The Motorcycle Industry Council Creates Special MIC Membership Class for Trailblazers Subcommittee

Commemorates 10-Year Anniversary of the MIC Trailblazers Subcommittee

IRVINE, CA – February 25, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – More than 10 years ago, it was Don Brown’s vision to find a “home” for the Trailblazers that would ensure its continuity and assist the organization in its mission to promote motorcycling’s heritage, preserve memorabilia, and host its Annual Banquet. On February 16, 2001, the Board of Directors of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) officially established the Trailblazers Subcommittee under the MIC Aftermarket Committee, formalizing its governance under the MIC umbrella. Their intention was that the Trailblazers have the resources and structure to continue its mission to preserve motorcycling’s heritage and to recognize individual accomplishments in the motorcycling community.

Fast-forward to Feb. 17, 2011. At its annual meeting in Indianapolis, the MIC Board of Directors approved a special class of MIC membership to those Trailblazers Subcommittee members who are not otherwise dues-paying MIC members, reinforcing its support for the efforts of the Trailblazers and paving the way for the continuation of activities and functions of the Trailblazers to be carried out under the governance of the MIC. With the special membership class designation, Trailblazers Subcommittee members will have access to the full scope of MIC benefits, but will not have voting privileges, and their MIC membership is contingent upon their appointment to the Trailblazers Subcommittee.

“The MIC provided the optimum solution in 2001 to support the efforts of the Trailblazers, and we’re very pleased to recognize the continuation of that relationship with the creation of this special, non-dues paying membership class for the Trailblazers Subcommittee,” said MIC President Tim Buche. “The organization – then and now – needs a presence in southern California with access to the hub of the motorcycling community, and we’re proud to continue to honor Don Brown’s vision for the Trailblazers and to support their dedication to preserving the heritage of motorcycling.”

The MIC will continue to assist the Trailblazers by providing overhead administrative support through the MIC staff resources, including maintaining the Trailblazers’ website, offering meeting facilities, providing online registration services for the Annual Banquet, and producing video files of the Trailblazer Hall of Fame honorees. Other MIC benefits for the Trailblazers organization include free banking services, insurance coverage, and access to MIC’s extensive market research data and legislative updates. The Trailblazers’ funding – obtained primarily through its $10 annual member dues and ticket sales for the Annual Banquet – is segregated from MIC funds, and is subject to the MIC’s monthly review by an independent Certified Public Accountant, as well as an annual audit. There is no cost to the Trailblazers for the services and benefits provided by the MIC.

Current MIC members who are also on the Trailblazers Subcommittee include Gary Bryson, K & N Engineering, Inc.; Don Emde, Don Emde, Inc.; Tom Seymour, Saddlemen; Skip Van Leeuwen, Van Leeuwen Enterprises, Inc.; and Tom White, The Early Years of Motocross, Inc.

“I started going with my dad (to the Trailblazers Annual Banquet) in the ’80s, and back then I hardly saw anyone from my era,” said Trailblazers Past-President and MIC Board Director Don Emde. “Now I see more and more new people showing up every year. Word has gotten around what a fun and important event this is, bringing together all kinds of racers and people in the industry who are interested in maintaining motorcycling’s history and culture.”

“The newly-approved MIC class of membership will be a huge benefit for those Trailblazers who aren’t already MIC members. It also underscores the significance of the Trailblazers’ 10-years as a subcommittee under the MIC umbrella. The MIC provides the structure and administrative support that the Trailblazers need, but allows them to function in the spirit that they were conceived, as a very social and free-wheeling organization,” Emde continued. “And just as importantly, it keeps a much-needed tradition going, one that recognizes the contributions of yesteryear’s motorcycle racing legends, and preserves our heritage moving forward for tomorrow’s generation of fans and participants.”

The Trailblazers calls itself a “social organization of pioneer motorcycling enthusiasts.” Founded in 1936 by A.F. Van Order, a Los Angeles area motorcycling enthusiast, the organization began holding its Annual Banquet in 1940. Inductees to the Trailblazers Hall of Fame are also announced at the Annual Banquet, which has grown in popularity to become one of the motorcycling community’s can’t-miss events, attracting more than 500 guests every year. Adding to the festivities are event themes such as the Big Bear Run, Catalina Grand Prix, Famous Tuners, Flat Track, and Speedway Now and Then. The 67th Annual Trailblazers Banquet will be held at the Carson Center in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, April 9, 2011. For more information, visit

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at