Clubs That Are Not Clubs

There's some clubs out there calling themselves "club" when in fact they're not really a club. I think it's a phenome...

There's some clubs out there calling themselves "club" when in fact they're not really a club. I think it's a phenomenon that's spreading across the motorcycle community with greater frequency.

I've even seen one in SoCal calling itself a "motorcycle club", when in fact they're not a club at all. They don't wear a patch, and they allow anyone to walk in off the street and become a full member.

There's another group based in SoCal, now with chapters all around SoCal, calling themselves a "club", but going on to say the following about themselves...

The club has no membership dues, no patches and no meetings. Patches went out in the 60's & 70's. If you think you need a patch, well you probably know what that means!
Well then, you're not a club.

You can't be a club if anyone can just walk in and become a full member without knowing anyone, without having qualifications, or without having demonstrated their worthiness. If your group is a club, then it's a club like belonging to MySpace or Yahoo.

In fact, that's what they really are, web forums. Someone created a website where people can create a user account and post messages to each other. Somewhere down the line, they started calling it a club. They like the prestige that comes with the word "club", without the responsibility of being a club.

A club patch isn't just a piece of cloth anymore or anyless than the US Flag is just a piece of cloth. It stands for something special, and that something special is defined by the members of the club. The members is what makes the club unique, and if anyone can join right off the street, then you can't create anything unique.

I'm not saying your club has to have a patch in order to be a club, what I'm saying is that it can't be a club if it's that easy to join. Wearing the club patch is a symbol of your accomplishment in achieving membership. If anyone can be a patch holder right off the street, then members don't have much to be proud of.

If you created a group just so that you can find some buddies to ride with, that's cool. We all want people to ride with. But if that's your sole intention, then don't call it a club. Figure out something else to call it.

But if you do want to call it a club, then make it exclusive, make it special, make it tough to join, make other people wish they could join but can't.


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