The image of bikers often gets really bad press. Ask someone who doesn’t know any bikers to conjure up a mental image of a biker and you’ll often get an intimidating leather-clad brute. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’ve mixed in some varied circles over the years and bikers are up there amongst the best people to know in my book. They generally have a sense of fun and are community-minded and would always help each other out – if you’re a biker, you’re in the club.
But this community-mindedness (if that is a word!), extends to more than just the biking community. I have never known a social group that does more charity fund-raising than bikers.
Football teams do raise some money and (I think) rugby clubs do even more. Running, hiking and cycling clubs are always getting sponsored to do what they love, but none more so than bikers.
Someone very close to me who had her own motorbike shop used to organise a charity bike ride every year from Nottingham to Skegness. Bikers paid a registration and got sponsored and they all met on the beach for a BBQ before riding back. It was a great event which raised thousands of pounds for Nottinghamshire & Lincolnshire Air Ambulance charity and although a keen biker herself, she spent the the entire day (and the two days leading up to it) running around after everyone else to make the event a success and never got on a bike herself at this time!
This example caught my eye this week – http://www.arcticride.blogspot.co.uk/ is a blog by a biker called Gordon Stuart who was inspired to do a motorcycle ride to the Arctic Circle in support of Cerebra UK after they gave so much help to his little brother Robbie, who suffered an acquired brain injury at just nine months old which has left him with severe learning disabilities. If anyone wants to donate to The Arctic Ride 2014 they can on Gordon’s website and he can be followed on Twitter as @arcticride2014
The Americana has had lots of support from bikers throughout it’s 33 year history. The Harley Owners Group (affectionately known as ‘HOG’) have always been there, as have bikers from clubs up and down the length of Britain and beyond. Recently we’ve also seen the arrival of Victory Motorcylcles and their riders clubs too. All in all, I think we can put the old image behind us now and embrace bikers for what they are – genuinely good people who make our show – and the world – a better place.
And next time you see one and wave at him or her, when they wave back, you will agree with me what a friendly bunch they are!
- Texas: 1st Biker Friendly town (motorbikewriter.com)
- Bikers honor police officer who died in the line of duty (krdo.com)
- Motorcyclists rally for injured riders (kjct8.com)
- Ride to Live & Live to Ride. (thebikersdiary.wordpress.com)
- Us Defenders / Coir (bikersofamerica.blogspot.com)