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Hairy bikers - end of a stereotype

2013-02-25 13:35

WORKING IN IT MATE? The image of the burly, gruff, leather-clad biker has since changed and you're far more likely to find an IT guy straddling a Honda in 2013.

Long hair, dirty denims, ill-tempered and riding along in gangs - bikers have had to put up with an offensive stereotype dating back to the 1960's.

What's worse, the Oxford English Dictionary perpetuated the stereotype - until now, that is...

CHANGING PERCEPTIONS

The online version previously defined a biker as: "A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang: a long-haired biker in dirty denims."

The OED has changed in definition for 2013 to read: "A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang or group: a biker was involved in a collision with a car."

The new definition is an improvement though they could’ve skipped the bit about bikers being involved in collisions. In fact do a Google search for a the word "biker" and you'll receive a screen filled with leather-clad riders.

According to the London Daily Mail, insurance firm Bennetts polled 524 bikers who found the definition "inaccurate" and were "outraged and offended". The poll also showed that 65% said they spent most of their time riding alone and were not in a gang.

The study found that the modern biker was most likely to be over 35, middle class, working in IT or telecoms and likely to ride a Honda.

Bennetts spokeswoman Hannah Squirrell said: "In the early 1960's a biker was a relatively new term which provoked fear among many, partly due to their image portrayed in the news media and movies.

"Fortunately, since then, bikers have grown away from the clichéd stereotype and now include all sectors of society."

What do you think of as a biker stereotype? Is there any truth to the first definition? Do have any pet peeves about being a biker?
Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...

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