Friday, November 16, 2012
If there weren't biker bars I'm not sure how much riding would get done. Then, on the otherhand, too much time spent in the bar and not much riding gets done. Catch 22 thing. Now this post isn't an invitation for you all to argue the pros and cons of drinking and riding (see below), as a previous post of mine addressed the ideal of freedom, and freedom implies the freedom to do reckless things, like it or not. Maybe I'll dare to post later an in-depth discussion of drinking and riding, but for now, let's face reality, it does take place, and many of us do it.
Now I'm not suggesting that bikers don't ride just for the love of riding. I have done so on countless occasions, but let's face it, it's hard to beat that ice cold beer or other refreshing libation after riding in the heat for an hour or more. Then again, some bars are only minutes (maybe steps) from each other and the engine hardly warms up before you get there.
The more seedy, the more divey the bar, the better in my opinion. Who wants to be a badass biker and stop at Chili's in-restaurant bar? They do make the best marguaritas though (do bikers drink marguaritas?!). After all, a biker bar HAS to be tough, or it just loses that air of danger needed to reinforce the biker image and to keep my wife thinking I'm the rugged kind of guy she married anyway.
Bikers live for the run, the rally, the biker event. There's Sturgis, Laconia, Daytona, the big cahoonas of rallies. And, of course, there's the thousands of weekend events sponsored by local biker shops, swap meets, charity runs, and so on, and while alchohol makers like Budweiser and Jack Daniels rarely miss an opportunity to provide refreshments at these types of events, it's the biker bars that stand as the everyday mini meccas of riding.
Some of the most fun I've ever had with my fellow riders has been at some of these stops in these little biker bars. Some stops have turned into unanticipated overnight stays, and some have turned into near fights, while most have turned into some of the best laughs and times I've ever had.
It's hard to beat the camaraderie of the Friday or Saturday night biker bar with your riding friends and better half, there to enjoy the local band which more often than not is stuffed in the corner beyond the pool table blasting out your eardrumbs, either because of speakers turned up too loud or by notes not quite on key. But it's all for fun anyway.
Then there's this cautionary note. Regardless of where, when, for how long, and with whom you ride and visit biker bars, beyond all else don't ride stupid drunk, especially if you are carrying a passenger. Look, if you want to kill yourself have at it and do it away from me, but never ever risk the life or limb of your passenger.
I have my favorite list of biker bars, and I would imagine you do too. My favorites are Dragoon Saloon in Tombstone, AZ, and the Hideaway Bar & Grill in Cave Creek, AZ, to name just a couple of the many I have enjoyed.
What and where are some of yours?