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An article on our centennial.

Mid-West Motorcycle Club: A Century of History

by Larry Lawrence

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The purpose of Mid-West Motorcycle Club is to promote the sport of motorcycling. We are multi-brand motorcycle club. Our American Motorcycle Association Charter number is 81.


Mid-West MC is the oldest motorcycle club in Indiana and one of the ten oldest in the United States.


Mid-West Motorcycle Club was founded in 1923 in the basement of John Morgan’s Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Shop at 701 S. Meridian Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. The founder, Ralph Moore, was an active member until his death in 1977.


Mid-West Motorcycle Club of Indianapolis was incorporated on April 5, 1923 in Indiana.  In the original incorporation submittal, the four directors responsible for the first year of operation were:  Louis Mayer, Ralph Kurtz, Lyman Baker, and Orlando R Ricketts.


From 1925 to 1938, Midwest held motorcycle hill climbs during the sport’s peak popularity. It attracted top riders from all over the country and drew thousands of spectators.


Early members included Ralph Moore, Rody Rodenburg, Ed Wray, John Wray, Dick Wray, Mike Wray, Rick Moore, Carvel Knapp, Harry Inman, Ed Renier, Earl Russell, and Harold Hazel. These members competed in road racing, flat track racing, scrambles, and motocross racing.

In 1935, Rody Rodenburg won the national Jacksonville 200 motorcycle race. In 1937, this race would become the Daytona 200. Rody is also remembered for his record setting transcontinental motorcycle ride from New York to Los Angeles June 17-20, 1936. He rode 3,305 miles in 71 hours 20 minutes.

Over the years, Mid-West MC has changed Indianapolis locations several times, from Delaware Street, Massachusetts Avenue, East 10th Street, to Chase Street. In 1942, Mid-West purchased property on South Harding Street and built the cement block building which houses the Club today.


Through the years, Mid-West MC has promoted many different motorcycling events including the Six Hills Courses at Stones Crossing, Hillclimbs at Waverly, short track races at the Kitley Avenue Speedrome, and dirt track races at the Indiana State Fair Grounds.


In the 1950s to the 1960s, Mid-West MC sponsored flat track races at Oaklandon at Walter McCord’s track. Mid-West MC organized the T.T. Races in Fortville, Indiana and later the Moto-Cross Races.


In 2000 and 2001, Mid-West MC worked with the City of Indianapolis in promoting, coordinating and executing the World Police and Fire Games Street Motorcycling events. They included Street (Road) Enduro and Street Field Events.


Since 1983, Mid-West MC has promoted a Swap Meet at the Marion County Fairgrounds.  In 2021, the swap meet was moved to Hendricks Co Fairgrounds.


On New Year’s Day, Mid-West MC organizes the Hangover Rally, a charity event benefiting Damar Services. Damar is a home for mentally and physically challenged children and young adults. The Hangover Rally started with 6 riders 1982 and had 973 riders in 2006. Mid-West has been working with Damar Services since 2000 and has raised over $150,000. Mid-West MC has also sponsored motorcycle rides for the Damar children. It has become a big event for the children.  Mid-West MC was honored to receive the 2019 Remarkable Volunteer Award from Damar Services.


In 2012 and 2013, Mid-West MC promoted Motorcycle and ATV Flat Track Racing at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds.

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