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Meanings in motorcycling Reeves, Robert Gordon 1972

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MEANINGS IN MOTORCYCLING by ROBERT GORDON REEVES B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y of M a n i t o b a , 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Anthropology and S o c i o l o g y We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d . THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1972 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f ulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of •J V The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada ^ Date ABSTRACT The t h e s i s i s d i v i d e d i n t o three major s e c t i o n s . S e c t i o n One i s devoted to a d i s c u s s i o n ' o f the motives and assumptions behind t h i s p a r t i c u l a r study and o f the problems i n v o l v e d i n f o r m u l a t i n g a r e sea rch procedure . The gene ra l i n t e n t i s to generate an account o f some important f a c e t s o f the Nor th : American m o t o r c y c l i n g boom. The b a s i c method i s to ask / approximate ly f i f t e e n ' h u n d r e d c y c l i s t s , "VJhat do you get out ' o f i t ? " i n a s e r i e s o f separate motorcycle - s i t u a t e d encounte r s -I t i s assumed tha t t h i s procedure e l i c i t s sub jec t accounts o f what m o t o r c y c l i n g means. A schemata i s developed to e x p l a i n the process by which a s i n g l e account o f these many p a r t i -c i p a n t e x p l i c a t i o n s may be c r e a t e d . The r e s u l t i s a thema-t i z a t i o n o f r e c u r r e n t elements o f responses . In a d d i t i o n , . the f u r t h e r procedure o f c o n s u l t a t i v e feedback i s employed i n . a s e r i e s o f one hundred second-order encounters. . S e c t i o n Tv;o con ta ins a d i s c u s s i o n o f the n ine major themes which are redac ted as an account o f the f i f t e e n hun-dred encounters . Each theme i s d i s cus sed at l e n g t h , and the schematized r e l a t i o n s between them are exp l a ined i n terms o f the c l u s t e r i n g o f concurrent response elements.. In a d d i t i o n , two f i n d i n g s which do not f i t the schema are presented : one i s the adamant r e f u s a l to respond, the other i s the i n v o c a t i o n of a. form o f communali ty. Section Three takes up where Section Two i s forced to leave o f f . I t proceeds from the abovementioned d i s p a r i t i e s and from the r e s u l t s of the one hundred second-generation encounters. The object i s to generate some account of. the high degree of consensus among .responses to t h e b a s i c ques-t i o n . In a d d i t i o n to e x p l a i n i n g some important f e a t u r e s of motorcycling, thi© s e c t i o n presents a more abstract explan-atory concept, Image Behaviour. This concept involves: f o u r 'j> b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s * : s e n s i t i z a t i o n , . i m i t a t i o n , the conversation of Images, and Image p r o j e c t i o n . F i n a l l y , an appendix i s ; incl u d e d to review the two major pieces of research i n t o the phenomenon of motorcycle-situated...behaviour»•'..• INDEX Section One . . . pp. 1 - 4 3 Footnotes f o r Section One . . . p> 43 Section Two . . . pp. 44— 146 Chapter One: None of Your Goddamn Business ... p> 44 Chapter Two: Tra n s p o r t a t i o n . . . . p.. 46 Chapter Three: I t ' s : a Job ... p. 54 I n t e r j e c t i o n : Some Notes on C l u s t e r i n g . — . . P* 59 - 'Chapter Pour: Mechanical B r i d e ... P- 61 Chapter F i v e : Kicks. ... p.. 74 Chapter S i x : Machismo ... p. 84 I n t e r j e c t i o n : Further Notes on C l u s t e r i n g . . . . p. 120' Chapter Seven: Weather ... p. 121 Chapter E i g h t : Mechanics ... P» 124 ; I n t e r j e c t i o n : F i n a l Notes on C l u s t e r i n g ... p. 128 Chapter Nine: Malice ... p. 129 Chapter Ten: Anxiety ... P» 134 Chapter Eleven;. Creepy F e e l i n g s ... p> 138 Footnotes f o r Section TWO . . . p. 145 Section Three . .. . PP. 147 - 176 Appendix . . . pp. 177 - 188 SECTION ONE 1 The most general purpose of t h i s s_tudy i s to say something about the. s o c i a l phenomena associated with the burgeoning presence of motorcycles in recent North American culture*. There are many other factors which have had to be taken into consideration i n preparing the report, such as handling available data by acceptable means* but our general resolve has persisted as the cardinal component throughout.. We have r e s t r i c t e d ourselves to North American culture, both because i t was not f e a s i b l e to gather data anywhere else, and because i t is: the unique American con-text which we are curious about* Likewise we are confined to recent culture, say 1960,CE onward, because t h i s i s the era of the "motorcycle boom"', and anything which we say about motorcycling w i l l be rooted i n the h i s t o r i c a l p e c u l i -a r i t i e s : of the period* This then, i s the stage as we have set i t f o r our o'erriding resolve* We would do well now to, catalogue the p r i n c i p a l s as they appear -Proposing to say something about motorcycling behaviour* we have r e s t r i c t e d ourselves to a study of the motorcyclists themselves*. Alternate approaches, might have been essayed, f o r instance: a study of public behavior i n the presence of motorcycles* an analysis of recorded f a c t s about motorcycle owners, or an examination of motorcycle consociated documen-ta t i o n ; however, that i s not where our interests l i e , and instead we have chosen to confront those most d i r e c t l y 2 involved i n the production and maintenance of motorcycle-associated behaviours. Accordingly, a single population element in t h i s study i s defined as follows: a creatural-contraption conglomerate, consisting of at l e a s t one human being,, referred to as: "the motorcyclist"', or "the c y c l i s . t % and a number of physical objects-,, which w i l l be subsumed fo r the purposes of t h i s d e f i n i t i o n under the rubric of "the motorcycle, milieu"', l e t us consider the two facets: of the population conglom-erate i n turn. Every population element must include at l e a s t one motorcyclist, that is?, the one who drives the contraption* This much i a given. Some degree of v a r i a t i o n may be i n t r o -duced i n considering that the contrivance can also c a r r y r by law r no more than one passenger. We must therefore allow that instances- of two human subjects per population element» and the r e l a t i v e frequency of such'cases, may'have some ef f e c t on the behaviours associated with the motorcycle^ that i s to be determined- Other possible f i r s t — f a c e t v a r i a t i o n s include whether or not the passenger i s himself (herself) a motorcycle d r i v e r * Hence, we have phrased t h i s portion of the d e f i n i t i o n i n the terms "at l e a s t " . The motorcycle milieu generally* but not necessarily, 3 includes that two-wheeled gadget l e g a l l y defined under the Motor Vehicles Act as a motorcycle* The other physical objects i n the milieu are those which are brought together by the p a r t i c u l a r cyclist/passenger s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r use with the machine, f o r example: helmets (now almost univer-s a l l y required by law), colours. (emblems: of membership: i n some form of motorcycle association), or spe c i a l c l o t h i n g (leathers, c u t o f f s , e t c . ) * The precise extent and content of the milieu depends on the c y c l i s t being observed: there are c y c l i s t s who get by with a bare minimum of trappings, < or none at a l l ; some have the bike and a l l the assorted regalia;; others have the extras, and no motorcycle*^" A l l that i s required by t h i s facet of the d e f i n i t i o n i s that there be a cluster of a r t i f a c t s which connote "motorcycle"' f o r the subject, objects which are commonly; and d i r e c t l y associated with the presence, of the two-wheeled contrivance that i s the normal focus: of the milieu* The f i r s t facet of the d e f i n i t i o n now f a l l s out i n terms of the second.. A motorcyclist i s anyone who makes use. of a motorcycle mili e u . Having confined ourselves to a study of the immediate producers, of motorcycle behaviour, there i s s t i l l leeway under t h i s d e f i n i t i o n of a population element to include a wide range of diverse, even b i z a r r e combinations of the two c r i t i c a l facets* 4 Thus f a r , we have set the stage, and delimited the p r i n c i p a l s , but there i s s t i l l the matter of how our epic i s to progress.. We must give some consideration now to f i e l d methods. It i s altogether apparent, that in attempting to say something about North American motorcycling, we are in no position to observe and interview s l l or even a major portion of North American motorcyclists;: nor, for that matter, i s anyone else. P r a c t i c a l considerations have con-fine d ua p r i n c i p a l l y to metropolitan Vancouver, with the odd jaunt down the West Coast to 1 F r i s c o , and one side trip, through Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.. There is. no point i n t r y i n g to defend t h i s as a representative or a random sample; i t i s a l l that we could get our hands on, i t i a a l l that we could gather from November of 1970 through January of 1972; and that i s a l l there i s to i t . This sampling problem extends beyond the p r a c t i c a l l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s report, however. To begin with, there i s no extant l i s t or set of l i s t s of the entire population which can be subsumed under our d e f i n i t i o n of a population element., This i s not unexpected, since the d e f i n i t i o n was constucted f o r our own s p e c i f i c research purposes, but various attempts have been made, by other i n d i v i d u a l s and organizations,, at estimating, at the continental, national 5 or l o c a l l e v e l s , using i d e n t i c a l or at lea s t s i m i l a r d e f i -n i t i o n s - Further estimates were e l i c i t e d i n the course of t h i s study* On the basis, of these f i g u r e s we have reached only one firm conclusion: they are a l l just guesses,- not even educated guesses, which, when examined c l o s e l y , have no sound s t a t i s t i c a l basis-* There i s as yet no way of com-p i l i n g a representative sample of North American motorcy-c l i n g behaviours, l e t alone of assessing the pr e f i g u r a t i v e -ness of our data* The next best thing would be to compile f o r a given survey area a l i s t of a l l registered motorcycles,., or a l l licensed motorcyclists: (preferably both, since the overlap) i s f a r from perfect, and the conjoint d i s t r i b u t i o n would be revealing)*, This i s not the entire solution,, f o r i t takes no account of the unregistered, unlicensed population e l e -ments, whose absolute numbers are legion* Por t h i s portion of the l i s t one could consult such incomplete records as. are kept by motorcycle racing associations who have at l e a s t some token contact with these potential subjects* Interest-ingly enough , i n terms of the behaviours; associated with motorcycles, even t h i s second best procedure proved impost-S i b l e . Registration and/or l i c e n s i n g s t a t i s t i c s , though nominally open, are kept from the public eye by a bureau-c r a t i c runaround, at lea s t i n B r i t i s h Columbia* In the case of unregistered c y c l i s t s , either such f i l e s do not exist, or 6 they are "hone o f . . . . ( t h e inquirer .* a / s o c i o l o g i s t ' a?)-...goddamn b u s i n e s s " ! I t was too f a r a f i e l d from our major purpose, and c e r t a i n l y beyond the scope o f t h i s study (as w e l l as c r u s h -i n g l y u n i n t e r e s t i n g ) uo compile any l a s t r e s o r t p o p u l a t i o n l i s t from s c r a t c h u s i n g the door to d o o r / s t r e e t to s t r e e t at a l l hours o f the day and n i g h t technique. , The c o n c l u s i o n i s t h a t , having no l i s t , we once a g a i n ; ; have no sample o f North American m o t o r c y c l i n g . However* even wi thout the s t a t i s t i c a l amen i t i e s , we s h a l l h o l d f a s t to our gene ra l aim, which i s to say something about i t , at l e a s t i n terms o f the da t a we do h a v e . A l l t ha t we have l o s t i s some statement o f the g e n e r a l i z a b l l i t y o f our i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n s to the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n , or to some i d e n t i f i a b l e segment o f i t ; ; t h i s does not e n t a i l the l o s s o f a l l v a l u a b l e unders tanding. . Having set mathematical f o r e p l a y as ide as i m p r a c t i c a l f o r the purposes o f t h i s r e p o r t , the immediate problem becomes how to r ecogn ize a p o p u l a t i o n element when you see one, s i n c e our d e f i n i t i o n as i t stands encompasses a wide range o f permuta t ions . F o r t u n a t e l y , the probable s u b j e c t - o b j e c t combinat ions are much fewer than the p o s s i b l e ones, and the t ask i s not as d i f f i c u l t as i t might have been . The media, manufacturers , and m o t o r - v e h i c l e l e g i s l a t i o n have reduced 7 the a v a i l a b l e "motorcycle" trappings to a rather standard-ized, hence, readily recognizable set- Those subjects who have some of the. trappings but no motorcycle are s t i l l v i s i b l e . The problematic cases are those with nonstandard trappings, or none at a l l , who are not i n the presence of the machine; and also those with nonstandard trappings, or none, no cycle, and who s t i l l regard themselves, as motor— c y c l i s t s . The former are necessarily by-passed, since we have no way o f i d e n t i f y i n g them. Given the above mentioned p r o v i n c i a l and market e f f e c t s , such cases w i l l be few i n number and can safely be ignored.. The l a t t e r cases, are population elements f o r a study of the s e l f concept (and possibly, p s y c h i a t r i c help;),, and do, not f a l l within the scope of this; report* > Thus, the net operational e f f e c t of our contrived d e f i n i t i o n of the population iss such that the t y p i c a l , or modal element w i l l be an i n d i v i d u a l i n the presence of a motorcycle and a number of additional a r t i f a c t s * The study does^ not d i r e c t l y concern i t s e l f with observing the behavior of noncyclists,. or the behaviour of c y c l i s t s beyond the milieu, since problems of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and explanatory scope would inevitably arise* The next f i e l d work problem i s how to recognize the opportunity for an observational session when you see one* 7 the a v a i l a b l e "motorcycle'1' trappings to a rather standard-ized, hence, readily recognizable, set.. Those subjects who have some of the. trappings but no motorcycle are s t i l l v i s i b l e . The problematic cases are those with nonstandard trappings:, or none at a l l , who are not i n the presence of the machine; and also those with nonstandard trappings, or none, no. cycle, and who s t i l l regard themselves, as motor-c y c l i s t s . The former are necessarily by-passed, since we have no way of. i d e n t i f y i n g them. Given the above, mentioned p r o v i n c i a l and market ef f e c t s , such cases w i l l be few i n number and can safely be. ignored.. The l a t t e r cases, are population elements for a study of the s e l f concept (and possibly, p s y c h i a t r i c help;),, and do: not f a l l within the scope of this: report. Thus, the net operational e f f e c t of our contrived d e f i n i t i o n of the population i s such that the t y p i c a l , or modal element w i l l be an i n d i v i d u a l in the presence of a motorcycle and a number of additional a r t i f a c t s . The. study does not d i r e c t l y concern i t s e l f with observing the behavior of noncyclists,- or the behaviour of c y c l i s t s beyond the milieu, since problems of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and explanatory scope would inevitably a r i s e . The next f i e l d work problem i s how to recognize the opportunity f o r an observational session when you see one. 8 The p o s s i b l e s i t u a t i o n s i n c l u d e any and a l l occass ions t ha t s a t i s f y the prev ious p o p u l a t i o n requirements; , tha t i s , when-ever and wherever a c y c l i s t i s en m i l i e u * R e c a l l i n g our g e o g r a p h i c a l and temper a l p ragmat ics , i t was f ea s ib l e , to a v a i l ourselves , of a mere f r a c t i o n of the l e g i t i m a t e o p p o r -t u n i t i e s * To c o r r e c t l y sample them, one must have a com-p l e t e l i s t o f when and where c y c l i s t s are i n m i l i e u ; , and, once aga in , there i s no such l i s t and i t i s beyond our means to compile one. Though there are t imes and p laces where c y c l i s t s are- more and more f r e q u e n t l y i n ev idence , any a n a l y s i s o f the p a r t i c u l a r s o f t h i s , e s p e c i a l l y i n c o m b i -n a t i o n w i t h the p o p u l a t i o n sampling c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , approaches a n e a r - i n f i n i t e t a s k . This, a f f e c t s on ly the s t a t i s t i c a l g e n e r a l i z a b i l l t y o f our r e s u l t s , not t h e i r e n t i r e sense. We have i n c l u d e d space/ t ime d e t a i l s o f s p e c i f i c occass ions on ly when and where i t was. p o s s i b l e and wor thwhi l e , i n the i n t e r e s t o f g e t t i n g on w i t h our more g e n e r a l purpose. I t ought to be obvious by now tha t the phenomena we are c o n s i d e r i n g are , i n terms o f t r i e d - a n d - t r u e s o c i a l s c i ence t echn ique , r a the r " s l i p p e r y "'. We s h a l l have cause to remark on t h i s aga in , when ve look at "the l i t e r a t u r e " 1 , and i n our d i s c u s s i o n "of maths and men"* p u r now, hav ing p i cked a subjec t and a s i t u a t i o n , l e t us cons ide r the prob-lem o f what to look f o r : what s h a l l be our data? As a 9 forewarning to prospective researchers in these, • and, ..we suspect, other " r e a l world" areas, we might mention that the.- s o c i o l o g i c a l l y popular and precise variables, c l a s s i c a l fieldwork methods i f you w i l l , may imperil the researcher. Attempts to determine, no matter how unobtrusively, answers to the "who-what-where-when-and-how-much?" questions generate suspicion, even overt h o s t i l i t y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f the observer should i d e n t i f y himself/is i d e n t i f i e d as a s o c i o l o g i s t , l e t us lighten the text with an i l l u s t r a t i v e incident that we cannot r e s i s t r e l a t i n g . Iu was the second bad scrape to occur in t h i s same location, just shortly before we r e a l l y knew what we were doing (wrong). The episode has been reconstructed from memory, but i t was worth remembering. The encounter takes place on an up-'til-now pleasant summer Saturday i n the Foreshore Park parking l o t . Winding Marine Drive blacktop i s a great place for "jammin'", a motorcycle a c t i v i t y designed to tes t and improve one1*, s k i l l , and nerve, i n the art of high-speed near suicide. The sole t r i c k to t h i s exercise i s that one must avoid V o i n g over the high s i d e . " . S l i d i n g o f f the outside edge of a curve at excessive speed i s regarded as probably the worst of a l l motorcycle accidents, short of a head-on c o l l i s i o n , because the r i d e r i s invariably crushed by the tumbling machine. The a c t i v i t y i s hardly a contest; there i s no room for d i s t r a c t i n g f r i v o l i t i e s l i k e competition. 10 Hence, c y c l i s t s g i v e each other a wide b e r t h , p r e f e r a b l y , " o u t t a s i g h t an* ^round the next corner." "The winner" i s the. one. who can brag the loudest afterwards. Yours t r u l y has been questioning three members of "The 3 Spartans", a non-Biker (but s t i l l very Mo.cho) club "dedicated to the enjoyment and improvement of the sport of mocorcycling." At t h i s p o i n t i n the encounter I mistakenly l e t drop t h a t I attend U.B.U... I i seemed a safe enough statement at the time, we being on " U n i v e r s i t y property" and a l l . Rather a b r u p t l y , i t i s now my t u r n to be i n t e r r o g a t e d . The opening l i n e goes to Moose, ex-president and honourary l i f e t i m e member of The Spartans. "Whadda ya do here? 1 1 "Oh...doing my t h e s i s . " "Wh add about?" "Dmm, anthropology and s o c i o l o g y . " I ~m a c o n g e n i t a l l y i m p r o f i c i e n t l i a r when queried d i r e c t l y ; I r e a l l y need a l o t of time and plenty of warm mi l k t o get my st o r y s t r a i g h t . At t h i e point I ...ecide that I had b e t t e r get my tomatoe p l a n t s i n as i t f e e l s l i k e we are on the verge of a very heavy f r o s t . . D e l i c a t e l y excusing myself, "Gotta s p l i t . . . " , i n the face of r a p i d l y comprehending g l a r e s , I begin f i g u r i n g : "no s p r i n g e r , low centre of g r a v i t y , a l l tuned; mayue I can outrun •em." E x e c t r i c s t a r t g i v e s me the head s t a r t and 11 overwrought adrenals extend that to an uncomfortable e a r l y l e a d . Coming up on Simon Fraser' . a . monument a scoot m a t e r i a l i z e s on the white l i n e , i n s i d e t r a c k f o r the oncoming corner, The Mongoloid o b s e r v e r - i n - u s - a l l s t a t e s f a t u o u s l y , "he's c l o s i n g , crowding you up, you-are-about-to-be-highsided..." Ego counters f r a n t i c a l l y , "Hang onerel Your Hog'.er he a v i e r , LisT him h i t y o u l " Cianka-ta-CRUNCHl Arms f l a i l . A scscccrrappppepepe... C r e t i n o u s l y , " w e l l s h e e i t , man, you made i t . . . h e bounced r i g h t off...why, h e l l , " Berserk, "FAAAASSTERRR1It» Aorading the box i n t o t h i r d , pump-pump-pump a t h r o t t l e -Dervish. Go wheelstanding i n t o a loonnng straightaway. Time without end l a t e r I n o t i c e that my l i t t l e speedometer g i g g l e s jouncing off-end ( i t does not work to t h i s day, nor have I essayed to have i t r e p a i r e d ) , a nobody e l s e i s i n s i g h t . F i n s . This s l i p p e r y n e s s ( i f you w i l l r e c a l l ) may be a f u n c t i o n of the p a r t i c u l a r phenomenon we are examining. We take up 1 2 t h i s topic s p e c i f i c a l l y in the chapter e n t i t l e d "None of Your Goddamn Business!", and refer to i t again i n Section Three under "image "behaviour." In t h i s same vein, i t i s .worth noting that the academic t r e a t i s e s which concern themselves ( d i r e c t l y , i n d i r e c t l y , remotely) „ith motorcycle-focused behaviours number exactly two.f Either the topic i s s o c i o l o g i c a l l y uninteresting, or s o c i o l o g i c a l l y slippery, or both; we have concluded, on the basis of the preceeding incident, that i t i s at least saponaceous, but reassert that i t i s academically absorbing. The paucity of attempts to understand the motorcycling phenomenon, in the face of the growing presence of the contraptions, i s s u f f i c i e n t excuse f o r studying them. One f i n a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n before returning to the account of exactly what we did do: concerning the r e l a t i o n s h i p between mathematics and human behaviour. Wc have already explicated the p r a c t i c a l i m p o s s i b i l i t y of performing any of the most rudimentary sampling proceedures. We are stuck with the data we have. However, even under these less-than-ideal circumstances, one t r i e d and true s o c i o l o g i c a l proceedure i s to apply s t a t i s t i c a l techniques of summation and analysis in sn attempt to render comprehensible that body ox i n f o r -mation which i s at hand. The l i s t of available methods i s impressive, and a l l that they require i s one.assumption.about 13; the nature of the data: the facts:, as we have them, must s a t i s f y the p r i n c i p l e of equivalence. Wc must suppose that each and every instance of "JL" ( i n t h i s context, some motor-cycle related behaviour, or some feature of that behaviour, for example: "power trinping") is: mathematically and phenom-5 enologically equivalent to each and every other instance of "X", and distinguishable from a l l "Y"'s, "Z"»S-©tc. ("a punchout", "picking up broads", "going f o r a Sunday spin").. Unfortunately, t h i s i s an assumption that we are not w i l l i n g to make, because i t seems quite obvious that the phenomena in question are not l i k e that at a l l - The com-putational mode may be pe r f e c t l y possible, and the results, would be elegant, trim, and natty- However, the mode of analysis i s incongruous with the features of motorcycle situated a c t i v i t y which we have encountered.. This amounts to our asserting that the phenomenon i s not only "slippery" 1,, but "fuzzy"' as w e l l - Each and every b i t of information obtained from our subjects was, in a very r e a l and important sense, unique and s i t u a t i o n s p e c i f i c - The f o r c e - f i t t i n g of a post-hoc mathematical mode of analysis would be wholly inappropriate f o r the subject matter and our i n t e r e s t s - Our own "soft sociology" approach ( i f one must give i t a name) to t h i s problem might be the precursor of a hard math schema, but at t h i s stage of the game (both early and late) what with the r i d d l e s of sampling, the dearth of d i r e c t l y 14 r e l e v a n t l i t e r a t u r e , and the kinds of informa t i o n which we were able to e x t r a c t , we are forced to conclude t h a t mathe-matics i s too p r e c i s e , motorcycling too v e l u t i n o u s . The two w i l l not f i t . Having made a l l these q u a l i f i c a t i o n s about what we d i d not/could not do, we. may begin to examine e x a c t l y what i t was t h a t we d i d accomplish i n the f i e l d , and how we went about doing i t * Quite simply, we went around and asked a . l o t of m o t o r c y c l i s t s : what they got out of i t . . As o u t l i n e d above, we confined our questions mainly t o the Vancouver a r e a , w i t h b r i e f s i d e t r i p s down the West Coast and over t o Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal f o r i n t e r e s t ' s sake. The bulk of the questioning occurred during the summer of 1971 , with some preamble during the previous winter (notably the Motor V e h i c l e Records f i a s c o ) and the t y i n g up o f loose ends the f o l l o w i n g year's? end. That i s the matter simply p u t , but there i s much more to the matter than t h a t . F i r s t , "a l o t of m o t o r c y c l i s t s " means i n excess of one thousand respondents, a l l of whom f i t our d e f i n i t i o n o f a population element. The p r e c i s e number i s not known because of two factors.. There were a few known "repeats" (persons we "ran into"' t w i c e , or i n a few cases, s e v e r a l times) p l u s a ( l i k e w i s e , presumably small) number of unknown repeats.. Also, when i t became quite evident that mathe-ma t i c s was of no a v a i l , we simply stopped counting. S i n c e 15 the one true science was disfranchised a l i t t l e over h a l f way through the whole procedure, the. raw number of encounters probably exceeds f i f t e e n hundred but f a l l s , short of two thousand. Next, the questions we asked, and why we asked them* In as. much as our general aim can be expressed as. an attempt to get the inside dope about motorcycling, we decided' to get the dope in s i d e by generating a l i t t l e i n t e r a c t i v e contact with our subjects., Merely watching them, or hanging around the o u t s k i r t s of the vehicle/verbal t r a f f i c did not prove very productive; i n f a c t i t was often, confusing* This was probably a function of our own motorcycle naivete, and the tendency to f i n d certain encounters with certain c y c l i s t s (motorcycle policemen in p a r t i c u l a r ) "too threatening f o r words".. In the f i e l d there was a rough inverse- r e l a t i o n s h i p between the readiness: to assume the merely spectator stance and the a b i l i t y to comprehend a situation.. Deducing cor-r e c t l y that t h i s was getting us nowhere, the decision was made to screw one'ss courage to the s t i c k i n g point and s t i c k to d i r e c t questioning.. Now to the matter of the p a r t i c u l a r questions.; t h i s w i l l take some explaining *.. Returning, as ever, to where we began, r e c a l l that our overriding aim i s to say something about the s o c i a l phenomena 16 a s s o c i a t e d w i t h m o t o r c y c l e s . Being a b i t r e f l e x i v e about i t , we are n e c e s s a r i l y cons t r a ined to say ing something academic and s o c i o l o g i c a l about the behaviour o f motor-c y c l i s t s . . 'Without be ing too dogmatic about i t , s i n c e these matters are h a r d l y s e t t l e d i n s o c i o l o g y proper (whatever t ha t may be ) , we s h a l l e x p l i c a t e f i r s t what be ing "academic" and be ing " i s o c i o l o g i c a l " ' e n t a i l s , , and then e l u c i d a t e what i s meant by "say ing something about someth ing" . The. ground r u l e o f academic work i s . t ha t the r e p o r t be comple te ly and c o r r e c t l y reasoned, which i s to say,, l o g i c a l } and,, as. an ex tens ion o f t h i s standard,, f o r the sake o f b r e v -i t y and c l a r i t y , t ha t i t be s y s t e m a t i c , s e t t i n g f o r t h the inheren t l o g i c i n a c o n c i s e , readable manner.. Nut a l l o f s o c i o l o g y w i l l c l i n g t o t h i s custom ( p r a i s e bel . ) ,. nor should i t , but i n the realm o f academic s o c i o l o g y one must be. t h o r -oughly ( p a i n f u l l y ? ) sys t ema t i c and l o g i c a l . Th i s expla ins : why r i g h t now you are probably ask ing y o u r s e l f , "Why d o e s n ' t he cut a l l t h i s preamble and get on w i t h the booze,, the bludgeoning, , and the gang rape scene?" ^ t ha t i s . , i f you are b o t h e r i n g to read t h i s pa r t a t a l l , , though the words "booze ... . b l u d g e o n i n g . . .gang rape" have probably caught your eye i f you are skimming.. S o c i o l o g y , or any p iece o f i t , i s a study o f s o c i a l phenomena; any more e labora te s p e c i f i c a t i o n o f the term w i l l 17 r a i s e i s s u e s of considerable contention, s i n c e s t r i c t e r d e l i m i t a t i o n s of the l e g i t i m a t e and necessary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of s o c i o l o g i c a l endeavor are not u n i v e r s a l l y agreed upon.. However, even our very squat d e f i n i t i o n does poi n t out at. l e a s t three g e n e r i c t r a i t s of work i n the f i e l d , three s t a n -dards which are themselves l o c i of unresolved debate over how best to achieve them, but which are nonetheless s e r v i c e -able c r i t e r i a of what q u a l i f i e s as sociology.. P r i m a r i l y i t must be a study: i t ' s , aim i s to apply the mind i n a c q u i r i n g an. understanding of s o c i a l phenomena.. A. s o c i o l o g i s t attempts to apprehend and i n t e r p r e t the object of h i s study i n order to grasp i t s meaning;;, t h i s i s an aim he shares with those i n any f i e l d of knowledgeable endeavor, being d i s t i n g u i s h e d from some and l i k e n e d to others, only by two f u r t h e r c r i t e r i a of s o c i o l o g i c a l e f f o r t * Sociology i s a study of phenomena: of i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t i s presented as being i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e l y apparent to the senses:. Though not a l l s o c i o l o g i s t s w i l l s u bscribe to ram-pant p o s i t i v i s m , they do share a common, i f only vaguely defined concern with "the f a c t s " or "The r e a l world"; here the s o c i a l student parts company w i t h , f o r example, the meta-p h y s i c i a n and his. meanings. F i n a l l y , i t i s a study of the s o c i a l : as having to do with human beings i n s i t u a t i o n s r e q u i r i n g t h a t they have 18 dealings v i t h one another. The f i e l d shades o f f into other s o c i a l studies, for example, economics and s o c i a l psychology,, but the s o c i o l o g i s t i s at least distinguishable from the p h y s i c i s t , his data and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . Thus, sociology i s that branch of knowledge ( i f knowl-edge needs be hackled) which seeks to understand the i n t e r -subjectively sensible phenomena of human beings i n r e l a t i o n . Sociologists: say something about people interacting;: i n t h i s rough and round about manner we have delimited the f i e l d as a whole. It i s not our intent to be any more d i d a c t i c , dog-matic or precise than t h i s , there i s enough of that i n the f i e l d already. In t h i s , and the section that follows,, we are purposefully fuzzy, interested only i n general guide-l i n e s f o r the accomplishment of our paramount p r a c t i c a l go a l . The key to t h i s report, should one wish to tri a n g u l a t e i t in the darkling f i e l d of s o c i o l o g i c a l endeavor, i s the sort of something we s h a l l have to say about motorcycling. Again, the caution i s not to haggle these d i s t i n c t i o n s into a sociology of knowledge, or a knowledge of sociology, but to keep i n mind that they arose from and are guidelines to a p a r t i c u l a r b i t of fieldwork. We are not explaining how sociology i s to be done; we are claiming that i t i s sociology and explaining how we did i t . 19 Saying something (academic and s o c i o l o g i c a l ) about the in t e r s u b j e c t i v e l y sensible phenomena of human beings i n r e l a t i o n has gone by msny a moniker: theorizing* analyzing, explaining, rendering, accountable, etc. , ad i n f i n i t u m * They are a l l studied attempts to arrive at some understanding of certain phenomena.. That understanding can be character-ized as a mental event or state of the researcher.'a conscious-ness, such that, having apprehended the sensible, and sub-jected i t to interpretation, he now f e e l s that he has grasped the meaning of i t ; whereas before he did not quite understand i t , or did not grasp the meaning of i t i n quite that way, or he did not comprehend i t at a l l . . Suddenly, aha ! he figures out what the h e l l i s going on, and now t r i e s to devise a way of f i x i n g i t i n his own head, and of imparting t h i s understanding ot others.. The question arises, whence that meaning? Has the investigator, i n gathering and explaining his data, grasped a meaning that was somehow inherent i n the phenomenon, has: he given i t yet another meaning, or has he injected meaning where none existed before? I f we may assume (without s t a r t i n g and enormous theoretic^J. debate) uhat, though the general aim i s understanding, there are many d i f f e r e n t ways. of comprehending the same perceived events, and that each of these modes of apprehension i s legitimate (that i s , not to be shitted on or otherwise disparaged), providing i t meets; 20 the other standards of academic s o c i o l o g i c a l e f f o r t , then the researcher may l e t the whole matter hang, or he may pick precisely the sort of understanding he wishes to attain.. The l a t t e r alternative i s the approach of t h i s report f o r there are s p e c i f i c sorts of meanings that we are a f t e r . What t h i s study seeks i s an understanding of the meanings inherent i n motorcycling behaviours, a point that needs further (but take heart, not endless) ex p l i c a t i o n . By "meanings inherent in motorcycling behaviours" we intend our subjects apprehensions and interpretations of the events they themselves produce. If our aim i s to make sense of the s o c i a l phenomena, then i t i s not absurd to assume that our subjects w i l l have already arrived at some compre-hension of what the h e l l they are doing, and i t i s these meanings that we are after; that we, i n turn, seek the meaning of. Ix. must be stressed that the researcher 1 & eventual grasp of the meaning of a s i t u a t i o n i s not i d e n t i -c a l to his subject 1 s: understanding of i t ; rather, h i s i s an. understanding of an understanding, meanings he has grasped from his apprehension and interpretation of t h e i r meanings, and, of course, an understanding subject to the c r i t e r i a of academic sociology (hmm..). Taken as a whole, t h i s study might be cognominsted a study of the s o c i a l phenomena of one set of participant meanings (though not of the phenomena of 21 participant meanings in general/the abstract),, and your tr i a n g u l a t i o n would be complete. (Happy now?) Let the ignorant armies of higher t h e o r e t i c a l and methodological c r i t i q u e clash by night; we return once more to p r a c t i c a l matters. The f i r s t task of t h i s report was to gain access to our subject interpretations of motorcycling; hence, our ques-t i o n , "What do you get out of it?"