Biker gangs, also known as "outlaw motorcycle clubs," are a thriving outgrowth of the motorcycle subculture in the United States. Gang members often prize Harley-Davidson motorcyles (as well as other popular brands), crave the thrill of the open road, and have both formal and informal uniforms. Despite the undeniable presence of a criminal element in some regions, outlaw motorcycle clubs do not by definition engage in or otherwise support illegal activities.
The term "outlaw," rather, is typically understood to refer to the fact that such clubs are not sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), and are not bound to follow AMA rules. Many gangs affiliate merely to indulge a shared passion for motorcycles and motorcycle culture. There are even some charitable groups, such as the well-known nonprofit organization Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA). Yes, there are benevolent and well-meaning biker gangs.
Speaking of such things, we here at TestOut Continuing Education are part of a highly informal gang of bikers that congregates once a year in summer. Our gang is not as cool as some, given that, strictly speaking, no motorcycles are involved and no one dresses in black leather and throws on a bandana, because that would be super hot and sweaty. Once per year in July, however, TestOut employees and their family members do hit the open road together. Sort of.
All of the bikers here at TestOut ride bicycles, and when it's time for a ride, we generally stick to an established bike trail, often paralleling a river in the countryside near company headquarters. That's what's in store for TestOut's bike gang this week on Thursday. We'll start at Inlet Park near the north end of Utah Lake and follow the Jordan River Parkway Trail north to Olympic Park in Lehi. The trail is mostly flat, but it's a solid 11 or 12 miles there and back.
It's a great way to get some exercise, meet other people in the company, and build up the strong sense of family and unity shared by many TestOut employees. Even coworkers who sit in the same building don't always know each other's names and faces, and any burst of energetic physical activity is always nice. So yeah, we're not the kind of biker gang that you see on TV or in the movies, but riding together does make a valuable contribution to company culture.