A Great HOG Chapter

This is my blog and all opinions expressed here are mine. They are not facts, just opinions. With that said here are some thoughts from The Jay Green on what makes a great HOG Chapter.

It’s all about creating a special place that differs from “real life”. We have fun, we have spontaneity, we have camaraderie, we have adventure, we have passion and we live our dream. With the exception of placing a top priority on safety, it’s one big alcohol and drug free party. Out there in the “real world” you feel like a cog in the machine. You feel like “the man” has you under his thumb. Out there people don’t connect. They don’t know your name. They don’t know your passion. They don’t touch. They don’t dream. When you show up to a HOG Chapter event you should feel special from the minute you walk in the door. I don’t care if it’s your first meeting, in this time and place you are family! You will be greeted with a handshake, a hug or a pat on the back. There are no newbies, no rubs, and no wannabes. We are all equal because we are all Harley-Davidson owners and we all belong to the same chapter. For a brief time you put aside your woes and share your passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles with like minded individuals. There should be few rules. Everyone should understand this is not serious business, this is about riding and having fun safely. Ride and have fun, that’s the motto. That doesn’t mean do whatever you want to do. Our members represent the chapter and our sponsor and should always present a positive image and act responsibly. We are sponsored by the local Harley-Davidson dealer and are law abiding citizens.

If one of our members makes a mistake we do not shun him or her. We support our friends. We help them pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get them back on the road. If one of our members suffers a tragedy, we all feel their pain and are there for moral support. We do what we can. If one of our members isn’t pulling his weight or contributing, so what? He pays to be a member of this chapter and has the right to take from it what he wants. Everyone gets out of it exactly what they put into it. We focus on the positive and ride past the negative.

If you succeed at creating this atmosphere, you and your members will belong to something special. With that will come chapter pride. What could be better than belonging to a special group and being proud of it? There is nothing wrong with pronouncing your chapter as being the best or being number one! Sports fans do it all the time. The big difference between us and passionate sports fans is that we are not spectators. We wear our one piece patch and roar down the highway of adventure arm in arm with our fellow HOG members!

After a HOG trip, activity or meeting we go home, take off the leathers and return to the grind. We may not be hard core. We may not live “the lifestyle”. But we get it, we understand it and we respect it! We are 99%ers. We go back to work on Monday morning to our jobs and yearn for the next chance to feel the freedom of the open road. We also yearn for that special feeling we get when we walk in the door at a HOG Chapter Social. We yearn for the camaraderie, brotherhood and sisterhood we only know when we are at a chapter event. We yearn for that handshake, hug or pat on the back.

I feel sorry for riders and citizens who don’t know this camaraderie. I look on with awe at the members of motorcycle clubs who live the lifestyle 24/7/365. HOG is just the right mix of biker lifestyle and responsible living for me and many others who want to enjoy motorcycling as a recreational pastime. 

I also feel sorry for members of HOG chapters who have not created this special atmosphere. From what I read on the Internet you would think a HOG Chapter like ours doesn’t exist. Some HOG chapters and some Harley-Davidson dealers just don’t get it. I’m thankful I get it, our sponsor gets it and our members get it.

The real world sucks! Being a member of a great HOG Chapter makes it all good!