Proper MC Etiquette

This document is for education and information purposes only. We believe it will provide the membership with data that will assist in maintaining a peaceful and respectful understanding between members of the many motorcycling organizations that share the roadways. This is just a guideline. Following the Holy Spirit is paramount in interaction with all whom we encounter. 

You may or may not agree with some or any of the things contained within this document. We only ask that you read it with an open mind and consider that while you may or may not agree, you are at least gaining some insight as to what a motorcycle club is about. It should be noted that different areas and different motorcycle clubs each have their own set of rules they follow. No disrespect is intended toward any individual, group, club or organization with the presentation of this information.

The Board of Directors of IN HIS HANDS Ministries recommends that you consider some of the following things if and when you are going to wear the large IHH back patch.  

1. We are a ministry. We don't wear “Colors”, colors are earned, not bought. Be careful where you wear your back patch. Some motorcycle clubs can be very territorial and some clubs don't see any difference between a Motorcycle Ministry and Motorcycle Club, good or bad. If you are unsure of the areas or places normally frequented by motorcycle clubs, find out from your Area Rep or TEAM Officers.

2. MC patch holders are people too. They have good and bad days; they have jobs, families, and normal everyday problems and concerns just like anyone else.  There are those who no matter what you say or do, it will not be right with them.  Just as in any group, you will find both good and bad. 

3. Protocol and Respect are primary rules when dealing with a MC patch holder. If you are formally introduced to a patch holder, make sure the person doing the introduction knows to what ministry TEAM you belong, and if you are an officer, what position you hold. Under no circumstances do you interrupt to correct a mistake while that person is introducing you or while they are talking. Wait till the introduction is done and politely introduce yourself correctly. i.e.…. Joe Rider, IN HIS HANDS Ministries, xxxxxxxxxxxx TEAM in Any town. Use your name - not your biker nickname. Biker nicknames may come later.

4. Greet MC patch holders as you would meet anyone else. Wait until the offer is made to shake hands. DO NOT interrupt, wait for them to recognize you. DO NOT be offended or make a big deal if they do not offer to shake your hand.  Many times they want to get to know you before they will offer to shake your hand.

5. Be prepared to answer questions about your TEAM and its ministry. Such as....

A.)               "We are a motorcycle ministry, not a motorcycle club and have no intention of ever trying to become a motorcycle club".

B.)                Our Patch is purchased, not earned. 

C.)                We do not pay yearly dues 

D.)                All makes and models of motorcycles and trikes are welcomed.

E.)                 We are a non-territorial ministry.

F.)                 We DO NOT wear any MC support patches.

G.)                Women riders are welcomed and in many cases are TEAM officers.

H.)                We are not chartered by AMA.

I.)                  DO NOT brag about the local or national membership.

J.)                 If you are asked a question about a local TEAM, answer it if you can.  If they have questions about the national organization that you don’t know, refer them to one of the TEAM Officers or your local Area Rep.

6.  Women in leadership positions or being patch holders in motorcycle clubs, while not totally unheard of, is very rare. That's just the way it is. Most motorcycle clubs would also rather deal with a man if there is business to conduct. Most realize what a motorcycle ministry is and will for the most part accept a woman as an officer. Whether or not they will deal directly with a woman officer depends on the individual motorcycle club/chapter. There is no set rule for this and they will let you know if it's ok with them.  Many motorcycle clubs do not care to deal with the national officers.  They would prefer to deal with the local or state representatives.

7. A MC patch holder may not, and many times will not, acknowledge your wife or girlfriend, especially upon a first meeting.  

8. Regarding women who are with a MC club, Old Lady is not a negative or derogatory term in the secular motorcycle community. It is a slang term that is commonly used. 

9. If anyone knows a MC patch holder, don't let him/her throw the patch holders' name/nickname/club's name around like you're a great buddy of theirs (even if you are). Many clubs consider that as a major disrespect to the whole club.

10. Watch where you are when speaking about an MC, and never say anything about them in public because you never know when that person standing near you might be one of them, or a "support member." MC patch holders do not always wear their colors. By the time the story gets back to the club in your area, it will have been changed many times over and could be blown way out of proportion.

