Reading Motorcycle Club

"Club History"

How It All Started...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading Motorcycle Club, Inc.
208 Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 396
Oley, PA 19547

Phone: (610) 987-6422
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Located among some of the most fertile farm lands in the State of Pennsylvania, The Reading Motorcycle Club (RMC) is situated on 27 1/2 acres in the beautiful Oley Valley. Founded in 1911 and incorporated in 1914 the RMC has the distinction of holding the #4 American Motorcycle Association (AMA) organization number. This designation places RMC as one of, if not the oldest member Clubs of the AMA currently in existence. With a current membership of over 1,300 members RMC has established itself over the last One Hundred years as not only a brotherhood of motorcycle enthusiasts but a willing participant and donor to many local charitable organizations in and around the Oley Valley. A strong supporter of Veterans issues through the years RMC was the first organization to start the fund raising drive to recognize Viet Nam Veterans with a $10,000 donation to the “Berks County Vietnam Memorial Fund” in 1986. Their donation set the pace for many large Corporations and Financial Institutions in the Berks County area to meet the challenge started by the club and it allowed for the Memorial to be built and dedicated. Sponsorship and participation in the annual POW/MIA run held annually in Reading is one of the most attended events sponsored by RMC.

We believe that our club grounds which includes our Club House, Pavilion ,1/4 mile paved Drag Strip and Camping area to be one of the finest facilities among Motorcycle Clubs in America. Every year since 1979 RMC has hosted it’s annual Anniversary Party during the last full weekend in July. This event has grown to be one of the largest gatherings by a motorcycle club on the East Coast and it draws motorcyclists from all directions on the map.

Listed below is a news article that was reprinted from “Motorcycling and Bicycling” magazine and was dated October 17, 1923. This article outlines the very start of the Reading Motorcycle Club that dates back to 1911. I hope that you enjoy this historic information.

HISTORY OF THE READING MOTORCYCLE CLUB

By Armour Anderson

[Original Article Reprinted from ‘MOTORCYCLING AND BICYCLING’ Magazine Dated October 17, 1923]

When a motorcycle club sticks together for 13 years, it reaches the Methuselah class in motorcycling.

And when, in its 13th year, it is still going strong, with even more “wim, wigor, and witality” than when it started, that makes every motorcyclist sit up and ask how they do it.

Such a live-wire organization is the Reading Motorcycle Club, Inc., and one of its members tells the secret of its success.

Its outstanding features are:

In our time we have seen many motorcycle clubs organized, kept going for a while and then disbanded. Is it due to the lack of cooperation of the dealers or is it due to the lack of interest of the members? There is no reason at all in the town or city where there is some honest-to-goodness motorcycle riders who want a club why they should not have one. I will try to tell you how to have one, and by following out the record of the Reading Motorcycle Club any other town can surely have one.

The Start in 1911

During 1911, which was a good motorcycle year, the riders of Reading decided that they wanted a motorcycle club. After suggesting to the dealers that they should get all their riders together, a meeting was called at the American House Hotel on July 15.

Thirty motorcycle riders attended and the following officers were elected: President, John Hartman; Vice-President, Robert Haenchon; Recording Secretary, Paul Eisenhower; Financial Secretary, Arthur Bruderick; Treasurer, Charles Hart. Trustees: Raymond Fritz, Charles Kinsey, Milton Reese. Captain, James Dunkle; First Lieutenant, Christ Stark; Second Lieutenant, Samuel Killian; Press Agent, James Mayo. Of these charter members, Charles Kinsey and Raymond Fritz are still active members of the club. As the club started with lots of enthusiasm and no money, the dealers all voted to give the club $10. Several names were suggested, but the name Reading was adopted and the Reading Motorcycle Club was born and christened. The proprietor of the America House offered the use of the hotel until the club secured permanent quarters. After a few lively meetings, the club rented two rooms at 517 Penn Street. Two Sundays after the club was organized, they held a club run to York, 132 miles both ways, and every member turned out. That was the era of the single cylinder, single speed, belt drive, and battery ignition. Nowadays if you want to hold a club run that far, the members won’t show up as they say it is too far, although they have twin cylinders, sidecars, and macadam roads. At the time the club was organized, the dealers and their mechanics went along on the club runs as some one was always sure to have trouble, and when he did everyone stopped to help, no matter what he rode. And when a club run was scheduled, if one or two of the members did not show up, the captain would send someone around to see what was the matter.

In October of the same year the members held a successful race meet at the fairgrounds, and with the profits they bought furnishing to make the club rooms attractive. In anything they started the dealers were always ready to help, and this was one of the main things that helped make the club a go. Many clubs when they organize think that the dealers should do all the work, and if they do not the club is not a go. This is wrong, as it is up to the members to do the work and the dealers to help with their cooperation.

The Second Year

The following year the club held two more race meets, some hill climbs, endurance runs, and other events, and at that time had the same name as they have now, “Always Doing Something”. In the fall of the year, the club was enrolling so many new members that they needed more space and so tore out a partition, adding another room. In this big year they bought a pool table, piano, and other things.

The Third Year

In 1914 the club needed still more room and moved to the present quarters. Also, it was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania. The charter reads that as long as there are five dissenting votes the club cannot disband. If many of the other clubs would be chartered they would still be going. If you have 200 members in the club and 195 of them want to divide up the money and disband, and if there are five honest-to-goodness riders who still want a club, the club will keep on going. And the 195 members will hang on, as it will pay them. During this time the club also was affiliated with the F.A.M., and was 100 percent strong. When the F.A.M. passed to the Great Beyond, the Reading club joined its successor, the M.&A.T.A., and is one of the best boosters of that organization. During all of this time the club kept on getting some new members, and losing some of the old ones that got in the fiver class, keeping the membership around the 100 all the time.

Click on the link below to view some excellent pictures of motorcycles from the early years including some rare pictures of the Kulp Brothers.

Click Here

 

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