January 19, 2014

Trouble in the family

We all came across this bickering and bitching on social media at some point or another. One group of bikers having a go at another group for such fickle reasons as to what bike they are riding, their age, how fast they ride, the clothes they like wearing and so on.

One of the most targeted group is perhaps the Harley community. Sure, it's an easy target. They like to ride outdated, heavy machines that just make a lot of noise and are no good at breaking, right? BMW riders are all square-headed, middle-aged men that ride their fully kitted out GS to the bar. Superbike would-be racers think that mounting slicks will actually improve their grip on that mountain road.
Stereotypes abound.

Well, the latest target in the "Real Biker" war seems to be the hipster biker and hipster customizer. What's that? You don't know them? I'll tell you... Hipster bikers are a new generation of bikers, sporting beards and 1950s hair cuts; they wear Redwing boots, chequered lumberjack shirts and have a amalgamation of weird and apparently random tattoos all over their bodies. According to other 'real bikers', the hipster biker follows form over function when building a bike. Mounting fat Firestone balloon tires being just one of the many faux pas. Seen them around? I'm sure you have. Some successful members of the new wave of custom bike builders fall into this category. I won't mention any names, but will just give you a little hint: look at France and Spain.

 If we are thoroughly honest, we might have to admit that maybe we've had the urge to actively participate in such bashing in the past. At the very least we probably had such thoughts, but quickly pushed them aside and felt guilty and ashamed of ourselves.

We are all human. We sometimes feel the need to find someone or something to criticize in order to make us feel better. "Just look at that squid. He's got no clue whatsoever what a real biker is!" or "Those Harley cavemen riders are stuck in the 19th century".
Oh yes, "The Real Biker"...is an all time favourite stone of contention that pops up frequently on social media. What religions do with God, the various biker groups do with "The Real Biker". They all seem to know what exactly that's supposed to be.

Now, while I too indulge in light-hearted Harley jokes at times, the continuous bashing of the new kid on the block is getting on my nerves.
I too have a picture in my mind of what gear makes me look cool, what bike best supports my riding habits and everything together becomes an extension of my Self. Does it make me feel good following this picture?
You bet!

I believe in the rule "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you". Stop focusing on the things that separate and divide us, for if we go down that path, there's nothing but more and more divisions. Before you know it, you'll divide the community into smaller and smaller groups: those who wear beards, those over 50, those who wear glasses, those who have a big nose....well, you get the point.

We all love bikes. That's what unites us. Focus on the things that we all have in common and you'll discover that there's a bit of you in them and a bit of them in you. The rest is just bullshit.

Now stop reading and get out for a ride. You deserve it! ;-)

1 comment:

Inazuma Luke said...

You fu****g right man!