Listening to the serene hum of my Honda Goldwing filled me with a sense of tranquility as I rode away. I am relieved that it’s all over now. I hope I never have to experience such terror again. Reflecting on that first day when everything seemed too frightening to be real, I can’t help but wonder if it was all just a terrible dream. Despite feeling tired and sore from the ordeal, I now understand the fear that grips Gold Wingers when they hear of someone encountering the infamous Seven Harley Wheelers. It was early in the morning, just as the sun was rising, when I noticed a black cloud with 10-foot flames in the distance. Within that haze, a group of bikers emerged. As I drew closer, I spotted a black flag on one of the bikes, proudly displaying the dreaded symbol of the Seven Harley Wheelers.

Fear struck my heart, and I instinctively came to a screeching halt. At that moment, I don’t think they noticed me, but according to legend, no one who encounters this group lives to tell the tale. With my heart pounding and the throttle wide open, I turned and rode in the opposite direction, unsure of what to do. I rode for what felt like hours, without encountering anyone on the desolate stretch of highway. As my fear began to subside, I decided to stop and rest by the roadside. Feeling hungry, I veered off the highway and found an old, seemingly rarely traveled road that led to a heavily wooded area. I thought to myself, “This is perfect.” After having lunch, I set up my tent and tried to get some rest. Drifting off to sleep, I finally felt a sense of relaxation and security. It must have been a couple of hours past sunset when I was abruptly awakened by a gnawing sound outside my tent. Cautiously, I fumbled for my flashlight. Peering through the opening in the tent door, I was struck with fear as cold sweat enveloped my body. My entire bike was covered with hundreds of large black rats. Since using the light would have given away my presence, I refrained from doing so. Gradually, my eyes adjusted to the darkness, only to realize that my campsite was swarming with these repulsive rodents. What had I stumbled into? In the distance, I spotted a faint light. Finally, I thought, there’s someone else out there besides me and those hungry rats. Without hesitation, I gathered what I could carry and made a desperate dash out of the tent, heading toward the light. As I drew closer, I realized it was a cabin. I ran with all my might. Suddenly, a sharp pain shot through the back of my heel. Glancing back, I saw a horde of rats right behind me. With a blood-drenched ankle and the fear that I might not make it, I crashed into the cabin door. Surprisingly, the door swung open and beckoned me inside. In the darkened corner of the room, I could discern the silhouette of a small, timid man. Just as I moved, he said, “Shut the door before we’re overrun by those creatures.” The door had three bolt locks, and I secured all three before sinking to the floor in pain and exhaustion.

Being completely spent, I drifted off to sleep right there on the floor. Eventually, I awoke to a warm glow of sunshine over my body. It was so warm that sweat began to trickle down my brow, jolting me fully awake, only to realize that this was not just a bad dream—it was really happening to me. Looking around the room, I saw Bob, the meek man, still waking up in the same corner. “Good morning,” he said in a subdued voice. “Hope you slept okay! My name is Bob.” Just at that moment, an inner door swung open, revealing a tall, burly man with a rough voice. He asked, “Who are you? And what on earth happened to your leg?” It was then that I noticed the pain and looked down. My leg, from knee to ankle, was covered in teeth marks, and my pant leg was ripped to shreds. Bob hurried to the sink and made a hot, wet towel to help me clean up the bites. Eric, the larger man, approached me and explained that they had been visited by these massive rats every night for the past week, slowly gnawing their way through the door. He added, “Maybe in two more nights, they’ll be inside. But getting help during the day? Are you crazy? Just look outside.” I peered out the window and realized the extent of our danger. The entire porch was overrun with rats. There were so many that they didn’t venture out during the daytime. They knew we were trapped inside and would soon become their next meal. Just as I turned away from the window, a rat lunged at the door. First, there were a few sounds, and then all of them seemed to join in, relentlessly gnawing away our only means of protection. Suddenly, a rat broke through and bit Bob on the leg. Then another and another, within two minutes, the room was infested with hundreds of rats. Bob panicked and made a dash for the door. Eric shouted, “Don’t let Bob open the door!” But I wasn’t fast enough; Bob had managed to open two of the latches. Eric fought off the rats with a baseball bat, yelling for me to stop Bob. I reached for Bob and pulled him back. Delirious with fear, I grabbed my belt and tied him to a chair. Strangely, the rats retreated through the hole they had entered. We were all on the brink of exhaustion when, without warning, the rats returned and we fought them off once more. Eric rushed to the inner door and exclaimed, “Let’s get out of here!” Without hesitation, I ran for the door and slammed it shut behind me. Eric and I pushed a massive dresser against the door, hoping it would hold them back for a while. Exhausted, we both collapsed on the floor. Several hours later, I woke up. It was dark outside, and all was silent.

I whispered to Eric, “Where’s Bob?” We exchanged blank expressions as we realized Bob was still tied to the chair. Curiosity compelled me to open the door slightly, revealing a crack to see Bob’s condition. He simply wasn’t there. Only a few remnants of clothing and a small amount of blood remained. My heart sank as I opened the door a little wider. To my surprise, the rats were gone. Looking out the window, I noticed a huge bonfire in front of the cabin. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I saw the same black flag with the symbol of the Seven Harley Wheelers displayed. Just then, a man approached and introduced himself as a member of the Seven Harley Wheeler Pest Control Company. They had been tracking this group of rats and used a wagon full of meat and when the rats got on the wagon they threw gasoline over it and lit it.  That was the end of a very bad weekend.