Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Mad Dog Jim, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

    While we wait for decent weather, I got something on my mind. Maybe you guys can chime in with your thoughts. I've been on bikes most of my life. Some of the best times have been with buddies, but some of the best has been just me too. Or wife and me...

    In the past (80's) I ran with an ABATE Chapter. Back then it was pretty close to Club style, our chapter anyway. I've been around several MC types. Not in their club or club business, but have worked with them, partied with a few, riden with one or two. I gave HOG a try a couple years back. The chapter near me is way not my style. Good people, we're just too different. I ran with a "group" for a year. They were cool, and fun, and closest you can probably get to a club minus the full meal deal. But, that got shut down by a local MC. Didn't like patch, and didn't like our rapid growth.

    Long and the short of it is this... There are parts of each mentioned above that I really miss, but not all that comes with it. I'm actually content and enjoying just being me on my bike with my wife. We've gotten to where we don't have vests, no patches at all, no stickers, nothing. But, at times,,, I hear the rolling thunder and the cry of the wild is still in me.

    I've given thought to how you might design the perfect biker "club" "group" what-have-you... but it seems that the only way to do away with the stuff that gets in the way is to just run solo.

    Would dig hearing your experiences good and bad, what you do now, and maybe what you do in that "perfect world" scenario
  2. ProF

    ProF Junior Member

    The only way things can "get in the way" is if you and your buds choose to wear a patch. Then you get into the whole 1 piece vs 3 piece vs club vs riding group vs whatever else you can possibly associate with a patch.

    Don't wear a patch and nobody will pay any attention to you.
  3. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Bull Dog Jim, like you I've tried abate, hog and have been invited to join a couple of MC. I do like the idea of riding with a group that have simular ideas and enjoy having a good time, but when it starts getting in the way of my own personel freedom I'm out. If you belong to this group you can't ride with that group. If your group is riding somewhere and you want to go someplace else your not a good member. The Decleration of Independence says I have the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I think I'm alot like Will Rogers when he was ask if he thought he might run for congress; he said "I don't think I want to belong to a group that would have the likes of me as a member."
  4. trvlr

    trvlr Junior Member

    Be curious what responses you get. In my 30yrs of riding, I've never buddied up with more than 3 other riders when we've hit the road on a road trip. I've never ridden in a large group, never been in a m/c club, and have never had any desire to. I'm not much on big crowds unless I'm listening to some good music. I can't imagine riding with 50 or 75 riders on a ride somewhere. The local HD shop recently did a toy run, or something to that effect and the guy said there were appx 250 bikes in the run. Yikes. Cool to look at but I'd rather throw 2 fingers down as I'm heading the other direction. But to each his own. And I'm cool with that.
  5. Redfish-Joe

    Redfish-Joe Senior Member

    I am the 2nd officer in our riding club here on the coast.(SCRC 332). We support the local MC clubs on their toy runs and such and for the most part some will participate in our yearly fund raiser for St. Judes. No problems at all. I stress that if anyone need to address anyone in a MC during an event to do it thru myself or the first officer.
  6. murf

    murf Active Member

    I ride with friends whether they are affiliated with some group or not. I'm not a joiner and " playing the field " suits me best.
  7. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

    All good stuff!

    On the group riding mentioned above - I like to define that there is a difference between a group of us riding to the same location, and "formation" riding. Rding in formation for very far can be a real stress if you are not used to riding with eachother, and everyone in the formation knows what to do. If its a group ride where I don't know most of the others, like a toy run, I prefer to hang back and follow at my own pace. But I do have a few buddys that we can ride two abreast for hours and it's no biggy.

    On the patch issue - it does open the door for human nature (the worst parts). Like who can join? What are the rules? Who's in charge? Etc. I think that Wild Hogs and Sons of Anarchy rekindled the interest in that kind of thing. Like many things, seems cool in a movie, but then reality strikes... This is not a PC thing to say, but when someone brings up how cool it would be to do something like Wild Hogs, I always remind them that WH didn't patch women... (Did I say that out loud?)
  8. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I've only been "back in the saddle" for 4 years now so not as much experience as other posters but I'll throw out my opinions anyway.

    My first large group/charity ride (around 40 bikes) was a disaster. No police escort was arranged for so the pre-ride brief included the expected "we will obey all traffic laws, etc." Well, we pull out of the Wal-Mart parking lot, first traffic light turns yellow, me and one other guy stop, and about 20 more bikes roar through the light. We catch up as the group pulls onto the interstate for a 10 mile or so stretch. We're doing 80 or so and BARELY catching the group. Get off the interstate onto a nice two lane road and, again, having to do at least 15 over the posted speed limit to keep up. Then I get stuck behind a guy with the loudest pipes you've ever heard. End of the story is when, and this was through none of the riders' faults, there was a terrible accident and 2 guys were killed.

    Sorry to ramble on about that but it's why I'm obviously not a big fan of large group rides, especially with no LEO escort. WAY too much depends on other people's skills, attitude, and leadership abilities to be able to relax and enjoy the ride.

    I'm sure everyone here will admit that part of the attraction to owning a bike is to be able to get on, fire it up, and get away from everyone and everything else for awhile. I've had some absolutely great and memorable solo rides. Doesn't matter if it's 4 hours or 4 days.

    Yet, it's still a blast to get together with a couple other people who ride the same as you and share the comraderie of the road! Other than solo, I've ridden with up to 2 other people. I guess a few more than that would be fine but no huge groups for me. Unless Biketoberfest counts as a 100,000 bike group ride!
  9. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

    WOW Doc! That had to be quite an experience! I haven't seen anyone die, but close. When I first started reading I had to chuckle because it sounded like some of the rides I've been on and regretted! Its amazing what people will do... "Ok everyone, let's ride safe and obey the laws!" Then... "YEEEEEEEEE HAAAAWWW!" When there are unknowns in the group, the guy up front has to ride for everyone!

    Like I was saying at the beginning - I love it! I miss it! But not enough to go back to it!
  10. fatbryan

    fatbryan Member

    Ive always been a lone wolf, but lately been thinking about joining or starting my own club. But after reading this post im really thinking otherwise. Thank you for opeaning my eyes to some of the down falls.