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Dodging the Roadkill: Perception vs. Reality

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – If you follow me on social media, you may remember that I asked your opinion about whether the “image” of bikers had gotten better or worse over the years.  The responses were varied, but everybody weighed in.

First of all, I DO NOT worry, nor care about what others think of me and the choices I’ve made in my life.  Motorcycles are NOT for everyone, and bikers as a whole couldn’t care less what you think about this lifestyle. 

I spent my career in a business that depended on being “liked” or “popular.”  That’s why I LOVE this lifestyle, because nobody gives a DAMN what you think about it.  It’s so refreshing to finally get to be myself, and be with others who are genuine and don’t want ANYTHING from me. 

Bikers
Bikers

When you ask someone their definition of a biker, you’ll probably get a different opinion from each person you ask, but let’s face it, there WAS a time when that image was not good. 

And rightfully so.

In the early days of the notoriety of bikers, riding clubs, gangs, or whatever you want to call them, most people feared them, didn’t respect them and probably felt like they were all criminals.  The minority doesn’t speak for the majority, and the majority of bikers I’ve met are awesome.  

So just for discussion, I think the biker image has changed quite a bit.  I know of MANY biker groups that spend their time not only riding, but contributing to their community and their country.  What I like most about that is they don’t do it for recognition, they do it because they’re good people.

For the short time I’ve been a biker, I’ve met some of the most incredible people that I would have never met had it not been for this motorcycle.  The common theme is the bike and if bikers want to organize, then so be it. 

There are christian biker clubs.  Veteran biker clubs.  Black biker clubs.  Hispanic biker clubs.  The list goes on and on.  The bottom line is that they’re all bikers and since most of the viewing public would never have the “balls” to ride a motorcycle (which is ok) they tend to view them without any understanding of who they are as individuals, and why they ride.

It must be all the leather. 

I’ve ridden now over 130,000 miles in just over three years, and I can honestly say, I’ve never felt uncomfortable around anyone or anywhere I’ve been.  I’ve always been treated with respect.  I’ve never felt uncomfortable because of my motorcycle. 

Now, out in traffic is another thing.  

From that Facebook post, some of the responses I got were, “who cares” and “who gives a damn.”  But for others, there were stories of being asked to leave a restaurant, or, “you can’t park your bikes over there.”  Let’s face it, that’s part of the appeal of being a biker, being a bit of an outlaw so to speak. 

Remember, this is NOT for everyone.   

I think that social media has helped improve the “perception” of bikers because so many of them are on there.  Everybody gets a chance to see just what bikers are and what they do.  Those charity “runs” and “rides” that benefit so many people.  

The old school guys keep the image alive and well, and they’re some of the coolest people I know.  I wish I had started younger, and back in the day before all the “whistles and bells” came along.  I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a few bugs in their teeth?

A biker has his own journey and that journey doesn’t belong to anyone else.  The miles we travel and the brothers and sisters we ride with are special.  What we would REALLY appreciate is if you would get off your damn cell phone and pay attention. 

Bikers will take care of themselves.  

Ride safe my brothers, and thanks for following along.  I’m on Facebook here. 

Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutterhttp://www.clarksvillesmotorcycle.com/
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. An avid motorcyclist, Hank blogs about his travels exclusively at www.clarksvillemotorcycle.com and www.clarksvilleonline.com You can follow Hank on on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dodgintheroadkill/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/?lang=en, and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dodgetheroadkill/?hl=en  
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