A small group of 3-4 riders informally met and discussed becoming a recreational motorcycle riding club for a few years before they formally met and decided on a set of bylaws and a constitution. AIR was born on July 9th, 1981.
Most members of the Association of Independent Riders wear a one piece patch which clearly identifies them only as a riding club. The patch is a logo of the club and not to be mistaken as colors.
AIR gets its name from the fact that the original members were consistently being harassed about riding in a group without belonging to a club. As none of the members really wanted to be part of an M/C, they decided that they would consider themselves as “independent riders.” If one person didn’t like the direction of the club, they could say goodbye and leave the group without any repercussions. Today, members come and go, but mostly if a member leaves it is because they feel that they aren’t doing their part or holding their weight. AIR has had its ups and downs with membership over the years. Membership has gone from 30 to 14 and back to 30 multiple times over the last 30 years. AIR still meets monthly for comradeship, brotherhood, and most important, for the ride.
We call our home Bellechester, Minnesota and Zumbro Falls, Minnesota since they are central to our membership. Most of our rides leave from Zumbro Falls. The club organizes a variety of events and participates in many other parties and rides. For our own events we sponsor a yearly biker dance on the Saturday of Mothers day weekend. This event is held at the Community Center in Bellechester, Minnesota unless otherwise announced. Another AIR event is the Fathers Day Fun Run ride held the Saturday of Fathers day weekend. This 150 mile ride takes the group through the windy roads and the kick ass hills of Southeastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. We also have personal weekend rides, a Good Friday run, the Flood Runs Spring and fall, a memorial ride for our fallen members in May, and overnight stays at a variety of biker events.
As a Motorcycle Rights Organization, we host and participate in political events that promote and protect the rights and freedoms of Motorcyclists. Also, every person who is voted on to become a member of AIR, also become members of the St. Croix Valley Riders of St. Paul Park, MN and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation in Washington D.C. Multiple members of AIR are also members of ABATE and the AMA, and Most members are sponsors for Dial-a-ride.
As an MRO we host an election year Political forum where politicians such as State Representatives and State Senators for our district are invited to a question and answer dialogue about motorcycle related issues only. A winter event is “Biker Day on the Hill”, a Statewide effort to meet at the Minnesota State Capital to discuss motorcyclist issues. Lastly we host a member or two to participate in the National MRO Conference called “Meeting of the Minds”, held at various locations around the country.