Motorcycle clubs tend to have a stereotypical persona of hardcore, uncivilized, mangy men and women who live a lifestyle on the very edge of society. Riding in a pack of Harley-Davidsons and choppers with their "biker chic" on the back and a set of ideals and morals that just doesn't match the mainstream at all, is often our perception. Their unorthodox way of approaching life makes them less than appealing to some because they seem so different.
Hearing in the news about such "outlaw" clubs as Highwaymen, Bandidos and the infamous Hells Angels, with their reputations of violence and criminal exploits seems to give the entire club a bad name. Add to this cable popularity of such shows as "Sons of Anarchy" and "Full Throttle Saloon" against a backdrop of hard drinking and partying, red faced barbarians decked out in leather, and "patch" backed sleeveless levi or leather jackets called "colors".
There is a poem entitled "The Biker" which begins:
"I saw you, hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But, you didn't see me, put an extra $100.00 in the collection plate last Sunday."
It goes on to tell about an accident that could have been avoided had the people driving the car been looking and paying attention to traffic so that they would have seen the motorcycle rider pull out. A nameless motorcyclist wrote it to try to make a point. Trying to make people realize that we all bleed red. We are all human. We need to look out at one another and not feel supreme over someone else because they are different from us. We should not point fingers or be disgusted about something you probably know next to nothing about. Take a moment to delve into who these people really are and what makes them tick and you might be surprised at what you find. Just because they don't wear their hair the way you would or wear the trendy fashion of the times doesn't mean they don't have a love for this country and a need to express themselves enjoying the freedom it has to offer.
Many motorcycle clubs around the country work with such organizations as the Marine Reservists, the Veterans Administration, ABATE (American Brother Aimed Toward Education), Toys For Tots, and the American Motorcycle Association to name a few. Others have members that own local businesses and give back to the community in which they live in many ways.
Thousands of bike clubs here in the US, Canada and Australia do annual fundraisers to raise money for such organizations as Toys For Tots, American Cancer Assoiciation, and The Muscular Dystrophy Association. They hold poker runs, memorial runs and fun runs to raise money for fellow comrades and their families, or a sick child in need of hope and expensive medical treatments.
So next time you see a group of motorcycle riders coming down the highway toward you instead of making a face or pulling your child closer, give them a nod, a smile and meet them half way.