Google the name of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club and you will see all sorts of articles on how they are a mail order club, how they are a joke in the MC world, how they are a "Pig" or "Cop" club, or an SOA wanna be club, but who are they really?

I have come to understand somethings about Internet research and that is that there are those out there with hidden agendas and that when researching anything you have to dig hard to find any sort of balanced perspective or truth that isn't tainted. First hand knowledge coupled with solid research is what I attempt to deliver always.

A few years back there was a chapter of the Iron Order MC in Edmonton that was filled with men who had an agenda that was contrary to the one of the mother chapter, one that wasn't pretty and it hurt the reputation of this MC deeply in the Edmonton area.

I was privy to that version of the club, and I had a first hand knowledge that didn't sit well with me.

When I was invited to come and get to know the Snow City Crew, I was filled with trepidation, but the man who invited me is someone I knew and respected, and so I decided that I would not let fear prevent me from seeing first hand the difference between this new version of the Edmonton Chapter and the old one.

Left "Uke" now Chapter President and
 Right, Tom "Kanga" Mincone
I rode to Valleyview, Alberta to meet up with my escort on Friday, June 27th with a lot of questions running through my head.  What was I getting myself into?  Were these people going to be different from those I had the displeasure of running into in the past? Was I nuts for agreeing to join them for their gathering? What was my escape plan to be?

Tom "Kanga" Mincone was the man who had invited me to come meet the Edmonton chapter and some of the other members of the club from BC at a gathering just north of Sherwood Park.

There were two other riders with Tom, one was Carl from Young's Point, he used to own Carl's Repairs in De Bolt, and now works in Valleyview, (I have known Carl for about 3 years) and the other gent, Mike, was just a rider who decided to travel with us for a bit.

The weather was perfect, the ride uneventful and yet my nerves were still on edge and all of my spider senses were on high alert.

We stopped just outside of Sherwood Park for a break and Tom gave me the option of checking into my hotel room first to drop off my gear before going to the gathering, but I opted to keep my gear with me, just in case I didn't like what I saw or if I felt uncomfortable - it's easier to escape a situation when you don't have to try navigating a city you don't know well and all of your gear is with you!

We pulled into the acreage where the gathering was being held, and I was greeted by a group of people who seemed genuinely pleased that I had come to meet them.

As I was introduced to the crew, I assessed each person based on their handshake, or hug and the look in their eyes.

The spider senses calmed down and before long I found myself relaxing.

It truly didn't take a long time to realize that this version of the MC was night and day different from the previous one and I was curious and eager to learn more about the people I was meeting.

A Little History on the IOMC, Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs & 1% Motorcycle Clubs:

The Iron Order MC was founded in 2004, long before the era of Sons of Anarchy which will be going into it's 7th season this fall. One Internet myth debunked (it was one myth about this club I already knew to be untrue).

The IOMC was formed by a group of 8 men in a garage on Independence Day - July 4th in the US.

The IOMC was founded as a traditional Outlaw MC, with the principles and values that Outlaw MC's were founded with back in the 50's and 60's.

The IOMC has over 300 chapters world wide.

The IOMC offers their support gear for sale to anyone, but any MC specific gear is only available to club members. (Another Internet myth debunked - they are NOT a mail order club, you really do have to earn your patch!)

The COC - (Confederation of Clubs) that sets out certain protocols for MC's, was founded in 1988.

An Outlaw MC is a club that is not registered with the AMA, CMA or FIM.

An Outlaw MC is not necessarily a 1% MC and while they share some similarities, they are two very different types of organizations.

For more in depth history on Patches, Clubs and MC basics visit

Now, back to my attendance at the gathering in Sherwood Park...

The party area was all set up with port 'o' potties, generators and light stands, fire pit, tents and picnic tables and looked just like any one of the hundreds of events I have attended in my lifetime.

I was introduced to the officers of the Snow City Crew:
Cheezy, the chapter President, Uke, the VP, next up was Hula, the Sgt. at Arms, Legend, the Ride Captain and last but not least the VIP of the event, international Nomad, Klink from Kentucky.

