The Armidale Motorcycle Club has been established for almost 40 years, and Greg Frost has been a member since he was 15 years old. He shares the club’s history and his dedication to the sport of motorcycle racing.
> When did the Armidale Motorcycle Club first begin?
The Armidale Motor Cycle Club (AMCC) was started in the early ‘70s by some keen motorcycle enthusiasts, and meetings were held at the old Coffee House in Marsh Street.
> Who were some of your early members?
Some of the names that come to mind in the early days are Glenn Gilmour, Gary Taylor, Terry Whittley, Greg Dawson, Tim Robertson, John Whittley and Peter Woodward – these are only a few that were involved in the early days of the AMCC.
> Where do you race?
The club had the use of the Uralla Double, a speedway track and held many race and practice events there as well as some high profile open events involving some of Australia’s best Short Circuit and Speedway riders. As well as these events, the members travelled all over NSW racing in Motor cross and Speedway races, with some very talented riders coming out of Armidale.
The current club runs mainly cross country events on private land, currently supplied by the Press family in Uralla, and it recently started to run a Grass Track Motor cross series on the Mackaway’s property, Tumbledowns, in Walcha. Without the generosity of these families, the club would not be able to function and hence there would be no club. So a huge thanks is always bestowed on the suppliers of our race venues.
The AMCC has been fortunate over the years that land has been made available for their use, but still hope one day that some public land may become available for them to set up their own tracks – as has happened in many other regional towns.
> Who is on your current committee?
The current committee is Mark Simpson (President), Richard Apps (Secretary), Greg Frost (Treasurer), and Lee Marshall is the club’s junior Trainer, and there are many other committee members and officials. A lot has changed over the years in the administration of the club, with many rules and regulations now governing every aspect of the club’s running of events.
> Do your members need coaching?
One of the major changes is the training of junior competitors under 16 years of age. All have to complete 5 hours of formal training per year, and this is where Lee Marshall has really stepped up to the plate, having taken on the job as the AMCC trainer.
Lee has also had to undertake training to fill this position, and he does a great job at getting his ideas and tips across to kids from 5 to 16 years of age. If anyone wants to start racing, then Lee is the man to get you started. He normally runs training days at the same time as the club’s race days at Bannaweera near Uralla, and bookings are essential for these courses.
> Who makes up the club’s membership?
The AMCC offers a great day out and is very family oriented, with many family combinations riding on any given day from father/son, father/daughter or whole families.
But one thing is for sure … the whole family gets in and has a go on race day, be it competing, cooking the BBQ, running the canteen or being a major official at the event.
> What are the benefits of being a club member?
Some of the benefits of becoming part of the club in any capacity include being a part of a group of dedicated people who take their part in the club seriously and make sure that every event is run in a safe and professional manner, within the strict guide lines of Motorcycling Australia.
Anyone who has the skill and drive can become an official in the club and can aspire to be involved in major events held across NSW. There is always a need for more help, and all help is gratefully accepted. As well as running the club, taking part in the events gives the mind and body a great workout, with motorcycle racing rated as one of the most strenuous exercises that can be done. Just ask anyone who is new to the sport and has done their first race; they will definitely testify to this.
One of the biggest buzzes is to watch kids turn up at a very young age and be completely blown away and nervous at the prospect of their first day with the club … to end the day with a huge smile across their face and with new friends and new experiences, ready to do it all again next time.
> Up and coming events?
The club’s next local event is on the 2nd August 2009 at Bannaweera, which is Round 3 of a senior/junior sprint event involving 5 sprint laps for the day. The winner is the rider with the shortest amount of accumulated time for the day.
These days are always hotly contested and only seconds usually separate the top riders in each class, with all riders able to see from their times how they are going throughout the day. As well as the sprint race, the club runs a 50cc Gymkhana for the little kids and this is very well attended, with up to 15 bikes present on the day.
To compete, all riders have to either have a race license or be able to get a day license or have completed their 5 hours training (and have their yellow book if they are juniors). All bikes have to be presented to the race scrutineer before the event, to make sure they are safe to compete at the event and that they comply with the Motorcycling NSW rules.
This all may seem a little daunting but becomes second nature after the first couple of times, and there is always plenty of help available on the day or prior if needed – you just have to ask.
> How does one join The Armidale Motorcycle Club?
To join the club, you can sign up on the day or head into Super Moto in Mann Street, Armidale, and they can sign you up. The club generally corresponds through email and all club contacts are available on the club website at www.amcc.asn.au
So if you’re looking for a challenge or just a ride, the Armidale Motor Cycle Club can accommodate you and give you a great time at one of their 11 events throughout the year. Who knows … you may be the next Chadd Reed or Casey Stoner! See you at the track.
> Thank you Greg.