All over the media, bikers are portrayed as bad characters. Cable networks love painting us with the “outlaw” brush, the new American gangsters. From Sons of Anarchy to the overblown and misleading portrayals on A&E and the History Channel. We’re the bad guys, right?
Well last Sunday in downtown Los Angeles, it looked like it was time to hide your wife and kids. More than a thousand of us converged on a homeless shelter in L.A.’s Skid Row, the Fred Jordan Mission. And those bikers (myself included) had a mission of our own: Spreading Christmas cheer to those less fortunate than ourselves.
The annual ride began at Harley Davidson of Glendale on Sunday morning, where hundreds of motorcyclists met, toys strapped to their bikes, to enjoy the beautiful 80 degree weather, the comradary, and the simple pleasure of helping others. At eleven a.m., the group headed south, converging at the Mission, where thousands of presents were handed out to homeless and indigent children.
Most of my colleagues are off doing corporate law, helping the rich get richer. And at alumni events and often-dreadful dinner parties, I’m often asked why I’ve chosen my particular path. “Why do you handle motorcycle accidents? You could be with us, rubbing shoulders with the rich and powerful.” I can only shake my head. I’ve been riding for twenty years, and the people I’m helping are MY people. I was a biker long before I was a lawyer. And when was the last time you saw a bunch of rich business men take time on a Sunday to go give gifts to homeless kids? That choice, helping bikers who have been injured by careless drivers, is a no-brainer to me. Especially on days like this.