I What is a MOTORCYCLE CLUB
If motorcycles influence your lifestyle, you are part of the motorcycle community. Of all the types of organizations found within that community, the motorcycle club stands apart and ranks highest in stature. A serious M/C commands respect for one or both of two reasons:
Those who are informed recognize the deep level of personal commitment and self-discipline that a person has to demonstrate and sustain in order to wear a patch, so much so that it is akin to being a full time profession for the individual. They realize that a Club’s Colors are closely guarded and the membership process is long and difficult. All else put aside, you have to respect the person for what they have accomplished by being able to earn and keep the patch they wear.
Those who are less informed see only the surface of things. They see the vigilance of mutual support. The potential dangers of invoking a response from a well-organized unit that travels in numbers and are always prepared for confrontation. They know that NO ONE CAN PROVOKE ONE CLUB MEMBER WITHOUT HAVING TO ANSWER TO THE ENTIRE CLUB, and that such an answer is a point of honor that must come to the last person. The type of respect that this generates is one that is born out of fear.
The serious motorcycle club will conduct itself publicly in a highly professional manner. They will not go out of their way to cause trouble or to present themselves as an intimidating force without purpose or provocation. Their respect is gained from both of the items cited above.
There are many lesser clubs whose membership is made up of equally lesser individuals. These clubs, without a continual show of strength, would have no respect at all. The majority of these types of clubs are short lived; however, the general public does not draw a distinction between different club colors. If one club causes a problem that touches the public sector, the offending club’s identity is either confused or ignored, and heat comes down to suppress all clubs. As a result of this, within a given community, motorcycle clubs will tend to police themselves.
There is also a natural hierarchy that is recognized between motorcycle clubs themselves. The strongest and most established club will assume charge of the particular state in which they ride. This dominant club will for reasons that are beneficial to all:
~ authorize the establishment of new clubs within the state
~ will disband clubs that cause continual problems
~ act as mediators to resolve problems between existing clubs
~ step in and enforce their own solution if the feuding clubs cannot come to terms on their own
~ provide communications links and coordinate intra club events
~ call on the clubs within a state for additional support, if needed, when dealing with a threatening external force.
It is also not uncommon for the dominant club of an area to select some of their prospects from the best of the ranks of the other clubs. In fact some clubs have been established with this sole purpose in mind.
If it were not for the dominant club of a state taking this leadership position, clubs would not enjoy the luxury of putting their time and resources to the benefit of their individual brother or sisterhood. Nor would we enjoy the mobility and freedom of movement that comes with peace and order.
Within the motorcycle club itself, officers are elected to the traditional posts of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant at Arms, etc. In addition, you will find the less traditional posts of Road Captain, Enforcer, and WarLord. The Road Captain is responsible for the logistics of effectively moving the club from point A to point B. The Enforcer answers only to the President and sees that the President’s orders are carried out. He will also be the one who travels if a problem has to be addressed at a distance. The WarLord is in charge of tactics and strategies in times of stress. In some instances, he is also responsible for the club’s security issues. In most clubs, the positions of WarLord and Enforcer are combined and may carry the name of either.
In most cases, the patch holder was a “hang around” for the club for at least a year. Before that, they were a long-standing acquaintance and their attitude and overall conduct was well known. They then prospected for the club from one to two years before they were awarded their patch.
Of all the things in this persons life, their loyalty and commitment to the well being of their club comes first, above family, friends, job, personnel possessions, and personal safety. There is NEVER, REPEAT NEVER, any doubt or time spent on even considering which comes first. The only thing that approaches their commitment to the club is their commitment to their brothers or sisters. But even here, the interest of the club always comes before that of the individual. They know that their family can walk out on them without a second’s notice; they can lose their job overnight, even for good; close friends come and go with time. But the club and their brothers or sisters will always be there for them. It is one of the few, if not the only thing, that can be counted on. They know this because they themselves are committed to always being there for them.
To be certain that this ethic and standard of attitude is carried by new members, they participate in conditioning, educating, and at times testing the club’s prospects or “prospective members.” As such, before they allow another person to wear their colors, as a symbol of their mutual commitment, they will feel certain that the new member brings with them the same loyalty and dedication that they themselves display.
