OREGON'S OLDEST AMA CHARTERED ROAD CLUB
Club Members Making A Difference
On a rainy Saturday in March about 20 Washington County motorcyclists took a ride that ended with 11 of them giving blood to the American Red Cross.
It was the second charity activity of the month for the 200 member Washington County chapter of ABATE (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments). The cyclists’ group is politically active with regard to laws that affect motorcycling.
But they are also involved in charitable activities "to show the public we 're not the image that is portrayed in movies - rough and tough and outlaws," said Julian Ramirez of Beaverton, who couldn't donate blood because he is diabetic, but rode along for support.
Earlier in March, Ramirez and other chapter members took a bike trip that ended with a big donation to the Washington County Sheriff s Buddy Bear program.
"Next will be highway cleanups," said Perri Combs-Tabor, a Harley-Davidson owner and self described soccer mom from Raleigh Hills who joined the group at Ramirez’ urging.
|Copy of article Making A Difference by Jill Smith from The Oregonian dated April 17, 2003|
Char Messinger was hell-bent on riding her own motorcycle since she was two years old, and had her first ride on a '47 Indian. When told she could ride it when she was able to kick start it, she never gave up until that happened.
Now, motorcycles are a large part of her life. She has been President of the Rose City Motorcycle Club, Portland area, for the past 10 years. She is still a lady that can make things happen. Rose City is Oregon's oldest AMA Chartered Road Club, has over 250 members, and a yearly calendar packed full of exciting and challenging events.
Char and her hubby, John, keep busy planning and organizing all the activities and fund raisers that make this club so popular. A Board of Directors takes care of business requirements, so that monthly meetings focus on what the members like to do best - ride. There are few rules, any brand of motorcycle is welcome; owning one isn't even mandatory. With Char's background in computer data warehousing, and related talents, the club's communication network runs smoothly, including fast sign in processing at events. With usually 500-1,000+ participants ready to roll, it's a good thing.
The Rose City Oregon 250 held in April, raises thousands of much needed dollars for the National Kidney Foundation, and fills emergency food banks with tons of food. Char can bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened biker when she speaks of the smiles on the faces of disadvantaged children when they receive candy and toys, and how they can go to school clean and well fed through the efforts of the club.
Someone doesn't want to contribute a little time? They may get a personal pep talk from Char. No one wants that. There is the Rose City Oregon 500 in May, a tour rally, and the Western States 1,000 in June, a 2-day jaunt.
You can be sure Char and John have scouted the most scenic and fun to ride routes, as well as planned a catered dinner and many incentive prizes. This year the "500" is celebrating its 30th year with a special prize: 3 days at Banff with $1,000 spending money.
Char enjoys long rides. With her cheery smile, and long blond braid down her back, she loves to take twisty logging roads on her 2000 Honda GW GL1500 SE. "I ride the Gold Wing like it's a sport bike." She and John, on his matching white Gold Wing often get away for trips on their own, to do some exploring, camping, and fishing. Their most memorable trip was when they did some cruising around Australia on rented bikes in 1999- 2000. They welcomed the new century by watching the sunrise on the Tasmanian Sea on the NE coast of Tasmania, an island near Australia.
Many clubs now have a Grand Tour event, but Rose City MC came up with the idea 27 years ago. It is held from April 1 to September 30, with 15 in state and 4 out of state check points required for completion. With special prizes and a banquet at the end, this Grand Tour gives everyone challenging destinations during the riding season. Under Char's leadership, with her vision for the club of a friendly group, concerned with their community, enjoying a family involved sport, and promoting motorcycle safety, the club has prospered. Best of all, the members get to ride a lot in good company, with many great rides to look forward to. Char Messinger is a legend in the making.
New web site: www.rose-city-mc.org
Copy of article Rider Profile by Janga from Full Throttle Magazine dated Jan., 2003