Yeppers, that's me Q-Ball, and the bike I built. Self Portrait February 20, 2003. Itís a balmy 40 degrees, after a 3 day blizzard, 24 inches of snow accumulation, it was time to ride.
Canít dance, too wet, & cold for a ride. Reckon I will answer some of the questions posed to me over the years.
Q: Who are You?
A: Q-Ball is the name I got from my old club Dirt That Moves MC. I am by trade a freelance photographer, which means Iím a camera for hire. Over the years Iíve done many things for a living. Photography felt right, so I stuck with it.
Q: Who do you work for?
A: Almost any one with money, or if I like the cause. I will not sell out other bikers for a buck. For one thing bikers donít forget, and they sure as hell donít forgive. The Law has plenty of cameras, and lots of photos of you and me. With all the coin they pull from our taxes, they donít need my help. I am not afraid of dying, but I donít want to die a Rat.
Q: Why do you photograph bikers.
A: Because bikers are an important part of societyís history which has been misunderstood. Not that I totally understand much about myself, let alone my brothers, and sisters. Iím just trying to record our life, so some day we can see where we came from.
Q: Why ride a motorcycle?
A: Because Mother Nature didnít give us wings. There is nothing like the freedom of riding a V-Twin. On a good ride, one can loose every personal problem to the wind.
Q: Why ride a V-Twin?
A: Because it is like riding a horse on steroids. The sound, and feelings are as close to nature that humans can replicate in metal. Just sit on a running V-Twin, and you can feel the heart beat of the beast beneath you. Its erotic vibration will seduce you, and free your spirit.
Q: Why do bikers stand out like a sore thumb?
A: Personally, ever since my youth I was off center. ďBoy aint rightĒ, is a term used more than once to describe me. I like thinking of myself as a free thinker, and independent spirit. Most bikers share that same common ground. We have never felt part of main stream society. We were singled out, then grouped with other misfits. Being outrageous, on the most part, is the only way we know how to deal with life. It was hammered into some of us harder than others. Allot of folks disguise their true feelings. A Biker will let you know exactly how they feel. A lack of social grace, is a form of ultimate honesty. Fact is, this just doesnít sit right with all those who have traded in justice for law and order. Authority views us as a ďfailure to communicateĒ. That which they can not control, they will restrict. If you donít believe me just look at what government has done to the Native Americans.
Q: What is with the biker attitude?
A: Like I said, most of us have been ear marked as misfits. It can get on your nerves. Some have had to put up with some major BS. If you run across a biker with a real attitude, give them space. Not all bikers have an attitude, and even Nuns suffer from PMS.
Q: Are all Bikers criminals?
A: No!!! It is hard to go through life without braking a few laws. Most citizens have inadvertently done criminal things. We bikers just make easy targets for those seeking political brownie points. I am not saying that some havenít rightfully enjoyed the pleasures of state or federal accommodationsí. If you consider some of the cases that have put brothers and sisters away, you would be not only be appalled at the lack of justice, but shaken by the fact that it could have been you, or some one you love. Call me a paranoid, but if the government was serious about stopping illegal guns and drugs, they would have to lock up allot of their rich political friends.
Q: What is the difference between a Motorcycle Club, and a Motorcycle Gang?
A; They are all Clubs. Gang is a derogatory term used by those prejudiced against us bikers. Donít ever use the term gang unless your trying to start a fight. Members take their colors seriously. To offend their club is like urinating on the American flag. Donít do it unless you are willing to fight to the death.
Q: Why join a Motorcycle Club?
A: Same reason folks join any organizations. Some clubs are for fun and games. Most are brotherhoods or sisterhoods whose basic functions is safety in numbers. Motorcycle Clubs started way back in the days before cell phones and motorcycle towing services. A club is a group of friends you could trust. They were there to help each other when the chips were down. If a member was down the club came to the rescue. They bailed you out of jail, they helped with lawyer fees. they hauled you home in a pickup truck, they sheltered you from the storms of life, fed you when you were hungry, looked after your family when you could not. Some of the modern clubs just donít have that old kinship. The big difference with some clubs, is the vows you take are quite serious, and binding. What you get, is what you are willing to give the club. Like a good marriage, the club will always be there when you need it. Pick your club wisely. A club is as strong as its members. The week rarely survive, and retirement may not be an option. Not everyone can, or should be in a club. If you can, and are in a club, give it all you can, or get out.
Q; What is a 1% er.
A: Years ago the American Motorcyclist Association declared that 1% of all motorcyclist give the rest a bad name. Certain clubs took this to their rebellious hearts, and started to were the !% patch. Look these guys earned it. Leave them alone and they will do the same.
Q: Why bother?
A: We all grew up idolizing the cowboys and Indians. There is truly allot there to hold in reverence. Free spirits are what made our country strong. Rebels have found their ways into our hearts, because they upset the corruptive faults of society. Even the new bikers, though they are the spawn of Malcolm Forbs, revel in the tribal fires of yore.
I like freedom and, justice for all. Maybe if we understand that we all are different, then we all can be a little freer, and lot more just.
In conclusion I would like to quote the words of Willie Nelson. Though the song was about cowboys it does a fine job of describing the mechanical horsemen known as Bikers.
ďMammas donít let your babies grow up to be cowboysĒ
ďthem that donít know him, wont like him
them that do, wont know how to take him
he aint wrong, heís just different
but his pride wont let him
do things to make you think heís right.Ē
Ride free, ride for freedom!
Got a question?