Property Type: Institutional
Neighborhood: Foothills  |  County: Ada  |  Building Status: Private, Threatened  |  Year Built: 1946  |  Architectural Style: n/a
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Established in 1946, the property is significant at the statewide level for its role in the development of the sport of off-road motorcycle racing in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. Formed in 1935 and incorporated in 1940, OMC was the first motorcycle club in Idaho to charter with the American Motocyclist Association (AMA), and it is the oldest, continuously operating club in the state. Throughout its storied history, OMC was a fixture on the circuit of most top motorcycle racers in the region and developed local talent into professional, hall-of-fame caliber racers. OMC has hosted Idaho State Championships, Northwest Tourist Trophy (NWTT) races, and early and significant motocross events, including the 1972 Inter-AM motocross when Gary Jones became the first American to win overall in an international motocross event held in America. The club’s 1975 TT race weekend featured Diane Cox in her debut season as the country’s first female racer to earn an AMA Expert dirt track license. Races at OMC were – and still are – regularly promoted and covered in AMA’s American Motorcycling magazine and other widely circulated publications like Cycle News and Racer X. OMC’s property is a collection of natural and built features that reflect the evolution of the organization, the influence of changing motorcycle technology, and the growth and development of motorcycle racing over the last eight decades. While the property continues in its original function as a motorcycle riding, racing, and social club, the property’s period of significance spans the years 1946 to 1975 in order to encompass the various types of off-road racing as well as significant race events of the early and mid-1970s.

The Owyhee Motorcycle Club traces its roots to May 1935 when seven men gathered to form the Western Rambles Club. They held their first meeting in a park in Caldwell. Mike Gamble, of Payette, was the club’s first president, and the other six members were Don Gamble (Payette), Francis “Lefty” Johnson (Caldwell), Cliff Younger (Caldwell), George Dusenberry (Weiser), Charley Hughes (Nampa), and Roland “Hap” Hatfield (Nampa). By September 1936, the members had renamed the group the Owyhee Motorcycle Club. A second club based in Nampa – the Silver Sprocket Motorcycle Club – formed in this period, too. Within months of forming, the club was inviting the public to watch some of its 30 members compete in hillclimbing contests and races in and around the Boise area. Club members also hosted entertainment in the form of games like “caveman soccer” – in which a dozen mounted riders tried to break the balloons tied to their opponents’ caps by swatting them with rolled up newspapers – and trick riding exhibitions. The club hosted events during its first 11 years when it did not own property at Boise’s Riverside Park, the fairgrounds, the city’s softball field on South Eighth Street, the American Legion’s golf course at the north end of Seventh Street, and in the hills at the foot of North Eleventh Street. Daytrips and longer excursions involving both men and women riders were popular in the early years of the club. In 1937, for example, club members joined other area motorcyclists on a tour to Yellowstone. Among the participants were Don and Mabel Gamble (and their daughter), Bob Clausen, and George Dusenberry. Of the original club members, Don Gamble and Charley Hughes were among the five who filed the club’s incorporation papers in March 1940. Club histories credit Ardis Breiman, the wife of member Bill Brieman, with handling all of the incorporation and charter paperwork. The stated purpose of the non-profit corporation, which has changed very little in its 82-year history, was
(a) to promote the use of motorcycles for recreational and pleasure purposes…
(b) to cooperate with all law enforcement officers in the enforcement of all motor vehicle and traffic laws,
ordinances and regulations…
(c) to promote the proper use of highways and to encourage the proper maintenance and construction of
the state highways…
(d) to affiliate or associate with other similar associations or organizations of a state or national kind…
(e) to purchase, hold, convey, mortgage and encumber real and personal property…
(f) to organize, promote and advertise safety and educational campaigns in the use of the highways of
this state, especially in the use of motorcycles and similar vehicles thereon…
(g) to carry on and promote any undertakings which are calculated directly or indirectly to promote the
interests of this association.

The OMC was remarkably varied in its purpose, and its broad scope likely is what attracted members. The success and strength of the club, then and now, is rooted in this wide-ranging purpose that emphasizes social events among members and their families as well as connections with the greater Boise community – in addition to racing and riding. Key to their early success was chartering as the 351st organization of the AMA, a long-held designation that recently earned the club recognition as an AMA Historic Club. This charter further legitimized the organization not only by elevating the club’s name among top riders and enthusiasts, but also by sanctioning and insuring races and guaranteeing minimum safety standards.

