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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

on being an individual

Way back when Harley rebounded and the Evo was a hot commodity, there was a "way to dress' for new Harley owners. I'm not saying it was a hard-fast rule, but it was quite a coincidence that so many people showed up at rallies and HOG meetings wearing Harley jeans, Harley chaps, Harley boots, Harley t-shirt, Harley jacket and a Harley hat/1/2 helmet--almost like a uniform. It simply had to be a coincidence.

Side note about those  Harley dealer T-shirts, there used to be a company that advertised in magazines that would deliver a new dealer shirt from a different state every month to you..... wow

Anyway, the funny thing about the coincidental attire, is each one of those guys thought he/she was an individual, dressing to say who they are--a Harley rider. So there they would be in packs of 5, 10 or 30 blasting around every state in America thinking they were individuals, that just happened to have many friends who were just as individual. The rest of the motorcycle community had quite they chuckle at their expense.

Fast forward to today. The "way to dress' has more corporate sponsors, but its still a uniform in my eyes--not being an individual. Today's Harley crowd rides a Dyna or Sportster, likely black, with 10-12" risers and drag bars peeking up over a 1/4 fairing. Their head is adorned with a flat black full face helmet, and then they wear a flannel over a hooded sweatshirt, Dickies pants, and high top Vans sneakers. Darn individual if you ask me. But likely its pure coincidence that I see so many people dressed that way.

Of the copycat uniforms I see, I have to say, at least the Harley guys of old thought about crash protection. Leather is way more road rash resistant than a Pendleton....

Anyway, my suggestion? Be yourself. Its one thing I can always be accused of is being me. For as long as I can remember I have worn the same things when I ride, a full face helmet--often colored to match my bike, a riding jacket, at one point I only wore leather, now its only synthetic fabrics, jeans--unless I was doing serious canyon racing which saw me in an Aerostich suit, leathers or synthetic over pants--and boots that covered my ankles. Except for a three year period where I had these bitching all white Nike leather high tops that were, leather, padded and covered my ankles. Took a ton of shit from the Harley crowd over them--but what does the most popular character on Sons of Anarchy wear? White leather high tops.....

anyway, dress for the ride and protection and be yourself. That's all for today