We all know the situation and have heard this more than once, “There’s nothing happening locally. I just want to go out riding with some friends, but nobody has anything planned.” Or you might say “I don’t know anyone in the club. How do I get to know them?” Well, everyone has been in that situation. We were all new at one time and either didn’t know anyone, or only knew a person or two. The questions are, “What is the best way to get to know other riders in the Club and to start things happening?
Here are some tips:
1)MSTA Trips– Nothing brings you closer than a few days of riding and hanging out together. These trips are free, you pay for your own lodging and food. if you camp, this can be done very cheaply. These trips also have the very best riding, but they do take a little planning on the part of the participants. Our large slate of MSTA Rallies are the perfect opportunity to do this with others, but you don’t have to just do them. If there isn’t one nearby, or the dates don’t work out for you and others, plan your own. State and National Parks are great locations to use for a base. Midweek trips can often work for retired people.
2)Holiday/No Holiday Party– A party is a great way to meet a lot of new friends in a casual setting. Try hard to make new riders feel comfortable. They can be held in a member’s home, a park, a restaurant, or wherever. it’s Spring now and Summer is just around the corner. Do you have a nice deck/patio area? Is there a park close by to you? Why not organize a potluck or cookout? Hold it outdoors and make it easy for everyone.
3)Meet and Greet– Many cities have Bike Nights on a regular basis, and/or a Cars and Coffee every Saturday or Sunday morning. Many of our local MSTA groups also have weekly or monthly breakfast or dinner meetups at a regular spot. Attend these as often as you can and if you don’t want to go alone send members in your area an invite to ride there together or meet there.
4)RTEs (Ride to Eats)– These meetups at restaurants are a very easy way to get to know new riders. These events are held all over the country by MSTA members. Watch or forum and Facebook group pages for information on where and when. Better yet, host your own. it is incredibly easy. Often all you need to do is pick a spot, pick a date/time to meet, and get the information out to others.
5)Rides– Watch the forum, Facebook, and the MSTA calendar for posted rides. If you want to lead your own, do so. Make sure you post up the information in as many places as you can in order to reach the largest number of members. Social Media tools…facebook, emails, twitter, snapchat, the MSTA forum, email lists, newsletters, etc……are all great tools to use to spread the word.
6)Track Days– Many MSTA Members do track days on a regular basis. The camaraderie at these events is awesome. We do rides, dinners, and track walks before the event and stay in local hotels. These low-key learning days are a great way to become a better rider, and a great way to get to know other members.
8)MSTA Sticker on your Bike?– I have found other members just by noticing their MSTA sticker. If you need a new sticker, send a request to email@example.com
9)Be LOCAL– Don’t rely on the State Directors to do all the work. Many of our states are very large and there can be hundreds of miles between members. It’s next to impossible for local things to happen on a state level in most states. Try working with people in your city/area first. For example: Ohio is split into 3 separate districts, northeast, central, and southwest. BUT…the Southwest area, where Cincinnati is located, also draws members from Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana. In this area, we try to work with members in that whole area and not just the Ohio members. So it becomes a Dayton-Cincinnati-NKY-SEIN group and not just “Ohio”. Ever notice how it’s the (name your) “City/Area” BMW Club, or Riders Club, and not the (name your) “State” BMW/Riders club? They are organized from the ground up and not from the top down. It works! Start small and local. If you live in a larger metropolitan area, start with people near you. The nearer the better. The further people are apart, the more time is needed to just meet up, let alone actually go riding. So try to work with neighbors first. Use the Bluebook directory and online platforms to reach out to people in your town first.
10) “But I don’t live in a town! What about me?” I understand, I used to live in a very rural area where the closest “town” was 15 miles away, so I get it. It is more challenging. This is where your relationships often rely on two things: One, the internet and specifically message boards and things like Facebook. Two, the regional/area rallies. Communicate often with other members using social media and try to attend as many of the regional events (and STAR) as you can. AND….if you live in a rural area perhaps you’ve got good roads around you? Try inviting some members to ride out to your area and offer to show them the good roads? If you’ve got a place for them to stay, or a place to pitch a tent, invite them out for a weekend.
I hope this all helps….and if you’ve got some good ideas of your own, please share them with the rest of the group! You’re not alone in this, we have all faced this at one time or another.