They have the attitude that there are two types of people in the world: their brothers or sisters, and those who are a potential threat to the club. For this reason they will not discuss club related business, membership numbers, the club’s movements, or personal information about their brothers or sisters with anyone outside the club. Anything that could possibly be used by anyone to piece together an informative picture of the club is a very serious security issue.
Wearing a patch is more than getting together for good times. It is also getting together in bad times. It constitutes a lot of work. It is committing yourself to a lifestyle in which you do not look for how your brothers or sisters might help you, but ways in which you can be of help to them. You always look to give, but never expect to receive.
Now all of this may sound very idealistic to you, and in some cases it is just that. But, it is an ideal that all clubs profess and are always striving to achieve in principle and practice.
In closing, you should be aware of a “golden rule” of conduct that you should bear in mind while traveling in club circles:
“If you give respect, you will get respect. If you act like an asshole, you will be treated like an asshole!”
II 1%er / Outlaw clubs 101
The “Biker” world has been mine for some thirty-five years, from hardcore 1%ers to the new and improved Riding Clubs. I’ve seen and encountered just about everything you can pull from any movie. Being knowledgeable of an element you might encounter is always critical to your safety. Whether it is road rage from a cager (driver of a car) or a robbery at your local Seven-Eleven. You learn what parts of town to stay out of because someone has told you or you learned the hard way. You have the intelligence not to provoke a Pit Bull or stand in the middle of a fire ant mound. You learn to ride a motorcycle safely and so you must learn about the world you have entered. Now, many of you have entered the “Biker” or Club world and are not aware of the issues that may affect you and only need a little guidance. It would be my suggestion to do some research on this issue because knowledge is power. Its hard to convey the complete understanding of this culture in a small article but it will help.
This information is to educate you on the outlaw 1%er lifestyle, not to scare you away from riding. (And remember, please think before you respond to anything, don’t do any bashing of anyone or any club on the e groups, forums or at any bars.) First off, the likelihood of anyone getting into a scrape with outlaws/1%ers is slim to none unless you frequent their bars or hangouts. But make no mistake, this is very real. Since most bike clubs are NOT outlaw clubs, they will have no issue with you as long as you stay out of their business and follow biker protocol. There is rarely a problem at a public event or poker run but it is always possible. So lets start with the “Rocker” you hear about. The rocker is in the form of a half moon, for lack of a better term. Similar to the bottom of a rocking chair. If you think about it, you have all seen photos of “Hells Angels” and the way the patches are arched above and below the center patch. MC (Motorcycle Club) patch and the 1% diamond will also be found on their Cut (also referred to as Colors). There are also many other patches some clubs wear that only mean something to that particular club.
The 1% diamond is the key to identifying a 1%er. It is a patch in the shape of a diamond with 1% on it. That is mostly worn on the left shoulder but is seen on the back of their colors also. They, (1%er’s) ride mostly Harleys only, along with their support clubs and almost all outlaw clubs, but that’s another story. Flying a certain style of patch on the back of colors is how the outlaws identify who is or is not claiming territory. Territory is a huge issue and they will fight and/or kill over it if it comes to that. Its just Business. The rocker or the bar style patch is not acceptable to 1%er’s unless approved by them. And just because an M/C club wears Rocker or Bar style patchs that doesnt make them an outlaw club. You just have to learn who is who but your officers should have some knowledge on that.
As I said, most clubs are not outlaw clubs and dont wear a top and bottom rocker. They may have a top rocker but if they have a bottom patch it will not have State, City or County wording on it , many times it will be the members road name. For example any club in Texas (unless its grand fathered by the Bandidos) thats not affiliated with Bandidos, (and other than a police club) are not allowed to fly the “Texas” patch (“Bar” or “Rocker”) on the back. They have even forced some police clubs to remove the Texas rocker. Also, 99% of Bandido support clubs cannot wear Texas on the back. The Bandidos claim that right as an MC (Motorcycle Club) and will aggressively approach you if you are seen wearing it on the back of your colors. Most states have its dominant 1% club where the same rule applies. The Bandidos are the dominant club in Texas as well as several other states.
