“There is no sport that is more thrilling than motorcycling. The powerful little vehicles will give a man all the excitement he is able to meet.” – Elmira Star-Gazette, December 5, 1910
|Henderson motorcycle, early 1910s|
Elmira Motorcycle Club
By 1910, the Elmira Motorcycle Club was actively hosting events like winter rides for its members. At its annual meeting in January 1911, the club received 31 new applications for membership. The club was officially incorporated that year.
|J. M. Enyedy, Bertha Enyedy, Oscar Enyedy, and unknown woman with their Indian motorcycles, 1910s|
|Motorcyclists gathered by the Madison Avenue Bridge in Elmira|
|Motorcycle outing, 1910s|
I’m sure there is more to that story, but nothing else was reported about the club in the newspaper until 1920 when local motorcycle enthusiasts revived it. The magazine Motorcycle Enthusiast in Action reported that “riders of all makes of machines in the Elmira, N.Y. district are urged to join the Elmira Motorcycle Club just organized.” The rejuvenated club held races, hill climbs, secret time runs, fox chases, outings, and motoring tours until it disappeared from local newspapers again after 1927.
Chemung County Motorcycle Club
The constitution and bylaws of the Chemung County Motorcycle Club were first adopted January 1, 1930. Perhaps members of the Elmira Motorcycle Club rolled into the new county-wide club. The activities of the club were not well publicized in local newspapers until 1944. It hosted round and square dances in Elmira Heights and Breesport where members were encouraged to wear riding outfits. It also held corn and wiener roasts. And of course, it was involved in all types of motorcycle outings and races.
|Members of the Chemung County Motorcycle Club, c. 1940s|
|Presentation of the American Motorcycle Association’s safety award banner to the Chemung County Motorcycle Club, 1948|
|View of motorcycle racing from the grandstand at the fairgrounds, 1948|
|Professional motorcycle racing at the fairgrounds, late 1940s|