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This post has absolutely nothing to do with motorcycle safety, motorcycle riding, motorcycle ethics or anything like that. Mostly, it’s just a rant. From a microscopic point-of-view, it’s about the biking community; from a macroscopic point-of-view, it’s about any self-righteous jerk who’s just interested in positioning themselves as incredibly RIGHT while situating those from a different community as just plain-old stupidly wrong.

Here’s the deal-eo. From a biking community that I belong to comes the following quote. Read the whole thing if you want, but really the first three lines set the tone that steadily peculates through-out this whole ditty:

For all who Know Motorcycle Riders!!!!!!!!! …… I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But you didn’t see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday. I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk. But you didn’t see me playing Santa at the local mall. I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by. But you didn’t see me, driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window. I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children. But you didn’t see me when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless. I saw you stare at my long hair. But you didn’t see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love. I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves. But you didn’t see me and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none. I saw you look in fright at my tattoos. But you didn’t see me cry as my children where born and have their name written over and in my heart. I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But you didn’t see me going home to be with my family. I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But you didn’t see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane. I saw you yelling at your kids in the car. But you didn’t see me pat my child’s hands, knowing he was safe behind me. I saw you reading the map as you drove down the road in the rain. But you didn’t see me get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date. I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But, you didn’t see me trying to turn right. I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But you didn’t see me leave the road. I saw you waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But you didn’t see me. I wasn’t there. I saw you go home to your family. But you didn’t see me. Because I died that day you cut me off. I was just a person who likes to ride. Repost this around in hopes that people will understand the biker community.

Really? The original author of this trite trash is so goddamn brilliant that they can see inside the mind of a shopper, a mom, a smoker, an otherwise pre-occupied person? Because he’s a poor biker who is so pathetically used to being discriminated against that he automatically knows what other people are thinking? Because they ride in CAGES, their imaginations cannot possibly permeate their metal shells and empathize with someone who intentionally dons a certain look (known to evoke a certain response)?

For f—-‘s sake! Get over yourself!!

On my most recent motorcycle loop, I nearly got side-swiped by [gasp] a person in a CAGE, while riding on the highway at speeds close to 100km. My companion’s heart stopped. She was riding behind me. And (this is just a guess) I’m willing to bet that a bunch of hearts jumped up into throats. Not just my fellow biker’s. Anyone who witnesses a near-miss, whether on a bike or in a CAGE, holds their breath until the moment transpires.

Because we’re on bikes does not put us in to a sad little category that screams out — nay, silently and woefully begs — for others to feel sorry for us. We’re not a pathetic group of mis-understood riders who are wringing our hands, gazing upon CAGES with doe-like eyes while a droll little tear escapes from the corner of one eye, waiting to be understood by the masses. At least, I’m not.

When I gear up to ride I know I’m entering a realm that comes along with certain presuppositions. For the most part, I enjoy them. She’s tough, she’s independent, she’s doing what she want.  I dressed myself in the morning. I donned a certain uniform. If I insist on wearing specifically-identified biking gear for the better, then I’ve got to be able to suck up the worst too.

If you don’t like the pre-suppositions that come with your look, there’s a simple solution: wear a bright orange reflective vest over-top your all-black bad-ass gear. That in-and-of-itself will ensure that CAGE owners will not even get as far or as deep as your long hair and tattoos. It will wipe out all presuppositions that you fear. All onlookers will know that you are safety-conscious, not some inconsiderate biker relying on loud pipes to do the hard work for you.

Worse, though, is that this quoted rant intentionally positions the “poor” biker as being right, and all other vehicle drivers as being insensitive dolts who are perpetually wrong. Well, isn’t that that exactly what this poster is arguing doesn’t apply to the biker community? yet, he feels justified doing it to car drivers?

There’s one careless-in-the-moment driver who may cut you off. It doesn’t mean that they need to know you dressed as Santa, donated generously at church last week, or rode in the rain so your kid could take the car. For all you know, the person who cut you off dressed as the Easter bunny, donated generously to Save the Children every month, and is on their way to meet with an adoption counselor. As far as I can guess, no car driver would ever WANT to be responsible for the death of ANYONE (yep, git, that also includes long-haired tattooed bikers with obnoxiously loud pipes).

Yes, there are drivers who make boner dumb-ass moves. Guess what? There are also bikers who make boner dumb-ass moves. And guess what again? Sometimes, that dumb-ass driver has been me. And sometimes that dumb-ass biker has been me.

We all screw up.

A smart and responsible rider assumes responsibility for her own ride; she doesn’t lash out and make others wrong so that she can be horribly righteous. That extends into life in general, life at large.

And, no, in case you are still wondering: I won’t repost this inane self-righteous rant on FaceBook (although I do note the irony that I have reposted it here on my blog). It reflects BADLY on the motorcycling community members with whom I like to keep company.

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One Response to “Blah blah blah”

  1. on 06 Nov 2011 at 11:30 pmDarlene

    Britt you pretty much hit the nail on the head with this. I actually don’t like being called a biker and all that conjures up. I am a motorcyclist and I go to great lengths to be geared up and a well trained motorcyclist. I take pride in the fact that I ride and even learning in my late 40’s. I am also not one of those who buys into the ‘mystique’ or ‘image’ of certain motorcycle brands. It’s not what you ride, but how you ride it.

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