friends and family.
I haven’t been riding much lately, so I’m pressed for inspiration. The ride to and from work doesn’t offer much excitement or enlightenment. When this happens, I often turn to some of the biker boards I belong to hoping for a spark. But unfortunately, only a few of those guys have been on the road recently and I can’t find anything about riding that sets me off.
One thing I do notice though is that there are more political posts than riding posts on many of the boards. And the topic most represented is the current challenges to the 2nd Amendment. While not all members are pro 2A, the overwhelming majority is. In fact the board has a pretty conservative feel. In retrospect, that shouldn’t be surprising. The two things that drew me to these particular boards are that they are for cruisers, and that these people have a self-reliant, fix it yourself philosophy. Being to cheap …. uh frugal to pay a dealership for a repair that I can do myself, I sought out folks with the same mind set. Most of them are far more experienced than me, so these boards are a great source of information and inspiration. These are people who will take off on a 2,000 mile trip with no more than what they can load on a motorcycle. Except in extreme cases, they intend to handle any repairs on their own. So I suppose it shouldn’t have been surprising that this same independent philosophy informed their political stances.
But it was. I suppose that is because I am what I would consider a moderate. By their standards I probably look like a flaming liberal. In fact, I’m pretty sure I do. But this isn’t a political blog, and I don’t intend to spend most of it justifying my political positions. I do intend to pontificate on what I see as the inevitable correlation between this particular groups of bikers and the 2nd amendment.
One consistent characteristic of this group of people is self-reliance. When something goes wrong with their bikes their first though isn’t “Who do I call?” It’s “What do I need to do to fix this?” Maintenance on their equipment is their responsibility, and something they do with their own hands.
“If I do it myself, I’ll know it’s done right,” is a comment often heard among this bunch regarding repairs and maintenance. It is part of their makeup to rely on themselves to stay out of trouble, or to get out of trouble if it finds them.
It should be no surprise then that the same principle guides their attitudes about personal safety and self protection. If these folks get into trouble their first thought isn’t going to be, “Who do I call?” It’s going to be, “How do negate this threat?” And just as they prevent mechanical breakdowns with preparation, many of them will have prepared for other kinds of trouble by arming themselves with both weapons and training. They will not take lightly the suggestion that, miles from anybody they know on a lonely back road, their only recourse would be to call for help. Don’t expect much support for any kind of gun legislation from the biking world.
－ Guy Wheatley