A 1%er overall is also referred to as a 1%er. Outlaws Bikers (not to be confused with the 1% OUTLAWS Motorcycle Club) are also hard-core clubs NOT wearing a 1% patch but have very close ties with 1%ers. That would also include any 1% support clubs. Appearance is important, it would be chaos if everyone wore “Police” uniforms; identification of who you are is imperative. You would surly be put in jail if you were not a police officer but were wearing the uniform and acting like a cop. So, on the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to be mistaken for something youre not for safety sake in all walks of life. Wearing an AMA patch on the front of your colors/vest will identify you (to outlaws) as a family club member and are of no threat to them. 1%er’s push the AMA patch to all clubs because 1%ers and other outlaws clubs don’t wear one. Some clubs wear the AMA patch upside down in protest of being forced by 1%ers to wear it.
1%ers and outlaws will have nothing to do with the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) and vise versa, and will NEVER wear an AMA patch. The term 1% comes from the AMA. In the 60’s, the AMA labeled the “Hells Angels” and the likes, as making up only 1% of all motorcyclists as being “The Bad Boys”. The Angels adapted that and became an exclusive 1% club. And ANY club that tried to wear that 1% diamond had better be able to back it up or rival 1% clubs disbanded them. More often than not they were disbanded, in many cases by death. The term The Big Four is the four largest 1% clubs and the most dangerous clubs in the world. 1.Bandidos”, established 1966 2. “Hells Angels”, established 1948 3.”Outlaws”, established 1935 4.”Pagans” established 1959. The Bandidos , are the fastest growing outlaw motorcycle club in the U.S.
There are hundreds of smaller 1% clubs that can be just as dangerous as the big ones on a smaller level. Just a note. If you are ever around outlaw clubs when they greet each other, you may see some of them kiss each other on the lips. This started back in the 60s when 1%ers used it to shock people when they were around them. It has since evolved into a ritual that is proof of a very tight brotherhood.
To become a 1%er or an outlaw is not an easy task. Not many will ever wear the 1% diamond, and only men can join an outlaw or a 1% club. The prospecting process is more than most men can take or will take. Thus eliminating the possible club invasion of undercover or “Feds” as best they can. It is not generally easy to prospect for any M/C club, especially outlaw clubs. The comment was made about numbers, that the citizen riders out number them 50 to 1. That is true, but, think what you will, five average guys are sometimes no problem for one hardcore 1%er. If you take on one, you take them all on. For the most part, now days, outlaws will try to stress their position very clearly before resorting to violence.
Rival clubs have killed each for years over things like territory and simple arguments over what seems to be nothing to the average citizen. Outlaw/1%er clubs for the most part keep the violence in the rival Motorcycle Club circle. Unless you are involved with them or have a death wish and chose to provoke hardcore bikers, the violence rarely spills out into the general public. That still goes on to this day. Declaring WAR is in their eyes just what it means. Last one breathing wins, nothing less, no exceptions, no rules. They have no fear of the consequences, that’s what makes them so dangerous in a confrontation. Jail, prison, or death means nothing to them and threats will actually encourage them to strike.
And always be aware of a 1%er or Outlaw Club prospect. He will be wearing a prospect patch or have no center patch, or an armband depending on the club. Members and Prospects are expected to behave in such a manner as to avoid discrediting or dishonoring the club, especially, but not only, when wearing colors. But 1% Prospects have been known to provoke trouble. Recognition is important for a prospect to Patch Out. But negative recognition can sometimes work against a prospect. Their structure is very much like the military and very political, they earn their patch the HARD way and will defend it to the death. If a 1%er or outlaw club members looses his colors, they will go to unbelievable lengths to recover them. And God help the one that has them, especially if there is no reason for having them. If the Police have them, they will take the police department to court and get their colors back if they need to. Usually the Police just save themselves the hassle and give them back. They always do get them back.
Until now, the outlaw element has been pretty much on its own. (And as you know they seldom wave at anyone. It is nothing personal and has nothing to do with the bike you ride. They also seldom wave at another outlaw club) The reality is, however, that 1%er/outlaw clubs aren’t quite like everyone else, it’s best to recognize and admit that up front. The outlaws are a society within a society, with their own rules, own codes of conduct, own ways of reacting to the world. Its kinda like the building of a city further out into the wilderness areas. You are going to encounter new forms of life you didn’t know existed this close to you until now. Many of you are relatively new to the MC world and are just seeing it. The big bike sales has increased 52% in the last two years putting a tremendous amount of riders on the road, at rally’s, and on the web. Most riders paid no attention to 1%ers till they started entering the “Biker” world by flying colors just as 1%er’s/outlaws have since bike clubs began. Outlaws, 1%ers, and motorcycle clubs in general have been around since the 30’s with some non-outlaw clubs such as the “Gypsy M/C International” that was established in 1932. It’s also been said that there was an all female M/C known as the “Metermaids” that was established in 1931. The “Boozefighters” Motorcycle Club was established in 1946.