„ " i t " being the motor-cycle milieu of the subject in whatever context the c y c l i s t wishes: to speak of i t (for example: riding,, owning,, racing, in general, at t h i s moment . . . . ) . . Obviously, and intention-a l l y , this: i s a rather vague question. Whatever else the researcher said during the encounter, and we t r i e d to. say as l i t t l e as possible, consisted of p o s i t i v e nondirective f e e d -back; the aim was: to keep the subject t a l k i n g for as long as he wished, about whatever he was w i l l i n g to say he got out of i t . The objection could immediately be raised that one . i s only going to get those accounts of whatever the h e l l i s going on that the subjects have i n d i v i d u a l l y or c o l l e c t i v e l y judged f i t for public consumption (the public being our f a i r researcher, and whoever else i s suspected of involvement). One can never t e l l i f the responses represent what the phenomenon " r e a l l y means"' to the motorcyclists, though one can be f a i r l y c ertain that i t i s never the whole truth and 22 nothing but the tru t h . Our reply i s , "Ah, quite so, quite so, but ' t i s the very beast we sought."; on the b a s i s of f i e l d experience (groan) we have concluded that t h i s researcher was never going to get any closer to par t i c i p a n t apprehensions than by asking for them o u t r i g h t . Should anyone wish to know what (else) motorcycling i s r e a l l y a l l about, l e t him go and ride one; no one bared t h e i r deep dark secrets to us, and i t i s not legitimate sociology to smudge the study with the researcher's own innermost feelings (objections re in e v i t a b l e biases aside).. A. r e a l advantage of t h i s question i s that i t can prop-erl y and safely be asked of just about any motorcyclist, i n just about any s i t u a t i o n , by almost anyone, providing i t i s at a l l adequately staged.. Some care i s required, since introducing i t too abruptly i n v i t e s h o s t i l e or defensive r e p l i e s , which are not answers to the question but responses: to threat or i r r i t a t i o n . Introducing i t too l a t e i n the encounter clogs the researcher with extraneous information that the subject has stated or has already made up his mind to state. The question must be the focus of the interview incident, providing some measure of coherence in an other-wise nebulous data gathering s i t u a t i o n . Questions such as "Why do you own i t / r i d e i t . . . ? " were rejecced because they c a l l f or s e l f j u s t i f i c a t i o n , rather 23 than conversation, putting the subject on the defensive-Other p o s s i b i l i t i e s , "What i s i t l i k e ? " , "How do you f e e l when...?", were discarded becaused they e l i c i t reams of random description/narrative instead of organized subject in t e r p r e t a t i o n . " ( W i l l you) T e l l me about i t ? " i s hope-l e s s l y naive, i n v i t i n g kidding or suspicion. The question as posed i s phrased in "s t r e e t " language;, being reasonably asked of any subject from any observer vantage point, i t i s u n l i k e l y to arouse covert reactions that colour the overt reply* The query (apparently, after asking i t almost two thousand times) demonstrates a general p o s i t i v e interest in the subject, harmless c u r i o s i t y , not prying interaction voyeurism that demands d e t a i l s (the p e r i l s of which we have already described f o r your enjoyment). The word "get"' i s one of the widest i n the language, not only i n terms of i t s s o c i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n (discussed above), but i t s connotative scope* It covers any experience from passive reception to seizure* I t i s not r e s t r i c t e d to notions of rewards and costs (except i n the minds of s o c i a l , psychology students,, a couple of whose r e p l i e s proved f a s c i -nating i f unfollowably unfathomable). To go out i n the street and ask, "What i s the meaning of i t ? " , or "What does i t mean to you?", w i l l provoke incredulous stares, laughter, and the odd request for r e l i g i o u s t r a c t s . There appears to 24 be no more s u i t a b l e term f o r the meaning , s i g n i f i c a n c e , sense, impor t , i n t e n t i o n or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f something,, t ha t can be phrased i n a s imp le , unob t rus ive ques t i on . One o b j e c t i o n tha t cou ld be r a i s e d here i s tha t the i n t e r v i e w e r may be r a i s i n g the ques t ion i n the subjects* minds f o r the f i r s t t ime; tha t i n f a c t i t i s a n o n - s a l i e n t ques t i on , and tha t he i s i n j e c t i n g meaning where none e x i s t e d be fo re . T h i s so r t o f c r i t i c i s m i s countered by n o t i n g the very gene ra l na ture o f the quest ion. . I i i i s assumed tha t the sub jec t has at l e a s t thought about the motorcyc le exper ience , i f on ly i n process or memory, and tha t i f no th ing e l s e more coherent and to the po in t i s ob ta ined from him, at l e a s t some o f these thoughts w i l l b e . R e c a l l tha t i t i s p r e c i s e l y these most gene ra l meanings, i n so f a r as the sub jec t s choose to r e v e a l them to an enqu i r e r , tha t t h i s r epor t i s i n t e r e s t e d i n unde r s t and ing . The study has assumed tha t the presence o f the m i l i e u may be meaningful f o r the c y c l i s t . I t f o l l o w s t ha t there i s a s i m i l a r p o s s i b i l i t y that the v i s i b l e c y c l i s t ( m i l i e u -s i t u a t e d ) or n o n - c y c l i s t i d e n t i t y o f the researcher w i l l have a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t on the course o f the con tac t s e s s i o n s . In the i n t e r e s t o f c l a r i t y and p r o d u c t i v i t y we have s tuck to a s i n g l e research personage, tha t o f a f e l l o w m o t o r c y c l i s t . . Even t h i s s imple c a t e g o r i c a l de t e rmina t ion 25 conceals a c o l l a t i o n o f n e a r - i n f i n i t e s i t u a t i o n - s p e c i f i c v a r i a t i o n s , but the a l t e r n a t i v e , use of dua l d i s p a r a t e i d e n t i t i e s , o r , worse y e t , s w i t c h i n g i d e n t i t y i n m i d - s e s s i o n , proved imposs ib l e to i n t e r p r e t . . The i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s o f d i f f e r e n t observer i d e n t i t i e s cou ld be s t ud i ed w i t h a much l a r g e r p o p u l a t i o n , o r , more l i k e l y , i n a more c o n t r o l l e d i n t e r v i e w s i t u a t i o n ; t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was beyond the scope o f the s tudy , and we opted to "ga n a t i v e " i n the i n t e r e s t o f g e t t i n g on w i th i t . . The s imp le s t way to accom-p l i s h t h i s i s to c a r r y a motorcyc le helmet; more e l abora te v e r s i o n s i n c l u d e s i d e s l i d i n g i n on a Har l ey d r e s s e r , decked out i n boo t s , c o l o u r s , cut o f f s , and copeous q u a n t i t i e s , o f d i r t and o i l . . We p layed i t by ear , and g e n e r a l l y had a grand o l d t ime* ' N u f f s a i d about c l a r i t y * A. much more p u z z l i n g " f a c t " , and one f o r which we have 6 generated a more complete account , ' i s t h a t ask ing the ques t i on , one c y c l i s t to another , generated a much g rea t e r quan t i ty and a much h igher q u a l i t y o f r espons ive i n f o r m a t i o n . C y c l i s t s were f a r more w i l l i n g to answer i n the f i r s t p l a c e , s tuck c l o s e r to the p o i n t , and gave l o n g e r , more e l abora te r e p l i e s i f they were t a l k i n g to another c y c l i s t . . Approaching them as a n o n - c y c l i s t ( tha t i s , one who i s not immediately pe rce ived as a c y c l i s t ) was e i t h e r f r u i t l e s s or f r i g h t e n i n g * Hence, i n the i n t e r e s t o f c l a r i t y , p r o d u c t i v i t y ( c a i d f r o l i c s ) we have taken our unob t rus ive ques t ion and gone as unob t ru -26 s i v e l y native as possible-While we axe on the subject of f i e l d work gerrymander-ing we would do well to mention some things that might have been been interesting but never quite got o f f the ground-F i r s t , we never ran into enough passengers ( f i g u r a t i v e l y speaking) to warrant' any hard and fa s t conclusions about what they get out of i t , (as. opposed to what the driver gets out of i t , in the context of the complimentary r o l e of the passenger, etc-, etc., etc. ) . They are not out and about in great numbers, at least i n proportion to the number of single r i d e r s , and when they were , either they did not have that much to say (the onus i n the interview being on the person i n command of the focus of the milieu), or they did not say much that was d i f f e r e n t / r e v e a l i n g - Secondly, i t was not worthwhile to compile an inventory of motorcycle milieu a r t i f a c t s and d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s - Such details, were unnecessary f o r an adequate understanding of subjects' r e p l i e s , and recording them for subsequent analy-s i s was out of the question. The only milieu d i s t i n c t i o n which was s i g n i f i c a n t f or a large proportion of the subjects, and around which some mathematically sampled "meanings"' study might be attempted, was the siz e of the engine (with the necessarily related features of manufacturer and model type)- It was not p a r t i c u l a r l y useful for t h i s report, and 27 we have only considered milieu d e t a i l s where i t was f r u i t -f u l end p r a c t i c a l to record them.' Neither have we attempted to be systematic about possible v a r i a t i o n s in interview sessions due to the presence or absence of other motorcyclists/non-motorcyclists, the. area of the city/proyince/continent., and the time of day/ night/year.- Where such features were important for motor-c y c l i n g , we have mentioned them; but for the purposes of th t h i s study these variables (and any others you would care to bring up at t h i s time) have been assumed " random"/unimpor-tant. We are t r y i n g to say something about motorcycling, not everything. B r i e f consideration can now be given to the manner in which information was recorded i n the f i e l d * It would not do to s p o i l the unobtrusive stance we had so c a r e f u l l y c u l t i v a t e d , so, of the many available recording methods, some were rejected outright. Films and tapes were too cumbersome, d i s t r a c t i n g , and intimidating;: they only provide a p a r t i a l record, and they divert the attention of the observer. The s t i l l camera was s l i g h t l y more f e a s i b l e , since there are situations where i t i s legitimate to "take a few snapshots"* However, t h i s was discarded because i t could not constitute a uniform source of data. Concealed recording devices were subject to a l l of the above l i m i t a t i o n s , and were an enormous 28 psychological l i a b i l i t y (or physical, i f discovered). The method ve f i n a l l y chose was the quasi-eidetic r e d i n t i g r a t i v e technique of "rushing home and writing i t a l l down"- With a l i t t l e shorthand and a l o t of practice, i t served the pur-pose well. Having described how we set things down, we must s t i l l delimit what, out of the t o t a l informational p o s s i b i l i t i e s ; of the complete body of encounters, we decided to record. To do t h i s , l e t us. settle, on some simple standardized terminology, so that we can be certain that we are speaking of the same t i d b i t in the informational goulash.. Accordingly, by the following terms, l e t us denote: Meanings? The subject responses i n the raw.. That is,, i t i s assumed that in replying to the question, "What do you get out of i t ? " , the subjects were explicating what t h e i r motor-cycle milieu situated behaviours meant to them- Any one meaning i s what any one subject would i s o l a t e as "aOme (single) thing that I get out of i t " . . Thus,, "meanings" refers to the data as the subjects have/would constitute i t . It does not matter i f a given response i s referred to as one or a number of meanings;., the ways of constituting i t can be (and were) as varied as the subjects.. We are only using the term s y n t h e t i c a l l y , to encompass the entire body of data and to indicate that the responses were, indeed, what we were a f t e r -29 An Element: A part of a subject response on the b a s i s of which c o n g r u i t y / i n c o n g r u i t y among the meanings i s d e t e r -mined.. T h i s , i n c o n t r a s t to the above, i s our a n a l y t i c term., An element can be anything from a key word or phrase i n a response to the tone i n which that response was d e l i v -ered. In "meanings"-we have denoted the v a r i o u s senses t h a t the s u b j e c t s make of t h e i r behaviours; by "elements" we denote how we, as researchers, s h a l l make sense, of those meanings. What i s r e q u i r e d i s that an element occur i n more than one response, and that there be a number of elements which d i f f e r e n t i a t e those responses according to a c e r t a i n meaning system to be devised.. The subject responses were, on the whole, extremely v a r i e d , and voluminous; we r e c e i v e d a great deal more i n r e p l y to our question than we had ever a n t i c i p a t e d . Accord-i n g l y , we cannot hope to make sense 'out of each and every su b j e c t s ' r e p l y , nor can we adequately account f o r the e n t i r e corpus of i n f o r m a t i o n ( i t was not even p o s s i b l e to record the major p o r t i o n of i t i n a l l i t s complexity).. Instead, what we s h a l l attempt to do i s provide an account of the "common sense" f a c e t s of motorcycling.. That i s , we have s e l e c t e d o n l y those words, phrases, ideas which occurred i n a s i g n i f -i c a n t number of subject responses (the c r i t e r i a of s i g n i f i -cance being " i t seems to me I've heard t h a t song before"; we r e l y on the f i e l d judgment instead of mathematics). These 30 t i d b i t s which we a b s t r a c t we c h r i s t e n "elements" as den o t i n g something common i n the meanings o f more than one s u b j e c t . The. f a c t u a l / l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n s , w i t h i n the chosen s e t of elements, determined both by the s u b j e c t responses and our a b i l i t y to comprehend and r e c o r d the shared facets., w i l l e v e n t u a l l y c o n s t i t u t e our i n i t i a l S e c t i o n Two schematic understanding o f the "common sense" o f m o t o r c y c l i n g behav-i o u r s , meanings which the r e s e a r c h e r has g i v e n to those p o r t i o n s o f the meanings: which h i s s u b j e c t s ( u n w i t t i n g l y o r otherwise) share. C e r t a i n l y , i t would be p o s s i b l e to s e l e c t o t h e r f e a t u r e s o f a phenomenon f o e x p l a n a t i o n , j u s t as i t i s s t i l l p o s s i b l e , as we s h a l l see below, to formulate many d i f f e r e n t accounts of one s e l e c t e d set.. But one o f the s t r i k i n g t h i n g s about m o t o r c y c l i s t s , (tit l e a s t i n the r e s e a r c h e r ' s mind) i s t h a t , i n a d d i t i o n to having so much to say, they s a i d so much t h a t was common.. Hence , we have developed the f o l l o w i n g terms to d e a l with the shared aspects o f motorcycle s i t u a t e d meanings and b e h a v i o u r . A Theme; A bl o c k o f meanings, lumped tog e t h e r , on the b a s i s o f t h e i r c o n t a i n i n g some set o f common/congruous elements, a as i n t e n d i n g about the same t h i n g (and not/as d i s t i n c t from some other thing/theme). The c o n s t r u c t i o n o f themes from elements of s u b j e c t responses i s a process o f r e d a c t i o n , o f summary and t r a n s l a t i o n . The r e s e a r c h e r uncovers some f u r t h e r common sense (other than the simple c o - o c c u r r a n c e s 31 which cause him to c u l l the i s o l a t e d elements) t-mong the meaningful responses o f the sub jec t s and thereby reduces them to an agreed upon themat ic o r d e r . As. exp l a ined above, t h i s second-order summation i s dependent upon the l o g i c a l / f a c t u a l order of the b a s i c e lementa l co -occur rences . The same i s t rue f o r the f o l l o w i n g term. A C l u s t e r : A b l o c k o f themes lumped toge the r , on the b a s i s o f t h e i r c o n t a i n i n g some f u r t h e r set o f common/congruous elements, as i n t e n d i n g about the same t h i n g (and n o t / a s d i s t i n c t from some other t h ing / theme) . This i s a process o f t h i r d - o r d e r r e d a c t i o n , o f f i n d i n g some a d d i t i o n a l meaningful order among the themes : we have c o n s t i t u t e d * The c l u s t e r s w i l l r epresent the most summarized way o f making sense o f the meanings, which were o r i g i n a l l y e l i c i t e d : they are the s h o r t e s t s t o r y t h a t we can t e l l . The degree to which i t i s p o s s i b l e / n e c e s s a r y to system-a t i z e the r e a l i t y "out there" ' i n t o some c o n v e n i e n t l y compre-h e n s i b l e " s t o r y " depends on the nature o f the phenomena under i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the researcher who performs the bu t t work, and the p a r t i c u l a r audience f o r whom the exp l ana t i on i s in tended . The whole a f f a i r , i n a d d i t i o n to whatever e l s e i t may be, i s an emminently p r a c t i c a l e n t e r p r i s e . S ince i t has never been our i n t e n t i o n to formula te gene ra l s o l u t i o n s to abs t r ac t t h e o r e t i c a l / m e t h o d o l o g i c a l problems i n the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s , 32 the p reced ing te rminology i s not advanced f o r debate on any such unpelpable g rounds . I t i s rooted i n a p r a c t i c a l problem: how to say something u s e f u l / i n t e r e s t i n g / " f a c t u a l 1 1 about c y c l e - s i t u a t e d behav iour . The f i n a l / f i n i t e f r u i t s o f f o l l o w i n g t h i s procedure are l o o s e l y concep tua l i z ed as "'a s t o r y " , and no th ing more e l a b o r a t e , because i t has not proved u s e f u l / i n t e r e s t i n g to embark on any f u r t h e r s e l f -j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f i t s "fcicademic" and " s o c i o l o g i c a l " m e r i t . The schemata of "meanings, elements, themes and c l u s t e r s " 1 may s t r i k e the reader as s u s p c i o u s l y nonabstruse;-. i t l ooks l i k e i t was l i f t e d from any h igh schoo l l i t e r a t u r e c o u r s e . Quite so , and the p r a c t i c a l reason f o r such a r t l e s s n e s s i s the se l f - imposed c o n s t r a i n t o f c o n s u l t a t i v e feedback, d i s -cussed below.. The d e c i s i o n to e x p l i c a t e the "common sense" (as. w e l l as the d e c i s i o n t h a t e lementa l co-occurrences c o n s t i t u t e i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e f a c e t s o f meaning) i a a l so grounded i n the phenomenon under i n v e s t i g a t i o n . . In a s i m i l a r manner we may account fo r the t r ichotomous nature o f the r e d a c t i o n p rocedure - The end i s to formula te an adequate account o f whatever the h e l l i s go ing on.. I f i t takes th ree t r i e s ( l e v e l s of mean ing /abs t rac t ion i n the seminar p a r l a n c e ) , f i n e . I t cou ld have taken f i f t y , but then t h i s would be a book; i f i t had taken one, we would have a movie . Since, i t i s s o c i o l o g y , th ree i s a ( p e c u l i a r l y ) popular number, hav ing i t s o r i g i n i n (as ye t u n s p e c i f i e d ) researcher -aud ience 33 c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . On the other hand, the procedures by which r e a l i t y i s e v e n t u a l l y reduced to such terms may seem too abs t ruse ; indeed, they are a l t oge the r hidden i n the r e s e a r c h e r ' s own head.. Again, , qu i te so, r o r qu i t e p r a c t i c a l r ea sons . We have no d i s c e r n a b l e body o f da t a , f o r how should we r eco rd i t , much l e s s ana lyze i t (o ther than by the above means) i n a l l i t s ( a l l e g e d ) p l en i t ude? Where l u r k s the i n t e n t "set o f e lements" , supposedly r e p l e t e w i th l o g i c a l and f a c t u a l connect ion? Tnere are DUG a few s e l e c t e d elements: spot ted throughout the t e x t " fo r i l l u s t r a t i v e purposes", and they have been r econs t ruc t ed from memory/shorthand. The reader i s l e f t w i t h on ly the themes and c l u s t e r s o f S e c t i o n Two, and some f u r t h e r r e f l e c t i o n s on the matter i n S e c t i o n Three . Our on ly j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s se t o f t h e o r e t i c a l l y / m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y / ( f a c t u a l l y ? J ques t ionab le procedures i s the f o l l o w i n g . We have a l ready a l l u d e d to the d i f f i c u l t i e s / d i s c r e p a n c i e s o f do ing tha t which i s " c l a s s i c a l " , ( i e . ) accep tab le , a p r i o r i , on grounds o f s c h o l a s t i c entrenchment) i n any i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f c o n t i n e n t a l c y c l i n g , e s p e c i a l l y when programmatic precedents number but two* Bear ing t h i s i n mind, and s t i c k i n g f a s t to our most g e n e r a l purpose, we barged ahead and d i d i t . . S e c t i o n One con ta ins the e x p l i c a t i o n o f how and why (to the best o f our knowledge, and at t imes 34 i t was not c l e a r to us e x a c t l y what we were doing or why). Sec t ions Two and Three con t a in the e x p l a n a t i o n o f what i t was t h a t we found, f o r a l l our bumbling. . In t o t o , they c o n s t i t u t e one p o s s i b l e s t o r y o f what the h e l l i s go ing on i n the f i e l d o f North American m o t o r c y c l i n g behav iou r s . We have t w i c e mentioned tha t hav ing decided on a pa r -t i c u l a r set o f elements, themes, and c l u s t e r s t h a t are worth e x p l a i n i n g , i t would s t i l l be p o s s i b l e to generate s e v e r a l qu i t e d i f f e r e n t accounts f o r those " f ac t s " . . The resea rcher i s i n a p o s i t i o n to judge what c o n s t i t u t e s an element, e t c . , s i n c e he i s the one f a m i l i a r wi th the i n t e r -s u b j e c t i v e f a c e t s o f sub jec t responses . However, we s h a l l have to se t some a d d i t i o n a l c r i t e r i a o f what s h a l l c o n s t i -t u t e an adequate account.. We have de r ived one such c r i t e -r i o n as f o l l o w s : We have assumed t h a t motorcyc les and m o t o r c y c l i n g are meaningful aspects o f our subjects ' l i v e s . . Thus, they are able to p rov ide us w i th the raw da t a f o r t h i s study i n the form o f answers to the ques t i on , "What do you ge t out o f i t ? " Prom t h i s corpus o f i n fo rma t ion we have s e l e c t e d c e r t a i n c l u s t e r s , themes and elements as worth comprehending. Now, i t i s not unreasonable to assume t h a t s i n c e our sub j ec t s have, on the whole, a coherent grasp o f t h e i r own motor-c y c l i n g r e a l i t i e s , and are able to impart t h i s to the 35 researcher, they may also be able to comprehend and account for the shared aspects of those motorcycling r e a l i t i e s . . This: requires that the researcher inform his subjects that there are certain clusters, themes and elements, where they are not already aware of them as such, though usually, they already, were, another feature of motorcycling that needs 7 explaining. Then he asks his subject, "What do you make of i t ? " The- c r i t e r i a of an adequate account of the shared features of motorcycling behaviour i s that i s should be comprehensible to the motorcyclists themselves* In addition to t h i s , i t must be academic and s o c i o l o g i c a l , which com-pounds, the fieldwork problems.. Under the rubric of t h i s c r i t e r i o n , an inadequate account runs not only the r i s k of " f a i l i n g to meet the standards of proper academic endeavor",, but of being c a l l e d "a load of b u l l s h i t " . Adequacy i s achieved by the formalized procedure of "consultative feed-, back". Our procedure has been to go back, after determining what motorcyclists have i n common, and ask a representative sample of motorcyclists what they make of i t . By sample we mean approximately one hundred who f i t the d e f i n i t i o n of a t y p i c a l population element (there was not time, for more)* By representative we mean representative of the common 36 elements of a meaning. Thus, the encounter parameters are the same. A subject i s approached by the researcher gone unobtrusively native, and asked, "What do you get out of i t ? " On the basis of his reply, the researcher determines: i f t h i s subject represents one of the common features of motorcycling behaviours. I f so, the usual procedure was for the researcher to generate a cover story, such as, "You know, somebody else once mentioned something l i k e that." The question can then be posed, "What do you make of i t ? " , "How do you figure i t ? " , "1 don't get i t , do you?",, etc., vhich are a l l "street language" for the generation of a suitable account. Quite obviously, a process of selection and redaction si m i l a r to that involved in the i n i t i a l determination of elements i s occurring here, but on a smaller scale. The intention here ,is not to point out that an i n f i n i t e regress i s i n e v i t a b l y involved, but to employ the procedure of consultation in the generation of the f i n a l account. The c r i t e r i a is. designed to systematize, and legitimate "being f a i r " to one'o- subjects, so that, having pumped them for data, one does- not cast them aside l i k e empty ve s s e l s before the f i n a l analysis is; made, and the votes are i n . In practice, the f i n a l explanation was hinted at in the i n i t i a l data, and p a r t i a l l y worked out i n the researcher's: 37 mind be fo re c o n s u l t a t i o n begsn. But c o n s u l t ve d i d , l a r g e l y i n Vancouver, but w i t h fo rays up and down the West Coast through the win te r of 1971. Over much beer and one hundred fu r t he r encounters the "image behaviour" e x p l a n a t i o n o f " th ings i n common" was u l t i m a t e l y hammered i n t o shape. The f i n a l account i s not on ly academic and s o c i o l o g i c a l , but 8 comprehensible to the sub jec t s themselves:. Ix. i s long past t ime to get a g l impse o f tha t account , so wi thout f u r t h e r ado we s h a l l t a b u l a t e the schematized f i n d i n g s o f S e c t i o n Two. The procedure has been to g i v e esch c l u s t e r and each theme an appropr i a t e t i t l e . Each o f these i s d i s c u s s e d , at whatever l eng th i s a p p r o p r i a t e / f e a s i b l e / i n t e r e s t i n g i n a separa te chapter o f S e c t i o n Two.. Elements, o f subject meanings/responses appear i n quotes: to i l l u s t r a t e what i s i n v o l v e d i n each case... None of Your Goddamn Business Schema of Elements Creepy Peelings Clusters: Positive Negative Clusters: Wishy-Wasrhy Enthusiastic Gripes Bummers Themes: Transportation.lt' s a Job.r Mechanical Bridfi'Kicks.Machismo • Weather-Mechanics • Malice-Anxiety 39 A word o f c s u t i o n i s i n o rde r : the preceding schemata i s a way o f making sense o f subjec t responses; i t i s not a s t r u c t u r e f o r immediately c l a s s i f y i n g those meaningful r ep l i e s - , end, more i m p o r t a n t l y , i t i s not a typo logy o f subjec ts . , l e t us cons ide r these two c r i t i c a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s i n o r d e r . F i r s t , we must emphasize tha t the r e p l i e s to the ques-t i o n , "What do you get out o f i t ? " v/ere tremendously v a r i e d , so v a r i e d as to defy s imple s o r t i n g i n t o s l o t s . I i was .'. . .• > almost immediately apparent, however, tha t the re were c e r t a i n r e c u r r i n g phrases , images, r e fe rences , ( i n a word, elements) t ha t ran through almost a l l o f these responses , and t h a t c o n s t i t u t e d a ve ry important par t o f those meanings... T h i s se t o f elements t ranscends the enormous v a r i a n c e and sub jec -t i v i t y o f the p a r t i c u l a r meanings.;; a s imple c l a s s i f i c a t i o n scheme would i n ho sense exhaust the da t a and i t would be d i f f i c u l t to put one response i n one box or to break t ha t response- up. s e n s i b l y i n t o two packageable b i t s . . What we have done i n s t e a d , i n the i n t e r e s t s o f t e l l i n g an economical s t o r y , i s to f i r s t abs t rac t those elements which occur i n more than one response and which d i f f e r e n -t i a t e s i g n i f i c a n t aspects o f the i n d i v i d u a l meanings.. The schemata i s a system f o r c l a s s i f y i n g those common elements, accord ing to some system comprehensible to a l l concerned; 40 i t i s not a d i r e c t paradigm of meanings. Hence, meanings i s only a s y n t h e t i c term, t h e r e i s : no need to compare or disr-t i n g u i s h d i f f e r e n t meanings, or to d e f i n e what would c o n s t i -t u t e one u n i t of meaning. There i s a p r a c t i c a l reason f o r t h i s i n i t i a l procedure of abstraction.. S u b j e c t s f i n d i t r a t h e r o f f e n s i v e when the student makes: a d i r e c t comparison between t h e i r r e p l y and some other sub j e c t * SJ response... This. i s . t a t amount to t h e student saying i n each and every case,. 'Teah, I know e x a c t l y what you mean.,", when, i n f a c t , i t i s quite apparent t h a t he does not.. By a b s t r a c t i n g only c e r t a i n b i t s of i n f o r m a t i o n from the subject's^. reply,, and working out the i n t e r s u b j e c -t i v e sense of those elements, the student preserves the (very meaningful) i n d i v i d u a l i t y of the p r o f f e r e d reply.. Quite o f t e n , t h i s was accomplished by the simple device of saying ,rxou know, somebody. els-.e mentioned something l i k e that... ..'V. thus p r e s e r v i n g the respondent* sv-dignity,., and t r a n s f e r r i n g the d i s c u s s i o n to a more "abstract." ±evel of meanings., A- s i m i l a r p r a c t i c a l c o n s t r a i n t i s the reason t h a t the schemata has no p r e t e n t i o n s to being an exhaustive c l a s s i f i -c a t i o n o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s . Subjects, having volunteered important i n f o r m a t i o n , can get quite put o f f ( p u t t i n g i t ; m i l d l y ) i f they are then pigeonholed on the b a s i s o f t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n ; t h i s i s tatamount to the student s a y i n g , on the 41 b a s i s o f the b r i e f e s t p o s s i b l e acquaintance , "Yeah, I know you , you ' re , one o f those.." I t would be p o s s i b l e to under-take such a typo logy o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s (or s tuden t s , o r p ro fe s so r s ) or a f a c i l e d i r e c t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f responses , but the author would c e r t a i n l y not wish to attempt i t . - . , (w i th any se t o f s u b j e c t s , no matter now meek and coopera t ive they appear) ' under the me thodo log ica l c o n s t r a i n t o f con-s u l t a t i v e feedback. I t i s worth n o t i n g tha t the r e p l y of any one sub jec t cou ld con t a in the elements o f any or a number o f themes:;; qu i t e d i f f e r e n t meanings and elements would l i k e l y be e l i c -i t e d at d i f f e r e n t t imes and i n d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g s (such was. c e r t a i n l y the case i n those ins t ances o f known r epea t s ) ; and they l i k e l y had a grea t d e a l more on t h e i r mind than they chose to r e v e a l at the moment and which o t h e r s , at o the r t imes and p l a c e s , spoke f r e e l y about.. A l l t h i s was obvious from the s u b j e c t s ' responses. . What i s not obvious ( o r , what was never obvious to us at the t ime) i s whether the sub jec t s are d i s t r i b u t e d i n some pa t te rned way, c o r r e l a t e d w i t h some o ther measure o f sub jec t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and/or ac ross the schemata tha t we have. The responses , and any other r e s i d u a l n o t a t i o n s made by the by, r evea led no such pa t te rn . . This i s congruent w i th the p r e v i o u s l y mentioned c o n s t r a i n t aga ins t p i g e o n h o l i n g , and i s supported by the frequent a s s e r t i o n t h a t , " e v e r y b o d y ' s . . . ( q u i t e a p p a r e n t l y ) . . . on h i s own t r i p " . 42 There a re c e r t a i n cases: where a ce rua in theme or c l u s t e r was d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y a s soc ia t ed wi th an e a s i l y i d e n t i f i a b l e c l a s s o f subjec ts . . Where such was the case , we have noted so , and t r i e d to account f o r i t ; but such i n t e r v i e w s were few i n number and should never be taken as the hard and f a s t r u l e . Io was f a r more common to f i n d tha t there are c e r t a i n sub jec t s who qu i te c l o s e l y embody the sense o f a g i v e n theme. They are , i n the eyes .of other m o t o r c y c l i s t s , and o f t en i n t h e i r own s e l f image, a w a l k i n g , t a l k i n g " i d e a l t y p e " . Some-t imes t h i s working man's " i d e a l type" approaches near-myth-i c a l p ropo r t i ons ( i n the sense o f , nowhere at l a r g e ) , f o r example, Pe te r Fonda 's "Capta in America" ; bu t , sooner or l a t e r , you happen on a p r e t t y good f a c s i m i l e . In such i n s t a n c e s , the " i d e a l type" w i l l be used f o r i l l u s t r a t i v e purposes o n l y , without i m p l y i n g any complete t y p o l o g y . Thus, wh i l e our s to ry e x p l a i n s a ve ry meaningful aspect o f the m o t o r c y c l i s t s ' e x i s t e n c e , i t i n no way exhausts the meaning o f m o t o r c y c l e - r e l a t e d behav iour , or e x p l a i n s the d i f f e r e n c e s among m o t o r c y c l i s t s , nor does i t pretend t o . With these cau t ions and wi th t h i s o u t l i n e i n mind, we can (at l a s t 1 . ) begin to d e t a i l the p r e l i m i n a r y f i n d i n g s o f t h i s s tudy . 43 FOOTNOTES FOR SECTION ONE 1. For example, Vancouver ' s own Black Death Motorcycle Club, 2. D e a l e r s , c l a i m i n g to be i n the know, and b a s i n g t h e i r e s timates on i n d u s t r y f i g u r e s or A.M.A,/CM.A. l i t e r a t u r e , pegged the numbers at between t h r e e and ten m i l l i o n . Tne modal estimate was f i v e m i l l i o n . 3. See the chapter on Machismo, S e c t i o n Two. 4. The work of A. M. N i c h o l i i on Tne Motorcycle Syndrome, and J . C Quicker, A T y p o l o g i c a l Account o f M o t o r c y c l i n g * See the Appendix f o r a review o f these a r t i c l e s . 5. We say, "mathematically and phenomenologically (by which we i n t e n d , simply, ' i n the realm o f a r i t h m e t i c and i n the minds of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' ) " because i t makes no d i f f e r e n c e whether or not behaviours are l i k e i n t e g e r s i f we t r e a t them as such.. The point i s , are people e q u i v a l e n t to t h i n g s , and i f not, why comprehend them i n t h a t manner, even f o r purposes o f a n a l y s i s ? 6. See S e c t i o n Three. 7. Again, see S e c t i o n Three. 8. Though we would have to le a v e out a l l the b i g b u l l s h i t words and s u b s t i t u t e a couple o f cases of beer. The f i n a l v e r s i o n i s h a r d l y p e r f e c t i n t h i s r e g a r d , i t i s merely a step i n the d e s i r e d d i r e c t i o n . We o n l y contend t h a t the e s s e n t i a l s o f the s t o r y are comprehensible to a l l p a r t i e s concerned. S E C T I O N TWO CHAPTER ONE NONE OP YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS 44 There i s one set o f responses which does not f i t our schemata, and which cannot p r o p e r l y be regarded as "da ta" . I t i s on ly by s t r e t c h i n g the po in t tha t we can make sense o f them at a l l , s i n c e al though they appeared to be qu i t e meaningful f o r the subjec t s concerned, they do not represent a d i r e c t r e p l y to our ques t i on , "What do you get out o f i t ? " This b l o c k o f undata i s e n t i t l e d "None-of-your-godamn-busi-ness" , s i n c e that phrase, bes ides o c c u r r i n g qu i te f r e q u e n t l y , captures the essence o f o the r , more c i r c u m s p e c t / r e s p e c t a b l e r e p l i e s . S p e c i f i c r e p l i e s ranged from an e v a s i v e , " O h . . . don ' t r e a l l y know" t o , "Fuck o f f , Short Pan t s ! " The po in t seems to be that these sub jec t s had no i n t e n t i o n o f r e p l y i n g because the student had no bus iness a sk ing i n the f i r s t p l a c e . Th i s set of r e p l i e s does not i n c l u d e the vague response where the subject genu ine ly d i d not know what he got out o f i t . S i g n i f i c a n t l y enough, the re were very few r e p l i e s o f t h i s s o r t , a f ac t we s h a l l make much o f i n S e c t i o n Three. Almost a l l the sub jec t s were w i l l i n g to g i v e the ques t ion a t r y , and many waxed eloquent i n the at tempt. O c c a s s i o n a l l y , par t of the s u b j e c t ' s r e p l y would be an evas ion o f the ques-t i o n , as a way o f i n t r o d u c i n g a h e s i t a n t response, or to c l o s e o f f one that had become too t r i c k y . In these cases tha t par t o f the r e p l y was s imply i gno red , s i n c e i t d i d not 45 happen o f t en enough or i n enough s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n s to make much sense o f i t . Even the most v o l u b l e o f sub jec t s cou ld ab rup t ly shy away from f u r t h e r e x p l i c a t i o n o f h i s meanings. We d i d not i nc lude such responses i n t h i s s e t , but i n s t e a d took what da t a we d i d g e t . There were, however, a s m a l l number o f a l l manners o f sub jec t s who evaded the ques t ion o u t r i g h t . At t h i s p o i n t , s i nce we are d e a l i n g i n f i r s t impress ions and p r e l i m i n a r y ways o f o r g a n i z i n g the da t a , i t i s too awkward a t a sk to make adequate sense o f such evas ions , though, we s h a l l have cause to r e f e r to i t l a t e r i n S e c t i o n Three. The t i t l e i t s e l f stems from an i n c i d e n t i n which a subjec t vo lun tee red to answer f o r the p r i c e o f one f l agon o f suds. S e v e r a l s t e i n s l a t e r the enshr ined t i t u l u s was f i n a l l y for thcoming i n the form of an e longated , e loquen t ly enunc ia ted , beer b e l c h . CHAPTER TWO TRANSPORTATION 46 I t i s a s imple t h i n g to asser t that the motorcyc le i s a mode o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , a means f o r g e t t i n g from po in t A to po in t B, but , at l e a s t i n the context o f Nor th -Amer ican-c u l t u r e - as -we-have-encounte red- i t , t h i s s o r t o f statement runs the r i s k o f be ing a b i t s i m p l i s t i c ; r a the r l i k e s a y i n g , '"What do I get out o f s ex? 1 Why, r e p r o d u c t i o n , o f c o u r s e . . . " Cor rec t as i t may be, i t j u s t does not seem to wash. Let us i l l u s t r a t e t h i s po in t t e c h n i c a l l y / t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y . We (North-Americans-as-you-encounter- them) have at our d i s p o s a l a l a r g e number o f mechanical "modes o f t r a n s p o r t s - : t i o n " , some common, some qu i t e uncommon, and i n t h i s frame-work the motorcyc le can be c l a s s i f i e d , g e n e r i c a l l y , as any l a n d - l o c k e d , motor ized conveyance capable o f t r a v e r s i n g f i r m , c l e a r t e r r a i n on two wheels . I t can go anyplace a car or t r u c k can ( ema i l town deputy s h e r i f f s p e r m i t t i n g ) and some some p laces they cannot . In the l a t t e r a p p l i c a t i o n , i t has o c c a s s i o n a l l y r ep laced the horse i n a g r i c u l t u r a l and " f r o n -t i e r " p u r s u i t s such as ranch ing or p r o s p e c t i n g . Under c e r t a i n s p e c i f i a b l e t r a n s p o r t c i rcumstances , however, the edge must go to the automobi le : the c y c l e cannot c a r r y more than two people (by l aw, and by d e s i g n ) ; i t cannot convey more than a few cub ic fee t or a few hundred pounds o f bag-gage, and even tha t must be e l a b o r a t e l y s t rapped down; i t w i l l riot nego t i a t e snow or i c e ; i t exposes the d r i v e r to a l l 47 the v i c i s i t u d e s o f weather, season, and c l i m a t e , as w e l l as a constant onrush o f c o o l i n g / l i m b - f r o s t i n g a i r ; * n o i s e , and the s e a t i n g p a t t e r n , v i r t u a l l y prec lude a l l but the most rudimentary communication; c y c l e s are more d i f f i c u l t ( i n the sense o f r e q u i r i n g the g rea t e r development o f a g r ea t e r number o f pe rcep tua l and motor s k i l l s ) oo d r i v e , and to l e a r n to d r i v e , than the average automobile ; they are more haza rd -ous when the a c c i d e n t , i n j u r y , and f a t a l i t y s t a t i s t i c s are 2 added up . With t h i s ca ta logue o f t e c h n o l o g i c a l d i sadvantages , s m a l l wonder tha t f o r the vas t ma jo r i t y o f North American po in t A to po in t B s i t u a t i o n s , most people d r i v e cars ( t r u c k s , campers, whatever sa fe , snug, four-wheeled v e h i c l e they can get t h e i r hands o n ) . In f a c t , " I t ' s a wonder anybody r i d e s the danged t h ings at a l l . . . " , at l e a s t under the gu i se o f "a mode o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n " . S t i l l , people are u s i n g them to get from poin t A to p o i n t B; they are i n e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g evidence on s t r e e t s , highways and pa rk ing l o t s , though s t i l l v a s t l y out-numbered by "more p r a c t i c a l " conveyances. To get to the p o i n t , some o f our sub jec t s d i d indeed say tha t what they got out o f i t was " t r a n s p o r t a t i o n " , or "wheels" , "back and f o r t h , everyday, back and f o r t h " ; but they seldom l e f t i t at t h a t , because, as we s t a t e d e a r l i e r , such a ba ld - f aced statement j u s t does 48 not wash. The response was w e l l - n i g h i n v a r i a b l y g i v e n some q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , t y p i c a l l y by comparing the motorcycle w i th o ther p o s s i b l e modes o f conveyance (as i f i n querelous a n t i c i p a t i o n of the next ques t i on , " W e l l , heavens, why don ' t you d r i v e a car?") and producing some p o i n t s i n i t s f avour . Those who gave the bares t thematic element, " t r a n s p o r t " , were r a r e b i r d s . As an a s ide , we o f ten had the d i s t i n c t impress ion tha t these sub jec t s were holding, back, t ha t they were a f r a i d to admit what they r e a l l y got out o f i t ; not tha t they were s imply u n w i l l i n g to t e l l u s , but tha t they were ashamed to admit i t . La t e r on , we conclude that these people probably never get i n t o any o f the motorcyc le -on-s tage r o l e s , but they s t i l l l i k e d to hang around i n the wings sometimes. However, tha t i s g e t t i n g much ahead o f o u r s e l v e s . The s imples t e l a b o r a t i o n o f the b a s i c t r a n s p o r t theme i s "cheap t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , cheaper than d r i v i n g a c a r " , and, at upwards o f one hundred and f i f t y m i l e s per g a l l o n , i t i s a hard statement to r e f u t e ; but few m o t o r c y c l i s t s are i n a p o s i t i o n to say t h a t , and ve ry few d i d . We t u r n again to "the f a c t s " , t e c h n i c a l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e to anyone who at any-t ime has begun motorcyc le shopping. Noth ing i s cheaper than a s m a l l , used mo to rcyc l e , except p o s s i b l y the b i c y c l e , cur rent rage i n "(poor) p e o p l e ' s t r a n s p o r t a t i o n " , and the p u b l i c t r a n s i t . I f you take the bus, you can beat the l o t , but i t i s not qu i t e -s convenient i n the d o o r - t o - d o o r , day-49 or-night sense, a point once mentioned in defense of a well-worn Honda 90. However, one point that i s never mentioned^ "but i s quite probably an operating assumption i s that in our culture a great deal of mesning/value i s attached to owning one's own private mode of t r a n s i t , and to owning a costly thing (and even the cheapest w i l l get you over the hundred-dollar-investment bundle). H c r r e we infrin g e on the thematic realm of the Mechanical Bride. Moving up from the lowest price range, one could s t i l l get a used, four-wheeled "clunker" for the price of the smaller/smallest new cycles. Subjects, however, counter t h i s p r a c t i c a l admonition by st a t i n g that they cannot place their confidence i n a very much used device, but they can "rely on a new machine". This element i s , of course, c u l t u r a l heresay, devoid of s t a t i s t i c a l t e s t , and anecdotally q u a l i f i a b l e with "(so and so) knows (somebody) who drove that old wreck two hundred thousand miles before i t died". The never-mentioned underlying assumption here, and on up the price scale, i s that greater prestige accrues to he who owns the s h i n i e r , newer thing, even despite p a r i t y of cold cash investments. Here again, "cheap transportation" i s often too simple a statement of meaning. A notch higher on the cost s p i r a l and you can get a good used car for the price of the great majority of new and 50 used motorcycles. Pecuniary praxis aside, and Hai Karate ads notwithstanding, "everybody knows you can't make out on the back seat of a motorcycle" (we only met one person who claimed he did, r e g u l a r l y ) . 