Archive for the ‘motorcycle clubs’ Category

Join The Club

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

I did. I joined the club.

Specifically, I joined the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Riders Club (RMMRC). My hope and expectation is that it will help me meet some new people and make some new friends to go riding with. Sure I go out for a week each year with the guys in the OFMC but beyond that we maybe get out for breakfast three times a year. Most of the rest of the time when I ride I’m riding alone.

RMMRC logo

The RMMRC logo.

And riding alone is not bad. In fact, I like it a lot. But I especially would like to meet some folks who want to ride off the pavement. I don’t want to be off on some trail up in the hills and need assistance in a place where no one might come along for a week or two. Yes, I’ve thought about getting a SPOT tracker, and that remains an option, but it would be nice to simply have other people to ride with so you can help each other out if need be.

So on Thursday night last week I went over to Piccolo’s restaurant–conveniently, very close to home–to see what the RMMRC was all about.

Turns out they’re about a lot. It’s a highly organized group. Every year they plan out a number of group rides far enough in advance that they print up a ride book, and we’re not talking just four or five rides. Here’s part of the list for this year:
April 2 — Season Warm-up and Orientation Ride
April 16 — Kick Up Some Prairie Dust!
May 10 – May 24 — Southern West Coast Tour
June 4 — Dual Sport Day Ride
June 6 – June 13 –Grand Canyon Tour
July 12 – July 20 — BMW MOA Rally, Hamburg, NY
August 4 – August 12 — Flaming Glacier Run

OK, you get it. And there’s a lot more. The point is, these are not just day rides. There are some big ones in there. I like that kind of stuff.

In addition, Roy, the safety director, told me that for those (mostly retired) who have the availability, they will often take short-notice week-day rides out for breakfast or lunch somewhere. And then of course, once you make some friends, you can always just call up a couple guys and round up some folks to do your own, non-club-sponsored rides.

Really, that’s probably more what I’m interested in. I believe in riding safely, and riding with the OFMC that is something that’s pretty hit or miss, but neither am I fond of severe regimentation. I believe in riding in staggered formation but the rules of some riding groups is more than I am comfortable with. I want some happy medium. So I’ll go on some club-sponsored rides, and if I don’t find the regimentation to be beyond my tolerance I’ll do more. But I may not do more; that’s where meeting new riding companions and doing your own rides comes in. I’ll just play it by ear.

So stay tuned. I suspect you’re going to be reading a lot more about this group in the months ahead.

More website-related stuff
One of the first things after the RMMRC meeting began was an introduction by first-time attendees. That meant me, plus another couple who were also there for the first time. After giving my name and listing the bikes I own I added that I run this website and that frankly, I was going to be a little disappointed if there was no one there who was familiar with my site.

I wasn’t disappointed. In particular, there was one couple who each told me individually that when they first got into riding, they looked for information on places to go and discovered my site. And they used it a lot. “You’re something of a celebrity for us,” Sarah told me. That is so totally gratifying. That’s the whole reason I built the site, because I wanted to share all this with others.

Which takes me back to that website in the UK that I mentioned previously. With these guys, if I want to sell my bike, they’ll buy it. Except, of course, you have to be in the UK. But I was curious so I tried going to their site. I wanted to at least see what they’re all about.

Well, turns out you can’t get far on the site unless you’re in the UK. I don’t know how the technology works but if you’re not there, all you get past the home page is a notice saying, “Could not Connect to Valuations Service.” Oh well. But if you’re in the UK and have a bike you want to sell . . .

Biker Quote for Today

Old bikers never die, our leathers just get tighter.

More On Rockers And Claiming Territory

Thursday, October 29th, 2015
Biker patch

I guess if you wear this patch you're claiming ownership of bikers. Oops, no, it's not a three-piece.

Alan was interested in my post about “Shariah law” and when he gets curious he knows some knowledgeable people who he asks to comment. He sent me a couple responses.

