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Category: MAWC EventsLee Riders Rally

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Category: MAWC EventsLee Riders Rally

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Category: MAWC EventsLee Riders Rally

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I am the Doctor that tends to your sick child when you have nobody else to turn to. I am the lawyer that defends your rights. I am the engineer who strives to make everyday life more convenient. I am the paramedic that is first on the scene to assist your loved ones when they are involved in a horrific accident. I am the mechanic that ensures that your vehicle in which you transport your most precious cargo is safe and reliable. I am the bank teller, the supermarket assistant, the businessman, the law enforcement official, the administrative clerk, the traffic officer, the teacher and the professor. I am the housewife; father, brother, sister, grandfather and grandmother.

 

When you walk past me in the shopping centre, you don’t give me a second glance, because like you, I am just one of the millions of people who work tirelessly to make our way in this world and try to support our families.

 

BUT

 

Let me put on my leather waistcoat with its ‘patch’ or club colours embroided on the back then suddenly I am just a biker. An unruly, uncouth, lawless member of society. You see me on my motorcycle wearing my “patch” and assume the worst. You place me in a little box, which contains all the preconceived, ill-informed, decades old notions you have of what a biker is.

 

There are bikers who display those traits that you have in your head. In the main that is not the case. Yes, we do have the irresponsible bikers who give biking a bad reputation. There are over 200 registered motorcycle clubs in the Western Cape, there are bound to be some bad apples as in any other area of life. Are all car owners’ drag racers? Are all men rapists? Are all black people criminals? Are all white people racist? You see, when you place an entire group of people into that one little box, you are generalising. Your reaction to that group is then fed by your generalisations. Generalisations tend to lead to intolerance and prejudice.

 

Most of the motorcycle clubs in the Western Cape have constitutions and a code of conduct. They have a President and his officers who ensure compliance with that constitution. They may even belong to a motorcyclist association (e.g. Motorcycle Association of the Western Cape – www.mawc.co.za) who also has a constitution that needs to be adhered to. They have committee meetings where each officer (President, Treasurer, Road Captain, etc.) gives feedback on his/her specific responsibilities. They have protocols for prospective members to follow to ensure that an individual is a fit to their specific club. They try and test him to gauge his loyalty to the club and its membership so as to ensure that when he finally becomes a full member, he will hopefully never bring the club and his “patch” into disrepute. The mechanisms of how clubs work varies from club to club but the essence of the above remains the same.

 

Now for the shocker! Motorcycle Clubs in the Western Cape annually raise hundreds of thousands of rands for charity. Almost every registered club has a charity or charities, which it supports. Every weekend there may be up to 3 club arranged events where clubs from different walks of life and different cultures get together and support a specific club in their fundraising endeavors. Yes. You read correctly. EVERY weekend. The charities bikers’ support includes hospitals, orphanages, old age homes and various Non-Profit Organisations (NPO’s). They raise money for cancer research. They have ‘Blood Runs” and donate 100’s of litres of blood annually. They donate school shoes to children in poorer communities just before the onset of winter. They hold soup kitchens and collect blankets and non-perishable goods every winter for the less fortunate. The list is endless. Motorcycle Clubs have incorporated the love of riding motorcycles and spending time with like-minded individuals with the need to help others. When you see that large group of bikers wearing their leather waistcoats on a weekend riding down the highway together, 9 out of 10 times they are on their way to support a motorcycle club fundraiser. And most of them do all this in-between family commitments.

 

There are Christian, Masonic, Veteran, Social Riding and various other Motorcycle Clubs/Associations within the broad spectrum of biking. Biking is way too varied and colourful to place it in a little box.

 

During the week, just like you, we get in our cars; get on the bus, train and taxi and head off to work to put food on the table. Some of us might use our bikes so as to not be part of the morning and afternoon traffic congestion. Just normal people who have a different way of socializing; people who have turned that socializing into a charitable endeavor.

 

So…. what do you do with your weekends?

 

For more information on the list of motorcycle club fundraisers and rallies throughout the year in the Western Cape, please visit the website of the Motorcyclist Association of the Western Cape – or contact info@mawc.co.za

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