Let’s look at what it means to be a motorcyclist and where motorcycling is going? This is a lot different than who motorcyclists are. If you want my humble opinion; and I’m thinking you probably do; motorcycling in its purest form is about you and the road and your bike; that’s it. Everything else is just that “everything else”.
But then I’m imagining you asking who are those who choose motorcycling in all its forms. Are they enthusiasts? Are they hardcore MC patch members? Are they that guy that can’t afford a car and commutes everyday to work on his second-hand bike that’s done more miles than Ewan McGregor? Are they of any age group, genre, socioeconomic group, from youngsters to hipsters to retirees? Are they the roughnecks, fun seekers or weekend warrior wannabes?
Of course there is the middle-aged couples that get their bright shiny new model cruiser out once a year and toddle off somewhere exotic with their equally inexperienced middle-aged friends on some annual would-be biking pilgrimage.
Let’s not forget the accountants; the wannabe bad asses that don all there leathers on their factory custom million dollar choppers after having watched Wild Hogs twice too many times who are realistically nothing more than just weekend bikers. These people all consider themselves motorcyclists.
Unfortunately not all other motorcyclists might feel that way about all of the other so called motorcyclists.
It could be argued completely differently too. Because motorcycling does come in many forms and there probably are as many definitions as there are motorcyclists.
Who decides who is or isn’t? What is or isn’t?
Well today I will, just because I’m the one writing this column.
I’d have to say it’s almost impossible to define what is and is not a biker or motorcyclists but I’m going to give it a shot.
The very nature of the biker culture shows that a biker is whatever he/she wants to be.
The desired expected and accepted dress codes of those imitating Valentino Rossi or the cast of Sons of Anarchy speak volumes about the lack of originality and the abundance conformists that exist in the ranks of our beloved lifestyle.
Some of these folks are trying so hard to fit into their particular “non-conforming” group that they end up being the epitome of a conformist. These people in my opinion are just your average conforming citizen who is fantasizing about being a so-called biker.
Traditionally I’d have to say being a biker is about non-conformity. But things have changed where what appears to be non conformity it is actually conforming.
The average citizens in society have an issue with non-conformity, it makes them uncomfortable, it threatens their very existence and this is why those who conform, are the majority. We as humans have a penchant to define, categorize, label, and neatly file every aspect of life, just as we would really like to be able to define what a biker or motorcyclist is.
A real biker can’t be stereotyped or shoe horned into a box. Bikers know and understand this and they don’t judge anyone as “non biker” just because they are learning to ride, or because they don’t ride the same brand of bike, or in fact don’t ride as often.
But like many aspects of our very fast changing world, we are loosing some of the core things that define us as individuals within our cultures or sub-cultures and not just in the biker lifestyle.
To sum it up I believe that anyone with motorcycling in their heart; whether they ride once a year or everyday is a motorcyclist or biker.
Now that you’ve heard what in my opinion what it means to be a motorcyclist: LET’S RIDE