From Samantha there was this:

This is quite a subject of hot debate.And actually, the very reason Ron and I disbanded the Deadhorse MC. Well, me anyway. Ron was just tired of leading rides all of the time and worrying about riders getting lost, keeping up, doing the newsletters, writing about every ride, calling everyone, etc. I, on the other hand, knew the day was coming that we would get into conflict with other MC’s. Not so much for having our rockers (as we never had rockers in the first place) but once more MC members were gathered in the surrounding areas, the main artery of drug trafficking known as Highway 191 going straight through Moab would become a territory issue. Knowing me, I wouldn’t take it as seriously as these guys were and would mouth off, getting all of us hurt.

Sure enough, less than a year of us disbanding, a new group was formed here and they decided they were going to call themselves an MC and got patches with rockers and all. They were contacted and ‘encouraged’ to take the rockers off. They did. It was a bit silly, as these guys had no idea where the rocker idea had even come from, and for that reason, I grant respect to the MC’s that claim territory. Rockers were their thing to start with, and if you let them have it now, they seem to be fine with whatever little ‘club’ you want to have..just don’t claim a state.

It’s all very high school, until you get ‘encouraged’ by an MC. Then, it gets real!

Then there was this from Greg:

Randy Decastro indicated that one of the club local chapters would not allow the American Legion that he belongs to form a club or be patched.

That’s one thing that Bruce told us at Sunday’s ABATE meeting, that we were not being singled out, but that they were going after everyone. Fine. A bunch of suburban, middle-class guys like the OFMC really has no interest in pretending to be a bunch of 1%ers anyway. But there’s no one who can tell us we can’t have a small, private club of guys who like to ride.

Biker Quote for Today

If she changes her oil more often than she changes her mind, follow her.

Enforcing ‘Shariah Law’ In Colorado

Monday, October 26th, 2015
No Club Patch

That arced part at the bottom that reads "NO CLUB" is the rocker.

Let’s see if you understand what I’m referring to here.

You have a group of people who tell everyone else that regardless of whether or not they believe the same as they do, the others must follow the laws of this group’s beliefs or else they’ll do them bodily injury, perhaps even kill them.

Does that make you think of Muslim extremists and Shariah law? I’m betting that if you’re like most non-Muslim Americans the answer is yes. Maybe even if you are a Muslim American. I’m not saying that is an accurate description of what ISIS and Al-Qaeda are all about but I think that’s a fair statement of how most of us see it.

So what if I told you what I’m really here to talk about is a motorcycle “club”?

On the OFMC trip this past summer Ray was complaining that the Sons of Silence had made his VFW group of riders take the “Colorado” rockers off their patches. “Made” them do it. How can they make you do that, I asked him. Why don’t you just tell them to go take a flying leap? Ray never really answered that question but I think we all know the answer.

Now I was just at my ABATE of Colorado District 10 meeting on Sunday and it turns out the Sons had approached ABATE saying that ABATE cannot use the word “Colorado” on any patches it produces. Never mind it’s part of the group’s name. It seems in their minds that they own Colorado and no one else can lay claim to it.

Telling us about his meeting with two “club” representatives, ABATE of Colorado State Coordinator Bruce Downs said, and I paraphrase: Whether you agree with them or not, it’s their belief system. You put a territory name on a rocker and you’re saying you own that territory. There have been people who have died over this. That’s not what we’re about. I’m not going there. We came to a mutual understanding.

Did somebody say Shariah law? Oh, yeah, I did. Now, no one said anything about physical retaliation but Bruce’s remark about people having died over this issue makes it clear that such things can and have happened and that fact is always in the back of your mind. It leads to self-censorship. It leads to groups like ABATE and Ray’s VFW group giving in no matter how vehemently they despise doing so. And I agree totally with Bruce. This is not what we’re about. There are more important issues ABATE needs to address. It’s not worth anyone getting hurt.

Now here’s a funny thing. Bruce said this applies only to patches, and only to three-part patches, with a top rocker, middle, and bottom rocker. If you’re silk-screening onto a T-shirt it’s OK for ABATE of Colorado to call itself ABATE of Colorado.

I thought Judy summed it up well. When I told her about all this she remarked that it’s like a bunch of dogs going around marking their territory. Some people need to grow up. And I guess if the University of Colorado decides to produce patches they had better just call themselves the University. Because the Sons own Colorado.

Biker Quote for Today

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but dirt bikes break them better.