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Author Topic: Should I Join A Club?????  (Read 6247 times)
Eric Schettler
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« on: January 27, 2015, 06:38:23 AM »

A good read I stumbled upon.......

"Why should I join a racing club?

Well, that’s a good question, with several good answers.

First, if you want to continue racing, you need to join a club. Period. No “ifs’, “ands”, or “buts” about it.

Why?

Well, it takes people to do what we do. Most folks load up on Saturday night, or Sunday morning, and drive right on out to the race site. They have a good time, (at least I know I do), and then go home.

Sounds like a good game plan, right?
Well………….

Did you ever stop to think that a CLUB put that race on? The CLUB MEMBERS scouted out that course during the year, and ran over it several times with a GPS to record the entire course. The CLUB MEMBERS worked with the BLM to get the proper approvals, impact statements, archeological reviews, endangered species approvals, etc., and PAID THE FEES for all of the above government work (oh, you thought the CLUB got to keep all those entry fees did you?).

The CLUB also arraigned for, (and paid for), the Porta-Potties, the food truck, the ambulance and the Paramedics that brought it, the trophies and finisher pins. The CLUB MEMBERS marked the course outline with pink ribbon, and black and pink arrows. They marked all the dangerous points with the pie plates painted pink (and who do you think painted those pie plates?), set up the scoring system, and put out the trash drums in the parking area (you DID throw your trash in the barrels didn’t you?).

After you went home to tell those “glory day” bench racing stories, and have a cold beer or three over a good meal, did you tip one to the CLUB MEMBERS?

Why would you want to?

Well, maybe because the CLUB MEMBERS were still out on the course. Some were cleaning up all the course markings (you can’t just leave them out there!). Some were out making sure the broken bikes and stranded riders got back to the pits. Hopefully, but sometimes it does happen, some of those CLUB MEMBERS were making sure any injured riders got the first aid they needed, got to the Paramedics, ambulance, or helicopter flight, and got the best care they could give.

Sounds like a lot of work?

Well……..
It is, but it’s also a lot of fun, and can be very rewarding. It’s a real good feeling when a totally trashed, completely exhausted, staggering racer looks up, smiles like a kid at Christmas, and tells you what a great race you just put on. Wait till the next bench racing session, and all you hear are about are the daring deeds done on YOUR last race course. Wait till you see the mini’s tottering around out there on YOUR COURSE, and how proud the little ones are over what they can do (‘cause you know those kids are going to be smoking you soon don’t you?).

Second, a CLUB is your family out there. They are your support system. CLUB MEMBERS are there to help you be a better rider, and a better racer. They will be there at the pits to pour your gas, hand you dry gloves and clean goggles. They will help you fix a broken bike or change a flat to get you through to the finish. They will be there to cheer you in at the finish line (even if everyone else has left, like when I finally finish……). And……..if you don’t show up they will find out why, and be there when the sweeper brings you and your bike back in.

The desert people, (and really ALL racers), are good people at heart. They want to beat you, but beat you right. They will give you their gas, loan you a part, stop their race when you fall to make sure you are all right. THEN go back on trying to beat you the right way…………………..

Just as AMRA says:
By the Racers, For the Racers!

Join a club, and help us all help each other. We got this passed on to us, let’s try and pass it on too……………….."
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2015, 08:18:55 AM »

very good statement. It is very important to keep the clubs strong. without strong clubs there are no races. once a club is started it needs additional members added each year to keep the membership up. every year club members drop out so it is so important to keep pushing for new membership and the club needs to keep giving the members a reason to stay with the club, which means pushing for kids events and club events that do not include racing. Right now in OCMC we only have about 4 regular racers and maybe a total of 10 that have raced at least one event during the year.

I comment because in District 37 the time keeper enduros are about at an end. since I started riding AMA enduros in 1977, the following clubs that put on enduros have dropped out; Double Crossers, Calpoly Penquins, Chapperals, Checkpoints, Prospectors (still active but no enduros), CEA.

I suggest that AMRA do a yearly fun event to promote the clubs.
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GeorgeTRS
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 03:37:29 PM »

Great write up Eric. I wish I had the magic answer on how to get more riders to join a club. Without a strong and growing membership base the, the small number of folks doing all the work get burned out quick. I know there are hundreds of riders in the Tucson area yet we typically have about ~50 members in TRS year over year. I will keep promoting club membership until I can't swing my leg over the seat.

