Let's Talk About Being a Biker
Why do I call being a biker a lifestyle? Most think riding is a hobby, or a mode of transportation. There's no reason to make a lifestyle out of it, right? I have to respectfully disagree with that sentiment. Being a biker can most definitely change your life and how you feel about others.
Anyone who tells you they know the "Bikers code" or "Rules of the road" probably found a stupid post on Facebook and passed it off as an actual thing. None of those exist. There is a pervasive mindset that exists across biker communities around the globe. There is such a heavy emphasis of coming at each other from a place of respect and self-awareness.
Respect is a two way street. If I come at someone from a place of respect, they are going to treat me with the same respect back. When someone is disrespectful, I come at them with the same disrespect. You get what you give. It has taught me two very good lessons. The first is when I should be respectful (even when I don't want to be). The second is how to stand up for myself when respect isn't offered.
Self awareness is so important. Be who you are and nothing less or more. Many times, I have been told how someone new wasn't well liked because they "weren't real." If you aren't honest about who you are, it won't go well for you.
This is one of the few places in the world where I can be unashamed to be myself. They may not understand me when I go on about Tolkien or an in-depth explanation of why I hate Rey in the new Star Wars. I get blank stares when I try to discuss the latest knitting project, or game I am playing. At the end of the day, no one cares that they don't quite understand me. Because I'm still being me.
I may get a head shake and a chuckle proclaiming that I am "strange" or "weird." But, that same person will go out of their way to shake my hand or hug me anytime we run across each other. The emphasis on self-awareness and honesty is a refreshing change from the rest of the world. It's something I cherish.
Bikers have taught me some very valuable lessons about embracing who I am and embracing the differences we all have. It may be a label, and it is probably the only label I am alright with having. If you will excuse me, it's time to go ride my bike.