I then was introduced to members Mahigan, Diamond, Rig Pig, Pylon & Prospect Darren.  I was also introduced to the ladies, the Iron Maidens, Dar, Beans, Missy and so many more whose names I simply cannot remember (sorry ladies, it was all a blur!)

The spread put on by the chapter was the same type of spread I have had at many a gathering, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, watermelon, brownies and cookies, potato chips, pop, water, and alcoholic refreshments.

One by one, I chatted with these people, broke bread with them, shared road stories, beverages and observed them.

At about midnight, the Vancouver Island chapter, the Big Rock Crew, rolled in as did Neptune from the Washington state chapter. I was introduced to Zapp, Canuckles, Tork, Ko Tao, Prospect Glen and hang around Chris. With the BC crew was a gal named Jenn, the girlfriend of the chapter president Canuckles.

Prospect Darren
Prospect Darren was busy making sure everyone had beverages and offering to assist those who had gear that needed to be dried out (the gang from BC had ridden in rain pretty much the whole way in).
More food was put on the BBQ, the tunes were rocking, conversations were swirling all around me and then the first of many revelations came to me as to what was off about this particular biker party...unlike some I have attended...

NO WHERE could you smell the distinct aroma of marijuana, no one was sneaking off into the bushes or to trailers to partake in any other kind of substance,  here were no obnoxious drunks, everyone was too busy, talking, sharing and dancing to the great tunes coming from the DJ's table. No one drove home impaired as there were DD's and cages on hand and at the ready.

There were no vendors, there were no attitudes, there was no angst....


At about 1 AM, Prospect Darren and Kanga rode me into Sherwood Park and my room at the Franklin Inn, they ensured that everything was taken care of with the hotel and then helped me pack my gear upstairs.  We all went back downstairs and the guys told me of the plans for the morning and told me they'd be by to pick me up and escort me to the breakfast at 9:30 am.  Prospect Darren had to get back to the gathering spot because he needed to get the grounds cleaned up and ready for the next afternoon.

I went back upstairs to my room and got ready for bed, mulling over in my mind the things I had witnessed and taken in.

I was up early, had a snack in the hotel's breakfast room, checked the oil in my bike, rode over to the gas station and fuelled up, and then got all of the cameras mounted on my bike so I could film our ride later in the day. When the guys rode up, promptly at 9:30am, I was already sitting on my bike and ready to go. We rode to Smiley's where the breakfast was being held, there were already a few bikes there and by the time 10 AM and breakfast time rolled around, the one side of the lot was occupied by about 25 bikes.

The restaurant had tables ready for us in the pub, the waitress who obviously knew this crew of people, at least the Edmonton Chapter, was smiley and friendly and the service and food were excellent.

I headed outside to have an after breakfast smoke, only to have Prospect Darren open the door for me.  I chatted with him and a few others about the ride plan for the day along with the weather forecast which was not pleasant. I witnessed this young prospect opening the door and greeting the Joe Q citizen patrons of the restaurant with a smile.  Pretty soon we were all gathered around Legend, the Ride Captain as we prepared to leave on a ride around the region.

Hang around Chris on Dar's bike,
because his battery crapped the bed!
This was an open ride and so the ladies in the chapter who ride their own and had the time off joined us.  All of the ladies who don't ride their own but wanted to join us were on the back of their man's bike, we were all eager for the ride to begin.  Riding smiles were on the faces of all in attendance.

I was impressed with the road captain and his comments, questions and directions.
The point riders did their job with a precision that any military person would find appreciation in and the tail gunner did his job in similar fashion. Sadly, while the morning started off wonderful, Mother Nature had other plans for us. Hard driving rain made for unpleasant riding and so at one of our stops it was decided to end the ride about an hour earlier than originally planned.

We got to the Canadian Brewhouse around 3 pm, had some snacks, warmed up and dried out.  Everyone scattered in different directions afterwards to get ready for the evenings festivities.
Some to their hotels or billet houses and others like myself, back to the party site.

Cheezy getting his Nomad Patch
That evening, after the BBQ, Nomad Klink announced some huge changes for the Snow City Crew.

