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July 2010 Vol 10 - No 7 - Star Gazer: What is a Biker? PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 06 July 2010 22:40
Article Index
July 2010 Vol 10 - No 7
2nd Editor’s Letter: When the Bell tolls
Bike of the Month: The Polar Beast
Motorcycle Diaries: Stars go North
Safety tips: Cluster or Solo?
Star Gazer: What is a Biker?
Pic of the Month: Taxi, Taxi…
All Pages


Star Gazer: What is a Biker?

See of you can tell the difference


By Ben Harper


I was in a restaurant the other day, and someone asked me if I was a “Biker”. This innocent question immediately brought several questions to mind as I tried to sort out what defines a “Biker” to me. "You there, sitting, scratching your  nose, you’re a biker”…


Some people would say that bikers are, not to put too fine a point on it, lowlifes who prowl around on loud motorcycles and indulge in criminal activities and illegal pastimes. This is the stereotypic biker image, and it is imitated by many riders.


There are those who would argue that the definition of “Biker” would include even those who ride sport bikes, and there are legitimate reasons for this position. Many sport- and sport-touring bike riders put many miles on their machines that others would find unbearable for long distance.


Many riders further distinguish between “Enthusiasts” and “Bikers”. Enthusiasts are defined as those who ride to a destination simply for the ride, and then return while bikers are those who ride to a destination, party for several days and then return to the origin of their sojourn. Perhaps this is the best definition of many of our fellow riders.


I have, for the better part of 35 years, lived my life as a "biker". I ride virtually all year through, including those frigid days when the thermometer here in Colorado drops below freezing. As long as there is no snow or ice on the road, I ride. Some people think me insane for such behavior, but most simply say, “That’s Ben”…


I am also a doctorate in Psychology and have served my country with distinction. I serve my community through charity work and donations to the less fortunate. I always live my life so as to bring good repute to myself, my family, and my associates, including those in the ISRA.


Does this lifestyle conform to any definition of “biker”? Hardly, and so what?

For me, being a biker and an ISRA member opens a whole new world of friends and fellow Star riders who share common bonds of friendship. The ISRA is a global family of good people who offer their time in a connection that other riders can only imagine. ISRA officers willingly volunteer their time to serve the greater membership, with no thought as to compensation or reward. Other associations must pay their officers to induce them to serve their groups, reflecting the kind of “What’s in it for me?” attitude that we in the ISRA don’t have to deal with.


So, definition or not, live your lives the way you want and concern yourself not with the perceptions of others. I can only suggest that, as ISRA members, we remember that in every facet of life we are representative of ISRA and should conduct ourselves so as to bring positive images of ISRA riders to the rest of the world that is so very quick to label us as “Bikers”.



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