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Old School or Shyte School?

Right…here we go again with a stukkie Kop Stukke. I am warming up for a shocking article. So shocking I actually need approval from more wiser and educated bra’s in the biking fraternity hierarchy. Herewith the warm up.

Respect, love, loyalty, family, etc…all these and more ‘words’ are often used when referring to, or talking about the Brotherhood in biking. And you often hear people ‘gooi’ “Yes, we do things old school and we operate old school and blah, blah, blah…..” (ad infinitum)

What da fuck is old school? To what and which period of biking are you referring to? Post-war days when army drop outs took to bikes to express their rebellion against the system. Biking in the 70’s? 80’s perhaps? What about the 90’s?  Or does your ‘old school’ memories take you back as far as 5 years ago?

You see what I mean?

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I have been in this community since the age of 15, I never came from a family of bikers, in fact it was quite the opposite.  The things I’ve learnt about this lifestyle have been taught to me by, who I believe, are some of the wisest of the Grey Beards.  The most important lessons being the strength & importance of Respect and Brotherhood.

After being in this life for almost 20 years, I’ve believe that I do understand the unspoken rules, I have complete trust in the hierarchy and mostly I believe that we are all connected in the Brotherhood. What I don’t think I ever learnt was what gives us the right to call someone my Brother, and after reading the following from Nelson HAMC Joburg, on Facebook, i’ve realised that although we may all subscribe to be part of a Brotherhood, does that actually make me someone’s Brother (Sister)?

Brotherhood. This word gets thrown around way too much.

The word “Brother” has become very abused in the motorcycle world these days. Seems like if you buy a bike and a new set of leathers, everyone else that rides has now become your brother.

Some call it Brotherhood when sharing the wind on two wheels. Some call it brotherhood when you ride a few roads together. Just what truly is brotherhood?

There are Brothers in Christ. Brothers in Masonic temples. Brothers in several organizations. Elite military units commonly form a brotherhood among the members of squads.

Navy Seals for example, are more than the sum of their individuals. They become more than just a team. They become brothers, totally committed to one another up to and including giving their lives for one another if necessary. Men that have shared combat together have formed such close relationships as to call each other brother.

While these are no less committed than any other Brotherhoods, when it comes to the motorcycle world, there is also a very strong bond among those that call themselves Brothers.

What is a Brother in the MC world?

Once you’ve gone through the hang around period, the members of the Club have viewed your behavior, your attitude, your dedication, trust and loyalty, to be there. If you’ve actually completed this period, then you may be asked to become a prospect.

During this time you are put under a much more intense review. You and the other members of the club find out if you are suited to be a part of the club and if you can accept the other members as Brothers just as much as if they can accept you and call you Brother.

Can you dedicate yourself to the others as close as you would your own flesh and blood? Many times it is an even closer commitment than family. The person that you call Brother becomes family as a part of his as well as you being a part of theirs.

A common phrase used in MC circles is “I am my brothers keeper.” This means you will support him and help him any way you can, sometimes to the point of selling your bike to help him, quitting your job to go help him and, in some cases, Brothers have even done things that they already know could get them put in jail because they were willing to take that step to help a Brother out.

With all that commitment, its also that you would not ask a Brother to do something drastic without very good cause. Brothers may disagree, but they will always respect one another and treat each other with respect.

Please take note that if you haven’t had any experience being around some of the more serious MC’s (1%, support clubs, etc.), they take the word “Brother, or Bro” very serious, and they’ll only use the word as a show of respect towards their own club, their members, and any club who they’ve also bestowed that word upon.

And if a club overhears someone throwing around the word lightly within their midst, it could cause them to aggressively educate those whom they felt disrespected them by abusing the word.

Next time you feel the need to call someone Brother or Bro, just what is behind it? Commitment or just trying to sound cool?

Food for thought, thank you Nelson HAMC