This page has been set aside for other motorcycle related 'odds and ends'. Things like: A little biker history, biker culture, biker poetry, etc.; and of course, a thing or two to think about. It is our hope that you thoroughly enjoy it.
The Basic History of the Back Patch
Here's a little biker history. Believe it or not, this story got its start when the AMA (American Motorcyclists Association) was formed in 1924 by the motorcycle manufacturers of the day. Their goal was to promote motorcycle riding in America as a safe and fun family activity. Many times, riders that had already been riding together as friends and neighbors would organize themselves and become an AMA sanctioned "club". In those days, some clubs wore completely matching outfits with the name of the club stitched onto the back of their shirts and/or jackets. That's how the motorcycle club patch got its start. The term "colors" referred to that clubs' emblem and the colors of the matching outfits they wore. The AMA would hold events at which the different clubs in a region would come together to socialize, have picnics and play bike games. As a result, awards would be given out not only for their riding skills, but also for categories such as being the "best-dressed club", etc.
In the mid 1940's, as World War II came to an end and our soldiers were coming home, many of them found it difficult to readjust to a peaceful civilian life. They often turned to motorcycles as a form of recreation. They would get together on the weekends and developed all kinds of adrenalin rushing 'dare-devil' skill games. This would give them some of the excitement they felt they still needed.
In 1947, over the July 4th weekend in the small town of Hollister, California, the AMA held an event known as the "Gypsy Tour". The organizers invited about a thousand people to the event. However, there were more than 3 thousand additional bikers that showed up. Needless to say, the small town was quickly overrun.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. During the event, an overly ambitious reporter, who had just started working for a very large and prominent newspaper, wanted to make a name for himself. So he got a member of a certain motorcycle club to pose for a few staged photos. Then, using those pictures along with some others that were taken of the real event, he wrote an article painting an exaggerated picture of a 'terrorized town under siege'. The readers of the story, just like today (if it's in the news, it must be true), believed the story. As a result, not only was it picked up by the general press, it was picked up by LIFE Magazine as well. The story was later made into a movie called "The Wild Ones".
Being somewhat embarrassed, the AMA felt they needed to set the story straight, so they held a press conference. The most memorable quote from that meeting was, "The trouble was caused by the one percent deviant that tarnished the public's image of both motorcycles and motorcyclists." With that one statement, the wedge was driven and a gap was formed. Those clubs that were not sanctioned by the AMA were then banned from attending AMA events. This began, in part, what we know of today as the "1%" clubs.
So with that, they went off and started doing their own thing. In order to designate themselves as a club different from the AMA clubs, the "1%ers" (as they came to be known) cut their club patches into three separate pieces. Hence the term, "three-piece" patch. The top and bottom pieces, called "rockers", are usually curved bars; the top bar designating the club's name and the lower bar designating the club's location. The centerpiece was the "emblem" of the club. These 1% motorcycle clubs put on their own events and parties, setup their own protocols, and did the exact opposite of what the AMA was doing. Among other things, there were no more "Best Dressed Club" awards. They "chopped" or "bobbed" their bikes to look different and go faster, they rode hard and fast with no mufflers, they drank and did all kinds of other "wild" things. Not much has really changed from those days. The 1% clubs today (with few exceptions) basically still operate in much the same way.
But that's not where the story ends. In the early 1980's (so as to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion within the motorcycling culture) many national motorcycle organizations came together and set up a policy to connect the "rockers" with the "emblems" to make it a "one-piece" patch. As a result, most family style/social ride clubs, groups and organizations, now design their patches as a one-piece patch.
So, when everything was all said and done, from that time on, this is basically how the motorcycle club back patches were to be recognized:
In either case, the three-piece back patches are called "colors". The members of 1% clubs earn their colors (which can take several years). They don't just buy their patches like everyone else does. It is important to know that one-piece and/or two-piece back patches are NOT to be called colors. It would be considered disrespectful to do so.
Now, if you feel that God is calling you into the "hardcore" aspect of motorcycle ministry (which incidentally, is only one small portion of this ministry), and you would like more detailed information about the basic protocols of that part of the biker culture, then please check out the link below.
» Warning «
You need to know that because of the nature of this culture, parts of the link below are not for everyone's eyes. This link is for mature adults only.
