Apart from testing the bike I also had to cover a Rally - the Whale Rally - for the local paper. That's one of the reasons I got this specific bike over this time period. A road bike seemed like the kind of thing that would "fit in".
Now I have never been a "Rally person". It just doesn't seem like my kind of thing. I have been on a Harley-Davidson Rally (and liked it very much), but those are not like these "roadie" Rallies at all (or so I'm told). I have participated in the Buffalo Rally Mass Ride but that is the sum total of my Rally experience.
I decided to tackle this with an open mind. Like I did before my first Harley Rally I decided to research what I can, travel informed, soak the whole experience in and not rock up there with preconceived ideas. Just enjoy.
During my research I came upon an interesting subject - patches. Patches are the club "colours" members of different Motorcycle clubs wear to identify themselves. Patches, or "Colours", are always worn at Rallies. In fact, MC's and MCC's even camp together in their own designated areas. Hmmm. So do I now need a patch?
When I went to the Harley Rally I realized that everybody would be wearing those leather waistcoats so I got one, complete with Harley insignia on the back. So I have a waistcoat, but no patch. Now there are all kinds of rules and etiquette in clubs and among clubs and it's better to know about these things before you submerge yourself in these situations.
Without going into too much detail there is a difference between a MC and a MCC. Also there are 1% clubs, outlaws, motorcycle clubs and riding clubs. Some wear patches with "Rockers" over and under the patch containing names of the club and chapter / rider (so-called 3 piece patches) and others wear 1 piece patches where the rockers are incorporated in the main patch itself.
Lastly you get the "Lone Wolves". The patches they wear look anything like this:
Being a Lone Wolf simply means that you don't ride in a MC and aren't a 1%er. It means you are an independent who rides for the joy of riding. Now that sounds like my kind of thing.
The term originates from the Lone Wolves you find in nature. They tend to keep to themselves, not just by definition, but by action too. Lone-wolves have always needed superior intellect and wit to survive, since they don't have the security of the pack. The least intelligent thing for a lone-wolf to do is to go and cause unnecessary trouble.
Sold! If I have to wear a patch a "Lone Wolf" it will be. Sounds perfect for the situation I'll be in. I don't like any of the Lone Wolf patches I've seen though.
What I do know is that I do not want a waistcoat full of badges and patches of every little gathering I've been at. I'll rather only have things of some personal significance on my waistcoat. I won't be wearing it often anyway (it doesn't really work in the Dual Sport arena ).
As far as the wolf patch goes I decided to search for something simple. It took a while, but when I saw it I knew. I had it digitized and made especially for me.
It's simple and neat. Not a "look at me!" attention grabber, but it signifies what it needs to.
And yes, I do realize I'll be wearing a Harley jacket while riding a Honda. So what. At least I made an effort.