Be as patient and as tolerant as you can when in a situation where you are approached by outlaws. RESPECT is what they expect from you and nothing
III THE PATCHES
The AMA was founded in 1924 as an organizing arm of Motorcycle Manufacturers and mainly supported by the Motorcycle Manufacturers to promote motorcycle riding in America. They sanctioned groups of riders from the same area that rode together as motorcycle clubs. Some wore complete matching dress outfits with the name of their motorcycle club stitched on the back of their shirts and jackets.
At events, the AMA gave awards for the best-dressed club so this was the start of motorcycle clubs patches.
During an event in 1947 in Hollister, CA when a member of the Booze Fighters Motorcycle Club made the headlines with an exaggerated news story that was later made into a movie called “The Wild Ones”.
The AMA wrote an article in their magazine, shortly after this stating, 99% of all of their members are law-abiding citizens and only 1% are outlaw. This then, began what is today known as Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs and one percenters. Clubs that were not sanctioned by the AMA and non-members of the AMA were banned from attending AMA events.
In order to designate themselves as an outlaw club to all other clubs, the one percenters cut their club patches into three separate pieces. The top rocker was the name of the club, the center was the emblem of the club, and the bottom rocker was the local from which they came. These outlaw motorcycle clubs put on their own events and parties and did the opposite of what the AMA had been doing. There were no Best Dressed awards, they chopped down their bikes to go faster and look different, rode with no mufflers, they would drink, and do other wild things. Such is history.
The term colors is used in referring to a motorcycle clubs patch set up. In the case of a 3 piece ….. One is placed over the top of the middle large graphic patch and one placed underneath it. The rockers are usually curved bars with the top bar designating the club name and the lower bar designating the location of the club. The two rockers are separate from the middle, larger graphic type patch, hence the term three-piece patch. Motorcycle clubs differ from motorcycling organizations as they traditionally have prospecting time required before the club members decide whether the individual will be accepted into the group and allowed to wear or fly the colors of the group. Most club colors will also have M/C printed on the rocker or a seperate “cube” patch with MC on it to further clarify it as a club rather than an organization.
Many national organizations in the early 1980s set policy to unite their rockers with their patch to make it one piece to avoid any designation or confusion within the motorcycling club community. H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) and the Blue Knights (police officers) are an example.
As motorcycle club patches are recognized today:
A one-piece patch normally signifies a family club or Social motorcycle club when it’s done with respect to the area clubs.
A two-piece patch can have many different meanings as long as it’s done with respect to the area clubs.
A three-piece patch normally means that the club is a Traditional MC club. With the top rocker being the club name, the middle being their patch and the bottom being the territory they exist in. There are also a few 3pc patch clubs where the bottom rocker has something other than territory, such as a saying. The traditional MC is one that adheres to the protocols and traditions established. There are few exceptions, but, traditional clubs are approved by the local dominant. The traditional 3pc patch club is not necessarily a 1% club or even the dominant club.
The Diamond patch with “1%” or “13” worn with the 3pc back patch signifies the club is a 1% or 1% support club.
While rare, they may not be the dominant club for the area but will be sanctioned by the local dominant. There are also a few areas where the domiant is not a 1% club, but those are few.
When one is just is hanging around, he has no part of the patch. Then when he is sponsored by a full member and approved by the club as a prospect he may wear the lower rocker that only says “Prospect”. In some areas, the prospect wears the “Prospect” rocker at the top of the vest. Some clubs even allow the lower rocker saying prospect and the upper rocker with the club name but not the main patch. Different clubs do things differently across the country. Different rocker combinations of what a prospect might wear differs depending on each club.
If he is approved after his prospect time has been determined to be over and the vote goes in his favor, he then is allowed to have the full colors and is considered to be a full member, having all three pieces if that club uses the 3 piece patch.
Some MCs entitle a Member to wear a “NOMAD” bottom rocker. This is only when that member continues to exhibit a lifestyle within the common definition of the word nomad.
1. nomad A member of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water, and grazing land.
