Why was Bikes and Mics created?
Bikes and Mics was created to support a welcoming environment for riders of all genders, ethnicities, and experience levels. We ride our motorcycles, see shows, have adventures, and build memories. Sometimes we dress in costumes, or as a theme for a ride. We’re just good people having fun. All are welcome!
The “Bikes” part I get. What does the “Mics” part of your name mean?
Originally, our community started with a group of riders, some of which were performers. As our community has grown, the mic has become a symbol of the voice we offer those who ride with us. We support individual expression and you can see our riders sharing their creativity as we ride together. Some of our members feel they aren’t creative, though they are never left behind when there’s a themed ride. We are a community and we help each other out.
Tell me about your logo!
The “Bikerophone” is a combination of the two things our community is about: riding motorcycles and being self-expressed.
So, is Bikes and Mics a motorcycle club, an “MC”?
We are a community, not a motorcycle club (or MC) and are not affiliated with any other social clubs or groups. There are no bike size requirements, or style preferences. We aren’t required to wear club patches and we do not have officers. We don’t charge dues. There are no participation requirements. We are simply a friendly group of diverse riders who seek to have fun, elevate our abilities, and each other.
I can’t get enough of Sons of Anarchy and *yearn* to be Gemma…
Who doesn’t?! She’s a flawed matriarch who looks amazing in everything! There are some great motorcycle clubs, some specifically for women, in Chicago. If you are interested in being a prospect, earning club patches, being an officer, and attending events, those clubs could be a great match for you. We are not rooted in traditional biker culture, but appreciate the spectrum of options available. We encourage you to explore everything and choose what’s right for you.
You gals have so much fun! If I’m a member of another club, can I still participate in Bikes and Mics?
Absolutely. We ask only that when playing with us, that you be respectful of everyone and set aside any outside differences. Leave your patches at home and bring your smiles! We are committed to enjoying the time we have together, so as long as you’re honoring that, let’s make some memories!
I’ve got a motorcycle and like to have fun! Bikes and Mics seems like a good fit. What kind of shenanigans can I expect?
We couldn’t agree more! Bikes and Mics is committed to having fun- our rides begin with us gathering at our meeting space, departing at our “stands-up” time, enjoying rides of varying lengths, then ending at an event, or location that allows for our riders to stay as long as they choose. This could be a night club, a comedy club, a park, or other fun destination. You can expect rides of different lengths throughout the season, including both shorter city rides and longer rides to other cities. We have themes for some rides, encouraging our riders to join us in costume as we zoom around the city. We love dressing up and causing a scene! Due to our commitment to have fun, Bikes and Mics riders are invited to do special projects from time to time, including photo shoots and music videos. We even go micro-glamping when the season permits. What is micro-glamping? It’s like micro-camping (motorcycle camping), but with glitter, tiny hats, tiny ties, and silliness among friends!
I’m a new rider and am looking for people to ride with, but I feel insecure about my abilities. Would I be welcome?
We all start somewhere. Bikes and Mics consists of a diverse group of people- and that includes experience and ability levels. We foster a supportive environment where the blend of experience benefits all our riders. We have rides designed to include riders of different skill levels, including shorter city rides and longer rides to different cities.
What kind of licensing and insurance must I have to ride with Bikes and Mics?
We ask that you carry the proper licensing and insurance for the vehicle you ride. That means you have a L, or M class license, depending on what you ride. See pages 2, 37, and 46 of the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual for more information. If you would like more info on this, please refer to the “Bike-Curious” section on this site. We are not a club- we are a community. Each person who rides with us is responsible for educating themselves and ensuring they are in accordance with IL state law.
How closely do you adhere to the IL rules of the road? For example, do you block traffic to run reds and run through stop signs as a group?
We ride in accordance with IL Rules of the Road and Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual. We follow the law, which means we obey traffic lights and stop signs. If half of our group gets caught at a light, we pull over and wait for them. Similarly, we stop at all stop signs. We are committed to the enjoyment AND safety of our riders. We also have people who serve as police officers during the day, but just want to ride and have fun just like you. Let’s refrain from putting them in a compromising position by breaking the law. Bohkayyy?
Does Bikes and Mics have an attendance policy?
Yes. Our policy is that if you attend, you have fun. It is very strict. *wink*
Is there an age requirement?
Ages 21+ are encouraged, as many of the events we ride to are in clubs and venues that require ID. This is a case-by-case situation though, and more family-friendly adventures allow for some flexibility around this. We ask that you do your research and make your choices accordingly.
When riding with Bikes and Mics, do I have to wear a helmet?
You’re an adult. It’s your call. Helmets are not required by IL state law, so it is up to each rider if they choose to wear one. Either choice will be respected, but you must wear eye protection of some kind in accordance with the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual.
What types of bikes are allowed? Cruisers? Sports bikes? Trikes? Is there an engine size requirement?
We have no preference on styles of bikes, we ask only that they be street legal, in accordance with IL State law. Not sure what that means? Checkout pages 42 and 43 of the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual. We also have no preference in engine size, we ask only that you be able to maintain control of your motorcycle and that you be able to comfortably maintain pace with the group on the rides you choose to join.
Are scooters allowed?
Yes, scooters are allowed on city rides, provided they are properly insured and that you carry an ‘L Class” license. For all questions about motorized vehicles, please consult the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual. We also ask that riders drive their scooters in a way that is in accordance with the IL Rules of the Road.
What is Bikes and Mics stance on drinking and riding?
Many of our events have us riding to a destination for entertainment. Once there, we may enjoy dinner and a show. We are all adults capable of being responsible for ourselves and understanding the impact of our actions on our fellow riders. We ask that know your limits and don’t place yourself, or fellow riders in harms way. Information about blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) can be found on pages 34-36 in the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual. Riders who choose an alternate method home from an activity in response to an over-indulgence have the support of the group. Riders showing signs of intoxication will not be permitted to join the group and may be asked to give up their keys. Repeated situations will result in a dismissal from further group activities. Please do not place us in a position to have to do this. We are here to have fun.
Do you ride in inclement weather?
We address this on a case-by-case basis. Join us on social media (twitter, facebook, etc.) to receive clarification around rides and updates on possible cancellation of rides.
Have a question that wasn’t addressed here? Drop us a line on our contact page!
Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual
Illinois Rules of the Road
Illinois State Motorcycle Laws according to American Motorcyclist Association