'worse yet, the most expensive of the cycles w i l l get you a brand new small car, or better i f your uncle i s i n the business. Some more stray f l a k : motorcycle insurance coverage costs as much as one-third to one-half more than the same amount of automobile coverage, and i t i s frequently required by law; license, r e g i s t r a t i o n , parts and repairs run about par; helmets are a mandatory expense. I u i s not surprising then, i n the l i g h t of a l l these possible objections, that no one on anything over two hundred c.c.'s (the smaller/smallest bracket) had the unmiti-gated g a l l to say f l a t l y "cheap transport". To t h i s extent, then, the theme p a r t i t i o n s the population. One fellow said i t was "easier to park", but he was kidding. Another cluster of elements under t h i s thematic mode we s h a l l term c o l l e c t i v e l y " f i z z " , for they seem to be the result/replay of advertizing f r o t h about being i n "the pepsi generation". Occassionally (very occassionally; by and large motorcyclists/the public are a much more hardbitten l o t ) we got a reply that motorcycles are a "young/fun/neat-keen/ l i v e l y " mode of transport. Even without laborious s t a t i s -51 t i c a l documentation o f d i s t r i b u t i o n s : Take a look around you! Who's r i d i n g them? Young(er) people! Ta Da! (Blend i n motorcyc le commercial theme music g r a d u a l l y , d r i v i n g bea t , sound o f wind r u s h i n g p a s t , . . . ) . C e r t a i n l y , (Moms and Dads), the o l d s t e r s have always r idden them; a f t e r a l l , C. Wright M i l l s was no s p r i n g c h i c k e n ! And (again haza rd ing a g l a n c e / guess ) more and more o f those middle: agers are C a t c h i n ' On.' Yes , the image i s l i v e l y , young at hea r t , tha t o l e c u l t u r a l god, pure- fa i ry-whi te-GOOD-CLEAN-FUN! - end commercial ; no f u r t h e r c r i t i c i s m s . The motorcyc le i s a young fun way to get from A to B , and a number o f informants t o l d us tha t tha t i s what they got out o f i t as a mode o f t r a n s p o r t . G r e y - s u i t e d , a t tache-cased businessmen, f a m i l i e s on c y c l e o u t i n g ( "There 1 s a Honda f o r Dad, a Honda f o r Mom, and TWO o f the k i d s ! " ) , and most con-s p i c u o u s l y , women f a l l i n t o t h i s o therwise themat ic ca t egory . I t i s important not to confuse "FUN!" w i th tha t darker demon " K i c k s " , whose e v i l s we s h a l l s h o r t l y d w e l l upon, f o r none o f our sub jec t s combined these a n t i t h e t i c a l meaning p resen-t a t i o n s . For an e x p l i c a t i o n o f t h i s p a r t i t i o n i n g o f the p o p u l a t i o n by sex, see the d i s c u s s i o n o f "Machismo". For now, we note that there were ve ry few women r i d i n g motor-c y c l e s (un less Women's l i b . i s p r a c t i s i n g somewhere I don ' t know about ) , and f o r the most par t "FUN" i s what they got out o f i t . . . o r what they say they got out o f i t . . . o r what they are a l lowed to say they got out o f i t . . . Another face t o f t h i s theme i s the r a t h e r d i s t i n c t i v e meaning elements a s soc ia t ed wi th " t o u r i n g " , long d i s t a n c e 52 t r a v e l , u s u a l l y with connotations of " v a c a t i o n i n g " or " t a k i n g i t easy" by motorcycle. Mechanical c o n s i d e r a t i o n s confine t h i s a c t i v i t y to those who own the l a r g e r machines ( f o u r hundred and f i f t y c.c.'s out of a p o s s i b l e twelve hundred, i f you love c u t t i n g p o i n t s , but there are exceptions: "I had a. f r i e n d who crossed the Rockies on a 250 Yamaha, once. Coasted most the way down the other s i d e . " ) . They can be found anywhere between any two g e o g r a p h i c a l l y d i s t a n t p o i n t s i f the weather be good. P i l e d high with one or two people and appropriate doses of knapsacks, b e d r o l l s , t a r p s , t e n t s , dangling f r y i n g pans, bandaids and o i l ; t o u r i n g alone or i n "packs" of a hundred or more ( a b s o l u t e l y t e r r i f y i n g to meet on a freeway; unspeakable on some l o n e l y back road), o f f f o r the long weekend or " I don't know...forever I guess...or t i l l our money runs but.',' One couple t r a v e l l e d i n high s t y l e , towing a tent t r a i l e r . A meaningful element here i s the "romantic Gypsy" stance, the camp-push on-camp-push on ("even i f i t ' s only f o r our h o l i d a y s " ) procedure designed to " r e a l l y get you away from i t a l l " ; j u s t " l o t s a gas stops, not many food stops, a l i t t l e money...and n o t h i n ' else but what you can t i e on". That's t o u r i n g . One f i n a l c l u t c h of elements i n adumbration of t h i s theme, voi c e d by a few, were the e c o l o g i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . In the tones of a l i v e i s s u e and the terms of eco-conscious-ness, some subjects r e p l i e d that the motorcycle was a l e s s 53 p o l l u t i n g form of (private?) transport, the lazy man's ten speed. Invariably, they were people who had only recently purchased the machine. More seasoned c y c l i s t s did not f e e l obliged to c i t e these meanings in t h e i r defense. This facet of the theme, rather uncommon f o r the moment, could crop up more frequently in the near future, what with the general growth of eco-consciousness, and the insidious effects of 4 the 1972 model advertizing. CHAPTER THREE I T ' S A JOB 54 There are those f o r whom the motorcycle i s a way o f making a l i v i n g , , and t h e i r u s u a l r e p l y to our ques t ion was, qu i t e n a t u r a l l y , " I t ' s a j o b . " Th i s i s one o f the few themat ic s t r u c t u r e s tha t p a r t i t i o n s a c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i a b l e p o r t i o n o f the t o t e l p o p u l a t i o n , though n e c e s s a r i l y , not i n each and every response i n which i t was g i v e n . That group o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s f o r whom t h i s was the s tock r e p l y was, aga in , as might be expected, the urban motorcyc le p o l i c e p a t r o l . C e r t a i n l y the re were o ther groups and i n d i -v i d u a l s i n other motorcycle-dependent occupat ions who made t h i s r e j o i n d e r , but i n these s i t u a t i o n s i t was not s o . l i k e l y to be the only theme to which they would r e f e r . For the moment, however, l e t us cons ide r the p l i g h t o f our two-wheeled minions o f the l aw. The cons tabu la ry o f the d r a f t y c h a r i o t s , when they deigned to r e p l y at a l l (and there were a d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e number o f ins tances o f , "None o f your godamn b u s i n e s s ! " , f o r reasons we r e a l l y have not adequately de termined) , s t a t e d s imply tha t t h i s was how they made t h e i r l i v i n g and tha t was about a l l there vas to i t , or "What e l s e should I say?" , o r "Tha t ' s a l l I 'm go ing to t e l l you , s o n . " The ques t ion a r i s e s : were they r e v e a l i n g a l l or anyth ing tha t they got out o f i t ? Is tha t a l l i t means to them (meaningful as tha t may be) ? We are fo rced to r e p l y t h a t , l i k e " j u s t T r a n s p o r t a t i o n " , i t d i d not always wash. P a r a l i n g u i s t i c i n fo rma t ion , p a r t i c u -55 l a r l y the r a p i d assumption o f a s tance o f smug b e l l i g e r e n c e (arms f o l d e d , s i t t i n g back t a l l i n the sadd le , c r u e l lower l i p c u r l i n g s l o w l y i n t o a g r i n . . . m a y b e even fond le the gea r -s h i f t w i t h a ca lm, l ea . ther -gaunt le ted hand), suggested unspoken elements o f Machismo. So maybe i t i s on ly our own paranoid i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , but at t h i s po in t i n the encounter they reminded t h i s researcher o f no th ing so much as the hard core 3iker.^ On r a r e o c c a s s i o n s , a pol iceman would v o l u n t e e r / l e t drop tha t he got a " k i c k " out o f r i d i n g b i k e s f o r a l i v i n g , or tha t he l i k e d " l o o k i n g a f t e r the machine". S ince they are no rma l ly on downtown t r a f f i c duty most o f the day, no one made remarks about "the f r e sh a i r " , except i n j e s t . In those few ins tances where elements o f other themes sur faced as meaningful aspects of on- the- job behav iour , the sub jec t s f e l t cons t r a ined to r e t u r n to the conf ines o f the r o l e o f patrolman by s t r e s s i n g tha t "the most important t h i n g about i t i s do ing the j o b " . F requen t ly one f i n d s tha t the motor minion has a p r e -h i s t o r y o f motorcycle r e l a t e d behav iour s , r i d i n g b i k e s i n the army or even as a hobby before j o i n i n g the f o r c e . The patrolman must request motorcyc le duty; he i s not ass igned to i t o the rwi se , and "prev ious exper ience" g r e a t l y inc reases h i s chances o f g e t t i n g the assignment. There i s a s u r f e i t 5 6 o f hopeful v o l u n t e e r s . But even i n the cases where the subjec t has chosen a l i n e o f work he enjoys , the emphasis i s on remaining i n the p u b l i c servant r o l e . Over c o f f e e , back at the garage, the ou t s ide researcher i s s t i l l one o f the p u b l i c , and cannot r e a d i l y crack t h i s facade ( i f indeed i t i s a facade, which , f o r many, i t may not be; but i t s t i l l won't; wash). In "doing i t f o r a l i v i n g " the pol iceman con-forms to an e labora te set o f expec t a t i ons ; those o f "the p u b l i c " , f e l l o w o f f i c e r s , and s u p e r i o r s , to g l o s s over the mat te r . Y/hich i s to say, he i s f i r s t and foremost the ( app rop r i a t e ) po l iceman, and must behave a c c o r d i n g l y . Be ing a motorcyc le policeman does not g i v e him a f r e e r range o f express ion and behaviour than other pa t ro lmen. On the c o n t r a r y , subjec ts f e l t c i r cumsc r ibed by a compara t ive ly narrow set o f p e r m i s s i b l e a c t i o n s . Much o f motorcyc le p a t r o l l i n g i s s t i l l modelled on the mounted c a v a l r y u n i t , where orders are r e c e i v e d en masse, by word o f mouth, from a (comfor tab ly p a t r o l - c a r r e d ) "commanding o f f i c e r " before anvth ing can be done. Apparen t ly , the on ly h i g h l i g h t s are parade du ty , where they escor t eve ry th ing from v i s i t i n g heads o f s t a t e to r a d i c a l marches - " queens to queers" as one young mustach-ioed o f f i c e r put i t ; mercy runs , on the r a r e occass ions when a p a t i e n t i s rushed from one h o s p i t a l to another , the ambu-lance preceded by a f l y i n g wedge o f c y c l e s ; and "chas ing 57 speeders who g i v e us a run f o r i t " . The s i t u a t i o n s where such " K i c k s " are p e r m i s s i b l e / e x p e c t e d behav iou ra l themes are few and f a r between. "Mos t ly i t ' s a h e l l u v a b o r i n g j o b " . R i d i n g motorcycles i s not a l l o f what you might expect ; i t i s on ly one s m a l l way o f making a l i v i n g . I t i s worth n o t i n g tha t not a l l motorcyc le p o l i c e are men. In San F ranc i sco (at l e a s t ) women are ass igned to the motor p a t r o l . However, they are g iven on ly t r a f f i c t i c k e t du ty . They cannot, f o r example, apprehend speeders , nor can they leave the machine to take on the d u t i e s o f a beat pa t ro lman. In a word, they are "metermaids". T e c h n i c a l l y , they are not even m o t o r c y c l i s t s , f o r they are i s sued a Har l ey 45 motor t r i c y c l e , renowned as " s l o w " , "unbreakable" and " u n t i p p a b l e " . Th i s ignominious t r a f f i c duty they share w i t h about sn equal number o f "metermen". Tne " r e a l p o l i c e work" and r i d i n g the r e a l p o l i c e motorcyc les goes e x c l u s i v e l y to po l icemen . Elements o f t h i s b a s i c a l l y economic theme are a l so l i k e l y to emerge among c e r t a i n other r e a d i l y - i d e n t i f i a b l e o c c u p a t i o n a l groups , though, as we mentioned e a r l i e r , i t i s seldom the sum o f the r e p l y , and does not p a r t i t i o n our sub jec t s so c l e a r l y . (Hher sub jec t s who gave t h i s r e p l y were p r o f e s s i o n a l r a c e r s , stuntmen, salesmen, and shopmen, a l l encountered en m i l i e u , some on, some o f f the j o b . For 58 a l l o f these (and probably o thers whom we d i d not t u r n up) the motorcyc le i s one or the p r i n c i p a l means o f s ecu r ing a l i v e l i h o o d , though i t a l so meant a grea t d e a l more, espe-c i a l l y f o r the f i r s t two groups mentioned, w i t h appropr ia te v a r i a t i o n s i n the elements o f t h e i r r e p l i e s . Not i n f r e -quen t ly , the b a s i c "Job" response, coming from these i n d i -v i d u a l s , was c l e a r l y a pu t -on , a l l u d i n g to the preponderent s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the other b e h a v i o u r a l themes. S ince we s h a l l have cause to r e f e r to these people e lsewhere, we s h a l l not i l l u s t r a t e our present theme wi th elements o f t h e i r r e p l i e s . When, i n a d d i t i o n to meaning something e l s e , the m i l i e u i s a lso remunera t ive , i t w i l l be s e l f e v i d e n t . The elements o f the employment theme do not appear to be c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the inc idence and d i s t r i b u t i o n o f the other themes. Our s t o c k , workaday datum, " I t ' s a j ob" stands drab and a lone; few sub jec t s were i n the p o s i t i o n to mention i t i n the f i r s t p l a c e , and no one cared to expand on i t much. Th i s might prove f a s c i n a t i n g f o r the student o f occupa t ions , but s i n c e i t forms o n ly a s m a l l , p a r t i t i o n a b l e segment o f m o t o r c y c l i n g , and s ince our sub jec t s d i d not e l abora te the p o i n t , we s h a l l expa t i a t e i t no f u r t h e r . INTERJECTION SOME NOTES ON CLUSTERING 59 Looking back over the l e s t two themes the reader may be s t r u c k by the d i s t i n c t impress ion tha t t h i s has a l l been p r e t t y wishy-washy s t u f f ; i f those are the k inds o f answers people gave w e ' l l never get to the gang rape scene- Quite so , and we may as w e l l break the news r i g h t now: THERE IS NO GANG RAPE SCENE IN THIS THESIS ( c a p i t a l s f o r those o f you who may be skimming). Now, to con t inue . Tne elements we have been d e a l i n g wi th so f a r are indeed qu i t e l i m p i d , both i n comparison wi th what i s to come and i n the manner i n which they were a r t i c u l a t e d by the respondents- Responses o f t h i s s o r t , or these p o r t i o n s o f responses were g e n e r a l l y l a n g u i d and l e n i s . Tney are important answers, none the less , forming a s i g n i f i c a n t p o r t i o n o f tha t which i s m o t o r c y c l i n g . The modulat ion o f the responses i s an important f a c t o r to be cons idered i n i n t e r p r e t i n g them. I t i s not j u s t a matter o f what was s a i d , , there i s a l so the manner i n which i t was presen ted . I n t o n a t i o n i s one o ther element o f respondent meanings, and, as might t he re fo re be expected i s l i n k e d i n pa t te rned ways w i t h the abs t rac t conceptua l content o f those meanings/responses. For the purposes o f a n a l y s i s then , we may t i t l e the T r a n s p o r t a t i o n and Job themes "Wishy-Washy", f o r t h a t i s e x a c t l y what they were. ' This w i l l a l so serve to d i s t i n g u i s h them from the next group o f th ree themes: Mechanica l B r i d e , K i c k s and Machismo. The meanings represented by these three were a l l presented i n 60 an enthusiastic manner, again, both in themselves and in comparison with the previous group of col l a t e d responses* They are a l l f o r t i s , strongly articulated with a great deal of energy and emotional intensity.. Subjects exuded v i t a l i t y , often unrestrained vehemence, i n explicating these motorcycle meanings. Accordingly, l e t us e n t i t l e t h i s next group "Enthusiastic", and proceed with an examination of the f i r s t * CHAPTER FOUR MECHANICAL BRIDE 61 A s i z e a b l e p o r t i o n o f the respondents i n d i c a t e d i n d i v e r s e ways tha t they were "men who love m o t o r c y c l e s " . Prom such r e p l i e s we have drawn a theme, and c h r i s t e n e d i t "Mechanica l B r i d e " , f o r t h i s phrase captures the essence o f v e r y impor tan t , very preva len t motorcycle a s soc ia t ed mean-i n g s . The theme can be broken down f o r purposes o f d i s c u s -s i o n i n t o three major components, or groups o f elements, wThich ve s h a l l cons ider i n t u r n . These are the s u b j e c t , the a f f e c t , and the ob jec t components, o r , men, l o v e , and motorcyc les r e s p e c t i v e l y . Together they c o n s t i t u t e our exp lana tory p r i n c i p l e o f a l a r g e range o f motorcycle r e l a t e d behav iou r s , examples o f which w i l l be p r o v i d e d . I t i s our con ten t ion then , tha t there are those sub jec t s f o r whom, i n g i v e n s i t u a t i o n s , the motorcyc le railueu i s no th ing so much as a Mechanica l B r i d e . We have i m p l i e d tha t the subject component o f t h i s theme c o n s i s t s o f elements tha t are c o m m o n l y / c u l t u r a l l y def ined as male. This i s not to asser t tha t on ly men embody the meanings o f the Mechanica l B r i d e ; a few women (few, i n par t because female respondents as a whole were few i n num-ber) manifested a f f e c t - o b j e c t elements o f mechanical i n f a t u -a t i o n . We s h a l l cons ider t h e i r r e p l i e s s h o r t l y . Nor are we a s s e r t i n g that the theme o f the Mechanica l B r ide i s d i s p r o -p o r t i o n a t e l y mascu l ine . On the c o n t r a r y , i f anything i s d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y , or at l e a s t n o t i c e a b l y male dominated, 62 i t i s c o n t i n e n t a l c y c l i n g taken as a whole. Th i s p a r t i c u l a r theme has a mascul ine subjec t component probably by d e f a u l t ; i t i s no more c h a u v i n i s t than the r e s t (and f a r l e s s chau-v i n i s t than some aspects o f c y c l i s t behav iour* ) . One might specu la te that t h i s theme i s one immediate source o f f e m i -n ine unde r r ep re sen t a t i on , but tha t would take one i n t o the realm o f h i s t o r i c a l / c a u s a l a n a l y s i s , areas tha t are beyond the immediate d e l i n e a t i v e concerns o f t h i s S e c t i o n . We are s tuck wi th i t : l o v i n g motorcyc les i s a t h i n g tha t men do and/or a mascul ine t h i n g to do. Having e s t ab -l i s h e d t h a t , l e t us take a look a.t who these people are ( i n a t y p i c a l , not a t y p o l o g i c a l sense ) . The' most common respondent, or the r o l e i n which sub-j e c t s most commonly responded, was the "weekend w a r r i o r " . This i s the popular term fo r the m o t o r c y c l i s t who mani fes t s elements o f the Mechanica l B r i d e theme " i n . . . ( h i s ) . . . spare t i m e " . This p a r t - t i m e devo t ion c o n s t i t u t e s the base l e v e l requirement fo r a subjec t to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the meanings from which our theme i s d e r i v e d . I f t h i s i s what he ge t s out o f i t , then he i s someone who c o n s c i o u s l y appor t ions tha t which he de f ines as l e i s u r e t ime to " g e t t i n g o f f on messing around w i t h b i k e s " . Ai the o ther extreme are those men who devote t h e i r e n t i r e p r o f e s s i o n a l and much o f t h e i r p r i v a t e l i v e s to b i z a r r e two-wheeled a r t i f a c t s tha,t remotely 63 q u a l i f y as motorcycles ( they are seldom even " s t r e e t - l e g a l " ) . In these a i r y reg ions we have the m o t o r c y c l i s t as "custom-i z e r " , or es " r ac ing / sc rambles /motoc ross , e t c . champion". These men are few and f a r berween; we never encountered a genuine example, though the cur ren t t i t l e h o l d e r s , George B a r r i s and Bar t Markel r e s p e c t i v e l y , as w e l l as a number o f up and coming contenders , were f r e q u e n t l y a t o p i c o f conver -s a t i o n . Between the h ighes t and the lowest r i d e s a v e r i t a b l e host o f sub jec t s f o r whom the Mechanica l B r i d e represen ts an important fa.cet o f what the motorcyc le m i l i e u means to them. Subjects do tend to c l u s t e r towards the lower end, for pu re ly p r a c t i c a l ecomonic reasons; be ing "che bes t" i s a r i c h man's game. Often the best our sub jec t s cou ld a t t a i n was to i nco rpo ra t e t h e i r love o f motorcycles i n t o t h e i r working and weekend l i v e s by such means as tne f o l l o w i n g : doing odd jobs on f r i e n d s ' b ikes " fo r a case o f beer , a few bucks" , h i r i n g out as a p a r t - t i m e "custom p a i n t e r . . . w e l d j o c k e y . . . p a r t s h u s t l e r " , or ( the hope o f many a weekend w a r r i o r ) being employed by a motorcycle r e p a i r and s a l e s shop. ( A l t e r n a t e l y , one can a sp i r e to w r i t e f o r any o f the C a l i f o r n i a based c y c l e magazines which ca t e r to t h i s aspect o f m o t o r c y c l i n g above a l l o t h e r s , probably because i t i s the most r e s p e c t a b l e . ) There i s a lso some cons ide rab le oppor-t u n i t y f o r advancement i n the " f l y by n i g h t " new and used 64 oar t s and t o o l s t r ade , at l e a s t on the West Coast where m i l i e u t h e f t s are qu i te h igh and p r o s e c u t i o n r a t e s very l o w . Por such sub j ec t s , m o t o r c y c l i n g i s a source o f remuner-a t i o n , though g e n e r a l l y not the s o l e source . However, there i s a very important d i f f e r e n c e between t h e i r r e p l i e s and the s o r t s o f answers which gave r i s e to our I t ' s a Job theme. Por these are the men who " l o v e " mo to rcyc le s ; i t i s t h e i r Mechanica l B r i d e , not merely a source o f income. S ince t h i s i s a c r i t i c a l thematic d i s t i n c t i o n , and one which , to a . • c e r t a i n ex ten t , does p a r t i t i o n the p o p u l a t i o n ( s i n c e most pol icemen d i d not v o l u n t e e r elements o f the Mechan ica l B r i d e or o ther themes), we s h a l l focus the d i s c u s s i o n on the p a f f ec t component o f t h i s theme. How does a man l o v e a motorcycle? An imperfect analogy ( s i n c e the analogous f i e l d i s not so e x c l u s i v e l y mascul ine) can be drawn between m o t o r c y c l i n g and g o l f . Wnat g o l f means to a g o l f nu t , m o t o r c y c l i n g means to those who responded wi th elements o f the Mechan ica l B r i d e . To q u a l i f y as "a b i k e nut" one does not s imply l i k e mo to rcyc l e s , the m i l i e u , and a n y t h i n g / e v e r y t h i n g connected wi th m o t o r c y c l i n g , one i s not merely a t t r a c t e d by or at tached to mo to rcyc l e s . The a f fec t component i s much more than a s t a t e o f m i l d emotional enjoyment. "You g o t t a l ove 'em." Subjects a c t i v e l y woo the c o n t r a p t i o n s ; they manifest v a r y -65 i n g degrees o f d e v o t i o n , o f s teadfas t l o y a l t y and every-thousand-miles s e r v i c e . To be under the i n f l u e n c e o f the Mechanica l B r i d e i s to evince elements o f a very great i n t e r e s t i n mo to rcyc le s , to take grea t p leasure o r d e l i g h t i n a machine. In what (mascu l ine? ) , ( b i z a r r e ? ) ways does the a f f ec t component manifest i t s e l f among the popula t ion? The f i r s t f ea tu re to note i s tha t the motorcyc le p ro -d u c t i o n and r e l a t e d i n d u s t r i e s are geared s p e c i f i c a l l y to the meanings/behaviours t h i s theme r ep re sen t s . The bus iness end o f m o t o r c y c l i n g serves to support a set o f behaviours by producing a range o f motorcycle m i l i e u a r t i f a c t s . By push ing /purchas ing these a r t i f a c t s our sub jec t s (most o f whom were not i n the bus iness end o f t h i n g s ) f o s t e r meanings tha t we would des igna te as c o n t a i n i n g a f f e c t - o b j e c t elements o f t h i s theme. Me cannot o f f e r any exhaus t ive c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f these a r t i f a c t s and the behaviours tha t are commonly a s soc i a t ed w i t h them. However the meanings f i e l d i s l o o s e l y o rgan ized by the people i n v o l v e d i n the produc t ion-purchase r e l a t i o n s h i p . Th i s much at l e a s t w i l l prove e n l i g h t e n i n g . Concerning the c y c l e s o n l y , there are at present one hundred and th i r ty - some-odd s tock p roduc t ion models tha t can be purchased as i s , over the counter , from a handful o f major manufacturers . No two are d i r e c t l y comparable, so the b a s i c a r t i f a c t f i e l d and the meanings a s soc i a t ed wi th the 6 6 act o f purchase are co r re spond ing ly d i v e r s e . S t i l l con-f i n i n g ou r se lves to the b e h a v i o u r a l focus o f the m i l i e u , but moving beyond the b a s i c s , the "non-s tock" a r t i f a c t s and a s soc i a t ed a c t i o n s are acknowledged as f a l l i n g i n t o one o f two c a t e g o r i e s o f non-p roduc t ion , customized or modi f ied moto rcyc le s : "show", and "go". "Show" des igna tes c h i e f l y those e l a b o r a t e l y chromed con t r ap t i ons e x h i b i t e d on the c i r c u i t o f c y c l e a s s o c i a t i o n "shows", though some "show" c y c l e s never get o f f the s t r e e t end i n t o the d i s p l a y c i r c l e . "Go" i s a broader ca tegory , i n c l u d i n g any o f s e v e r a l forms o f sanc t ioned or unsanct ioned compe t i t i ve r a c i n g , though, aga in , many a "hot machine" never sees a t r a c k or a t i m i n g l i g h t . B r i d g i n g the gap between the " s t o c k e r " and the " f u l l cus tom/hauler" are a range o f accessory and s e r v i c e i n d u s -t r i e s , o f f e r i n g a r t i f a c t s , the owner can b o l t on h i m s e l f , o r p r o f e s s i o n a l m o d i f i e r s he can h i r e . But the bus iness end of "the c y c l e boom" o f the l a t e s i x t i e s and e a r l y s e v e n t i e s , c a t e r i n g as i t does to the Mechanica l B r i d e meaning complex, extends beyond mere mo to rcyc l e s . The o ther a r t i f a c t s o f the. ever-expanding m i l i e u are a l l o f f e r ed f o r purchase or h i r e . Aga in , exhaus t ive c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s p o i n t l e s s , f o r c y c l i s t s themselves have s e t t l e d on a few b e h a v i o u r a l pa t t e rns tha t we may o f f e r as i l l u s t r a t i v e / t y p i c a l . U s u a l l y a helmet i s purchased, anyth ing from an austere white egg to a chrome N a z i helmet . Next on the l i s t o f 67 p r i o r i t i e s comes footwear: o l d shoes w i l l do, combat boots are b e t t e r , buck le B i k e r boots are " c l a s s " , and r e i n f o r c e d r a c i n g boots are f o r the r i c h . Moving along another notch i t i s a toss up between s p e c i a l c l o t h i n g and t o o l s , w i th a p r i c e range fo r every pocket . Las t on the l i s t , and reserved f o r the very ded ica ted few are "the c o l o u r s " . These i n c l u d e a c lub j acke t and emblems (which may be " A . M . A. s anc t ioned" or hard core "grease") and pe rsona l touches l i k e gaun t l e t snaps, s logan pa tches , beer openers and chromed cha in b e l t s . Studs are on the way out , as are t a toos and e a r r i n g s , because they "ehow your head 's i n the f i f t i e s " . T h i s , then , i s a quick o u t l i n e of the v i s i b l e p h y s i c a l man i f e s t a t i ons o f the Mechanica l B r i d e theme, when and v/here i t i s e v i n c e d . What e x a c t l y i s go ing on, though, i n our s u b j e c t s ' heads; what d i d they say i t meant to them? There are a number of i n t e n s e , t y p i c a l l y mascul ine d e l i g h t s a s soc ia t ed w i t h the above-mentioned f a c e t s o f the m i l i e u . We s h a l l e x p l i c a t e these elements under the headings o f purchase, main ta inence , and m o d i f i c a t i o n . The most b a s i c o f these i s purchase; one r e a l l y has to acqui re a m i l i e u to enjoy i t . The process begins wi th window shopping, v i s i t i n g d e a l e r s h i p s , pe rus ing the want ads, a c q u i r i n g pamphlets, s p e c i f i c a t i o n shee ts , and t i d b i t s of " e x p e r t . . . i n s i d e " i n f o r m a t i o n . The c l imax comes v/hen, f o r b e t t e r or f o r worse, 68 the purchase i s made; This e n t i r e exper ience i s best des-c r i b e d as "a head t r i p " ; i t i s the f i r s t phase o f " r e a l l y g e t t i n g i n t o b i k e s " ; i t i s remembered fond ly l o n g a f t e r the o r i g i n a l machine has been t raded away. The i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y and i n f o r m a l l y e labora te s a l e s process ca t e r s to the p re -v a l e n t mania f o r owning, the d e s i r e to possess t h ings new and used . We v / i l l not go as f a r as to p o s t u l a t e the s a t i s -f a c t i o n o f an " a c q u i s i t i v e i n s t i n c t " , but the power/meaning-fu lnes s o f the purchase exper ience should not be unde r s t a t ed . Having acqui red at l e a s t the b a s i c s o f the m i l i e u at whatever "s tock" x e v e l one can/wishes to a f fo rd (and there i s an immense range of fe red) one can qu i t there , j u s t supplementing the m i l i e u o c c a s s i o n a l l y , a r t i f a c t by a r t i f a c t , i n order to r e -expe r i ence the purchase phase. Subjec t s f r equen t ly expressed t h e i r great joy i n the t y p i c a l l y mascu-l i n e North American s t a t e of be ing i n charge o f , or i n the presence o f , or even i n t e r e s t e d i n a p iece o f complex power-f u l machinery. This can develop i n t o a p e c u l i a r s t a t e o f a f f a i r s . The i n d i v i d u a l w i l l begin to " i d e n t i f y " w i th h i s machine, a s c r i b -i n g to h i m s e l f , by v i r t u e o f h i s a s s o c i a t i o n wi th the m i l i e u , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s tha t were i n i t i a l l y a t t r i b u t e s o f the a r t i -f a c t s a lone . Thus, we have the "Har ley Davidson Kan" , to name but one, a phenomenon wherein c e r t a i n g r o u p s / i n d i v i d u a l s 69 w i l l purchase a Har ley ( u s u a l l y the most expens ive / e l abora t e 74 P l e c t r a G l i d e or "dresser") because i t i s "the b e s t / t h e f i n e s t / t h e most/whatever". Then comes the t w i s t . The g r o u p / i n d i v i d u a l w i l l begin s p o r t i n g K a r l e y j acke t s and T - s h i r t s , Har ley j e w e l l r y , Har l ey (anywhere) o t i c k e r s , and Har ley f l a g s i n order to more f u l l y p a r t i c i p a t e i n a man-machine myth o f i n d e s t r u c t i b i l i t y / m e c h a n i c a l e x c e l l e n c e / "Performance"/ whatever. This b a s i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the Mechanica l B r i d e i s done not so much fo r the show as f o r the pure l o v e o f i t . Iu i s an act o f devo t ion to a d e v i c e . "You can get r e a l f a r i n t o i t . " Not everyone i s content to qu i t t h e r e . O p t i o n a l / a d d i -t i o n a l d e l i g h t s await he who choses to ma in ta in h i s own m i l i e u . Th i s can be as s imple as twice-month ly wash and wax or as e l abora te as a win te r motor r e b u i l d . We have a l ready mentioned "the r i t e s o f s p r i n g " i n which most . c y c l i s t s p a r t i c i p a t e . The o p e r a t i n g m a s c u l i n e / c u l t u r a l f a c t o r here i s the joy o f working w i th t o o l s and one ' s own hands. Scores o f sub jec t s s t a t ed that they " loved to t i nke r /mess a r o u n d / f i x / t u n e / f i d d l e wi th" ' t h e i r b i k e s . Sooner or l a t e r they succumb to the urge to "work on i t a l i t t l e " . Prom then on " i t ' s a l o t l i k e e a t i n g peanuts" . The motorcyc le would seem a l o g i c a l p rog re s s ion f o r the "mechanica l ly i n c l i n e d " boy who d ismant led b i c y c l e s and lawnmowers i n h i s e a r l i e r d a y s . ' A l s o , " I t a i n ' t as corapl i -0 70 cated as a car." The cycle i s p e c u l i a r l y suited to men who love machines; i t i s a nearly i d e a l Mechanical Bride. But why quit there? A small f r a c t i o n of the subjects went the whole way. Por "show" or "go" uhey "modify/custom-ize/hop up" a stock motorcycle milieu with purchased or fabricated a r t i f a c t s , everything from f u e l i n j e c t o r s to f i r e s u i t s . The r e s u l t s are the epitome of t h i s theme, products of pure devotion. In the post-Nader era when the automobile industry i s gearing for safety standards and economic reces-sion, motorcycle sales go on booming, notably in the more "exotic" reaches. Motorcycling has become the haven for those who would formerly have been "hot rod enthusiasts". Motorcycle shows and racing meets preserve a l l the flavour of a l a t e f i f t i e s custom car craze, with acres of chrome, blondes, b i k i n i s , coloured spotlights and angel h a i r . This, then, i s the essence of the affect component of the behavioural meaning theme we have dubbed the Mechanical Bride. "The whole thing i s , you gotta spend a l o t t a time on your bike." The investment of time, money and e f f o r t by men in widely varied areas of motorcycling, s o l e l y because they delight in doing i t ; t h i s i s the key to these sorts of mean-ings. In doing so, they plug into a range of c u l t u r a l a r t i — facts/enculturated experiences that are t y p i c a l l y masculine and necessarily raachine-oriented. There are only three 71 minor po in t s l e f t to e x p l i c a t e : what about r i d i n g the t h i n g s , what about the women, and what about the ob jec t component? The reader may have surmized c o r r e c t l y tha t Mechan ica l B r ide behaviours seem to have a l o t ot do wi th "shop" or "down t ime" a c t i v i t i e s and not too much to do wi th what the dev ice i s even tua l l y intended to do. How impor tan t , i n the context o f t n i s b e h a v i o u r a l theme, are r i d i n g smoothly from po in t A to poin t B on a w e l l tuned s t o c k e r , t a k i n g best i n show w i t h n ine hundred pounds o f chrome and meta l f l a k e p a i n t , or having the lowest E . T.? They c e r t a i n l y are not c r i t i c a l l y impor tant , at l e a s t not i n the sense tha t i f i t s t i l l w i l l not run or does not w i n , the c y c l i s t w i l l not l ove i t anymore. The onus i s on the p r e p a r a t i o n , on i n v e s t -i n g the t ime , resources and l a b o u r . I f one ' s e f f o r t s come to naught i t may be . f r u s t r a t i n g (some sub jec t s had some ve ry unkind words fo r t h e i r b e a s t s ) , but i t does not s p o i l the fun o f t r y i n g , and i t apparent ly does not put a person o f f motorcyc les comple te ly . Two s igns i n a pa r t s l i t t e r e d g a r -age bear t h i s ou t . "Old b i k e r s . . . ( l i k e o l d g o l f e r s ) . . . n e v e r d i e . " "You can swear at 'em, but you can ' t swear o f f ' em." When one ' s e f f o r t s come to f r u s t r a t i o n , the exper ience i s more o f a " K i c k " , r a the r than something which i s n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e d i n the "Mechanica l B r i d e " . What about the women? W e l l , t h i s may come as more bad 72-news f o r Women's L i b . , but o f those very few female respon-dents who manifested elements o f t h i s theme, on ly one regarded i t as a n a t u r a l t h i n g to be doing ( tha t i s , she d i d not f i n d i t i n a p p r o p r i a t e f o r her to l ove messing around wi th machinery) . The r e s t q u a l i f i e d t h e i r behaviour i n much the f o l l o w i n g manner. " I 'm do ing i t to prove to my husband/ my b o y f r i e n d / m y s e l f tha t a woman can do these t h i n g s . " •Nuff s a i d . F i n a l l y we come to the objec t component o f t h i s theme. I t i s important to examine how elements of sub jec t responses c h a r a c t e r i z e d the m i l i e u a r t i f a c t s i n t h i s " l o v e " r e l a t i o n -s h i p . F i r s t and foremost , we must s t r e s s tha t the motorcyc le and i t s attendant ob jec t s remain as o b j e c t s , even i n the aforementioned cases o f " i d e n t i f i c a t i o n " . There i s no n o t i o n o f a personal/human r e l a t i o n s h i p between a man and the manu-f a c t u r e d . More i m p o r t a n t l y , our theme i s v o i d o f any s e x u a l c o n n o t a t i o n s . A man's devo t ion to h i s mo to rcyc le , as we have encountered i t , i s not to be understood i n any q u a s i - F r e u d i a n sense^ o f penis ex tens ion or subl imated sexua l g r a t i f i c a t i o n . Though, as we s h a l l see i n S e c t i o n Three, i t has important i m p l i c a t i o n s fo r subjec t behaviour , most c y c l i s t s are not qu i t e tha t "hung up" . In po in t o f f a c t , we encountered on ly one such "problem case" i n the course o f t h i s s tudy, a r a the r sad sou l named 73 B r i a n who spends h i s days and n i g h t s i n p u b l i c a s t r i d e an immaculate white H a r l e y , as an e labora te cover f o r h i s b l ack l e a t h e r f e t i s h . Also by" the by , cou ld someone e x p l a i n why the B.M.W. bu lks so l a r g e i n homosexual l i t e r a t u r e ? Having renounced any sexua l involvement , we are l e f t w i th the s t e r i l e Mechanica l B r i d e . " M i s t r e s s " i s too sexua l a term, and too loaded w i t h i m p l i c a t i o n s o f g u i l t . B r i d e i t i s , perhaps best understood i n the sense o f "b r ide p r i c e " . Por the investment o f a c e r t a i n sum, i n d o l l a r s , days and d i l i g e n c e , a man can openly a t t a i n immense s a t i s f a c t i o n . CHAPTER FIVE KICKS 74 Of a l l p o s s i b l e themat ized/unthemat ized responses to the ques t i on , "What do you get out o f i t ? " , t h i s was by f a r and away the most r e c u r r e n t . We have brought toge ther i n t h i s theme elements o f