Also, DO NOT EVER think that just because you've read everything there is to read on this link, that you now know everything there is to know about this aspect of the motorcycle culture - that's extremely dangerous. Remember, this link is designed to give only the basics. However, if you feel that you need more information, please contact us directly, and we'll talk about it.
So with that, please pray for God's discernment and wisdom before entering this link. Thank you for your understanding.
We hope this link was both informative and helpful to you. It is also our hope that you have discovered that, no matter what aspect of motorcycle ministry God may have you serve Him in, you will always need to remember these two things: 1) This is not a game; and 2) no matter what the back patch is, no matter what club or group it may represent, always be aware of the "Golden Rule" of conduct while ministering to ALL motorcycle clubs, groups, and organizations:
"If you give respect,
you'll get respect."
Once respect is earned (which does not happen overnight), then, and only then, you may be given the opportunity to be heard.
A Biker's Dictionary
As you may know, most cultures in this world have their own terminology they use to describe various things or behaviors within that culture. Well, bikers are no exception.
In an effort to help build a bridge between those that eat, sleep and breathe motorcycles, and those that don't, we've provided the link below, which has a fairly exhaustive glossary of commonly used terms within the motorcycling community. Some will make you laugh, some are a bit colorful, and some will make you say, "Hmmm, I didn't know that." So have fun, and enjoy.
A Biker's Lament
I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the line at the grocery store.
But you didn't see me put an extra $20.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.
I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
But you didn't see me playing Santa at the local mall.
I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant.
But you didn't see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the disaster victims.
I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by.
But you didn't see me driving behind you when you flicked your lit cigarette butt out the car window.
I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children.
But you didn't see me when I took time off from work to run toys over to the homeless.
I saw you stare at my long hair.
But you didn't see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks Of Love.
I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves.
But you didn't see me and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.
I saw you look in fright at my tattoos.
But you didn't see me cry as my children where born and have their names written in my heart.
I saw you change lanes without signaling, while rushing off to go somewhere.
But you didn't see me going home to be with my family.
I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
But you didn't see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.
I saw you yelling at your kids in the car.
But you didn't see me pat my child's hands, knowing they would be safe behind me.
I saw you on a cell phone, reading a map as you drove down the road.
But you didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.
I saw you race down the road in the rain.
But you didn't see me get soaked to the skin, so my son could have the car, to go on his date.
I saw you run the red light just to save a few minutes of time.
But you didn't see me trying to turn right into the same intersection.
I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the same lane I was in.
But you didn't see me leave the road.
I saw you waiting impatiently for my friends to pass by in a slow procession.
But you didn't see me. I wasn't there.
I saw you go home to your family.
But you didn't see me. Because I died that day you cut me off.
I was just a biker ... A person with friends and a family.
But you didn't see me.
Take Just a Minute
During WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people that would drop what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute, to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. The effect was very powerful - the bombing stopped.
God has promised us in His Word, the Bible, "If my people who are called by my name, would humble themselves; pray and seek my face; and turn from their wicked ways; I will hear them from heaven, and I will forgive their sins, and restore their land."
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
To that end, today there are untold millions of people, doing exactly the same thing in this country. If you would like to take part in this, then each evening at 9:00pm Eastern Time (8:00pm Central, 7:00pm Mountain, 6:00pm Pacific, etc.), stop whatever you're doing and spend one minute praying for God's protection over the United States of America; wisdom for her leaders and her citizens; safety for our troops and wisdom for their leaders; and for the United States to return to its roots, and once again be a Godly nation. Please know that you don't have to be part of an organized group to participate - just be faithful to do it. All of us are counting on it.
Someone once said, "If people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have." It has also been said, "Nothing of any eternal significance, can be accomplished, apart from prayer." So, whether you're a part of this ministry or not, come join the growing ranks of Prayer Warriors. And remember to always keep praying, because prayer always makes the difference.
Finally, to put it all in proper prospective; if we don't honor Him, we shouldn't expect Him to honor us. Thank you, and may God continue to bless you, and may He continue to bless America.
Something To Think About
Scripture says in part, ' ... that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.' So, with that in mind, here's a little something to consider.
This is Steve Harvey, a comedian, addressing an audience. It's hard to imagine that this is a comedian and not a preacher; and it's equally as hard to consider, that this is a secular audience, and not a church's congregation. Check it out - it's extremely powerful.
The subject is:
"How Would You Introduce Christ?"