Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why Do Men Join Motorcycle Clubs?

Why men join motorcycle clubsWhy do men join motorcycle clubs?

There are many reasons why, and I'll explore them below.

But first, it also depends on the club itself. Guys don't just join a club for the sake of joining a club, but because that club offers a specific purpose. Each have different perogatives, philosophies. And of course, the people in the club have their own personalities, and that makes each club and/or chapter unique.

There are many motorcycle clubs founded with the purpose of brotherhood. Some of these clubs are more like "support groups", particularly on staying clean and sober, or recovering from alcoholism. Think of them like an Alcoholic Anonymous group, but for bikers.

Quite a few are military based. There are some that are solely for active military, mostly as a way create unity among a group of soldiers and sailors. There are many more for veterans, and these clubs exist to provide charitable support for veterans causes.

There are also faith-based clubs. Some of them are motorcycle clubs for Christians, and there are also some for Jews. But there are also "motorcycle ministries" (MM), which are not so much clubs, but actual churches that get together and ride, and then have service.

There are clubs centered around professions, like policemen, firemen, and iron workers. Some clubs are auxiliaries of local labor union chapters. Some guys are interested in joining these clubs because they can mingle with like-minded folks.

Some clubs are actually corporations, or enterprises, that own bars, restaurants, and other licensed businesses. Some sell guns, prostitutes, and drugs. Their goal is to make money.

Other clubs are just interested in partying, be it drinking all night, swinging, or whatever floats their boat.

What that in mind, guys join motorcycle clubs mostly because the club offers something that they're wanting. Be it a sense of brotherhood, a sense of family, partying, or spiritual healing. If you're wondering why your husband or boyfriend wants to join a motorcycle club, take a look at the club.

Most guys join motorcycle clubs because the club offers reputation. If a club has a well-established reputation, be it good or bad, that reputation will rub off on them when they wear the club's colors. In that sense, guys join these clubs because they seek "legitimacy", or, they want to be the "real deal" in the eyes of others.

Larger clubs rely on an organizational structure to keep everything in order. A lot of guys thrive on this. They want to join these kinds of clubs because they need a sense of "structure and order" in their lives. They want to contribute to a larger goal, and they want their place in the framework.

Some guys are just lost, and many motorcycle clubs offer them "family". They give them a place in the structure, and tell him that he's now part of their family, and that they'll back him up no matter what.

There are also guys in their middle ages that have become bored with their lives. They might have wives and kids, but their kids are grown up, and romance is no longer that big burning flame that it once was. Instead of cheating of their wives, they find that a motorcycle club gives them something to look forward to.

Keep in mind that there are also "riding clubs", as opposed to "motorcycle clubs". The riding club is centered around riding motorcycles. Motorcycle clubs usually have a greater goal or perogative than just riding bikes. The riding club offers no other purpose than to go out riding with some folks, grab some lunch, have a beer, and call it a day.

What makes things confusing between riding clubs and motorcycle clubs, is that some motorcycle clubs are actually riding clubs if you look at them closely. There are also clubs that call themselves "riding club" when in fact they're trying to be a motorcycle club. They do this because the Confederation of Clubs in their state has made it difficult for new motorcycle clubs to exist.

If you hubby says he's joining a club, you might want to ask him if its a riding club or a motorcycle club.

25 comments:

  1. That was a well writen facted based story! I enjoyed it!!!

    L.J. James
    AmericanBikerX.com

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  2. Can you please talk more about the confederation of clubs in that state make it difficult to join or start another motorcycle club? What does that mean.
    Thanks

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    1. The way it was put to me, it makes a lot of sense. I tried to start an MC in Texas. Our back patch had a single skull with a pair of brass knuckles. The COC said no to that because there are so many clubs with a single human skull on their patch, people will get confused. If another club with a skull robs a liquor store and the clerk reports to the police a quick description of the assailants and me and my guys end up getting pulled over for a crime we didn't commit, I would be pissed. So no more Single Skull back patches in the Southeast Texas region. I appreciate that theres somebody out there making sure we do things in an orderly manner.

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    2. It seems to me that if you want to ride around with "colors" on you are just asking for trouble no matter if it's a "skull" or a "pussy cat" back patch. Makes no sense, why don't you just ride and enjoy the ride, what is the purpose of having a patch. I have been around clubber for a long time. They just seem to turn into idiots (I'm putting it nicely) when they put on their "colors". You talk about "another club robs a liquor store"...why do you even want to be associated with that at all! Think about it. And you don't get any respect that is just a bunch of BS!