Wartime disruptions following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941 forced the club to pause its planned activities as its membership declined to 35. Just one OMC-sponsored activity was advertised to the public during World War II – a “thrill show” with rider Elmer Smith performing a “flaming loop jump [and a] board wall crash” at Boise’s Riverside Park. The disruptions easily could have spelled the end for the OMC, but the club emerged from the war years hardly missing a beat. They hosted their first post-war meet at Riverside Park on March 3, 1946.

Following the election of new officers in January 1946, OMC resumed many of the same pre-war activities that had been halted. The club was attempting to gain back the membership it had when they were forced to discontinue activities during the war. In March 1946 OMC president Phil Lowder said, “We now have a membership of 53 and it’s growing all the time.” They also started sending riders to participate and compete in races around the region. That year, they sent 25 riders to participate in the annual Yellowstone Park Run, an event that often drew between 300 and 500 riders.28 Several riders represented OMC in races at Weiser, where there was a quarter-mile banked dirt track, and at the Jerome County Fairgrounds on their half-mile dirt track. The club boasted that member Vern Waits was the proud owner of the bike that won the 1940 national10- and 25-mile dirt speed record in southern California. As interest in organized track racing and off-road riding grew among OMC members, the club sought a property for purchase where they could host races and social activities. Having their own property would give members a safe place to race and ride without the noise and speed of the motorcycles disturbing the public. On behalf of the club, Don and Mabel Gamble purchased an 80-acre tract just north of Boise from C.H. and Bonnie Powell in November 1946. It is believed that the property previously had been used as ranchland. The property appealed to the club for several reasons, including its hilly terrain, the impressive variety of areas for riding, its rural setting, and its proximity to Boise since members came from the surrounding communities of Emmett, Mountain Home, Nampa, and Payette. The property, also known as Peaceful Cove, included two small buildings, one of which functioned as a residence for the ranch hand. This became OMC’s first clubhouse.

Within months of the purchase, OMC built a quarter-mile dirt track and hosted its first advertised races at the club grounds on June 15, 1947. A crowd of 500 gathered to see riders from the Boise Valley and Washington compete in eight events. Boisean and OMC member Buzz Chaney won the 30-lap feature race. The following month, OMC hosted a 15-event field meet that included both men’s and women’s relays and cross-country, obstacle, and flat races. It was reported that 85 members competed in the events. Social events for club members included Family Fun Days potluck meals and all sorts of games on motorcycles, such as blind-folded riding with a partner who navigated, balloon popping contests, etc..

These early events and activities were important in reinforcing OMC’s public image as a social and sport club whose members were men, women, and families, and also in setting the tone and expectation for future events and for generations of riders. Moreover, they set a standard of family participation in activities –as riders and volunteers – that is still strong today. During this period in the late 1940s, public perceptions of motorcycle riders were increasingly influenced by the outlaw persona promoted in movies, popular culture, and in the news media. A wave of violence among outlaw motorcycle riders in Riverside and Hollister, California, in the summer of 1948 further influenced the public nationwide as well as in Boise. OMC’s publicity director Bill Thompson said in response: We’re not a menace to anyone. I want to point this out especially in view of what went on a few days ago at Riverside, Cal., where outlaw riders rioted. Our club is a member of the American Motorcycle association [sic], and we are fighting reckless drivers every way possible. Our organization is governed by strict regulations which prohibit fas [sic] driving. All our speeding is done on a race track, and we obey all traffic regulations. To counter these perceptions among Boiseans, OMC hosted races to benefit community causes, invited the participation of women and children at the club grounds, and invited “menace” teens using Boise streets for racing to come hot rod out at OMC’s track. A women’s auxiliary boasted 10 members in 1949, and early women riders included Pat Kelly, Evelyn Clay, Dolreta Flood, Bett Breser, and Mrs. Vern Waits. Other active women members were Ruth Fitzgerald and Anita Lee. During this period beginning in the late 1940s, the club hosted races about monthly between March and November to which the public was often invited. Despite having virtually no visitor amenities, races drew increasing numbers of spectators. One race event in June 1950 featured 29 riders and drew an estimated 1,000 spectators, including Idaho Governor C. A. Robins, who was on hand to present a trophy to Harlan Wood for winning the main event. By 1960, race spectators at one event had reached 2,000. During this period – from the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s – OMC hosted a variety of races that consisted of poker runs, turkey runs, scrambles (an early form of motocross), hill climbs, and track races. Race activities took place all over the property. They hosted hill climbs on the upper grass track trails, which were a real draw for area riders. Hill climbs had been a favorite activity among riders going back to the earliest days of motorcycles in Boise and remained a cornerstone activity of OMC. Around 1950, OMC began hosting state championship races, which continued for many years.

