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“Hurry up! It’s getting late we have to be early to the Bethel Saloon bar!” My husband says desperately. I’ve been asking him to drive me all the way to Port Orchard’s Bethel Saloon bar where the bikers hang out before my project was due. Internally I knew he’d be happy doing this new adventure with me as well. I grabbed my jacket and my purse and we said our goodbyes to our two kids before heading out.
Getting to the bar I was so nervous I felt like my heart was pumping. I felt like it was going to jump out my chest. I was so excited and nervous that I just couldn’t wait to enter because I’d never been in a bar full of bikers before. I was scared I didn’t know what to expect from what the bikers were going to say because we were just regular people in regular clothes.
As soon as we got there I saw all the front parking lot full of bikers. But it was reserved for only bikers which meant cars had to park on the side. My husband and I walked into the entrance and we looked up on the roof over the entrance to find one skeleton wearing a wig from a girl and the other skeleton is a guy which was wearing a helmet. As soon as you enter the bar there is rock music and bikers drinking while having a good time with other bikers.
You felt like you were in a family party. It felt close because you could see everyone being nice to each other. We sat down in the tall stools at the bar and looked at the eye-catching decorations as well as the people playing pool. The tall dark wood interior with the neon beer signs and fifties including sixties theme. There was a lot of humor going on as well. There were customized motorcycles, pictures of undress women, and bumper stickers on every wall of the bar.
“patches and tattoos reflect the sect-like symbolism of a gang’s subculture and can provide information about a gang member’s social history, such as past incarcerations, drug use, and allegiance to the gang.” (Emerg Med 2014)
When a gang member gets a certain style of a tattoo it often reflects on the culture the gang member stays in. It doesn’t matter the culture, the gang member will put the tattoo on their body. All of this leads back to the fact that biker gangs often use things, that some would see as inappropriate, as a way of life. No matter who see’s it as offensive or wrong, they don’t see nothing wrong with it because this is their gang.
One of the unique things is that there are ashes of the dead in the bar. When someone dies people want their loved ones to take their ashes to that bar where they spend most of their good time. They also have special drinks with one called Mexican candy that sounded like something I would drink. It was greened color and it looked a little weird. When the bartender was pouring the drink into the glass cup, it looked like green slime but it tasted so good.
Another drink I was dying to try was The Mystery Shot. They just took a random bottle and put it in a paper bag. It is a mystery and only costs $3.50 a shot.
After taking two shots I went to the bathroom. The bathroom had a sign that said “Dicks” and over on the left there was a similar sign that said “no dicks”. It was clever and I had no problem getting inside the right restrooms. As I got back from the restrooms, my husband and I experienced a “tradition” as the bikers and people call it. A biker goes inside the bar with his big black motorcycle wearing all black clothing and shoes with 3 rings of a skull. He put his foot on the pedal and lots of smoke starts to come from the motorcycle as the bar gets foggy. We watched the entertainment as people were recording and others were cheering on!
As I spoke to the bartender she told us a bit of history on the bar. She said that one of the most interesting things was that the five-star dive bar a little crazy but traditional “that many years ago the police used to sit on the other side of the street we’d roll the scooters in the bar entertain the police until they left and so that’s just the way it was that was this tradition”.
Each club has its own language and while words and phrases are common in the motorcycle world, it is normal for each club to create their own language to communicate with their brothers and sisters. For example, calling someone a ‘ RUB ‘ is the way the biker plays with them as a ‘ rich urban biker. ‘ But they do not only have their own vocabulary, this is accompanied by certain codes of ethics and behavior that every rider must have, Seewood (2017) explains that ‘ the code of the biker is such that if a biker of any race or club sees another biker broken down on the side of the road, is obligated to help him. ‘ This means it doesn’t matter what biker club you ‘re in when a biker needs help, it’s a code that every biker respects and stops and gives you a hand, everyone respects the code.
