I’ve been at this show for over two years now, and four years reporting on biker related news. One of the most asked questions I get from subscribers is, “how has life been since leaving the motorcycle club you were in?” It’s a pretty good question, especially since it’s been almost 15 years now.
I left the MC because of health issues because I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Reality hit and found that I could no longer be 100% in the game. I couldn’t bear being responsible for someone getting hurt in a pack if I had a seizure in the middle of the ride. Without being able to put in 100% I decided it was time to hang it up, something that was hard to do, especially since I was in the game since the early nineties.
The Shock of being on the outside looking in
I would have to say the first year or so is the hardest part about leaving the club life behind. One day you’re spending all your time with the club, the next day you’re out of the action. Friends and brothers you once had, already moved on, and you’re left looking back on the fond memories you had with everyone.
For those who’ve just recently left a motorcycle club. “Don’t worry, you will find your way again.” I always tell people, “you will always find others who are independent to hang with.” The Independent life is something I never could fathom in my younger days. Now that I’m older it’s the best thing for me and the family. There is nothing wrong with an ex-member being an independent or choosing to be with a riding club. One thing is for sure, something I always tell people leaving a club, “you don’t need a patch to be who you are.”
Is it a step down being independent or joining a riding club?
The simple answer? Hell no! My question is, “why would you think it’s a step down just because you’re not a member of a club?” You’re still a biker, are you not? The biggest misconceptions I always run into are, people thinking a patch puts you on some hierarchy ladder. What are we in fucking high school or some shit?
People always talk about who is a real biker all the time. “Well it sure the fuck isn’t about what others think of you.” Why do you even care where people put you on some fantasy scale? Get over all that bullshit and do you.
I’ve found more time to discover who I was
One of the best things that came out of me leaving the club life, was finding myself. I found that the way I was living life wasn’t in the best interest for my family. For so many years they took a backseat to club life, something people need to think about before joining a motorcycle club. One of the best things that happened, was getting out of the club mentality, and seeing there was more to life. Being in a motorcycle club is like living in a bubble, meaning the club is your life and everything else outside doesn’t matter. I have to say I was happy that the bubble burst, mainly because I was able to get into other stuff I ignored all those years.
Immediately after leaving the club, I was able to get into things I always wanted to but never had the time. I’m a huge outdoorsman and I finally started taking those camping and fishing trips. I also was able to concentrate on building businesses more than I ever did before. Most of all, I was able to make life something other than a motorcycle club.
I believe it’s this kind of transformation after leaving the club, is what pushes me to recommend Independent or riding clubs. There is so much more to life than living in that bubble. Being an independent or apart of a riding club allows you to enjoy other things than just a motorcycle or having an image. Independent or riding club members get their wind and parties with friends, afterwards they go on with their lives without commitments.
Many creators won’t tell you about the bad side of the motorcycle club scene.
The one thing I hate more than anything, people not being real about the motorcycle club scene. Even if it’s not purposeful, I still believe that the whole story needs to be told. Motorcycle club life isn’t an easy life. I’ve seen many people die young, and not only from battles with other clubs. The people I saw die young were from heart attacks, strokes and other health related issues. For example there was a guy I knew, that was only in his mid 30’s, but dude looked like he was almost sixty years old. The reason? The weekend partying and being on the run all the time. This dude could go for days without any sleep. There is a catch though, he was usually on some shit to keep him going. I’m sure everyone can put two and two together on that one.
Since most creators won’t get into the dark side of the game I will. The reason is I want people to have the full picture before getting involved in something like a club. One thing that does irritate the shit out of me is people saying, “you’re bashing clubs and making them look bad.” This isn’t the case whatsoever. Here’s a little inside information for all you. I’m actually helping motorcycle clubs from having to waste their time on someone who isn’t ready. If I’m giving the person asking about clubs the good and bad, then they can make an informed decision. Do people look at that angle? Hell no they don’t! People are too busy looking through a tunnel vision lense instead of the wide angle lens. Like I talked about above, always get the whole picture before listening to anyone creator
You’re not in a club, so why should anyone listen to you?
It’s true, I’m not in a club any longer. Here’s the thing though, I spent well over 15 years in the club life during some hardcore times. I also grew up on the streets of Chicago with one of the baddest street gangs in the city. I’ve been there and done it, maybe this is the reason I believe in being straight up instead of pulling your peckers. I have absolutely no need to present things as glorious within the biker scene. Truth be told, yes it was great, but it’s also not cookies and ice cream like some of these people will tell you. A reasonable person would want that information before they made a choice on whether to join a club or not.
I believe if I share some of what I went through, even though I’m no longer in a club, it will help people with the information they need to make an informed choice. Do people or club members get pissed off at how I present things? Damned right they do and I hear it all the time. Here’s the thing about that though, I go back to the question, “do you want to waste your time on someone who isn’t prepared?” After they think about it for awhile I always get, “you’re right, it does help weed out those who might not have the understanding of club life.”
Unlike a lot of creators who are looking for a payout, I’m in it to help the scene.
I for one am glad there is more biker entertainment. It was just a decade ago, we all had to wait for the next issue of a biker magazine, to get any insight on what was happening within the scene. Social media, especially YouTube, has given bikers a place to get entertainment and in some cases make new friends. Facebook groups for networking are a great place to hook up for rides and rallies. YouTube is a place where you can go to video bloggers to follow an individual doing his or her thing.
The only downfall I’ve really seen, is people doing the content just for money. I for one am totally for being able to make some money, but I’m also one who feels it should be done for the right reasons. If someone is just out to put content up to make money, then at least be real about it. There are many people who put out content that have no idea what they are talking about. This is especially true when it comes to motorcycle clubs. We all have seen them, especially the ones who scream the loudest about what should and shouldn’t be happening in motorcycle clubs.
We all can remember a certain individual who’s out west crying bloody murder, about how clubs are trampling over everyone’s constitutional rights. Was there an audience for that? Sure there was, people actually do feel that way, so that creator served up the content to them. Did it help with the MC Scene? Nope, all it did was put ideas in peoples heads that would get them hurt. That kind of content is not helpful for the scene.
There are those people who would even go as far as saying, the content we put out, is not good for the scene. I might agree, but not for the reasons some people might believe. All our material is about biker news, both good and bad. I believe you cannot have one without the other. Does this put a bad light onto motorcycle clubs? Yep, sure does! So why do it? I always tell people to think of it this way. “Wouldn’t you rather have someone who knows the scene doing it, rather than mainstream media?” At least with Insane Throttle Biker News everyone gets to tell their side of the story if they wish to.
Don’t you make money off what you’re doing?
Simple answer, no! Sure, I make about $2.00 off a video on YouTube, but it actually costs more to make the content than what I bring in. One of the misconceptions is that creators make a lot of money. Let me be the first to tell you that isn’t the case. Most money we make comes from t-shirt sales and sponsorships on our other platforms. Whatever money is made is reinvested into the shows I do. It’s one big circle basically where I never end up with profit.
So why do it then? It’s simple, I love being able to contribute to the biker scene. Being a biker is one of the best things anyone can be. The biker scene is filled with some pretty awesome people who do a lot for the community. This is why I do it, to make the scene even better.
Swinging back to the topic of life after the motorcycle club. Do it the right way, make sure to try and stay friends with everyone. Sure, they will hang around with you less and less, but it’s because they have club stuff to do and you don’t. The good side of this though is you’re able to