In 1954, OMC hosted its first Northwest Tourist Trophy (NWTT) race weekend, an event held every year through 1993 that featured the Northwest’s top races. The club’s TT Weekend grew to one of the biggest such races in the region, putting OMC on the racing map and eventually attracting professional riders who were chasing points on the national schedule. Prize money also entered the picture in the 1950s, with prizes going for as much as $500 and $1,000. Typical of other clubs with dirt tracks, OMC regularly built and rebuilt its flat tracks to accommodate new race events. Importantly, different track configurations were run depending on the type of race. In 1951, the club built a new one-third mile track in the property’s west valley to allow for more flat-track races. In 1958, the club “revamped its three-eighths of a mile track,” which presumably was the same west valley track. As the TT races grew in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, the west valley oval track was modified to incorporate a small jump and a right turn. As interest in flat-track racing gave way to motocross in the 1980s and 1990s, this track was modified to an arenacross course.50 All the while, the club continued using its natural steep sandhills for its hill climb races.

Beginning in the early 1960s, OMC began to develop the south-central and southeast parts of the property to accommodate member gatherings and basic spectator accommodations. In 1963, Bob Lawrence built a new clubhouse for the organization, which still stands and continues to function as a clubhouse. It replaced OMC’s first clubhouse that had been located near today’s starting area. A concessions building was located near the new (second) clubhouse. Among those who raced regularly at OMC grounds from the late 1940s through the early 1960s were Grant Bushong, Buzz Chaney, Walt Culver, Joe Lopez, Dean McIndoo, Glen Nyborg, Vern Waits, Bob Watson, and Harlan Wood. Among these, Chaney, Lopez, and Wood were nationally ranked in the late 1940s and 1950s, and competed at top races in California and elsewhere. Riders from throughout Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington regularly raced at OMC, as well. By the mid-1960s, OMC was a fixture on the circuit of most top motorcycle racers in the Pacific Northwest and Inland Empire. The club’s races were regularly promoted in AMA’s monthly magazine American Motorcycling, among other publications, which also elevated its status among racers and enthusiasts. OMC’s stellar oval dirt tracks visited by so many during the annual TT Weekends not only drew top-notch riders, but also developed local race talent like Mert Lawwill into professional, hall-of-fame caliber racers.

This era was the heyday of flat-track racing at OMC and in the U.S. Another type of race that was extremely popular in Europe was about to take the U.S. and OMC by storm. Moto-cross (with a hyphen, as the Europeans preferred) is an off-road motorcycle race on natural terrain laid out on an enclosed circuit, making it especially appealing to spectators who can see most of the course from a single location. Not only was motocross “a race against the other man, but even more it’s man’s battle against the course itself.” The Boise motorcycle community immediately took note. In 1967, classified ads began appearing regularly in the Idaho Daily Statesman for “moto-cross” bikes manufactured by Ducati, Honda, Husqvarna, and Maico. The first advertised “moto-cross” races held locally were hosted by the Boise Jaycees at Seaman’s Gulch on Sunday, April 27, 1969, just before OMC opened its 1969 season. OMC held its first advertised “moto-cross scramble” on May 27, 1969, and that year’s schedule was changed from previous years to include regular motocross events on alternating weeks. TT and motocross events were also advertised together, further suggesting the popularity of the new sport was rising. Although flat-track racing and the TT Big Weekends remained a fixture at OMC for many years to come, the influence of European motocross had on OMC cannot be overstated. The very same sandhills that first appealed to OMC founders now attracted the attention of national and international race organizers who were riding the wave of interest in motocross. OMC sat poised to host some of the sport’s biggest events as it gained a foothold in the U.S. In 1971, the AMA selected OMC to host round two of its second-annual Trans-AMA motocross, a series of pilot events to help motocross gain a foothold in the U.S. OMC was one of 12 sites selected and the only one in the Pacific Northwest. It was the second stop of the series and came with an $8,000 purse. The list of riders read like “a who’s who in motorcycle riding,” including Europeans Joël Robert and Roger DeCoster from Belgium; Torlief Hansen, Bengt Aberg, Ake Jonsson, Arne Kring, Christer Hamergren, and Uno Palm from Sweden; Vlastimil Valek from Czechoslovakia; Dave Nichol and John Banks from England; and Heike Mikkola from Finland. Top American riders included Bill Clements, John DeSoto, Bill Lackey, and Gary Jones.

