History of the Club
The Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club was organized and chartered with the American Motorcyclist Association in March 1948 with Charter #1279. Since that time, our membership has grown from 40 members to 320 members. This includes 47 Life Members and 30 social members
In May of 1948, a clubhouse was purchased. It was very crude - an old chicken house to be exact. The members literally raised the roof of the chicken house, so they could enter easier and stand up inside. William (Butch) Lineaweaver, Chester Hoch, Hen Gibble and Bill Stahl who at the time were all motorcycle dealers in the city, made the purchase of this building possible. The land located on South 22nd Street on the outskirts of Lebanon, PA, was leased and later purchased. After the land was purchased, Les Rhine, a social member of LVMC, supervised the LVMC members as they built a new two story clubhouse. In fact, they hand made the cement blocks used for construction of the building. Throughout the years, the clubhouse was periodically remodeled. In 1971, property adjacent to the clubhouse was purchased. This property included one acre of land and a small house. The purchase of the property improved our Lebanon facility by enabling us to connect to the city water supply and to expand our Lebanon clubhouse grounds. In 1980, the basement and kitchen were renovated making it more efficient. In 1985, the building was given a new look with an exterior renovation and new roof. The clubhouse is used for our weekly Friday night meetings, social events Celebrating 60 Years 1948 – 2008 and all LVMC road runs. The District 6 Sports Association also uses the clubhouse for their meetings. Bethel Grounds A 16-acre tract of land was purchased in 1961, near Bethel, Berks County, PA. During the summer of 1968, a $2,600 pavilion was built at this location providing an area where we can promote most any type of motorcycle event. The land is also used as a recreational area for picnics and camping for club members. Improvement and development of our Bethel grounds continued and in 1975 a well was drilled for running water. In 1976, an addition to the pavilion was completed and hot and cold running water was installed in the kitchen. In 1990, the pavilion was enclosed by roll up doors. A new dirt drag strip and starting pads were put in during 1971. Lights were installed to allow for night motorcycle drags, which proved to be very successful. In the late 70’s, due to declining attendance and the high electrical costs, LVMC decided to hold Sunday daytime drags rather than nighttime drags. In 1996, the decline in interest from riders brought an end to the drags at Bethel. In October 1972, LVMC sanctioned their first Moto Cross Event. The Moto Cross events also proved valuable and quite successful as many of our members participated in Moto Cross competition within District 6. For our members who did not compete, the events served as an incentive for them to get involved in club events and activities by helping in the kitchen, etc. Because the shale Moto Cross track was no longer used in competition, the Moto Cross races were discontinued in the 1980’s. The club holds an annual block shoot which was moved from the South 22nd Street Clubhouse to the Bethel Club ground in the early 70’s. It has grown to become a very successful event.
Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club members constantly strive to improve and promote the sport of motorcycling. Our club has received much good publicity by working with several local health organizations. We are proud of the fact that LVMC has been recognized and received awards over the past years from United Cerebral Palsy of Lebanon County for work done by our members in the UCP annual house to house campaign, “Hike to Help”, March of Dimes, Heart Walk and United Way Run. Mr. Henry Homan, announcer from our local station (WLBR/WQIC) has served as Master of Ceremonies at many of our annual club banquets and has given LVMC much favorable publicity on the air. In March of 1971, upon hearing that LVMC was chosen “Top Club”, Mr. Homan taped a telephone interview with the club secretary which was carried on the local news program. Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club also achieved the 1979 AMA Top Road/Off Road Club of the Year and was presented with a trophy during the Awards night held in Daytona Beach, Florida on March 6, 1980. Also in the past, we have had appearances of club officers on local television shows and radio broadcasts from WAHT radio mobile unit direct from a benefit event at the Bethel grounds. Lebanon Valley Cable TV did a videotape from LVMC Moto Cross and the tape was narrated and edited by LVMC members and Celebrating 60 Years 1948 – 2008, then shown on the cable company’s local channel. In 1975, the Central Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame held a salute dinner for Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club. At this dinner, a motorcyclist was inducted into the prestigious “Sports Hall of Fame”. This was the first in the history of the Central Chapter that a motorcyclist was honored, much less a motorcycle club saluted. A definite asset in LVMC efforts to obtain favorable publicity through the media was a blood donor project. The wife of a local radio announcer was badly injured in a motorcycle accident and LVMC members replaced many pints of blood even though the woman was not a member of LVMC. The club received recognition from the hospital blood bank and established a good rapport with the community. The LVMC has been successful due to the willingness of the members to become involved financially and by volunteering their time for various events and activities. The Future 2008 will surely see the sport of motorcycling grow as it has in the past ten years. Members of LVMC with its parent organization the American Motorcyclist Association and through affiliation with District 6 Sports Association will continue their efforts to establish motorcycling as “The Greatest Sport On Wheels” and to improve the image of the sport of motorcycling and clubs.
Motorcycle Club Elects J. Herman White was elected President of the recently organized Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club, at a meeting Thursday evening at Brandywine Hall. John Ritter was elected secretary, and Calvin Heilman referee. The nucleus of the club was formed some weeks ago but organization was deferred. There were thirty motorcyclists at the meeting Thursday evening and it was decided to make application at once for a charter under the American Motorcycle Association.
Lebanon Daily News - April 1948
New Motorcycle Club Receives Its Charter The newly organized Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club held its second meeting last night at 1204 King Street, Avon, and received its charter from the American Motorcycle Association, officially recognizing the group as an A.M.A. Club. J. Herman White, president, was in charge of the meeting and James J. Achenbach was elected as club road captain. Plans were discussed for obtaining a club house and for securing new members. Efforts are being made to promote good will for motorcyclists and to promote organized club activities. Following the meeting, Road Captain Achenbach led the group on a short ride.
Lebanon Daily News - April 1948