11 Nov 2011

Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club

The Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club is one of Seattle's oldest motorcycle clubs.
The Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club has a rich history and once numbered 100 including a woman's division and a motorycle stunt-and-drill team that rode white Harleys in the Seattle Seafair parade.  For many years the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club owned and operated one of the only large oval dirt tracks and hill climb track in the surrounding area

The Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club race track was famous as being one of the best in the Pacific Northwest and races were well attended.  The notorious Hill Climb was a gut wrenching 430 feet which challenged many a rider far and near.
The sweeping 10 acre Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club race track and hill climb was located just below Military Road, south of 216th in Kent, WA between Seattle and Tacoma.
One of the highlights of racing at the Jolly’s track was making the turn around the tree at the north end. The fastest way around was to ride well up on the 6 foot berm and then jump back down on the track. Another joy was drifting through the sweeper preceding it.
On a good day the races would draw some 500 riders and their families, and the winners would be in the local papers  (The Seattle Times and the Seattle Post Intelligencer) the next morning. Motorcycling was a big deal then; from Bellingham to Portland, clubs like the Barons, the Sidewinders and the Ducks held court on this track. The Jolly Rogers’ real trophy however, was their hellacious hill climb. a 430 foot high beast that only the most daring riders attempted to scale. The rise was considered formidable enough that the Jollies hosted a national class c hill-climb competition in May of 1964.

In 1943 the track property was stumbled upon by old time Jollies member Woody Combs.  The acreage was owned by a local potato farmer and purchased with monies chipped in by Jollies club members for a total cost of $1,500. With just horse and plow, they carved out a small dust bowl for riding loops. Club members would go out there every night in the summer on their Indians and Harleys and ride around in the bowl.

Looking at it now, the hill climb grade seems impossible, perhaps a 50-degree angle.
Folks would come from as far as Canada to see the ballsy racers lurch and bolt up the incline, with carloads of fans parked  below, honking like maniacs when the bikes would clear the rise.

check the Jolly blog and the Jolly Rogers Motorcucle Club site

1 comment:

Corra said...