George
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DSs Dad
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 01:54:18 PM »

Should I Join a Club??

As a parent of a Rookie year novice racer, that is the question I have been asking myself so far this season. While attending all of the events so far this year, I have been observing all of the host clubs in search of pros and cons of each one. All the while in search of the one that will provide the most positive representation of the sport. By positive representation, I mean which one his future racing career (whether it be hobbyist or grooming for Pro level), will strive and learn from. After all, the youngsters are the future of the sport, correct?
Here, in short, are some of the things I am looking for. These are solely my opinions, and should be taken as such.

1) off track friendly atmosphere
2) promoting event safety, on track and in the pits
3) good on track competition
4) knowledgeable staff, welcoming to new potential members
5) well structured
6) members who conduct themselves in a professional manner on/off the track, especially while being the host of an event.
7) good, solid portal for information of future events, in a timely manner
Cool promoting not only races, but events that place motorcycling/motorcyclists in high public standards
9) open to member feedback

As an observer, I feel if each club would police fellow members within their club, and adhere to most of these objectives, more individuals would want to join. If a member, shod in a club "orange" vest, goes screaming past my pit location on the back tire, I don't think it represents a club I would like to join. It implies to me that the club doesn't instill any structure or concern for safety. Or if a club consistently acknowledges a rookie rider and asks, "how's your first season going?, or "good to see you back, you must be having a good time, ect", shows me a club is welcoming and wanting new members. Understandably not every volunteer is going to be up to date on every riders situation, but simply provide an atmosphere people will want to be a part of. Inform your staff, prior to an event, of future upcoming events they would like newcomers to attend. This way, at registration, members can personally extend the invite. This instills a sensation that you are including them already, even though they are not members yet. That can help demonstrate that your club has a future and you would like them to be part of it. I could go on.

Here I am, mid season, in search of a club to join. One that my son can gain the sense of comradery  and good sportsmanship through competition among his peers. Also one that he would be proud to recruit some of his friends into the sport that he loves so much. Until we decide which club fits into most of these criterias, our search will continue.

That to me, my fellow riders, is my opinion of why some people may or may not be in a club.
 
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Mini Steward
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2016, 07:26:04 AM »

I made my decision based on similar items.

Another thing that was important to me was ther like minded families, kids to hang with.

Racing is part of the season, you will be a clum bember with kid(s) all year.

Good luck on your decision.
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Jon Shortridge
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 10:31:12 AM »

Second season follow up:
Went to Tuscon yesterday for my sons 10-11 65cc race. This year I distinctly paid specific attention to club recruiting and promotion. Honestly, I'm not even sure what club hosted this event. I did not see a club representative (not that I could distinguish) nor was I even asked if I was in a club. The steward (Randy) for the minis was quite informative on race details, course markings ect. and he ran a fantastic race for us. I am unsure if he is a rep for the hosting club or if he will be the steward all season. However that I presume would be the representation of AMRA.

Had there been a club EZ-up next to registration clearly posting club info, I would have investigated. Perhaps that was the t-shirt booth?? The fact that there was no clear club promotion going on, it really doesn't surprise me that membership is low.
There were 3 families pitted together with our group, each consisting of 3 or more recreational riders as well as racers. None of these families are club members. Not because they are unsociable or not wanting to be, they are all 2nd season "newbies" with no direction on club affiliation. Over post race dinner with these families, the discussion turned to clubs. The other 2 families chimed in on the same details that I had noticed. No promotion or recruitment.
My $.02.
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Chris_Attel
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 11:08:53 AM »

The hosting club (XMC) had t-shirts made for Staff, hence the big lettering saying "Staff" on the back of the shirts.  I would say all matching staff shirts is pretty proffessional for a non-profit, all volunteer organization.  The shirts also had the club name on them and the club sold t-shirts for the event with the club name on it.  As for recruiting at the event, do you really want to be treated like you walked into a car dealership at an event?  I don't.  If you didn't observe the XMC all over the staff and event shirts I'm not sure what to tell you.  The AMRA does not direct clubs to recruit at an event or promote their club.  That is up to each club.

