News Item: Bandidos offshoot housed in Garner
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by MJF
Wednesday 01 August 2007 - 11:14:39

The Daily Citizen

A member of the Martyrs Motorcycle Club shows his patches to the camera, along with two members of the Thunder-Heads Motorcycle Club, at a clubhouse in Garner on Tuesday

GARNER — A building in Garner is not a Bandidos headquarters but simply the clubhouse for a Bandidos support group, according to local members of two motorcycle gangs.

Bobby Armstrong, vice president of the White County 911 Board and regional manager for Southern Paramedic Service, is sergeant-at-arms for the Thunder-Heads Motorcycle Club, Lonoke Chapter, which meets at and owns the facility at 102 S. Main in Garner. The Martyrs Motorcycle Club also meets at the site.

“The events that happened Sunday are unfortunate,” Armstrong said, referring to the stabbing of four members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club in Eureka Springs during a Hells Angels convention. “The Bandidos have probably been in Arkansas for 30-plus years. The Thunder-Heads are a support club to the Bandidos. There are two other support clubs here in Arkansas. The other is the Ozark Riders.”

Armstrong said the building is used for social gatherings. Contents nside the building Tuesday included a juke box, a pool table, tables and chairs, a kitchen and two bars. Cards and dominoes could be seen on several tabletops. Alcohol and food are shared in a “potluck” setting, Armstrong said.

“We come down here and have beers once in awhile,” Armstrong said. “We pay monthly dues.”

The Thunder-Heads are a social club and serve as a support group for the Bandidos, Armstrong said.

“In order to start a club in Arkansas, you have to have the OK of the Bandidos,” Armstrong said. “They are the dominant club in Arkansas.”

Missouri is a Hells Angels state, and word was sent to the Thunderheads before the Eureka Springs convention that they were to not to attend.

“Basically, we’re a brotherhood,” Armstrong said. “We’re a group of guys that ride motorcycles. If a fellow member’s wife, family or kids need anything, I’ll go and help them. If it’s a broken water line, I’ll go fix it, or if his wife runs out of gas, I’ll go help her.”

The clubs often ride at funerals as part of the Patriot Guards, a motorcycle escort for servicemen killed in action.

A biker church is planned at the clubhouse similar to one meeting at the Hardrider bar in Cabot, sponsored by the Highways and Hedges biker ministry group. Another Christian ministry group in Searcy is the End Time Warriors.

“They don’t force Christianity on anyone,” Armstrong said.

A large convocation of bikers earlier in the year, noted by local residents and mentioned in yesterday’s Daily Citizen, was his brother’s memorial service, Armstrong said.

The Bandidos are a “one percent” club, denoting they are part of the one percent of bikers who have chosen to conform to the “outlaw” image which stems from their unwillingness to obey the laws of the American Motorcycle Association.

They obey federal and state laws, Armstrong said.

“One-percent club members live that lifestyle every single day,” Armstrong said. “They ride their motorcycles in the winter. That’s just the way they live.”

Some lawbreakers are found in motorcycle clubs, although an effort is made to not allow them to join.

“Every organization has bad apples,” Armstrong said. “I’ve never been a part of drug activity and I’ve never seen it.”

Some stereotyping comes from media coverage of those Armstrong calls “RUBs,” Rich Urban Bikers.

“They’re the ones that have no self-control and go out and do stupid stuff,” Armstrong said. “Drunk is not an excuse.”

This news item is from White Trash Networks
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