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I'd like to take this opportunity to state how unfair prejudice against
bikers who ride non Harleys is. Although a great sales strategy by the manufacturers,
and superficial patriotism for the USA, many of the bikes they are prejudiced
against are actually built by Americans in the USA (ever heard the term:
"Shooting oneself in the foot"... or "pissing on one's own
shoe"... but hypocrites will be hypocrites.). I know, for example that,
mine is made in the USA, right down to the sawn off exhaust pipes... But
even this makes no difference to me... as long as I can trust the bike to
get me where I am going, and not require too much mainteneance (I'm no good
at repair), then I love and respect my bike... Whatever the "brand".
C'mon we're getting rid of racism, sexism, religionism, etc. So why not
Harleyism? Its not WHAT you ride, its THAT you ride, brother!
To me it's the feeling of RIDING that matters most. Second comes
the image I am projecting (a cool guy on a cool bike (sorry if that sounds
a bit self conceited)). I was told once by a girl: "If you've got it,
flaunt it... and enjoy flaunting it". (Personal addition: "...
especially while you still have it to flaunt!"). I know MY head
is turned every time I see a good looking... bike! It fills me with a reason
to live. Sorry if that sounds strange, but I'm sure there are others like
me out there. I know it sounds like its the old: "Ride to Live, Live
to Ride" proverb, but no. We all need some ideal to achieve, to some
its nuclear physics (ech!), to others caring for those who need it, ie.
nursing (how sweet!). You see, one man's nightmare is another man's dream.
Where was I? ...
Did you know that when you ride around, YOU are seen as someone
else's dream? They don't see the ignition problems, oil leaks, dead battery,
cussing and swearing, torn jackets, chain smears, getting splashed by puddles,
heavy rock concerts, puking, getting burnt by other people's cigarette butts,
etc... do they?
They see a biker on a bike, the symbol of freedom, the wide open spaces,
the long and winding road, the fresh breeze blowing, the rebel, the tough
guy, the leader of the pack, the black leather jacket, rock'n'roll, leather
and steel, the tough, hard rider, loved by little girls and women alike,
envied and idolised by boys and men, dazzling chrome in the sunshine, the
untamed raging spirit, running with the pack, two endless lines of mounted
chavaliers rolling by... going somewhere THEY would like to go. Isn't it
nice to know you have the responsibility of upholding a legend? ;-)
Its sad to know that so many people have prejudice against lady bikers, or biker gals... All too often women riders are considered "biker chicks", who are presumed to like to live fast, easily seduced, etc. This shows more about the people who have these opinions than the gals themselves.
There are 2 main consequences that I have found from this prejudice:
1. First of all, because most people think they are promiscuous, biker gals are very much on their guard, sometimes to the point of seeming frigid! Its quite a normal reaction, when you consider what they are don't want to be known as! They want to prove that they are not. If people didn't have all these preconceptions and judge the gals by appearances, we'd probably all be having wild unrestrained se... eh... I mean, we'd all get along MUCH better! Which is what we all want, right? What we really really want...
2. In the old days the male biker was considered a rebel and a danger, by people seeking social security and a peaceful lifestyle ("squares"?). They wanted as few threats to their lifestyle as possible. A biker was their nightmare, as he seemed to have no responsibility, just a guy on a bike, up to no good... and was an easy way out for their bored little girl, who jumped on the back of his bike and split the family. Now that some of the squares have got bikes and women have started riding too, the prejudice has shifted from being against male rider, to being against women bikers, as now, the bored little girl can just get on her own bike and ride away! - Perhaps this is more of a statement, but you can see the prejudice against women riders in there.
As always, the bottom line is: We need to change our way of thinking. Accept other people as being different from ourselves, and respect the difference as something that makes us more interesting to one another. If we feel there is something wrong with it, we should be civilized enough to discuss it with those we feel are wrong and be prepared to see their point of view when they state it.