2. A person with no fixed residence who roams about; a wanderer.
It is a valued distinction of lifestyle that only a few can truly live up to, and as such, causes unfavorable notice when seen used by those most obviously not living up to the common meaning. By definition a “NOMAD”, more often than not, will be traveling alone and needs an ability to represent, maintain & otherwise survive under circumstances unusual from the norm.
IV MC CLUB BASICS
The intent of this section is to give you an overview of the structure and philosophy of the traditional motorcycle club (MC). This does not necessarily express the feelings or priorities of any particular club, as all motorcycle clubs differ on some points. Regardless of the basic philosophy of this group, it is important that you understand the perspectives of other clubs that you may be associating with from time to time.
If motorcycles influence your lifestyle, then you are part of the motorcycle community. Of all the types of organizations found within that community, the traditional motorcycle club stands apart and ranks highest in stature.
A serious MC club commands respect for one reason. Those who are correctly informed recognize the deep level of personal commitment and self discipline that a man has to demonstrate and sustain in order to wear a patch. They realize that a club’s “Colors” are closely guarded and the membership process is long and difficult. Other factors notwithstanding, they respect Patchholders for what they have accomplished by being able to earn and keep the patch they wear. This is respect born out of recognition of dedication and accomplishment. The MC Club strives for respect for this reason. This is especially true as it pertains to those persons outside of the motorcycle community. This segment of society is by far the larger, and therefore represents a larger market for any fund raising activities that the group might undertake. It stands to reason that cultivating a relationship with these people is important, and to be perceived by them as “Biker Scum” would not be advantageous to the group. They will therefore conduct themselves as upstanding citizens in every way… “Good neighbors” so to speak. The goal is to be admired and respected by the general public rather than feared. The serious club, and all of its members and guests, will always conduct themselves publicly in a highly professional manner.
The general public does not draw a distinction between different club colors. In many cases, they simply can’t tell the difference: we’re all “Biker Scum” to them. If one club causes a problem that touches the public sector, the offending club’s identity is either confused or ignored and the heat comes down on all clubs. The general public does not make the distinction between a MC and an RC (Riding Club), therefore EVERYONE needs to be aware that no matter whether they are in an MC and RC or an Independent rider, their actions reflect on all in the motorcycle community. The MC clubs tend to police themselves to avoid such incidents.
A Patchholder will not discuss any club business whether it’s about membership numbers, club goings on, or any member’s personal information with anyone outside of the club. They understand that they are a Patchholder 24 hours a day whether or not they are wearing their colors. Everything they say or do in public can affect the club. They also understand that if they get out of line, that they are subject to be counseled for their own good and for that of the club. Wearing a patch is more than getting together for good times. It also means getting together for the other times, too. It constitutes a lot of work. It’s committing themselves to a lifestyle in which they do not look for how their brothers or sisters can help them, but for ways that they can be of help to their brothers and sisters. They always look to give rather than to receive. All of this may seem very idealistic, and in some cases it’s just that. But it is an ideal that all clubs profess and are always striving for in principle and practice.
Always be aware of the “Golden Rule” of conduct while traveling in club circles: If you give respect, you’ll get respect. If you act with disrespect, then you’ll be treated with the same.
Levels of Commitment
When someone earns their patch, it does not mean that he or she has reached the ultimate goal and from that point they can kick back and coast. Moving from guest to probation to Patchholder is not climbing from the bottom to the top, but rather more like climbing a constantly ascending slope, and in time becoming a stronger and more committed brother or sister. A person’s probationary rocker and later their patch are merely presented in recognition of what they have demonstrated along the way. In this fashion, the more senior the Patchholder is in the club and the more they experience, the more of a brother or sister they should be to all.
Purpose of Probation / Prospecting
Probation is not an initiation, as you would find in a fraternity. It is instead a period of time that is sustained until the person, in every sense, conducts themselves with the respect that is mandated to be a Patchholder. It’s a time in which:
The attitude is conditioned so that he/she displays a sense of responsibility and respect toward the patch holders of the club, without which they will not develop a sense of respect for the group.
He/she is educated in basic MC protocol and etiquette.
He/she is given time to develop the habits that are basic to good security and good communications.
To get into the habit of participating.
To become accustomed to trusting the judgment, at times blindly, of those patch holders who will someday be his or her brothers and sisters.
