Quaboag Riders, Inc. goes back to an early December evening in 1944, when a handful of motorcycle enthusiasts got together in Monson and organized a motorcycle club. With victory in sight of the raging World War II and the nearby Indian Motorcycle Company planning for commercial production, interest in motorcycles began to creep over the local enthusiasts.
A group of men who lived and worked in the Monson area used to meet at Charles "Babe" Johnson's Garage on Park Avenue to hold their first meetings. Babe had a lot to do with this club being formed. He was the one who really worked to make the group a club. Babe worked at the Indian Motorcycle plant in the Winchester Square area of Springfield as a test rider, so Babe had a strong desire to form a club.
Quaboag Riders Motorcycle Club
Our first president was a local industrialist, Holbrook Ellis, who owned several mills in the towns of Monson and Palmer Ma. and used his influence to aid and promote our club in its early years.
During those winter meeting all we talked about was having our own clubhouse. When spring came, the #2 Mill of the former Ellis Knitting Mills was being torn down. A lot of the original materials were acquired from that mill to build a clubhouse on property off of Munn Road which was then, and still is, the Pratt property.
Much volunteer help with construction and contributions of building materials were acquired to finish the first clubhouse.
In 1946 the Quaboag Riders Motorcycle Club became incorporated and sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Association. There was much activity at the club at this time, many members pitching in to help with the newly formed club. Competition at the Hillclimbs saw mostly Indians and Harleys along with Ariels, Triumphs, BSA's, and other brands sprinkled in.
The club held many scrambles and field events and if the list of competitors was small, the club members would enter the event to make a full roster as required by the A.M.A.
In the late 1950 era, our club joined with the newly organized New England Sports Committee and began to operate a full season of scrambles (moto-x) in addition to our hillclimbs.
In 1969, we withdrew from the NESC to promote only hillclimbs. The club did promote a couple of moto-x events in 1976, but chose to concentrate on hillclimbs.
The Quaboag Riders are one of the few remaining motorcycle clubs in New England that own our own property and hold events on our own land.
We have been promoting motorcycling and motorcycle racing since 1945, along with holding hillclimbs annually during the summer months.
We have run motorcycle scrambles, motocross, and motorcycle hillclimbs.
For the past 15 years, we have concentrated on motorcycle hillclimbs, 4 x 4 drag races and hillclimbs, and motorcycle road rides.
On a cold, raw, November afternoon in 1977, a raging fire totally gutted the clubhouse. Some wondered if this could be the end of the Quaboag Riders Motorcycle Club. After sifting through the rubble for strong timbers, the club rebuilt another clubhouse. It was Al Gregoire who spearheaded the construction of the present clubhouse which now stands at the present site.
Today we have many active members participating in our organiation, ranging in age from 18 to 81. The name Quaboag Riders will always be synonymous with the word hillclimb, and our club will always be known nationwide for our hill.
There haven't been too many clubs that have been formed that long ago and are still existing. Younger members that have found their interest in the club have continued the traditions and kept it going this many years.