Club History

Ace of Clubs Niagara BMW Riders MOA Club #298
By Darryl Cainey #40 164

IT ALL STARTED WITH A CALL FROM A son of a fellow pilot whom I knew from the St. Catharines Flying Club who owned a BMW. Don Farrar, from Dunnville, Ontario, wanted to get together for break-fast at a local restaurant with a few people he knew that rode BMW s just to have an information exchange; this was Thanksgiving weekend, October 1992 (Note: Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday in October). Our first breakfast was attended by eight BMW enthusiasts who were wondering where to go from here. We started selling 50/50 tickets for one dollar and the winner would get half the money, as well as a chance to win a small door prize. As time went on, several club attendees would donate a door prize or two for the cause. This would serve us well over the years, so we would not have to charge a club membership fee. After the breakfast we would go out in the parking lot to look at each other's bikes and gear to see the new farkles and exchange ideas.

Blue Star Restaurant

Blue Star Restaurant
 

Keeping the club simple like this worked out very well and no one wanted to change. We now have 40-75 members attend our breakfast meeting and have had guests drop in from all over the United States and Canada as well as the United Kingdom. With the invention of the Internet, we have kept club members informed and club news simple as well, just to give a reminder of the next club breakfast. We now have an e-mail list of over 165 members. We also have a Niagara BMW Riders Facebook Page.

Don Farrar, our then Club President, was raising a young family and handed me the reins one day, saying he couldn't do it justice anymore. I have been looking after the clubs functions ever since. Several of the club members are rally goers and others just seem to keep the riding local. As a club we don't do organized club rides, but if members want to ride off somewhere after the breakfast, have at it!

About 13 years ago I thought we as club members should be recognized for what we do by becoming a Chartered Club with the MOA, and submitted a list of 10 names to accomplish this task. We were given a club charter and assigned the number 298 by the BMW MOA on Dec. 31, 2003. I made the announcement at our next breakfast and assured everyone that we would not change the way we were doing things.

One of our club members is a professional photographer and has experience designing Web pages, so he volunteered to set up our club's website. Alan Eidt has taken to evolving our website to what it is today, offering a bit of BMW history as well as product reviews, club merchandise, for sale section, Club News section and more.

As an incentive to help our members ride more, we started holding a Yearly Mileage Contest and collectively ride well over 500,000 miles among 30-40 members. Certificates of Mileage Achievement are given to all participants and plaques are awarded to 1st, 2nd, 3rd place Male and Female Riders, Good Sport Award and Average Rider Award. We run our contest the same as the MOA, April-October and every participant get a prize.

Welland, Ontario, is roughly situated in the center of the Niagara Peninsula, and we hold our monthly meetings at the Blue Star Restaurant, 676 King St. in Welland. Our meetings start at 9 a.m. the second Sunday of every month of the year and everyone is welcome. The dedicated staff and owner look forward to seeing us every month and look after us well. It's a bonus that the prices and food are good.

The Niagara BMW Riders just celebrated our 23-year anniversary as a BMW Club and look forward to many more years.

Come on out and visit us!