Occasionally I’ll sit in my living room after a long day at work and stare at my two pit bulls. Typically one is awkwardly lying on top of the other, and both are snoring away…loudly.
They’re sisters and almost nine years old now and they’ve lived their lives peacefully without any incident, yet some people in this world would be terrified by the sight of them. This thought will occur to me from time to time and my brow will furrow.
I don’t get it, I’ll think. Why would anyone be scared of these dogs? They’ve never hurt another living creature, and I doubt they ever will. What makes them so scary?
Reality sets in and I remember how many people make snap judgments based on appearance. I am judged by my appearance all the time. You see, I’m a biker. Some people even go so far as to call me a dirty biker. I ride a motorcycle. I’m a big guy (6’1″, broad shoulders, big arms, and legs the size of massive tree trunks). I’ve got tattoos, and a long goatee. I wear a wallet with a massive chain, and a leather vest with patches on it.
According to some people, I’m not just intimidating, I’m terrifying.
I can’t even begin to count the number of dirty looks I’ve received over the years, or how many times people have moved to the other side of the street when they see me, or how often I’ve heard the word “trash” muttered under someone’s breath. Roughly the same circumstances have happened to me when walking my pit bulls. Pit bulls and bikers, we both get unnecessary bad raps.
The similarities between bikers and pit bulls don’t end at judging us by how we look. They go beyond being called derogatory names, being considered dangerous, and classified as a menace to society by some. That’s the superficial stuff.
The other similarities, the ones that really matter, are the ones reserved for those with an open mind that take the time to get to know us.
Pit bulls are some of the most goofy, loyal, loving, amazing dogs you’ll ever meet and bikers fit that description perfectly too (well, except for the whole being a dog part).
In my experience, pit bulls don’t take life too seriously. They live life in the moment, and can go from a nap to a serious case of the zoomies in seconds flat. They love to have goofy, silly fun and they never sweat the small stuff.
A biker can never take life too seriously, either. It’s a dangerous world out there on two wheels, and as a result we live our lives in the moment.
We’re also goofy as hell. Every biker I know, including myself, has a goofy streak a mile wide. We love to have fun. None of us know which ride may be our last, so we get out there and try to cram as many good times in as possible. As for nap time to zoomie time, I’ve woken up more than a few times and hopped on the bike to feel the wind in my face.
I’ve yet to meet a pit bull that didn’t love the sun. Walking in the sun, sitting in the sun, sleeping in the sun, waiting for the rain to stop so there will be sun are some of my pit bulls’ favorite pastimes. As bikers, we live for nice warm sunny days.
All dogs are loyal. It’s a trait that goes back to their domestication, but I like to think pit bulls take that trait to a whole different level. They simply want to make us happy, and if it’s within their power to do so, they will.
Loyalty is paramount to bikers. It’s part of being a biker. We have each other’s backs in everything we do, both on and off the bike. I would die to protect my brothers and sisters, and I know they would do the same for me.
My dogs love me. I don’t know how to describe it. I know it from the looks they give, the way they cuddle, the bond we share. It’s a feeling that surrounds every pit bull I’ve met. They see you, and they instantly love you. They don’t care if you hate them, they still love you.
It’s that amazing selfless generosity that parallels with bikers. We are some of the most generous people you’ll ever know. Every year bikers all over the country gather together for charity rides for numerous organizations. We ride, we have fun, but more importantly, we support charitable causes we believe in.
Is it an excuse to ride? Sure, but let’s be honest, we don’t need an excuse. We’ll ride anyway. Yet, we choose to give. We give our money, our time, and in some cases, devote our entire lives to being charitable. We do it even though some people look down on us, cross the street when they see us, or call us names.
Why? Because we care. Simple as that.
I’m sure there are dozens of other ways I could show you the similarities between pit bulls and bikers, but that would belabor my point. There is one significant differentiation that I must point out, though, one divergence that makes all the difference to me: a voice.
Pit bulls don’t have the capacity to stand up for themselves when it comes to Canadian mayors, or small town city councils. Pit bulls live blissfully unaware of the battles waging in cities all over the globe about their continued existence, but I’m aware.
I’m aware, and I do have a voice. I use that voice to speak for them. I use that voice to fight for them, and I will continue to do so for as long as it takes.
I am a biker, and I am proud to be compared to a pit bull.
PupJournal is proudly hosting National #PitBullWeek, or #NPBW, to celebrate blocky-headed wigglebutts, otherwise known as “pit bulls.” It’s time these pups are able to live their lives free from discrimination and harm. You can find articles, videos, and adoptable dogs on our National Pit Bull Week page and on Facebook. Join us by tagging National #PitBullWeek, or #NPBW!
Header images via Bikers Against BSL