l i t e r a l l y hundreds and hundreds o f r e p l i e s * The t i t l e i t s e l f i s a we l l -worn respondent term f o r the b e h a v i o u r a l meanings we w i l l be examining; i t cropped up i n c e r t a i n l y the g rea te r p o r t i o n o f appropr ia te answers. We w i l l present some i n i t i a l d i s c u s s i o n o f the gene ra l conno-t a t i o n s o f the theme as w e l l as the l i m i t s w i t h i n which i t a p p l i e s , then move on to an e x p o s i t i o n o f i t s e lementa l f e a t u r e s . The f i r s t t h i n g to note i s tha t " k i c k s " are not to be confused w i t h "good-c lean- fun" . Pun denotes the s p o r t i v e f r o l i c , gay amusing enter ta inment , the p leasures o f m e r r i -ment. Th i s i s d e f i n i t i v e l y not what our sub jec t s were i m p l y -i n g . Pun i s f a r too p r i s t e e n , and d u l l by comparison. Th i s i s not to say that respondents d i d not use the word " fun" i n d e s c r i b i n g t h e i r exper iences ; what we are a s s e r t i n g i s t ha t they d i d not use i t to any o f the l i g h t and l i l y - w h i t e e f f e c t s o u t l i n e d above. They were e x t o l l i n g the p leasures o f something much more powerful than P e p s i . The best s c h o l a s t i c / b e h a v i o u r a l homology f o r the term i s a " s ta te of exc i tement" , v a r i a t i o n s on t h i s being a c l o s e runner up to " k i c k s " i n the f i e l d a l s o . " I get a k i c k out o f i t . . . i t ' s an e x c i t i n g e x p e r i e n c e . . . a g a s . . . c h e a p t h r i l l s . " 75 I t i s exci tement , g e n e r a l l y i n the pass ive senses; sub jec t s were not roused to g rea te r endeavours by m o t o r c y c l i n g , ex-cept i n abstruse senses tha t are not r e l evan t he re . A k i c k i s f i r s t o f a l l an exper ience , one tha t arouses s t rong f e e l -i n g s , g rea t energy i n the respondent . Anyth ing tha t i s a k i c k w i l l induce a s t a t e o f a g i t a t i o n . "Man, I get to shakin* a l l o v e r . " Such t h i n g s / a c t i o n s are m e n t a l l y / p h y s i -c a l l y i n t o x i c a t i n g f o r the s u b j e c t s . They are t i t i l l a t i n g (but not i n the sense o f be ing coequal w i th a c t i v e s e x u a l i t y ) . "Sometimes i t can be l i k e coming ." The behaviours i n ques t ion were v a r i o u s l y de sc r ibed as " e l e c t r i f y i n g . . . r a c y . . . d r a m a t i c . . . h i g h . . . s e n s a t i o n a l . . . s o u l s t i r r i n g . . . s p i n e t i n g l i n g . . . b r e a t h t a k i n g . . . h a i r r a i s i n g . . . r i p r o a r i n g . . . a scream". The net e f f e c t seems to be anyth ing to do v i t h m o t o r c y c l i n g tha t g a l v a n i z e s a respondent out o f h i s boredom/present s t a t e to a r e l a t i v e l y h igher l e v e l o f e x c i t a t i o n . There do not appear to be d i f f e r e n t types o f k i c k s i n the sense tha t the re are a number o f q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i s t i n -gu i shab l e t r a n s i e n t s t a t e s which are r e g u l a r l y a t t a i n e d at d i f f e r e n t t imes and/or by d i f f e r e n t s u b j e c t s . Each i n d i v i d -u a l had about the same r e l a t i v e l y "h igher" s t a t e i n mind i n d i s c u s s i n g these meanings o f m o t o r c y c l i n g . I t i s the abso lu te l e v e l o f the exper ience tha t v a r i e s most w i d e l y : 76 a g i v e n behaviour may be more or l e s s s u c c e s s f u l i n p roduc ing the d e s i r e d e f f e c t ; some i n d i v i d u a l s seem to get more o f a k i c k out o f i t than o the r s ; d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s have under-gone d i f f e r e n t ranges o f exper i ences . For the purposes o f t h i s argument, we- can adopt one commonplace c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f such v a r i a n c e and s t a t e tha t the behaviours and t h e i r a s soc i a t ed meanings go from " m i l d " 1 to " w i l d " . Th i s would cover the range of run o f the m i l l events from "a Sunday s p i n " to "heavy jammin 1 " , r e l e g a t i n g a few e x t r a o r d i n a r y k i c k s , such as raup jumping, to somewhere o f f the "h igh and w i l d " end. How i s t h i s theme d i s t r i b u t e d across the popu la t ion? Once aga in , most everywhere, e x c l u d i n g o n l y the policemen and the r i d e r s o f the sma l l e s t machines (oh , poor maligned Honda 901 ) , though, s i n c e t h i s was the most popular o f the themes, there were some except ions i n both o f the above cases . Concerning the s m a l l e r machines, we should a l so note the cur ren t p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f " m i n i - b i k e s " , machines o f low s t a t u r e and m i n i s c u l e d i s p l a c e m e n t . o They are apparent ly emerging as a new K i c k i n m o t o r c y c l i n g , as w e l l as be ing the stamping grounds o f the very young. We have d i g r e s s e d . Almost anyone was l i k e l y to p r o f f e r some elements o f t h i s theme i n the course o f r e p l y i n g to our ques t ion ; o f a l l the themes t h i s one i s the l e a s t l i k e l y to be r e l a t e d to any 77 p o s s i b l e "typology of m o t o r c y c l i s t s " , unless some "external"' measures v/ere considered too. To narrow i t down a b i t though, we can note that p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l s may have t h e i r own f a v o u r i t e times/spaces: f o r i n d u l g i n g i n k i c k s . We cannot attempt an exhaustive a n a l y s i s of the t e m p e r a l / s p a c i a l r e l a t i o n s i n v o l v e d here, since we d i d not substruct the responses of subjects according to t h i s scheme. N e i t h e r can we be c e r t a i n of where such i n d i v i d u a l s would s i t i n r e l a t i o n to the e n t i r e p o p u l a t i o n , IT seems f a i r l y obvious that such d i s t i n c t i o n s as day or n i g h t , s t r e e t or highway, road or cross country or t r a c k would be r e l e v a n t tirae/space s i t u a -t i o n a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s f o r an a c t i v i t y such as m o t o r c y c l i n g , we would agree that t h i s i s so, at l e a s t f o r c e r t a i n i n d i v i d -uals/groups; i n what manner i t i s g e n e r a l l y f u n c t i o n i n g i s not yet known. In the context of t h i s theme, we would assert that some respondents d i d a l i g n themselves with p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s where time/space f a c t o r s were o v e r t l y o p e r a t i n g ( r a c i n g , to name but one), the object being to get the maxi-mum " k i c k " , out of i t . We have digressed even f u r t h e r . Returning to the how and the wherefore of motorcycle-focused e x c i t a t i o n , we note that whereas the "Mechanical B r i d e " was concerned with the more s t a t i o n a r y m a n i f e s t a t i o n s -of motorcyclists*, behaviour, " K i c k s " i n v a r i a b l y i n v o l v e s some movement on the part of our p o p u l a t i o n . The exception here i s the subject who gets a k i c k out of t a k i n g the best i n show 78 t rophy f o r h i s customized c r e a t i o n . He has not moved an i n c h . However, we would argue that t h i s has ve ry l i t t l e d i r e c t l y -to do w i t h m o t o r c y c l i n g , and a great dea l to do w i t h a more gene ra l form of o rgan ized c o m p e t i t i o n . Winning a race i s much more r e l e v a n t to the theme we are c o n s i d e r i n g . At i t s s imples t l e v e l , i n the sense tha t i t . g i v e s one a " m i l d k i c k " , r i d i n g around on the motorcyc le g i v e s one a sense o f something to do. I f no th ing e l s e , sub jec t s s a i d i t " r e l i e v e s boredom". The same might be s a i d f o r g e t t i n g a k i c k out o f " x i n k e r i n g around wi th my motor", but we have i n c l u d e d these under the preceding theme s i n c e a s t a t e o f tremendous a g i t a t i o n ha rd ly seems to be the end i n v i e w . Here in l i e s the t h e r a p e u t i c e f fec t o f " ju s t go ing f o r a s p i n " . Subjec ts c i t e d the rhythm o f the b a s i c r i d i n g a c t i v i t i e s as w e l l as the "change o f scenery" as the o p e r a t i n g f a c t o r s at t h i s l e v e l . R i d i n g a motorcycle r e q u i r e s both hands and both f e e t , as w e l l as v a r i a t i o n s i n pos ture ; the world i s con t i nuous ly u n -f o l d e d i n an u n i n t e r r u p t e d , near s p h e r i c a l panorama. I t i s much more o f "something to do" than go ing f o r a walk or r i d i n g i n a c a r . A s l i g h t l y s t ronger k i c k i s the sense o f accomplishment i n v o l v e d i n c o n t r o l l i n g a s m a l l , mobile b i t o f one ' s e n v i r o n -ment. Th i s i s the in tense s a t i s f a c t i o n o f mas ter ing the s k i l l s o f r i d i n g to the degree that one f e e l s " i n command". Here a l so 7 9 i s the end r e s u l t o f . t h e Mechanica l S r i d e a c t i v i t i e s , "the p roof o f the pudding" , as i t were. Af t e r much e f f o r t , " I d i d i t ! The damned t h i n g works!" More than one i n d i v i d u a l men-t i o n e d tha.t t h i s was the so r t o f k i c k tha t he d i d not o b t a i n i n h i s workaday l i f e . M o t o r c y c l i n g i s f o r many a form o f r e -c r e a t i v e r e c r e a t i o n , f o r i t p rov ides more than "something to do"; i t g i v e s a sense o f " g e t t i n g something done- . " I can always count on my b i k e . I k i c k i t over , and i t e i t h e r s t a r t s o r i t d o e s n ' t . I b u i l t i t . I take care o f i t . i l t h e r way, i t 1 s my d o i n g . " Moving out o f the m i l d i n t o tha t which i s w i l d we en-counter what i s o f t en l a b e l l e d "the motorcyc le exper ience" i n a d v e r t i s i n g copy and respondent r a v i n g s a l i k e . Th i s i s one o f the " t e a l h ighs" exper ienced by a g rea t number o f s u b j e c t s . At t h i s l e v e l , p r o p e r t y , s p e c i f i c a l l y the motorcyc le m i l i e u , i s r e c o g n i z e d / o v e r t l y u t i l i z e d as an instrument o f s e l f t i t i l l a t i o n . We r e t u r n a lso to some more s p e c i f i c c o n s i d e r a -t i o n of the f a c t o r s o f t ime and space. A c t u a l l y , i f one were to read on ly the a d v e r t i s i n g copy, one would conclude tha t the "motorcycle exper ience" c o n s i s t e d i n eas ing the mind; i f you own a motorcyc le you can "get away from i t a l l " at a moments n o t i c e , jsxamples of t h i s s o r t o f p u b l i c i t y i n c l u d e Honda's -two-wheeled freedom- and Yamaha's "sometimes freedom i s j u s t knowing i t ' s there"';'!' here again we have an i n d u s t r y gea r ing i t s e l f to a p reva len t b e h a v i o u r a l 80 theme. However, w i t h P u r i t a n and work e t h i c hangovers they cannot go so f a r as to mention such a powerful p o t e n t i a l l y u n c o n t r o l l a b l e exper ience as " K i c k s " ; they have to employ i t i n terms o f " g e t t i n g out from under i t a l l " * Not s u r p r i z i n g l y , then , the p a r t i c i p a n t s * v e r s i o n s o f the motorcyc le exper ience present qu i te another set o f behav-i o r s . Responses c o n t a i n i n g such quasi "fun" elements as the above were r e l a t i v e l y few i n number. The r e a l excitement does not c o n s i s t i n the pseudo freedom o f t e m p o r a r i l y g e t t i n g out from under; thatwould n e c e s s i t a t e a c t i v e l y f o o l i n g one-s e l f , or at the ve ry l e a s t an a i r t i g h t compartment a l i z at i o n o f a c t i v i t i e s . The exper ience as i t e x i s t s i s an i n t e g r a l one, i t manifes ts no such elements o f s e l f decep t ion or c i r -c u m s c r i p t i o n . Instead o f "eas ing the mind" , the c y c l i s t t r i e s to " c l e a r h i s head". I t i s another case o f r e - c r e a t i o n , "a t u r n o n " . "You put eve ry th ing down, and you go out j'ammin' f o r a w h i l e . Helps you t h i n k s t r a i g h t . " To d i s t i n g u i s h t h i s l e v e l o f k i c k from the m i l d e r v e r -s i o n s , the r i d e r becomes a c t i v e l y preoccupied not s imply wi th the h a n d l i n g o f s t i m u l i ; tha t would be " ju s t something to do" . N e i t h e r i s he preoccupied w i t h n o v e l ways o f hand l ing tha t i s the k i c k tha t comes wi th the sense o f accomplishment and the development o f r i d i n g s k i l l s . Ins tead , he i s p r e -occupied w i t h the hand l ing o f n o v e l s t i m u l i . To e x p l i c a t e : 8 1 i t goes without say ing tha t the r i d e r i s preoccupied w i t h what he i s d o i n g . A l l l e v e l s of k i c k s e n t a i l t h i s e x c i t a t i o n to h igher energy l e v e l s . A l s o , r i d i n g (end j u s t about any-t h i n g e l s e ) can be conceived o f as a process of h a n d l i n g s t i m u l i . "You g o t t a pay a t t e n t i o n man, o therwise you fuck up, H a l " But what, prey t e l l , do we mean by new s t i m u l i ? For the answer, v/e s h a l l have to d i g r e s s from our d a t a i n t o an abs t rac t d i s c u s s i o n of a c t i v i t i e s i n g e n e r a l . S u b -j e c t s d i d not f e e l up to any such t h e o r e t i c a l s e l f m u t i l a t i o n "Jeeezuz, man! Is tha t a l l you wanna do? T a l k , t a l k ! " ; so , we have had to do i t on our lonesome. Consider the set " a l l a c t i v i t i e s " , d e f i n i n g an a c t i v i t y as any b l o c k which a subject can., c o n s i s t e n t l y subs t ruc t from the t o t a l i t y o f h i s exper i ence . "The motorcyc le exper ience" i s one such a c t i v i t y . Now, o b v i o u s l y , there i s no clear,, d i v i s i o n between " s t a t i c " and "moving"' a c t i v i t i e s , but f o r the purposes o f the a n a l y s i s we may say that most a c t i v i t i e s are more or l e s s s t a t i c and i n v o l v e compara t ive ly l i t t l e i n the way o f p h y s i c a l dynamics. They are , f o r example, spoken of as o c c u r r i n g i n a c e r t a i n ( s i n g l e ) p l a c e . However, some o c c a s i o n s : do have a r e q u i s i t e v e l o c i t y , beg inn ing somewhere around " t a k i n g a wa lk" , and extending up to (and t h e o r e t i c a l l y pas t ) "the f a s t e s t man a l i v e " . Going f o r a r i d e to look at the scenery i s a moderately slow o c c a s i o n , . f o r example. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , enough, a l o t o f c u l t u r a l l y r e - c r e a t i v e a c t i v -8 2 i t i e s seem to involve moving from place to place. Kore s p e c i f i c a l l y , r i d i n g around on a motorcycle o b l i -gates/enables one to handle a r e l a t i v e l y novel form of stim-u l i , v a r i a b le s p a t i a l inputs. T h e environment no longer re-mains f i r m l y in place while time marches on. Time and space move by together, in a dir e c t S =V/T r e l a t i o n s h i p that can •. be regulated at w i l l . The motorcycle experience i s an a c t i v -i t y that respondents could turn on, moderate, and turn o f f as required in order to clear the head with e n t i r e l y d i f f e r -ent perceptual/behavioural orderings. Of course, the greater the v e l o c i t y one can manage, the bigger the kick, but more of that anon. " S i t back and watch the road, groove on the trees going by." "Get out and r i d e around f o r a while." "It's, r e a l mellow." "Riding i t to work sets me up for the day.. Un my way home 1 can forget. : : i h i s much i s available to any-one who can r i d e , and therein probably l i e s the reason that i_icks i s the most widespread' of our themes. ±:or the great mass, motorcycling means a wild thing to do. 'Everybody loves to get out and roar around once in a while." However, i t does not stop there. The l a s t great t h r i l l begins in the realm of higher and higher speed. Riding at a breakneck pace i s "a f a n t a s t i c charge". Like Machismo, the theme becomes romantic in i t s upper reaches, and the two blend into a single reply. This i s where one may f i n d "the daredevils", "the speed demons", professional and amateur 83 racers, and many an aspiring "weekend warrior" and "sidewalk commando". Evel Kneivel i s the best known l i v i n g archetype, the product of motorcycle related industries p u b l i c a l l y attaching themselves to the most exotic manifestations of a prevalent behavioural theme.. At t h i s l e v e l the general object i s to v i o l a t e any or a l l rules of the road/common sense/self preservation, and, in so doing, obtain "the ultimate kick". CHAPTER S I X MACHISMO 84 At l a s t we have come to i t , the theme everybody ' s been w a i t i n g f o r , "Machismo". By t h i s term we in t end more than s imply m a s c u l i n i t y , fo r the theme i n c l u d e s elements tha t would s u l l y Superman. The essence o f machismo, o r macho, i s malevolent manl iness , m a s c u l i n i t y wi th a mean, nasty t w i s t . The c y c l i s t who exper iences medio f e e l s more o f a Satan than a superhero. Machismo i s v i r i l i t y s t a i ned w i t h v i r u l e n c e , the t w i n embodiment of manhood and e v i l . Next to " K i c k s " , t h i s i s the most pe rvas ive o f c y c l i n g behaviour themes. I t s elements are the n igh t beasts o f the c i t i z e n ' s worst dreams: the sex, the sadism, the savagery, the s a t a n i c f a n t a s t i c f i e n d s ; and, we contend, i t l u r k s i n the b l a c k hear t o f many a m o t o r c y c l i s t . The theme was v o i c e d by a l l manner o f s u b j e c t s , f u r t i v e l y , l e e r i n g l y , b o a s t f u l l y , b e l l i g e r e n t l y . I t i s much o f what a grea t many get out o f m o t o r c y c l i n g . "Machismo" i s a lso one o f the few b e h a v i o u r a l themes tha t c l e a r l y p a r t i t i o n s the p o p u l a t i o n , but i n a r a the r unique way. Though there were many who evidence elements o f i t , there are c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s , i d e n t i f i a b l e as a c l a s s on t h i s and other grounds we s h a l l cons ide r , who v/ere best able to express the a s soc ia t ed meanings complex, who were the b e s t ( i a l ) embodiment o f t h i s theme. They have even provided us wi th the name, machismo, u s i n g i t w i th much the 85 same connota t ions as ve do. They are , o f course , the B i k e r s , and they c o n s t i t u t e , f o r our purposes, a wa lk ing t a l k i n g i d e a l t y p e . There i s no need to improve, r e f i n e , or modify t h e i r behav iou r s . They are the per fec t man i f e s t a t i ons o f t h i s theme, the s t u f f tha t nightmares and motorcycle movies are made o f . Iu i s not a s imple matter to i d e n t i f y a " t rue B i k e r " . Thanks l a r g e l y to American I n t e r n a t i o n a l , pe rpe t r a to r s o f an endless cha in of c y c l e f l i c k s , the popular c u l t u r e con ta ins a set o f s igns and symbols tha t the average c i t i z e n can/does use to "spot the bas t a rds" . T h i s set i n c l u d e s such s u r e -f i r e emblems as c l o t h e s , c rud , and cop h a s s l e s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , c l o t h e s do not n e c e s s a r i l y make the macho man, l a r g e l y because the B i k e r s have t h e i r i m i t a t o r s . S a t a n ' s Choice t e l l the s t o r y o f what happened to "a r e a l s t r a i g h t dude" they caught wearing an i m i t a t i o n o f the Vancouver Chap te r ' s c o l o u r s . "Har! They c a l l him the Moron now!" I t was a l so a l l e g e d , but d i f f i c u l t to v e r i f y , tha t some c y c l i s t s purchase or prepare a f u l l set o f "gang" i n s i g n i a f o r which there i s no such o r g a n i z a t i o n . In a r e l a t e d v e i n , we d i d encounter one f e l l o w i n the near pe r fec t d i s g u i s e o f a Van-couver motor pat rolman, complete w i th b lue s h i r t , whi te helmet , a v i a t o r s , l e a t h e r g a u n t l e t s , b e l t s and jump boots , s t r i p e d b r i t c h e s , and a f u l l dress red Duo-Gi ide w i t h bubble 86 gum b u l b . M i s s i n g were V.P.D. i n s i g n i a , s i r e n , p o l i c e r a d i o , and gun; on ly the i n c r i m i n a t i n g items tha t would c o n s t i t u t e " impersonat ing an o f f i c e r " . He s a i d he "got a charge oux o f s c a r i n g people s h i t l e s s " . At any r a t e , the reader can see tha t i t i s d i f f i c u l t to t e l l what you are l o o k i n g a t . Concerning c r u d , i t i s another " w e l l known f a c t " t ha t B i k e r s are "greasers" , u s i n g i t i n t h e i r h a i r , and h a r d l y ever washing i t o f f t h e i r s k i n / c l o t h e s . A l s o , those r u f f i a n s are always i n t r o u b l e wi th the p o l i c e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , n e i -the r o f these s igns are adequate e i t h e r . Cha ins , cases , and t i r e s throw a l o t o f d i r t and o i l , so we met a l o t o f people who were awfu l ly cruddy but who turned out not to be macho; more o f t e n , . they were sub jec t s who were deeply i n t o the Mechanica l B r i d e . A l s o , i t t u rns ou t , a f t e r t a l k i n g to a l o t o f c y c l i s t s and go ing through i t coun t l e s s t imes o u r s e l v e s i n the course o f the f i e l d work, tha t owning a l a r g e motor-c y c l e , p a r t i c u l a r l y a "chopper" makes the p o l i c e shakedown an every day /n igh t haza rd . The p o l i c e have j u s t as much t r o u b l e i d e n t i f y i n g a r e a l B i k e r f o r t h e i r own purposes -a t -hand. We are forced to the c o n c l u s i o n tha t there i s no s i n g l e v i s i b l e c r i t e r i a or m i l i e u a r t i f a c t tha t i d e n t i f i e s the macho B i k e r . N e i t h e r i s the d i s p l a y o f machismo s u f f i c i e n t s i g n , s i n c e , we contend, t h i s behav iou ra l theme i s very widespread. 87 I T : i s no longer a ques t ion o f a s a t i s f a c t o r y resea rch t e s t , i t i s a matter o f the s u b j e c t s ' l i f e s t y l e : i n the words o f a member o f the ve ry Angels , "Man, we d o n ' t h a f t a check 'em ou t , we j u s t recognize 'em." The B i k e r i s an i d e n t i f i a b l e s t r a i n , at l e a s t as f a r as o ther B i k e r s are concerned. I t i s h i s e n t i r e l i f e s t y l e tha t i s s e l f - e v i d e n t , and the key to tha t l i f e s t y l e seems to be a v e r s i o n o f the f o l l o w i n g : "The most important t h i n g i n the whole wor ld to me i s my b i k e . You can-do anything you want, but don ' t touch my b i k e . " That i s what i t means to be a hard core B i k e r , and t ha t i s the way o f i d e n t i f y i n g one. H i s i s a "motorcyc le" l i f e s t y l e . M i l i e u a s soc ia t ed behaviours are the major i n g r e d i e n t s and prime determinant o f h i s day to day e x i s t e n c e . I t i s not s u f f i c i e n t f o r our purposes tha t someone presents h i m s e l f as a B i k e r and/or tha t o ther B i k e r s (so def ined) concur . There are " B i k e r gangs" whom other c y c l i s t s acknowledge are mere " c h i c k e n s h i t s " . The B i k e r must c o n t i n u a l l y demonstrate to o t h e r s , as w e l l as to h i m s e l f , tha t there i s no th ing as v i t a l as h i s mo to rcyc l e . The t a l e s o f such s e l f - e v i d e n c i n g f e a t s are l e g i o n ; two examples w i l l prove i n t e r e s t i n g . "Charger ( a l i a s Charger C h a r l i e the C h i l d Moles t e r ) busted h i s l e g once. Dumped i t and smashed h i m s e l f a l l up . H i s scoot was s t i l l running so he rode back to the coach house, b lood so a k i n ' through h i s l e g an' eve ry-t h i n g . He made sure i t was locked away r e a l good before he l e t 'em take him to the h o s p i t a l . A broken l e g won't s t a r t to hur t f o r a coup la hours anyway." 88 "We were down i n Chinatown. Th i s hack d r i v e r t e l l s Gus to move h i s chopper o u t t a the t a x i s t and , and Gus don ' t l e t on he hears him y e l l i n ' . Then the asshole g i v e s the b i k e a h i t w i th the fender , pow, l i k e t h a t , see . Show him he means i t . Gus bombs ove r . Punches him i n the mouth, Powi He-oils him r i g h t out the window and we stomped the f u g g i n ' asshole r i g h t there i n the s t r e e t . " An i n d i v i d u a l , or a group o f i n d i v i d u a l s who c a l l them' s e l v e s B i k e r s , but who f a i l to measure up i n terms o f t h e i r l i f e s t y l e , are "marshmallows". Aga in , two examples from many w i l l s u f f i c e . "George 's o l d l ady was b i t c h i n ' at him when he got out o f the slammer the second t ime . He ' s got k i d s and a house. So he s o l d h i s garbage wagon. Now he t e l l s everybody h e ' s b u i l d i n g a drag wagon i n the garage . " "You know those Gypsy Wheelers t h i n k t h e y ' r e so f u c k i n ' tough. But Animal and L a r r y they went over and k i c k e d the p r e s ' s b i k e over i n f ron t o f the C e c i l . Hoofed i t ove r , l e a k i n ' gas , b a t t e r y o u t . The C h i c k e n s h i t s d i d n ' t , do n o t h i n ' . Jus t s tood there l i k e a bunch o f f u c k i n 1 dames. Rea l marshmallows." Having p inpo in t ed the B i k e r s , we can beg in an examina--t i o n o f the thematic cons t ruc t "Machismo". The major elements tha t make i t up are the b e l l i g e r e n t B ' s : "my b i k e , my buddies , broads, and beer" . Wre s h a l l examine them i n a s l i g h t l y modif ied o rde r , beg inn ing w i t h the mascul ine base o f "Macho". V/hen the B i k e r speaks o f "my buddies", , he in tends not s imply h i s f r i e n d s , but at l e a s t the f e l l o w members o f h i s motorcyc le c lub /gang , who may or may not be h i s f r i e n d s , but who must be h i s buds. The important t h i n g i s the companion-s h i p o f o ther men, however a m i c a b l e / i n i m i c a l tha t may be at 89 any g i v e n t ime . The t y p i c a l c lub motto, sometimes o f f i c i a l l y i nc luded i n the s t a t u t e s o f the c lub c h a r t e r , w i l l be some v a r i a t i o n on " a l l f o r one, one f o r a l l " ; f o r example: "Angels f o r e v e r , f o reve r Ange l s " , "A Commanchero i s Always R i g h t " , " B r o t h e r s " . These are the men wi th whom the E i k e r sha re s / c r ea t e s h i s l i f e s t y l e , whom he is_ prepared to defend wi th h i s ovm l i f e (or so i t i s s a i d ; t h i s o f t en extends at l e a s t as f a r as g e t t i n g busted f o r the same o f f ence ) . I t goes w i t h o u t ' s ay ing tha t they are a l l men who r i d e mo to rcyc l e s . More p r o s a i c l y , a B i k e r spends h i s t ime d r i n k i n g , r i d i n g , shoo t ing p o o l , e a t i n g , s l e e p i n g (Yes V i r g i n i a , i t ' s a l l t r u e ) , p a r t y -i n g , " g e t t i n g up s c r a t c h " , , and " jus t bugger ing around" w i t h members o f h i s c l u b , or some other c lub wi th whom they are on f r i e n d l y terms, the l a t t e r c i rcumstance being compara t ive ly r a r e . ' He i s l o a t h to pass the hours i n the company o f " c i t i z e n s " , tha t i s , non-members who are non B i k e r s and u s u a l l y n o n - c y c l i s t s . Elements o f t r i b a l i s m and ing roup-ou t -group d i s t i n c t i o n s , aside,"*" the po in t we are making i s t ha t those whom the c y c l e gang member regards as f e l l o w human be ings are , v i r t u a l l y wi thout e x c e p t i o n , male. This i s not to h i n t at homosexual i ty , o r to p o s t u l a t e a f r a t e r n i t y o f p h a l l i c ex t ens ions . Our respondents l i k e "Droads", but on about the same l e v e l as they l i k e bee r . I t 90 i s the company o f men, Robin Hood i n t e n t on ..gang rape , tha t i s important to the B i k e r . Such elements o f meaning form the mascul ine base fo r Machismo. Of malevolence we s h a l l have more to say i n a moment. In any event , among the com-pany o f men, B i k e r s c o n t i n u a l l y r e a f f i r m t h e i r manl iness , by engaging i n mascul ine a c t i v i t i e s , mascul ine t a l k , and by do ing the o r d i n a r y (and e x t r a o r d i n a r y ) everyday t h ings tha t B i k e r s / p e o p l e do i n the. c o n s c i o u s l y / c o n s p i c i o u s l y e x c l u s i v e company o f men. By t h i s means, our "Machismo" theme i s g i v e n a s t a r t l i n g preeminence i n the l i f e o f the B i k e r . The b a s i s f o r macho behaviour i s almost always p resen t . Hence, they are a near pe r fec t i d e a l t y p e . Some i d e a o f the meaningfulness o f t h i s a l l - i n c l u s i v e "boys ' c l u b " phenomenon may be gained from the i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies tha t form an important par t o f the motorcyc le gang o r g a n i z a t i o n . The archetype f o r these " r i t e s de passage" seems to be the w e l l known H e l l s Ange l s ' treatment o f " p r o s p e c t i v e s " . The proceedings are n e c e s s a r i l y , qu i t e severe , but each c lub i s f ree to dev i se i t s own depraved d e t a i l s , sometimes c l o a k i n g the r i t e s i n "myst ic s e c r e c y " . However, the pa t t e rn i s common enough to i l l u s t r a t e the p o i n t . A p r o s p e c t i v e w i l l r i d e wi th the c lub on o f f i c i a l and u n o f f i c i a l ou t ings f o r a p e r i o d o f two weeks, a f t e r which t ime h i s name i s brought up at the next gene ra l meet ing . I f 91 he i s voted i n ( t h a t i s , "recognized"; he has not undergone any s p e c i f i c " t e s t " d u r i n g t h i s time) the i n i t i a t i o n com-mences. During the meeting a p a i l o f u r i n e and f e c e s has been c o l l e c t e d . Tne p r o s p e c t i v e dons h i s new club c o l o u r s , and the bucket i s dumped over the whole works. ( A l t e r n a t e l y , o n l y the jacke t i s doused, then t r o d underfoot by a l l con-cerned b e f o r e the p r o s p e c t i v e can c l a i m i t ) . A f t e r the ceremony, the new member may scrub h i m s e l f , but not the j a c k e t . The c o l o u r s are worn t h a t way u n t i l they r o t . We come next to the w e l l s p r i n g o f much that i s m a l i g -nant i n the B i k e r machismo: beer. A c t u a l l y , beer i s but one of a whole u n i v e r s e o f substances, b r o a d l y c l a s s i f i e d as "booze and dope-, t h a t are v a r i o u s l y a s s i m i l a t e d u n t i l a s t a t e o f i n t o x i c a t i o n or i n c i p i e n t toxemia i s produced. Then and onl y then are gang members at t h e i r b e s t . Beer i s merely the most popular p o l l u t a n t , probably because i t i s t r a d i t i o n a l and one o f the cheapest o f the l o t . A l l such substances are designed as f a r as our arche-t y p a l B i k e r i s concerned, as "ways to get your head bad"; which i s to say they are a means/an excuse f o r b e i n g gener-a l l y h o r r i b l e to everyone who i s not "one o f the boys". By c h e m i s t r y / c u l t u r e they induce aggression, a t r o c i t y , debauch-ery, rancor, rowdyism, pachydermatous punchouts, and a l l 92 those other "groovy good t imes" f o r which B i k e r s are so r i g h t f u l l y famous. Without "something to fuck up o n " , machismo i s not h a l f the fun i t should be . Hence, " D . F . F . L . " badges (Dope Forever , Forever loaded) are popular among c y c l e gang members. P s y c h e d e l i c s are transformed i n the motorcyc le m i l i e u : "Don' t gimme none o f tha t 'peace and l o v e ' b u l l s h i t , man. I do i t to get l o a d e d . " Or , " I ' l l take any th ing . Jus t g i v e me some p i l l s . " I g o t t a get was ted ." I f one i s smashed out o f one ' s mind, one has the l i c e n s e / i n c l i n a t i o n to perform any and a l l motorcyc le s i t u -ated behaviours which we would des ignate as "Machismo". By g e t t i n g t h e i r heads bad i n the company o f o ther men, sub jec t s were able to e x h i b i t v i r u l e n t , v i r i l e behav iour . The best example o f t h i s i s the "punchout", which i s any memorable, v i o l e n t c o n f r o n t a t i o n between B i k e r s or between B i k e r s and c i t i z e n s i n which some or a l l o f the c y c l i s t s were p r e d i c t -ably not i n t h e i r r i g h t minds. I t ' s a F r i d a y n i g h t at the Anchor. Three w e l l - l u b r i -cated members o f The S laves are perched around a t a b l e , and one o f them, a b i t louder than the r e s t , i s attempt-i n g to get a r i s e out o f "the fuck ing l o n g h a i r s " who a l so frequent the e s t ab l i shment . When v e r b a l h a s s l i n g doesn ' t work he grabs a pass ing s o u l by the bucksk in f r i n g e , s p i n n i n g him onto t h e i r t a b l e and u p s e t t i n g the u n f i n i s h e d bee r s . The v i c t i m , v i s i b l y t e r r i f i e d , s t i l l t r i e s to s c r abb l e h i s way our o f the s i t u a t i o n wi thout l o s i n g h i s c o o l . H i s a t t acke r bera tes him f o r "wast ing good beer , you c reep!" Th i s i s s u f f i c i e n t s i g n a l / p r o v o c a t i o n f o r the two other S laves , end a l l th ree gang members set upon the unfor tuna te f r i n g e d f e l l o w , throwing him to the 93 ground and " p u t t i n g the boots" to him. The bouncer does no th ing ; adjacent patrons g i v e them p l en ty o f room. S a t i s f i e d tha t he has been "stomped", and' see ing tha t t h e y ' r e not going to get a r i s e out o f anyone e l s e , the three B i k e r s l e ave , a l b e i t a l i t t l e u n s t e a d i l y , f o r where t h e i r snoops are parked. I t ' s l o o k i n g l i k e a good F r i d a y n i g h t . F i n a l l y we get to the broads . In the area o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i th women, as everywhere e l s e , B i k e r s mani-f e s t elements o f malignant man l iness . A capsule assessment o f the s i t u a t i o n would be tha t our sub jec t s seemed determined to keep the " p i g " i n male chauv in i sm. One ve ry important t h i n g tha t they get out o f r i d i n g a motorcyc le i s a p r e s c r i b e d way o f r e l a t i n g to females . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, t h i s " a p p l i e s to females of. almost any pos t -pub ic age; " g r o s s i n g out g rann ies" i s cons idered a r e a l l augh , and " c h i c k l e t chompers" are f a i r game t o o . Our s a t a n i c c y c l i s t i s able to i n i t i a t e / m a i n t a i n / t e r m i n a t e a c o n v e r s a t i o n / l i a s o n / m a r r i a g e i n a s p e c i f i c manner s o l e l y by v i r t u e o f h i s be ing "one o f the b o o r i s h v u l t u r e s " , "a r e g u l a r b r u t e " . Macho extends f a r beyond be ing able to " p i c k up c h i c k s because you r i d e a b i k e " . Iz n e c e s s i t a t e s i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h women not as another human b e i n g , nor as "a man", but as a B i k e r : one who t r u l y va lue s only the company o f o ther men, and who regards women as ob jec t s o f p l ea su rab l e abuse. In the company o f women, the motorcyc le i s a symbol and guar -antee .of a s u b j e c t ' s v i r i l i t y and b r u t a l i t y . I o was a 94 common B i k e r a s s e r t i o n (and an e q u a l l y common female com-p l a i n t ) , tha.t they are "only i n t e r e s t e d i n one t h i n g " when i t comes to women, and tha t tha t one t h i n g " a i n ' t the k i n d the c i t i z e n g e t s " . Women are fo r s exua l and s o r d i d purposes o n l y . Such i s Machismo; a few examples are i n o r d e r . B l i n d Bob i s a member o f the Sa tan ' s Choice who enjoys s i t t i n g on h i s chrome g l o r y wagon u n t i l some g i r l he l i k e s "gets w i t h i n s t r i k i n ' range" . Then he reaches i n t o h i s s i l v e r studded l e a t h e r saddle bags and p u l l s out a l ong b l ack b u l l w h i p , nicknamed " R a t t l e r " . He toys w i th i t l o v i n g l y u n t i l he sees tha t the. young l ady i n ques t ion i s watch ing , then snaps ou t , s i x fee t or more, c a t c h i n g her about m i d - t i e - d y e - T - s h i r t . Laughing l i k e a l u n a t i c , he hau ls her i n , and i f she ha sn ' t h o l l e r e d cop by now, he hef t s her onto the p i l l i o n , s t i l l wrapped up i n " R a t t l e r " . P i r e s up the g l o r y wagon; and r o a r s o f f , c l e n c h i n g the whip handle i n h i s consumately obscene g r i n . Now the r e s t o f the boys stand around t e l l i n g a t r o c i t y s t o r i e s about what happens n e x t . They cons ider i t h i g h l y e n t e r t a i n i n g . "Pussy s c a r f i n g " i s a f a v o u r i t e macho s tunt o f Los Bravos , the i d e a be ing to "gross out the c h i c k y o u ' r e p u t t i n g the make o n . " Iggy, a l so known as P i g Pen, i s h u s t l i n g a f a i r l y s t r a i g h t l o o k i n g g i r l l a t e one J u l y n i g h t i n Memorial Pa rk . She ' s t a l k i n g to him, j u s t g e t t i n g over her nervousness, when Iggy slams her on both s h o u l d e r s . She goes over backwards, and Iggy grabs her behind the knees, h o i s t s her ups ide down and begins chewing on the c r o t c h o f her l e v i ' s . She ' s screaming; h e ' s swinging her around and g o i n g , "Mmmmmmmmmam good!" F i n a l l y , he puts her down wi th mock g e n t i l i t y . She ' s o f f i n t o h y s t e r i c s and the dark-ness . Af terwards , he says h i s on ly r eg re t was tha t she wasn ' t wearing a d r e s s . F i n a l l y , l e t us cons ide r the motorcycle and i t s a t t e n -dant m i l i e u , the s ine qua non, focus , and p r i n c i p a l p r e c c c u -95 p a t i o n o f the t rue B i k e r ' s e x i s t e n c e . I t i s one t h i n g to asser t tha t the b i k e i s the most s i g n i f i c a n t t h i n g i n one ' s l i f e ; many o f our hard core respondents mainta ined tha t t h i s was so , and we have advanced i t i n a p receding s e c t i o n as par t o f a r e l i a b l e i d e n t i f y i n g procedure . However, i t i s qu i t e another matter to s p e c i f y what meanings are a t tached t o / d e r i v e d from the m i l i e u under these c i r cums tances . We are i n t e r e s t e d here i n d e l i n e a t i n g those elements o f malevolent manl iness that the i d e a l / t y p i c a l B i k e r subject ge t s out o f h i s b i k e . F i r s t , there i s the matter o f the moto rcyc le -cen te red . l i f e s t y l e . Tne aay to day ex i s t ence o f the "b ike bum"' must be understood both i n terms o f what i t d i r e c t l y embodies, and i n the comparative context o f o ther sur rounding l i f e s t y l e s . We have a l ready touched on the immediate c u l t u r a l l y mascul ine content manifested by gang membership. It i s a l so a "manly'' t h i n g to be i n the presence o f a powerful machine, e i t h e r alone wi th i t or i n the company o f o ther men/machines. The B i k e r i s seldom f a r from h i s b i k e . S e v e r a l c la imed to keep them i n t h e i r l i v i n g rooms. A l t e r n a t e l y ; a l l or a p o r t i o n o f a c lub w i l l l i v e i n "the coach house", s l e e p i n g / e a t i n g together on a l a r g e o i l y f l o o r i n s i d e a jumble o f motorcyc les and m i l i e u a r t i f a c t s . These elements o f the l i f e s t y l e are c o n s c i o u s l y regarded as e s t a b l i s h i n g the s e l f evident manliness o f the B i k e r s ' e x i s t e n c e . 