The list could go on but the point here is to demonstrate that probationary period has definite objectives and that a person will go nowhere in the club if he/she is not aware of this and does not apply themselves to those ends. It’s not possible to make a checklist of what is expected from a person in all cases. There isn’t any formula for success, but the key is ATTITUDE AND RESPECT. Everything else can be learned in time, but a person’s attitude comes from the heart
V MC / RC Differences
MC: What is expected of a Prospect…
RC: What is expected of a RC member …
MC: As a Prospect, strive to conduct yourself as a responsible Patchholder at all times.
RC: As a RC member, strive to conduct yourself in a responsible manner so as to not give your club a bad name. Whether you are wearing your patch or not, common courtesy and respect for ANY individual you make contact with will always leave a good impression of you, your club and motorcyclists in general.
MC: Always display a positive attitude.
RC: Always display a positive attitude.
MC: Participate as much as you think is acceptable; then participate more.
RC: Participate as much as you are comfortable with. You joined to ride and meet others with the same interest, but the more you participate the more you will get to know others and enjoy the experience. You will only get out of it that you put into it.
MC: If you see a Patchholder of your group that you have not met, take the initiative to introduce yourself as.. “Prospect (your name).”
RC: Its always good to introduce yourself to fellow club members.
MC: At all gatherings, make it a point to circulate when you have the time to do so and greet every Patchholder who is there.
RC: Its always good to meet new people.
MC: Don’t get overly friendly with someone that is not a regular acquaintance of the club. If someone outside the club has questions, refer them to a Patchholder. Never give out a Patchholder’s name, phone number, address, or any personal information to anyone outside the club.
RC: Meeting new people is one of the things a RC is about. Answer questions as you are able. If you dont know the answer to a question, refer the questioner to someone you think might know, such as one of the officers of your club. Dont give out personal information unless you know that the person being asked about wants it given out; that’s only common sense.
MC: Never give out any information about the club itself to outsiders. This includes, but is not limited to, where the club is based, how many members are in the club, etc.
RC: RCs aren’t normally out to hide anything. They are just a riding club and as such, really dont have much in the way of club business. If you know of sensitive private matters concerning the RC then it is expected that you would use good judgement in not sharing it with others who are not involved.
MC: While in public places, always conduct yourself with your association with the club in mind. Remember that what you do, people will remember; good or bad.
RC: While in public places, always conduct yourself with your association with your club in mind. Remember that what you do, people will remember; good or bad. The public perception of anyone who rides a bike should be considered and a good attitude is always the kind of perception we want to present, club or no club.
MC: Never let a Patchholder walk off alone in an unsecured area. If he/she is going out to their car, bike, or even just out to get some fresh air, go with them. Watch their back at all times.
RC: Never let someone go off alone without someone keeping an eye on them, especially in this day and time.
MC: Remember who you are 24 hours a day. Your association doesn’t go on and off with your colors.
RC: You should always conduct yourself responsibly when dealing with other people, including e-mails and on the internet. RCs do not have colors – the patch is a purchased patch that shows you are a part of a riding club whose purpose is to get together to ride motorcycles and enjoy the companionship of others with a similar interest.
MC: Out of respect, if two or more Patchholders are having a private conversation, don’t approach them within earshot, especially if they are talking with a Patchholder of another club. If you feel that you need to interrupt, put yourself in a place of visibility and wait to be acknowledged.
RC: Its only common courtesy not to interrupt a conversation or evesdrop.
MC: NEVER use the term “Outlaw Club” when speaking to a member of another club.
RC: NEVER use the term “Outlaw Club” or any of the other names they are known by when speaking to strangers (you never know when one of them might be a member of an MC, be a support member or know members of an MC).
MC: Never lie to a member of another club. If you are in a situation where you are asked about the club or its membership, it is acceptable to say “That seems like club business and I really can’t talk about it”. If this doesn’t put the subject to rest, offer to put them in touch with a Patchholder for them to speak with.
RC: Never lie to anyone. Either answer the question or refer the questioner to someone who can.
MC: Always show respect to a Patchholder of another club. Even though they are with another club, they earned their patch.
RC: Show respect for other people, club or not. Its the polite thing to do.
MC: Never call a Patchholder of another club “brother”. He’s not your brother.
RC: Never call a member of another club “brother”. If he is a friend and you two consider each other brothers, wait for him to address you as such in public.
MC: Remember, your patch is earned, it is not given to you.
