These thoughts you’re reading are relays from a 100%-supportive non-club-member: if you’re thinking of joining an outlaw motorcycle club, here are some things to consider from an outsider.
I’m not a member of an MC, but I’ve known a few, and I’ve seen the culture up close and personal quite a few times.
Not being from that world, people might ask what I’m doing writing about it in depth like this, and the truth is I don’t know, exactly — I just know what I’ve experienced and what I’ve seen, so if you take anything away from this, just remember that each rider’s experience is his own..
And also I once rode with an MC. And it was one of the best experiences of my life….
Outlaw Biker History
Some people get off on the idea of being part of the outlaw biker subculture. But the reality might be more than they can handle.
The idea of the “outlaw motorcycle club” first came about when the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), a non-profit pro-motorcycle organization established in 1924, insisted on motorcycle clubs adhering to their bylaws, which stated that the organization was a whites-only, men-only group. It wasn’t until the 1940s that local chapters began to
If a local AMA chapter had anyone even slightly mixed-race a part of their club, or if women had any role in the club, the AMA excluded them from events, meetings, competitions, etc. These local chapters stood up and said they don’t care what the national guidelines were, they wanted to run their club the way they wanted to.
This is what created the outlaw motorcycle club.
The outlaw motorcycle club was born out of dissent and disapproval of an overreaching government from within the AMA. They became anarchistic and tribal, yet sophisticated in how they maintain membership, assembly, bylaws and elections. This rift between national and local governance created an entire culture of freedom, which most MC’s promote to this day.
Bikers Are Anarchists
Motorcycle clubs are the true anarchists of the world, and most of them won’t deny that, as long as you aren’t calling them “anarchist” in a derogatory way.
Motorcycle clubs are generally compliant with local law, mostly to stay as under the radar as possible because they inherently don’t agree with laws outside their club. They follow enough local law to not get any heat on them on a regular basis, but they are quick to break the law when they realize they have to in order to uphold their own law, and I’ve found that’s often what gets confusing for some members.
Some people call them the nomadic tribes of our time, but that’s not entirely true. They do travel a lot, in groups, but not necessarily to migrate to new locations. Most MC’s take pride in their area and community, and when they claim their ground, they stay for life.
Joining A Motorcycle Club
The biker subculture is becoming more popular these days for many reasons, but mainly because it allows riders to bond with other riders and share their experiences.
But not every club is meant for every rider…
There are politics involved, investments made, history between the existing members… and they’re not about to open up about it all to a stranger.
When you join an MC, you’re not just attaching the name of the club to your name, you’re also asking for a lot of open-mindedness from the other members to accept you for who you are while simultaneously opening your own mind to adopt their way of life.
The biker subculture isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely something that is for those who enjoy riding motorcycles. It allows for more personal bonding and sharing. While there are many different types of clubs and organizations that are involved in this type of motorcycle club, there are just as many different types of groups that are dedicated to the same cause.