Boiseans and brothers Bill and Mike Uhl designed a 2.8-mile course for the event, using “every bump and jump available on the grounds,” including the enormous sandhill. Indeed, the big sandhill stole the show. Swedish racer Torlief Hansen, who placed third at the event, said of the sandhill, “We don’t have downhills like that. If we have one that long, it’s not made of sand.”  Under the headline “Belgium Invades Boise,” Cycle News’ David Swift described the Uhls’ course at OMC like this: Gawd, that downhill. Peaceful Valley’s bombastic number was 450 feet of sand, tilted to about 90 per cent. The riders loved it; in fact they loved the whole course. Many Europeans tend to be quite pointed on the subject of American courses but for the most part, they jammed on this one…Mike Uhl and some friends worked for days without sleep to hold the event for the Owyhee MC. Good show. It had organization without regimentation…The track showed imagination and consideration for riders and spectators alike. Video clips of the event illustrate the challenge riders faced in the climbs, jumps, and turns. The Uhls even integrated the one-eighth-mile track and the shallow-running creek in the southeast portion of the property into the course. The Uhls – and their father Herb Uhl, a motorcycle dealer and racer in Boise in the 1950s and 1960s – were well-known among the European racers and likely played a role in attracting the event and so many top riders to OMC. Bill was an excellent off-road rider, earning international fame when he scored gold at the 1969 International Six Days Trials (ISDT; today’s International Six Days Enduro), the world’s largest annual off-road motorcycle competition that traverses challenging terrain over six grueling days.67 Bill remained a top rider at the ISDT through the 1970s and was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 2007. Uhl returned to OMC to compete in races during the height of his career and also designed courses and trails. In 1974, the Uhls designed and built the jump that Evel Knievel used in his failed attempt to leap the mile-wide Snake River Canyon at Twin Falls, Idaho.

The Europeans, who dominated motocross during that era, took the top six spots at the Trans-AMA race at OMC, with Belgian Sylvain Geboers finishing first. As evidence of the event’s success, many of these same top European and American riders returned to Boise for the 1972 Inter-AM motocross, a series of six races held in the U.S., with the first round held at OMC.  The year 1972 marked the beginning of the stand-alone American motocross championship, and the six Inter-AM events that year would also count toward the AMA NationalChampionship.

Top racers at the OMC event included Torstein Hallman, Torlief Hansen, Arne Kring, and Hakan Andersson from Sweden; Dave Bickers from England; and John DeSoto, Bob Grossi, Gary Jones, Brad Lackey, and Jim Weinert from the U.S. It is not known who designed or built the course for this race, although it may have been the Uhls again. As usual, the big downhill was a centerpiece of the event. Buzz Baty’s account in Cycle News called it “a real crowd pleaser,” and “one hell of a course for the riders, in particular that long, steep, sandy downhill, 450 feet long, and set at 40 to 45 degrees.” An estimated 3,500 spectators were on hand to see America’s top rider Californian Gary Jones become the first American to win overall in an international motocross event held in America . Torsten Hallman, four-time world champion, came in second, and third place went to Dave Bickers. Baty reported that the Yamaha-mounted Jones “thrashed ‘em, smoked ‘em, blew ‘em in the weeds,” and that “no one could get close enough to Gary to even challenge him.” Jones ultimately won four American 250 national motocross championships between 1971 and 1974, and with his victory over the Europeans at OMC in 1972, “Jones was at the leading edge of the coming American storm” in motocross racing. Still today, Jones is a familiar name in the world of motocross, and the trophy for the 250 National Championship is called the Gary Jones Cup.