96 I t i s i n the comparative context tha t the i m p l i e d / i n t e n t i o n a l malevolence o f t h i s mascul ine c y c l e - c e n t e r e d ex i s t ence comes ou t . In comparison to what he might have been the S i k e r regards h i m s e l f / i s commonly regarded as u n -s o c i a b l e , s e l f i s h , u n s t a b l e , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t , f i l t h y , unsuc-c e s s f u l , degenerate, "a fuck up" . Such e l e m e n t s / a t t r i b u t e s be at the hear t o f the B i k e r - c i t i z e n dichotomy so. o f t en r e f e r r e d to by our sub jec t s i n order to e x p l a i n themselves to o u t s i d e r s and to each o t h e r . The m i l i e u based l i f e s t y l e i s regarded as un ique , the B i k e r s ' own and on ly the B i k e r s ' . P a r a l l e l s are acknowledged, f o r example, i n names such as "Gypsy Wheelers" , "Gypsy J o k e r s " , "Commancheroes", "Hobos"; but "Nobody can touch u s . We're the ones, the one pe rcen t -e r s . " The a t y p i c a l i t y i s c o n s c i o u s l y chosen, s e l e c t e d from the range o f o ther a v a i l a b l e l i f e s t y l e s , "I cou ld get a job tomorrow,, but I wouldn ' t be happy." At l e a s t i t i s conceived o f as be ing c o n s c i o u s l y chosen B i k e r s , f o r the most p a r t , wi thout any hard and f a s t measure appear to be tha t which would be des ignated as " lower" c l a s s coming from u n s k i l l e d backgrounds, possess ing l i t t l e i n " t h e way o f job market q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . Those who do work, when they do, f i n d employment i n u n l i c e n s e d garages , assembly l i n e s , c o n s t r u c t i o n l a b o u r , s e a s o n a l / o c c a s s i o n a l h e l p , ware-hous ing , e t c . Few can (or want to) p r a c t i c e even a " t rade" on any r e g u l a r or par t t ime b a s i s . However, t a i s i s but a 97 quick approximat ion , and i s qu i t e by - the -by , s i n c e the s u b j e c t s ' apprehensions o f the s i t u a t i o n do not i n c l u d e any such measures. Coming up on the c e n t r a l p o i n t , t h i s l i f e s t y l e i s more than an a l t e r n a t i v e to o ther " s t r a i g h t " forms o f e x i s t e n c e . I t i s an open assau l t on the c i t i z e n s ' way o f l i f e . The c i t i z e n i n c l u d e s "everybody e l s e , h i p p i e s , cops, s to rekeeper s , you name i t " . Counter c u l t u r e i s h a r d l y a term f o r t h i s group. The i r own moniker, "Outlaw", i s more to the p o i n t . The l i f e s t y l e i s manly and ma levo len t . Our appren t ices o f Satan regard c i t i z e n s as "a bunch of namby-pamby grease -b a l l s " , and wish them c o l l e c t i v e l y to the d e v i l . The B i k e r s ' day to day ex i s t ence i s one p r o t r a c t e d a f f ron t to "everybody e l s e " ; and wi thout everybody to o f fend , i t probably would not be the same. The d i r t , the n o i s e , the raunch iness , the i r r e -s p o n s i b i l i t y , and the tremendous l e v e l s o f h o s t i l i t y and v i o l e n c e axe by and l a r g e the c a l c u l a t e d a n t i t h e s i s o f every-t h i n g they n o t i c e around them. When not out i n p u b l i c a c t i v e l y " c a l l i n g c i t i z e n s down" by t h e i r behav iour , they are busy "running them down" i n p r i v a t e c o n v e r s a t i o n s . In t h i s l a t t e r behav iou ra l realm a s p e c i a l p lace i s rese rved f o r "the Man", the supremely s a l i e n t a u t h o r i t y symbol o f a l l l e s s e r s t r a i g h t forms o f e x i s t e n c e . Subjec ts can swap a near endless l i s t o f s t o r i e s o f "what t h e . . . ( B i k e r s / C o p s ) . . . d i d to 98 t h e . . . ( C o p s / B i k e r s ) . . . " . These elements o f machismo are not to be confused wi th the s imple theme " M a l i c e " to be d i s -cussed s h o r t l y . The tone and content o f "Macho" t a l e s are qu i t e d i f f e r e n t ; they are t o l d wi th grea t gus to , and i t i s the B i k e r s who always seem to g a i n the upper hand, i f on ly f o r the d u r a t i o n o f the s t o r y . The B i k e r s 1 l i f e s t y l e , then , i s c re s t ed and nur tu red i n the ongoing c o n f r o n t a t i o n wi th the r e s t o f the s o c i e t y as they encounter /conceive o f i t . Th i s cou ld be one exp l ana t i on f o r the f a c t the motor-c y c l e gangs are an e x c l u s i v e l y urban phenomenon, c i r c u l a t i n g p r i m a r i l y i n the core o f l a r g e r c i t i e s . A f a i r approximat ion o f t h i s s t a t e of a f f a i r s would be; the more c i t i z e n s there are to o f f end , the more macho the m o t o r c y c l i s t . Sma l l town "gangs" are p r e t t y s o r r y l o o k i n g by comparison; the East and West Coasts o f the U n i t e d S ta tes can boast the g rea te s t con -c e n t r a t i o n o f hard core " c y c l e savages", be ing the domains o f the p r i n c i p a l chapters o f the "Breed" and the " H e l l ' s Angels" r e s p e c t i v e l y . . Canada's most m a l e f i c group i s undoubtedly the Mont rea l chapter o f the "Sa tan ' s C h o i c e " . Other s o c i o -l o g i c a l exp lana t ions might be advanced f o r the cu r ious f a c t tha t on ly the b i g c i t i e s can boast o f "the t r u l y bad ass boys" , but we f e e l tha t t h i s one w i l l s u f f i c e f o r our needs s i n c e i t forms an i n t e g r a l par t o f our sub jec t s meanings/ consc iousness . Making the m i l i e u the most important t h i n g i n one ' s l i f e o b l i g a t e s one /g ives one the oppo r tun i t y to be 99 a mobi le c r i t i q u e o f a l l more e s t a b l i s h e d , l e s s mascul ine l i f e s t y l e s . So much f o r the c y c l e l i f e s t y l e i n g e n e r a l . The t o p i c i s a b i t abs t rac t and i n t a n g i b l e , even f o r those who l i v e i t . Elements o f Machismo surfaced f a r more commonly i n more pa r -t i c u l a r i s t i c d i s c u s s i o n s o f the motorcyc le m i l i e u . To i l l u s -t r a t e t h i s , we o f f e r some b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f the p e c u l i a r v e r s i o n o f the m i l i e u u t i l i z e d by the B i k e r s . "To j o i n a r e a l Chapter , you h a f t a ovm a Hog . " The B i k e r begins wi th a new/used/s to len Ha r l ey 74, l a r g e s t o f the p roduc t ion moto rcyc les , and proceeds to " s t r i p i t " , r e -moving such ameni t ies as seat s p r i n g s , shock absorbers , bumpers, s i d e ba r s , saddle bags, t u r n i n g s i g n a l s , head and t a i l l i g h t s , gas t anks , the f ron t fender , the f r o n t b rake , the f ron t wheel , and numerous other 'Unnecessary" i t ems . This i s known as " r i p p i n 1 a l l the u s e l e s s s h i t o f f a garbage wagon". Then, to the l i m i t o f one ' s resources/knowmow/skul-duggery, the s k e l e t o n c y c l e i s r e b u i l t . A "peanut tank" i s b o l t e d on/"bondoed" ($) onto the frame, g i v i n g one a maximum gas range o f e igh ty to one hundred m i l e s , something tha t sub jec t s of ten bemoaned but which the would not dream of changing . A mass ive ly extended f ron t end, p r e f e r a b l y a " s p r i n g e r " , but "a g l i d e and seven over s l u g s " w i l l do, i s welded on to g i v e the b i k e inc reased "rake and x r a i l " , and 100 i n c i d e n t l y making i t tremendously d i f f i c u l t to s t e e r . Th i s g i v e s the machine the c l a s s i c "chopper" s tance ' p r i z e d by B i k e r s and b i k e feaks a l i k e . I f there i s any money l e f t over by t h i s t ime , custom u p h o l s t e r y , custom p a i n t , and chromed, eve ry th ing are the order o f the day, w i t h the r e s u l t tha t B i k e r s are of ten busted under an obscure C a l i f o r n i a law tha t p r o h i b i t s any v e h i c l e m o d i f i c a t i o n s tha t cou ld " d a z z l e " an oncoming d r i v e r . F i n a l l y , the minimum number o f l i g h t s , m i r r o r s (an i r o n c ross shaped m i r r o r i s one c u r r e n t l y popular model) ».nd other sa fe ty dev ices are r e l u c t a n t l y at tached i n order to make the c r e a t i o n " s t r e e t l e g a l " . There you have i t . Now, on to the r e s t o f the m i l i e u . The "p ro spec t i ve" must acqui re boo ts : "w i th s t e e l caps , g rea t f o r s tompin ' heads". He must avoid wearing a helmet wherever p o s s i b l e : many c lubs have t h e i r own "amusing" s t o r y o f what happened to the l o n e , overzea lous patrolman who attempted to t i c k e t ten or more o f them f o r such a minor f r a c t i o n as t h i s on a very deser ted s t r e t c h o f r o a d . A f t e r undergoing i n i t i a t i o n , the ded ica ted B i k e r w i l l always wear the c o l o u r s i n the presence o f o ther c lub members/when r i d i n g h i s Hog. The " c l a s s i e s t " co lou r s are a denim jacke t wi th the s leeves c rude ly r i pped out and p r o f e s s i o n a l l y prepared c lub emblems and -top and bottom rocker s c a r e f u l l y sewn on the back. The b l ack l e a t h e r j a cke t i s not as macho as i t once was. With the expansion o f p r o f e s s i o n a l and amateur c y c l e 101 r a c i n g i t has come to denote a ( too) h igh regard f o r the sa fe ty o f one ' s ovm s k i n i n the event o f a s p i l l . However, l e a t h e r pants and o i l - s t a i n e d l e a t h e r g loves are s t i l l h i g h l y p r i z e d . That about covers the b a s i c m i l i e u ; anyth ing e l s e i s u s u a l l y o p t i o n a l , and the o v e r a l l e f f e c t w i l l va ry from chapter to chapter , c lub to c l u b . With t h i s p i c t u r e f i r m l y i n mind, we can begin to e x p l a i n what the motorcycle and a l l i t s assor ted pa raphena l i a means to our B i k e r s u b j e c t s . F i r s t , there i s the f a i r l y obvious matter o f ' t h e com-p a r a t i v e context o p e r a t i n g here , as i t d i d i n the case o f the l i f e s t y l e . Not on ly i s the B i k e r s ' behaviour more mas-c u l i n e and malevolent than the l i v e s o f those who surround him (at l e a s t i n the eyes o f the B i k e r ) , so i s h i s motor-c y c l e w i t h a l l i t s at tendant a r t i f a c t s . This i s to be ex-pected s i n c e the m i l i e u and the l i f e s t y l e are so i n e x t r i -cab le / in t e rwoven f o r t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c l a s s o f s u b j e c t s . It i s wor thwhi le (and e n t e r t a i n i n g ) xo examine elements o f the eanings w i t h which these ob j ec t s ere i n v e s t e d . In the end, the m i l i e u comes out f a i r l y d r i p p i n g wi th machismo. The terms a s soc ia t ed wi th the motorcyc le m i l i e u are v i r i l e and v i r u l e n t . The motorcyc le i s "a Hog", huge, o v e r -blown, a n i m a l i s t i c , s w i n i s h ; or i t i s a "chopper", w i t h connota t ions o f aggress iveness , v i o l e n c e ; or a " scoo t " , capa-b l e o f great speed. Subjec ts would g l e e f u l l y wrap t h e i r 102 tongues around the polyphonic s t r i d u l a t i o n s of the l e x i c o n of m o d i f i c a t i o n s to the Hog: "stroked, ported and blownV... "seven over slugs"..."chrome springer"..."jockey s t i c k " . . . " s u i c i d e clutch"..."strutter"..."panhead"..."shovelhead"... "hard t a i l " . . . a n d so on, ad i n f i n i t u m . Of course, we rnust consider that i n the f i r s t p l a c e , i t i s a motorcycle, and not an automobile, with the i m p l i c a t i o n that the B i k e r has g r e a t e r s k i l l s i n the ancient and manly art of "horsemanship" than your average commuter; but where does he s i t i n r e l a t i o n to the vast numbers of f e l l o w c y c l i s t s ? Well, the B i k e r s c l a i m , and i n most cases r i g h t -f u l l y so, that they r i d e "the best". This i s not "the best" i n the r e l a t i v e l y innocuous sense of the"Harley Davidson Man" which we discussed p r e v i o u s l y ; though there i s undoubtedly some of that Mechanical Bride element present. Indeed, the p u b l i c tends to confuse the two, and A.M.P. has been plagued f o r years with the image that only cops and H e l l ' s Angels rod t h e i r products. A Hog, however, i s "a d i f f e r e n t breed of b i k e " . A H e l l ' s Angels' chopper, to take the extreme, i s r e -garded by i t s owner as "the most powerful motorcycle i n the s t r e e t s " . The engine i s " b u l l e t p r o o f " ("highly r e l i a b l e " would sound too c i t i z e n i s h ) . It, i s huge... a monster... a r e a l mother...a h a u l e r . . . a stump p u l l e r . To a c e r t a i n extent t h i s 103 i s t r u e , fo r the b a s i c model has f o r years been the l a r g e s t p roduc t ion motorcycle i n the w o r l d , wi th l o n g e v i t y tha t i s l egendary . Of l a t e though, Honda, "those t i t - h e a d e d Jappos", have produced a model that has proved equa l l y as "power fu l" and " b u l l e t p r o o f " . Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , these are f a s t becoming h i g h l y modif ied choppers i n the U n i t e d S ta tes and Canada. Among motorcycle gangs t h i s t rend has taken an i n t e r e s t i n g t w i s t . B i k e r s are not renowned f o r t h e i r l i b e r a l v iews ; a quick assessment would be tha t t h e i r ideo logy i s d e c i d e d l y "redneck". Consequent ly , they are not u s u a l l y mixed along e thn i c l i n e s , and r i v a l r i e s can form accord ing to these s i t u a t i o n a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t d i s t i n c t i o n s . I o i s the " m i n o r i t y " . gangs, and not the Angel wh i t e s , who are adopt ing the Honda 750 to t h e i r needs. T i^e and some s t a t i s t i c s may or may not bear t h i s ou t , but the t r end has been n o t i c e a b l e i n the course o f t h i s study p a r t i c u l a r l y among the Negro and Chicano c l u b s . Re tu rn ing to the a rchAngels , t h e i r most mascu l ine /po ten t Hog i s used very a g g r e s s i v e l y , producing behaviour we would term machismo. Two examples o f t h i s , one an i n d i v i d u a l e f f o r t , " s t r ee t d r a g g i n 1 " , and the other a mass event, "the i r o n pa-rade" , should prove e n t e r t a i n i n g . S t r ee t dragging i s a b lood s p o r t , enjoyed wherever any-body i s f o o l i s h enough to be a t a k e r . You p i c k up your intended v i c t i m by p u l l i n g up to a s t o p l i g h t t o g e t h e r . Sometimes g lances are exchanged, but b r i e f conve r sa t i on o f t h r o t t l e r o a r i n g i s a l l t h a t ' s r e q u i r e d . No l e a n i n g fo rward , no fancy t a c t i c s , j u s t remain consumately c o o l . Ooze conf idence , not so much tha t you scare the compet i -104 t i o n o f f , but just enough to r a t t l e him. You ease the clutch, the l i g h t changes, then you wipe his ass o f f . You win. Don'o look back, he should have known better. I o ' s as simple as that. Los Bravos stage t h e i r a r r i v a l s at the park with con-sumate showmanship. The best performance occurs at dusk when, without warning, Memorial Boulevard f i l l s up with pairs of headlights. The evening a i r pulsates with the d i s t i n c t i v e chunka-chunka rumble of twenty Harley V-twins. T h e r e they squat, spotlights i n the darkness, waiting for the l i g h t at the entrance to the park; running t h e i r engines up and down, up and down; laughing. Green. They're o f f , s p i l l i n g a l l over the street i n wheelstends and the blue haze of tire'smoke. The herd accelerates into the parking l o t u n t i l the pres cooly holds up his hand. It's brakes on i n a hideous s q u a l l . Strangled engines spi t f i r e up those long, unmuffled skyscraper pipes. Everybody's watching by now, waiting to see how t h e y ' l l sort t h i s tangle out. But sort i t out they do, laughing and screaming. Cake-walk the bellowing beasts backwards into neat, diagonal rows. Then the throbbing dies, switched o f f one by one after a f i n a l p u l l on the t h r o t t l e , and the mammas d i s -mount. There they are, astride chrome, more chrome, and metalflake; the absurd angles; naked moving parts. S t r e e t l i g h t s wink o f f a thousand shiny unknown things. People begin to turn away, going back to what they were doing, giving the barbarians plenty of room. The boys dismount in the comparative quiet of y e l l s , belches, and the engine's cooling ping. It's i n t e r -mission. The show w i l l resume l a t e r t h i s evening and the whole movie w i l l run i t s e l f out in reverse when the pres gives the order to, "Roll 'em, boys." A l l of the preceding milieu meanings are f a i r l y obvious, since they constitute part of the public presentation of the motorcycle gangs. This much, at least, might have been e x p l i -cated without asking them what they got out of i t . However, 105 ask ve d i d , and i n the course o f the encounters we a l so u n -covered some meanings o f the motorcycle m i l i e u tha t cou ld not have been fo reseen . Repeatedly , r e p l i e s conta ined r e f -erences t o / elements o f a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of exper ience tha t was not p a r t of the o b t r u s i v e p u b l i c / p r i v a t e behaviour o f the B i k e r s . V/hen asked s p e c i f i c a l l y what the motorcyc le meant to them, gang members would o f t en begin w i t h , " I t ' s a power t r i p . " A c c o r d i n g l y , we have organ ized the major t r a n s s u b j e c -t i v e elements of t h i s meaning/behaviour /exper ience and c h r i s -tened them the "Power T r i p " . To begin wi th our own, and the respondents ' use o f the terra i s not to be confused w i t h another more comman connota-t i o n which t h i s nonce word has a c q u i r e d . Thus, i t i s some-t imes s a i d of someone t h a t , "They ' re on a power t r i p " , o r , "They ' re power t r i p p i n g / a power t r i p p e r " , or s i m p l y , "Power t r i p ] " - These are the p e j o r a t i v e uses o f the phrase, i n d i c a t -i n g tha t someone i s l o r d i n g / a t t e m p t i n g to l o r d t h e i r a u t h o r i t y ( r e a l or imagined) over someone e l s e . This i s taken as a pr ima f a c i e r ep rehens ib l e a c t i o n , and the preceding c r i e s are the r e a c t i o n of the b y s t a n d e r s / v i c t i m s . This i s not the sense i n which ve are u s i n g the word, n e i t h e r i s i t l i k e l y tha t the respondents were i n t e n d i n g any such opprobrium i n re fe rence to manner i n which they i n t e r p r e t tha t which i s near and dear to them. Ins tead , we have d i s t i l l e d e n t i r e l y another meaning o f the term from the responses . 1 0 6 The set o f exper iences i t r e f e r s to are not to be equat-ed w i t h elements o f the previous theme, " K i c k s " , e i t h e r . The means o f producing the tv/o d i f f e r e n t s o r t s o f exper ience can be i d e n t i c a l : ohat i s , one has a m o t o r c y c l e , and there are c e r t a i n behaviour patterms tha t one goes through w i t h t h i s dev ice i n order to produce a s t a t e o f be ing tha t i s , by def-i n i t i o n , o ther than normal; but the s t a t e s tha t are produced are qu i te d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e , ' p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the case o f the B i k e r s , where we have come to expect elements o f machismo. The Power .Tr ip i s not something tha t i s s imply e x c i t i n g or enjoyable ; i t has i t s b l a c k e r s i d e , both i n terms o f how we s h a l l e x p l i c a t e / e v a l u a t e i t , and how the subjec ts themselves, exper ience /express i t . The two preceding q u a l i f i c a t i o n s o f the term w i l l beco e c l e a r e r as we r e c o n s t r u c t the behav iour s , so l e t us begin our examinat ion o f the major elements o f power t r i p p i n g . F i r s t o f a l l , a. power t r i p occurs because o f / i n the mental presence o f the machismo connota t ions which are g i v e n to the motorcyc le m i l i e u , p a r t i c u l a r l y to the c y c l e i t s e l f . Thus, the b i k e i s conceived of as a b r u t a l l y powerful d e v i c e , the embodiment o f raw mechanical power, capable o f producing i r r u p t i v e p h y s i c a l e f f e c t s . This i s a necessary p r e c o n d i t i o n o f the power t r i p . Next , the subjec t p laces h i m s e l f , e i t h e r men ta l l y or p h y s i c a l l y , i n the immediate presence o f the l o c u s o f p r i m a l f o r c e . This can be as s imple as s i t t i n g 107 a s t r i d e the machine when i t i s running. Then the power t r i p can begin. Power t r i p p i n g i s p r i m a r i l y a mental event. " I t ' s a r e a l head t r i p ( t o o ) . . . a mindfucker." The subject begins to " u r i p out on the c y c l e " . He formulates an extravagant f a n -t a s y , a sequence of imaginative mental images that are gro-tesque and u n r e s t r a i n e d , about him s e l f / t h e machine. As d i s -t i n c t from mere imagination, t h i s " t r i p " i s a more elaborate and b i z a r r e mental voyage or daydream s t a t e . As d i s t i n c t from pure fantasy, i t i s always an inward, s u b j e c t i v e sequence about or concerning the s e l f / t h a t which i s near and dear to the s e l f . Subjects employ the neologism " t r i p " to c a l l a t t e n t i o n to the t r a n c e - l i k e , inward l o o k i n g q u a l i t y of the behaviours/meanings under d i s c u s s i o n . So f a r i t a l l sounds s l i g h t l y strange, but r e l a t i v e l y harmless. We come to the crunch. Since the extravagant fantasy begins in/near a macho o b j e c t , the t r i p takes a saguinary t u r n ; i t becomes a power t r i p , c o n t a i n i n g images of behaviours/events that one would recognize as elements of machismo. A c t u a l l y , "Power T r i p " i s more appropriate than "Macho T r i p " because the s t a t e can be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as some-t h i n g more than grotesque imaginings of v i r u l e n t and v i r i l e behaviour. A r e a l p a r t i c i p a n t "theory" of s o c i a l power seems to be involved here. The t r i p s are patterned on a common 108 theme: the subject forms a s e r i e s o f extravagant mental images about h i m s e l f as be ing very "power fu l " , tha t i s , as be ing able to command or change the behaviour o f o the r s d i r e c t l y i n accordance wi th o n e ' s w i l l . Th i s can be as s imple as imag in ing that by be ing a s t r i d e the steed one i s i n s p i r i n g dread i n . those who are watch ing . Or i t may ex-tend to phantasmagorias o f ma le f i c p r o p o r t i o n . Here we may see c l e a r l y the d i s t i n c t i o n between " K i c k s " and the "Power T r i p " . The l a t t e r i s not s imply the e x c i t e -ment o f c o n t r o l , o f t u r n i n g the t h r o t t l e and t u r n i n g on an expe r i ence . Io i s an i m a g i n a t i v e s t a t e tha t shades over i n t o " n o n - t h r o t t l e " areas-. I t con ta ins imagined e f f e c t s on o t h e r s , as w e l l as e f f ec t s on the s e l f , and i t takes no regard f o r the ( imagined d e s i r e s of) those o t h e r s . I t i s a b i z a r r e fantasy o f naked power. P roper ty has become not merely an instrument of s e l f - t i t i l l a t i o n , but o f phantasmal agg re s s ion . Ne i t he r does i t r e q u i r e the a c t u a l motive presence or the mo to rcyc l e . To t r i p ou t , a B i k e r d i d not have to be r i d i n g , he on ly had to beg in t h i n k i n g about the machismo c o n t r a p t i o n . An example or th ree i s i n o rde r , and then we may move from a d i s c u s s i o n o f B i k e r s to the c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the man i f e s t a -p t i o n s o f the Machismo theme i n the p o p u l a t i o n as a whole. "When I t h i n k about what i t i s to own t h i s chopper, I f i g u r e I can do anyth ing I want. Anyth ing , you know? L i k e I can go where I want to go, screw around, and nobody can stop me. I t ' s a grea t t r i p . " 109 " I t h i n k about my b ike a l l the t ime . I t ' s g r e a t , f e e l s r e a l good. Even s i t t i n ' i n the s h i t t e r . ^ ( l a u g h t e r ) . P e e l mysel f go i n ' through the changes boomin' ciown the s t r e e t r i g h t i n f ron t o f a l l the c i t i z e n s . . . a n d the c h i c k s , (xaugh te r ) . "When a b ro ther gets h u r t , I get r e a l l y mad. I get on my chop and r i d e around by myse l f . T h i n k i n g about i t . F i g u r i n g out j u s t what we ' re gonna do when we ca t ch the dude that d i d i t , see? Have to work out a l l the d e t a i l s . Maybe f i r s t we'j.1 cut h i s b a l l s o f f , then hang him up by the thumbs. I f he ' s c a r r y i n g a p i e c e , w e ' l l shoot him i n the mouth wi th i t . J u s t i c e . G o t t a have i t a l l worked out ahead o f t i m e . " There are a number o f o ther i d e n t i f i a b l e p o p u l a t i o n types who a lso e x h i b i t e d elements o f "Machismo" i n our en-counters wi th them, though no t , o f course , to the degree which the B i k e r s embody t h i s theme. A l l o f these i n d i v i d u a l s / groups are r e c o g n i z a b l e on other grounds than t h e i r response p re sen t a t i ons because they c a r r y on t h e i r person some mark o f these a l t e r n a t e i d e n t i t i e s / a f f i l i a t i o n s . The f i r s t o f these , and the hardest to r e c o g n i z e , we s h a l l c a l l the "Lone Wolf" , s i n c e tha t term, o r some v e r s i o n o f i t , i s o f t en the respondent ' s own name f o r the r o l e . The Lone Wolf , l i k e h i s namesake, i s apparent ly a v a n -i s h i n g breed, a ca r ryover from "the f i f t i e s " . We met very few o f them (though they may always have been compara t ive ly few i n number), a l l advanced i n years as f a r as m o t o r c y c l i s t s go . They embody meanings tha t are no longer popular i n motor' c y c l i n g as a whole. They go by names such as: "Mad Dog", 110 "Hermi t" , " B u l l " , "Rogue" (as i n rogue e l ephan t ) . The way to spot one i s to look f o r such t r o g l o d y t i c t i t l e s on the backs o f t h e i r c y c l e j a c k e t s ; the n a m e / s e l f - s t y l e d d e s i g n a -t i o n g e n e r a l l y l i e s about where the top Club rocker would be on a set o f c o l o u r s . There i s u s u a l l y no c e n t r a l emblem, though one f e l l o w d i d spor t a - b e a u t i f u l l y embroidered w o l f ' s head; and the bottom Chapter rocker (which i n t h i s case could on ly g i v e a po in t o f o r i g i n , s i nce no formal o r g a n i z a t i o n i s be ing invoked) i s u s u a l l y absent . The j a c k e t s , g a u n t l e t s , boo t s , helmets and goggles w i l l o f t en be army or a i r f o r c e i s sue l e a t h e r s , something no longer a v a i l a b l e . This so r t of subjec t i s the s e l f s t y l e d r e c l u s e , at l e a s t as f a r as m o t o r c y c l i n g goes . He wants no par t o f any f o r m a l / i n f o r m a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s l i k e the A.M.A. or a gang. Th i s makes him a ca r ryove r from the days when these two s o r t s of groups v/ere p u b l i c a l l y competing f o r the ( a l l e g e d ) a l l e -g iance o f the c y c l i n g p u b l i c . Today most c y c l i s t s c o u l d not g i v e a damn about e i t h e r so r t o f o r g a n i z a t i o n , but they do not t he re fo re become Lone Wolves by d e f a u l t . These respondents were p a t e n t l y i n t o a number o f o ther themes such as " K i c k s " o r the "Mechanica l B r i d e " ( a l l o f those whom we encountered at any l eng th e i t h e r owned o r possessed b e a u t i f u l l y r e s to red /ma in t a ined motorcyc les from days gone b y ) , but we have chosen to d i s c u s s them here because I l l Machismo i s such a c r i t i c a l par t o f t h e i r everday p resen ta -t i o n of s e l f . The Lone Wolf would take pains to communicate, o f t en by means o f t a l e s o f "what I d i d to so and so back i n such and such" , tha t he was someone who i s p o t e n t i a l l y very macho, no matter how n i c e he may seem at the moment. He w i l l r a i s e no fuss i f l e f t a lone , but when provoked he w i l l r eac t v i o l e n t l y , w i th manly malevolence . What would provoke him i s d i f f i c u l t to say, but we cou ld hazard a guess tha t anything which c o u l d be def ined as t h r ea t en ing h i s a n a r c h i s t i c m i l i e u s i t u a t e d behaviours would i n v i t e h i s v i r u l e n t wra th . I t i s not s u r -p r i s i n g , then , tha t a Hermit would begin and end the encoun-t e r wi th a s n a r l e d , "What's i t to you?" We can on ly conclude tha t our unob t rus ive s tance was not s u f f i c i e n t l y t h r e a t e n i n g to t u r n them a l l o f f . Note p a r t i c u l a r l y tha t these s o l i t a r y c y c l i s t s manage to convince themselves and o thers o f t h e i r p o t e n t i a l l y mascul ine and malevolent nature without cons tan t -l y / e v e r be ing i n the company o f o ther i d e n t i c a l l y - m a n i f e s t i n g men. On the other hand, o r , perhaps because o f t h i s , they seldom i f ever have to e x h i b i t such macho behav iou r s . A s t range b reed . Another r a r e but f a s c i n a t i n g v a r i e t y o f b i k e r i s the sma l l - t ime , s tunt man. These i n d i v i d u a l s can u s u a l l y be found t o u r i n g wi th the c ross country f a i r s . We say " s m a l l t ime" 1121 only because tha t i s where the i n d i v i d u a l s we v/ere able to . d i g up s tand i n r e l a t i o n to the r e s t o f m o t o r c y c l i n g ' s dare d e v i l s , and because they more than . the o ther . v a r i e t i e s of- en-countered s t u n t e r s oozed machismo. The very s m a l l t ime and the one b i g t ime s tunt man quest ioned were i n t o " K i c k s " and the "Mechanica l B r i d e " i n s t e a d . We s h a l l r e t u r n to our middle range dare d e v i l s i n a moment, a f t e r d i s c u s s i n g / dragging i n the p o l i c e aga in . The reader i s caut ioned to remember tha t we are i l l u s t r a t i n g some a d d i t i o n a l f a c e t s o f a behav ioura l / r e sponse theme; we are c e r t a i n l y not a s s e r t i n g tha t a l l Lone Wolves, E x h i b i t i o n S tun te r s or Moto rcyc le P o l i c e are p o t e n t i a l l y m a l i c i o u s men. R e c a l l tha t as a f i e l d worker we of ten had the f e e l i n g tha t our P o l i c e respondents v/ere nonve rba l l y e v i n c i n g e l e -ments o f Machismo. Add to t h i s the f i n d i n g tha t a l l manner o f sub jec t s asser ted tha t the patrolmen were on "some k i n d a we i rd power t r i p " , tha t i s , power t r i p i n the p e j o r a t i v e sense. The same derogatory a s s e r t i o n was sometimes made wi th re fe rence to the B i k e r s , when the subjec t was speaking o f gang behaviours that ve have analyzed i n t e r n a l l y as embodying elements o f the f a n t a s t i c fan tasy power t r i p . F i n a l l y , i t appears that ne i the r , the p o l i c e , not the p r e v i o u s l y mentioned s t u n t r i d e r s were t a l k i n g , a.t l e a s t not about Machismo. There they both s i t , t a l l i n the sadd le , arms f o l d e d , the beginnings o f a ma le f i c l e e r , a s t r i d e "the w o r l d ' s most powerful motor-113 c y c l e " . What can be made o f i t ? Is i t the same s o r t o f t h i n g tha t the B i k e r s were w i l l i n g and able to d i s c u s s ? Are the stuntman and the patrolman on a power t r i p ? I s par t o f what they get out o f i t meanings tha t are v e r y , very macho? We cannot say wi th any measure o f c e r t a i n t y ; but we do not mind a s s e r t i n g tha t there were t imes. w7hen i t sure as h e l l seemed l i k e i t . I f i t i s the case tha t t h i s i s what i s go ing on , then our a n a l y s i s o f the encounters would go as f o l l o w s : both the motorcyc le pol iceman and the s t a t e f a i r s t u n t r i d e r have the c a p a c i t y / o p p o r t u n i t y , one because o f h i s on duty l e g i t i m a t e d a u t h o r i t y p o s i t i o n , and the other i n the ca r ryover r o l e o f dea th-defy ing e x h i b i t i o n i s t , to manifes t something which o the rs cannot/do no t , smug machismo. As i s the case wi th lone Wolves, we have here ins tances o f i m p l i e d themat ic meanings, non-demonstrat ive machismo* So much f o r the i d e n t i f i a b l e p o p u l a t i o n t y p e s . F a s c i -n a t i n g as they may be, i t i s t ime to g i v e some (compara t ive ly ) cu rsory c o n s i d e r a t i o n to the s i g n i f i c a t i o n s o f machismo among the grea t mass o f respondents whose l i v e s are not qu i t e so e x o t i c . Th i s i s , a f t e r a l l , something o f an ethnography, not j u s t a b i t o f t e r a t o l o g y . To begin w i t h , l e t us examine the more mundane in s t ances o f these motorcyc le a s soc ia t ed meanings which we d i s cus sed under the headings " B u d s . . . B r o a d s . . . B i k e s . . . a n d Beer" , 114 e x c l u d i n g f o r the moment any d i s c u s s i o n of the "Power T r i p " . We have a l ready po in ted out i n s e v e r a l contex ts the massive mascul ine ove r r ep re sen t a t i on i n m o t o r c y c l i n g as a whole . Indeed, t h i s e n t i r e t h e s i s , seen from another p e r s p e c t i v e , i s a ma le -o r i en t ed s c r u t i n i z a t i o n o f . t h i n g s manly. Ergo, j u s t as i t was i n the case o f the B i k e r s , any man r i d i n g a motorcyc le i s engaging i n a c u l t u r a l l y v i r i l e endeavour; he i s alone w i t h a powerful machine or i n the company o f o ther men/machines, and one would suspect tha t elements o f machismo might begin to take root i n such mascul ine mulch among the p o p u l a t i o n - a t - l a r g e . Our own c o n c l u s i o n , a f t e r l i s t e n i n g to a l o t o f people shoot t h e i r mouths o f f , i s tha t t h i s i s indeed the case . We have found tha t many o f the motorcyc le a s s o c i -ated meanings which the hard-core B i k e r manifes ts are shared by the c y c l e - s i t u a t e d c i t i z e n . Into the v a l l e y o f Macho rode the f a i r r e s e a r c h e r . C e r t a i n l y , i t was no th ing matching the s c a l e or s e v e r i t y o f the c y c l e gangs' behav iour . B i k e r s are , a f t e r a l l , "the Vfo e r s " . ^ I f a s i z e a b l e p r o p o r t i o n o f our respondents went around a c t i n g l i k e t h a t , m o t o r c y c l i n g would look a l o t d i f f -erent than i t now does. Respondents who v o i c e d elements o f a watered-down machismo were not i n t o the l i f e s t y l e o f the B i k e r , and consequent ly d i d not f e e l the l i c e n s e / o b l i g a t i o n tha t goes w i t h the b i k e gang e x i s t e n c e . Nonethe less , the evidence was t he re , and i t formed an important par t o f motor-115 c y c l i n g - i n - g e n e r a l . Machismo crops up i n many of the q u a s i / n o n-Biker or " c h i c k e n s h i t " o r g a n i z a t i o n s . I t i s as s imple as "meeting the boys and r a i s i n g a l i t t l e , h e l l " . " S t i r r i n g up t r o u b l e " i s , o f course , sn a c t i v i t y o f many g r o u p s / o r g a n i z a t i o n s , not j u s t the motorcyc le c l u b s . Among the c y c l i s t s , though, " h e l l r a i s i n g " can be pa t te rned a f te r s p e c i f i c a l l y B i k e r behav iou r s . F i g h t s w i t h r i v a l clubs, over " t u r f " or home t e r r i t o r y seem to appeal to the younger " g r e a s e b a l l s " ; i t i s one more a g g r e s -s i v e a s s e r t i o n o f manhood brought on i n . t h e presence o f o ther males . Clubs w i t h an o l d e r membership take d e l i g h t i n f e a t s o f c o l l e c t i v e d a r i n g - d o . More than the k i c k s o f r i d i n g are i n v o l v e d here; the events are designed to prove one ' s own/ . the c l u b ' s machismo. R e g u l a r l y scheduled "runs" i n v o l v i n g one or more c lubs are u t i l i z e d as mascul ine arenas f o r com-p e t i t i v e / c o m b a t i v e behav iours . Turn ing from "Buds" to "Beer" , beer d r i n k i n g i s almost a c l i c h e among c y c l i s t s everywhere. Whenever two or more c y c l i s t s are gathered together f o r any noteworthy motorcyc le o c c a s s i o n , beer i s t r a d i t i o n a l / m a n d a t o r y . "Working on b i k e s , you d r i n k a l o t t a bee r . " "At the c l u b ' s l a s t p i c n i c , they drank e ighty-one c a s e s . " Th i s much i s innocuous, but i t can go as f a r as " g e t t i n g drunk and r o a r i n g a round" . I n t o x i c a t i o n becomes the excuse f o r aggress ive , v i o l e n t motorcyc le focused 116 behav iou r s . The b e l l i g e r e n c e , and the rowdyism whi le under the i n f l u e n c e are not n e c e s s a r i l y a conscious i m i t a t i o n o f motorcyc le gangs; i t may o n l y be one s m a l l par t o f the macho c u l t u r a l ethos tha t surrounds a l c o h o l , p a r t i c u l a r l y beer d r i n k i n g bou ts . Consider the Eng inee r s . Nonethe less , i t was t h e r e , and i t was regarded as an i n t e g r a l par t o f motor-c y c l i n g by our s u b j e c t s , so we o f f e r i t i n t h i s c o n t e x t . Much the same can be s a i d f o r the c y c l i s t s * r e l a t i o n s h i p to "Broads" . Our r u n - o f - t h e - m i l l respondent may or may not have been aping the ac to rs i n the l a s t Savage Seven movie he saw, but the macho resemblances, i n terms o f elements o f h i s r e p l y , were qui te s t r o n g . R i d i n g a motorcyc le i s acknowledged as "a good way to p i c k up c h i c k s and get l a i d " . "They ask you f o r a r i d e . Yuu go r e a l f a s t and they jam t h e i r boobs agains t y o u . " This male chauvinism apparent ly does not a t t a i n / a s p i r e to the macho extreme o f the B ike r s* i n i m i t a b l e "gross ou t s " , but m o t o r c y c l i n g i s at l e a s t this cu r ren t refuge of many an a s p i r i n g Cagney, Bogart or iNewman. "Pau l Newman i s macho, man."