Motorcycle Clubs: All You Need to Know
Riding a motorcycle is a fun and intense hobby that can bring huge amounts of satisfaction and happiness in your life. If you already own a motorcycle, you already know how exhilarating it is to be out on the open road, wind whipping past you, whether you ride through winding mountains, empty deserts, or anything in between. Whether you’ve been part of the hobby for nearly your entire life, or have just gotten into riding lately, it’s probably occurred to you that you might join a motorcycle club. If you’re reading this article, though, that means you’re probably on the fence still. In this article, we will examine the many reasons there are that might make you want to join a club, as well as a few of the aspects that might deter you from doing so. In the end, it’s your decision to make, and the most important factors to that decision vary for everyone. So here’s a look at some pros, reasons why you should join, after which we’ll take a look at some potential cons.
Meet New People Interested in Riding
One thing that everybody who is involved in a hobby craves is the companionship and conversation that can only be given by someone who is a part of your hobby. There’s nothing worse than ranting and raving about something that you’re passionately interested in, only to find out that the person you talk to doesn’t care at all, except, perhaps, being the person who is ranted and raved at. If you join a motorcycle club, you can be assured of having a receptive and interactive audience any time that you want to talk about the hobby. You’ll make new friends, something that’s not easy at any time in life and becomes more difficult as you get older, and you will be assured that those friends share at least some of the same interests as you.
Bonds of Community
Beyond just the individuals that you meet joining in your social circle, there is a certain connectedness or contentedness that comes with being part of something larger than yourself. Many people who are not religious report going to church solely for the fellowship and to feel a part of something; a motorcycle club could be that for you. Going out and riding with them becomes more than just an obligation, it becomes a fulfillment of your part in the larger cohesiveness of the group.
Build Your Discipline, On and Off the Road
Riding alone is fun and all, but you stand the chance of severely reinforcing bad habits. Being a part of a group that does something as potentially dangerous as riding together requires that every member function as part of a whole; any one person who departs from that cohesive order threatens to disrupt the entire group. Simply the act of riding around with a motorcycle club will instill instincts in you that will serve you well when you’re riding on your own. Even better, you might find some discipline riding as a group gives you spilling over into other aspects of your life, as the lessons of inclusivity and proper function that group riding teaches you often will have relevance in all aspects of life.
Learn to Ride Better
Especially if you’re a new rider, becoming part of a motorcycle club can help teach you to be a better rider. It can help you learn to navigate turns, how to come to a stop safely, how to handle the bike properly. And it’s best to learn such lessons in as controlled of a situation as possible, as often time, by the time you learn a safety lesson on a motorcycle, it’s already too late. Having experience riders all around who will willingly and happily teach you lessons and give you tips will never fail in making you a better and safer rider.
Learn Your Machine Better
Some people join motorcycle clubs because they love riding motorcycles, others because they love motorcycles themselves. It truly takes all kinds to make a motorcycle club work. Maybe you’re already a super experienced rider, and you don’t think there’s anything you could learn about using your machine on the road. If that’s the case, how much do you know about the internal properties of the bike itself. Everyone has something that they can impart to someone else, so wherever you stand on this particular spectrum, you likely have both room to grow and your own wisdom to impart, all in different areas of motorcycle knowledge.
Companionship on the Road
Riding can be a lot of fun, but if you’re doing it alone all the time, it can get lonely very quickly. Unlike when you’re in a car, and have the possible entertainment options of music, books on tape, radio shows, or even passengers when you’re riding on a motorcycle, it’s just you and the surrounding elements. There is a certain freeing aspect of this, as it allows you to be more in the moment and enjoy the actual riding more, but eventually, even the most solitary rider will crave having some social interaction. Being part of a motorcycle club allows you to have the best of both worlds; when you’re riding, you’re both part of a much, much larger group, and a rider alone on your own machine. You still have the freedom of the open road, but you get the companionship at rest stops and at the end of the ride.
It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle is dangerous. The rate of serious injury or death in motorcycle accidents is staggering compared to conventional vehicles. That element of danger is part of the draw for some of us, but nonetheless, it would be a tragedy if anything were to ever happen on a ride. When you’re out with a motorcycle club, you are safer for many reasons. You are riding with a bunch of experienced riders, who know how to best navigate the road and protect themselves and others from accidents. Also, just being part of a big group of riders makes you more protected from vehicles, the drivers of which often might not notice a single motorcycle but can’t fail to notice a whole motorcycle club. Finally, if the worst were to happen and you are in an accident, you know that you are with a whole group of people who will immediately be able to summon emergency services and protect you from any further damage that might occur from unaware drivers.
With all the apparent benefits that riding with a motorcycle club give you, there’s another that makes a lot of sense. Insurance companies will often offer discounted motorcycle insurance to someone who joins an accredited motorcycle club. The reasons for this are self-evident and are basically listed above here. If doing something makes you more disciplined, safer, and an all around better rider, then it makes sense that insurance companies would want to incentivize doing that thing. After all, after you, the entity that pays the most when you’re in an accident is your insurance company. Therefore, your insurance company has a larger stake than anyone when it comes to preventing you from getting into an accident. Join a motorcycle club to reap all the natural benefits, and get the discounted insurance on top of it all.
That’s a lot of very good reasons to get involved with a motorcycle club, but this article is designed to give a comprehensive view of motorcycle clubs, and there are reasons that some people might not want to get involved. If you’re still not convinced after reading all the pros, then you may have some legitimate reasons not to want to. Here are some of the most apparent cons attached to joining a motorcycle club.
It can’t be denied that certain motorcycle clubs have given a bad name to the rest of them. Groups like Hells Angels have reputations for being violent and criminal. By no means are these sorts of clubs representative of all clubs, but when it comes to reputation, whether something is true or not is often less important than the appearance of truth. If you have a particularly conservative social circle or have friends or family who look down on such leather-clad “gang members”, it might be wise for you to steer clear.
Some clubs, even nonviolent ones, have been known to have intense competitions with other clubs, which can end up with a lot of bad feelings and negative connotations. If you’re just joining a motorcycle club for the fellowship and enjoyment of the experience, and have no interest in being drawn into petty tribalism, then you should absolutely steer clear of such clubs. Generally, it’s advisable to do as much research on the history of a club as you can before joining up with them.
Overall, there are far more reasons to join a motorcycle club than not to, if you’re already a motorcycle hobbyist or simply enjoy riding. That doesn’t mean doing so is a foregone conclusion, however. Weigh out the options carefully, determining which elements are most important to you personally. In the end, you are the only one who needs to be satisfied with your decision.
- Cover Hound – Should You Join a Motorcycle Club?
- Trip Machine Company – 7 Reasons to Join a Motorcycle Club
- Wikpedia – Motorcycle Club