The bikers use slang words on sentences for example when we were at the bar biker talk to each other using slag words, As my husband and I was looking how each biker interacted with one another we heard some interesting conversation as that bikers use slang words, one of the bikers say to the other “ Dude, that’s a nice sled”. Meaning he has a nice motorcycle, Other conversation that I spotted was,” that cager was driving like a complete moron” meaning that the bikers where talking about a car and how the driver was driving not so well. They use a lot of slag while they talk to one another other interesting words they talked where, eat asphalt meaning to tell that the biker crash skidding along the pavement, other slang words were hardtail, and yard shark. It was hard to understand what they were saying to one another you heard a sentence going on but then they used a slang word and it makes the sentence not have a meaning you expected and that makes it difficult to understand.
This affects my language on that I’m a bilingual person putting sentences together its hard and it’s difficult to understand what there’re were saying I had to search some word they were saying in my phone in order to understand the meaning they were trying to say. Talking in Slag words is a secret language for bikers is their code the way they talk to one another, and only biker or there specific group can understand what they’re talking about because other people around it that doesn’t belong to that group have a hard time figuring out what they’re saying, just myself in general as well as my husband we were confused on their way of communication meaning that if I was confused maybe other people who doesn’t belong in their group is going to be confused too.
As I experience my first time going in a bar full of biker I had the mentality of how bikers were violent, rough as media picture them to be but in reality I found the opposite of what I pictured them to be.
Around the world, motorcycles have historically been associated with highly visible subcultures. Some of these subcultures have been loose-knit social groups, such as the scooter riders and cafe racer riders of the 1950s and 60s in Great Britain, and they often are seen as inhabiting the fringes of society. Numerous books about motorcycle subcultures have been written, including Hunter S. Thompson’s Hells Angels, Lee Gutkind’s Bike Fever, and Daniel R. Wolf’s The Rebels.(Wikipedia 2018) this explain why society stereotype bikes as being violent and wild, just because some bikers were destructive and violent doesn’t make all bikers the same, theres some bikers that help people as well as they do charity work. One of a good biker gang is, Bikers Against Child Abuse that stands out among the thousands of motorcycle clubs worldwide for its amazing deeds. (Ruhm 2016) Biker against child abuse also known as B.A.C.A had been helping children who were abused they offer protection as well as always checking on them to make sure there okay. Society stereotype bikers as being bad people when in reality they’re the nicest people one can ever meet, not all bikers are the same if some biker decided to be bad that doesn’t mean other biker would want to be bad too but it has to what we believe or what media decides to portrayed about bikers.
The motorcycle subculture, well known as biker gangs, have grown over the years. It has expanded into lawbreaking criminal gangs that people stereotype them. But their just groups of single members of people who just love to enjoy riding their motorcycles. Many groups are known as “outlaw motorcycle clubs” due of their violent and illegal actions. But many other clubs through the world enforce motorcycle clubs. Motorcycle clubs or biker gangs have a bad reputation in the dominant society due to their disobedient values and norms. However, not all biker clubs are bad, many bikers gangs and clubs are forming and expanding today. I have learn from this subculture on their way of talk as well as their unique dressing code as their rules they have, I learn to not stereotype a subculture before interacting with them, I thought that bikers were bad and rude but not all biker are the same their pretty friendly and the way they treat one another is like they’re treating their own family even though there not biologically related they have that family bond.
This subculture has giving me a whole different perspective of what’s like to be part of another subculture or at least experience how other subculture interacts. Bikers have their own rules and codes as well as a secret language of speaking to one another the same as we do. We talk in a different way with different people for example with our parents, school and friends we all have a different way of talking to each of them same as the bikers they used a lot of slag words and that’s their unique traits, that’s the way they speak to other bikers. I really enjoy learning this subculture it was a great experience and it’s not what media or tv shows described. Living the real experience changes your idea of how the bikers are and how unique and interest their subculture is.
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