Lately there have been posts on Bruce and Ray's Forum and Gold Iron about our Motorcycle Resources/Capital, how scarce and valuable they are and how we may be misusing them.
There is much legitimacy to these discussions. Yet as much as I see them online, I seldom "hear" Bikers discussing or confronting the issue.
I know I have published my little rant's about "doggie" runs. Though I suspect they have fallen on deaf ears because the runs by folk wanting a piece of the "biker" pie just keep piling up. Or maybe it's just that it's one of those issues that you think about. Ya know, and tell yourself yeah I need to get around to doing something about it, but yet never do.
For those who have missed the little rants they can click on the links above or consider the post below regarding "how" much a bikers life is worth? O.k. How does that relate?
Today, those of us that do so (myself included), holler about inattentional blindness, driver distraction, cell phones, etc. and how we have to increase motorcycle awareness to make the roads safe for us. But while engaged in a discussion with another long term Biker I posed the question and I pose it to all out there that have been riding any length of time, "twenty years ago how many "cagers" climbed up your ass"? How many pulled into your lane? In fact how many came anywhere near you? How many made sure you had plenty of room? How many would invite you to their home for dinner?
My suspicion is "back in the day" motorcycle awareness was a given. You did not climb up some bikers ass. You knew better. Thirty years ago pretty much the only poker runs you went on were to help a downed brother pay his hospital bills or fix his bike or help his family bury him and the children he left behind eat.
Today we ride for every cause under the sun. Which is not a bad thing, "IF" you can afford it. There are a lot of worthy causes out there. What may not be a good thing is now we have MC clubs/organizations formed for the purpose of riding for one specific cause or another and the cause more often than not has nothing to do with "bikers". And of course each cause is more important than the other so now the runs trample all over each other and I don't know about anyone else but I find myself looking in my wallet wondering, ok which one can I afford to go on and which one do I pass on?
Whats the problem with this? While I'm spending my discretionary money on noble causes and getting "atta boys" from the community (many of which, glad to take my money, are are still not going to invite me over for dinner) what will be left in my pocket for my fellow biker when he gets taken out by soccer mom on a cell phone in an an SUV? How will his kids eat and when was the last time have you heard anyone getting ready to ride on a "doggie run" somewhere ask, "does anyone know a biker or biker family anywhere that needs this money more?"
Feeling uncomfortable yet? Hitting close to home? I have had people ask me if I can help them organize a run for one particular cause or another. My first question is always, "how much of what you take in are you willing to give back to the community that is giving to you?" Every occasion has been met with a wide eyed look usually followed by the question. "What do you mean"? Which usually ends the conversation.
I have no problem seeing 350 people on a cancer run. I have a big problem with seeing only a hundred people or less on a Bikers rights run (if you can find one). So where is whose priority?
See I'm thinking we may not have only been squandering our "Capital/resources". I'm wondering if we haven't also squandered away our respect? Because people do tailgate us today. Hell they even blow their horns at us, they do swerve in front of us and look at us like we were wrong (I have even found myself wondering how many of the women on cell phones that have swerved in front of me and given me dirty looks will or have benefited from the money I have given while on a run for "them"). In short, have we become fools? Has the biker world become so full of wannbe's, rub's, social workers and old kids playing cowboys and Indians, that we have become caricature of ourselves.
Somebody tell me, please. What is a "biker"??? And please do not answer, someone who rides a motorcycle because it seems like everybody has one now days. In fact the roads are so full of motorcycles that I have to ask myself, how many of the deaths occur as result of lack of awareness and how many occur out of lack of "give a damn" and who let the current situation becomes what it is?
We are the ones that have allowed our lives to become a $50.00 ticket. We are the ones that allow that status to continue. We are also the ones who have allowed MRO rights leaders promise us different and deliver little. We have become our own worst safety hazard.
I will end this little diatribe with a question and a prayer. My Question? When was the last time you gave of yourself or your money to the "cause of bikers?"
I pray to God that you don't go down and have to rely on the charity of your brothers on the road. Because chances are that road they are on is to support some charity that ain't gonna do a damn thing to help you feed your kids. Just when is the last time you rode Free? rc