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  3. Written from the womans perspective. My "Hubby", WTF site did I stumble upon. Well written, informative, and the best single explanation I've found so far. Encouraging women to analize and check up on a passion like motorcycling is a bit underhanded. Would you like your husband taking a fine toothed comb to all your hobbies.

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  4. Totally right to the point. Being around the scene most of my life, this is a great way to explain to someone the calling some men have. The NorCalCoc is the real deal and works hard to bring all patch holders together.

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  5. I noticed that not once did you mention the word, "freedom" in your article about MC's and RC's. Good. Sonny Barger, former HA President wrote a book of that title and stated that belonging to an MC was mostly about freedom. I couldn't disagree more. Though I've never been a member of an MC or an RC, it would seem a contradiction to join an MC or RC with all sorts of rules (constitutions, bylaws, etc.)and call that freedom. I remember the first time I rode with a HOG group and when I pulled out onto the high speed lane before the rest of the riders did the Road Captain admonished me about that manuver. I said, "Fuck that!" and pulled out of line and rode off solo, never again expecting I'd ride in an "organized" ride again. For some (many, actually) riding in organized rides is enjoyable. Not for me. It's only when I'm alone riding down a long lonely road on my hog that I get the sense of freedom that most associate with riding.

    I think the greatest benefit of MC's and RC's is the brotherhood, but for me, freedom is more important than that, so though I do enjoy riding with other riders, my greatest sense of freedom is found when it's just me and my wife on our hog riding towards the sunset, alone on a long lonely highway.

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  6. I find it funny how a lot of bikers think that spending most of their lives in prison for a club of degenerates who will eventually piss on their grave is worth it. Yeh, that's brotherhood alright...real solid brotherhood.

    Colors, patches and names are a sign of insecurity. When I'm riding along and I see a group of guys with their chests stuck out, chip on their shoulders and sporting the three piece, I hang my head and pray that they wake up. Problem is, those guys need these things in order to feel like someone wants them and to set fear in the people they fear the most, that is, the rest of society.

    The "bond" that is "brotherhood" is bullshit. There's brotherhood alright...it's called "brainwash". Just like religious groups and terrorist organizations, brainwash is the key to their cult like discipline. Think about it...most of the American MC's are forced to ride a particular brand and size of bike...where's the freedom in that? If you're such an outlaw, why let people tell you what kind of bike you can ride? I don't even think hypocritical is a good enough word to describe this submissive behavior.

    I know, everyone will probably shit on me for saying this stuff, and tell me that I should go say this to a 1%ers face. Fact is, I would gladly do so, as long as his buddies aren't there, and he drops his weapons at the door. One on one...no weapons or backup and most of those 1%ers would shit their pants. It's f**king hilarious.

    Anyone remember what Eddie Zero said in Hell Ride? The three B's:

    1. Bikers
    2. Brotherhood
    3. Bullshit


    ...and that's not too far off.

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    1. Thank you Anonymous, I am a wife of a biker and I have never heard anyone break down the reasons Why? It is so important to join such a group. My husband will not be honest with me, So I am glad you took the time to tell me the real deal. Now I can approach this critical situation another way.

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    2. HI, I AM A SUPPORTER OF 81 AND HAVE BEEN A OLD LADY FOR 47 YRS OR MORE FOR A H.A. I LOVE THE THRILL OF THE CLUB, BUT ALL WHO GO TO PRISON DONT GET LEFT BEHIND OK. WE HAVE A SYSTEM WHERE WE WRITE THEM, AND LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN .. .AND YES THEY ITS A TRUE BROTHERHOOD. WHEN I WAS A VERY YOUNG WOMEN I LIVE AROUND THIS CLUB AND SAW HOW MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT HONOR THEY HAVE FOR EACH OTHER..THIS CLUB HAS PAVE THE ROAD WAYS SDO U OTHER PLAIN BIKER CAN RIDE, CHECK YOUR HISTORY ON THAT..THEY ARE NOT A CULT, NOR DO THEY BRAIN WASH ANY BOBY.. ITS A WAY OF OUR LIFE WE ALL LOVE EACH OTHER,IF THATS WHAT U SEEK , THEN QUICK RUNNING YOUR MOUTH AND DO IT,, THEY WILL KEEP THERE GUNS DOWN AND YES ALONG AS U DONT BRING ANY BUBBIES WITH U AND ITS ONE ON ONE..NO BOBY PUTTING ANY BOBY DOWN FOR RIDING A DIFFENCE STYLE BIKE.. TAKE A CHILL PILL..I AM PROUD OF WHO I WAS WITH AND I STILL THEMMY OWN FAMILY TURN ME AWAYS AND IF IT WAS'NT FOR THEM. I WOULD NEVER BECOME THE GOOD WOMEN I AM TODAY..YOUR WRONG..IF THEM A BREAK.. EDDIE ZERO BUT IT WAS H.A WHO WROTE THAT STORY.. PEACE TO YA MAN.. MLHR

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    3. oh yeah that's well wrtten

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    4. no bullshit there dude........I am 2 free spirited to be in a control club.......bull..... just ride.

