If you live in Alaska and ride a BMW motorcycle, you probably already belong to the Northern Riders BMW Motorcycle Club (NRBMC). But did you know that the club reorganized itself in 2010? As part of the state’s rogue attitude, the club has eliminated its officers and board. Instead, the club has taken on a much less formal structure. It is now a loosely-knit association of free-spirited individuals who own or ride motorcycles. As part of the club’s push towards freedom and liberty, it has junked meetings in favor of social gatherings and rides.
This is a big change for the NRBMC, which was originally established in 1987. Individualism is a major reason why people live in Alaska in the first place, and formal meetings just won’t cut it for these rugged motorcyclists. The club is now concentrating on a few important purposes:
- To bring together like-minded riders in a spirit of fun, camaraderie, and the joy of riding.
- To counter the popular image of motorcycle riders as hooligans and bad boys. Instead, the club will emphasize to the general public a positive image of the cycle community. Characteristics such as safe riding, comporting oneself in a well-mannered way, and interacting courteously will be highlighted. You won’t see members of the club driving drunk or carrying shotguns, terrorizing small towns and taking liberties with the non-riding public.
- To increase the public interest in owning and riding motorcycles. Club members feel that many people, once introduced to the joys of riding a motorcycle, will be hooked. Nothing feels quite so exhilarating for new riders than to mount up and ride with a pack of friends along the many scenic roads in our beautiful state.
- To make riders aware of how to operate their motorcycles safely. An accident is a bummer, not only for the unfortunate rider but for the entire community, as it frightens away potential recruits. All riders need to know how to ride safely, when to avoid riding, and how to select safety gear such as helmets.
- To encourage members to acquire and share technical information about their motorcycles. New models are eagerly anticipated, and the first rider to buy a new model is often besieged with requests for information and opinions. Also, members often engage in part swaps – for instance, a club member in Fairbanks may need a BMW blower motor that another member in Anchorage can supply.
- To discover the best roadside food in the state. Don’t forget the motto of the NRBMC: “Ride to Eat, Eat to Ride”.