Many people share a common misconception about motorcycle clubs.
They think all riders wear either leather jackets or denim vests donned with patches. They may also think all club members ride tricked-out Harley-Davidsons and three-wheel choppers.
That isn't what the Park City Motorcycle Club is about.
The club, a nonprofit organization with the motto, "One good turn deserves another," "exists to bring motorcycle enthusiasts together through organized rides and social events and helps to support Park City charities," according to its mission statement, said Vice President Nick Nickerson.
"The club was formed around 1998 and the main purpose of the club, fundamentally, is just for people who like motorcycles to get together and ride, socialize and talk about motorcycles," Nick Nickerson told The Park Record. "The thing that I really like about the club is that we take our membership dues and, after we cover overhead, which is relatively small, donate to the Park City Police Department."
In the past, the club also sponsored a scholarship for Park City High School, and would like to do something similar again next year, he said.
To do that, the Park City Motorcycle Club has set a goal to increase its membership and host some fundraisers.
"We want to grow the club so we can do more charitable activity including possibly reinstituting the high school scholarship," Nickerson said.
The club is currently accepting memberships for the calendar year on its new website (pcmc.club).
A membership is $25 per bike per calendar year. A two-bike household membership is $35.
"There is absolutely no criteria to join the club," Nickerson said. "You don't have to own a bike. You don't even have to be interested in bikes. You don't have to live in Park City. You could live in Florida if you wanted to."
In fact, there are several members who live outside Utah who enjoy the uniqueness of belonging to the club, he said.
"Or, you can be an avid rider and have 20 bikes and want to go out and ride with people," Nickerson said.
Still, when the club pulls out for a ride, the groups are comprised of retirees and young riders on bikes of different makes and styles including BMWs, Suzukis, Harley-Davidsons and others, he said.
The club also has a strong contingent of members that do the dual sport "bikes that are street legal but can also go off road," according to Nickerson said.
Another way the Park City Motorcycle Club is different than people's conceptions is that the members don't travel in a big pack.
"When we do rides, we don't ride as what we refer to as a parade, because there is a lot of safety issues that come into play," Nickerson said. "We organize the ride and set a destination and where we want to stop and eat along the way."
Members gather at one spot and decide on a predetermined time and sign release forms.
"That's a legality we have to do, and then from there, everyone is pretty much on their own until we meet up again," Nickerson said. "People can ride on their own, or ride in a small group.
"There is a social aspect to the club and we have a couple of rides per month and one social event a month during the season," he said. "Last month's event was held at Billy Blanco's and they did great job taking care of us. We had about 30 people there."
On June 10, the Park City Motorcycle Club will hold another social event at Deer Valley Café.
"All of our event information is on our website," Nickerson said.
The club does that because it wants to inform the public about its different activities.
"First of all, you don't have to be a member to participate in our rides," Nickerson said. "If you see a ride on our calendar and want to ride, you can meet us and sign a release form."
Also, people don't need to be a member to participate in the club's socials.
"I know that sounds kind of counterintuitive, but we're not in it for the memberships," Nickerson said. "We do like what we do with the proceeds that we generate throughout the course of the season, but we're not exclusive."
The club currently has about 40 members.
"I would call it one of Park City's better-kept secrets," Nickerson said. "Not a lot of people know about the club and we don't do a lot of marketing, so we've been doing things by word-of-mouth over the years."
That may change in the next few months.
"One of the things that we are aiming for is to increase our membership," Nickerson said. "We want to get new people involved and into leadership positions. We want to get the club to become self-sustaining and possibly redefine what the club is.
"What we are doing now, doesn't necessarily mean we'll do them next year," he said. "We would love to get involved in activities and service projects from a supporting standpoint and have that be part of what the club does as well. Because at the end of the season, we want to support these charities that are near and dear to us."
The club is also concerned about motorcycle safety.
"We would eventually like to host a motorcycle riding safety event and brush up on safety skills and do it in conjunction with the Park City Police Department," Nickerson said.
Nickerson, who owns a 2007 Softail Harley, started riding when he was in high school back east.
"I couldn't afford a car and someone had a bike that wasn't running," he said. "I'm not a very good mechanic and never claimed to be, but I replaced the head gasket and rode the bike to school my senior year."
Nickerson's wife, Jean Canestrini, rides a 2005 Suzuki Volusia.
"It's something we look forward to," Nickerson said. "I don't know any place you can live that has the types of roads we have in this area."
The Park City Motorcycle Club will host its monthly social on Tuesday, June 10. This month's event will be at the Deer Valley Café, 1375 Deer Valley Dr., from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, contact Dale Boschetto at 435-601-0823. For more information about the Park City Motorcycle Club, visit pcmc.club.