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    5. I needed to search my soul and ask what do I want that I don't have already? what is more relevant? Experiencing transcendence on the road to do and go where I please, what I ride and who I chill with. I enjoy watching on tv and leaving the drama to them.

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  7. BUNCH OF CRAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM IN AN MC YOU ARE SO FAR OFF ITS NOT FUNNY

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    1. RIGHT ON..!!!! 81 SAFFAS

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  8. Its too bad too see there are people out there that really dont know what a true brotherhood MC is about . I belong to one and enjoy it completely .We support 81 100% and feel Family always comes first .

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    1. RIGHT ON FAMILY.. A TRUE FAMILY..THEY ARE WAY TO JUDGEMENTAL,AND ALOT OF IT IS BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY FAKES AND PHONEY CLUB MEMEBER WHO TRY TO BE 81 AND IT HURT THE REAL ONES,SO PEOPLE SEE ALOT OF THIS CRAP, THEN AGAIN THEY ARE BLIND .81 ARE GOOD PEOPLE I AM GLAD I AM A PART OF THIS FAMILY.. I WAS ONCES A OLD LADY MANY YRS AGO.. AND I TRUELY MISS IT..NOW I AM A SUPPORTER OF 81 AND THE B.H.C. KEEP THE SUPPORT81 GOING BROTHER OR SISTER.. WITH ML&R

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  9. MCs the way I look at it takes up a lot of time and commitment. I could be making more money instead of my time being taken by a club. If its not an outlaw club that makes dirty money, what's the point of joining an MC? I'm active duty I got plenty of brotherhood and camaraderie already.

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  10. I've been riding for a minute or two. My Dad has been riding since I was a youngster, and at 78, still does! He was in a Masonic MC back in the day AND he associated with members of the East Bay Dragons as well. A Navy veteran, he rode solo whenever he wanted to. He rode with a MC, I suspect, for the camaraderie. Since I retired from the military myself, I GET IT! It doesn't have to be a mc. It could be a bowling team, but because it's "dangerous", "visually and audibly" obvious and has an assumed reputation, it's okay to knock as a negative thing. The general public doesn't get it because IT'S THE GENERAL PUBLIC. Not everybody is in a club. That's one of the main appeals of being in a club and suiting up for the "cause". In a world full of selfish people with dog-eat-dog attitudes and driven by consumerism and neighborhood covenants, riding solo OR in a pack is a break from some of the monotony.

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  11. Point is....if you dont get it. You may never get it. And thats ok, call it insecurity, or what ever you want. But you still will never get to feel what I feel when I hug and brother that I choose, and tell him "I love you brother"
    Some of us are a little nuts at times, and toghether learned how to conduct ourselves for the better of people we love.
    My wife does not get it, she doesnt have to. She says its a guy thing, its like trying to get why she loves shoes. But supports it, she has seen what kind of man I am with out it, and sees the man I am with it. (plus she thinks its sexy lol) She likes knowing that if she's in a pickle and I cant get to her in minutes, there is a brother on his way. Im a better husband, father, and man because of it. So for what ever reason your man has made a choice to try to join a real MC. Support him, he will be a better man in the end. Be a better women for him.

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  12. I have really enjoyed reading all the different views. I have owned a bike since I was 16 and just rode with a few friends or solo. Now that I am 61, for some reason, I have been thinking of a MC. Not really sure why other than the fellowship. And it is something I have never done before. Being so structured all my life in jobs and life, I also think it could be a way of letting my hair down like I have always yearned to do. I'll let you know what I decide. Thanks for all the comments. It helped a lot

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    1. Maybe mid life crisis - watch your back - they will take your bike - shop and soul.

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  13. Because they weren't cool enough in high school so they joined some "badass gang" to get back at all those cool kids who made fun of them in high school, didn't let them hang out back then cause they weren't cool enough. And to feel better about themselves, by falsely believing that they are better than everyone around them. Part of the reason why they hate mainstream society is because many of these same kids grew up to become the successful normal people of society.

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  14. Can you explain the role of bike support groups, not in the 1% sense? Seems more and more are starting to form.

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  15. I have read many different comments here. Been riding over 20 years. I would say a club is not for everyone

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)