For some strange reason I have always been surrounded by biker boys. Well, also just boys, but biker boys especially. It’s not like I ride, or think it’s particularly cool or hot or anything. Back in Hyd there was the Doctor, his friend who was one in a long line of the boymen and their friends Fiktor and Biker Boy. Then, in New York of course, there weren’t any. I came back, and there was Fiktor again. Then I moved here and there’s the Knight, followed by the Flake and his huge bunch of biking buddies, and most recently there is Macho. (Do not be fooled by the name, he’s completely not macho and extremely excellent; his bike is a Bullet Machismo and I laughed so much I told him I was going to christen him Macho. You know, in the Spanish sense, like chaval.)
Most of them have been Enfield boys, cept for the Knight and the boyman. But they’ve all had such different attitudes to bikes and biking and non bikers, and none of them conforms to the stereotype of the Biker. You know what I mean, tattooed (ok most of them have tattoos), loud (guilty), drunken (very guilty), swearing (hahaha), chauvinistic (only for show), etc.
The things I have noticed about them, esp Flake and his bunch and Macho, is that they are actually kind and peaceful souls. There is something almost zen-like about flying down a road (ok not really flying the only one who flies in the Knight and that gives me freaking heart attacks, sorry babe but you know this!) to the sound of an engine throbbing (yes yes guilty, I’m an Enfield girl heh) with the wind in your face. I imagine if you love it so much then you would have to be a mellow soul, no?
The first time I met Flake’s biker buddies he made me terribly nervous by building it up as ya man take it easy ok, remember they’re boys ya, they’re rough and all ok and so on. And so we set out at 730am from Alaknanda, when it was nearly winter, and I froze on the back of the bike because the stupid hood of my stupid sweatshirt kept falling off and I hadn’t taken out my winter clothes yet so I didn’t have coat or anything to cut windchill. The boys all gathered, they call themselves the Wolfe Pack, which had me giggling like mad, and they stood around in their leather and their gloves next to their shiny bikes that came in a bewildering variety of customizations and modifications. One had what seemed like giant antennae coming off the back of the seat, and then it was explained that that was a back rest for the pillion rider. There was much ribbing of Flake about something that had or had not been screwed on, and once everyone had gathered outside Archana complex, we all took off for M block in a parade, complete with hand signals that made me giggle even more. When we got to Revv for our biker breakfast, it was closed, but someone emerged and opened it up for us eventually and we all trooped to the top floor and hung out and had a long and chatty brunch, where the boys eventually relaxed around me once they realised I swore more than them and was happy to rib and be ribbed. And it turned out they were all normal guys, thoughtful and concerned and careful, and some of them I would even like to call friends someday.
It’s not that they don’t talk shop–good LORD do they talk shop and swap mechanic stories and discuss the minutia of tiny engine parts–but they always kept an eye out to see if I’m bored, and then one of them would detach and come talk to me (no, not Flake, though he’d check on me periodically too). Most importantly they have no contempt for someone who isn’t crazy about bikes or doesn’t know or understand the intricacies of bikes and biking. All the stories talk about macho men who mock you for saying Bullet when it’s a Thunderbird, but only one person has ever said that to me and heaven knows I can’t tell those two apart even now! There is a camaraderie about these guys that is very touching, a sort of mutual respect for each other and the road and this thing that they love. I think more than anything they are wary of being dismissed as the stereotype, when in face the stereotype itself should probably change. Then again, I’ve never been to rider mania!
(What prompted this post was a note the Knight shared on FB called 20 reasons why biker boys are perfect men, and it made me think about all the biker boys i do know and how much of this is true for how many of them. The person who wrote it has taken it down, so I can’t refresh memory accurately.)