Being Born in America does not Make You an American.

Jerry Roth
I’ve Always Wanted a Harley
7 min readFeb 25, 2019

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Captain America’s Panhead from Easyrider 1969

Any more than buying a Harley Davidson makes you a biker.

Being born in America makes you a “legal” American, but until you learn to abide by America’s rules — The Code — you’re not an American. What are the rules and from whom are you supposed to learn them? The same place bikers do, from the previous generations.

Many years ago, after the second world war, all bikers shared a common bond, an unspoken code of ethics and behavior, that was built on actions and transcended words. There was no bible written on the Biker Code and there was no need for one. The older generation made sure the younger ones learned it. And any youngster who didn’t want to learn, was dealt with harshly, either by the other bikers or worse, by the laws of physics — the environment.

But times have changed and there are a lot of riders who missed a class or two. These riders may look like bikers, but they don’t have the spirit, the Code, that makes a biker a true biker. The riders you see blasting down the tarmac now are just as likely to be clad in shorts and sneakers as jeans and leather boots. They could be your doctor or your lawyer and may be wearing a Rolex watch under their leather jackets. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as these new riders learn and adhere to the Code just as the old-timers did.

The first bikers formed clubs after they came back from fighting (and winning) the war. The camaraderie and pride that they felt was indescribable. The civilians who worked in the factories to support them, felt it, too. It was a pride that defined America as the greatest country on Earth.

Several generations had come and gone before the War and their survival skills, attitude, sense of community, and a take-care-of-our-own mentality evolved from the early settlers using muskets and knives to business owners using pens and iPhones. But the Code was the same.

Being a biker was about using your creativity to take a basket full of old bike parts and with only grit and ingenuity, turn it into a one-of-a-kind, eye-dazzling machine.

Risking your life on the asphalt riding this machine, gave you a sense of freedom, power, and pride. The same freedom and power that…

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Jerry Roth
I’ve Always Wanted a Harley

As Owner/Manager of several businesses, I can help you with yours. It’s only lonely at the top if you are there by yourself. https://jerryroth.com