Easy Rider and Chopperguy

Thoughts on Easy Rider, biker cinema, and riding and working on a vintage chopper.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Rebel Without a Clue

I'm going to risk pissing off a lot of people who peruse this site. Not that I haven't risked that on other occasions, but I'm just letting everyone know in advance.

I've given up the leather jacket and switched to a green denim jacket with a hoodie under it. It was a conscious decision. After years of seeing people buy brand new motorcycles, brand new leather jackets, brand new leather chaps, and then adorning themselves with various store bought pins and patches, I've had enough. I was especially getting brought down by the 'metric cruiser' crowd trying to hang with me and talk the lingo. So the leather jacket I've worn for half my life, that bears the wear and tear of thousands of miles, several states (both those marked on maps and ones experienced otherwise), and a general lifestyle of abuse is hanging in the closet. For now the jean jacket better fits who I am.

As for talking the lingo, one of my favorite lines spouted by the neuvo biker crowd and seen on shirts and stickers is, "Ride it like you stole it." Great advice. If you stole the bike it would be in your best interest to obey all traffic laws, smile at the man, and be as courteous as possible to all other traffic. Try not to stick out. Blend in. Don't draw attention to yourself lest you get caught. So go ahead and ride it like you stole it. I'll continue to ride mine like it was designed to be a suicide machine on wheels. Even more so now that I have forgone the excellent protective qualities of leather apparel.

I am going to throw the new crowd a bone. In the past I have always insisted on choppers being defined not so much by the look of the bike but by what the bike lacks. Choppers weren't supposed to have electric start, front fenders, or the fat and heavy look. That was what choppers were. Language mutates over time. Chopper now means something completely different. It now refers to any custom bike with a long front end. My insistence on the original meaning of chopper is as antiquated as the use of thee and thou. I relent and will simply refer to my rat chop queen as "Old School".

So throw on your leathers, push the start button on your chopper, and if it isn't raining, go for a ride. Don't let this old school biker fiend spoil your day.

I've been riding for 35+ years so I know exactly where your comming from but I'll be damned if I let so yuppie biker wannabe's get in the way of my saftey. It' easy to tell them apart from a ral rider, it's like you said they sport all the latest cool patches, pins, bells, and whistles. My leather jacket has become a part of me through the many years and mile that we've been together and it'll continue to be a part of me until the thread give out and can't be rejoined!
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