What are you proposing?  I'm not sure.  Are you suggesting at each event, the club hosting it gets to hard sale the participants on their club and try to recruit?  I would be surprised if there is a lot of support for that.  Or, what are you proposing?

As for the mini steward, each club selects that individual from their club.  It is not a season long volunteer or paid position by AMRA.  I'm sure Randy will be glad to hear his efforts were appreciated.  He gives it his all and I agree that he did do a great job.  It was his first time doing it which makes it that much more impressive.
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DSs Dad
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 03:18:26 PM »

Hello 4SEVENS,
 
I did clearly see the red event shirts. What I'm "proposing" is an opinion on the original post. Last season I replied to the question "Should I join a club?". Now I am updating after one season of observation.  I stated my opinions on what I was perceiving through the eyes of a rookie Dad (rookie to the AMRA series, but far from rookie in the amateur and professional racing circuit, in more than one discipline.) I purposely looked for signs that a newbie prospective club member would recognize or be drawn to in order to become a club member. Not everyone that enters these races has spent any given amount of time at a racing event, professional or otherwise. How can you expect a new Dad/Mom, whom has finally accepted the fact that their son/daughter would like to race motorcycles, to know that there is even a club to join? Some of them have never even been to a track to spectate, never mind entering a race, going to tech, attending riders meetings ect. I don't expect to be accosted like a used car salesman would, but perhaps a booth near reg. with a club banner? Maybe a "this race presented by ### your local club sign, or join us at our monthly meeting. Post a meeting schedule near sign ups. Something.
As I stated, I have been to a track or two just like many others here, however, the parties I was surrounded with this weekend have not. I am certain that they were not the only fresh entrants in attendance. As for the original poster here wondering why club membership is down, I can simply see why. If you were a brand new rider here today, where would you look for club info? On the club list on the AMRA forum? Sure, go there and see what you find.  Information a few years old. Now what? Attend a race? Great, sign up through AMRA, attend the race, go through reg ect. Shuffle through the line, return to pit and wait for drivers mtg and start time. Race and go home, looking forward to the next event.  No club mention, no volunteer requests, just you , your race and your own good time.
If there was a mention or a "booth" you could at least spark some interest or educate some newbies about the hidden parts of the race that they will never see. Planning, set-up, course marking ect. Things they may not even know they could be a part of.
Bottom line is you cannot join a club if you don't even know it exists.

As for Randy, I personally went to him and shook his hand, commending him on the outstanding job he did for the entire mini field.
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Chris_Attel
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 12:46:21 PM »

I was the guy standing next to Randy at the trophy presentations for the minis.  I can see your point.  I too was a new racer to this series a few short years ago.  I kind of muddled my way around.  I met some guys I got to know and one of them mentioned joining their club.  I joined XMC and now have so many great new friends it is hard to believe.  Just like any varying groups, each club has its own "personality".  From my experience, once you meet someone you like who is in a club, that is a good way to decide what club to join.  Another good way to meet clubs is at the races where many racers camp out.  The clubs tend to hang out at night together and you can see if you vibe with one of the groups.  Another factor is what city you reside in.  Most club members live somewhat close to one another but that is not always the case.  Some clubs focus more on racing while others might focus on land rights issues more.  Those things might play a role in your decision as well.  Considering you are a mini dad, maybe the best thing might be to join the club where your child(ren) have made friends.  Anyway, Wikieup is a good opportunity to camp out and meet people.  See you out there!
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DSs Dad
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 04:15:38 PM »

Thank you for the reply 47s,   I don't want to sound condescending through my posts, I was just trying to relay some observations. Particularly trying to view from a newbie standpoint. Like I mentioned before, I particularly have attended many venues and was attempting to view the weekend as a complete rookie would, with the hindsight of a veteran(?). From check in to the checkered flag, I was attempting to view all aspects of what a new racer would interpret being their first experience. I was able to point out what needed to be done, perhaps from past experience. However, I could easily see how a new guy would be overwhelmed on first day and I feel that a "welcome" tent prior to sign ups would be a comforting relief. An information booth of sorts. Just something to show an interest in growing the club and the sport, right from the start. I don't expect a babysitter or the used car salesman approach, just some info on what is available. From there, a racer could feel the camaraderie , not just the competition.