_ In a d d i t i o n , t h i s behaviour was at t imes e x p r e s s l y modelled on the f e a t s of the c y c l e gangs. "When I saw those Breed guys p i c k up c h i c k s , I j u s t had to go out and get me a H a r l e y . I t works . " I f a l l t h i s seems a b i t wishy-washy and s p e c u l a t i v e (would you admit you were a f r u s t r a t e d H e l l ' s A n g e l ? ) , the 117 theme i s more apprehensible i n the case o f the motorcyc le m i l i e u . Pa r t o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s ' "members' knowledge" i n c l u d e s the acknowledgement tha t a Hog, the p r i d e and c r e a t i o n o f the motorcyc le gangs, " i s the supreme b i k e " . Ix, i s not at a l l f a r - f e t c h e d to "bet tha t everybody 'd g i v e an arm and a l e g to have one"; but not everybody can/does , the main reason be ing the money i n v o l v e d . "une o f those babies can run you f i f t y b i l l s ; and the insu rance , s h i t ! " Consequently, our respon-dents d i d the best they c o u l d , which u s u a l l y meant buy ing "the b igges t / f a s t e s t /meanes t / be s t b i k e I cou ld a f f o r d " . The i d e a i s to come as c l o s e as one p o s s i b l y can, wi thout the n e c e s s i t y / unfor tuna te c i rcumstance o f the b i k e becoming the most impor-tant t h i n g i n one ' s l i f e . A l s o , s tuck wi th something around 500 c . c . ' s , i t i s s t i l l p o s s i b l e to add some o f the "ex t ras" ' or to perform some o f the "custom touches" o r i g i n a l l y dev i sed by the c y c l e gangs. I ron c ros se s , s p r i n g e r s , denim c u t o f f s , a l l these abound among the h o i p o l i o i ; and they are o f t en acknowledged as " b a l l s y . . . m o t h e r i n g . . . m a c h o " m i l i e u a r t i f a c t s . However, even t h i s i s t e n t a t i v e , and as o f ten as not Buds, Broads, Beer and B ikes would mean something o ther than the malevolent manliness a s soc ia t ed wi th our machismo theme-Y e t , way back at the beg inn ing o f t h i s d i s c u s s i o n we asser ted tha t the theme l u r k e d i n the b l a c k heart o f many a n o n - B i k e r . I f i t appears o n l y o f f and on (but i t does appear, t h i s much we are sure of) i n these four areas o f r e l evance , where does 1 1 8 the bu lk o f i t l i e ? The answer i s , o f course , i n the "Power T r i p " . This exper ience , rampant among the B i k e r s , abounds among the c i t i z e n c y c l i s t s t o o . " I t ' s a power t r i p " was an a s t o n i s h i n g l y common r e p l y . The parameters o f the exper ience seem to be the same as those o u t l i n e d by our hard core respondents- The motorcyc le must be regarded as a l ocus o f tremendous force . - Hence, no-body on a Honda 90 mentioned elements of the t r i p . The sub-j e c t a l i g n s h i m s e l f c l o s e l y w i t h t h i s p o t e n t i a l l y i r r u p t i v e d e v i c e ; the r e s u l t a n t inward exper ience always i n v o l v e s the motorcyc le i n some c a p a c i t y . I t may be as remote as keeping i n mind tha t one owns a mo to rcyc l e . Under these c o n d i t i o n s , power t r i p p i n g can and does occur i n even the most harmless, l o o k i n g s u b j e c t s . The same extravagant f a n t a s i e s , b i z a r r e imag in ings , grotesque inward sequences o f v i r i l e and v i r u l e n t behav iour , they are a l l t h e r e . As one female put i t i n a l l u d i n g to t h i s cu r ious f a c t , "Motorbike r i d e r s are i n a s t range space . " As might be expected, the c i t i z e n s are not so open about t h i s so r t o f t h i n g as the Angels ; v i o l e n c e i s r ep re s sed / frowned upon / t inged w i th g u i l t . Some sub jec t s were qu i t e proud o f i t , but the ma jo r i t y o f re ferences to a s u b j e c t ' s own power t r i p p i n g behaviour were round about, sometimes f u r t i v e , or b l u r t e d out a f t e r a great dea l of hedging . Res^-pondents were a lso r e l u c t a n t to go in to a great uea l o f l u r i d 119 d e t a i l . The mere admission o f "power t r i p p i n g " was i n many cases enough to e s t a b l i s h and cover the s u b j e c t . Why some of them mentioned i t at a l l i s a p u z z l e ; t h i s i s s u e i s d i s -cussed more g e n e r a l l y i n S e c t i o n Three. In any event , t h i s aspect o f Machismo i s present , perhaps more o f ten than i t was acknowledged. I t i s at l e a s t more s i g n i f i c a n t fo r c y c i i s t s than the be l l ige ren t* B ' s we have e x p l i c a t e d p r e v i o u s l y . To c l o s e o f f the chapter some examples are i n o r d e r . "I r e a l l y get my rocks o f f r i d i n g my fa tbob , you know. Whenever I 'm hot about something i t comes out.. Knowing I ' v e got i t i s r e a l l y i m p o r t a n t . " "Before I got my second b i k e I ' d l i e awake at n i g h t and f e e l mysel f making the s h i f t s , popping the c l u t c h and s q u e a l i n g away w h i l e everybody was watch ing . And t h e i r jaws would drop down to here , get i t ? ( l augh te r ) I t was g r e a t . " Everybody does i t at one t ime or another . You s t a r t to dream about what y o u ' r e gonna do to somebody. You roa r up on your chopper. Everybody ' s scared h a l f out o f t h e i r gourds . Then you whip out your chrome c h a i n b e l t w i t h the hand t o o l e d b u c k l e . Take somebody's head o f f w i t h i t . Then you put the b e l t back on, s t i l l d r i p p i n g , and you zoom away. B ikes are wei rd tha t way. They make you mean." 1 I N T E R J E C T I O N F U R T H E R N O T E S O N C L U S T E R I N G 1 2 0 Looking back over the l a s t f i v e chapters one cou ld assess t h e i r tonus , whether v a p i d or vehement, as be ing f a i r l y p o s i t i v e . They are a l l concerned wi th meanings tha t are , i n the minds o f the respondents who evinced them, "good t h i n g s " . Les t the reader doubt t h i s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the case of machismo, we w i l l emphasize tha t a l l the response d i s p l a y s , or p o r t i o n s o f d i s p l a y s which gave r i s e to these themes were f a i r l y f e l i c i f i c . Th i s holds t rue even f o r the boredom o f the patrolman and the b e l l i g e r e n c e o f a tsiker (even the demonic may be eudaemonicj. In and o f themselves these are p o s i t i v e elements o f meaning, and we s h a l l r e f e r to them as s imply tha.t: ohe " P o s i t i v e " themes. They are a lso p o s i t i v e i n comparison wi th the next four themes. A l l o f the responses which gave r i s e to these l a t t e r s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n s are "Negat ive" i n tone.. T h e y va ry i n o ther emotive aspects as we s h a l l see, but they do share an element o f "bad t imes" , tha t forms an i n e x t r i c a b l e par t o f the response d i s p l a y . .Bearing t h i s ana ly t ic /phenomenal d i s t i n c t i o n i n mind, l e t us examine the f i r s t of these themes. CHAPTER SEVEN WEATHER 121 The f i r s t , though not n e c e s s a r i l y the foremost g r i p e c o n s i s t s o f a l l elements concerning the t o p i c "weather/ s ea son / c l ima te " , something which most respondents had some complaint about. E i t h e r r i g h t o f f the ba t , or l a t e r i n the encounter , sub jec t s would get around to grumbl ing about "how mise rab le i t i s / w a s / w i l l be to r i d e i n r a i n / f o g / s m o g / s l e e t / s n o w / h a i l / L o s Angeles / the b l i z z a r d o f *71" . Sometimes there v^s an added element o f f o o l h a r d i n e s s or bravado, as i n , " r i d i n g up to T r a i l when i t was c o l d enough to f reeze the nates o f f a brass baboon", but u s u a l l y the tone o f the con-v e r s a t i o n never rose much above or sank much below the l e v e l o f the d a i l y g r i p e . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, sub jec t s seldom mentioned how n i c e i t was to be r i d i n g on a warm/sunny/smogless day. The man at the gas s t a t i o n might say t h a t , w i th envy i n h i s v o i c e , but i t was not a t o p i c o f conve r sa t ion ajnong c y c l i s t s . I f i t happened to be a b e a u t i f u l day, or i f the sub jec t was e x t o l l i n g the p leasures o f r i d i n g on what must have been a warm/sunny/smogless day, h i s speech focused on the joys o f m o t o r c y c l i n g . The conve r sa t i on would not then get hung up on, or degenerate i n t o a d i s c u s s i o n o f the v a g a r i e s o f weather, season and c l i m a t e . A l l i n a l l , m o t o r c y c l i s t s are qu i te s e n s i t i v e to the q u a l i t y o f the atmospheric envi ronment^ but i n a predomi-122 n a n t l y nega t ive way. Thus, i n so f a r ss he t h i n k s / w i l l t a l k about i t , i t i s l a r g e l y a ques t ion o f how i t inconveniences him. That i s what he ge t s out o f i t , tha t i s what i t means to him, v a r y i n g degrees o f "a pa in i n the ass".- we have p al ready cons idered why t h i s should be so . In so f a r as the weather be good, our respondents ignored i t , and concent ra ted on the motorcyc le focused aspects o f the exper ience . " At most, someone might g r i n and acknowledge, " B e a u t i f u l day f o r i t . " The r e s t o f the time i s spent " g e t t i n g down to i t " . Only a handful o f respondents were w i l l i n g or able to d i s c o u r s e on what d i f f e r e n c e s o f c l i m a t e meant to them, so we mention i t o n l y i n p a s s i n g . Here aga in , t a l k was o f "how much worse i t i s . . . ( h e r e / t h e r e ) . . . t h a n . . . ( t h e r e / h e r e ) . " A f a r more p reva len t complaint than , " A i n ' t i t a b i t c h o f a day?" concerns the t o p i c " w i n t e r " . Here , i f one takes a c o n t i n e n t a l p e r s p e c t i v e , m o t o r c y c l i n g begins to look a b i t p e c u l i a r . We have mentioned tha t the raw numbers o f c y c l i s t s d e c l i n e d r a s t i c a l l y wherever there i s a w i n t e r , d e s p i t e the f ac t tha t the worst o f Nevada's win te r can be a n i c e Man i -toba summer's day. I f mere meterology was w i n t e r t i d e ' a measure then c y c l i n g would seem too seasonal to be t r u e . However, i t i s our s u b j e c t s ' concept ion of w in te r that i s important f o r m o t o r c y c l i n g , i r r e s p e c t i v e o f what the weather man has to say. Winter i s a s i g n i f i c a n t season f o r the grea t 123 mass o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s , and, i n g e n e r a l , we detec ted elements o f minor to m i d d l i n g mental mise ry . A r i t u a l i z e d s e r i e s o f behaviours i s i n v o l v e d here : "win te r w i t h d r a w a l " , and "the r i t e s o f s p r i n g " . A very meaningfu l , though predominantly d i s t a s t e f u l par t o f motor-c y c l i n g i s " p u t t i n g your baby away f o r the w i n t e r " . T h i s prolonged abst inence ( th ree months as a minimum), broken o n ly by o c c a s s i o n a l t r i p s to the garage or "a peek under the t a r p to see tha t she ' s a l r i g h t " , makes the next season 's r i d i n g tha t much more en joyab le . Here the " r i t e s o f s p r i n g " come i n t o p l a y . Along about March our p i n i n g r i d e r can beg in charg ing b a t t e r i e s , changing o i l , checking t i r e s , p r i c i n g o a c c e s s o r i e s , i n d u l g i n g i n the p leasures o f the "Mechanica l B r i d e " theme. A l l t h i s t ime he l o o k s fond ly forward to t ha t f i r s t b i g s p r i n g r i d e , s avour ing the " K i c k s " i t w i l l b r i n g . And a l l the w h i l e he can grumble about how mise rab le the win te r has been. So much f o r the weather. Now, what o f mechanical remonst ra t ions? CHAPTER EIGHT MECHANICS 124 l i k e t h e p r e c e d i n g , t h i s i s a f a i r l y w i d e s p r e a d r e s p o n s e t h e m e . A l m o s t a n y o n e who h a s b e e n r i d i n g f o r a n y l e n g t h o f t i m e w i l l h a v e some p u b l i c p e t p e e v e a b o u t t h e b e a s t s . E l e m e n t s o f m e c h a n i c a l c a r p i n g r a n g e d f r o m e p r e c i s e l y w h a t was w r o n g w i t h a r e s p o n d e n t ' s own c o n t r i v a n c e a t t h a t p o i n t i n t i m e , " I h a d d a t a k e i t i n t o t h e s h o p ' c a u s e my s p r i n g e r ' w e n t S p r o i n g I H a r H a r l " ; t o a d i s s e r t a t i o n o n t h e f a u l t s o f an e n t i r e b r a n d o f m o t o r c y c l e s , " T r u m p e t s a r e t h e s h i t s , m a n . T r a n n y l e a k s l i k e a f u c k i n ' s e i v e . !*': A n o t h e r common v e r s i o n o f t h i s t h e m e was t h e s a g a , "Lemme t e l l y o u w h a t w e n t w r o n g w i t h . . . ( t h e w i d g e t ) . . . i n t h e m i d d l e o f . . . ( e x a c t l y t h e w r o n g p l a c e , m i l e s f r o m t h e n e a r e s t p a r t s d e p a r t m e n t ) " . A s a c o u n t e r t o t h e s e c o m p l a i n t s , s u b j e c t s d i d e x t o l t h e v i r t u e s o f t h e i r o w n / s o m e b o d y e l s e ' s / a w h o l e c l a s s o f m a c h i n e r y . H o w e v e r , t h i s s e e m s ( i ,o u s ) t o . b e a v e r y d i f f e r -e n t s o r t o f m e a n i n g , e l e m e n t s o f w h i c h we w o u l d i n c l u d e i n a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e " M e c h a n i c a l B r i d e " t h e m e . N o t e a l s o t h a t t h e r e i s n o s u c h e n t h u s i a s m / g r i p e c o m b i n a t i o n p a r a l l e l e d i n t h e c a s e o f t h e " W e a t h e r " t h e m e . A f i n d i n g w h i c h s u r p r i s e d u s ' a t f i r s t was t h a t n o b o d y h a d a n y t h i n g r e a l l y h o r r i b l e t o s a y a b o u t t h e c e n t r a l a r t i -f a c t o f t h e m i l i e u . T h e r e w e r e c o m p l a i n t s , a n d t h e y w e r e c o l o u r f u l end e x t e n s i v e , b u t n o t h i n g o f t h e o r d e r t h a t w o u l d l e a d u s t o c l a s s i f y t h e m a s e l e m e n t s o f a " B u m m e r " . T h e r e 125 are some except ions to t h i s ; not a l l aspects o f the m i l i e u are so c h a r i t a b l y regarded. We s h a l l d i s c u s s t h i s under the theme " M a l i c e " . On the whole, sub jec t s spoke p o s i t i v e l y o f mo to rcyc l e s , e s p e c i a l l y when one balances these monor g r i e v -ances aga ins t the three more power fu l , e n t h u s i a s t i c themes. This f i n d i n g could be regarded as a b e h a v i o u r a l t a u t o l o g y : people l i k e what they do and/or do what the l i k e ; but on ly i f f u r t he r e x p l i c a t i o n was r e s t r i c t e d to the p a r t i c u l a r behaviours from which the f i n d i n g was deduced. Ins t ead , we pose the ques t ion : Why i s i t tha t m o t o r c y c l i s t s (say they) l i k e the damned th ings? In S e c t i o n Tnree we attempt one answer, Por the moment, however, l e t us l i m i t d i s c u s s i o n to the themat ic aspects o f these g r i evance elements . I t appears then , tha t once again par t o f what our sub-j e c t s get out o f m o t o r c y c l i n g i s a sma l l "pa in i n the ass" , and that such minor g r i evances about the f o i b l e s o f gadgetry are most a k i n to compla in ts about the c l i m e s . The f o l l o w i n g i s an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h i s assessment o f the mat te r . "'Weather" and "Mechanics" are but two ins tances o f those t h i n g s tha t "everybody t a l k s about", (but nobody does any-t h i n g about ) . They are the lowest common denominator o f the se t : p o s s i b l e t o p i c s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h a s t r anger /nea r s t ranger i n a p u b l i c p l a c e . Th i s would seem f a i r l y obvious f o r the weather; everybody has done i t a hundred t i m e s . We 126 have, t h e r e f o r e , noted the p a r t i c u l a r motorcyc le behaviour meanings a s soc i a t ed wi th t h i s most gene ra l t o p i c , as w e l l as the compara t ive ly h igh importance and o v e r a l l nega t i ve tonus c y c l i s t s as a c l a s s g i v e to the s u b j e c t . The case does not seem n e a r l y so obvious f o r the mechanical g r i e v a n c e s . Try c o n s i d e r i n g i t as "shop t a l k " , and ask y o u r s e l f what two t h i n g s cou ld two r e l a t i v e l y unacquainted members o f the s o c i o l o g y department (unacquainted , i n the sense tha t a l l they know about each o ther i s tha t they are both s o c i o l o g i s t s : they have no i d e a about the o t h e r ' s p o s i t i o n on i s sues o f t enure , c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , headship , s t a t i s t i c s , e t c . ) t a l k about coming up i n the Angus b u i l d i n g e l e v a t o r ? Why, the wea the r / soc io logy o f course . Tn i s i s p r e c i s e l y our assess-ment o f the schematic s t a tus o f beast b i t c h responses to our q u e s t i o n . Subjects were s imply " t a l k i n g shop" w i t h someone who was o n l y / a t l e a s t another m o t o r c y c l i s t . In as much as t h i s so r t o f r e p l y or p o r t i o n o f a r e p l y was f a i r l y common, then tha t much o f our da t a was j u s t shop t a l k ; but t a l k i n g shop i s s t i l l an important par t o f m o t o r c y c l i n g . Ix cropped up at l e a s t equa l l y as o f ten between sub jec t s and bystanders engaged i n " m o t o r c y c l i s t " c o n v e r s a t i o n s . A much more p u z z l i n g f a c t i s the f o l l o w i n g : , i n a d d i t i o n to the two "safe" themes, why d i d we r e c e i v e so much more, and so much more tha t was v i t a l i n r e p l y to our ques t ion? Why d i d s u b j e c t s , when approached by a v i r t u a l s t ranger wi th 127 an unusua l , though unob t rus ive ques t ion , not conf ine t h e i r speech to the safe t o p i c s ? C e r t a i n l y , some d i d , and o thers r e p l i e d , "None o f your godamn bus ines s " , but the m a j o r i t y ha-d a l o t to say and s a i d a l o t tha t ws.s meaningfu l . Furthermore, i t seldom seemed that we were being "put o n " . Our p ro f f e r ed exp lana t ion w i l l be found i n S e c t i o n Three. INTERJECTION PINAL NOTES ON CLUSTERING 128 Our f i n a l emotive c l a s s i f i c a t i o n groups toge ther the p reced ing two chap te r s , and d i s t i n g u i s h e s them from the l a s t two "Negat ive" s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n s on the b a s i s o f the f o l l o w i n g elements tha t are inherent i n the p re sen ta t ions o f the themes. As we have a l ready e x p l a i n e d , "Weather" and "Mechanics" are both " G r i p e s " . They c o n s i s t i n minor compla in ts and grumbl ings about two common t o p i c s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n . The i r p r e s e n t a t i o n i s g e n e r a l l y u n s t r e s s e d . Subjec ts were not plunged in to l ugubr ious m e l a n c h o l i a at the thought o f r a i n or r e p a i r s . L i k e the "Wishy-Washy" themes, these are l e n s i c meanings we are d e a l i n g w i t h , though of course the g r i p e s are nega t ive i n tone . In con t ras t t o t h i s , the f i n a l themes c o n t a i n elements tha t are both nega t ive and f o r c e f u l . To d i s t i n g u i s h them from "Gripes." l e t us c a l l them "Bummers". In responding w i t h elements o f these l a t t e r s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n s our sub jec t s were dec ided ly do lourous . A l l i n a l l , they appeared to be hav ing a m i s e r a b l e , though extremely meaningful t ime o f i t . Let us begin an examinat ion o f the f i r s t o f these somber themes. CHAPTER'NINE MALICE 129 The f i r s t thematic "Bummer" i s c o n s t i t u t e d by many r ecu r ren t elements of ma l ice i n subject responses , o ther than those a l ready cons idered under the heading "Machismo". The reason f o r making t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s tha t there are two qu i t e d i f f e r e n t response p re sen ta t ions i n v o l v e d . Machismo was a s u b j e c t i v e l y enjoyable s t a t e o f a f f a i r s ; but even very s i m i l a r c i rcumstances cou ld produce a bummer wi th ma l i ce as the appropr ia te / a t t endan t r e a c t i o n . In the course o f the encounter t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n was not d i f f i c u l t to observe , p a r t i c u l a r l y because o f p a r a l i n g u i s t i c "macho" communications which were or were not brought i n t o p l ay . . In a d d i t i o n , e l e -ments of mal ice .were f a i r l y randomly d i s t r i b u t e d across the p o p u l a t i o n , not c o n s t e l l a t e d as was the case w i th machismo. By " M a l i c e " , we (and the sub jec t s ) i n t end a c t i v e i l l • '.. w i l l d i r e c t e d at other p e o p l e / a c t i v i t i e s / t h i n g s . Responses e v i n c i n g such elements were most t y p i c a l l y the ongoing "What the fuck can you do about i t ? " heavy b i t c h . Very o c c a s s i o n -a l l y they conta ined some more programmatic elements, such as a l l e g e d p lans f o r revenge, but such responses were l i k e l y to become more e n t u s i a s t i c , and s t r ayed i n t o the p rov ince o f "Machismo". In any event , our sub jec t s were v o i c i n g / g i v i n g vent to a r e a l ha t red o f something def ined as e x t e r n a l to the s e l f . We encountered no one who a c t i v e l y de tes ted h im-se l f / some aspect o f h i m s e l f i n a m o t o r c y c l i n g con tex t , no r , as ve noted p r e v i o u s l y , were motorcycles the ob jec t s o f i l l 130 i n t e n t . The objec t o f m a l i c e , then , i s something o ther than the s e l f / t h e near and dear to s e l f , and i t i s the p roduc t / e f f e c t o f someone e l s e ' s a c t i o n s . (Hence, no one wishes the worst f o r the weather, except i n the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f the weatherman.) I f t h i s sounds ve ry much l i k e the respondent we desc r ibed as a lone Wolf , r e c a l l tha t we are d e a l i n g here w i th some-t h i n g that i s pr ima f a c i e "a bummer... a r o y a l pa in i n the a s s " . The c y c l i s t i s assuming the stance o f ind ignan t v i c -t i m o f something/someone e l s e ' s a c t i o n s . Th i s i s h a r d l y a ve ry "manly" s tance , however malevolent i t may be. I t i s not merely an ave r s ion f o r o r g a n i z a t i o n , "the r u l e s and r e g u l a -t i o n s " e i t h e r , though tha t c e r t a i n l y p l ays a par t i n i t . The c y c l i s t i s r e a c t i n g to any and a l l forms o f " a c t i o n " , anyth ing tha t "hass les" h im. Th i s i s best c l a s s i f i e d by examples, so l e t us g i v e some c o n s i d e r a t i o n to the r o s t e r o f d i s p i c a b l e e x t e r n a l phenomena. For a grea t many peop le , these s p e c i f i c compla in ts are par t o f what m o t o r c y c l i n g means. Each o f them i s a bummer, and sub jec t s evinced p r o t e s t a t i o n s o f a c t i v e i l l - w i l l . Heading the l i s t o f t h i n g s tha t any and every c y c l i s t can hate are helmets , most maligned objec t o f the motorcyc le m i l i e u . By f a r the most p reva len t and pe tu l an t complaint about m o t o r c y c l i n g - a s - i t - s t a n d s was, "Helmets are a goddamn 131 n u i s a n c e / a p i s s o f f / a headache/good f o r s h i t / c h i c k e n s h e l l s / a f u c k i n ' d r a g . " The s t a t e of C a l i f o r n i a has f o r yea r s hosted a running b a t t l e between the government and f ree s p i r i t s over the i s sue o f compulsory helmet l e g i s l a t i o n . To da te , the c y c l i s t s have emerged uncovered, and r e s i s t a n c e to any such e d i c t has e sca l a t ed to a permanent l o b b y . Winnipeg wi tnessed a more spontaneous d i s p l a y o f i l l - f e e l i n g when the p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e attempted to push through t h i s r u l i n g . In the space o f th ree days a p ro tes t was "organzed", at l e a s t to the extent where at an appointed t ime thousands of grumbl ing c y c l i s t s converged on the Mani toba l e g i s l a t i v e grounds. N a t u r a l l y , t h i s a t t r a c t e d an even l a r g e r crowd o f s tandees . While the mood o f the crowd was not p a r t i c u l a r l y h o p e f u l , the e l e c t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , d i s c o v e r i n g the en f ran-ch i sed ba rba r i ans at the ve ry ga tes , f l e w i n t o a p a n i c . The b i l l was. dropped i n s t a n t a n e o u l y . T h i s i s the o n ly area i n which c y c l i s t s have " r e a l l y got t h e i r s h i t toge ther" i n response to o u t s i d e agg reva t i on . The mood i s d e f i n i t e l y not macho, no one s e r i o u s l y suggests l y n c h i n g the l e g i s l a t o r s ; but i t i s e v o l v i n g beyond a s imple m a l i c e , i n the near fu tu re i t may . cons t i t u t e something u n -precedented i n m o t o r c y c l i n g behaviour : r a t i o n a l l y o rgan ized r e s i s t a n c e . As f o r the r e s t o f our s u b j e c t s ' squawks, they con t a in no such proposa ls f o r a c t i o n . Kost c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the helmet i s s u e , but without the elements o f o r g a n i z a t i o n , 132 were the odd complaints about compulsory l i a b i l i t y i n su rance , l i c e n s e and r e g i s t r a t i o n f ee s , speed l i m i t s , h o s p i t a l zones and r e s t r i c t i v e v e h i c l e i n s p e c t i o n c r i t e r i a (Mani toba has r e c e n t l y banned "ape hangers", C a l i f o r n i a i s a t tempt ing to r e s t r i c t " sp r i n g e r s " and "extended g l i d e s " , Colorado, p r o -h i b i t s any "frame a l t e r a t i o n s " . ) . Next on the l i s t o f most odious t o p i c s o f c o n v e r s a t i o n are the p o l i c e , and c l o s e runners up they were. We encoun-t e r ed a hundred d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n s o f t h i s compla in t . I~t i s a common t h i n g f o r m o t o r c y c l i s t s to l o a t h the minions o f j u s t i c e , be they mounted or no . " I ' d l i k e to see 'em stuffed.. '*' At t imes q u i v e r i n g wi th rage , respondents would d i s c l o s e how they got t h e i r l a s t speeding t i c k e t s / h o w they had to spend a n igh t i n the tank/how two o f f i c e r s i n a squad car ran him o f f the r o a d / e t c , e t c . , e t c . . There i s o b v i o u s l y a r e a l need f o r some so r t o f comparative d a t a here; none the les s , i n the c y c l i s t s ' own e s t i m a t i o n , they are " s i n g l e d out f o r a '. hard t i m e " . A f t e r the p o l i c e come the p r o p r i e t o r s ana mechanics i n the motorcyc le s a l e s and s e r v i c e t r a d e . "Those grease mon-k i e s got you over a f u c k i n ' b a r r e l . " They were v a r i o u s l y desc r ibed as "incompetent a s s h o l e s . . . t h e i v i n g g y p s i e s . . . o n l y out f o r a f a s t b u c k . . . c r u m m y . . . b i k e s t r i p p e r s " . Along w i t h the c y c l e shop "burns" go the i l l e g a l " r i p o f f s " . Thefts 133 were attributed to a l l manner of individuals and groups, and they are of very urgent concern to the motorcyclist. A bike i s very vulnerable to t h i s sort of crime, so a quota of ran-cor i s directed at the " r i p o f f a r t i s t s " , and another portion i s reserved for the perpetrators of vandalism, "those seat slashing punics"* l a s t on the l i s t , but regrettably s t i l l on i t , comes "the old lady". The consensus among these respondents was that "women just don't understand". Like the policeman, a subject's "chick" or his "mama" i s elevated to the status of a blocking figure and becomes one more object of a motorcyclist's malice. CHAPTER TEN ANXIETY 134 The second themat ic "Bummer" i s c o n s t i t u t e d by a l l r e -cur ren t elements o f anx ie ty i n the subject responses . There i s an unders tandable c o n v e r s a t i o n a l l i n k wi th " K i c k s " , pa r -t i c u l a r l y i n the uppermost reaches o f tha t theme.. A l s o , the most b e l l i g e r e n t "Machismo" behaviours w i l l be invoked , de-pending as they do on the p o s s i b i l i t y o f c o n f l i c t . However, we have devised a separate theme f o r the elements o f m i s g i v -i n g because i n ins tances where they occur red the conve r sa t i on took a dec ided ly nega t ive t u r n ; another whole range o f motor-c y c l e meanings had been in t roduced i n t o the encounter . By the term anxie ty we in tend a s t a t e o f be ing uneasy, apprehensive, or "worr ied about what w i l l happen". I i i i s a bummer, but i t i s not an e n t i r e l y nega t ive emot ional s t a t e . T y p i c a l l y , one f i n d s a few p o s i t i v e elements, such as a mor-b i d f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h danger, he ld i n t e n s i o n wi th sub jec t apprehensions. A b i t o f bravado might even i n t r u d e . In any event , anx ie ty i s a t e n s i v e s t a t e ; the o v e r a l l emotive e f f e c t i s an "unpleasant ache". In a d d i t i o n , there i s no element o f ma l i ce i n v o l v e d . Subjects reac ted to t h r e a t e n i n g s t i m u l i n o n b a l e f u l l y , probably because o f the d i f f e r e n c e s i n how these e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s were c o n c e p t i o n a l i z e d . M a l i c e i s d i r e c t e d at the product o f someone e l s e ' s , a c t i v i t i e s : "Cops-are a h a s s l e " . Anxie ty focuses a respondent ' s a t t e n t i o n on the near and dear m i l i e u : " I 'm scared s i l l y aboxit g e t t i n g i n t o an acc ident on t h i s t h i n g ; i t ' s dangerous." 135 Subjects expressed v a r y i n g degrees o f f ea r at the p re -sence o f the dangerous m i l i e u , but t h i s d i d not appear to be i n any way r e l a t e d to d i f f e r e n t f a c e t s o f t h e i r behav iour , as was the case w i th " m i l d / w i l d " k i c k s . A l s o , they d i d not ela.bora.te on t h i s theme to any grea t ex ten t , probably because i t i s not a p a r t i c u l a r l y "manly" t h i n g to manifest a n x i e t y . None the less , we i n t u i t e d tha t t h i s was an important aspect of what m o t o r c y c l i n g means. L was imposs ib l e to determine i f any or a l l o f the respondents who expressed fea r were j u s t gene ra l worrywar ts , or perhaps people who had a c t u a l i z e d t h e i r l a t e s t anx ie ty i n a p h y s i c a l o b j e c t , and, i f so , how these sub jec t s would be r e l a t e d to the r e s t o f the p o p u l a t i o n . There are some r a t h e r obvious examples which might be taken as evidence o f such g e n e r a l i z e d m i s g i v i n g : some sub-j e c t s s p o r t i n g the t a t t o o e d / b a l l p o i n t i n s c r i p t i o n "born to l o s e " or "born l o s e r " , or the asmiss ion "I 'm a fuckup" , o r the predominance of death imagery i n B i k e r and n e o - B i k e r m i l i e u s ; but such cases were few i n p r o p o r t i o n to the propon-ents o f the gene ra l theme, and these respondents d i d not n e c e s s a r i l y evince any (o ther) elements o f a n x i e t y . A l l t ha t we can be c e r t a i n o f i s tha t the apprehensions are present among the p o p u l a t i o n as a whole, and tha t they are c l o s e l y a s soc i a t ed w i t h the ob jec t s o f the m i l i e u and the respondents ' m o t o r c y c l i n g behav iou r s . 136 Many elements of m i s g i v i n g were r a the r non s p e c i f i c , " fuzzy w o r r i e s " * R e p l i e s might never proceed beyond the a s s e r t i o n tha t "motorcycles are dangerous". At o ther t imes the d i s c u s s i o n cou ld focus qu i t e s p e c i f i c a l l y on the two g rea t e s t f ea r s o f the c y c l i s t : i n j u r y and dea th . In t h i s con t ex t , there does not appear to be any "acc iden t d i s t r i b u -t i o n " ' such tha t one might dec ide whether most m o t o r c y c l i s t s blame t h e i r envisaged d i s a s t e r s on t h e i r own or on someone e l s e ' s e r r o r . R e c a l l . t h a t the emphasis i s on the danger . i n v o l v e d , not the a s s i g n a t i o n o f blame. There are , o f course , " f a v o u r i t e acc iden t s to t a l k about", but these are based e i t h e r on the respondent ' s own exper ience , "Lemme t e l l you about the t ime I . . . " , or upon whatever acc ident s t a t i s t i c s they chanced to read , "Le f t t u r n s , t h a t ' s the k i l l e r . . . " . S p e c i f i c a l l y not i nc luded i n t h i s theme i s the members' know-ledge tha t automobile d r i v e r s "are out to get y a ; couple o f m a r t i n i s under t h e i r b e l t s and they f i g u r e ' I ' m gonna get me a H e l l ' s A n g e l . " * . This forms part o f the " M a l i c e " theme* We mention i t here because as a p iece o f ( a s tound ing ly ) wide -spread m y t h i c a l knowledge, i t func t ioned as the s i n g l e most common i n t r o d u c t i o n to the much t o u c h i e r t o p i c o f " A n x i e t y " . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, i n j u r y and death are b road ly con -ce ived o f as " a c c i d e n t s " , and not more s p e c i f i c a l l y as the ( r e p r e h e n s i b l e ; r e s u l t o f some p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l ' s . , m i s t ake . . Th i s i s t rue i n the c u l t u r e - a s - a - w h o l e ; the t a sk 137 o f a f f i x i n g blame i s l e f t to a few s p e c i a l i s t s , the p o l i c e , the cour t s and the insurance, companies, who are on ly invoked a f t e r the f a c t . I t i s c e r t a i n l y t rue i n m o t o r c y c l i n g i n the context o f our anx ie ty theme, a l l the more so because a c c i -dents formed a p e c u l i a r l y popular t o p i c o f c o n v e r s a t i o n . D i s c u s s i o n s about d a n g e r / i n j u r y / d e a t h were d e c i d e d l y p e s s i -m i s t i c , even f a t a l i s t i c . The onus i s on the omnipresent and i n s c r u t i b l e "chance" f a c t o r s . Ouce aga in , as was t rue o f the elements o f " M a l i c e " , we have the m o t o r c y c l i s t as v i c t i m ; t h i s t ime the pawn not o f ano ther ' s repro.achable a c t i o n s , but o f uncensured f a t e . "Everybody has a bad one sooner or l a t e r . Jus t c a l l y o u r s e l f l u c k y i f you l i v e through i t . Sometimes come out a vege tab le though, and t h a t ' s bad . " . "A l o t of the guys have bought i t . Snake never knew what h i t h im. He c o u l d n ' t have seen i t coming.. Blooey I He used to t a l k about i t a l o t , about how i t ' d happen, and what people should do a f t e r he was gone. We had a b i g pa r ty ^ j u s t l i k e he s a i d . " "Three s t e e l p i n s , n ine ty - seven s t i t c h e s : I take i t e a s i e r now; i t cou ld be the one coming around the next c o r n e r . You never know when your number's up, t h a t ' s a f a c t . " CHAPTER ELEVEN CREEPY PEELINGS 138 We come now to the f i n a l " f i n d i n g " o f our i n i t i a l f i e l d i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . I t i s i n t h i s chapter tha t the personage o f the researcher f i g u r e s most p rominen t ly , though we have t r i e d throughout to keep ou r se lves i n some corner o f the p i c t u r e . Our l a s t " f a c t : : cou ld be d i smissed f o r t h i s reason as an a p r i o r i r e sea rch b i a s , or a mere b i t o f fancy ; but we have p r e f e r r e d to present i t as an i n t u i t i v e i n s i g h t i n t o the phenomena. More p r e c i s e l y (but not much more), " I ' v e got a creepy f e e l i n g about the "Bummers", e s p e c i a l l y the l a s t one ." : Right away, the reader w i l l see tha t t h i s i s go ing to be a r a t h e r d i f f i c u l t one to e x p l a i n . Nonethe less , we s h a l l g i v e i t a t r y , because i t was t h e r e , because i t i s important f o r Sec t i on Three, and because i f i t had not been f o r "the creepy f e e l i n g tha t something 's go ing on t h e r e " , the re p rob-ab ly would have been no Sec t i on Three, and v/e would have s e t t l e d f o r a schemat i za t ion o f elements o f subject responses ( f o r b e t t e r or f o r worse) . Here then , i s something which , l i k e "None o f your goddamn b u s i n e s s ! " , does not f i t the schema, and f o r which we s h a l l have to generate some so r t o f account . In the course o f ask ing a l a r g e number o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s what they got out o f i t we r e c e i v e d a range o f answers- Over t ime we began to know what s o r t s of r e p l i e s to expect; hence, we dev i sed a s chemat i za t ion o f e lementa l themes, or " th ings you are l i k e l y to hear" . Moreover, the da ta g a t h e r i n g s i t u -139 a t i o n was the face to face encounter , a two-way t h i n g , and we g r a d u a l l y became aware o f the t y p i c a l expec ta t ions which respondents might have o f u s . We come to the f i n d i n g * No s i n g l e expec ta t ion or common type o f expec t a t i on s t r u c k us so f o r c i b l y as t h i s : T h a t when respondents evinced elements, o f m a l i c e / a n x i e t y they were r e p l y i n g "one b i k e r to another" , w i th the a n t i c i p a t i o n / a s s u r a n c e tha t we, the r e sea rche r , would most c e r t a i n l y understand "what i t a l l means". "You know what I 'm s a y i n g . " ' As exp la ined i n S e c t i o n One, we c o n s c i o u s l y c a l c u l a t e d the f e l l o w m o t o r c y c l i s t s tance throughout , but nowhere, not even among the B i k e r s , d i d t h i s i d e n t i t y serve us i n such good s tead as i n the ins t ances o f the themat ic "3ummers". That i s our judgment o f the mat ter , a "creepy f e e l i n g " , and not much more. Before we begin S e c t i o n Three, what can we make o f i t w i t h what we a l ready have, the ve ry responses t ha t gave us t h i s f e e l i n g ? We have assumed tha t a l l responses to our ques t ion represent something tha t i s meaningful to our sub jec t s . . Some respondents , most no t ab ly the B i k e r s , a lso a r t i c u l a t e d some over t measure o f importance f o r t h e i r meanings. By compar i -son wi th the o ther themes, "Bummers" r e p l i e s may seem r e l a -t i v e l y non-complex, and might , f o r t h i s reason be i n t e r p r e t e d as not n e a r l y so important i n the o v e r a l l behav iou ra l c o n t e x t . I t would be easy to conclude that they were " ju s t sca red" or 140 " jus t p i s s e d o f f " . Y e t , i n t u i t i v e l y aga in , when the conver -s a t i o n turned to t h ings unpleasan t , we had the d i s t i n c t i m -p r e s s i o n tha t a subject was conveying something tha t was ve ry meaningful to him, something tha t should not be l i g h t l y regarded f o r a l l the p roponent ' s i n a r t i c u l a t e n e s s -Accep t ing t h i s . p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the moment, we mentioned tha t these s t r o n g l y nega t ive themes came out i n the over t con t ex t , "one b i k e r to another" . We are r e f e r r i n g to any form of "group cohes iveness" , the e n t h u s i a s t i c s o l i d a r i t y o f gangs and c l u b s . I f tha t were the case, them we might have expected the p o l i c e , the on ly other e x t e r n a l l y o rgan ized subset o f the p o p u l a t i o n , to respond i n t h i s manner, which they d e f i n i t i v e l y d i d n o t . We are d e a l i n g wi th a ve ry loose form of communal-i t y , the s imple possess ion o f a motorcyc le m i l i e u - i h i s was apparent ly s u f f i c i e n t b a s i s f o r a respondent to assume tha t h i s Bummers would be i n t e l l i g i b l e to and s e r i o u s l y regarded by the l i s t e n e r . By and l a r g e , m o t o r c y c l i s t s are not an o rgan ized l o t . The f o r m a l l y s t r u c t u r e d groups are a minute p o r t i o n s o f the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n . The r e s t , the g rea t mass o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s , do not even "get toge ther" i n f o r m a l l y . Yet subjects- were p a t e n t l y assuming some s u f f i c i e n t communality o f unders tanding under the r u b r i c o f our l a s t two themes. I t was not s imply the case tha t the "Bummers", e s p e c i a l l y the elements o f a n x i e t y , were the hardest ones to e x p l a i n ( f o r many they undoubtedly were); i t was a l so assumed tha t 1 4 1 they r e q u i r e d the l e a s t amount o f e x p l i c a t i o n . Only the ve ry s imple nega t ive elements and the emot ive ly p o s i t i v e ones m e r i t e d / r e q u i r e d a long-winded r e p l y . F i n a l l y , i t \iss our d i s t i n c t impress ion tha t t h i s a l l had something most d i r e c t l y to do wi th m o t o r c y c l i n g . We were not s imply expected .to understand, one reasonably homologous human be ing to another; we are not d e a l i n g w i t h any u n i v e r s a l "death consc iousness" . Y e t , n e i t h e r are we i m p l y i n g the other extreme, tha t "on ly a b i k e r would get i t " . . However, we were expected to unders tand, because we were another motor-c y c l i s t , r e g a r d l e s s o f whether or not anyone e l se can/does share the in tended meanings. To quote from our f i e l d no tes : " I t seems to me that we are ve ry c l o s e to the hear t o f the mat te r , Watson. I t i s something i n v o l v e d wi th "bad t imes" , at l e a s t i n so f a r as t h a t ' s the context i n which i t i n v a r i a b l y a r i s e s ; but i t i s no morbid p r e -occupa t ion w i t h be ing "bummed ou t" . There i s something about mo to rcyc l i ng -a s - a -who le which ge ts at t h i s / t h i s so r t of . t h i n g ge ts a t / t hey get out o f i t as' c y c l i s t s . " What i s there about the .cummers tha t cou ld account f o r t h i s respondent expec ta t ion? In t h i s themat ic contex t i t seems to be the " v i c t i m " s t ance , the m o t o r c y c l i s t as f e c k l e s s pawn ceding to f a t e and foe a l i k e , xhere i s a tone o f r e s i g -n a t i o n tha t runs through a l l such responses , a sense o f one ' s i n a b i l i t y to do anyth ing about i t a l l , except , perhaps, to wish someone i l l . nespondents f e e l tha t they are unable to cope when somebody/fate " i s out to get y o u " . Apparent ly the re i s s o l i d a r i t y i n such n e g a t i o n s . 142 Perhaps t h i s i s unders tandable f o r " M a l i c e " i n the q u a s i -p o l i t i c a l terms of a " c l a s s " consc iousness . Here we have the fragmented communality o f the "downtrodden". Y e t , how i s i t t ha t such a consciousness came to be produced/disseminated? We as resea rchers f e l t a powerful o b l i g a t i o n not o n l y to accede tha t m o t o r c y c l i s t s are m i s t r e a t e d , but to acqu iesce , as m o t o r c y c l i s t s , "What the fuck can you do about i t ? " S t i l l more p u z z l i n g i s the case o f a n x i e t y . Why should i t be tha t m o t o r c y c l i n g i s n e c e s s a r i l y the provenience o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l f a t a l i s m ? " I 'm s t i l l around, y o u ' r e s t i l l around.. Why do we both t a l k as i f ve won ' t be here tomorrow? S e c t i o n TWO con ta ins a number o f open ques t ions /unex-p l a i n e d phenomena, o f which the preceding i s but one. We were not able to u n r a v e l them i n the course o f out i n i t i a l , "What do you get out o f i t ? " encounters . On the o ther hand, we d i d manage to dev i se and e x p l i c a t e a schema tha t r ecoun t s much tha t i s meaningful f o r m o t o r c y c l i s t s . In an e f f o r t to make sense out of the residuum o f conundrums, we went back i n t o the f i e l d and asked our s u b j e c t s , "What the h e l l i s go ing on here anyway?", c a l l i n g tha t procedure " c o n s u l t a t i v e f e e d -back" . S e c t i o n Three con ta ins o u r / t h e i r answers to some o f these p u z z l e s . To c l o s e o f f S e c t i o n Two and to i l l u s t r a t e the p e r p l e x i n g and p e s s i m i s t i c s o l i d a r i t y wi th which t h i s l a s t chapter has been concerned, we o f f e r the f o l l o w i n g v i g n e t t e . 