At first glance, Douglas Peters was a sturdy biker.
But at heart, the Algonquin 43-year-old, who handled security for the Dekalb chapter of the Outlaws motorcycle club, was a "big teddy bear," members say.
"He was a good brother," said one member who identified himself as "Westside Dan."
Peters was killed last week in a motorcycle accident in Marseilles shortly after riding in the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run, a show of support for military families ending at the Middle East Conflicts War Memorial.
"He lived hard, and he went out hard," the Hampshire man said.
Peters' wake in Arlington Heights Saturday drew hundreds of mourners and a sizable police presence who enforced road closures. While some club members welcomed the traffic control, others were offended by Illinois State Police, who were wearing bulletproof vests and taking pictures of motorcycle license plates.
Arlington Heights officers watched the Lauterburg-Oehler funeral home quietly from across Forrest Avenue.
"It is a motorcycle gang here," said Capt. Mike Hernandez, calling the crowd orderly. "We want to make sure we address all the safety issues."
Police shut down a westbound lane of Northwest Highway in front of the funeral home and parts of Gregory Street. Hernandez said the patrols were a precaution for the safety of the club and the neighborhood.
"Most people in Arlington Heights are not used to seeing this display," he said.
The club plans to hold a memorial ride honoring Peters starting in Genoa July 12. Members hope it becomes an annual tribute to the Mount Prospect native.