One AHRMA… The profound and moving statement made by Grand Marshal John Penton at the conclusion of the 2019 Barber Vintage Festival dinner gave me renewed energy for AHRMA. What John said was to turn to the people at your table and tell them, “I love you.” John’s message was that motorcycle racing is a family. We love and care deeply for our families and AHRMA is family.
Whether navigating complex issues in my architectural practice, at home, or at the races, listening is the key to effective decision making. I have learned the value of understanding different perspectives and building consensus in a leadership role but listening alone without vision, focus, and tenacity seldom gets the job done.
If AHRMA is to have a healthy future it must evolve. To be successful we must listen to and respect what each member and every discipline offers. Each generation has its own unique version of motorcycling fun, associated with the bikes, races, and racers of their respective eras. Regardless of the era that you grew up in, what most connects us in AHRMA is a love of motorcycles and the desire to ride, race, and preserve them. Whether on the track, in the pit, or in the garage the connections we share with our AHRMA family are strong and must be nurtured.
For AHRMA to be an enduring institution it must encourage and expose those that will come after us to be stewards of the history and legacy of motorcycling’s past. Impartial and inclusive of all without preference to one period over another and with the objective of sharing and growing the sport of historical motorcycle racing that we all love. One AHRMA family… It is critical that AHRMA create a path to the past for those without a direct connection to it. I believe AHRMA must be proactive in looking for opportunities to reach a younger audience; to pass the torch. This should be a golden age of vintage racing ripe for creating memories and inspiring a new generation.
My racing history with AHRMA dates back 21 years, I’ve competed in AHRMA roadracing, trials, vintage, post vintage, and next-gen motocross, and cross country—and have truly enjoyed them all! I am grateful to have worked with Off-Road Region Coordinators and recently with the Off-Road Competition Committee as it has allowed me a broader perspective on the direction of AHRMA, its challenges, successes, and member concerns in all regions.
I believe developing stronger regional off-road racing is critical to AHRMA’s success. More than two-thirds of AHRMA members compete in off-road disciplines, yet there are large areas of the country with no AHRMA races. Without events that are easily accessible, with lower entry barriers for time and cost than the National series, there is less incentive to become an AHRMA competition member. Regional racing is foundational. It can increase membership. It appeals to a younger demographic whose lives often have greater time and economic constraints. It can offer opportunities for new members to develop their machines, racing skills, and build the relationships that lead to National racing. Regional racing exposes promoters to AHRMA at a lower cost and less risk. It gives them the opportunity to experience our unique family while honing their skills and learning what it takes to develop a National caliber event.
Stronger regional presence and increased membership gives AHRMA more leverage to make the National Motocross, Cross Country, and Trials business models more economically viable; allowing less dependence on membership revenue. AHRMA promoted multi-discipline events that combine off-road and roadracing are a popular concept and can provide economic benefit without compromising key promoter relationships. As a Trustee, I will continue my focus on region building and explore opportunities for sustained off-road economic growth.
My fellow members, what we love about AHRMA is far stronger than its shortcomings. Yes, there is much that can be done to improve the organization. It takes hard work to keep a family together, fences need to be mended, olive branches extended. I seek your vote and your voice in making our family stronger. If I a
m elected to AHRMA’s Board of Trustees I will work for you with integrity, tenacity, and an open mind, representing AHRMA’s members in all disciplines to build our vision of a stronger, more sustainable One AHRMA future.
I love you.