Harding’s Angels, the self-proclaimed biker gang of Harding, are committed to serving and spreading kindness on campus and within the community — while riding bicycles.
“The only rules are: you have to have a bike, and you have to like serving people,” freshman Jackson Eldridge, a founder of Harding’s Angels, said.
Eldridge said the group evolved from an on-going joke between him and three others: freshmen Reece Johnson, Troy Donohue and Dustin Finley. The quartet met within the first week of school and upon learning each had his own bicycle, spent an afternoon riding together on the Searcy bike path.
“We were just joking one day and said, ‘What if we made a biker gang, but a bicycle gang?'” Eldridge said. “It would be funny because we have bicycles, which are not intimidating, but made it intimidating, so we decided to make a bicycle gang function like a biker gang, just as a joke.”
Donohue said he thought up the Harding’s Angels as a spin-off of the international motorcycle club Hells Angels, though the clubs have opposite intentions.
“It’s just a dumb thing we’re doing, trying to see if we cannot get in trouble, have fun, do positive things with it and bring smiles to people’s faces,” Johnson said.
The gang purchased long-sleeved denim button-downs from Walmart. They cut off the sleeves, cropped the length and designed “Harding’s Angels” patches which were embroidered on the backs of the homemade vests.
Eldridge said the group wanted to have a logo that represented Harding to associate with the gang. He said his sister suggested using Dr. Bruce McLarty, so he hand-drew an outline of McLarty’s face on top of angel wings as the logo.
“It’s a sad moment in life when you find that an outline of your receding hairline and the veins on your forehead are all it takes for people to know it is your face,” McLarty said. “This will undoubtedly be the closest I will ever come to being part of a biker gang.”
The Harding’s Angels is not considered an official club, but the members plan to “dress up and ride” to various campus and community events together. They declared Wednesday as “Wings-day Wednesday,” a time in the week to wear their vests.
“It was more of an inside joke rather than seeking attention,” Eldridge said. “There’s not an insane amount of things to do at Harding, so you just have to be creative sometimes.”