You would think that someone like me, the oldest of 3 brothers, would have a ready answer as to what brotherhood means. But it isn't that simple to try and define something as mercurial as "the meaning of brotherhood". It's like trying to define love, or some other concept that you know what it is but cant really find words to define it.
Brotherhood can be forged in so many ways. You can be like me and have it via blood relationships. It can happen through some sort of fraternal organization like the Masons, or the Elks. Or, in this case, it can happen through the pursuit of a shared passion such as riding. The experience of riding is so much a part of who I and others are , that itself is enough to build bonds that aren't easily broken.
Brotherhood manifests itself in the same ways that I and my siblings behave towards each other. We care deeply for each other, but often fight in ways that would make outsiders think that we were going to kill each other ( my brother once chased me up a tree with a hatchet ). But have one of those outsiders step in and threaten one of us then he would have to deal with us all. We back each other up totally, right wrong or indifferent against those who would seek to harm one of us. We KNOW that at anytime and for any reason we can pick a phone up and call for one of the others for help, to listen, for advice, whatever we need and they will be there and do whatever they can to help out. We share all of our triumphs and our failures. We lift each other up when needed. We share our lives in totality. There is nothing I wouldn't do for them and nothing they wouldn't do for me. We are family.
The riders I run across everywhere share that same sense of brotherhood. We all have the same thing in common, the love of riding. We can sit down with a beer and act and talk as though we have known each for years. We see each other on the road and give each other that short nod of the head that says "hell yeah I'm havin fun and I know you are too". We see one on the side of the road with a breakdown, we naturally pull over to lend a hand. We get together and sit around and tell "war stories" and all shake our heads because we've all experienced what "whoever" is talking about. We good naturedly try to one up the last guy's story. It's a brotherhood born, not from flesh, but from a lifestyle that none of us would give up for all the tea in China.