Walk through the pits at just about any AHRMA event of any discipline and it’s evident that a transformation is taking place. This can also be seen in the way AHRMA as an organization operates on a daily basis. Additions of new or restructured race classes, specially promoted races of non-Ahrma classes funded by outside sponsors for prize money, and how the organization communicates with its members, to name just a few.
For decades many changes have been incremental, accelerating in recent years. The pace at which efforts to increase AHRMA’s efficiency and implement a range of AHRMA program additions and policy updates has been rapid enough to result in more pitfalls and loss of key personnel than we were prepared for. No organization has 100% member satisfaction, but I’ve heard from dozens of members who feel that AHRMA has become unstable, and they feel frustrated that voicing their concerns can no longer be done in a public AHRMA forum that used to exist such as in the old Vintage Views publication.
Communicating with and acting as the voice of members is one of the most important responsibilities of a trustee. Different members want different things. Regions are different, and what works well in one might not in another. What the majority of members in a given region want will become evident over time. The first obligation of a trustee is to listen to those members who are spending their money supporting their regional programs, and volunteering their time to keep them viable, and to explain some AHRMA issues about which most members don’t have all the details and may question. Of the many decisions a trustee has to make and vote on, none is more crucial to grasp than the rights of regions and those members who participate in supporting that region, and ultimately AHRMA.
AHRMA is dedicated to enhancing the sport of historic motorcycle racing. The vast majority of our classes represents an era that was made obsolete by advances in machinery and technology. As newer and more modern classes are added it is paramount that we don’t repeat history by allowing the older motorcycles to be pushed aside. In Vintage motocross, an opportunity exists to protect and spotlight some of the older machines on natural terrain tracks with a “series within a series”. The series would not exclude any AHRMA Vintage class. The focus would be on the track. Such a program would provide all of our older Vintage machines and riders an appropriate venue at which to compete, but all AHRMA vintage classes may participate if they choose to. This would also help alleviate pressures on some promoters whose venues cannot realistically or cost-effectively accommodate the older machines properly, to do so.
One of the attractive things about AHRMA has always been that there’s something for every vintage motorcycle racing enthusiast. I am an unapologetic Vintage proponent. As AHRMA “progresses”, commitment and stewardship of Vintage in all disciplines becomes increasingly difficult, but is no less crucial than it ever has been to the organization. I do believe working within a changing organization like AHRMA and still maintaining the strength of our Vintage foundation can be done. I’m asking for your vote to allow me to continue to work towards that.