It has become obvious for more than a century that the motorcycle community is, itself, an easily recognizable society and culture featuring many distinctive traits, such as distinctive attire, which is often referred to as “biker” attitude. This culture also adheres to a distinct form of lifestyle philosophies such as respect for other bikers, which is freely given without request. Also exclusive to the community is the established system of Clans, based upon the philosophies of Brotherhood or Sisterhood, Loyalty and Respect. The premise of these clans have been observed, depicted and distorted in countless media presentations via movies, books and television shows. In this Twenty-First Century, it is imperative that this community be recognized as a distinct culture guided by its beliefs and its desire to remain free to live out its distinct lifestyle.
Across far too many decades, the biker lifestyle has been viewed as a subculture of ruffians, misfits or even criminal elements. It is, when compared to other distinct societies living in harmony amongst us, no better or worse than any other culture. It has long since become obvious that this distinct culture is seen in the hundreds of Riding Clubs, Motorcycle Clubs, as well as Manufacturer Support Clubs (e.g. Harley Owners Group) across Canada, North America as well as most countries around the world. In fact, most of these clubs cooperatively meet together to support charitable rides and biker supported annual events raise many millions of dollars to fight disease, hunger and poverty in Canada alone.
Almost all of the clubs and associations within the motorcycle community have a public meeting place to get together and celebrate their lifestyle of brotherhood/sisterhood. Additionally, almost all motorcyclists in this distinct community wear similar clothing that makes bold statements about their commitment to the biker community and lifestyle. This is evidenced in the tattoos on their bodies, and patches on their clothing which usually identify which clan they support, including many Christian motorcycle groups.
It is not often obvious to the general public that the vast majority of bikers are law abiding, hard working, and taxpaying citizens who go to church on Sunday or another place of worship on their Sabbath. Since there is a great deal of cooperation, respect, and friendly interaction between the overwhelming majorities of motorcycle groups that make up the fabric of the Canadian Biker Culture, I submit that this culture is not and rarely ever was an illicit subculture of misfits. Rather, the motorcycle community represents a distinct society within Canada and across the world that deserves respect - instead of discrimination - due to some common misconceptions about biker attire, biker body art and biker attitude.
Respectfully submitted by the Reverend Doctor Kenneth A. Williams of Hamilton Bikers' Church, Hamilton, Ontario.