President Cheezy was made the Canadian National Nomad, Uke moved up to Chapter President, Hula moved up as VP and will maintain the role of Sgt. at Arms for the time being.

After the celebration and speeches, it was agreed that we'd all go out to Alberta Beach in the morning for a ride.

Prospect Darren and his wife Emma took me to the hotel in their truck as I was too wiped to ride.
I was told that someone would come collect me in the morning to get my bike and then we'd ride as a group to breakfast at Smiley's. True to their word, Tork from the BC chapter came and grabbed me and we got on the bikes and headed to breakfast.  On the way to breakfast, Mother Nature decided we needed a refreshing and intense down pour laced with just enough hail to wake one up!

It was decided at breakfast that we'd just go back to the party site and spend time hanging out because the weather was positively vicious and didn't show signs of letting up any time soon.

By the late afternoon, the rain finally let up and I had the pleasure of interviewing, on video, international Nomad Klink, and then the newest and first Canadian Nomad, Cheezy, new chapter president Uke, Prospect Darren and Beans, Cheezy's wife and an Iron Maiden.

You'll be able to see those interviews as part of Episode 8 of Ride Like a Local, probably in October  or there about.

What I learned about the Snow City Crew Chapter of the Iron Order MC, is that the Chapter which stood up in March of 2013, is filled with ordinary people who all have one thing in common, a need for connection. As Nomad Klink put it, "Everyone needs a home, a place they feel they belong."

As I spoke with these people, I learned that the Iron Order MC is a Men's Motorcycle club, a brotherhood of men who respect and love each other as a chosen family.

They all have regular, everyday day jobs.

They respect and value their wives and significant others who have their own support club called the Iron Maidens.

They treat their prospects with respect.

They follow their own code: "My Brother Before Me".

They follow their own value system, one based on loyalty, honour, respect, integrity and honesty.

They don't care what brand of bike you ride.
They do ask that your motorcycle be a cruiser type of motorcycle, beyond that brand means nothing.
For those on sport bikes, there is an MC called the Iron Rockets that was started by the Iron Order MC, in order to share their values with all motorcyclist who were looking for a law abiding 3 piece patch club.

They don't care what your ethnicity is either, they care about your character and makeup as a man.

They (the Iron Order MC) require a criminal record check before you are accepted to the club. If you have had a history of any kind of spousal abuse, child abuse, drug abuse or any violent type of crime in the last 10 years, they will not consider you for membership.

They allow members from any walk of life and yes, that means that if a police officer has the right qualities and the desire, he can become a member, and just like any other member he starts as a hang around, must be sponsored by a full patched member and must prospect. They must be voted in by the full patched members of the club in order to get their centre patch.

They do not tolerate or condone the use or sale of illegal drugs.

The Iron Order MC says they are a brotherhood of people of like mind and that they offer an alternative to riders who might be looking for more than membership in a mail order, or manufacturer's riding club can offer without some of the risks of a 1% club.

If you are a male over 18 years old, ride a cruiser style motorcycle, have no criminal background and want to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself, the Iron Order MC invites you to come meet them, ask questions, research them.

If you want to wear a patch just for the sake of being in a club or because you want to be a tough guy, they suggest that this is not the club for you.

There are risks involved with wearing a 3 piece patch, and especially with one where you do not ask for permission of the "dominant" club in your region.

The Iron Order MC as a whole doesn't believe they should have to ask permission of a "dominant" club for the right to exist as an MC because "We are not in anyone else's business, we do not declare any territory and we are not members of the Confederation of Clubs and therefore do not adhere to the Confederation protocols, after all the Hells Angels and certain other MC's didn't ask permission to exist, they just came together as people of like mind and that's all we are, people of like mind. We respect every one's right to find the motorcycle home that is right for them and we respect all those who respect our right to exist."

The Canadian Chapters firmly believe in our Bill of Rights and Charter of Freedoms.

The Canadian Bill of Rights - enacted in 1960 is part of legislation but not part of the charter.
"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
They believe in their fundamental right to be who they are, associate with whom they want and wear what they want. They also believe that is the God given right of every citizen.
They also understand that with such freedom comes huge responsibility.
To that end, they believe respect is earned and not through fear tactics but through their conduct and actions as men.

