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HISTORY

Old Santa Barbara Motorcycle Club
updated: Dec 15, 2013, 11:03 AM

By KC

I have been trying to connect with any members or relatives of the old motorcycle clubs in Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara motorcycle club started in 1923, (I believe), and was formed at a time when folks in the community spent time together, and put on activities to have fun. I am also aware of another Club that was short lived, but very active in it's time. Of course there wasn't TV and rental movies yet, so locals went to boxing matches, nightly dance places, and all sorts of outside activities. The SBMC was the 2nd club in California to be recognized by the National organization, The AMA. In those days, the AMA was focused on motorcycle racing and was a promoter of anything motorcycle related. The Club had dues paying members, Club officers, a set of by-laws, and a Club house. The Club put on many local activities to raise money for local cause, and newspaper clippings verify that! My personal opinion is that this was a way to get approval and be allowed to have some of those activities!. I have a friend who just turned 95, that was an officer in the Club, and has great stories to tell. These guys were NOT the hell's angeles, they were just young guys looking for fun, though at times I am sure they were a source of annoyance. In a time when motorized vehicles were becoming more common, I expect most young fellows went through a stage like that. There are only a few of the "Old Timers" left, and it's sad to think there stories, and photos will just be lost in the wind,...... or the trail dust.

Here's a photo of "short track", or Flat Track racing on the baseball field at Pershing Park, in 1938. Can you imagine that today? Aside from the noise, today's world is too full of liability to even think of allowing risky business like that! The Grandstand is backed up to Castillo street, and my friend is the determined looking fellow 3rd from the right end. He can identify every rider in the lineup, and also knows most of there final stories. Must have been some great times........!

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