Brotherhood--strong enough to stand alone, loyal enough to stand togetherWithin the motorcycling community are subcultures that if entered into recklessly or with the wrong intention, can prove to be detrimental to both the group and the individual. Regardless of what type of club a rider is affiliated with, we are all part of the motorcycle community. Members of the general public do not understand the distinction between MCs, MAs, and RCs. In view of this, most organizations tend to expect that their members act so as to bring favorable credit upon the motorcycling community in general. Further, almost all organizations expect of their members a certain level of respect towards all other organizations and their members. The USMVMC is no different.

Riding clubs (RC) are one type of group that appeals to those that want to go on rides occasionally with a group, but do not want a deep personal commitment to the other members or to the interests or goals of the collective. Pay your dues (or buy the right brand of bike), sign up online, and you’re in. Decide that you don’t want to be in anymore, or sell that bike, and you go on with your life, and few will miss you. Make a few friends, have a good time, learn a little about riding and your machine, go on some group runs, maybe even have a fundraiser or two. Ride with the group, have a good time. Examples of these are the Goldwing Road Rider’s Association, Shadow Riders, or HOG. All good, respectable groups, all can be a lot of fun, all part of the motorcycling community, but they different from the true MC in many ways. These can be a good place for those “weekend warriors” that don’t want to adopt motorcycling or others who ride them as a pervasive part of their lifestyle. Motorcycle associations (MA) are groups that center on motorcycles as well, but have a specific purpose behind that affiliation. Members do not necessarily have to be riders. Most, if not all are very beneficial to the motorcycling community, and have a considerable history. Many have accomplished a great deal to further the interests of the motorcycling community. The American Motorcycle Association, the Christian Motorcycle association, and Motorcycle Associations with geographic, ethnic or specific motorcycle interests such as the Southern California Motorcycle Association, the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA) or the Modified Motorcycle Association are but a few examples of these. Membership is dependent on different criteria within each association, but they are generally not very exclusive. Their members are drawn together by a common interest within the motorcycle world.

Motorcycle Clubs are the pinnacle of the motorcycle community. They command respect for a number of reasons. While anyone can thuggishly demand respect, only a true MC can command it through the consistently mature and professional conduct of each of its members. Members are chosen by the organization, and while many may be invited to take a look, only a few will be asked to join. Members of traditional MCs must demonstrate a level of personal commitment and self-discipline uncommon in today’s society. Motorcycle Clubs relate to other clubs through mutual respect and protocols. They are proud of their brotherhood, their colors and their club. Recognizing that an entire club can be stigmatized by the inappropriate acts of a single individual flying their colors, new members generally go through a probationary period where they learn the protocols and expectations of the Motorcycle Club community before they are awarded the full colors of that Club. Individuals who lack respect for themselves, their brothers in the club, and other members of the MC subculture will not find a place in any true MC. A true MC demands that it’s members portray to the general public a positive image of their club and motorcyclists

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