The history of the powered bicycle goes back more than a century, indeed the very first vehicle to run with a petrol engine was the Benz two-wheeler!
Since then machines have progressed from high, unstable and unreliable contraptions to the present-day superbikes which have road-holding, performance and comfort inconceivable to the pioneers.
In the 1930s it was realised that, unless there was encouragement for the preservation of some examples of each era the machines would be scrapped, and there would be no record of the dramatic and interesting story of a great industry.
The first organised event for the so-called "old crocks" was a run over the route of the original 1896 Emancipation Run, from London to Brighton, and this was the start of an event which has continued ever since, with increasing participation by Irish riders. Nowadays the Vintage MCC has more than 12,000 members.
In Ireland the Leinster Club held a run for old cars before the Second World War, in which some motor cycles took part, and the famous D&D Mosney Runs were well supported from the 1950s. A motor cycle section of the Irish Veteran & Vintage Car Club was formed in 1967, run-ning events for some years, which led to the formation of the present IVVMCC in 1976.
Early standards of restoration were generally much less ambitious than today, and much of the fun was dressing up in fancy gear, with the result that getting to the finish was quite an achievement.
Nowadays the restorer is supported by a great number of specialist suppliers, and many home restorations achieve a remarkable standard. The history of the motor cycle is fascinating, ranging from the exotic racers to the humble workaday two-strokes, and it is a history in which Irish people have played no mean part.
There is a camaraderie among riders which makes newcomers instantly welcome, whether or not they are owners of machines, and the "craic" on the average run has to be experienced. We try to have a talk or video, or something of interest at every Club meeting.
IVVMCC c.l.g. was founded in 1976 to cater for everyone interested in classic and vintage motorcycle restoration and use.
The present membership is about 280 enthusiasts, with over 600 machines, the oldest dating from 1899. We are actively engaged in the preservation of Ireland's motor cycling heritage for present and future generations.
We run 11 major events during the year including the largest Motorcycle Show and Autojumble in the Autumn at Leopardstown Race Course.
In May we have a Pre-1930s weekend in Kilkenny, and in June a Pre-65 weekend in the Golden Vale. Our other road runs and events are open to pre-2000 year machines.
You don’t need to own a bike to be a member. Our monthly newsletter, 'Exhaust Notes', is free to members, and technical help is available.
The best part of course, is the members themselves! We meet on the first Wednesday of the month at Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club, Serpentine Ave., Ballsbridge, at 8:30 p.m. Our monthly meetings have an attendance of 40-60 and sometimes include a talk or video. Members can also attend meetins by ‘Zoom’.
We also have a regional organisation operating in the Dundalk area. We are affiliated to the Vintage Motor Cycle Club of Great Britain and to the Irish Vintage Society (IVS).