Tacoma Motorcycle Club, Washington

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Tacoma Motorcycle Club

Get Dirty with the DUCKS

by Dorcas Sizer and Jeff Schaller

Tacoma Motorcycle Club (Ducks) is a family organization that promotes motorcycling in the Northwest. The Ducks are members of the N.M.A. and A.M.A.. Club members participate in many aspects of motorcycling such as vintage flat track racing, vintage scrambles racing, motocross, off-road riding and racing as well as street riding. Club members also participate in organized camping weekends throughout the year.

T.M.C. sponsors motorcycling events each year covering many different aspects of motorcycling.

First on the calendar is the "Wet Duck Poker Run" in April followed by the largest vintage motorcycle event of the season "Dinosaur Daze". Dinosaur Daze is a two-day weekend event in June that features vintage scrambles racing Saturday followed by vintage flat track racing on Sunday. This event also features a large swap meet and dance. To wrap up the year TMC also sponsors a vintage motocross in September. 

Tacoma Motorcycle Club "The Early Years"

Although motorcycle riding has always been regarded with a daredevil flare, in the early days it was a staple of transportation. Motorcyclists in the 1920s when the Tacoma Motorcycle Club was born were more likely to wear a tie and sporty little cap than the leather of today.

The roads and highways were a challenge for cyclists making jaunts to Seattle or Mt. Rainier. These weekend outings spawned the beginnings for the Tacoma Motorcycle Club (TMC) in 1926. Weekly club meetings were conducted at the clubhouse near 11th and Marine View Drive.

Sporting events associated with motorcycle riding, racing, field meets and hill climbs became the focus of attention for the club through the '30s and '40s. In 1947, TMC bought acreage south of Puyallup to build a new clubhouse and ¼ mile dirt oval track. The annual Bob Knox Memorial Day Race was the major motorsports attraction of Pierce County in those days.

Feeling the encroachment of urban sprawl the club retreated to the Graham District where Graham Speedway was built on 80 acres of farmland. Every Friday night, AMA professional racing shows prevailed for 15 years until protesting neighbors again surrounded the club and soaring property values prompted the club to sell out.

Today the Tacoma Motorcycle Club has 75 members with strong family ties. In more recent years the club has concentrated on the social aspects of Motorcycling by developing modern RV campgrounds on properties owned in the heart of Olympia's motorcycle recreation area in Capital Forest and on 30 acres adjacent to vast National Forest off-road riding areas near Cle Elum.

The membership ranges from teenagers anxious to test their skills to retirees satisfied with bench racing. The interests of members are mixed as well with both street and off-road riding being popular. Vintage motorcycle collecting is now an all-consuming part of club activities.

Each year, TMC sponsors Dinosaur Daze which devotes a weekend to old time motorcycle racing, an antique bike show, and swap meet. The two day show attracts fans from all over the west coast to relive the thrills of  bygone racedays at Mueller-Harkins Motordome (1923), now Clover Park Vocational School, Athletic Park (1948) Now Peck Baseball Park, Graham Speedway, and the national championship fairgrounds track at Castlerock that was destroyed 17 years ago by Mount St. Helen's Eruption. Also on hand will be a number of former factory moto-cross racers that contested the Trans-AMA International Series that brought huge crowds to Puyallup Raceway in the early '70s.

Tacoma Motorcycle Club "Recent History"

Over the last 15 years the club has turned it's attention to sponsoring Vintage Motorcycle Racing as well as sponsoring an annual Poker Run.

Dinosaur Daze (A weekend celebration of vintage motorcycles and racing)

In 1984 the Ducks volunteered to help the "Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts" (VME) conduct their first "Dinosaur Daze" race. After a few years this event grew and the VME turned the event over to the Ducks to promote and execute. Dinosaur Daze has become the premier vintage event of the year in the Northwest.

The Wet Duck Poker Run

In 1996 the Duck's decided to sponsor a Poker Run. The Run has been named the "Wet Duck" as it is traditionally held in April/May each year. Typically you can count on rain during that time of year so the Wet Duck Poker Run seemed appropriately named.

Over the years the "Wet Duck Poker Run" has become one of the most popular poker runs on the schedule. Each year part of the event proceeds have been donated to worthy causes such as local schools, foodbanks and the Department of Natural Resources. In 1998 the club donated $1,700.00 to the N.M.A. which in turn was converted into roughly 80 new N.M.A. memberships.

The Wet Duck has been very successful due the club's commitment to sponsoring a quality event as well as the local motorcycle businesses providing contingency prizes that are given away at random at the event.

For more information about the Tacoma Motorcycle Club, point your browser to their website at www.tacoma-mc.org

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