Text by Ivy Kristine Ricafort/MOTOKONEK
One afternoon, I received an invitation from JC Villanueva, the president of the illustrious motorcycle riding group, ATAT, to ride with the them. Without hesitation, I accepted and replied with “Of course. It would be such an honor to ride with you guys.” Then after a few seconds, I realized and asked myself, “What was I thinking? Am I losing my mind? How will I be able to keep up with a group whose members are to be fast riders?”
What is ATAT? Well, ATAT stands for ‘Anytime All The Time,’ which is an exclusive motorcycle group founded in 2002. Running for more than 20 years, this group isn’t slowing down anytime soon. With 24 active members, ATAT MC is still by far one of the most prestigious motorcycle clubs in the country.
Now, with guts and confidence, I went to the meet-up place along Marcos Highway on the day of the scheduled ride. At past 6:30am, wearing a full riding suit and driving red Ducatis, the ATAT members started to arrive one by one. During this time, I started to feel nervous as I still cannot believe what I’d put myself into. Okay, I have enough time to back out, but what do I say? Nope, no backing out, you can do this!
At exactly 7:20am, we rode out and headed to MARILAQUE.
Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate; it was drizzling as we went up, so the group decided to have breakfast at Boso Boso Hotel instead. A good call, actually as it ensured everyone’s safety.
After our sumptuous meal, it was time to ask president JC about the group.
“If you are a fast rider, can you be an ATAT?”
President JC, shares that while riding fast is a plus, but there’s more to it. “For you to become an ATAT, you must own a 1000cc sports bike and be invited by one of its active members” he said.
To keep its exclusivity, ATAT MC is not open for recruitment but they are not also closed for membership. Those who want to join are required to submit their letter of intent and must be vouched by a member.
“What’s the process? And how long will it take for you to become an official member?”
“You have to attend both short and long rides. Once the number of rides is completed, you will be deliberated by the officers and active members on the next General Assembly. But the deliberation doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be a member. Some even waited for up to three years to become one,” he explains.
Next question, why would you even want to join ATAT MC if you know that this is how tedious the process is going to be? I asked its newly inducted member, my riding coach, Jericho Arnaiz.
“Well, who wouldn’t want to join them? Seriously speaking, I’ve been deliberated a few times but never thought of giving up because I’ve come to realize that ATAT is more than just a club. It’s brotherhood. It’s family,” Arnaiz said.
Right, who wouldn’t want to join them? Even I want to be part of this premium group in the future.
Dreaming aside, I am sure you want to know If I was able to keep up with their pacing? The answer is YES! Let us just say that I wasn’t fast enough but they made sure I didn’t leave the riding formation.
I therefore conclude that ATAT MC members are not just fast riders but are also responsible riders. They look after each other, especially their guest riders.
By the way, the group is very much open to guest riders. Interested? send them a message on Facebook – ATAT Motorcycle Club.
Until our next ATAT train ride!