Giving Something Back
The Motorcycling Amateur Radio Club (or “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. The MARC group is open to members without a motorcycle or a ham radio. There are many roles we provide during our events.
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 was 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 by 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 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 so 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, while maintaining a steady focus on safe operations. One might 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 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 to entire regions.
The MARC Family
Thanks to those hard-headed pioneers of 1992, MARC membership now sports chapters outside California as well as several members outside the 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 a meeting and simply introduce yourself. Don’t have a motorcycle or an amateur license? It’s OK! We have support vehicles on the routes and need net control operators. We can also dispatch by cell phone. It all works.
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.
We believe membership in MARC is like no other organization you are associated or affiliated with. Each one of our meetings is like a “grand homecoming” where you meet old friends, meet new friends, and just have a good time.