On Friday in New Jersey, three members of the Freehold American Legion Post 54 Legion Riders were making their way back from a Veteran’s Day ceremony when they saw a figure stranded on the roadside ahead.
“Bikers gotta stick together,” Dan Barkalow told The Associated Press. “I stopped to see if he needed help, and it was Bruce.”
Yep, that Bruce, the celebrated rockstar. Springsteen’s own motorcycle had broken down; when the men were unable to help him start it, he hopped on the back of one of their bikes and rode with them into town.
They chatted over beers and even exchanged phone numbers. “We sat there and shot the breeze for a half hour, 45 minutes till his ride showed up,” said Barkalow. “Nice guy, real down to earth. Just talked about motorcycles and his old Freehold days.”
The Freehold American Legion veterans’ organization issued a statement on the event in a Facebook post, saying:
Yesterday members of Post 54 Legion Riders, Dan Barkalow (pictured) and Bob Grigs with their friend Ryan Bailey represented Post 54 at the Veteran’s Day ceremony conducted at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Holmdel. At the conclusion of the ceremony they decided to take advantage of the beautiful day by taking a ride to Manasquan before returning to Freehold.
On the way home, taking the back roads to Freehold, lead rider, Dan, noticed a broken down bike on the side of Allaire Road, near Allaire State Park. The Legion Riders pulled over to assist their fellow motorcyclist, who just happened to be Freehold native Bruce Springsteen.
Unable to get his bike started, Bruce called for help, hopped on the back of Ryan’s bike and they drove to Mulligans in Farmingdale. One beer later his ride arrived.
Dan stated that Bruce was a very down to earth regular guy who fit right in with his fellow, not so famous, Freehold boys. Bruce did take their names and telephone numbers, so maybe they’ll be riding together some day!
When stopping to help hitchhikers or stranded folks, most of us are just satisfied when they don’t turn out to be axe murderers. But what the hell, why not dream big—sometime in the near future, we’d love to jump-start Robert Plant’s car.