Bikers For Trump – Winnipeg Willy’s take on it all

Make no mistake about it — Donald Trump is not my president. I am as Canadian as maple syrup. That said, as a biker, I’m more than a little concerned about future motorcycle trips into The Land Of The Free.

My concern stems from this group calling themselves Bikers for Trump. If you believe the hyperbole  on social media, there are more than 200,000 of them. They even rallied together in Washington, D.C., at Trump’s inauguration. According to a story in USA Today, more than 30,000 of them were there last week, prepared to build a “wall-of-meat” (their words not mine) to protect (oppress) revelers from protesters.

Quite frankly, it scares the shit out of me to think the next time I’m roaring down the highway in America on the way to a motorcycle rally, some Trump hater is going to mistake me for a right-wing nut and exercise his or her Second Amendment to the United States Constitution by blowing me off my bike with a shotgun.

Dramatic? Perhaps, but these folks have definitely drawn a line in the sand.

If you ask me, tying politics into lifestyle choices is bad medicine. I chose to become a biker for plenty of reasons, none of which were political.

Bald head – check. Wallet chain – check. Black shirt – check. Harley-Davidson – check. Generous frame – check. That’s our Willy.

Back in our ‘hood there was this house on the corner. We were already from the wrong side of the tracks, so like most of the houses in our area this one featured a tattered screen door and flags for curtains — which swung freely in the breeze. There was also an abandoned truck on the overgrown front lawn. A big, loud German Shepherd named Axle was always tied to the truck’s rear bumper with a chain not quite long enough to reach the public sidewalk.

It may sound like a nightmare, but to me this place was sacred ground. Parked along the gravel driveway there was always a cavalcade of chrome. Souped-up choppers with mile-long forks and lightning fast Knucklehead, Panhead or Shovelhead engines that gleamed so brightly they would have looked at home under glass in a jewelry store.

To me, the pilots of these mean machines were equally impressive. Large, bearded men with bandanas wrapped around their heads to keep the long hair out of their eyes. Dressed in black, loud and brash, with fire in their eyes and beer in their bellies, flanked by beautiful ‘old’ ladies in short shorts who’d keep the boys in line around the seemingly endless bonfire — then later, hang on for dear life on the back of one of those fire-breathing Harleys as they roared off into the black night.

In my early teens, I finally mustered up enough courage to ride into the yard on my dirt bike. The dog didn’t bite me, so the guys let me hang around. I’d bum cigarettes and return their empty beer bottles. It was the first place I ever smelled the pungent odor of the devil’s lettuce. It was the first place I ever peeked inside an Easyriders magazine. There were many firsts there.

Looking back now, it was also the first place I was ever accepted. Nobody cared that I stuttered a bit when I was nervous, was a chubby kid, needed a haircut, had an Indian mother or came from one of the townhouses around the way. The bikers accepted me for who I was. They helped me fix my dirt bike, they kept the local bullies off my back, and they taught me as much about respect as they did about motorcycles.

They’re a little fuzzy, but that’s okay – things usually get a little fuzzy on a bikers’ night out.

I’ve gravitated toward folks like this ever since, and would like to think I have a good reputation within the Manitoba biker scene. Sure, I like to have a good time, but I’m also always there for any of my brothers and sisters and they are always there for me. Respect is much more than simply a word.

That bond is one of the main reasons why I travel so extensively in the United States. Whether it’s to Sturgis for the annual motorcycle rally, or Milwaukee for one of Harley-Davidson’s legendary anniversary parties, or just across the border for a night of fun in Smalltown U.S.A., the contagious camaraderie that comes with being a biker knows no borders.

On the surface it may appear easy to paint me with the right-wing brush that seems to have stroked the Bikers for Trump. I’m a 40-something bearded man with a bald head who stands six feet tall and weighs nearly 300 pounds. I am well aware I look the part of a ‘typical’ biker.

The reality, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition to being a proud Canadian, I’m also a proud Metis, and I’ve seen my fair share of bigotry and intolerance. I’m also a proud father to a beautiful 24-year-old daughter named Katelyn who will graduate from the University of Winnipeg Faculty of Education in the spring. Katelyn was born with cerebral palsy and has overcome more hurdles in her short life than just about anyone I’ve ever met.

Kate hates Trump, and I’m okay with that. She’s an educated and informed young woman. Initially, I was on the fence about Trump, thinking maybe he’d be good for the American economy and we’d benefit from it north of the border. Then he appalled me with his dreadful commentary on women, and made my blood boil in that horrific moment when he mimicked a disabled journalist. It’s pretty much all been downhill for me and Trump ever since. I can barely stand to look at him. If he was my president I likely would not protest his rise to power — but I’d surely not line up with the Bikers for Trump and build any walls of meat to keep those protesters at bay.

There’s someone for everyone, and Willy’s friend was this guy – probably not a Trump supporter, but you never know.

I have many American friends who are bikers who I’m fairly certain aren’t FOR Trump. The folks I hang out with down south are just as accepting of others as I am — I wouldn’t have it any other way. That rings especially true among my Native American friends, my Mexican American friends and my African American friends. We all had no trouble riding together all day and partying together all night. The rest of America, frankly, could learn a thing or two from us bikers. It’s my fear Trump will further divide a nation that deeply needed more unity.

