Motorcycles have been around for 117 years. Motorcycle riders have been around for that long as well. Motorcycle Clubs are not far behind them. According to an article by Rider Magazine the 4 oldest motorcycle clubs are:
The Yonkers MC, the very first, started as a bicycle club and morphed into a motorcycle club. The members were into endurance races and also served as Civil Defense messengers for the city of Yonkers. They were actively involved in helping the community and helped form the AMA.
The San Francisco MC was a group of guys who liked to race, do hill climbs and historic rides. They still are alive and well today and “supports the motorcycling community in San Francisco.” It also states that they have male and female members and all kinds and types of motorcycles.
The Oakland MC which is also still active today sponsors several different endurance runs and is open to all kinds of motorcycles. One rider quoted in the article, “the essence of the club centers around its diversity, the friendship and spirit of adventure that’s made it last for 100 years.”
The Pasadena MC also founded in 1907, was started by offroad and enduro riders, focusing on Hare and Hound races. They have through the years been involved in poker runs, parade escorts, campouts and various club rides. It was described as a “bunch of people who aren’t uptight about anything and the meetings are just great fun.”
So where did all of these “traditions” go? So much is talked about motorcycle “tradition” and “MC tradition” and “protocol?” When did all of this come about? I guess somewhere along the lines there were men who decided that they didn’t have to follow anyone else’s rules and become what is known even today as the 1% of motorcycles riders. But it’s funny to me that they claim to not have to abide by anyone else’s rules and laws, but they expect everyone else to follow theirs. Isn’t that odd?
When you google 1% relations with LEMC’s you get offered a blog article from Belt Drive Betty. This article states that “The motorcycle community is over 115 years old and with that age comes tradition (there’s that word), history and protocols that far too many in this community have ZERO idea or knowledge about.” That kinda made me chuckle. The first thing is that it is written by a female (I’m guessing…Betty is referred to as a female throughout the web page) who are not allowed in “legitimate” MC’s that she claims to know everything about and that it immediately goes into an opinion that the 1% motorcycle community has with certain “other” MC’s. It really has no claim on history and tradition except what deals with 1%ers.
So according to the 115 year old MC’s traditions we should be about family, riding and helping our communities. NONE of them are shown even today to wear vest, patches or any kind of the same type of clothing other than the insignia of their favorite motorcycle. But yet as soon as the history and tradition MC’s is spoken of, the immediate direction of the conversation turns to PATCHES. Where patches are located and who should wear them? Who makes these rules? There are 1,000’s of clubs in this world. 99% of them rule themselves and make their own rules. I guess we are back at that 1% who think they can tell all of the others what to do and how to do it.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have respect for those who have been around a while. Those who have done their time and have earned their right to an opinion but they have not earned the right to tell others what to do. It’s only 1% clubs that claim territory. Who gave them that right? Well everyone knows it is a self-given right to them. There are no MM’s, or LEMC’s or RC’s that claim territory. That is not what they are about. Their existence does not consist of breaking the law but really focuses on what the original MC’s in history did. Riding and helping others.
Apparently, there is that 1% who make us all look bad. Those wolves in sheep’s clothing. Those who lives by one code in the day and another at night. According to an article, there are some Law Enforcement Officers that create concerns when they blur the lines of which side they are on by wearing a uniform during the week and club colors on the weekend. The articles states “They want to be like them, but not them,” Fuller said of the law enforcement clubs. “It agitates the real 1-percenters that cops want to come and imitate them at all.” That is the 1% that want to act like the 1%. The 99% who do the right thing have to fight constantly for their respect that they have earned from their employers and the public and have constantly show that they are different. They have to continuously work to try and change the stigma and belief that “all MC’s are the same.” Just because one “looks” like the other does not mean they are the same. I contest that 2 eggs look the same. One is good and the other is spoiled. Yet they look the same. We’ve all heard the adage to not ever judge a book by its cover. That is exactly what is done in today’s society. The reputations that the outlaw MC’s spread throughout the world since the 60’s has held a black cloud over the LEMC’s of today. Everyone thinks we are all the same.
So how are we to judge? What protocol are we to follow? How one looks like the other? Or how one ACTS like the other? If we judge based on looks is that not prejudice? Isn’t that what racism stems from? But if we base our judgment on deeds and actions, then we have separated the good from the bad. And I’m not saying that all 1%ers are bad. If I did, then I would be accused of being prejudiced also. Actions speak louder than colors.
I’m just one guy stating a fact that this world is a free country protected by the law. The law protects the rights of the citizens of this country to have freedoms that are not controlled by those who “think” they can control us (as long as we are living within the confines and parameters of the law). That is both for Law Enforcement Officers and for Outlaws. We are protected by the law. If I want to wear a particular color I can. If I want to wear a leather vest I can. If I want to wear a particular patch I can. If I want to start a motorcycle club with police officers in it I can. If I want to let civilians in it I can. And respectfully, I really don’t care if you agree with it or not (and that goes for other LEMC’s also). It’s my club. It is my family.
If we would all care more about what WE do instead of everything else that others are doing, this world would be such a better place to live. We all have limited time here on this earth. There is an end date that is pre-set for all of us. Why waste what little time we have totally consumed with what everyone else is doing that will never affect us one way or another? Focus on your family, on making this world a better place, on doing good, on being happy and enjoying life.