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The Culture of bikers

Motorcycles have for a long time remained as the means of transport in many cultures. The main reason that makes motorcycle transport so popular is because in places where there is high lack of public transport, motorcycles offer an alternative means of transport. Low income level make automobile out of reach for low income earners and therefore many people go for motorcycles that are cheaper when compared to most automobiles. This can be evidenced by the fact that amidst the global economic downturn of 2008, the motorcycle market grew by 6. 5 percent.

In the U.S. motorcycle registration increased by 51 percent. The high increase was mainly due to increase in fuel prices and urban congestion but television programs such as reality show also played a role. All over the world, motorcycles are associated with different cultures. Some of these cultures are social groups while others are criminal gangs (Umbra, 2008). As a social group the bikers are organized into motorcycle clubs. Some motorcycle clubs are sponsored by various manufactures. The motorcycle clubs vary greatly in there objectives and structural organization.

But most clubs have elected officers and directors. A typical structural organization of a motorcycle club consists of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, road captain and sergeant at arms. The club members also make annual contributions. They may also sponsor rallies where meet and are able to socialize and get to know each other. Some other clubs publish books and magazines that can be used by motorists needing assistance. Some other motorcycle clubs exist for specific purposes, such as the Patriot Guard Riders, who provide funeral escorts for military veterans (Joel, 2000).

In some motorcycle clubs for a biker to become a member they must pass a vote of membership and swear allegiance to the club. More than a simple majority is required for successful admission. Some club may reject a prospect because of a single dissenting vote. Some clubs have a unique patch that is worn on the rider’s vest which is awarded on becoming a full member. In such clubs full members are referred to as “full patch members” and the step of attaining full membership is referred to as “being patched”.

The patch mostly contains a club logo, the name of the club and state or other club identifications (Gaetano, 2004). Some bikers are organized into motorcycle gangs is a fact that cannot be denied. This motorcycle gangs are mostly motorcycle clubs not registered with American Motorcycle Association which is a governing body for the sport of motorcycling in the United States. These gang bikers support themselves through drug trafficking, selling stolen goods, and extortion according to Dougherty, (2005).

These gangs are therefore a bother to the society and are always in a serious conflict with the law. The gang are also known to have fight among themselves over territory and illegal drug trafficking. The FBI asserts that these motorcycle gangs collects $ 1 billion in illegal income and dominate in illegal trade distribution of methamphetamine. The FBI in October, 2008 announced the end of a six month undercover operation into the narcotics trafficking by the Mongols Motorcycle Gang. This went down with 160 search warrants and 110 arrests warrant (Rupert, 2008).

As seen from this discussion motorcycle riding that started as a means of transport has now developed into bikers’ culture. The culture affects the society in various ways. There is the well organized motorcycle clubs that are a social group where people come to know each other and possibly learn from each other. But the bike culture has also brought together a group of gangs that are a great bother to society. References Dougherty, C. (2005). Motorcyclists Take Over Town, Many Injured, San Francisco, pp 10-24. Gaetano, C. (2004).

Motorcycle Design and Technology Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company, pp 34–35. Joel, F. (2000). Steering in bicycles and motorcycles, Retrieved on 13th April, 2009 from http://socrates. berkeley. edu/~fajans/pub/pdffiles/SteerBikeAJP. PDF, pp 59-654. Rupert, H. (2008) Motorsport Memorial, Retrieved on 13th April, 2009 from http://www. motorsportmemorial. org/focus. php? db=ms&n=1418. Umbra, F. (2008). On motorcycles – Ask Umbra, Retrieved on 13th April, 2009 from http://www. grist. org/advice/ask/2003/05/28/umbra-motorcycles/index. html

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