I did see you at the awards and also at the drivers mtg. I was the one who pointed out the sweep rider who blew past the mtg at about 40mph in the pit, while wearing a sweep vest. No one seemed to notice or care.
I realize things cannot change overnight and this is a volunteer scenario. Just trying to bring to light a few observations I have noticed. My son and his friends had a great time and all went home safe and happy. My mission was accomplished. We will continue to race and attend and perhaps find a club. Until then, we practice!!
Thanks again 47s for acknowledging my ramblings and for sure we will see you in Wikieup!
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Chris_Attel
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 05:29:24 PM »

Some sort of first time racer check in or maybe a first time racer Ambassador position sounds like a good idea to me.  It's just a matter of working that out.  Maybe some sort of meet and greet type thing for clubs to talk to anyone interested in joining would be good as well. 

For anyone reading this, feel free to talk to race hosting club members at the races when they aren't swamped.  The registration area is a good place to do that and the t-shirt sales is usually handled by club members as well.

It's a lot of work putting on a race and a lot of times the clubs are pushed to their limits to get it all done so adding more to the schedule on race day might be difficult or impossible.  Still, I think your points are worth considering and some solution can probably be found.  The future of the AMRA depends on new membership and anything that can be done to make new racers feel welcome and avoid confusion is a good thing.  Thanks for the input!  I will bring it up with the AMRA officers if they don't see this conversation here first.
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xtreme6669
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 02:34:20 PM »

Round 3 update??

Thank you for the reply 47s,   I don't want to sound condescending through my posts, I was just trying to relay some observations. Particularly trying to view from a newbie standpoint. Like I mentioned before, I particularly have attended many venues and was attempting to view the weekend as a complete rookie would, with the hindsight of a veteran(?). From check in to the checkered flag, I was attempting to view all aspects of what a new racer would interpret being their first experience. I was able to point out what needed to be done, perhaps from past experience. However, I could easily see how a new guy would be overwhelmed on first day and I feel that a "welcome" tent prior to sign ups would be a comforting relief. An information booth of sorts. Just something to show an interest in growing the club and the sport, right from the start. I don't expect a babysitter or the used car salesman approach, just some info on what is available. From there, a racer could feel the camaraderie , not just the competition.

I did see you at the awards and also at the drivers mtg. I was the one who pointed out the sweep rider who blew past the mtg at about 40mph in the pit, while wearing a sweep vest. No one seemed to notice or care.
I realize things cannot change overnight and this is a volunteer scenario. Just trying to bring to light a few observations I have noticed. My son and his friends had a great time and all went home safe and happy. My mission was accomplished. We will continue to race and attend and perhaps find a club. Until then, we practice!!
Thanks again 47s for acknowledging my ramblings and for sure we will see you in Wikieup!

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Nick Fouts #116
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 05:22:20 PM »

Round 3 update??

Thank you for the reply 47s,   I don't want to sound condescending through my posts, I was just trying to relay some observations. Particularly trying to view from a newbie standpoint. Like I mentioned before, I particularly have attended many venues and was attempting to view the weekend as a complete rookie would, with the hindsight of a veteran(?). From check in to the checkered flag, I was attempting to view all aspects of what a new racer would interpret being their first experience. I was able to point out what needed to be done, perhaps from past experience. However, I could easily see how a new guy would be overwhelmed on first day and I feel that a "welcome" tent prior to sign ups would be a comforting relief. An information booth of sorts. Just something to show an interest in growing the club and the sport, right from the start. I don't expect a babysitter or the used car salesman approach, just some info on what is available. From there, a racer could feel the camaraderie , not just the competition.

I did see you at the awards and also at the drivers mtg. I was the one who pointed out the sweep rider who blew past the mtg at about 40mph in the pit, while wearing a sweep vest. No one seemed to notice or care.
I realize things cannot change overnight and this is a volunteer scenario. Just trying to bring to light a few observations I have noticed. My son and his friends had a great time and all went home safe and happy. My mission was accomplished. We will continue to race and attend and perhaps find a club. Until then, we practice!!
Thanks again 47s for acknowledging my ramblings and for sure we will see you in Wikieup!

Sure.  Other than a name on the top of the flyer, I still don't see any invites anywhere to reference a club. Or contact info, meeting dates ect. No one will join a club if they don't know its available to join. Simple.
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