The Snow City Crew in particular chooses not to have a clubhouse for a few reasons, first and foremost they are a motorcycle club and often times a clubhouse means upkeep and chores and creates a situation where riding to the clubhouse becomes the majority of the riding that gets done.
These guys, love to ride and do so as often as possible.

The two most interesting interviews for me out of the 5 that I conducted, were the ones I had with Prospect Darren and Beans, Nomad Cheezy's wife and Iron Order Maiden lead for the Snow City Crew.

Darren is a manager with 60 people that are directly under him, he is married to a wonderful young gal named Emma.

From Darren's perspective, the club has made him a better boss, husband and man.
He says he now sees how being in service to those who are important in your life, your wife, your children, your employees, your community makes you more compassionate, understanding, considerate man and he feels every man and person can benefit from this kind of conduct.

Beans comments mirror Darren's statements, she says her husband has found a balance in his life that was never there before and that he is more present and more passionate about every aspect of his life.

The party their brothers held for them
Beans herself loves the sisterhood that comes with the Iron Maidens, and says that they are truly a good bunch of gals who are there to support each other in every aspect of their lives.
The head table

Missy and Mahigan tying the knot

The cake Dar made for them
The Snow City Crew has buried a member and celebrated another member's wedding, they have supported each other in the bad times and celebrated in the good times and they say that they look forward to more of that same sense of community and family, brotherhood.

Now, this group of people invited me to their very first "National" gathering in Canada and they could have all rehearsed what they wanted to tell me.  I know that and so do you.

I can honestly say after having spent time with this particular group of individuals, these people really seem to have something that is lacking in our society and country and that is a genuine love and respect for each other.

I found myself envying what they had because you could see it in their eyes, in their conduct.

I am not going to stand here and say that that is true for all other chapters of this organization, but it sure appears to be true for the Edmonton Chapter and it appeared to be the same with the Vancouver Island Chapter and the two representatives from Washington and Kentucky that I met.
I felt very comfortable and at home with these people.

There will always be someone a club misjudges, someone who is good at deception, who has a hidden agenda and who is good at pulling the wool over people's eyes.  People who stir and cause shit to satisfy their own ego's or need for power. Sadly, that is after all human nature.

There will always be those police officers who will judge and tar everyone by what they wear or ride and not their actions, the old "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck" analogy works well here.

There will always be those who have sour grapes because they didn't make the grade.
Those keyboard warriors wanting to tear down what they can't be a part of, or those who just want to appear more important than what they really are by spouting an opinion that is sweeping and blanketing like some of the bloggers out there do.

Unlike many of the other people who have written about this club, I have gone and spent time with some of them and feel that a good deal of what is written about the club as a whole is untrue, but I am also not naive enough to think that there won't be bad apples that walk among them.

I am not naive enough to think that there aren't risks in being involved in the 3 piece patch world, no matter your intentions or conduct as a whole,  you can't control the thoughts and opinions of other clubs and their members who won't agree with your right to exist in their world and they may want to push that point and you will have to defend yourself, your brother and your patch as a result.

I know that there was recently a shooting wherein a prospect of the Iron Order MC shot a full patched member of the Black Pistons MC in Jacksonville Florida after a brawl, the prospect reportedly was defending himself.  Reportedly the man never ran from the scene and owned up to the shooting right away.  There are rumours that the prospect is a former police officer, at this point, no names other than the deceased have been released, so until such time as they are proven true, the rumours the man was a former cop, is just that.

You can't control those in your own ranks with hidden agendas who will stir shit.

I do know, that these people from Edmonton and Vancouver Island absolutely put each other first.

There was a mishap in Edson where Prospect Chris dropped his bike and was transported to hospital by ambulance at about 6:30 in the morning on Monday the 30th. By 7:30 am 2 members were already on their way to go pick up his bike, and when he was released later in the day he was taken to a members home, a flight arranged to get him home and arrangements to have his bike repaired for later retrieval were already made.
Members of the Iron Order MC
Chris broke his wrist, cracked a rib and had some bruising of the pride.

