I recently was working on a project and wanted to link the concept of "being a biker" to a website that discussed this. I couldn't find any. I found websites that used the phrase, or hinted that "being a biker" meant something. One home page got close to doing what I was looking for, but was only a couple of sentences long and filled with lots of home-page type graphics. I decided it was time I write what it means to me "being a biker".
I used to sell an ID card, we (Sassafras and I) printed with a Publishing program. We called it a Real Biker Card. On the front it said, "The bearer of this card has met the two qualifications required to be a "real biker".
1. He owns a motorcycle.
2. He does what is right.
When people would pick up the card and look at it, most would ask a question like, "How do you know what is right?" or "Does it matter what kind of motorcycle they own?". I would tell them that the ID card cost $1.00. Turn it over and read the other side. It was worth it. On the other side, we had printed "Does this make me a card carrying biker, Vern?" Many would laugh and give me a dollar.
Once in a while, somebody would pick the card up and say, "This is cool." and then ask me how much it cost. I would say I don't charge a real biker for their own ID and I would give it to them. I gave, oh, say, 1 out of 100 cards away. There aren't a lot of real bikers, I guess.
You see, if somebody has to explain to you "what is right", you're not real. You're willing to do whatever it takes to be accepted. If you think being a biker has something to do with what model of motorcycle you ride, you just haven't got it.
I like to describe "doing what's right" like this. Suppose you saw somebody do something that didn't fit a community standard, maybe even didn't fit a community ordinance, but in retrospect you would say if I was ever presented with that same situation, I would hope I, too, would react in the same way, you have just seen somebody do "what is right". When I get asked, sometimes, why I did what I did, I can answer, "Sometimes a person should do what is right, not what is smart."
I gave a motorcycle to a friend once. It wasn't an extra motorcycle. It was the only one I owned. I wasn't going to be able to ride it for a year, I thought. He didn't have one at the moment so I gave it to him. He only has one leg and, as it turned out, he said the motorcycle was too big for him. After asking me, he traded it for two others, giving his wife as well as himself a ride. It makes me smile everytime I think of it. I have been criticized about that. Well, people at least have told me they thought I was crazy, or they wouldn't give a motorcycle away.
Doing what is right isn't always popular. If you stand up in the face of the majority, you may be ridiculed even hurt. There are many people in the history of the world that have made that stand, courageously. Many of these we studied in history as the great men and women that changed the world.
Doing what is right and owning a motorcycle is all that it takes to be a "real biker" in my book. By the way, what if somebody doesn't own a motorcycle? Then they would be a misfit. Aaaah, you say. Now I think I get it. Being a biker is who you are, not what you are or what you own or what you wear. I swear I can pick them out of a crowd simply by the way the walk and carry themselves. Once in Mississippi, I was explaining my thoughts concerning being a biker to a few "riders", when I turned and noticed a biker walking into my canopy. I told the group I was talking to, "This low life piece of shit, for example, is a real biker". The group kind of gasped when I said that.
The biker turned, smiled, nodded his head, and said, "what's up?"
One of the group said, "You know this guy, huh?"
I said, "No, I never saw him before."
The guy said, "One piece of shit will always recognize another." extended his hand and we shook and hugged. I suspect the group never got it.
So go "be a biker". Ride that motorcycle until the tears run down your face from joy. Do what's right and the world will be better. Let others know what it means to "be a biker". I hope, if you already haven't, you will join me.