In 1990, a group of motivated motorcyclists congregated at the V.F.W in St. Paul Park to hear information on a new chapter of A.B.A.T.E. (St. Croix Valley Chapter) to be started in this area. Gary Wettschreck was the moderator at this gathering, and a framework of volunteers was formed to oversee the organization phase. During the first few years with A.B.A.T.E., we initiated a yearly fund-raiser (Chili Feed), and a no nonsense approach to minimizing our volunteer effort to obtain maximum results. In other words, we wanted to do our part in supporting motorcyclist’s rights, (proceeds go to enhance motorcycle safety, awareness and education) yet we wanted to remember that we assembled for enjoyment and camaraderie. Keep the bureaucracy to a minimum, and just get to the results!!!
After a bit, it became evident that the framework afforded by A.B.A.T.E. was not going to work with our concerns. When our disagreement about financial planning and expenditures was not resolved by the state organization, we chose to start our own motorcycle rights organization—-St. Croix Valley Riders Association. We are incorporated as a not for profit organization, with the prime directive of advancing motorcyclist’s rights, and keeping the extraneous wrangling and bickering to a minimum. We believe in doing our part by volunteering and donating money—and then getting on to the business of camaraderie and riding.
We have been very successful with our annual Chili Feed. We started with attendance of fewer than 300 people, and grew to an average attendance of approximately 3500. We donate thousands of dollars a year to various motorcycle related causes, mainly through the proceeds of one fundraiser, in addition to paying for motorcycle safety courses for our members. We believe that getting our members to volunteer just once a year and maximizing results is superior to many smaller fundraisers throughout the year. Work efficiently one time and maximize the time for more enjoyable endeavors the rest of the year.
To sum up our direction, it would be to maximize our representation and impact without boring and disruptive layers of organizational bureaucracy. We have a short, direct meeting once a month for members to meet and socialize. We have volunteers for various committees with an effort to keep the numbers of committees as well as the need for committees to a minimum. We believe we have an obligation to provide for motorcyclist’s rights—yet we don’t lose sight of the primary desire to get out and enjoy riding. In other words—have a plan, work the plan, and move forward!
If you have an interest in finding out more about our organization, please contact any of our officers listed below or attend one of our monthly meetings. Our dues remain very low. We will do the best job possible with your membership dues, and monthly meeting attendance is not mandatory. We will keep you updated through quarterly newsletters, and various phone/web updates.