143 A l l n i g h t long the b i k e r s have been packing i n , c r a sh ing where t h e r e ' s a p l a c e , s tanding around when t h e r e ' s none and nobody they know. Some heard too l a t e , o thers have been delayed by d i s t a n c e , breakdown, s t a t e p a t r o l s and the f r e e z i n g weather; t h e y ' l l probably go on a r r i v i n g long a f te r Eddy i s l a i d away. The f u n e r a l i s n ' t u n t i l e l e v e n . I t ' s q u i e t . The bars a r e n ' t open y e t , and everybody 's w a i t i n g on a common t i m e . Grandpa Eddy was an o l d t ime b i k e r , one o f the ones who came back to C a l i f o r n i a a f t e r the war and got a H a r l e y i n -s tead o f a j o b . He o rgan ized the Gypsy S l a v e s , then a f t e r they disbanded worked h i s way up to p res iden t o f the Vagos, r e t i r i n g i n 1968. The Vagos a r e n ' t an ou t law c l u b , but they a r e n ' t sanc t ioned by the A . M . A . e i t h e r , and some say t ha t Eddy was the best pres they ever had. Eddy bought i t i n mid-November. Side-slammed by some b a r - c l o s i n g c i t i z e n , and he d i ed i n the s t r e e t w h i l e the d r i v e r s k i p p e d . He was f o r t y - e i g h t years o l d , w i t h one c h i l d by a marr iage tha t broke up a long time ago. Nobody knows where h i s wi fe i s , but h i s son, A r n i e , w i l l be r i d i n g Eddy ' s chop at the head o f the f u n e r a l r u n . They got the b i k e back toge the r , the Vagos and some f r i e n d s . Iu was a t o t a l wreck, but today t h e y ' v e got i t runn ing j u s t l i k e Eddy always kept i t . Somebody says i t ' s l i k e hav ing Eddy back w i t h u s . A few minutes before e leven the hearse p u l l s out o f the f u n e r a l home, and a b l o c k up the s t r e e t , i n a p a r k i n g l o t , the run b e g i n s . There ' s almost a hundred and f i f t y o f them now, not coun t ing the p o l i c e e s c o r t , and t h e y ' l l p i c k up more along the r o u t e . I t ' s s low going to the cemetary, but nobody's i n a h u r r y , no l e a p f r o g g i n , no s t u n t s . I t ' s Eddy ' s l a s t r u n . A l l a long the way the p rocess ion p i c k s up more b i k e s * Some are s t r a g g l e r s , s t i l l knapsacked and backpacking; o the r s probably d o n ' t even know who's be ing b u r i e d . The cor tege j u s t comes n a t u r a l , everyone knows how i t ought to f e e l . The spec ta to r s are a l i t t l e more confused. On the s i d e w a l k s , i n c a r s , they f o l l o w wi th t h e i r eyes. A few on b i k e s look l i k e they might hang i n , but then decide not t o . The re ' s no honking , no h a s s l e s . B i k e r s are s t rung out an unbroken h a l f m i l e now, s tonefaced . Above the unnerv ing bedlam of the engines a t a c i t s i l e n c e thunders . 144 At the cemetery there i s n ' t room to park the c y c l e s and minor pandemonium erupts at the t a i l o f the p roces s ion when p o l i c e herd choppers o f f the grave s i t e s - Par i n f r o n t A r n i e has found or p i cked s i x p a l l b e a r e r s , and they l u g Eddy to the edge. Tne ba rba r i ans gather around. Someone uns t raps a s i x pack and the p a l l b e a r e r s douse the c o f f i n between s l u g s . As the box i s be ing lowered people ere a l ready d r i f t i n g away, running t h e i r engines up and"down, c u r s i n g when they won' t k i c k ove r . Eddy 's t ime i s done. The cha in i s one l i n k s h o r t e r . 145 FOOTNOTES FOR SECTION TWO CHAPTER TWO 1. So much so, i n f a c t , t h a t s u b j e c t s n o t e d " I t ' s - a l o t more c o m f o r t a b l e t o walk i f i t ' s not too f a r . " 2. F or example, i n s u r a n c e companies g i v e t h e c y c l e d r i v e r j u s t about one chance out o f two o f s u r v i v i n g a major c o l l i s i o n ; t h e c y c l e passenger g e t s f r a o t i o n a l l y p o o r e r odds. I n j u r y i s a v i r t u a l c e r t a i n t y . 3. Now you know where you f i t , Howard; t h a t i s , i f you were t e l l i n g t h e t r u t h . . . a n d i f I r e a d you c o r r e c t l y . . . and i f 4. A r e f e r e n c e t o t h e " l e s s sound more ground" campaign, a p l e a / p l u g f o r more e f f e c t i v e / e x p e n s i v e m u f f l e r s . CHAPTER THREE 1. Drunk on a u t h o r i t y i n s t e a d o f b e e r , p u r v e y o r s o f l e g i t i m a t e f o r c e i n s t e a d o f s a t y r s o f naked power? 2. Each p a t r o l m a n i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i n s p e c t i n g h i s motor-c y c l e d a i l y b e f o r e r i d i n g i t , and f o r r e q u e s t i n g any adj u s t m e n t s o r r e p a i r s he deems n e c e s s a r y ; so i n a d d i t i o n t o K i c k s elements o f M e c h a n i c a l B r i d e appear. 3. Hot so s t r a n g e l y enough, t h e P o l i c e Academy t r a i n s women f o r r e a l p o l i c e work, but no women are a s s i g n e d t o p a t r o l d u t y . CHAPTER FOUR 1. See Machismo, t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f B i k e r s . 2. T h i s may a l s o e x p l a i n why some gas s t a t i o n s w i l l have n o t h i n g t o do w i t h c y c l i s t s o t h e r t h a n s e l l i n g gas ( t h e y do n o t even s t o c k t h e c o r r e c t o i l s , though i t would c e r t a i n l y p r o f i t them t o do s o ) . The mechanics a re q u i t e c a p a b l e o f c a t e r i n g t o t h e c y c l e t r a d e , p o s s e s s i n g a l l t h e n e c e s s a r y t o o l s and s k i l l s , but they do not l o v e b i k e s . Even though i t would be a job t h e y r e f u s e t o have a n y t h i n g t o do w i t h i t . . C y c l i s t s are at t h e b e n e v o l e n t mercy "of d e d i c a t e d c y c l e mechanics". 146 CHAPTER POUR 3. See the Appendix on The Motorcyc le Syndrome. CHAPTER FIVE 1. How about Har ley Dav idson ' s l a t e s t e f f o r t : "A t i c k e t out o f a wor ld you never made"? CHAPTER SIX 1. These would make a f a s c i n a t i n g study i n themselves , but we had n e i t h e r the t ime nor the o p p o r t u n i t y to examine, these groups more c l o s e l y . I t would be d i f f i c u l t , i f •not imposs ib l e to do so from any "observer" s t andpo in t . 2. Th i s behaviour has to be seen to be b e l i e v e d . For a f i l m e d v e r s i o n o f i t see the movie "Al tamonfo . 3. Anal r e t e n t i o n t h e o r i s t s take h e a r t . 4. - A c t u a l l y , they are f a r l e s s than 1$.. By a rough and c o n s e r v a t i v e es t imate , one percent would y i e l d some f o r t y to f i f t y thousand unwashed ba rba r i ans at l a r g e a l l across the Americas , which i s d e f i n i t i v e l y not the c a s e . There i s no cause f o r alarm; the Huns are not at the g a t e . CHAPTER SEVEN 1. I n t e r e s t i n g l y ..enough few people had any compla in t s or p r a i s e f o r the c o n d i t i o n s o f the roads , perhaps because they are r a t h e r . l e s s v a r i a b l e , but a lso because, u n l i k e the weather, they are remotely w i t h i n the rea lm o f human c o n t r o l . They do not c o n s t i t u t e such a safe t o p i c o f c o n v e r s a t i o n . 2. See T r a n s p o r t a t i o n . SECTION THREE 147 We begin t h i s S e c t i o n w i t h a summation o f the major f ea tu res o f e l l the i n i t i a l d a t a g a t h e r i n g encoun te r s . We must be c e r t a i n about what t r a n s p i r e d before we can f i g u r e out what the h e l l i s go ing on . T O beg in w i t h , the re are two i n t r a c t a b l e f ace t s o f the i n t e r a c t i o n which v / i l l not s i t comfor tably wi th the res t . . One i s the ba ld - f aced r e j o i n d e r "None o f your goddamn bus iness!" ' , the o ther i s the arcane i n v o c a t i o n o f the brotherhood o f beleaguered b i k e r s . F o r -t u n a t e l y , such tu rns o f a f f a i r s are the excep t ion to the r u l e . Most o f the encounters went qu i t e "no rma l ly" ; they c o n s i s t e d i n the face to face exchange of mutua l ly s i g n i f i c a n t symbols, prompted by a ques t ion , and c o n t i n u i n g to the mutual s a t i s -f a c t i o n o f both p a r t i e s . Let us cons ider the g e n e r a l fear-t u r e s o f these more p e l l u c i d subject b e h a v i o u r s . To begin w i t h , they answered the ques t i on . There was no n e c e s s i t y to say anyth ing upon be ing but tonholed on the s t r e e t , n e i t h e r was the re any need to s t i c k to the q u e s t i o n . I t would have been a s imple matter to ignore the o v e r t u r e , or to change the sub j ec t . In f a c t , at the s t a r t we had some doubts about whether the man on the s t r e e t technique would work at a l l , but i t d i d ; i t worked ve ry w e l l . Secondly, sub jec t s s a i d a .'very great d e a l . Even the l e a s t e labora te responses conta ined l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n . There was no guarantee tha t the ques t i on , c a r e f u l l y cons idered as i t was, would s t r i k e a r e spons ive 148 chord i n the s u b j e c t s . We had hoped f o r some s o r t o f answer, some p i t t a n c e on which to cons t ruc t a t h e s i s . We r e c e i v e d f a r more than'we cou ld ever have a n t i c i p a t e d . Iu was our d i s t i n c t impress ion throughout these h i g h l y p roduc t ive en-counters tha t not on ly had sub jec t s thought about t h i s s o r t o f ques t ion beforehand, but t h i s was the very ques t ion t ha t they had been dy ing to answer. So much f o r the immediately a s t o n i s h i n g f ea tu res o f i n d i v i d u a l encounters . What can be s a i d about these i n c i d e n t s i n a more comparative con t ex t , by v i r t u e o f a n a l y t i c h i n d -s i g h t ? F i r s t , the responses conta ined a g rea t dea l tha t was common. The same wTords, the same phrases , congruent thought forms, the se l f -same meanings cropped up again and aga in . For the moment we can on ly specu la te about the o r i g i n o f such m u t u a l i t y , s i n c e i t was not f e a s i b l e to a r r e s t the f l o w o f i n fo rma t ion and ask, "Where d i d you l e a r n t h a t ? " Th i s much was obv ious , though; a l l f i f t e e n hundred of them had not gathered together beforehand to l e g i s l a t e t h e i r responses . They had not a l l seen the same movies, read the i d e n t i c a l books, or been together i n one p lace at any one t ime; n e i t h e r had they t a l k e d about i t among themselves to any grea t e x t e n t . They have not "got i t toge ther" w h i l e en m i l i e u i n even the remotest sense o f the term, ye t they shared much the same meanings f o r t h e i r behav iour . Secondly , these common meanings formed a very l a r g e and 149 very important p a r t of t h e i r responses. C e r t a i n l y , t h e r e was a wealth of p u r e l y s u b j e c t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n that was both c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f and unique to each i n d i v i d u a l respondent -The p r o p o r t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l i t y - c o m m u n a l i t y would also v a r y from s u b j e c t to s u b j e c t . However, at l a s t an e q u a l l y s i g n i f -i c a n t p o r t i o n of a " t y p i c a l " r e p l y would c o n s i s t o f meanings that were common among respondents-as-a-whole. The " s u b j e c -t i v i t y " o f the encounters was f a r l e s s than might r e a s o n a b l y have been expected; we. had a n t i c i p a t e d that "everybody... (would be)...on h i s own t r i p " to a much g r e a t e r degree-In t h i s comparative context, and i n the l i g h t of t h i s s i g n i f i c a n t c o n j o i n t s o c i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n of meanings, we have devoted S e c t i o n Two to a schematizat i o n of shared elements o f s u b j e c t responses. We f e e l j u s t i f i e d i n a s s e r t i n g t h a t t h i s schema, r e p r e s e n t s a l a r g e and important p a r t of what motor-c y c l i n g means i n North America. Por the p u r i s t s i n the audience we would append a l l s u i t a b l e c a u t i o n s about sampling, p r e d i c t a b i l i t y and g e n e r a l i z a t i o n of r e s u l t s . The n i n e major b e h a v i o u r a l themes co u l d c o n s t i t u t e " t h i n g s to l o o k f o r " ' i n any subsequent examination of motorcycle c o n s o c i a t e d phenom-ena. They present one k i n d of p e r s p e c t i v e on the phenomena; they are one v e r s i o n o f / s t o r y about what the h e l l i s g o i n g on. Nine i s a p r e t t y s m a l l number. One might reasonably l o o k f o r a much g r e a t e r v a r i e t y of meanings among a group o f persons whose o n l y a p r i o r i mutual c h a r a c t e r i s t i c was the p o s s e s s i o n o f 150 xhat which was b road ly def ined as a motorcyc le m i l i e u ( i g n o r -ing f o r the moment tha t we are a l l a l i ena ted- Americans i n the l a t t e r s tages o f c u l t u r a l c o l l a p s e , e t c . , e t c . , e t c . ) . A c c o r d i n g l y . nv f e e l cons t ra ined to account f o r both the manner end h igh degree o f s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n ; we must come up wi th another s t o r y , one tha t e x p l a i n s both the c o n -sensus and, i f p o s s i b l e . t h e two d i sco rdan t f ea tu res which c h a r a c t e r i z e some o f the encounters . T h i s , then , was the s t a t e of a f f a i r s as we presented i t to our hundred-odd r e p r e s e n t a t i v e respondents i n a s e r i e s o f second gene ra t ion encounters . The f i r s t f i n d i n g at t h i s l e v e l o f the . i n v e s t i g a t i o n was tha t t h i s h igh degree o f consensus, i t s manner and form was something w i t h which they v/ere a l ready f a m i l i a r , o r , at the ve ry l e a s t , some-t h i n g tha t they had l i t t l e t r o u b l e " p i c k i n g up on" and r e l a t i n g to t h e i r own conceptions, o f the mat te r . I t v/as not s u r p r i s i n g to them tha t c o n t i n e n t a l m o t o r c y c l i n g was-organ ized i n t h i s manner.(or cou ld be conceived o f as be ing organ ized i n t h i s manner - i t makes not a j o t o f d i f f e r e n c e here) or to t h i s degree. What i s immediately suggested by t h i s end the p rev ious f i n d i n g s i s the ex i s t ence o f some inheren t u n d e r l y i n g p r i n c i p l e o f b e h a v i o u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . We are not r e f e r r i n g to any set o f e x t e r n a l " s t r u c t u r a l c o n s t r a i n u s " which might be ope ra t i ng on the p o p u l a t i o n as a whole. ..Such 151 a concept ion of the matter i s f o r e i g n to our s u b j e c t s ' and, hence, our own way o f t h i n k i n g about the matter.. " I t ' s , go t something to do w i t h m o t o r c y c l i n g . " Other a n a l y t i c a l l y " e x t e r n a l " p e r s p e c t i v e s / e x p l a n a t i o n s o f the matter are by no means i m p o s s i b l e / u n i n t e r e s t i n g , but tha t has not been our approach. We s h a l l e x p l a i n the behaviours from the e x p e r i -ence o f those who produce i t . A c c o r d i n g l y , we began w i t h a r e a n a l y s i s o f the themes: as they stood to see i f we might d i s t i l l some e s s e n t i a l p r i n c i p l e s f o r t h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the phenomena. ,• • -We broke our themes, down i n t o nega t ive and p o s i t i v e , weak and s t rong , because at the t ime i t seemed "a s e n s i b l e t h i n g to do"* These a n a l y t i c d i s t r i b u t i o n s seemed to o rgan-i z e very r e a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n the response d i s p l a y s , event -u a l l y becoming par t o f the procedure by which e lements ,o f a p a r t i c u l a r theme cou ld be r e c o g n i z e d . Af t e r r e c e i v i n g some feedback about t h i s i t appears t h a t , , i n the f i r s t p l a c e , there i s something common to the s t rong p o s i t i v e and nega-t i v e themes which i s m i s s i n g from the w i l t e d ones. A crude; statement o f t h i s u n d e r l y i n g behav iou ra l d i s t i n c t i o n i s t ha t those who evince a ma jo r i t y o f weak elements i n t h e i r r e p l i e s are " jus t not in to b i k e s " . . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , i n terms o f the content o f the themes i n ques t ion , the weak p o s i t i v e themes are "not where c y c l i n g i s r e a l l y a t " . ' •Transpor ta t ion" and a "Job"' are not the prime c u l t u r a l connota t ions o f a 152 motorcyc le i n the e s t i m a t i o n o f the m o t o r c y c l i s t s , and these themes are not so c l o s e l y a l l i e d to the b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s which s t r u c t u r e the exper ience o f m o t o r c y c l i n g . S i m i l a r l y , the weak nega t ive themes are not "what i t ' s r e a l l y a l l about"'. As we concluded i n S e c t i o n Two, they are j u s t t o p i c s o f con-v e r s a t i o n , xhe i n fo rma t ion compounded i n "Weather" and "Mechanics" i s co r re spond ing ly l e s s important f o r the d i s t i l -l a t i o n o f the e s s e n t i a l aspects o f m o t o r c y c l i n g behav iour . On the b a s i s of these d i s t i n c t i o n s which the p a r t i c i -pants themselves are able to make, and which e v i d e n t l y f i g -ure i n the u n d e r l y i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the meanings o f motor-c y c l e s , l e t us p l ace the impuissant responses on the p e r i -phery o f the i n v e s t i g a t i o n . We must focus our a t t e n t i o n on the in t ense themes, the enthusiasms and the bummers which c h a r a c t e r i z e our s u b j e c t s ' behaviours . Consider those which are v i g o r o u s l y p o s i t i v e i n tone: uhe Mechanica l B r i d e , K i c k s and Machismo* In g e n e r a l , they are a l l concerned wi th rewards cont ingent on the u t i l i z a t i o n o f a c o l l a t i o n o f gadgets , the motorcyc le m i l i e u . The exper iences tha t may be had by v i r -tue o f owning a motorcyc le are very reward ing , and produce enthusiasm/are endowed wi th s t rong p o s i t i v e meanings i n the minds o f our sub j ec t s ; but owning ( r e n t i n g , begging , borrow-i n g , s t e a l i n g ) a motorcyc le i s the s ine qua non f o r the enjoyment o f those exper iences . " M a l i c e " and " A n x i e t y " , on the o ther hand, are concerned wi th bummers tha t are a s soc ia t ed 153 wi th the ownership o f the m i l i e u and which stem from the owner 's i n a b i l i t y to cope, e i t h e r s o c i a l l y or p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , w i t h some o f the at tendant expe r i ences . What t h i s concept ion o f the matter suggests i s t h a t , taken toge the r , the in tense b e h a v i o u r a l themes are a l l mani-f e s t a t i o n s o f some degree o f a s o c i a b i l i t y . I f t h i s i s the exp lana tory p r i n c i p l e which we are s eek ing , then u t i l i z a t i o n o f the c o l l a t i o n o f gadgets should be a s soc i a t ed wi th a d i s -i n c l i n a t i o n to seek company. M o t o r c y c l i n g w i l l be c h a r a c t e r -i z e d by a dear th o f occass ions f o r agreeable conve r sa t i on and f r i e n d l y mutual exchange wi th o t h e r s . we would expect a s i g n i f i c a n t p o r t i o n o f m o t o r c y c l i n g behaviours to be non-g r e g a r i o u s , uncommunicative, n o n c o n v e r s a t i o n a l , and g e n e r a l l y i n a c c e s s i b l e f o r face to face i n t e r a c t i o n , l e t us look f i r s t at the themes and then a t ' m o t o r c y c l i n g behaviours i n g e n e r a l to see o f t h i s i s the case . I f i t i s , then we have produced another u s e f u l account o f the mat te r . Note tha t the power fu l ly p o s i t i v e themes can be thought o f as l y i n g on an unwrought continuum o f a s o c i a b i l i t y * Whi le i n d u l g i n g i n the p leasures o f the Mechanica l B r i d e , a subjec t must focus h i s whole a t t e n t i o n on a p h y s i c a l ob j ec t* "Doh'u i n t e r r u p t me. I d o n ' t wanna botch t h i s . " Por hours at a s t r e t c h and weeks/months/years at a t ime our respondents cou ld remain h a p p i l y l o c k e d up i n a basement, garage or shop. 154 For those who seek the t i t i l l a t i o n o f K i c k s the focus o f a t t e n t i o n i s the s e l f . Wnether g r a t i f i e d by the m i l d r e l i e f o f boredom o f by the w i l d e s t r i s k s , sub jec t s were p r i m a r i l y concerned wi th en joying the d i r e c t p h y s i c a l sensa t ions o f r i d i n g en m i l i e u . F i n a l l y , Machismo i s the most o v e r t l y s o c i a l o f the themes, depending as i t does on the presence o f someone e l s e to o f f e n d / b r u t a l i z e w i th one ' s v i r i l i t y . However, we can h a r d l y conclude that macho behaviours are thereby g r e -ga r ious or conducive to f r i e n d l y s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e . rhey are s o c i a l l y s i t u a t e d , more so than the two p rev ious themes, but t h e i r intended meanings are more profoundly a n t i - s o c i a l Even the B i k e r s , those most c o n v i v i a l o f a l l c y c l i s t s , and "the ones who are most i n t o b i k e s " , are s o c i a b l e i n a r a t h e r r e s t r i c t e d sense. They a s soc i a t e "only w i t h . . . ( t h e i r ) . . . . own k i n d " , and o n ly by v i r t u e o f segrega t ing themselves from commerce wi th "everyone e l s e " 0 Turn ing to a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the powerful nega t ive themes, i t w i l l be seen tha t M a l i c e i s l i k e w i s e a s o c i a l . C y c l i s t s do not g e n e r a l l y confront the supposed sources o f "the h a s s l e s " , e i t h e r i n the hope o f r e s o l v i n g them or s imply to "blow o f f steam"o The s i n g l e most commonly a s soc i a t ed behaviour i s l i t t l e more than the inward n u r t u r i n g o f i l l w i l l a f t e r the f a c t . I f one i s plagued wi th A i x i e t y , the immediate b e h a v i o u r a l e f fec t does not appear to be c o n s o c i -a t i o n . The fear o f death o r i n j u r y i s the l e a s t a r t i c u l a t e 155 of these two p r i m a r i l y inward meaning-s ta tes . One* a on ly o p t i o n would be a noncompanionable r a i l i n g agains t the gods . Or cons ider the case o f the two non-themat ized f ea tu re s o f the i n t e r a c t i o n d i scussed e a r l i e r i n t h i s S e c t i o n . "None of your goddamn b u s i n e s s ! " immediately suggests tha t there must be an a s o c i a l q u a l i t y to the b e h a v i o u r a l meanings we were s e e k i n g . The p r i n c i p l e would a lso e x p l a i n the f a c t t h a t the power fu l l y nega t ive themes, e s p e c i a l l y A n x i e t y , mer i t ed l e s s e x p l i c a t i o n . Subjects r e l i e d h e a v i l y on an assumed unders tanding because the meanings i n ques t ion are by t h e i r nature n o n c o n s o c i a t i v e . "Tha t ' s not the k i n d o f t h i n g you can t a l k about." ' I u i s extremely important to r e a l i z e tha t we are d e a l i n g w i t h a t h e m a t i z a t i o n of meanings, not o f m o t o r c y c l i s t s . . We are not a s s e r t i n g , by any s t r e t c h o f the i m a g i n a t i o n , t h a t m o t o r c y c l i s t s are a s o c i a l , s e c l u s i v e t r o g l o d y t e s . I t may or may not be the case tha t our respondents are e r e m i t i c , e i t h e r i n terms o f t h e i r own behaviour or i n comparison w i t h some other s p e c i f i a b l e p o p u l a t i o n ; we are i n no p o s i t i o n to say one way or the o the r , except perhaps by an arduous process o f e x t r a p o l a t i o n . What we are a rgu ing , however, i s tha t the meanings a s soc ia t ed w i th the motorcycle m i l i e u , p a r t i c u l a r l y the t h e m a t i c a l l y c e n t r i c ones, may be understood i n terms o f the u n d e r l y i n g a s o c i a l p r i n c i p l e . F u r t h e r , s i n c e we s t r e s s the p a r t i c i p a n t p e r s p e c t i v e , there must be something about 156 m o t o r c y c l i n g as i t stands which cou ld account f o r the presence o f these l e s s than g rega r ious meanings. What i s i t tha t our sub jec t s do w h i l e en m i l i e u ? What-ever i t i s we would n a t u r a l l y expect tha t i t would be r e l a t e d to what they say they get out of i t , and hence to our behav-i o u r a l themes. F u r t h e r , we would expect tha t whatever i t i s tha t they do w i l l have some connect ion w i th the a s o c i a l p r i n c i p a l tha t u n d e r l i e s the most important themes. Iu seems obv ious , almost to the po in t o f being b a n a l , tha t the most "motorcyc le" t h i n g tha t m o t o r c y c l i s t s do wh i l e eh m i l i e u i s r i d e around on m o t o r c y c l e s . That i s , i n our own and our s u b j e c t s ' e s t i m a t i o n o f the mat ter , the p r i n c i p a l behav iour / meaning as soc ia t ed w i th the m i l i e u . That at l e a s t i s what everyone ge ts out o f i t , " a r i d e " . . This po in t i s so patent tha t i t was seldom used as a r e p l y , except i n j e s t . The importance of i t i s not thereby d i scoun ted ; i t may be the very t h i n g we are a f t e r . From f i e l d obse rva t i on we may e x p l i c a t e the major f ea tu res o f a t y p i c a l r i d e . To begin w i t h , "They don ' t t a l k much, H a l " , i f at a l l . R i d i n g i s a mobi le a c t i v i t y , i t i s , l i k e the K i c k s cons idered i n S e c t i o n Two, an a c t i v i t y which has a d e f i n i t e " v e l o c i t y " to i t . Now, i t seems g e n e r a l l y t r u e - o f moving a c t i v i t i e s tha t as the speed o f the occass ion i n c r e a s e s , the s o c i a b i l i t y o f tha t occas s ion d e c l i n e s . A s o c i a b l e occas s ion i s one charac te r ized- by or a f f o r d i n g the oppor tun i ty fo r agreeable 157 c o n v e r s a t i o n . At a t e a p a r t y , where everyone i s s t and ing around, p a r t i c i p a n t s are d isposed to h o l d f r i e n d l y i n t e r -course , to engage i n the mutual exchange or communication of i d e a s . A c o c k t a i l p a r t y , along wi th whatever e l s e i t may (or may not) be, i s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f g rega r iousnes s . By a s o c i a b i l i t y we i n t e n d , of course , a comparative l a c k o f t h i s s o c i a b i l i t y . Another po in t to be noted about the v e l o c i t y o f occass ions i s tha t there i s a po in t at which face to face i n t e r a c t i o n , tha t most g rega r ious o f a l l forms o f s o c i a b i l i t y , drops o f f v e r y suddenly . The mere d e c i s i o n to go f o r a walk o b l i g a t e s one to ca r ry on conve r sa t ion i n p a r a l l e l . When one goes f o r a d r i v e i n the f a m i l y car there i s no p r o v i s i o n f o r the p a r t i c i p a n t s to s i t face to f a c e . These are compara t ive ly a s o c i a l o c c a s s i o n s . This b a s i c f ea tu re o f mobile a c t i v i t i e s i s based on the (presumably c o r r e c t ) assumption tha t ac to r s have a f i n i t e c a p a c i t y f o r hand l ing incoming s t i m u l i . . Aga in , the f a s t e r you go, the more you have to pay a t t e n t i o n to where and how. f a s t you are g o i n g , "otherwise y o u ' l l fuck up, H a ! " . Consider the motorcyc le r i d e r . . The on ly form o f two-person i n t e r a c t i o n which i s p rov ided f o r i s a taadera ar range-ment. In the words o f one o f the few passengers we encoun-t e r e d , " I t ' s a drag j u s t s t a r i n g at the back o f h i s he lme t . " ( O b v i o u s l y , there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r d i f f e r e n t i a l i n v o l v e -ment i n the behav iou ra l meanings we have a l ready examined.) 158 This b r i n g s us to another p o i n t : t y p i c a l l y there i s no passenger^ C y c l i s t s do not a v a i l themselves o f the oppor-t u n i t y f o r over the shoulder c o n v i v i a l i t y , l i m i t e d as tha t may be . Ne t i he r do they r i d e much i n groups . C l u s t e r s of c y c l i s t s are the excep t ion to the r u l e ; most o f our sub jec t s were s o l i t a r y r i d e r s . Where there are groups o f two or more r i d e r s , the oppor tun i ty f o r p a r a l l e l i n t e r a c t i o n i s i n t r o -duced, but t h i s i s immediately c a n c e l l e d by two f a c t o r s : n o i s e (which i s a lso o p e r a t i v e i n the case o f tandem sea t ing ) and the n e c e s s i t y o f m a i n t a i n i n g a l e s s - t h a n - s o c i a b l e d i s t a n c e between the moving m i l i e u x . Noise and d i s t a n c e a lso e f f e c -t i v e l y i s o l a t e the c y c l i s t s from n o n - c y c l i s t s , as w e l l as the obvious f a c t tha t they are moving and bys tanders are s t a n d i n g . Even at s t o p l i g h t s , one ' s f e l l o w m o t o r i s t s are seated on e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s , which i s h a r d l y conducive to a t e t e a t e t e . A l s o , much o f one's a t t e n t i o n i s taken up by the requirements o f g e t t i n g moving aga in . I t would seem that there are a l a r g e number o f p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the t y p i c a l r i d e which prec lude any i n t i m a t e / h i g h l y s o c i a b l e forms o f i n t e r a c t i o n . Of course , one might ask which came f i r s t , the purchase or the r e a l i z a t i o n , but tha t would take us i n t o the realm of m o t i v a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s . In any event , we can s a f e l y conclude that the a c t i v i t y o f motorcyc le r i d i n g as i t s tands i s a compara t ive ly a s o c i a l one. However, i t a l so seems obv ious , i f not b a n a l , tha t motor-159 c y c l i n g i s not a t e r r i b l y n o n s o c i a l a c t i v i t y (one would be hard pressed to imagine ju s t what an a b s o l u t e l y n o n s o c i a l : . . o cca s s ion might be l i k e - g h a s t l y perhaps) . I f i t was, i t would probably not be so smoothly i n t e g r a t e d w i th o ther more s o c i a l motorcyc le a ssoc ia ted behaviours as i t p r e s e n t l y i s . I f they are not g r e g a r i o u s , they are s t i l l engaged i n s o c i a l behaviour ; there i s some form and degree of communication tha t must occur i n order to c a r r y the a c t i v i t y o f f . An exami-n a t i o n o f t h i s second most obvious f ea tu re may a f fo rd some a d d i t i o n a l i n s i g h t i n to what i s r a p i d l y becoming a most convoluted S e c t i o n . Where do they r i d e ? T y p i c a l l y , i n tha t which was com-monly i d e n t i f i e d as "a p u b l i c p l a c e " . Th i s d e s i g n a t i o n i n c l u d e s roads , t r a c k s , c ross coun t ry , almost any imaginable r i d i n g s i t u a t i o n . Moreover, i n these p u b l i c s i t u a t i o n s the moving m i l i e u x are r i g i d l y segregated ( i n c r e a s i n g l y by law) from the more s t a t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s . Th i s i s the case i r r e -s p e c t i v e o f how s o c i a b l e an a c t i v i t y those who are not r i d i n g are engaged i n , probably due to the c o n s i d e r a t i o n s o u t l i n e d immediately above: the m o t o r c y c l i s t i s not able to m a i n t a i n any in tense back and f o r t h i n t e r a c t i o n w i th bys tanders any-way. In a d d i t i o n , a l so as o u t l i n e d above, the r i d e r s are almost e q u a l l y as i s o l a t e d from one another . These s imple s i t u a t i o n a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , when combined wi th the inheren t a s o c i a l p r i n c i p l e tha t c l e a r l y u n d e r l i e s m o t o r c y c l i n g behav-160 iours/meanings lead us to the f i n a l account of j u s t what the h e l l i s going on. D e l v i n g i n t o the realm of academic a b s t r a c t i o n , l e t the reader consider f o r a moment the t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t , Image Behaviour. "Behaviour" seems c l e a r enough, i t i s any form of human conduct; and s i n c e t h i s i s a s o c i o l o g i c a l t r e a t i s e , the term most l i k e l y r e f e r s to the a c t i o n s of human beings i n r e l a t i o n . Image Behaviour, then, must be some p a r t i c u l a r form of s o c i a l behaviour. Having deduced that much, l e t us assume f o r the purposes of argument that any s o c i a l behaviour w i l l i n v o l v e one or more communicative a c t s , s p e c i f i c a l l y the manipulation of s i g n i f i c a n t symbols. Without g e t t i n g too deeply i n t o Information Theory or Symbolic I n t e r -a c tionism,.since t h i s i s only a device to get across a p o i n t , we may set up a short paradigm of the p r o t o t y p i c a l communi-c a t i o n s i t u a t i o n . S o c i a l actor A g i v e s o f f s i g n i f i c a n t symbol X i n the general d i r e c t i o n of s o c i a l actor B. This i s the simplest communication act, and the "beginning" of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . B p i c k s up on i t and r e t u r n s i n k i n d with some other s o c i a l symbols s i g n i f y i n g g e n e r a l l y , "Yeah, I heard you, and t h i s i s what I t h i n k of i t . " This second act, from the viewpoint of A at l e a s t , c o n s t i t u t e s feedback. A p i c k s up on B's. r e a c t i o n , mulls i t over and modifies h i s behaviour.accordingly, eventu-a l l y sending out symbol Y„...etc. 161 Jaundiced as tha t view may be, i t i s a u s e f u l way o f unders tanding the p o s s i b l e forms o f s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r . i n order to see where Image Behaviour f i t s i n . I n t e r a c t i o n normal ly proceeds wi th t h i s two-way exchange o f s i g n i f i c a n t symbols/ meanings/behaviours . However, i t i s the b a s i c communicative act o f g i v i n g o f f some symbol tha t i s s o c i a l , , s i n c e i t immed-i a t e l y s e t s up a r e l a t i o n s h i p between two or more human be ings ; the feedback i s o p t i o n a l . The crude d i s t i n c t i o n which was made e a r l i e r between " s o c i a b l e " and " a s o c i a l " b e h a v i o u r s / a c t i v i t i e s may be understood i n t h i s l i g h t . A s o c i a b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p i s one c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a h igh degree o f mutua l -i t y i n the exchange o f s i g n i f i c a n t symbols. A s o c i a l o c c a s i o n s , from the v iewpoin t o f any s o c i a l ac tor A, w i l l be d e f i c i e n t i n o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r e v i n c i n g symbols and/or f o r r e c e i v i n g feedback, thus e f f e c t i v e l y c u r t a i l i n g the two-way f l o w tha t c h a r a c t e r i z e s more c o n v e r s a t i o n a l s i t u a t i o n s By imposing a number o f q u a l i f i c a t i o n s on the b a s i c paradigm, an account o f the mechanics o f "Image Behaviour i n the abs t r ac t " can be genera ted . Suppose tha t f o r one reason or another A r e c e i v e s very l i t t l e feedback on h i s behav iour , perhaps almost none; the communication process i s a predomi-n a n t l y one way a f f a i r . S ince t h i s i s not s u i t a b l e f o r the mutual exchange o f ideas i t i s an a s o c i a b l e o c c a s i o n , i n a d d i t i o n , t h i s i s understood as the n o r m e l / n o n p a t h e l o g i c a l s t a t e o f a f f a i r s ; there has been no "communication breakdown". 162T A l e c t u r e would be a good example at t h i s p o i n t , w i th the p rofessor as A. Fur the r suppose that a l l B has to do to ho ld up h i s end o f the a c t i v i t y i s to be present ; tha t i s the minimum f e e d -back r e q u i r e d to keep A pe r fo rming . I t i s not even necessary tha t B pay a t t e n t i o n to the symbols A i s m a n i f e s t i n g . No a d d i t i o n a l feedback, beyond cont inued presence, may ever be genera ted . This immediately reduces B to the s t a t u s o f ( p o s s i b l y d i s i n t e r e s t e d ) s p e c t a t o r . o f A ' s behav iour . A Monday morning l e c t u r e i s a good example of t h i s . D e l v i n g i n t o the p h i l o s o p h i c a l f o r a b r i e f moment, l e t us take f o r granted tha t "we are a l l s o c i a l an imals" (hummdrummmmmm... ) . In the normal course o f a f f a i r s ' w e expect to l i v e up to the e x p e c t a t i o n s / r e a c t to the feedback o f o t h e r s . Yet t h i s i s c l e a r l y imposs ib l e i n the s i t u a t i o n we have d e t a i l e d above: there they s i t , a l l B s tuden t s , as leep; what i s a p ro fesso r to do? W e l l , he can s top , go on and do something e l s e ; but s i n c e t h i s i s the "normal" s t a t e o f a f f a i r s we must assume that the " i n t e r a c t i o n " (such as i t i s ) w i l l proceed as p lanned. Another o p t i o n might be f o r A to "tune ou t " , p roceding by r o t e without r e a l l y t h i n k i n g about i t . In t h i s scheme o f t h i n g s , tha t i s v i r t u a l l y a n o n s o c i a l occas ion (as we specula ted e a r l i e r , i t can be p r e t t y g h a s t l y ) , s i n c e f o r A and B the symbols have become qu i t e n o n s i g n i f i c a n t . I t i s a t h i r d communicative o p t i o n that l eads us at l a s t i n t o 163 the realm of Images: A may beg in gene ra t ing h i s own feedback. By now the reader must be qu i t e thoroughly l o s t . , He has been l e d on a long and t o r t u r o u s route through two and one-h a l f Sec t ions o f a manuscript on ly to be depos i t ed on the t h r e s h o l d o f some abstruse concept c a l l e d "Image Behaviour"* Some s o r t o f r e c a p i t u l a t i o n would seem to be i n o rder ; i f we can see how we got here, then perhaps we might see where we are head ing . S e c t i o n One o u t l i n e d the procedures tha t were employed to generate an account of "something about m o t o r c y c l i n g " . That much seemed c l e a r (a t the t ime , anyway). S e c t i o n Two ended up producing a h i g h l y redacted themat ic scheme f o r comprehending the extant meanings of mo to rcyc l e s , then s p o i l e d the e f f e c t by i n c l u d i n g two d i sco rdan t f e a t u r e s , "None o f your goddamn bus ines s " , and "Creepy P e e l i n g s " , and sugges t ing t h a t another s t o r y might be i n o r d e r . But i t was S e c t i o n • T h r e e , hammered out under the s e l f imposed s t r i c t u r e s o f " c o n s u l a t i v e feedback", which l a i d waste a l l the semblances o f ..phenomenal o r g a n i z a t i o n tha t the reader may have been c l i n g i n g t o . I f you can s t i l l b e l i e v e i t , the re i s a reason f o r a l l t h i s . . C o n s u l t a t i v e feedback, which i s b e h a v i o u r a l s t u d i e s t a l k f o r ask ing m o t o r c y c l i s t s what m o t o r c y c l i n g i s a l l about, appears to be a f a i r l y new procedure (at l e a s t i n s o c i o l o g y , which may say a l o t about s o c i o l o g y ) . We do not pretend to 164 understand a l l o f i t s p r a c t i c a l and n o n - t h e o r e t i c a l i m p l i -c a t i o n s , much l e s s have a l l the bugs out o f i t y e t ; but we do contend tha t i t i s a h i g h l y p roduc t ive and f a s c i n a t i n g procedure . I f no th ing e l s e , you f i n d out tha t r e a l i t y i s not n e a r l y so neat as you had i t f i g u r e d . S e c t i o n Three i s o rgan-i z e d i n e x a c t l y the order i n which i t evo lved , save f o r the appending of t h i s r e c a p i t u l a t i o n . Such an arrangement p r e -serves "the f e e l " of the t e c h n i q u e , which i s a wor thwhi le t h i n g to do i n i t ' s i n f a n c y . What, then , i s t h i s a l l e g e d conceptua l o r d e r i n g which has l e d us so f a r i n t o the n i g h t ? We began w i t h the n o t a t i o n tha t the b e h a v i o u r a l meanings o f motorcyc les were r a the r h i g h l y o r g a n i z e d , and tha t t h i s f a c t was not too s u r p r i s i n g to the people who produced them. We went on to s t a t e tha t the h igh degree o f consensus, p l u s the s e v e r a l extraneous f ea tu re s o f the f i r s t and second gene ra t ion encounters suggest (note : suggest , not l o g i c a l l y e n t a i l ; a conceptua l leap i s i n v o l v e d / p r e s e r v e d here) t h a t there i s a p r i n c i p l e o f a s o c i a b i l i t y which u n d e r l i e s the behaviours we had been examining. At the same t ime , our second gene ra t ion respondents encouraged us to d i s c a r d four o f our l e s s emphatic themes because t h e i r presence i n the "sample" cou ld be exp la ined away on other grounds. The reader w i l l hear l i t t l e more o f them; t h e i r proper p lace i s i n S e c t i o n Two.. Th i s i s not to asser t tha t they are an i n s i g n i f i c a n t par t o f m o t o r c y c l i n g 165 behav iour . However, they are incongruent wi th the p r i n c i p l e d i s t i l l e d from the f i v e remaining themes, a p r i n c i p l e which seems to l e a d on to another account o f m o t o r c y c l i n g a l t oge the r , So we took a look at the behaviours most t y p i c a l l y i n v o l v e d i n motorcycle r i d i n g ; up t i l l . t h i s t ime we had been su rvey ing c y c l i s t s , and probably m i s s i n g the f o r e s t f o r the t r e e s . We deduced that t h i s was a predominant ly a s o c i a l a c t i v i t y and the c e n t r a l one f o r a l l m o t o r c y c l i s t s . T h i s , o f course , i s what our second gene ra t ion respondents had been t r y i n g to t e l l us a l l along. . By now we take i t as proven tha t a s o c i a l i t y i s a u s e f u l p r i n c i p l e f o r unders tanding m o t o r c y c l i n g behaviours . . As w e l l as r e o r d e r i n g the r e s u l t s o f our man i n the s t r e e t survey schemata by r e l e g a t i n g four themes to the background, i t p rov ides one k i n d o f exp lana t ion f o r the p a r t i c u l a r form of consensus which c h a r a c t e r i z e s the remaining f i v e themes, and i n a l i k e manner i t accounts f o r the two d i s t u r b i n g f a c t o r s which c l u t t e r e d up Sec t i on Two.. However, i n the l i g h t o f t h i s ' r e o r d e r i n g , and wi th t h i s a l t e r n a t e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the remaining meanings, o f paramount concern i s the mechanism by which t h i s consensus cou ld a r i s e - We are s t i l l l e f t w i th the p u z z l i n g degree of agreement over the meanings o f motor-c y c l e s , and the i n t u i t i o n that i t has something to do w i t h the on ly t h i n g which the respondents had i n common: the a s o c i a l exper ience o f r i d i n g mo to rcyc l e s . 