carolina. He had talked about taking the coastal route back home, which would take him through our beautiful state of Louisiana. The Facebook page “Help Find Joal Woodard Barbour” was started on February 5th with the page and updates shared all over the Facebook World in biker groups such as ABATE of Louisiana (and chapter pages), We Ride Louisiana, Southern Riders Group, Show Us Your Events, Southern Steel Magazine and many more. I don’t even know what all groups and pages throughout the United States took part. We all also shared on our personal pages for days and we never stopped sharing.

During this time Joal had a grandbaby born, which he knew was due at any time. Most ol’ bikers are such gruff bears…more like teddy bears, that when it comes to a brother, child, or any other that needs help they will jump on board to help in whatever means possible. All it took was hearing that Joal was due to be a grandfather and then Facebook really blew up with the shares.
We did learn Joal had been brought by ambulance to a hospital in Arizona on the 28th with pains in his chest and ribs, but was released the following morning. I’m happy to say Joal was found on February 16th. He had been injured but he will make a full recovery.
A few days ago a public figure made a condescending video on TV regarding bikers and calling us “losers”. She recanted a couple of days later saying she was calling herself and her friend the losers. She did this after thousands in the biker world came together (again) telling her and her show just how big of losers bikers are, stating what all bikers do. After this public person saw how upset WE were over these comments and what all bikers do for others, she was apologetic.

A huge percentage of bikers are vets, some work on boats, some are in college trying to get their Masters, some work on oil rigs, some are teachers, lawyers, construction workers, electricians, HVAC and some are even stay at home moms. Although I can’t ride anymore, I’m so proud to be a part of this “gruff”, ol’ mean community and to be accepted regardless of if I still ride or not. I know if I can’t depend on anyone else, I can always depend on my biker brothers and sisters and not just the ones who ride a Harley Davidson but even those who ride Hondas. Whether they are in a motorcycle club, riding club, organization, group, or just ride independently, I’m proud to know them and have them on my side because you never know when one of us might be the next Joal Woodard Barbour.