“Dirty Biker” is a phrase we’ve all heard. Homegrown in our cinema, with movies like “Easy Rider” and “The Wild One” starring Marlon Brando, the notion that bikers, especially Harley-Davidson riders, are all a part of a degenerate gang intent on terrorizing the good citizens of our home town has infiltrated every corner of our nation.
The truth is far different. If you were to compare the membership of outlaw biker gangs, to the number of motorcyclists across the country, the law-breakers are very few and far between. One might compare them to the number of criminals, as to the number of law-abiding athletes in every stripe of professional sports.
Unfortunately, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ is the motto of our media. Should there be as many reports about the wonderful deeds bikers invest their time and energy in, the perception of bikers being all renegade outlaws most definitely would shift. In fact, statistically, since the 80’s there has been a strong movement away from the criminal element that gave so many good bikers a bad name.
Today, bikers engage in rallies for many different charities. Many of the events these hardy riders attend are held in honor of one cause or another. Some of these include B.A.D.D.–Bikers Against Drunk Drivers, B.A.D.–Bikers Against Diabetes, B.A.C.A.–Bikers Against Child Abuse. There are too many to list here, but you can find what is going on in your home state by visiting the Traveling Bikers website charity index: http://www.travelingbikers.com/charities.html
The next time you see a group of bikers tooling down the road, it may likely be they are donating their time, money and energy for a good cause–all while riding a vehicle that saves on gas and pollutes less than our four-wheelers do.
“Dirty Biker” might need to be changed to “Benevolent Biker” in light of the millions raised for charity. In a nation in need of heroes, no matter how unlikely, I can think of no better figure than the leather-clad, open-air rider, hair blowing in the wind, criss-crossing our country to serve the needs of the people. Even bad boys do good deeds.