Monday, August 07, 2006


The 'Real' Biker

This is the time of year when motorcyclists the world over are puffing out their chests the hardest. Somewhere amongst the fresh crop of noobs on the street, the older veteran riders who buy new bikes every spring, the plethora of different riding styles, bike types, and manifest biker philosophies -- inevitable big egos and so-called 'biker pride' mentalities begin to fester and divide us to one degree or another. The opinions are always the same tired assertions from one type of motorcyclist to another: "I'm a real biker and you're not, because I do 'A' with my motorcycle while you only do 'B' with yours." It's a bunch of fucking nonsense, but it never fails to divide us against ourselves -- a dire product of motorcycists' collective ego in a day and age when we should be sticking together tighter than ever.

So, in the spirit of promoting solidarity amongst motorcyclists in a world that grows increasingly more hostile toward us every day, I offer my personal definitions of what constitutes a real biker:

1. A real biker spends his time learning -- both from his own mistakes, as well as from the constantly changing dynamics of the environment he traverses through. He also takes classes, keeps his skills sharp, and studies the physical processes by which he rides and by which his machine operates.

2. A real biker stands up for his rights and the rights of other riders. He recognizes that motorcyclists have a right to be covered by their own health insurance policies in the event of a crash. He acknowledges that car drivers who negligently kill motorcyclists deserve harsh punishments, not 100-dollar fines. He calls his elected representatives and informs them when a right is being threatened. He makes others aware of his place in both traffic and within the American culture in a constructive, informative way at any opportunity given him.

3. A real biker judges his peers by how they ride, not by what they ride.

4. A real biker somehow finds a way to enjoy every ride, even a bad one.

5. A real biker accepts the responsibility he has to his friends and family to wear proper safety gear, and does so gladly every time he rides.

6. A real biker encourages others to become motorcyclists.

7. A real biker takes care of his bike and keeps it in perfect working order, be it 2 weeks old or 60 years old.

8. A real biker stays within his limits, but always seeks to safely expand them.

9. A real biker stops when another biker needs assistance.

10. A real biker not only accepts the risks, he successfully manages them.

Stay safe and have fun.


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