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June 29, 2013

CALL OF THE WILD: Veteran biker named Gorilla still gets a charge from riding



“The adrenaline rush gets going and my body isn’t torn up anymore. My legs and back don’t hurt. I’m like a kid again for the weekend,” he said. “Not so much after the weekend is over though.”



With 35 years biking experience under his belt, there’s not too much that Gorilla hasn’t done or not too many bikes he hasn’t ridden. All the major motorcycle festivals including Sturgis have been worked or visited. Wrecks have occurred, although thankfully none overly serious. For a while, he was even president of a local biker club. And no, he’ll be the first to admit that most biker organizations don’t necessarily resemble the ones on television, although some do claim Gorilla looks like the character Clay Morrow from FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”

Saying television shows don’t accurately portray biker culture doesn’t necessarily mean some elements shown in these fictionalized accounts don’t actually exist. Now out of club life, Gorilla still believes in a saying many of the bikers repeat — “Let the man make the patch. Don’t let the patch make the man.”

“There are no absolutes in life. You are going to meet good and bad anywhere you go,” he said. “You can go down here and sit down in church on Sunday and look down the row and it’s just like going to a meeting of a motorcycle club and you look down the row. There’s going to be some good ones and there’s going to be some bad ones. That’s life.”

As with any other group, a wide range of people join motorcycle organizations for any number of reasons. Gorilla admits most become involved for the camaraderie and fellowship. But at times, people might try to act like something they are not. That’s when a re-examination of why they’re riding, he said, might be needed.

“If you get in to the Harley thing and you start feeling it changing you, stop and go the other way. Don’t let any of the atmosphere around any of this stuff change you,” he said. “It’s just like anything else in life. Stay true to yourself.”

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