Perhaps the oddest part of this whole Bikers for Trump movement is that, suddenly, the people who’d have previously never sat next to me in a restaurant now think because I’m a biker we are some sort of allies. That’s utterly perverse in my mind. Everything that made me want to be a biker, the acceptance of others, the live-and-let-live cavalier attitude, the mistrust of the man — all the things they once hated me for, are suddenly now all the things that will make America great again?

Now the righties who wouldn’t give a greasy biker like me the time of day want me to be their vigilante? I’m neither right nor left. I’m an outsider.

While I hope with all my heart this man becomes the greatest president in American history, I’m relatively certain the Trump train will derail with a disastrous outcome.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about sewing a really large Canadian flag on the back of my leather vest before I make my way back to Sturgis this summer. Just to remind them, you know, that he’s NOT my president.

Hopefully by then they will still like Canadians…

These guys at Sturgis wear their allegiance on their sleeves – literally. It’s almost enough to forgive them drinking the Bud Light.

22 thoughts on “Bikers For Trump – Winnipeg Willy’s take on it all”

  1. Great! Now my motorcycle mag is filled with politics, thought I was reading the Toronto Star. And where was the story about “bikers for Trump”, seems to me it was all about Willie.

  2. I’m a biker(’05 fatboy) who went to protest against Trump. There was no “wall of meat”,haha. Every group pro or con had their own section. The bikers that came through our area were merely trying to find their area. When I was leaving I walked amongst a lot of them , they saw my sign,had no problem. I actually talked to 2 about bikes. But the portrayal that they had formed a barrier is laughable.

  3. That was one of the best articles I’ve read on CMG. Thanks Willy, I hope to read more from you. And congrats to your daughter!

  4. Funny how some Canadians support trump, to each their own I suppose, but they better not be complaining when Canadian jobs are lost due to his protectionist policies.

  5. “If you believe the hyperbole  on social media, there are more than 200,000 of them. They even rallied together in Washington, D.C., at Trump’s inauguration. According to a story in USA Today, more than 30,000 of them were there last week.”

    – And if you believe those numbers I have some lovely beachfront property in Tukeuktuk for sale.

    “In the meantime, I’m thinking about sewing a really large Canadian flag on the back of my leather vest before I make my way back to Sturgis this summer. ”

    -Yes.

    Thanks Willy, you make me proud.

    1. “And if you believe those numbers I have some lovely beachfront property in Tukeuktuk for sale.”

      I think you meant Tuktoyaktuk, and for those who scoff at the idea of beachfront property there, Tuktoyaktuk is at the edge of the Beaufort Sea in the North West Territories. See a picture of beachfront property at:

      http://www.tuk.ca/uploads/2/5/7/7/25770190/1162039_orig.jpg

      “Thanks Willy, you make me proud.”

      I agree with TK4–Great piece Willy.

      Given that CMG is all about motorcycles, bikers (aka motorcycle enthusiasts) and riding–and given that some bikers in the Excited States proclaimed that they have formed a group going under the name “Bikers For Trump”–which, to my mind says a great deal about them, all of it negative, it is perfectly appropriate to include Willy’s terrific piece on this site.

      As for those who object to politics encroaching on this site–get over it!

      1. bbb (aka Harry) –
        Sigh, first you catch me out on an Inuit spelling error, then show me that there really isn’t anywhere to put a pipeline.
        When will I learn – there’s no sliding anything past you ! 🙂

  6. So for not being political this was a very political article and for one claims neither left nor right it sure seemed left to me. Spitting all the leftist bullshit and name calling. Perhaps you’ve seen seen video which was compiled of Trump interviews that show he actually flails his hands like that when he speaks sometimes. But apparently not, or like to typical liberal you choose to ignore it. Perhaps being a biker and around them you’ve been been around some bar room talk, perhaps some embellishment to look good in front of the boys, perhaps said the word pussy “cat”, but apparently not as you judge a man you don’t know based on all t Dems could harness to sink him. Just once i’d like to see a lefty like you debate policy and ignore the name calling. And maybe educate your daugther and parent some instead of raising yet another snowflake. Here I was expecting to read an article about Bikers for Trump and yet here you are writing about something you know nothing about. And yes it was just a little dramatic, especially considering liberals are against guns. To think of all the conversations I had with Rob in a small garage and this is wear is magazine has ended up. How could a sexist raise a daughter to be head of his empire? How could a racist be one of of first to allowed blacks into his golf club. If you’re going to judge a man based off private conversations in which you were not present and have no context. You should stop pussy footing around about your not left or right. You’re right about one thing, most of us ride to get away from the world and politics, but here you are writing a left wing article claiming to be non biased and non political. You the media to this day keep underestimating his popularity and keep believing CNN, occupy democrat. Way to tell it like it is Lefty Lilly.

      1. My words have never been so accurately assessed as they are here. For that I thank you. But make no mistake. My daughter is no snowflake. She is a raging knuckle ball of hail raining no down on a fire we are dreadfully cognitive of.

    1. Tully Fraser, it might behoove you to reread what Willy wrote, you missed the point. And while you’re at it, learn to spell and punctuate.

Join the conversation!