It gave you a goal, an accomplishment, a place in history on what you've done with your cycle. You were either a racer, a road rider, entertainer, spokesman . . . etc. Clubs are still here in this day and age - Long may they prosper. It recognizes you among your peers . . . fellow riders. It's an important aspect of motorcycling.
"Did you hear . . . he was awarded his 50,000 mile pin ?!"