Part of the joy of owning and riding an Harley Davidson motorcycle is the camaraderie and fun that comes with being a member of the Harley Owners Group, better known as HOG. Membership of HOG is a worldwide phenomena and initial membership comes when you buy your first Harley.
The HOG is not a gang, rather it is a family oriented group of motorcyclists who ride for the love of it, on their Harleys of course.
One of the first things a new HOG member does is buy a vest and sew their HOG membership badge on it. This isn’t wearing ‘colours’ in the same sense as do the 1%ers, you know, the outlaw motor cycle gang members.
Being a member of HOG has many benefits and I have two favourites, the ABC’s of Touring and the HOG Mileage Program.
After yesterday’s story, an ever observant reader, Julie, thereluctantbaptist.com, inquired if I was displaying a magazine on my Harley.
The answer is, yes, it’s part of joining in the ABC,s of Touring. To participate in the scheme, you stop at official sign, place a current copy HOG Tales( the Harley Davidson member magazine) in an conspicuous place on your bike, take a photo of the sign and the bike and voila, you have earned a point towards an ABC award. There is an annual points competition and if you accumulate enough points you get an award. Here is an example:
In addition, Harley issues badges to ABC entrants together with Mileage Badges, annual Membership patches and other adornments we proudly wear. Local HOG chapters also issue their identifying patches and we dutifully sew them onto our vests. As they accumulate over time you feel like a walking christmas tree when you wear your vest. Have a look at mine and you’ll see why. Actually I’ve run out of space and mine isn’t up to date. A new vest is on order.
When I commission the new vest, I’m going to frame this one and hang it in the shed next to my Harley, don’t ask me why, it just seems the right thing to do.
By the way, doing the ABC’s doesn’t have to involve company, it works well as a solo activity.
Now a post about the ABC’s of Touring wouldn’t be complete without a few examples that have earned me points so I’ve picked a few from a collection spanning 25 years. Don’t go into shock, just a few:
You may have noticed that there are no other Harleys in these images. That’s because mostly I prefer to do my long distance rides alone. Riding the bike clears the head of almost everything thats pesky. You only have to please yourself where you stop, where you dine and where you stay.
These days many riders choose not to camp in deserted places as they believe that to do so entails risks. Just riding the bike entails risks and I’d rather trust a hidden spot in the bush than an incident with an errant intoxicated or drugged up tin top driver. Give me the solitude and safety of the bush any time.
Well another day’s 5×5 set adrift.
See you all tomorrow. Might add in a few of my riding mates too.