View Full Version : History of the MSMC - by Tom Hall

March 5th, 2009, 04:55 PM
Montgomery Street Motorcycle Club History

By Tom Hall

Five gentlemen from the advertising, marketing and publishing business world of San Francisco (Michetti, Schuller, Stuart, Danford & Turner) formed a group of motorcycle riders and within a week others joined (Schneider, Schultz, Hegrefe, Hall & Chaput) in the early months of 1969. The first elected president was Jim Turner (who now lives in New Mexico).

The Club met in the offices of Peterson Publications on Montgomery Street, where members drank some booze and talked about motorcycle riding, women, sex and other male macho concepts. Most were married and this was an excuse to be ‘out with the boys’. The idea of a motorcycle club grew as these men let it be known around the industry, and more men came ‘out of the closet’ to reveal this hidden lust for riding fast on what was considered by many a very dangerous vehicle. Most of the early bikes were 350 and 450 Hondas with a couple 125 Yamaha road/dirt bikes and one lonely 600 BMW. The actually strapped small suitcases on the back of the bikes with rope or bungee cords, which was pretty tame stuff compared to what they’re riding today! They had stag paper chase rides, a few Saturday rides to a local pub and maybe some lunch. At this time the Club was growing in numbers and stature. A member and former past president Bill Bremer was asked to draft a non-profit corporation with by-laws. At the present they are still a non-profit corporation limited to 40 active members.

Like any organization, people come and go, but traditions were started like the first black-tie Christmas party was held in the offices of Patterson & Hall (both members) with recorded music blasting from large speakers hanging on the walls of the office. At around 11pm some of the members, who had consumed more than they should, decided we should have a black tie ride the next day on Sunday. Later years, live bands were brought in and then the annual party was moved to a restaurant or country club, and the Sunday morning ride continued the next day.

Rich Clark and ‘Desert Rat’ Jim Widner (now living in Arizona) and a few others started ‘the day after ride’ to Inverness in tuxedos, which is now a yearly tradition. Just ask some of the “old timers” Fritz Bullmann and Tom Hall or some of the not so old timers, Dick Gale, Tony Cameron and Rick Sullivan about some of the crazy, zany, great, wonderful experiences they had during the past 42 plus years.

Groups from the Club from six or seven have taken touring rides to Mexico, Canada and the mid-west. Rich Clark rode all the way to Daytona Beach where he met with Reed Riley to watch the motorcycle races and surrounding gaiety. Robert Odom did a solo trip to the East Coast and back, taking photographs of the great riding roads of our country. These photos were produced as a calendar. Presently members have been planning and taking motorcycle tours all over our country and the world. Tom Hall alone has over 400,000 miles riding in 17 different countries on BMW motorcycles.

The first women member, Diane Peterson, joined the Club in the late 70’s and Beth Livermore joined in the early 80’s. Since then there have been six wonderful women members (Gail Graham, Megan Hall, Gretchen Hoffman, Susan Novalis, Pat Friedrichs and Lisa Kaiser) who have contributed much to the continued growth of this Club. Gail, Megan and Pat were past presidents. There are many more stories to be told if one wants to listen.

Today’s Club has evolved into a more of canyon, one-up riding group, although there are some who still ride two-up. We have a wider range in ages as well as more diversified business backgrounds. The Club’s board meets once a month for dinner where members are welcome to attend. A Club ride is usually scheduled for the following Saturday or Sunday. There is also a Sunday morning ride that is not sponsored by the Club, but a good way to meet other riders who might want to join the Club at a future time. Our scheduled rides may go anywhere in California and some a bit farther. The rider leader picks some outstanding locations to stay over night with a good place to eat. The annual Death Valley Ride is the big adventure that can be 3 to 5 days as you please. The accommodations and food are excellent and the outdoor cocktail hour is provided by our traveling bar car, which follows us on most of the overnight rides. Some members offer there home for a day ride ending with great food and libation.

Information about the MSMC can be found on this website (, where we have posted many photos as well as monthly newsletters about the Club, which is entering its 43rd year in 2012.

The founding members of the MSMC are starting from the left, Bruno Michetti, Peter Schneider, Jim Turner, Bob Hogrefe, Brice Schuller, Gene Chaput and Allen Schultz.

Here is a classic shot of founding members of the MSMC in the Financial District of San Francisco.

This view of riders from the 1970s in the Montgomery Street Motorcycle Club is a vision of days gone by.

Not a club that likes to sit around, the MSMC frequently takes trips to Europe, including this 1998 Alpine adventure.

The MSMC believes that a club that rides together stays together!

The MSMC members ride in all seasons in California. This photo was taken at a group ride last November.

The Board of Directors for the MSMC in 2009 are from front left, George Lula (President), Tom Hall (Historian), Chris Hamilton (Banner Master). Second Row: Tony Arnold (Treasurer), Colin Hessel (Director at Large), Rob Thull (VP Ride Director). Third Row: Amaury Gallisa (Secretary) and Geoff Walshe (Director at Large). Missing Don Beaton (Director at Large). This photo was taken at the 2008 Holiday Party.

Thousands more MSMC pictures can be found in the Pictures forum ( on this website.