17 February 2010

Biker or Poser?

Tell me, dear readers...what, exactly is your idea of a biker? If you don't own a motorcycle or have never even ridden a motorcycle, don't fret; I still want to know your thoughts as well. Why am I asking this question? I'm sure you all would like to know, so...here goes.

It seems there is an awful lot of debate, lately, in the "biker world" about the differences between a "biker" and a "poser". It seems there are many people out there who ride motorcycles consider themselves "bikers" and anyone who is different from them is a "poser". Now, I'm pretty sure some of you out there are thinking, "What's the damned difference?" or "Who cares?" and, normally would agree with you because, to tell the truth, I don't give a damn, but the whole thing is bothersome to me; kind of like the chicken or the egg debate.

See, I ride a 2004 Harley Electra-Glide Standard (FLHT to those "in the know"); I bought it used after my 2003 DynaWideGlide (FXDWG) was run over in 2006 in our apartment parking lot (we lived in Virginia Beach at the time) by a sweet little 60-something lady who SWORE it wasn't her fault...even though her car was basically PARKED on top of my bike. My wife rode a Honda Shadow Spirit 750; hers was totalled by the same sweet little old lady. My wife thought, at first, she wanted a Harley, so we went hunting. After sitting on several different makes and styles of Harleys, she looked at me and, almost in tears asked if I would be upset that she wanted another Honda. My answer to her was, "You can have whatever bike you want. Why would I be upset?" We ended up buying a 2004 Honda VTX 1300 for my wife; she loved it and loves riding it whenever we get the chance to ride together.

That's part of what got me started wondering about the whole biker/poser thing. When we lived in Virginia Beach, we had a lot of friends we rode with all the time; most of them rode Harleys but there also were Hondas, Triumphs and various other street machines. Sometimes when we were getting ready to ride, one of our friends would playfully ask my wife if her bike was running; that, to me, is fun humor shared by a group of people who just want to ride. They didn't care what you rode, as long as you rode. Well, every once in a while we would be at a local watering hole and some jagoff would mouth off about the Honda not belonging amongst the Harleys; most of the time, said jagoff was laughed at and told to shut up but...sometimes...there was that one a-hole who wouldn't let it go...and that's when I would have a problem.

There are some out there who think that unless you turn your own wrenches on your own bike, you are a poser; others think if you wear a Harley t-shirt, jacket, gloves and boots, you are a poser; and still others think that if you only ride on the weekends or you don't ride a Harley, you are a poser. THIS is where I have the heartburn with these idiots and this posting, my friends, is my way of telling those idiots to shut up and ride.

I wear Harley t-shirts...I have a Harley leather jacket and gloves I wear sometimes when it is cold out; I have also ridden from Virginia to upstate New York and back, and to New Orleans, then Texas, and back to Virginia. I've ridden in searing heat, bitter cold, thunderstorms, rain showers, and snow storms. Living in Mississippi, I ride to South Carolina in May for Spring Bike Week and then back to Mississippi. Yet, because I wear a Harley t-shirt and wear a Harley jacket and Harley gloves, some think I am a poser; the funny thing is the only time it comes up is when I'm online in a biker forum...for some reason these "men" don't say it to my face.

My brutha from anutha mutha, Iron Horse Cowboy (who writes the blog "The View From Downrange") is another guy who is called a poser alot, although not to his face either. My friend rides a really nice Harley Nightster, which is a variant of the original Sportster; he wears Harley clothing and Harley boots...and he also rides his Nightster from his place in South Carolina to his dad's in North Carolina regularly. If you think that's not such a long trip, you try it on a motorcycle and then tell me it's not that far. He rides to work every chance he gets and when Spring Bike Week comes around, I ride to his place and then we ride to Myrtle Beach together.

I think you can get what my definition of a biker and a poser is...can't you? Simply put, if you own a motorcycle and you ride it, you are a biker...no matter what you wear or ride, no matter how often or how far you ride, you are still a biker. A poser, in my book, is one who wears the clothing and hangs out in the bars but doesn't ride a bike or even own a bike. Personally, I don't understand people like that; why would you want to dress and act like a biker if you don't have a bike? My friend IHC and I have the same opinions on this subject; I want to know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Mississippi CajunMarch 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    This question comes up a lot, and I remember a few years ago, I got into this very discussion with a guy down in Florida who IS a biker in every sense of the word, and if you ever meet Ernie, you will know what I mean. My feelings were that many years ago, just out of the Air Force and teaching and having to deal with kids who had no adult supervison (as opposed to no parents---or is that the same thing?), I would ride my old Honda 175 out to Lakefront Airport, get in my little Cessna and take off for the purpose of going up to 6-7 thousand feet and then cutting off the power and gliding down to the deck and doing it all over again until my nerves had shed the tensions of the day and I was at peace. Now, having no airplane (and lately no bike...dammit), I used to come home from my job, hop on the Harley, and take off on the back roads of which we have many, and I would ride until the same rejuvenation of the calm nerves occurred. With that, Ernie told me, "You get it, that's a biker."
    Well, I also wear Harley shirts (as I am at this minute) live in riding boots (most comfortable footwear I own since I met the nice lady in the SUV who totaled my bike and my leg), have a closet full of assorted leather jackets, and still work on other peoples' Harleys in my garage and will my own when I get one again pending the insurance company getting off its collective ass and sending the check. I wear a riders vest with a Harley Eagle and a lot of assorted patches almost as a uniform because it conceals the pistol that I normally carry (legally). I used to love to ride all day, and have been known to do 700-800 miles in a day on trips and could have gone further if necessary. Does all of this make me a biker? Hell if I know, but I damn sure don't consider myself a poser!