I am a paramedic and
at accidents it has occasionally been necessary to cut a rider's leathers off for medical treatment. Will patchholders
be offended if we have to cut a member's vest?
A few thoughts from the "old school" way....
If a club member is dead from a MVA, etc., the colors don't
die. And if a member does die, his colors better not wind up being all chopped up, because as a sign of
his club's respect and brotherhood to him, the club normally buries him with his colors on. If
his injuries wind up not being too serious after all, or if he recovers later on, he's probably going to be
mighty pissed if his colors were desecrated.
Just something to think about here.... if a member has been hurt or even killed, because
of a stupid act of negligence on the part of a cager, or a CSW (Club Sanctioned War) over a turf battle, etc, his club's
members are already going to be enraged (and certainly aren't going to be thinking clearly), so even the slightest
little innocent thing (like cutting his colors off him), could very well be perceived as a snub to their club and
would not sit well with them.
another thing to think about, is that although some of the small newer clubs keep their jacket and colors looking real nice
and spiffy (a few older clubs are starting to lean towards this new trend too), that if you happen to see one of
the "big 4" clubs around, make sure to take note to look at the jacket & colors of their oldest,
longest members. "The worse his colors and jacket looks, the prouder that owner is of his colors"
and the more the other members will look up to him with respect.
Anyway, I think the safest way to cut a denim jacket or leather vest off a patcholder,
is to just carefully cut straight up the left and right side seam's stitching that's already there. And
since most MC's jackets will already have their sleeves cut off, you shouldn't have to cut the shoulder line, just
try sliding the jacket away from him.
By doing it that way, any cleaners/tailor can re-stitch those same seams again in about 5 minutes
and it will look just as good as "new". If it happens to be an open-sided leather vest that has got the
leather string zig-zag down the length, just cut off the leather string's knot, & pull the string out of the eyelets.
Most leather shops and shoe repair shops carry that leather string for about a buck each. But if it looks to
be a head, neck or spinal injury, then you'll probably have to cut along the top shoulder line seam too.
And preserve his jacket. And I'm not
positive about the different club protocols on this, but if possible, I'd present his colors first, to
whoever was there from his club. I'd try to do it in the order of "chain of command” below (since colors
are usually considered to be "club property", I'd think that they should stay within his club
first, even before his old lady or relative).
1. If conscious, give back to injured member
2. If unconscious, give to their Sgt-At-Arms
4. Club President
5. Club Vice President
6. Any of his club's other
club's full patch member
8. His blood relative
Parking your bike
A common question is about parking your bike when a MC is there also. It could be at the local bar/club, or at events.
If a MC shows up, they will normally park
their bikes together. Often times there will be a prospect watching over them. Park where you can, but, don't
go parking right in their midst or at the end of their line. You don't have to park around back just because they
may be parked in front. If there is a problem, normally they will politly ask you to move. There will only be
problems if you show an attitude.
If you are parked and see that they have parked all around your bike, then consider your bike safe.
If you are ready to leave, it's best to push your bike out of the group if possible, start it up and ride away.
If there is someone guarding the bikes, just let him know that it's your bike and you are ready to leave. If you
do not see someone guarding the bikes, you can safely assume there will be someone watching them. They know where they park
and when they may have to park with one or more bikes mixed in. If you want to look at the different bikes, fine, do
not touch. Try not to knock any of theirs over..........
Too many people keep that stereotype of the bad ass clubber that's always looking for trouble
in their minds when dealing with clubs. Club members have enough other things to worry about and normally will not give
you and problems until you give them an attitude. It all boils down to common courtesy.