Sunday, December 09, 2018

Hellbent but Heaven bound?

(Via the Woodpile Report)

As a former motorcyclist (as opposed to a biker, who would say that I rode a rice burner and therefore wasn't a biker, probably among other things), I'm aware of the reputation that the so-called "1%" has. Basically, it's not a good one, although in some part the reputation isn't deserved. More on that in a sec.

In something that may be a preview of things to come sooner than later, a big group of the 1% is proving that more than a little of their reputation isn't deserved, and that some of it is. These guys, who most people, including the ones at the church, would probably avoid in other times, are providing a level of safety and security for victims of California's Camp Fire that their benevolent local and state governments have failed to provide. They're also dispelling some of the poor image they've accumulated over the years.

Bikers are, in my opinion, a misunderstood subculture in the US. Sure, there are some that are basically organized crime on Harleys, but most of them aren't. That's not to say they aren't hardasses, because they are. You do not screw around with these folks. Many of them have no qualms about physical violence.

When I was going through Army basic and AIT, there was a guy in my squad from Illinois. He was a biker, although you wouldn't have known it to see him. Unlike the mental picture of the big, burly biker, he was a small guy, even smaller than me. Unlike me, he was all muscle and attitude.

Except with his squad mates. I have known no more loyal friend, no one with who I'd rather find myself in a fight with (as long as he was on my side). The guy elevated loyalty to a near art-form.

Over the years since then, I've had the opportunity to meet other bikers. They have been, for the most part, cut from the same fabric as my old squaddie. Hardass to the core, but possessing both loyalty to those they associate with as well as a caring streak a mile wide but seemingly carefully hidden. In our area, there is always a memorial ride, a poker run for this or that charity or some organized event in which they play a major role. At this time of year one of the biggest is a ride that ends up at a local children's home, where they drop off thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of toys for the kids. I remember one year where on guy showed up with his "old lady" on the back of his bike, with a sidecar full of stuffed animals.

Wouldn't it one of the universe's great ironies if these folks became one of the groups you most want to have around if TSHTF?