Columbus Area Vintage Motorcycle Group expands activity with AMA charter
May 6, 2022
By Keaton Maisano
In the beginning, there was a love for vintage motorcycles.
At least that’s where the story of the Columbus Area Vintage Motorcycle Group begins.
Built on a passion and appreciation for vintage motorcycles, the Facebook group was created to promote the monthly Nutter Hardware Vintage Motorcycle Night in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Now years later, the group — whose members organize rides, gatherings, swap-meets and much more — received its AMA charter in 2022 to further the experiences it can provide for its vintage-loving members.
“We don’t have a president and treasurer. We’re not a 501(c),” said Dennis Moore, who was the catalyst for the formation of the group. “We’re just a Facebook group and we want to keep it that way.”
While the group maintained its laidback and loose nature, the AMA charter provided the group with the opportunity to hold a monthly gathering at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.
“The whole idea behind having that event there is we did not have a weekend event,” Moore said. “This will be an opportunity for [those busy during the week] to partake in a group event at a really cool place.”
In April, the group held the first monthly gathering at the museum. Participants will gather on the third Sunday of each month at the museum for coffee and kickstands before going for a ride.
“Not only do we like to show up, show our bikes and talk to people about our bikes, but we also like to ride,” said group member Warren Olds. “[The museum meetup] will include a nice ride.”
Although increasing its activity, the group has largely stayed true to its humble beginnings — which can be traced back more than half a decade.
In 2015, Moore met Chuck Nutter, owner of Nutter Hardware, and suggested putting on a bike night. This piqued Nutter’s interest, and the event, which now attracts 60-100 bikes each month, was born.
“That’s where the seeds of the Facebook page got started,” Moore said. “I came to realize that a good way to promote something like a bike night is through Facebook.”
The Columbus Area Vintage Motorcycle Group on Facebook formed around two years after the start of the monthly bike nights on May 9, 2017. Since its creation, the Facebook group has flourished into a group nearly 2,000 members strong.
Olds said the group is a collection of riders of all ages and backgrounds.
“It is not required to be a vintage bike owner to be in the group,” Moore said. “You just have to have an interest in vintage bikes.”
While Moore said not every member in the group is active, he estimated there were around 100 members in the Columbus area that participate in the in-person events put on by the group.
“[The group] has spawned a lot of hops, which are short-distance rides,” Moore said. “It’s a good excuse to get that bike out of the garage and yet you’re not spending four to five hours on a ride. Those are very popular.”
Some of the past destinations of the short hops include the Early Television Museum and the Rice Paddy Motorcycles salvage yard. At the end of May, the group plans to ride to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in downtown Columbus.
Not brand or type specific, the group welcomes everything from vintage mopeds to big cruisers and everything in between.
“We’ll take anybody in that owns just about anything,” Moore said, “even something they make up in their garage.”
While the bikes are what bring the members together, Moore said the true power of the group comes from the individuals that have created a positive community.
“This group has embraced the idea of respect for one another,” Moore said. “And then everything that happens after that is good.”
The good that comes from the group can be seen in the help it offers strangers.
In one instance, Moore said an individual asked him for help finding a place to tune up an ‘80s Honda Magna before his veterans riding group raffled it off to help Children’s Hospital.
Moore asked on the Columbus Area Vintage Motorcycle Group page, and Mobile Cycle Works responded by donating their labor to help get the bike back up and running.
Moore said a selfless response like this is not uncommon within the group.
“There are just tons of stories of people that need and within minutes you’ve got a dozen people willing to help,” Moore said.
Those looking to bring positivity and a passion for vintage motorcycles can join the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1375152752563388//.
“Our goal is to portray motorcycling in a positive light,” Olds said. “On our Facebook page, unlike a lot of Facebook pages I’ve been on, we try to stick to motorcycling and try to push everything else out.”