REACHING - TRAINING - BUILDING
Understanding by looking at the beginning of the culture we know now.
At the core was combat veterans
The lifestyle motorcycle club subculture can be seen as a society built along militaristic, hierarchical lines, a highly ordered, controlled, and black-and-white world in which individuals may understand implicitly their role, their identity, & their place in a society.
It began after WWII and has had resurgence after every conflict especially rejected Vietnam War veterans.
In the military, and combat especially, a strong brotherhood is formed Men bond in a way few understand. Having each other’s back involves every moment just to survive.
They fight together, watch brothers die, are wounded, and come home. When a mission is successful they party together
“Upon their successful return from combat missions, marines, airmen, soldiers and sailors retired to the nearest drinking establishment in an attempt to drown the memories of battle with booze, to heal the scars of armed conflict with laughter, and to try and feel human again, if only for a short while. These men became brothers born of warfare, atrocity, and death, a kinship that runs deeper than blood relations. It is also important to consider the ages of these men: the average age of WWII servicemen was only 26 (Kolb). Many returning combat vets reported feelings of restlessness and a general malaise (Kolb); their pre-war personalities had been forever changed. These men were likely experiencing varying degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a psychological diagnosis that wasn’t officially recognized until 1980”
It should come as no surprise that when these men returned stateside searching for relief from the residual effects of their wartime experiences, started seeking out one another just to be around kindred spirits and perhaps relive some of the better, wilder social aspects of their times during the war.
Soon enough American motorcycles became part of the equation, largely due to the high level of performance and excitement the cycles offered a rider, as well as for the relatively antisocial characteristic of loud exhaust pipes and the large, imposing size of the bikes.
The formation of the major MC’s took place between 1948 through the early ‘60s
Sons of Silence MC began in the mid-West, the Bandidos MC in Texas, the Pagans MC in Pennsylvania, the Hells Angels MC in California, and the Outlaws originally from Chicago, and others.
Many say that the big 5 today are Bandidos, Hells Angels, Pagans, Sons of Silence, & Outlaws