11. Anything said between club members is their business. If comments, even those said in a joking manner were to get out, problems could start.  Discussion outside the privacy of the TEAM can start rumors. This could cause a lot of problems for not only your TEAM, but also for other TEAMs within and outside of the state.

12. If for some reason you have to say something while in public about a MC, take the person you're talking to aside, alone, and say only what you need to say to get your meaning across. Say as little as possible so no one else can overhear it and misunderstand what you're talking about.

13. "SHOW THEM RESPECT." That's A #1 with them! (and worth repeating).

14.  If you already know a MC patch holder, or get to know one in the future, don't just walk up to him/her and interrupt when they are with other MC members. Wait till he/she acknowledges you first and NEVER touch them or put your arm around them like a buddy. If for some reason you're not acknowledged, just keep walking.  If you need to talk to an officer of a Motorcycle Club the proper way is to go through the Sergeant at Arms or one of the MC patch holders.

15. You have to decide whether or not you want to go to any of their functions or if you want to avoid all of them all together. If you do choose to go, we recommend that you attend only those events open to the public. If you feel that you do want or need to go to a "limited event", then you'll have to go representing yourself as yourself, preferably without wearing any IHH patches. Remember, if you're wearing your patch, you are considered by everyone to be representing your whole TEAM and IHH. If anything were to turn sour, then your TEAM and IHH could wind up with problems down the road. Also, once the rivals of that club you visited find out (and they will within a day or two), then those rivals will see you as no longer being neutral and you could be considered a rival of theirs too.

16. Territory rockers, or anything giving the appearance of a rocker should not be worn with your Back Patch. State flags, state logos may be worn in some areas and not in others. It's best to check with your local Road Rep to make sure what is ok in your area.

17. If someone from a MC requests that you remove your vest/patch, don’t argue. The best reply is, "No Problem", and politely take it off. Let your Road Rep and TEAM Officers know what motorcycle club it was so they can deal with any potential problems. You normally will only get asked once.

18. Even though your patch is not considered “colors”, if an establishment has a sign indicating “No Colors”, the vest should be removed out of respect to the other clubs and the policy of the establishment.  It's only respectful to honor the house rules. Motorcycle clubs that honored the "house rules" could be deeply offended that you didn't.  Also remember, many establishments choose to have this policy and it applies to all clubs that use any kind of patch; they do not distinguish between a MC and a MM.  Be aware of the local motorcycle club hangouts. It's best not to wear your back patch into them without an invitation.

19. DO NOT touch or sit on a MC patch holder's bike unless invited to do so.  Do not expect the invitation.

20. Prospects can usually be identified by the MC back patch they are wearing.  There are many different ways motorcycle clubs identify prospects.  They can have the rockers without the main patch.  They can actually have a patch saying "PROSPECT".  Some do not wear any patch, because all the MC patch holders know who the prospects are.  You want to treat a prospect or even someone you suspect is a prospect the same way you would treat a MC patch holder - with respect and courtesy.

21.  Have absolutely no doubt that a motorcycle club is serious and many have been known to physically educate a person who shows disrespect or displays a bad attitude.

22.  Be aware of the behavior and attitude of other TEAM members who are with you at MC events. If necessary, try to take action to avoid problems before they happen. If someone appears to be getting too angry or loud, and possibly disrespectful, take them aside until things settle down. If an incident should occur in spite of your efforts, make sure to let your Road Rep and TEAM officers know as soon afterward as you can. 

23.  Be aware that problems created in one part of the country involving any IHH member have the potential to affect all IHH members in other states.

24. The term Brother or Bro has special meaning to a Patch holder. Do not call a MC Patch holder Brother or Bro. Their Brothers are fellow MC Patch holders and those that have earned that term. 

25. Don't ever touch any part of another club member's colors, which includes the vest or jacket it's sewn on.  That is considered serious disrespect, which could cause them to aggressively educate the uninformed.

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The Board of Directors wish to thank Teacher, Web Master and Editor of “Motorcycle Club and Riding Club Education”, for allowing us to use information from his website. We also want to thank Karl Wardlaw and Santo Landerer, from the Believers TEAM for their input in presenting this information to IHH membership. 

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For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.
Second Timothy 1:7