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Patrick Mark Ellis
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Biker stereotyping

18 February 2014, 10:58

The recent road rage incident involving a motorist and biker has provoked enormous outrage with 2 distinct camps of support. One pro bikers and one anti bikers. After reading all the comments posted relating to this tragedy, it is evident  just how far apart the 2 schools of thought and emotion are.

I am both a motorist and ride a bike as well. What does that make me? A motorist? A biker? Neither really. I simply enjoy riding bikes and have done so for the last 38 years. I enjoy the companionship of fellow bike riders and the unique camaraderie that exists within the biking community, something which is common throughout the  world.

However I shy away from the tag of biker despite having owned and ridden bikes all my adult life. There is unfortunately a stereotype ( worldwide) of bikers being unshaven, hard drinking, aggressive and irresponsible gun toting hooligans. I hardly fall into this category and would stick my neck out and say most bikers do not fit this stereotype either.

Yet, with emotions running high over this latest tragedy, a photo journalist saw fit to publish a photo of an absolute classic stereotype of a biker with a skull  modelled helmet, shades, beard, leathers and tassels, the whole bang shoot and many readers then associate this as being typical of all bikers.

Not knowing the facts of what transpired, I will not throw my lot in with either camp but rather wait for the facts to emerge.

The biking community does an enormous amount of charitable work ( think Toy Run ) but continues to be unfairly tainted more for emotive reasons than factual reasons. My condolences to all the family and friends affected by this preventable incident. I say preventable because if neither party had a gun, this would never have happened.

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