RC: RCS don’t earn their patches. The patch has no meaning except that it indicates you belong to a club that you signed up for and associate with.
MC: Never bring a personal friend or a stranger into the presence of Patchholders without asking permission to do so first.
RC: Its great to introduce new people to the group; just make sure you don’t interrupt a conversation when doing so.
MC: At an open function, never turn your back to a Patchholder of another club. This is not so much for safety reasons, but as a show of respect.
RC: Its always polite to face the individual or group you are talking to.
MC: Always show respect and courtesy to Patchholders of other clubs. Don’t come across like you want to be best friends. Be professional in such encounters; keep it short, then move on.
RC: Always show respect and courtesy to everyone, club or not.
MC: Never be quick to walk up to a Patchholder of another club in a public setting, even if you know them well and the clubs are on friendly terms. If you want to greet them, walk up slowly and wait for them to indicate that they want such a public display to take place. They may be on some club business and may not want to give the general public the impression that the clubs are on such friendly terms. If they look like they are going to ignore you accept it and keep your distance, the best approach is always to wait for them to come to you and let everyone else see that.
RC: Use common courtesy and common sense.
MC: Learn what different parts of our patch represent and what the different color combination of yours and other clubs represent.
RC: A RC patch should never be referred to as colors. RCs should NEVER wear any kind of location banner with their patch and NEVER wear any kind of support patch for any other MC. RC patches are usually bought not earned
VI Why does the Dominant club control who wears back patches?
Many are apparently impressed with how “bad” they are … there are people like that all over the world. They tend to gravitate together and form groups, gangs … whatever you want to label them. They can present a real problem in a society such as ours where intervention by law enforcement is an “after the fact” event. Every little batch of a dozen or so “bad bikers” would literally make it hell for “mom & pop” on their Goldwing to go ridin’ … or any citizen and his gal passing through would be at risk in any area “ruled” by such a collection of “bad asses”. There is really nothing of an effective preventive nature that the cops can do about such things … you can not arrest someone for what they “might” do, only for what they have already done. Like it or not, it really does not matter, because it does not change the reality … the thing that makes it safe for “Mom & Pop”, or the young citizen and his gal, to go essentially anywhere they please is the dominate club arrangement. Dominate clubs have a vested interest in ensuring undue attention is not focused upon the biker world … and they do not have “restrictions” on waiting until after the felony has been committed by some group of bozos to take action.
This arrangement works … and it neither wants nor needs your approval … it just “is”.
Bikers are not the most favored group in this world … again just reality … you can not believe that, but it will not affect the reality. The groups that have faced the brunt of the negative aspects of that reality over the years are those at the end of the spectrum that includes people whose “life” is the biker lifestyle, not the weekend rubbie.
The bottom line is that there is a whole subculture of our society that has paid the price, and continues to pay the price for the “lifestyle” that some want to live and that some want to emulate. It is their world and it is no different than any other subculture that has ever existed in history … to deny that, no matter how much one might not like it, is simply foolish. It is the equivalent of stepping willingly into a tribal culture in Africa and intentionally violating taboos held by the tribe just because you don’t believe in the same things they do. It is the equivalent of putting on a Rebel Flag and intentionally walking down the street in Compton or Watts … it may be legal, the Rebel Flag may be something we think is honorable beyond mention, but to intentionally fly that flag in the domain of those who see it as a sign of oppression is foolishness on the same order as wearing a black power T-shirt at a KKK meeting.
Finally, I have met some truly “bad” individuals in my lifetime … and they seldom feel the need to advertise how “bad” they are … just my observation that those who “think” they are “bad” eventually encounter someone with a bigger fist, bigger knife, or bigger gun …
John Q. Public does not care what bikers do within their own realm and for the most part can’t tell the difference between an outlaw club and a Christian riding association … they all have a patch and are on two wheels and they don’t give a hoot what the patch says.
MC members whose world is the biker culture end up answering for the behavior of all … I’ll give some examples from my own experience …
A local club, an old time MC, not an outlaw club, in an area I frequented at the time, has a biker campground … there are a lot of events held there … the area around it has grown up with a collection of bedroom community homes on like 3-5 acres … the county road into the place goes past several such home sites … there are signs as soon as you turn onto the county road asking bikers to keep the speed and noise down to a reasonable level … I attended three or four secular biker events at that location one year, and there was no complaints from the neighbors. Then I attended a local Christian Biker function at the campground. Two or three “new” members “new” to “being biker types” (yes there are wannabees all over) were so proud of their loud pipes that they just had to show them off … ended up with the County Deputy showing up that night.
