“Giving Something Back”
The Motorcycling Amateur Radio Club — or more commonly referred to simply as “MARC” — combines the love of motorcycle riding with the powerful capability and convenience of two-way amateur radio. Members donate their time and effort to provide communications at selected charity events in their chapter regions.
“Motorcycle Mobile” – The Beginning
The roots of our organization go back to the year 1992, when several motorcycle owners in southern California began wondering if it wasn’t possible to combine their love of riding with their interest in amateur radio communications. While Citizen’s Band (CB) radio was already being used, it was limited both in reliability and distance and always subject to interruptions. They realized that amateur radio, because of it’s licensing requirements, increased bandwidth and equipment options, might increase their overall capability.
Much to their surprise, their idea appeared to be a novel one, as there was little or no literature or information available on the topic.
Undaunted, the desire to find a solution and become “motorcycle mobile” caused them to begin experimenting with different combinations and variations of radio equipment to find the “optimum” solution. Some ideas, by today’s standards, would seem almost silly. But, these pioneers steadfastly refused to give in to failure, and they kept on.
“School of Hard Knocks”
True, there were failures. They spent countless dollars and hundreds of hours searching for the best solutions in antenna selection and performance, radio installation and still maintaining a steady focus of safe operations. One might just say they informally created the “MARC University” focusing on the “school of hard knocks” as their primary course offering!!
It takes failure to appreciate success. And when success came, there was no one happier — or prouder — in the whole wide world than this band of amateur riders who simply wanted to talk while they rode. Simply put, they wanted to “ride their radios” around and enjoy the great outdoors.
“Motorcycle Mobile” – Today
Of course, innovations in radio technology and antenna design have had a dramatic impact on the design, installation and operations of motorcycle mobile configurations. Headsets have replaced hand microphones, radar detectors and cellular telephones are now common additions, and there is a much larger selection of antennas and two-way radio equipment.
Smaller, less expensive and more reliable, today’s amateur radio equipment not only provides an enjoyable ride for MARC members but allows them to communicate reliably over great distances. Amateur privileges means access to repeater capability, which extends the communications range of simplex or “bike-to-bike” transmissions.
The MARC Family
Thanks to those hard-headed pioneers of 1992, MARC membership now sports chapters outside California as well as several members outside United States. The international scope of MARC membership hasn’t changed the orientation of its members.
Of course, just like society at large, MARC members come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life. Meetings feature some adults masquerading as “big kids” and some “not so big kids” as well as some genuine “young people” who also enjoy the MARC family.
Want to witness the friendship and caring of MARC? Come to any monthly meeting and simply introduce yourself. Just have a motorcycle and no amateur license? It’s ok. Got an amateur license but no motorcycle? Same answer!!
MARC meetings are always friendly, normally held where really great-tasting food is available, with lots of really interesting, down-to-earth people who just want to “give something back” to those looking for a solution.