I have been among the ranks of motorcycle men riding motorcycles for over forty years. I got my first mini bike when I was twelve years old, I have had and ridden motorcycles ever since. I guess that qualifies me in the group of motorcycle men, a biker in one sense or another. Although I have never prospected or been patched into an outlaw motorcycle gang, I have ridden with many. I was the very image of the lone outlaw biker.
Growing up in the late 60’s I was a child of the drug culture. I started taking drugs’ at the age of eleven, one year before I started riding a motorcycle. I was a lost child. I stopped caring about home, school and just about anything else except biking and drugs.
By the age of 14 I had gotten into trouble and was emancipated by the court. I was given an option, that on the day I turned seventeen I had to volunteer into the armed forces or go to jail as an adult. I choose to join the army.
While I was in the Army in Germany I bought a new motorcycle. It was a sweet bi-centennial Harley Davidson Sportster 1000. Even though it was made by AMF, at the time it was sweet. I spent most of my time in the service getting high and riding my motorcycle all over Europe.
Not satisfied with the local action I took a long cruise across the USA and ended up in south Florida. This was not a good place at all for a hard-core drug addicted biker dude like myself.
I got so involved into the cocaine trafficking scene I became lost quickly. I started to think I was invincible. I started ripping off my friends and connections. If anybody stepped up I would put them back down, problem solve. I thought I was a bad ass, a real man.
By that time I had pretty much worn out my welcome in Florida so I headed up north to Maine. Thinking a change if scenery would help me get a grip on my addiction. Well it didn’t. As my drinking and drug use grew so did the trouble that came with it.
I got busted for a class B felony, trafficking in a controlled substance and was convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison. I got lucky though; I stood up a spoke on my own behalf at my trial. Being the master manipulator I was at the time, trying to get out of the long prison term, I told the Judge that I was a drug addict and that I would be willing to seek help, the Judge took pity on my and reduced my sentence to ten years all but two suspended and three years probation.
I went to prison. Prison was a turning point for me. It was not easy. I went into prison with a 360mg methadone habit. I spent the first three months withdrawing. The first few weeks were the worst though. It was during this time that I had an epiphany.
The reality of who I truly was and how much of my life I had been wasting hit me square in the face. I had been living in fear. I was afraid of being a real man. I was hiding behind the drugs and booze, trying to keep a tough facade; acting like I was something I truly wasn’t just so no one would know I was really afraid. I was afraid of being a real man.
All of my life I lived a lie. From a small boy I had always been told that real men don’t cry, or that real men should be able to hold their liquor. A real man should be tough and kick everybody’s ass. Real men don’t’ believe in God, all that stuff is for women and sissy’s. All lies. I wasted a lot of years believing things that someone even more messed up than I had told me.
I can’t say that while I was lying there on my cold steel bunk, half conscious, freezing and sweating at all the same time from withdrawal, I had a vision of God. What I can say is that God did speak to me in a way that I could understand him. During that time God helped me see what I was and how much I meant to him and that I didn’t have to be afraid of being a real man any longer.
Although I didn’t know what a real man was at the time, I did know that it was not what I had been all the years that I was playing the bad ass biker, drinking, drugging, kicking ass and taken names. So even though I didn’t know how to be a man, a real man of God. I was lead to find out how.
I did my time and got out of prison. I stopped using drugs and drinking. Day by day I grew in faith. My life change and God lead me. I started to find out about all of the good things I had been missing in my life. I learned how to hold a job, I stopped jumping up ready to fight every time someone challenged me, and I learned how to forgive. I found a wife, and now I have more today in my life then I could ever imagine.
I can’t say that I am glad I got busted and sent to prison. But what I can say is, I am Grateful I did. Sometimes God has to yank us up by the collar to get our attention.
I can look in the mirror and in all honesty say I am a man, a motorcycle man.
Being a biker is not about taking drugs, boozing it up or being tough and gritty. Neither is being a man. The image of riding a motorcycle has been tainted over the years. Just like man, not everything is in the image.
Being a biker, a motorcycle man doesn’t mean drinking, drugging and kicking ass, trying to keep up the act. Believing in your self and a power that is higher, all present and mightier then you are, does. Believing in God doesn’t mean you are weak or less of a man. It is just the opposite. Believing in something and making a stand to change takes guts, strength and courage.
If you ride a motorcycle and you want to find a better way of life on the road or in your personal life, come find out what we have to offer, Unite Bikers Against Drugs is a better way.