There is little doubt that OMC’s big sandhill and rugged terrain put the club on the national and international racing map, especially among motocross racers. These early and significant motocross events at OMC in 1971 and 1972 attracted the attention of great racers for years. For example, AMA Hall of Fame racer Bob Hannah first raced at OMC in November 1981 when he was on top of the sport. Event promotions described the fivetime national champion as the “American King of motocross.” Hannah recently recalled: In the late 60s and 70s, when I heard that both Roger [DeCoster] and Joël Robert (6x World Champion) had been coming to the States and raced at OMC, I thought there must be something to this place. It was unheard of to have riders of that caliber race at an amateur level track. When I first raced at OMC I realized it was way better than your average local track. The drive and view into the place looks the same to menow as it had back then. The composition of the soil was fantastic, but also portions of the track that had very rugged terrain, like the big sand hill. Rugged features like that gave guys like me an advantage over even the best riders in Idaho. That hill definitely brings back memories and even earned a nickname after me, ‘Hannah’s Hill. I remember looking up and seeing that hill and thinking this was where I would pass people. I remember one race where a local Idaho rider was bragging about how he was going to beat me this time. He was leading the race for a time. I passed him on that downhill and he crashed on it pretty good! I loved that hill because I could just wait and pass everyone there. A hill like that separated the men from the boys. I also remember riding under the bridge where people were standing all around and gawking at us! I don’t even think they were supposed to be standing on the bridge. There were spectators walking around everywhere and all over the hills, just like at a GP race. What struck me as so special about the place, besides the terrain, was how nice everyone was and what real enthusiasts they had as part of the club. These were big shot guys competing in Europe, like Billy Uhl, who is also in the Hall of Fame. They knew what they were doing and it is pretty amazing they could build a track that drew in worldand national level riders.

Hannah’s mastery of the big sandhill was legendary and unlike anything accomplished by riders before him. The towering sandhill has been nicknamed Hannah’s Hill since the 1980s. Hannah visited OMC again and again, and he helped OMC raise money by conducting motocross riding schools. His story and those of subsequent riders who he inspired are further examples of the lasting influence of those early motocross events and also the enduring draw of the rugged hills at OMC. In addition to motocross, OMC continued to host its mainstay events, often in conjunction with motocross races. The club opened the 1973 season with another successful weekend of flat-track, TT, and motocross races. Some 3,000 were on hand to see OMC’s largest-ever-assembled field (at the time) for the motocross, with 298 entrants ranging from beginner to semi-pro in 11 divisions. Later the same year, OMC hosted the Idaho State Championship races, with 125 motocross riders and 75 flat-track riders. The motocross again seemed to steal the show, according to Marty Gregory’s account in Cycle News: The exciting short track had to take a backseat, however, to the knobby-tired freakos who dominated Sunday’s semi-pro motocross…Traction was totally outasight and wheelies up the ‘club house hill’ were the order of the day. Pat McCurdy and his radio boys brought their KBBK van and set up shop for the entire day to do a remote broadcast.

The Big TT Weekends remained a feature of the club’s annual calendar but also incorporated a motocross event. The 1974 event drew more than 500 racers and upwards of 10,000 spectators over three days. The Friday-evening races took place on the one-eighth-mile short track. OMC’s own Lew Alter Jr. “rode his heart out on his Astro to wind up fourth” in the 250 Expert class. Saturday featured the motocross races, and they had to run qualifier rounds due to the overwhelming rider turnout. Of these races, Marty Gregory reported, “The Experts were running down the infamous ‘sand hill’ and many casualties were inflicted on bikes, bodies, and nerves. The ‘balls’ factor is what gets you to gas it when you make the turn at the top and head for the bottom.” Sunday’s feature event was the 20th annual TT race, which held a new important meaning in 1974. For the very first in OMC history, Boise’s biggest race had the designation of being an AMA Regional event, meaning racers could compete at a national level within their geographic region.

Over 150 riders participated in the TT, with the Expert class featuring a ‘who’s who’ of TT racing, like Dick Mann, Mert Lawwill, Sonny Burres, Gary Scott, Randy Scott, Mark Williams, and John Hately. With the AMA’s regional designation, the TT weekends grew into an even bigger event in the 1970s and 1980s because it was held in late April and was among the first races on the schedule. As club member Rodney Reynolds, who raced in the 1980s, put it: East of us was usually still under snow, and Oregon and Washington were still in their rainy season. So, all of the racers with cabin fever would show up in Boise to kick off the season. It also helped that we had one of the most popular tracks in the country, every racer loved the Boise TT! It was on everybody’s list; our race was an event [with] 4 days of racing for one trip. They raced the one-eighth-mile oval track on Thursday night, the TT on Friday night, motocross on Saturday, and the Big US Western Regional TT on Sunday. He continued: Pro racers had three to four races they could win purse money at. In 1984, I was a young Pro racer who rode flat track and motocross so I was able to race all four days. I was able finish on the podium Thursday ST, Friday TT, Saturday MX (threw in a Prom Saturday night) and win the Regional TT on Sunday. It was a very nice pay weekend for a 17-year-old. I was able to fund most of my racing for the rest of the season with my winnings. Most of the racers traveling to Boise’s TT weekend had this same goal, to bring home as much of the available purse as possible. We had huge rider turnouts from all over the country.

