Protocol with Riding Clubs and Motorcycle Clubs

In the last two weeks we have had two incidents that have predicated my emails on MC/Club Protocol and to define the MIAP Protocol. We cannot be the cause or reason why these happened from ignorance. If they happen in the future then it is a direct result of an “in your face” action, which of course will cause a reaction. It is your choice to decide what you will do. However, if you cannot follow the MIAP Protocol, then please go your own way and ensure that there is no association with MIAP.

MIAP chooses to work for veteran’s causes amongst all groups, cultures, religions. In turn we give our respect freely and have accepted it in return from many Riding clubs and MC’s. We must learn how to accomplish working together successfully.

More notes on motorcycle clubs and motorcycle gangs:

Members of motorcycle clubs are often viewed in a negative light by traditional society. This perception has been fueled by the movies, popular culture, and highly publicized incidents.

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Criminal Intelligence Service Canada have designated only four MCs as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs). These four have a large enough national impact to be prosecuted under the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute. The California Attorney General also lists one more as an outlaw motorcycle gang, for a total of five.

Motorcycle Club
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“A motorcycle club (MC) is an organized club of dedicated motorcyclists who join together for camaraderie, strength of numbers, companionship, education, rider training, and socialization.”

Membership
There are a great many motorcycle riding clubs, including those sponsored by various manufacturers, such as the Harley Owners Group and the Honda Riders Club of America. Large national independent motorcycle clubs, such as BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, BMW Riders Association, the STAR Touring and Riding Association, and the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA), are abundant.

Clubs can include police, military, and firefighter clubs (or a combination thereof) such as the Iron Pigs MC, Steelhorse Posse MC, Iron Warriors MC, Shamrocks MC, Blue Knights MC, Defenders MC, Red Knights MC, Choir Boys MC, Knights Paladin MC, Dragonslayers FF MC, and Wind and Fire MC

Various military and veterans MCs include the Armed Forces of America MC, U.S. Military Vets MC, the Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets MC, the Proud Few MC, the Leathernecks MC, American Badgers MC, Veterans of Vietnam MC, Rolling Thunder MC, Marine Corps MC, In Country Vets MC, Warrior Brotherhood MC, Combat Veterans MC and the Buffalo Soldiers MC. Still other MCs include the Boozefighters and the San Francisco MC. One online directory of MCs lists 216 clubs. Only five of which are designated as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMG’s).

Certain organizations also sponsor clubs such as “HOG” (Harley Owners Group) and CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association). These are not considered “real” motorcycle clubs and can be easily differentiated from “real” clubs by the lack of “MC” (Motorcycle Club) or “MG” (Motorcycle Gang) on the back of their vests. When a bar or other establishment posts a “No Colors” sign, they are specifically targeting people with the “MC” or “MG” letters on the vest.

Operations
Illegal activities in the vast majority of MC’s mirror the percentage of criminal behavior in society as a whole. Most clubs are organized as a 501c charitable organization and provide money and support to a variety of charities. Typical events include “poker runs” and ’50-50′ raffles where a portion of the proceeds are donated to the clubs designated cause. Additionally the clubs provide support services and maintenance for members in the form of trailers, tools, etc.

The clubs also stress safety and rider skills. Most will have a “road captain” that is responsible for safe riding. The members will generally have a pre-run safety check where required equipment, tires, etc. are checked. Some states (not California, Nevada or Oregon) have special provisions for “Funerals and Other Processions” that allow the pack as a whole to go through a signal light as long as the first bike entered the intersection legally under the green. Packs tend to ride “high & tight” to prevent other vehicles from attempting to ‘BULL’ into the pack. This type of behavior by a cage (car) is extremely dangerous to a pack and happens quite often, especially in larger runs (20+ bikes) Organized runs with large numbers will usually include “road guard” bikes who’s responsibility is to block intersections and roads to allow the pack to enter/exit the highway or turn as a unit. Biker clubs have long initiations and many ‘team building’ exercises to foster trust and confidence between members. Someone that has marginal riding skills will be relegated to the back of the pack until their skills are such that they are capable of riding without the risk of ‘bumping pegs’ with the other riders.

As you can see there is no generalization that fits all of these groups and organizations. I am always disheartened to read or hear the word “bikers” lumped together with outlaw, gangs and illegal activities when that generalization includes the entire MC’s and clubs listed above. I see lots of good things being accomplished by all groups and will continue to support them for any event that helps our communities.

All portions of the protocol discussions, Part I, II and III are authorized to be distributed to promote awareness and enhance working relationships with all groups that we wish to work with in harmony. Portions of these discussions were reproduced from online sources with MIAP specifics intermingled.

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