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Advice from Some Old Dogs
Welcome to the St. Charles H.O.G. family. We sincerely are glad you have chosen to associate with a great group of soon-to-become your best friends.
Do you want to ride and have fun? Do you want to hang out with people who love Harleys as much as you do? Do you want to go on rides and events with other Harley Owners? Do you want to be part of a family with whom you enjoy spending time? If you have answered yes to all these questions, you have come to the right place. It does not matter what you look like, your race, your beliefs, or your income, because you will not find a more diverse group of people than those that belong to the St. Charles H.O.G. Chapter.
So now what? You are at your first H.O.G. event: Walking into a new group of bikers, many of whom have been riding and volunteering for many years. There is an intimidation factor for even the most extroverted of personalities. For those of you wondering how this H.O.G. puzzle fits together, and for all of you established “puzzle pieces”, we have gathered a few pearls of wisdom from new members and from old timers alike, to remind all of us how to get the most from our H.O.G. Chapter membership.
Do not be afraid to introduce yourself! Pull up a chair and join a group who might be sitting around laughing. Our old friends have heard the stories we tell (and probably enhance) for years now, and we love to have a fresh audience who will not point out all the “discrepancies!” When the current road story is finished, introduce yourself. Do not be embarrassed asking someone’s name three or four rides in a row. Most of us barely remember our own names, let alone yours, and do not be offended if we keep asking yours, as well.
Volunteer for all kinds of stuff. We guarantee the first event you for which you volunteer will break the ice for you, and you truly will feel like one of the group, not to mention you will end the event with some very close friends. We welcome your new ideas. There are a variety of Chapter events with which you can help. Volunteers makes things happen.
Voice your concerns and your abilities. You are respected for voicing any uneasiness you may have about riding in a new pack (regardless of your experience). Fall behind the sweep for awhile where you can watch. We tend to “pack up” with our old friends because we have ridden together for thousands of miles and seem to know each other’s riding styles, capabilities and can usually predict what the others will do (right or wrong) in each situation. There is a sense of safety and comfort in that trust. After observing for a while, you may find that you are more comfortable riding with some members than others. Some members may ride too hard, too slow, stop too much or do not stop enough. It takes a little time to determine your comfort level in group rides. What is important is that you trust your instincts and enjoy your ride.
We truly enjoy riding together, laughing together, and meeting new people. Please take this opportunity to get to know us. We are excited you are here!