From a legislative angle, we were able to devote considerable time to the things that have been adverse to motorcycling. We were able to help keep compulsory insurance out of Ohio and to be a party to a new law that places a premium on safe riding without paying a great big insurance fee. The same applied to the State of Pennsylvania. This matter of compulsory insurance is coming up in most every State, but fortunately we have been able to work with the A.A.A. on this and kept it out. We still have the one terrible headache in Massachusetts and everything has been done that can be done to rectify this grave situation. We hope that the efforts put forth for the past 6 years will eventually get some results. There have been several things happen that we didn’t know about and which had we been informed possibly could have been helped. One was the sidecar fee in New York and the other was the commercial fee in Illinois. We hope that when the legislative bodies in these States meet again, we can be of some help to the boys.
In competition, motorcycle sport really went to town. It was the best year of all, and there was not a section of the country that didn’t have a major event and in some sections the boys were on the go from Spring to Fall. With the exception of polo, every form of activity showed a fine increase. Attendance was greater by far than in 1934 and the number of riders taking part in sports was many times greater than the previous year. In fact, this past year, 3,221,000 spectators witnessed motorcycle events in which 22,470 contestants took part. Every section of the country should take part in this great parade of motorcycle events and sport.
One of the real gains in 1935 was the fact that clubs are doing everything possible to dress up their show and make it more interesting from that angle in the eyes of the public. We have a wonderful show in every type of the sport and the problem that confronts every club is that in the past they have catered to slipshod methods, dirty unkempt officials and riders. I always think that a motorcycle event is just the same as a theatrical performance. The actors are dressed up and everything is done to make the public satisfied. You have seen these great big musical shows with the fine costumes and noted how popular they were and you have also seen a dirty fly-by-night troupe that wasn’t drawing enough attendance to wad a shotgun. Think in terms of “what can we do to make our public pleased,” instead of “the public be damned, let’s get it over as soon a s possible.”
You are not a “panty-waist” if you appear as an official in white pants and a necktie on a white shirt; nor is the contestant looked upon as something terrible, if he appears with a clean sweater and helmet. This past year, thanks to the efforts put forth in night speedway racing, most every activity took on a clean look and the results were immediately shown by the fact that the public came in larger numbers than ever before. Get some showmanship into the sport.