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Clarksville, TN – I can only speak for myself when I say that one of prime reasons for owning a motorcycle is it’s image. Good or bad, the motorcycle has always represented the “coolest of cools,” and the “baddest of bads.”
Marlon Brando, Peter Fonda, James Dean and my all time favorite, Steve McQueen, made the motorcycle the icon it is today. You can’t deny that sitting on the back of a motorcycle and cruising through town, or pulling into the parking lot, is an amazing feeling.
I’m not saying that I AM the coolest thing on two wheels, I’m just saying that in my mind, the ability to own a bike, ride a bike and represent the culture in some way, IS the coolest thing going.
And don’t get me started about women and motorcycles. To me, there’s NOTHING more sexy than a woman who rides.
People gravitate to the bike. They want to look at it up close. They want to touch it, talk about it, dream about it. It’s a “magnet” for conversation. That’s why I LOVE the people I meet on this bike.
“How long you been riding?”
“What kind of bike is it?’
“I used to ride.”
“I’m hoping to get one next year.”
These are just a few of the comments I hear when I’m on the road. It’s awesome!
My story on why I bought a bike is well known. You can read it here.
Everything that came after that is just icing on the cake.
We buy the gear, we have the “look,” we “represent” and people are fascinated by us. There’s a “mystique” that surrounds the motorcycle. The danger, the women, the speed. EVERYBODY notices the bike.
With that comes responsibility, because not everybody loves motorcycles, and that’s ok too. For whatever reason that the biker is the “center of attention,” I’m cool with it.
I love meeting new people. I love talking about my travels. I love meeting other bikers. I did this for ME not you.
When I’m traveling, I make it a point to acknowledge other traffic that shows me respect. If a car lets me merge into traffic, I wave at them. When I pass a trucker who lets me “cut” in front of him, I wave a big “thank you.” When kids wave at me from their car, I give them a big “thumbs up.”
There’s a HUGE responsibility on bikers to build a positive image. Some guys take it seriously, others are old school, and couldn’t give a damn, and that’s cool too. The beauty of this lifestyle is that it’s custom made by each of us.
We choose our own bike, our own image, our own style and our own reasons for riding. There isn’t a “cookie cutter” model for owning a motorcycle. My bike is MINE and my image is MINE and my responsibility is MINE.
I love it so much!
So while I’m not as cool as Steve McQueen, in my mind, I’m pretty comfortable with what I represent and I take that responsibility very seriously.
Now, if only all the “cagers” made us the “Center of Attention!”
Ride safe brothers and sisters!
Hank Bonecutter is a retired broadcaster and media consultant based in Clarksville, Tennessee.
His career includes stints at WKDA/WKDF and WKQB Rock 106FM, WLAC-AM in Nashville.
He concluded his career as owner/talk show host at WJZM-AM in Clarksville.
Currently the President of Bonehead Promotions, he’s an advertising consultant and media strategist.
TopicsClarksville TN, Dodging the Roadkill, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Motorcycle, Peter Fonda, Steve McQueen, Tennessee, women
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