The Vanilla Gorilla (B0UNTYMAN) 2:34 am 2/11/05

<<One of the first things that struck me as incongruous the first time that I went to Bike Week, was the number of bikers with cell phones. Somehow, it just seemed WRONG. The biker lifestyle is the epitome of non-conformist, non-establishment statement, but as we all know, bikes are expensive, and you need a damn good job to be able to afford one.>>

Things evolve to the point they loose their uniqueness. I don't see motorcycling, or present-day bikers (sic) as a nonconformity. It's too expensive not to conform, let alone be coined as the epitome. The only nonconformist I see are drug dealers and homeless people. There was a time, up until the '70s that there was enough road out there for everybody, and not a lifestyle to choose, like riding came off a menu of things to be. 95% of the bikers I've known in my life were bikers before they had a motorcycle. First they had a tricycle, then a bicycle, then a mini-bike, then bought a basket and built a real bike. A biker can tell another biker, even before his is one. Then there were mentors. Now, there just seems to be owners.

The only bikes the dealerships serviced were police bikes and a handful of bikes that owners were afraid to touch. When you went somewhere it was only a place to take a piss, smoke a cigarette, and turn around. You could feel the wind pull your hair back until you looked like a Chinaman. Helmets were for football players and retarded kids. You could smell the woman's perfume coming from the car in front of you. Not your own bad breath inside a FF helmet. After awhile, you could tell what kind of bug it was by the taste. Now you wipe the windshield. Cows would run from you...dogs would run after you. Kids and other bikers would wave at you and the cops would just stare. Young women would smile and old women would nod. These were steel horses...not cruisers. Cruising you did on Friday night on East 14th for hard-bellies just inchin' to feel that Milwaukee vibrator. When you went on a three-day run you packed a wallet. And maybe some lipchap.

Bike Week? 500,000 people all bunched up like Friday rush-hour on the 101? And cell phones, where a Buck 110 knife used to be. No two people alike, but all the same. No two bikes alike, but all the same. All come to stroll on the biker's black carpet. See, and be seen. 500,000 runnin' motorcycles grouped up like an impound auction.

The good thing I they probably don't know the difference. And if that's the case...I hope it's worth the price of admission.

"What do you do? I mean, do you just ride around? Or do you go on some sort of a picnic or something?"
- "A picnic? Man, you are too square. I'll have to straighten you out. Now, listen, you don't go any one special place. That's cornball style. You just go."
--The Wild One