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The text below is based on being a hangaround for an MC/MCC club, but can apply to any serious club. Read it and assimilate.

You want to join a club. You should know a fully patched member of the chosen club, as it will make things easier for you. If you don't then start out by making friends with one of the members. This could take a while.

When the time is right, discuss your intentions with that member and leave it at that. Don't be impatient. Your intentions will be known to everybody in that club within a very short time, and you'll get a signal when the time comes. If nothing comes your way, back off and find another club. If a positive indication comes back, it will probably be via Hangaroundthe member you discussed your intentions with. This is where the hangaround period starts. It's much like going out with a new girlfriend in a personal relationship.

All serious clubs will require a hangaround period before they accept you as a prospect. During this period, which differs from club to club, nobody is bound to anybody. You don't represent the club and neither you nor they have a claim on each other - yet. For example, if something happens to you, the club is not expected to back you up. It is a time when you size up the club and ask yourself if they are what you want. It is also a time when they are sizing you up and asking themselves if you are what they want. At this point it's a gentleman's agreement, and there is no dishonour for either you or the club if you later decide to back away.

Just remember, if you are battling as a hangaround, its going to get a lot tougher later. Don't be blind as to what you experience. You'll know if you fit. Listen to the voice inside and trust your 6th sense. Be a good hang around. Don't take over the conversations. Don't ride faster than the pack. Don't get drunk at the jol. Don't look for trouble thinking that your new "friends" will back you. Do attend everything that they attend. Ride where they tell you. Stand at the back of the group. Know what you are. Know that they are watching you - all the time.

In the beginning you feel the exhilaration of being around these guys, but at a certain point, your life begins to get boxed in. You see their dedication to each other as brothers and sisters and realize that your world is about to go from one where you know many people, to one where there are only a few guys and girls who you will spend the rest of your days with. That is a very scary moment and you will spent nights questioning yourself about what you are doing.

There is only one rule if you decide to back away - do it honourably. There will be conditions to take into account. These could range from just asking to be let loose to a request that you meet with each patch holder individually and ask their blessing on your decision. Even in the case of doing it honourably, there can be some hard feelings. For instance, you can be sure that the patch holders in that club think their patch is the ultimate, so a decision on your part to move on could result in hurt feelings, especially if they thought you were going to make a good prospect. However, if you do it right, those feelings will subside with time.

Know that it is a huge act of dishonour to be doing a hang around with more than one club simultaneously. Don't even think of doing that. If you do move on, you are out. That means that none of them are going to call you to go out for a beer or to hang around with them anymore. When you're in you're in, and when you're out - you're out. Accept it and live with it. That's how it is.

Motorcycle clubs are like a family thing. Your brothers become your brothers because you have all learned to love each other through thick and thin. You know each other's strengths and weaknesses and love each other even when you are fighting. Brotherhood is based upon a million little moments that run the gamut from life threatening situations, sitting on the side of the road at midnight broke down in the middle of nowhere, and watching each other's kids grow up. Lots of joy and lots of tears make up this Brotherhood.

If you are contemplating not joining because you fear your world will get too small remember that whatever serious club you go to it will be the same. If you persevere, it will either get better or you will just wake up one day and realize you are not serious club material.

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