Local motorcycle club members say it’s unfortunate the events in Waco cast all of them in a bad light. They say anyone could be a biker, even you and me.
Many local bikers were actually on their way to Waco when they got caught in traffic. Debbie Zimmer says, “We were going up there for a Confederation of Clubs meeting to learn about legislative issues and we arrived after all the excitement started.” The Confederation of Clubs is an umbrella group for various local motorcycle groups.
Debbie’s husband, Tom Zimmer is not happy about what happened in Waco either. Debbie and Tom have loved motorcycles since their youth. And they believe the actions of just a few members can turn a motorcycle club into a gang in the eyes of the public. Debbie says, “I think that’s very unfortunate. I think we’ve made progress to let the public know that not everybody who wears a back patch is a gang member. And I think that has been set back.”
Bikers don’t like to speak ill of other bikers even if they’re involved in something as serious as the shootout in Waco. Chops with Cycle Stylz MC would only say it was, “Unfortunate, very unfortunate.” They’ll tell you club members joined to do something good, not to engage in gang activity. “Different charities,” Chops says, “like Coats for Kids and things like that.”
Motorcycle clubs regularly make the news for their toy drives and charity work. And their members know it will now take a lot more work to shake the gang label. Another motorcycle club member who identified herself as Mustang told us, “That had nothing at all to do with us. It was a shock. It was out of nowhere. That’s not who we are in Texas at all.”
She says the clubs plan to carry on hoping time will show the public their clubs are really here to make Texas a better place. “It’s a shame,” says Mustang. “I hope this didn’t set us back.”