Sturgis South Dakota USA is at least one time a year, early in August over ran with people that wear many patches on their clothes. They wear black leather with brightly colored insignias and graphics showing the world what their favorite motorcycle brand is, where their home town is or shouting their opinion in embroidered thread. At a typical rally there may be 500,000 people with an average of three patches each.. some have only one, some do not sport a patch and some… have dozens. So maybe 1,500,000 patches at a typical rally, yet a few draw a lot more attention than others.
More specifically Sturgis Motorcycle rally like many other rallies is a gathering place for many who live the motorcycling lifestyle. They eat, breathe, work, play, live, love, wake and sleep with motorcycles involved. Some of these are the members of three piece patch motorcycle clubs. If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery then the clubs should be flattered. So many want to appear as the club riders do, but without the baggage, with out any commitment and I say with out honor. Every year at Sturgis Rally, we see more shirts and patches that resemble a motorcycle club patch so the average joe can look like a real biker.. why are these colors as they are called so copied and coveted. Many live for them, would die for them and many have perished for the sake a a three piece patch set…
What is it about motorcycle club colors? Is it just a intimidation tool?
We can observe this behavior as it is quite common. People take on a persona designed to get others to leave them alone. As a young boy I was always heavy and overweight, as a defense I quite often acted mean or tough to get some to leave me alone. Believe me I never was real mean and or tough.. I am a lover of people and fun yet I had to survive. People wear macabre graphics and even tattoo skulls and other grotesque figures on themselves to give a feeling of dread. To show the world how tough they are. Many go through great lengths to just intimidate others. Do not be mistaken many who wear motorcycle club colors are very serious individuals and can be very intimidating, the difference is that is who they really are. Most of them have had to live up to the image so many times that it is not an act but who they really are. They have also been tested time and time again of their loyalty to their colors, many more have paid a huge price for the life style that they have chosen. Many motorcycle club colors, to the uninformed are quite intimidating yet for those that just want to intimidate others maybe just stick to some really scary grotesque patches and if you really want to be tough get them tattooed on you but being loyal to a group may be a little out of your realm.
Is it just a target?
It can be! If you want the attention of every rubber necker, most people, DEA CIA, local law enforcement and Club member around just ride down Main Street with a set of motorcycle club colors that is unfamiliar and you will know they are a target.. For many years I thought that it would be foolish to live and die for a huge group of men most that I didn’t know, not wanting to wear their target on my back. Things have changed for me as I am honored to wear the yellow and black for Soldiers For Jesus MC.
Our club colors are a badge of honor..
As I have lived in and around the motorcycle club communities I meet more men every year that would die and live every day for the rag on their back. If I have to explain than you may not understand anyway..
Many of them I have a deep respect for because of the price they have paid to wear the patches that they do. These are not patches that are bought but earned.
I say that they are a badge of honor for those that understand what they really mean and live the life that backs it up.
Again this year many of us have felt the discrimination of private businesses not allowing club colors in their establishments. I say this is a direct reflection of the way our society is going and a infringement of our right to the pursuit of happiness.
To the riders who proudly wear their colors and have earned them I say fly yours , ride free , and like us just don’t spend your money where they discriminate.
This is still America, home of the free because of the brave..
Love, Loyalty and Respect
Soldiers for Jesus MC
Sturgis South Dakota USA