Dodging the RoadkillClarksville, Tn — Just yesterday there was an incident in nearby Nashville that not only was reckless and dangerous, but laws were broken. 

An unknown group of individuals on dirt bikes and ATVs were seen riding around the Music City, including downtown Nashville, popping wheelies, running red lights and just causing havoc in one of the busiest places in town.

One police officer was injured trying to stop one of them and officials are trying to identify them.

In a later report, one of the news outlets managed to get an interview with a young lady in the group, (who was not identified), and she said that their group was a “positive” rally to show young people that there was more to life than just “drugs and guns.”

Huh?  I’m not sure that the reckless operation of a dirt bike or any other recreational vehicle is the right example to be setting, but I digress. 

I’m not going to get into the absurdity of her claim, or the recklessness of their actions, and I’m not going to judge what their intentions were, but I want to talk about perception.  

I shared the story on my Facebook page and while I encourage and respect ALL opinions that you guys share with me, I was called out for “stirring the shit pot”and it got me to thinking, just who does the public think a biker is? 

I know who a biker is, but the general public tends to lump us all together as one, especially the ones who don’t like motorcycles to begin with.  I guarantee you that most of the people who witnessed this stupid behavior were quick to tell EVERYBODY they knew that “did you see this group of bikers downtown today?”  or, “man you should have seen this group of bikers downtown today!”

Several of my friends on social media were quick to point out the fact that “they weren’t bikers, they were just a bunch of punks” or “they weren’t bikers, they were thugs.”

I agree.

One comment stood out to me, “how do you figure it gives bikers a bad name? Had nothing to do with bikers.”  When I responded that I felt that the general public didn’t know the difference he said “they’re smarter than that and can differentiate between the two.  Don’t go stirring the shit pot.”

I respect that.  I’ve always been proud of the fact that we can agree to disagree here and not get personal.  That’s sort of unique in this day and age where you get shamed and insulted for sharing your opinion online.  This blog has always been respectful and has never gotten personal and I’m proud of that fact. 

Trust me, I’ve been called out before. 

Bikers know who bikers are.  I know who bikers are.  I assume all of you know what a “biker” is.  But this display doesn’t do any good when it comes to public perception.  I’m disappointed that they thought that this was a way to show kids that “there’s more to your life than just drugs and guns.”

I also realize that bikers don’t give a DAMN about public perception!

Maybe the general public IS smarter than that, but my experience is that they’re not.  To a lot of people, we’re “just a damn bunch of bikers” regardless of all the good we may do in our community.  The reality is that today’s environment lends itself to casting us ALL into one group.  Whites, blacks, latinos, bikers, hunters, gun owners, etc.

Anyway, I get called out on occasion, and I appreciate it.  I’m not perfect and I’m not always right, never have been.  I may be TOTALLY off base with my opinion, but it’s mine and I have to stick with it.  

I write this blog for ME and I appreciate ALL of your comments.  I’ve learned so much about this lifestyle from people like you.  It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve EVER done in my life. 

Keep it coming.  I have thick skin and I’m not beyond admitting when I’ve stirred the “shit pot.”

Here are the links to a couple of the stories from the incidents from WZTV Fox 17 in Nashville.

Here and here. 

Photo courtesy of WZTV Fox 17, Nashville.