So, how do I feel about the Iron Order MC?

Well, if the people I met this weekend from BC, AB, Washington and Kentucky are in anyway truly representative of what this club stands for, I'd say it had to be a pretty good MC for one wanting that kind of lifestyle shift.

For those reading this and thinking about joining this MC or any other.

There are risks and they are many from having police forces tarring you with a brush you haven't earned, to other clubs resenting you and your presence.  It's not an easy life, and it's not for everyone.

Research, meet them, judge for yourself if this is truly what you want.

Do the soul searching and be brutally honest with yourself.
Are you really prepared to defend your right to wear a patch? Are you prepared to be there to help your bother or his family? Are you sure you know the sacrifices and the rewards fully?

The beautiful thing about the motorcycle community is that there is a home for any rider looking for one, we are that diverse.

Be you Gay, Lesbian, Firefighter, Weekend Rider, Adventure Rider, Sport Bike Rider or what have you, if you need to feel a human connection and are looking for a club to be a part of, there are no shortage of options.

Get out and ride, meet people, find the home you seek but remember don't do to a fellow rider what the police and still so many in society, but don't believe all the propaganda that is out there - find out for yourself, first hand, there is no better knowledge and remember to not tar the whole because of the actions of the few.

Just think about the noise bylaws and how we are judged by the actions of the few.

As the old saying goes, Judge ye not lest ye be judged.

What say you?

Happy Canada Day everyone and remember these words of wisdom....

“Freedom is never an achieved state; like electricity, we’ve got to keep generating it or the lights go out.” Wayne LaPierre

Belt Drive Betty,
Editor & Rider

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  1. My name is Louise Reeves and I am the Women Riders columnist for Cycle Connections. I'm glad I ran across this article as I have a good friend who is an IO member in Missouri and we have spoken about the maligned treatment from other MCs that IO often encounters. Most recently, Iron Order members in Maryland were attacked in a bar by members of other MCs and one of those arrested was a former cop! I, too, spent a weekend at an IO event and found them to be fun, friendly and "normal". I was even "corrected" during introductions when I held my hand out to shake and was told, "We don't shake hands, we hug!" I had a good time all weekend and even watched my first biker wedding. Other clubs were welcomed to the party as well.
    I think that, because Iron Order wears a 3-piece patch, does not "ask permission" from 1%ers to exist and is not endorsed by any entities such as AMA, rumors abound about them being either some kind of "cop club" or outlaw wannabes. But they do have pretty strict laws about things like drug use, arrests, etc. There is a high number of vets and active service who are members, as well as LEO. It really is a cross section of people.
    It is unfortunate that these clubs rely on rumor and ego and, as my friend put it, a Napoleon complex. Here in New Jersey, the Pagans are the territorial 1% club and MCs actually kiss their butts to be able to be anywhere; IO members are conspicuously absent from many big events because they are not ass kissers and try to steer clear of conflict. They have been slammed on Facebook and elsewhere due to baseless rumors as to who they are.
    The whole "we rule, you drool" mentality of these clubs is a real thorn in my side. They all love to ride, they all love to party and most do a lot of charity work. There is more than enough room for everyone and one MC doesn't "own" the state, much as they think they do. If I had a "gripe" about Iron Order, it would be the archaic patches of Iron Maidens that say "property of", but that it true of most brotherhood MCs, I believe. And, speaking of brotherhood, wouldn't it be great if they all actually practiced it?

  2. Umm how the hell are they getting away with a 3 piece patch with an alberta bottom rocker?

  3. Umm how the hell are you guys getting away with a 3 piece patch with an alberta bottom rocker?

  4. How did they start up chapters if the patches wern't originally mail to them. I'm pretty sure that an american police officer didnt move to canada to start them.

  5. You assume that they order them instead of earning them, yet their prospects seem to do the same things prospects of other clubs do...

  6. Good story to provide some balance to the issue, but it leaves me a little confused. Are there two "versions" of IO? One for LEO and the like, and another for anyone who wants to join and makes the grade? Because these members you met don't seem to warrant the kind of heat they take online.

  7. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.