TRADITIONAL MOTORCYCLE CLUB’S
The intent of this section is to give riding clubs and social motorcycle clubs 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. It is extremely important for riding clubs (RC's) and social motorcycle clubs to understand the proper etiquette when dealing with traditional MC's.
A traditional MC club commands respect for one reason. There is a very 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. This is especially true as it pertains to those persons outside of the motorcycle community. 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 that feared. The serious club, and all or its members and guests, will always conduct themselves publicly in a highly professional manner.
A traditional MC 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. Wearing a patch means more to MC Patchholders than getting together for good times. It also means getting together for the other times, too. 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. IN GENERAL MEMBERSHIP IN TRADITIONAL MC's CONSISTS OF A MUCH HIGHER LEVEL OF COMMITMENT THAN MEMBERSHIP IN RC's OR SOCIAL MC's.
DO'S AND DON'TS FOR RIDING CLUBS & SOCIAL MC's
AVOID GETTING INTO A DISCUSSION WITH A TRADITIONAL PATCHHOLDER ABOUT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: a) comparing levels of committment in your group with theirs, b) whether your patches are purchased or earned, or c) whether you are a traditional MC or a social MC. TRADITIONAL MC's BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM RC's IN THESE WAYS AND THEY ARE VERY TOUCHY ABOUT IT. IT IS BETTER TO KEEP YOUR CLUBS RULES AND AND INFORMATION PRIVATE AS THEY WILL DO WITH INFORMATION REGARDING THEIR
- If you are formally introduced to a MC patchholder, make sure they know what group you belong to, and what position you hold.
- Greet them, as you would meet anyone else and wait until the offer is made to shake hands (Remember DO NOT EVER TOUCH a MC Members Patch). DO NOT interrupt, wait for them to recognize you. DO NOT, be offended or make a big deal out of it if they do not offer to shake your hand. Many times they want to get to know more about you and your club a little before they will offer to shake your hand.
- Be prepared to answer questions about what your group is all about. But NEVER lie. If you are not in a position of authority, it may be better to refer the questioner to someone who can answer. It is OK to say you do not know or that you are uncomfortable giving out certain information. DO NOT LIE.
Women as patchholders, while not totally unheard of, are rare. That’s just the way it is in that world. Most MC’s would rather deal with a man if there is business to conduct. Whether or not they will deal directly with a woman depends on the individual MC/Chapter. There is no set rule for this and they will let you know if it’s OK with them or not. SO BE CAREFUL WHEN FEMALE MEMBERS DEAL WITH TRADITIONAL MC PATCHHOLDERS. DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS ON THIS SUBJECT. JUST ACCEPT THAT THIS IS THE WAY IT IS IN THAT WORLD.
- If anyone knows a motorcycle club patchholder, don’t throw the patchholder’s name/nickname/club’s name around like you’re a great buddy of theirs (even if you are). Many clubs consider that as a major disrespect to the whole club. Watch where you are when speaking about motorcycle clubs, and never say anything about them in public.
- Never use the term “Outlaw Club” or any of the other names they are known by when speaking to strangers.
- Watch where you wear your patch and it’s just common sense to try to stay in numbers when wearing your patch. Some MC’s can be very territorial and some motorcycle clubs don’t see any difference between a TRADITIONAL MC, RIDING CLUB, or MOTORCYCLE CLUB, good or bad. If you are ever confronted about your patch or asked to remove your vest, be respectful and don’t argue. The best reply is to first ask for contact information for someone that your leaders should speak to in order to clear up any misunderstandings. Also offer contact information for your own President. If you know you are on their "turf" you may want to comply. Be aware of the local MC hangouts and it’s best to ask permission before wearing your patch into them without an invitation.
The term “Brother” of “Bro” has special meaning to a MC Patchholder, do not call a MC Patchholder Brother or Bro. Their Brothers are fellow MC Patchholders and those that have earned that term.
- If you encounter Patchholders on the road, be very careful about passing them. Some feel it is disrespectful for you to pass them at all, but many are OK with it as long as you do it respectfully. Do not pass them illegally. Do not pass too close to them. Do not buzz by them at a high rate of speed. If you let them know you are there, many will wave you by.
- MC’s tend to police their own, and don’t take kindly to interference from the so-called establishment enforcers. Simply put You Fu#@ with one, You Fu#@ with all. But as long you live and ride the streets as they do you have little to fear from MC’s unless you show disrespect. “SHOW THEM RESPECT AND EXPECT RESPECT IN RETURN.” That’s A#1 with them!