166 Which b r i n g s us to the cons t ruc t "Image .Behaviour". The h i g h l y abstruse d i s c u s s i o n i n terms of i n fo rma t ion theory which d i r e c t l y precedes the r e c a p i t u l a t i o n was a c t u a l l y hammered out d i ag rammat i ca l ly on a l o t o f t a b l e napk in s , thus r ende r ing i t comprehens ib le / l e s s laughable to non-academics. In g e n e r a l , i t i s a form of behaviour which occurs when an i n d i v i d u a l begins to manufacture feedback f o r h i s own behaviours i n the absence o f any more d i r e c t r e a c t i o n s from o t h e r s . Having r e c a p i t u l a t e d , we w i l l p lug t h i s l i t t l e b i t o f communication theory back in to m o t o r c y c l i n g and proceed w i t h the au thor i zed v e r s i o n o f how consensus c o u l d have a r i s e n . P i c t u r e f o r a moment the a r che typa l c y c l i s t do ing tha t t h i n g which he does most as a m o t o r c y c l i s t and which most motor-c y c l i s t s do; r i d i n g around i n p u b l i c , ne i s , o f cour se , r e c e i v i n g ve ry l i t t l e feedback f o r h i s behav iour , most probably because no one i s paying much a t t e n t i o n to h im. nowever, and t h i s i s a ve ry important p o i n t , we contend tha t he i s s t i l l ve ry concerned wi th how o thers many be r e a c t -i n g to h i s m o t o r c y c l i n g behav iou r s . As a human s o c i a l ac tor he wants to understand the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f h i s s o c i a l l y s i t u -ated a c t i o n s (at l e a s t as w e l l as our average respondent) ; he seeks ways to endow h i s behaviour wi th meaning. Nov/, a l though meaning i s a phenomenon of mind, i t i s u s u a l l y the product o f minds i n r e l a t i o n ; i t i s s o c i a l l y cons t ruc t ed , at l e a s t i n so 167 f a r as s o c i a l behaviours are concerned. Thus, even w h i l e r i d i n g around i n a l e s s than g rega r ious con tex t , i t i s u n l i k e l y tha t he w i l l e a s i l y assume tha t when he makes a mistake no one w i l l n o t i c e , or that when he does not no one i s watch ing . v i s i b i l i t y and the wide v i s i o n o f the r i d e r are two s t r i k i n g fea tu res o f motorcycle r i d i n g . The c y c l i s t i s h i g h l y exposed to h i s p o t e n t i a l audience, and at some po in t or o ther every c y c l i s t can assume tha t those o ther people around him ( i n c l u d i n g , o f course , o ther c y c l i s t s ) are at l e a s t r e c e i v i n g the s o c i a l symbols o f h i s pass ing presence . I f no t , he can always get a b igger b i k e , w i th l o t s more chrome, and no m u f f l e r s . . . Of course , even i f there were any responses , they p rob-ably cou ld not get through* At any p a r t i c u l a r moment our c y c l i s t , m u l l i n g over the s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f h i s a c t i o n s * may be s tuck f o r a r e a c t i o n . In order to c r e a t e / d e v e l o p / c a r r y on h i s motorcyc le behaviours/meanings he must have some feed--back r i g h t then and t h e r e . "Yeah, I uhink about how I l ook on the s t r e e t ; sometimes I x ry and f i g u r e out what k i n d o f impress ion I make." Here we have the rudiments o f Image. Behav iour . In order to cont inue the symbol ic d i a logue w i t h i n h i m s e l f he i s fo rced to f a n t a s i z e a r e a c t i o n tha t d i d not get through/was never there. . He w i l l t r y and imagine what so r t o f meanings another might be g i v i n g to h i s behav iour , then proceed as i f i t had a c t u a l l y o c c u r r e d . 168 Note tha t t h i s i s not anything l i k e the normal i n t e r -a c t i o n process o f A responding to B ' s a n t i c i p a t e d r e a c t i o n by v i r t u e o f A be ing able to imagine B ' s most probable r e s -ponse. The c y c l i s t i s not l i v i n g up to the expec t a t i ons o f any o f h i s s p e c t a t o r s . While en m i l i e u he i s not even a n t i -c i p a t i n g tha t any feedback w i l l get th rough . I t i s "normal ! ! f o r people not to reac t to the c y c l i s t . In f a c t , he i s t h e o r e t i c a l l y able to f i l l i n whatever responses he wishes , wi thout much r i s k o f encounter ing any feedback tha t d i r e c t l y c o n t r a d i c t s t h i s . "When I. c r u i s e the s t r e e t s I know a l l the c h i c k s are watch ing . I can f e e l i t . " Here we have the beg innings o f an Image i n the f i r s t sense i n which we s h a l l ~ use the te rm. The c y c l i s t has f i l l e d i n an Image o f the o the r ' s : r e s -ponse, whatever Image s u i t s him bes t , and has reac ted to tha t Image. Minds are not i n r e l a t i o n , but b e h a v i o u r a l meanings are be ing e v o l v e d . The c y c l i s t has co^e to some f u r t h e r unders tanding o f the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f h i s b e h a v i o u r . He has the o p p o r t u n i t y to s c r i p t h i s own p r e s e n t a t i o n o f s e l f , f r ee from any d i s r u p t i v e i n f l u e n c e s . He has become the s o l e i n t e r p r e t e r o f h i s own motorcyc le behav iou r s . Thus f a r , we would seem to be s t r a y i n g r a t h e r wide ly o f f our intended d e s t i n a t i o n . I f each c y c l i s t i s able to evolve h i s own r e p e t o i r e o f Images, how do we a r r i v e at the pa ra -d o x i c a l r e s u l t tha t the b e h a v i o u r a l meanings produced by t h i s 169 method are h i g h l y standardized?. The s o l u t i o n to the paradox l i e s i n the t y p i c a l behav-i o u r s o f the c y c l i s t s themselves . They are faced wi th the p r a c t i c a l problem of making sense o f t h e i r own motorcyc le behaviours i n order to produce these behaviours i n the f i r s t p l a c e . (Meaning and behaviour are d i f f i c u l t to d i s t i n g u i s h a n a l y t i c a l l y , maddening i n p r a c t i c e . ) Yet a major f ea tu re o f such behav iours , t h e i r a s o c i a l i t y , p rec ludes the c r e a t i o n o f meaning by any i n process i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f events . The r e l evan t i n fo rma t ion on which they base t h e i r conversa t ion , o f Images i s acqui red i n nonfeedback s i t u a t i o n s (nonfeedback so f a r as the behaviours i t i s used to i n t e r p r e t are concerned./— ve ry r e m o t e l y ) . \ -The process whereby a m o t o r c y c l i s t acqu i res such an in fo rma t ion base i s best desc r ibed as " s e n s i t i z a t i o n " . Sub-j e c t s acknowledged becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y f a m i l i a r over a p e r i o d o f t ime w i t h what i s g e n e r a l l y known about motorcyc le behav iour . Often t h i s process begins sometime before purchas ing "that f i r s t b i k e " , and i t never complete ly ceases . The source of t h i s r e l e v a n t i n fo rma t ion resembles no th ing so much as a " c u l t u r e s i n k " : the books, movies, (but c e r t a i n l y not the same ones, not by a l o n g s h o t ) ; "the t h ings everybody knows"', and, most important o f a l l , "checking out o ther b i k e r i d e r s " . There are coun t l e s s examples o f the l a t t e r : be ing "able to t e l l the sound o f a H a r l e y " , " c r u i s i n g the i r o n " at the shops, 170 g i v i n g f e l l o w r i d e r s the once over i n t r a f f i c . Quite mani-f e s t l y , the r e l evan t i n fo rma t ion i s ohere i n the c u l t u r e s i n k ; one need on ly become aware o f i t as par t o f the s o l u t i o n to making sense o f one ' s own behav iour . Desp i te the nonconver sa t iona l q u a l i t y o f i t a l l , there i s no "consp i racy o f s i l e n c e " ; there are emblematic and s u f f i c i e n t symbols, and t h i s i s the normal s i t u a t i o n f o r c y c l i s t s - However, t h i s a l l seems to be no th ing more than a normal par t o f the more gene ra l process o f s o c i a l i z a t i o n . I t cou ld apply to almost any realm o f behaviour ; i n and o f i t s e l f i t i s no s o l u t i o n to the mechanism o f consensus. Once again , there i s a t r i c k ; i t i s something to do w i t h m o t o r c y c l i n g . To i l l u s t r a t e : i f one wants to l e a r n what i t means to be a po l icman , one might read the books ( i n c l u d i n g some w r i t t e n by po l i cmen) , watch a l o t o f T . V . , t a l k w i th people about i t , l e a r n a l l tha t i s " g e n e r a l l y known" about the ma t t e r . However, the most important source o f i n f o r m a t i o n would undoubtedly be o the r -po l i cemen -> ( i n c l u d i n g such t h i n g s as p o l i c e academies, e t c . ) . They are the ones who are " r e a l l y i n the know"; by i n t e r a c t i n g w i th them one would u l t i m a t e l y come to some sense of what i t would mean f o r one to be a po l iceman . The ca tch i s tha t t h i s i s p r a c t i c a l l y i m p o s s i b l e i n the case o f m o t o r c y c l i n g . The best way to f i n d a motor-c y c l i s t i s to see one r i d e by; which i s p r e c i s e l y when he i s not a v a i l a b l e f o r contact/comment (or so i t i s assumed; we 171 found t h i s not to be the case, but i n so doing we d i d some-t h i n g tha t was i n e x p r e s s i b l y " n o v e l " ) , xh i s i s The ve ry reason tha t m o t o r c y c l i s t s are not a ve ry " together" l o t . Smal l wonder, then , tha t few of our respondents l i s t e d " t a l k i n g to o ther b i k e r s " h igh on the l i s t o f sources o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n f o r t h e i r motorcyc le b e h a v i o u r s . The meanings of m o t o r c y c l i n g , though marked by a h i g h degree o f consensus, are d e f i n i t e l y not something which m o t o r c y c l i s t s have worked out i n t e r a c t i v e l y among themse lves . Ins tead , the c y c l i s t f a l l s back on the same s o r t o f assumption he makes when he i s r i d i n g : people are wa tch ing . T h i s i s an easy assumption f o r him to make, because as a spec t a to r o f o ther c y c l i s t s behaviour he i s a lso h i g h l y s e n s i t i z e d to the s i g n i f i c a n t outputs . As an i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h i s , note the p e c u l i a r behaviour o f two c y c l i s t s pas s ing on a s t ree t . . As- o f ten as not (though t h i s custom does vary somewhat w i t h l o c a l e ) uhey w i l l exchange waves o f the hand, peace s i g n s , v igorous nods o f the head . They w i l l almost i n v a r i a b l y g lance i n each o t h e r ' s d i r e c t i o n . These a c t i v i t i e s connote no th ing so much as " I am r e c e i v i n g you". . Whatever i t i s tha t i s "gene ra l l y known" and whatever e l s e the c y c l i s t can p i c k up by becoming a spec ta to r (an a c t i v i t y tha t i s p e r f e c t l y p o s s i b l e when r i d i n g ) w i l l serve as the b a s i s f o r the c y c l i s t ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of h i s ovm behaviour . Once aga in , s i n c e feedback i s out o f the ques t i on , some 172 n o v e l i n fo rma t ion h a n d l i n g procedures c h a r a c t e r i z e the p rocess . When asked at how they a r r i v e d at the p a r t i c u l a r meanings tha t they ev inced , sub jec t s r e p l i e d w i th some v a r i a t i o n o f " Oh I j u s t p icked up on a few th ings I saw happening, and f i g u r e d the r e s t out f o r m y s e l f . " Two procedures are i n v o l v e d here; i m i t a t i o n and the conve r sa t i on o f Images. "Everybody ' s on t h e i r own t r i p " , b u t the end r e s u l t i s a h i g h l y organized set o f c u l t u r a l conno ta t ions . Wanting to l e a r n the co r r ec t meanings of motorcyc les and oeing u n w i l l i n g / u n a b l e to e f f ec t any compromise by i n t e r a c t i v e adap ta t ion , the neophyte c y c l i s t can do no b e t t e r than to i m i t a t e what he a l ready sees . At the same t ime , i n order to i n t e g r a t e the p r e e x i s t i n g symbol ic i n fo rma t ion w i t h h i s own exper ience , he c a r r i e s on the appropr i a t e set o f -Image d ia logues i n h i s mind. E v e n t u a l l y he acqui res a f u l l se t o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n s f o r h i s m o t o r c y c l i n g behav iou r s , and has a.t the same t ime f u l l y i n t e r n a l i z e d the meanings tha t were known. R e c e i v i n g l i t t l e or no feedback f o r h i s performances he must measure t h e i r success agains t tha t which i s most v i s i b l e to him, and he a l t e r s h i s behaviour to f i t i t . The c y c l i s t s o c i a l i z e s h i m s e l f by the techniques o f i m i t a t i o n and Image feedback. I t i s important to s t r e s s tha t sub jec t s v/ere not j u s t i m i t a t i n g , or p a r r o t i n g p ieces o f what they a l ready knew. They are more than winnowers s i f t i n g i n the c u l t u r a l s i n k . The conversa t ion o f Images i s an i n e x t r i c a b l e pa r t 173 of t h e i r behav iour . Thei r responses , t h e i r meaning systems, were i n c r e d i b l y w e l l o rganized and h i g h l y i n t e g r a t e d w i t h t h e i r own exper ience . Yet at the same time they shared much o f t h e i r s i g n i f i c a t i o n s w i th o ther i n d i v i d u a l s v / i th whom they had v i r t u a l l y no commerce. O b v i o u s l y , the preceding i s an ongoing process o f s o c i a l i z a t i o n , one tha t never r e a l l y ends. But having a r r i v e d at a p o i n t , by such s o l i t a r y means, where he i s more or l e s s " i n t o b i k e s " , the c y c l i s t w i l l s u r e l y r e a l i z e , i f he has not seen i t c l e a r l y a l l a long , tha t he too i s a model f o r appropr ia te m o t o r c y c l i n g behav iou r s . We have come f u l l c i r c l e to the o the r , more obvious connota t ion o f the Image Behaviour c o n s t r u c t . The cyc l i s t ' s - ' -behaviours /meanings as they are g e n e r a l l y known c o n s t i t u t e an Image i n which other c y c l i s t s ' behaviours/meanings are made. Having a r r i v e d .at some sense of h i s own behaviour by i m i t a t i n g p r e e x i s t i n g behav iou r s , and f i l l i n g i n the gaps w i th a c o n v e r s t i o n o f Images, the c y c l i s t has acqui red an Image which he p r o j e c t s i n h i s behav iour . Th i s r e a l i z a t i o n , whether he i s m a n i f e s t l y i n t o b i k e s or n o t , does not a u t o m a t i c a l l y a f fo rd him the o p p o r t u n i t y to e f f ec t change on the s t andard ized behaviours/meanings by adapt ing them to h i s own purposes. He i s s t i l l j u s t one c y c l i s t among many, w i th 1 a l l the r e s t r i c t i o n s on feedback which tha t e n t a i l s . He w i l l a l so r e a l i z e tha t any e n t i r e l y 174 new connotations of cycling which he would l i k e to manifest w i l l have l i t t l e chance of being understood, since he w i l l have no chance to explain them. It i s not easy to change an Image. .Naturally, our major themes can be conceived of as Images which c y c l i s t s commonly project. Our i n i t i a l question seems to have tapped not only the meanings of motorcycles but the process of Image Behaviour as well. A response i s what a c y c l i s t gets out of i t , but i t i s also what he says he gets out of i t ; the Image i s the behaviour. Any one c y c l i s t 1 ss Image w i l l l i k e l y contain elements of a number of themes, and generally they project these themes without any need f o r questioning.. Also as one might expect, the important behav-i o u r a l themes are uniquely suited to the non-gregarious s o c i a l i z a t i o n process.. They are a l l asociable processes in themselves; one does not attempt to teach oratory by ta c i t u r n methods. Both the major connotations of Image Behaviour are required f o r an adequate understanding of the mechanism by which the consensus arises. If our subjects had not " f i l l e d i n a l l the gaps" with a conversation of Images they would not have been so a r t i c u l a t e ; obviously, they had given the matter a great deal of thought beforehand. At the same time, i f they were not conscious of having an image to project, how can we explain that they were "dying" to be asked? 175 Here, on a sudden, was a chance to o b t a i n some d i r e c t f eed -back from another m o t o r c y c l i s t about the meanings they had been e v i n c i n g a l l a long . K was "normal" i n t e r a c t i o n i n every way, but i t was about Images: my Image i s composed o f what you see / I say I 'm g e t t i n g out o f t h i s . L i a d d i t i o n , i f consensus was achieved by some other means e n t i r e l y (o ther than i n t e r a c t i v e agreement, which i s c l e a r l y r u l e d o u t ) , e x t e r n a l s t r u c t u r a l c o n s t r a i n t s , f o r example, how cou ld they have known the manner and the form i n which t h i s consensus e x i s t s ? F i n a l l y , the necessary l i n k s between the two manifesta^-' t i o n s o f Image Behaviour are p rov ided i n the two t y p i c a l m o t o r c y c l i n g behav iours : s e n s i t i z a t i o n and i m i t a t i o n . Together they form the complete mechanism by which the h i g h degree o f agreement among o therwise d i s p a r a t e respondents i s genera ted , r a c k i n g the feedback necessary f o r more i n d i v i d -u a l i s t i c i n t e r a c t i v e adapta t ion across a wide ly v a r i e d set o f p o p u l a t i o n elements, m o t o r c y c l i n g i s h i g h l y s t anda rd ized around a few widespread, and i n h e r e n t l y a s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r a l themes. We have a r r i v e d at another account o f something about m o t o r c y c l i n g . Sec t i on Two presented a schemata f o r compre-hending the major extant meanings o f m o t o r c y c l e - r e l a t e d behav iours ; S e c t i o n Three has produced a p r i n c i p l e o f Image Behaviour f o r e x p l a i n i n g how these meanings are o r g a n i z e d . 176 O b v i o u s l y , these two d i f f e r e n t ways of. unders tanding the same gene ra l phenomenon are r e l a t e d . I t would be u s e f u l to r e t u r n to the f i e l d and r e i n t e r p r e t the m o t o r c y c l i n g behaviours i r t h i s l i g h t . Por example, the Machismo Power Tx-ip might be seen as an extended conve r sa t ion o f Images. I t would a l so be i n t e r e s t i n g to apply the concepts of Image Behaviour to o ther nongregar ious phenomena, r e f i n i n g the p r i n c i p l e and de te rmin ing i t s l i m i t s . The p r i n c i p l e i s o p e r a t i v e i n the area o f m o t o r c y c l i n g as an important f a c t o r o f behaviour . . I t must be remembered tha t i t i s a t o o l f o r comprehending meaningful behaviour ; i t says no th ing d i r e c t about the people who produce t ha t behav-i o u r . C y c l i s t s are no t , to our knowledge, any d i f f e r e n t from n o n c y c l i s t s , except f o r the f a c t tha t they r i d e m o t o r c y c l e s -N e i t h e r are we a s s e r t i n g tha t Image Behaviour i s o p e r a t i v e at a l l t i m e s / f o r a l l s u b j e c t s . However, i t i s g e n e r a l l y t r ue tha t when r i d i n g sub jec t s do withdraw to a compara t ive ly a s o c i a l l e v e l o f i n t e r a c t i o n , and i t i s here tha t the conver -s a t i o n and the p r o j e c t i o n o f Images may take over , p r o v i d i n g access to a h i g h l y o rgan ized set o f meanings f o r b e h a v i o u r -APPENDIX 177 The Motorcycle Syndrome A. M. N i c h o l i II American J o u r n a l o f P s y c h i a t r y 126 : 11, May 1970 pp. 1588 - 1595 N i c h o l i p l a c e s h i s study i n much the same s e t t i n g as our own d i s s e r t a t i o n : the e r a o f the motorcycle boo^i (though he l i m i t s h i m s e l f to the area o f the c o n t i n e n t a l U n i t e d S t a t e s f o r no s t a t e d r e a s o n s ) . However, he i s prompted by motives more s p e c i f i c than the d e s i r e to say something about m o t o r c y c l e - a s s o c i a t e d phenomena; what-concerns him tiost i s the "epidemic o f trauma" (p. 1588) t h a t has accompanied the i n c r e a s e i n motorcycle usage. He takes to tas k the b u l k o f medic a l and s a f e t y r e s e a r c h i n t o the r i s i n g number o f a c c i d e n t s f o r i g n o r i n g "undoubt-e d l y the most s i g n i f i c a n t c a u s a l f a c t o r o f a l l - the psychological',' (15&8). N i c h o l i ' s c a r d i n a l aim i s to say something about "the p e r s o n a l i t y and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the accident-prone c y c l i s t " (15o8), a p o p u l a t i o n d i f f u s e l y d e f i n e d as those u s e r s o f the m i l i e u who have r e c e n t l y had one or more s e r i o u s a c c i d e n t s . The s u b j e c t s f o r N i c h o l i ' s study are nine m o t o r c y c l i s t s , a l l c o l l e g e students (and, i n c i d e n t l y , a l l o f whom went on to graduate work, and a l l o f whom married female graduate students - with the exception o f one who dropped out in t o p s y c h o a n a l y s i s i n s t e a d ) . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, N i c h o l i 178 never bothers to s t a t e d i r e c t l y that a l l of h i s subjects are s a l e . The aieohod of the study involves one to three years of i n t e n s i v e psychotherapy, i n c l u d i n g two to three hour-long i n d i v i d u a l sessions per week and a f i v e year f o l l o w u p . Prom the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s common to these nine patient-bikers... N i c h o l i deduces a recognizable c l i n i c a l d i s o r d e r which he designates as the "motorcycle syndrome" (1589). I t i s an aggregate of•concurrent symptoms that serve to i n d i c a t e the presence and nature of a p s y c h i a t r i c disturbance. N i c h o l i ' s hope i s t h a t the r e c o g n i t i o n and treatment of t h i s syndrome w i l l help reduce the i n j u r y and death r a t e s f o r American motorcycling i n g e n e r a l . The author l i s t s and b r i e f l y e x p l i c a t e s what he considers to be the nine e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s of the d i s o r d e r . "1) unusual preoccupation with the motorcycle, 2) a h i s t o r y of accident-proneness extending to e s r l y childhood, 3) p e r s i s t e n t f e a r of b o d i l y i n j u r y , 4) a d i s t a n t , c o n f l i c t - r i d d e n r e l a t i o n s h i p with the f a t h e r and a strong i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the mother, 5) extreme p a s s i v i t y and i n a b i l i t y to compete, 6) a d e f e c t i v e s e l f image, 7) poor impulse c o n t r o l , 8) f e a r of and counterphobic involvement with aggressive g i r l s , and 9) impotence and i n t e n s e homosexual concerns." (1594) N i c n o l i ohen appends some d i s c u s s i o n of the p s y c h o l o g i c a l meanings' evoked by the m i l i e u , and views i t as having a d a p t i v e / h e l p f u l and defensive/harmful f u n c t i o n s f o r h i s s u b j e c t s . He ends with a number of s p e c u l a t i o n s about 179 whether or not the motorcycle syndrome i s s p e c i f i c to only the accident-prone c y c l i s t s . N i c h o l i * s id.en.tity as a researcher i s o b v i o u s l y at v a r i a n c e with our own. A capsule statement of the matter would be, "He'.s not i n t o b i k e s . " , at l e a s t not i n the sense that h i s s u b j e c t s , we the researcher, or a l a r g e p o r t i o n of our respondents are. Consider N i c h o l i on c y c l e s : The motorcycle i s "a pervasive symbol of the 'now1 generation...a l e t h a l instrument of destruction...(producing) carnage...(and) a t r a g i c t o l l of/.injury and death'.' : (pp. 1588 and 1594). "Riding a c y c l e can undoubtedly be fun. Furthermore, i t i s a f a s t and economical mode of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . " (1592) We can s a f e l y conclude that h i s subjects - are not" speaking "one c y c l i s t to another." However, d e s p i t e the d i f f e r e n c e i n research i n d e n t i t i e s / p e r s o n a l i t i e s , N i c h o l i i s a f t e r what motorcycling means to h i s population i n so f a r as they are w i l l i n g / a b l e to a r t i c u l a t e i t . This i s the major s i m i l a r i t y between h i s work and our own. N i c h o l i ' s subjects have a l l defined themselves/been defined as i n d i v i d u a l s i n need of p s y c h i a t r i c help. They are r e f e r r e d to as " p a t i e n t s " (.1589) who s u f f e r from a " c l i n i c a l d i s o r d e r " (1589), "a d e f e c t i v e self-image" (1590), "poor impulse c o n t r o l " (1590), a "serious ego-defect" (1592). In a d d i t i o n to these s p e c i f i c a l l y motorcycle-associated f a c e t s of t h e i r behaviour, they have the 180 (notably non-quantified) "propensity" (1590) to sleep, watch t e l e v i s i o n , and use a l c o h o l and drugs to escape from "a monotonous and p a i n f u l r e a l i t y . " (1590). They are making progress ( n a t u r a l l y ? ) when they have decathected the motorcycle and invested t h e i r emotion i n other o b j e c t s and a c t i v i t i e s i n c l u d i n g "graduate work...(and) a g i r l also i n graduate s c h o o l " (1590). Here, then, i s a major d i f f e r e n c e between N i c h o l i ' s study and our own, the subjects* s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n / t h e s u b j e c t s as defined by the researcher. Our respondents, though they might be more or l e s s happy with t h e i r . s c r i p t e d meanings, regard themselves as "normal" or "not s i c k " o r , at l e a s t , not " a f f l i c t e d " (1593). Prom these d i f f e r e n c e s i n i d e n t i t y and outlook f l o w many of the d i s p a r i t i e s i n c o n t e n t / e x p l i c a t i o n / s t o r y l i n e between the two s t u d i e s . N i c h o l i ' s e f f o r t contains a l a r g e number o f - t h i n g s that one t e l l s a p s y c h i a t r i s t / a s h r i n k b r i n g s out i n you, i n c l u d i n g : e a r l y childhood experiences, r e l a t i o n s with f a t h e r and mother, o v e r t l y sexual fears,::, the i n a b i l i t y to compete/succeed, and the c a u s a l i t y of the conscious and the unconscious. Since he i s u s i n g the pre-e x i s t i n g conceptual framework of p s y c h i a t r y / s o c i a l adapta-t i o n , N i c h o l i permits himself to conclude that h i s subjects manifest an unusual preoccupation with the motorcycle (unusual i n r e l a t i o n to what/whom?), poor impulse c o n t r o l (what i s the optimum l e v e l of impulse c o n t r o l ? ) and a 1 8 1 h i g h i nc idence o f acc iden t s and f a t a l i t i e s (h igh i n r e l a t i o n to what p o p u l a t i o n o f c y c l i s t s / m o t o r i s t s / ? ? ? ; . a h igh r a t e o f f a t a l i t i e s when they a l l su rv ived psycho-t h e r a p y / r i d i n g f o r the f i v e year f o l l o w u p ? ) . He s t a t e s tha t the motorcyc le p rov ides f u l l express ion o f m a s c u l i n i t y "even to the p h y s i c a l .sense o f orgasm" (1591) (orgasm i s the o p t i m a l express ion o f m a s c u l i n i t y , i t i s n e c e s s a r i l y m a s c u l i n e ? ) , and tha t g i r l s who are " t a l l , b r o a d s h o u l d e r e d . . . (and) who i n i t i a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s by express ing admira t ion f o r the motorcyc le or by a sk ing to r i d e i t " (1590) are s e x u a l l y aggres s ive , or tha t the motorcycle m i l i e u i s harmful when i t r ep l aces the c o n s t r u c t i v e use o f t ime w i t h r e l a t i v e l y u n c o n s t r u c t i v e ' a c t i v i t y (who def ines c o n s t r u c t i v e / u n c o n s t r u c t i v e a c t i v i t y ; who determines the degree o f r ep lacement? ) . Por a l l these d i f f e r e n c e s i n content / a p p r o a c h , N i c h o l i w i t h h i s p o p u l a t i o n o f on ly n ine i n c l u d e s elements o f a f a i r number o f the meaning themes tha t are at l a r g e among the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n of c y c l i s t s . Th i s correspondence i s apparent ly unknown to N i c h o l i , which makes i t a moot po in t whether some o f the major f ea tu res o f the syndrome charac-t e r i z e "not on ly the paxien us desc r ibed i n t h i s syndrome but a l so a la r g e p o r t i o n of young people today" (1593), or whether some, o f those fea tu res are simply aspects of the more prevalent eanings of .motorcycling. Hence, i t 182 does not s e e m so "unusual"' in the l i g h t of our own research that "the mere sound of a distant motorcycle stimulates v i v i d f antasies" (1589), or that subjects express anxiety about injury and death and "openly discuss fear of castra-t i o n " (1589), that the motorcycle should be associated with "the assertive, aggressive, competitive parts of... (the) psychological makeup" (1591), or that i t gives c y c l i s t s "a sense of doing something and getting somewhere" (1591) and L'.a- sense of potency and power" (1591). He has even arrived at mucu tne same "positive - negative" and "enthusiastic - bummer" groupings for elements of these widespread themes. "The motorcycle i s a highly charged object wioh many le v e l s of emotional appeal." (1590) "The macnine both pleases and t e r r i f i e s . It gives e x h i l -arating pleasure, but pleasure always tinged with underlying anxiety." (1591) One of the major findings of our own research was the high degree of consensus among respondents with regard to the information e l i c i t e d i n the course of the encounters; i t was so s t r i k i n g that an account had to be generated for i t . This congruity among c y c l i s t s s t a r t l e s N i c h o l i also, so much so that he f e e l s j u s t i f i e d i n generating a psyc h i a t r i c syndrome. He refer s to "the remarkable number" (1589) of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s common to his patients, and "the s i m i l a r i t y i n the conscious f e e l i n g produced by the 183 motorcycle" (1591) . More to the point, "As the pleasures and t h r i l l s are described i n remarkably similar terms (from patient ot patient), so too are the anxieties and fears." (1591) On a f i n a l note, one of Nicholi's'own subjects has hinted at the mechanism by which t h i s consensus i s generated when he remarks, "I l i k e the image the motorcycle projects" (1592). 184 A T y p o l o g i c a l Account o f M o t o r c y c l i n g J . C. Quicker Presented at the annual meetings o f the P a c i f i c S o c i o l o g i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n P o r t l a n d , Oregon, A p r i l 1972. Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , Quicker p l ace s h i s f tudy i n the context o f the motorcyc le boom of the 1960*s. The m o t i v -a t i o n f o r h i s work i s the consp icuous ly "negat ive concern" (1) among academics w i t h m o t o r c y c l e - a s s o c i a t e d phenomena. The t a sk i s to generate a t y p o l o g i c a l account tha t w i l l d e s c r i b e and d e l i n e a t e . t h e e n t i r e f i e l d o f behaviour as a p re lude to sys temat ic p r o f e s s i o n a l s tudy . A c c o r d i n g l y , Quicker dev ises a system o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s based i n " three r e l a t e d but a n a l y t i c a l l y separable concepts : xhe type o f r i d i n g done, the r i d e r , and the type o f b i k e r i d d e n . " (2) They i n v o l v e , r e s p e c t i v e l y , two, two, and three major dimen-s i o n s . In Q u i c k e r 1 s . v i e w m o t o r c y c l i n g can be understood as the product o f the i n t e r a c t i o n o f these three concepts . The type o f r i d i n g done i n v o l v e s the dichotomous dimen-s i o n "where", s p e c i f i c a l l y "pavement" or " d i r t " , ( 3 ) , and the f i v e - p a r t dimension "purpose", s p e c i f i c a l l y " r e c r e a t i o n , t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , r a c i n g , bus ines s , and s tun t r i d i n g . " ( 4 ) These two dimensions generate a t en -ca tegory t y p o l o g i c a l p roper ty spa.ce of the type of r i d i n g done; some cases are d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y represen ted , o thers are no more than 185 l o g i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s . The r i d e r concept i s characterized by the dichotomous dimensions " a b i l i t y " , either "novice or " s k i l l e d " , and "professional status", either "professional" or "amateur", (8-9). This generates a typology of four categories into which motorcyclists may be sorted. In Quicker's opinion, there are a large number of possible dimensions upon which to c l a s s i f y people (hence, he generates a population typology i n the f i r s t plaice, something which we s p e c i f i c a l l y did not wish to do); and that one of the most obvious, age, i s not a " s i g n i f i c a n t . . . ( o r ) c r u c i a l dimension" (8) for purposes of analysis. Quicker i s aware that he "omits" the dimension of sex because "the overwhelming majority of riders are . males". (8) This i s one of the major drawbacks of h i s typology; i t cannot take Into account the masculine meanings of motor-cycling, overlooking what we have concluded i s a very s i g n i f -icant- behavioural theme, Machismo. Hence, our assessment of his description i s that i t i s too "sweet" ( i t i s included i n the section Sports and Leisure, which i s , at l e a s t , a st a r t ; Devianoe would have bee" a 'worse beginning). Quicker makes, motorcycling sound a l o t more "l i l y - w h i t e - f u n " than, in our estimation, i t actually i s . He speaks of "recreation 186 and l e i s u r e " (15) more than Kicks. An a l l i e d c r i t i c i s m , stemming from our advocation of consultative feedback proceedures, i s that Quicker's typology i s too a r t i f i c i a l ; i t i s foreign to many prevalent subject apprehensions of the matter, producing such things as cate-gories that contain no cases, or categories that apply to just about any c y c l i s t at some time or other. I f one wishes to typologize the population these are not adequate grounds for doing so. This i s especially true of the s k i l l dimension where Quicker resorts to the a r t i f i c e of more or l e s s than one year or ten thousand miles "whichever comes f i r s t " . . (9) The f i n a l concept, the type of motorcycle, c l a s s i f i e s the focus of the milieu according to three major dimensions: s i z e , 50-250, 250-450, 450 or over; point of o r i g i n or manufacture, either Europe, the U.S. or Japan; and alterations, either stock or modified. This l a s t dimension i s a b i t le s s analytic, and at the same time less precise i n terms of our subjects* apprehensions'of the matter than our own stock -show or go c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Quicker concludes on the note that he hopes his typology c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s "create a sense of order for a nebulous yet important and in t e r e s t i n g s o c i a l phenomena where there previously had been none" (at least among academics; t h i s . 187 i s d e f i n i t i v e l y not the case among c y c l i s t s i n our consensual e s t i m a t i o n o f the mat te r ) ; we share h i s con ten t ion tha t i t i s "qu i t e a f e r t i l e area f o r s o c i o l o g i s t s . " (1.6) S ince Q u i c k e r ' s paper i s on ly a b road ly d e l i n e a t i v e .. one, h i s methods are not as r i g o r o u s nor as s t r u c t u r e d as our own or N i c h o l i ' s . He s t a t e s tha t h i s da ta comes from four teen years o f contact w i t h c y c l i s t s i n a wide v a r i e t y o f s i t u a t i o n s , w i t h a corresponding v a r i a t i o n i n the purposes at hand over tha t t ime . Some fu r the r i n s i g h t i n t o h i s procedures , the method i n h i s madness, can be gained from the knowledge tha t Quicker i s a m o t o r c y c l i s t o f some long s t a n d i n g . Without be ing c r i t i c a l , our own e s t i m a t i o n of the matter would be tha t most of the t ime he was jus t en joying h i m s e l f , and tha t the paper i s an a n a l y t i c c o l l a t i o n of h i s ovm "members' knowledge". S ince he i s a m o t o r c y c l i s t , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that Quicker mentions elements o f many of the major meaning themes. To be su re , there i s a conspicuous absence of the darker elements, most no tab ly Machismo. This may serve as some i n d i c a t i o n o f what Quicker "gets ou-t o f i t " . In a d d i t i o n , probably because the framework i s a n a l y t i c , there i s no mention of consensus and hence, no mention o f the dynamics of Image Behaviour . Indeed, Quicker i s not s p e c i -f i c a l l y concerned wi th the p a r t i c i p a n t meanings, shared or 188 o the rwise ; he ' focuses i n s t ead on the purposes and proceedures of p r o f e s s i o n a l a n a l y s i s . S t i l l , T ranspo r t a t i on ( 4 ) , I t ' s a. Job ( 4 ) , and some o f the K i c k s ( 6 - 7 ) are t he re , a long w i t h s e v e r a l touches o f the Mechanica l B r i d e . (11, '13) Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , none of the nega t ive meanings are i n c l u d e d s i n c e they do not r e l a t e to any of the three major concepts used to generate the t y p o l o g y . One f i n a l c r i t i c i s m concerns h i s statement thaa the motorcyc le boom occurred f o r p r i m a r i l y economic reasons ( l ) . As ve have d i scussed under the ' j ; : / ; : heading o f T r a n s p o r t a t i o n , such an a n a l y s i s o f the matter i s f a r too s u p e r f i c i a l , i f not e n t i r e l y m i s l e a d i n g . 

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