You’ve heard it said before…”What is a biker?” But, what does that mean to most ordinary people or even within the biker community at large.
For some ‘biker’ is synonymous with motorcycle club style lives, wearing black leather waistcoats and typically looking rather menacing and moody…often wearing dark wraparound sunglasses with a body covered in tattoos too.
For others, the biker is purely the separation of the act of riding a motorcycle and the adoption of a certain motorcycling lifestyle. In fact there are many who have a biker lifestyle who might not even ride motorcycles…strange as that may sound.
However, whether you are a biker or a rider or motorcycle enthusiast of sorts…surely there has to be an affinity with the motorcycle mode of transport and a community structure that favours that biking lifestyle…and by extension a preference for a style of music and fashion sense too…or rather a preference for clothing attire…function over form.
Over recent years, the motorcycling world has grown exponentially as more and more have taken to riding bikes as an ultimate leisure activity. It has attracted all sorts of people from all walks of life and this infiltration has alienated and to some degree offended the ruling biker classes…the pure bloods have not taken kindly to these noobs riding brand new machines but clueless about motorcycling culture.
When people ask me if I am a biker, I wonder what their definition of one is but also does it matter in the broader context…which is solely if I ride motorcycles.
People form all walks of life make it their mission statement to attach labels to things or people…and the motorcycling world is no different. Even those heavily entrenched within ‘biker’ lifestyle love to label those who might be within the inner circle and those attempting to gate crash the party too. Perhaps at some level there is a naivety by most parties and also some adherence to an outdated philosophy that most people really do not care about.
It is no secret that motorcycle clubs come and go with alarming regularity and even those well established are beginning to ponder the notion of where the new prospects will come from. Social media explosion has created legions of internet bikers who are more about the show than the substance and portraying a biker lifestyle on a Sunday morning when they meet up with like minded fellows.
Whatever the preferences are of no concern to me. I do not judge anyone based upon what they ride or how they choose to create their own biker or biking lifestyle. The fact remains that the motorcycling world has changed ten fold and will continue to do so and the sub cultures within it will either be forced to adapt, be swallowed up or will fade away with the dust of time.
Being a biker is not only about the act of riding a motorcycle or being a pillion on one but it is also about embracing the world of motorcycling life, culture and fundamentally it is a drug that you cannot abstain from or is the liquor that impedes your sobriety.
Whether with or without a bike, a true biker is never far from riding and the bike is likely to be one of the first and last thoughts of the day. It isn’t an after thought and it isn’t a switch you turn on when the weekend comes either. Being a biker is a daily ritual that is part of your being as a human, it is entwined with your soul and is wrapped around your DNA.
These words are easily said and considered but rarely are they understood and honestly appropriate to the masses. Being a biker is not what you ride or what you dress like. It is not about what sunglasses you wear or the tattoos you may or may not choose to have on your skin. Bing a biker is an invisible and intangible trait that is less about physicality and more about mentality but mostly about spirituality and addiction.