The locals did not give one hoot “who” caused this problem, it was simply bikers with a patch. It caused undue oversight for the local MC and everyone else that put on or attended an event there for several months afterward. It caused great damage to relationships made by that local MC with the locals and with the local LEOs.
For the other example, I’ll change all the names involved —
There was this local brand specific club … the Airfoil Ridin’ Fools (hopefully there ain’t no such group <BG>) … well the ARF boys have on all their weekend riding “biker atire” and go to a local tourist area, where they get a little loaded and start insulting tourists on the street … then they ended up causing a ruckus at a local bar.
Well the local business folks, local citizens, and the tourist don’t know ARF from a 1% club … but the locals do know there is a bunch of local 1% folks they don’t particularly like anyway … so they point fingers at the 1%rs. The local cops know it was not the 1%rs, but they know the people involved are really a bunch of rubs and such from a nearby town, that will just cause them grief if they try to press anything from a legal angle … and the city council is demanding the cops “do something”, so they have the perfect solution: make the local citizens and the city council happy by rousting a few 1%rs … and by promising the 1%rs that it will happen anytime and every time the LEOs get any heat about patch wearing “biker gangs”, they sort of set the stage to make sure the 1%rs are responsible for policing anyone in the area wearing a patch unless the local 1%rs want to answer for the actions of others.
These are real events, similar things happen all over the US and the world. That is the reality, anyone with a patch can cause any local group with any kind of patch to be a target for their actions, and the cops in general will target those who give them the most buck for a bang (no I did not mean bang for a buck … this is about money … you can get federal funds for helping “round up” 1%rs that are classified as “gangs” by the federal powers that be, there ain’t no money in rounding up a bunch of obnoxious ARF or wanna-bes).
What is a Bro/Brother?
The word “Brother” has become much abused in the motorcycle world these days. Seems like if you buy a bike and a new set of leathers, everyone else that rides has now become your brother. Some call it Brotherhood when sharing the wind on two wheels. Some call it brotherhood when you ride a few roads together. Just what truly is brotherhood?
There are Brothers in Christ. Brothers in Masonic temples. Brothers in several organizations. Elite military units commonly form a brotherhood among the members of squads. Navy Seals for example, are more than the sum of their individuals. They become more than just a team. They become brothers, totally committed to one another up to and including giving their lives for one another if necessary. Men that have shared combat together have formed such close relationships as to call each other brother. While these are no less committed than any other Brotherhoods, when it comes to the motorcycle world, there is also a very strong bond among those that call themselves Brothers.
What is a Brother in the MC world?
Once you’ve gone through the hang around period, the members of the Club have viewed your behavior, your attitude, your dedication, trust and loyalty, to be there. If you’ve actually completed this period, then you may be asked to become a prospect. During this time you are put under a much more intense review. You and the other members of the club find out if you are suited to be a part of the club and if you can accept the other members as Brothers just as much as if they can accept you and call you Brother. Can you dedicate yourself to the others as close as you would your own flesh and blood? Many times it is an even closer commitment than family. The person that you call Brother becomes family as a part of his as well as you being a part of theirs. A common phrase used in MC circles is I am my Brothers keeper. This means you will support him and help him any way you can, sometimes to the point of selling your bike to help him, quitting your job to go help him and, in some cases, Brothers have even done things that they already know could get them put in jail because they were willing to take that step to help a Brother out.
With all that commitment, its also that you would not ask a Brother to do something drastic without very good cause. Brothers may disagree, but they will always respect one another and treat each other with respect.
Please take note that if you haven’t had any experience being around some of the more serious MC’s (1%, support clubs, etc.), they take the word “Brother, or Bro” very serious, and they’ll only use the word as a show of respect towards their own club, their members, and any club who they’ve also bestowed that word upon.
And if a club overhears someone throwing around the word lightly within their midst, it could cause them to aggressively educate those whom they felt disrespected them by abusing the word.
Next time you feel the need to call someone Brother or Bro, just what is behind it? Commitment or just trying to sound cool?
Source: Free Bikers Hunedoara
Links where you will find more detalills : www.rcvsmc.net/index.html