OMC’s 1975 Big TT Weekend was worthy of the extra news coverage it received. Among the familiar names of Mert Lawwill, Dick Mann, and Mark Williams entered in the Sunday TT race was 18-yearold Diane Cox from Salem, Oregon. The AMA had only begun allowing women to compete in AMA races in1971. Cox began the season as the first female racer to earn an AMA Expert dirt track license, and she was the country’s only expert female racer when she raced at OMC a few months after her expert debut. While her performance at OMC was disappointing, she became a seasoned racer, competing into the late 1970s at the “top of the lightweight ranks throughout the Pacific Northwest’s ovals and TT tracks.” Her success did not translate into sponsorships, but she was popular among fans and even appeared in the television show “Battle of the Sexes” in 1977 and 1978. While women had been an integral part of OMC’s success for many years, Cox’s participation in the 1975 Sunday TT race elevated women into the ranks of the top racers competing at OMC.

The aforementioned races of the early 1970s are key snapshots of the many high-profile and mainstay events at OMC. Behind these events was an active club membership that kept everything running and in good shape. A coalition of volunteers – often entire families – ran the club’s activities. In his reporting of the 1973 Idaho State Championship races, Marty Gregory spoke of this club atmosphere: “The Owyhee Club’s races are always a family-oriented program and the State Championships were certainly no exception. Take the Lees for example, Howard Lee ran the starts while wife Nita played paperwork in the clubhouse and sons Randy, Ronnie, Denny, and Dale raced.” Several member families participated in similar ways. Families devoted so much of their time to the club – as volunteer officers, grounds keepers, event hosts, etc. – and to recognize these contributions, OMC began presenting Lew Alter Sr. Man of the Year and Georgia Alter Woman of the Year awards to deserving club members in 1967 and 1974, respectively. Just like the Lees, Georgia and Lewis Alter became involved when their son Lew Alter Jr. began racing. Lew Sr. contributed much of the iron work that went into constructing the pedestrian bridge and the bleachers. Georgia recalled in 1990 how she had been “working around OMC for many years,” including cooking for the concession stands and working the gate.

The buzz of high-profile activity and larger crowds at OMC in the late 1960s and 1970s resulted in improvements to the property geared at spectators. The first concessions building was constructed in the late 1960s. The club built a pedestrian bridge ca. 1970 to facilitate safer circulation of spectators around the summer track. Additionally, a score tower was built at the TT track in the west valley in about 1965, and radio and loudspeaker broadcasts of races were now commonplace at OMC.

The Legacy of OMC
Since the late 1960s, motocross and off-road racing have dominated activity at OMC. The club rode this wave of popularity around off-road racing to evolve into the thriving and active club it is today. They never let up following those major events of the early- and mid-1970s. The club held Idaho’s first supercross race on May 8, 1982, and it is the only club in Idaho to host a round of both the Inter-AM Vintage races and Old Timer’s races. Today, it is the only motorcycle club in Idaho with a dedicated trials riding area, which is designed to test a rider’s ability to navigate off-road obstacles. OMC remains an all-volunteer organization with 200 active member-families. With a long history of family involvement, the club’s membership is multi-generational, with some families represented by three and four generations. Among the club’s elected leadership is Sandra Forst, who serves as the treasurer, was OMC’s first female president in 2012, and is the great-granddaughter of co-founders Don and Mabel Gamble. The club routinely welcomes race legends – such as Mert Lawwill and Bob Hannah – to participate in activities as a way to honor and celebrate OMC’s history. Recently, the greater Boise community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the classic motorcycle film On Any Sunday with an event at the Egyptian Theatre featuring Mert Lawwill. The club also hosted the 50th Annual Boise Inter-AM Vintage Race at which it celebrated the 50th anniversary of Gary Jones’ historic motocross victory at OMC. The annual vintage race weekend has become the club’s biggest event of the year. In its 1990 50th anniversary retrospective booklet, OMC claimed to have “put on approximately 1,000 races,” and many more can be added to this tally. In recognition of its long and storied history, the AMA awarded OMC a 75-year historic club certificate in 2021.


Text above from the OMC National Register of Historic Places Registration Form

The OMC is the only motorcycle club in America to receive this designation! It is currently under threat from surrounding development and property owners.

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Pictures by Doug Stan and contributed by the OMC