Green Knights ride of the community
YOKOTA AIR BASE Japan -- Motorcycles are parked together after the Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club Chapter 136 inaugural breast cancer awareness ride, “Bikers for Boobies,” at Okutama prefecture, Japan, Oct. 16, 2016. The Green Knights are dedicated to fostering mentorship among riders and giving back to the community by supporting charitable causes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Baker/Released)A new force in the Yokota and local community stepped on to the field in March, 2016. The Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club, chapter 136, is here to support Department of Defense riders as well as to contribute to the community at large.
The Green Knights are a dedicated group of riders who formed to address the concerns of military motorcyclists and foster mentorship among riders of all levels. Their contributions to the community extends to supporting causes that they believe in.
The club took to the highways in support of the cure for breast cancer with their inaugural “Bikers for Boobies” ride Oct. 16, 2016. Twenty-five members, including on-base and local Japanese nationals, accepted the invitation to ride and donated almost $1,000 towards breast cancer research.
“We just want to give back,” Said Scott “Sparky” Northcutt, 374th Force Support Squadron Aero Club chief of maintenance and Green Knights Chapter 136 president. “Motorcyclists are one of the most charitable communities out there.”
The Green Knights are an international organization with 140 chapters at bases across the world, welcoming all DoD personnel, dependents and retirees. They even have some international allies such as the Royal Air Force, Irish Defense Force, Belgium military and more. Worldwide, the Knights are known for supporting charitable causes and developing skills among riders.
According to Northcutt, the Yokota chapter intends to participate in the Tokyo Toy Run 2016 in December. Participants dress up in Christmas costumes, decorate their bikes and ride to deliver toys to orphanages. The event typically draws about 200 riders from across Tokyo.
Chapter 136 has hosted a number of mentorship rides since its inception. The rides are meant to foster community and build skills with proven techniques and practice. Road sweeps make sure no one is left behind and Knights mix with guest riders to make sure everyone is safe.
“Mentorship means riders getting together to learn and grow from each other,” said Northcutt. “Motorcycle riding is something that you need to always be getting better at.”
Senior Airman Vance “Shaggy” Fenwick, 730th Air Mobility Squadron maintenance operations controller and Green Knights member, said that he enjoys riding with the GKMMC because of the vast wealth of riding experience and knowledge the members have to offer. He feels a sense of strength in numbers and confidence in sharing the road with experienced riders.
“Having bikers together in staggered formation hopefully increase the odds of me being seen as a rider,” Fenwick said.
According to Fenwick, the knights have a lot to offer the community and their members; being an active duty Airman serving overseas, he remarked on the familiarity he feels within the GKMMC.
“The club is like a small family, and each member brings a positive energy to the family,” Fenwick said. “Home is never far away when you have family trips on the open road.”
The Green Knights are always looking for new members of all experience levels on all motorcycle types. Applicants must prove their dedication and values by participating in meetings and events. The vetting process typically takes about two months. Prospective members receive a sponsor for mentorship and evaluation. Applicants may also obtain a riding vest and begin sewing on certain patches. Upon gaining full membership a knight sews on the Green Knights colors and receives a road name such as Tank, Sparky and Chip.
“What's better then hanging out with a bunch of people who enjoy riding as much as I do?” Fenwick said.
Northcutt welcomes anyone to attend the monthly meetings advertised on the Green Knights Chapter 136 Facebook page. Nonmembers are also welcome to post on the Facebook page to find people to ride with. The club intends to hold a newcomer’s meeting in April to actively recruit members and more club information is available on the page.