The movie that changed the landscape of cycling in America was truly Easy Rider and Born to be Wild was the iconic song they used in the movie. I would dare say that everyone my age can remember the song and most will remember the movie (although I didn’t see it until I was older since it was rated R and, back then, you weren’t allowed to watch movies with that rating until you were eighteen with no exceptions (well, at least until HBO came along in the mid-70s).
The movie was about a group of guys who set out to find America on their bikes and wound up running into a ‘backward’ world full of people who didn’t see America the way they did. It was a counter-culture movie deliberately making a statement to the older generation from a younger generation at rebellion against societies rules at the time.
Whether we’re born wild, or to be wild, is another question altogether. But the song’s lyric does raise a good question. What if we were born to be wild by nature? What does that mean? Does it mean that those who choose a life of recklessness and random choices that buck the system are naturally born to be that way? I doubt it.
‘Wildness’ is something I’ve never been accused of personally (I’ve been accused of many other things…). In high school, my idea of being wild was driving with the windows of my Mustang down while playing (AC/DC) louder than my ears could handle (a time before I met the Lord). I was really a rebel… Although, I did have a motorcycle in college for a while that rode around with my Navy fighter pilot’s jacket on (not a chopper, but who’s counting).
It’s been my experience that those who choose a wild lifestyle are doing so because they’re trying to either compensate for something they feel is missing in their life or rebelling against an authority of some kind. Both are paths that will only lead to choices which bring with them pain and hardship. Unfortunately, when we’re in pain or angry, we’re often at a point in our life when we have the least visibility to the consequences of our choices until it’s too late.
SO, tonight, for all those out there who enjoy getting ‘wild’ like me by getting that extra side of fries once in a while or having one more cookie when you know you shouldn’t, here’s to you. For those who are truly running from pain and rebelling from an authority in your life, you will always be welcome home no matter where your choices may lead you because you are loved…