Another year has passed by and with it has gone the finest year in the history of motorcycle sport. From January 1, 1935, to January 1, 1936, it has been an un-ending series of motorcycle activities that have embraced every phase of the sport. It has been a year of keen competition; a year in which many records were broken; a year of real achievements; and a year that has firmly entrenched motorcycle sport in the minds of the public. It has also been a year that has furnished a lot of “headaches.” However, it all evens up and we can safely say that your organization, the American Motorcycle Association, has traveled far along the road which will eventually make it one of the greatest and finest organizations in the world.
There has never been a year to better bring out the wonderful support and cooperation that is the real reason why your organization is growing. No one man can do the job and it has been the work of a lot of untiring individuals, who by their efforts and loyalty, have built up the A.M.A and sport activities in their territory. It would not be fair to pick out certain individuals, but each of these fellows know what they have done and each of them are the type that wants no loud acclaim for their efforts. They have not had time to devote to continual criticism of the A.M.A. nor have they used the A.M.A. as an alibi for any of their short comings or failures. They have realized that we cannot be right all of the time and have worked just that much harder to help build the sport and to profit by experiences that united we stand, divided we fall.
During this past year, the A.M.A. has made mistakes. What organization doesn’t? We are mindful of that slogan “to escape criticism-be nothing, do nothing and say nothing.” The secretary has been the most cussed fellow in the country, for trying to make the A.M.A. something real; for trying to tell the world that the A.M.A. represents the “Greatest sport in the World.”
We have been cussed for nearly everything. We realize that we cannot please everyone. We get disliked by Indian riders when the decision favors Harley-Davidson riders. We are disliked by Harley-Davidson riders when the decision favors Indian riders. We are immediately placed in the category of being either pro- Indian or pro-Harley-Davidson. In the case of a local faction decision, we are either a swell guy or a “heel,” depending on which way the wind was blowing. If a rider loses a contest, the best alibi in the world is that it was the fault of the A.M.A. If weather caused the postponement of an event, it is our fault because we granted the sanction; if the sanction had not been granted it would have caused several caustic letters to the effect that we “let the club down.” Some sections of the country want more and more of those meetings which are held along with moving pictures and general whoopee; other sections figure that the meetings are not so good and we should be doing something else for the benefit of the sport. One group is not keen for taking the moving pictures, another group thinks they are the “berries” and so it goes.
These are the “headaches” that must be a part of any sport and we are mighty proud of the fact they are in the minority. That is why I said at the beginning, it has been the wonderful help and support of hundreds of fellows that has made possible the record compiled this past year. They overshadow those who feel that everything that we do is wrong, with their help we are bound to grow substantially to bigger and better things.