Riding clubs are a great way for riders to connect—and, of course, hit the road—with other enthusiasts. But even a quick Internet search yields a staggering number of club options, especially in warm weather areas. So, how do you narrow down your choices and find a comfortable group of motorcycle riders?
Long story short: a motorcycle riding club isn’t a “motorcycle gang.” Instead, a riding club is simply a group of riders organized around an idea—enthusiasm for a particular brand of bike—and dedicated to hitting the road with other like-minded folks.
Deciding on a riding club really comes down to narrowing your focus: Are you simply looking for fellow motorcycle riders? Or are you geared up to ride with people who own bikes similar to yours? Ready to hit the road with riders with similar life experiences? Or is your goal to meet a bunch of new and interesting people? Is your idea of “riding” a 30-mile jaunt or an overnight trip? Bottom line: decide what you’re looking for and search from there. And remember—there’s nothing saying you can’t ride with multiple clubs.
Even if you regularly ride with an established club, you’ll find plenty of organizations that sponsor or participate in once-a-year events. Often tied to charitable events or organizations, these rides can be a great way to meet new people—and to find out about new riding clubs. These clubs may not always show up in online searches, so keep an eye on the “community bulletin boards” at your dealer or mechanic’s.
The most active riding clubs may meet monthly, even when there’s no ride scheduled. One way to check out a club is stopping by and meeting your potential touring partners. You may even be able to join and pay any membership dues at the meeting. Once you find a club, make sure your first road trip is fun—and safe through proper planning.