Is it the leather vest, the dark colored clothing, the colorful tattooed arms, or the scraggly beards that you notice first? Do you pull your child close to you when a group of "Bikers" walk past in the store? Are you also the person who teaches your family at home to love everyone, and to not judge a book by its cover?
I often laugh when I walk through the store in my business attire and everyone seems to smile and talk. I am even thanked when a small child drops something and I stoop down to pick it up and hand it back to the child or parent. Now, I can go back to the same store, with the same people inside, and have the same events happen and no one will speak, the parent will snatch the item away from me while placing themselves between me and their child, and the store owners will keep a sharp eye on me to make sure nothing ends up in my pocket from his shelf. What is different about me now? First I didn't pull up in my nice Chevrolet pickup truck, but on my black Harley Davidson. Second I no longer have my nice pants and long sleeve polo shirt on, but a sleeveless shirt and a leather vest so I can proudly display the artwork running up each arm. I am now seen as a "dirty biker" to many ignorant citizens.
Ignorant is not meant as a derogatory term, but just as a term to describe the lack of knowledge most people have about your local biker. Bikers are hard working, loving, honest, family men and women. They are volunteers throughout the community. Many of them coach youth sports, raise money for childhood and breast cancer research, and provide those less fortunate with Christmas gifts every year. A biker will stop on the side of the road to help a stranger in need, I have not seen to many people in suits stopping to help change a flat. A biker will ride hundreds of miles to pay respect to a fallen Soldier they never knew. A biker will kneel at that Soldiers grave and cry because he or she knows what that soldier gave their life for.
So as you talk around the dinner table tonight about different life lessons with your friends and children remember the "bikers" when you talk about not judging a book by its cover.
God Bless and safe travels.