Oh, AMA, Bless Your Heart.
Less than a week ago I received yet another piece of mail from the American Motorcyclist Association, a group known for lobbying against helmet laws and meddling with the MotoAmerica licensing requirements. I have expressed to them directly via email, blog post, Facebook post, and even tried screaming in the general direction of Pickerington, Ohio that I will not be renewing anything until they allowed future MotoAmerica racers to get their licenses through the same club that all but one of their current champions has raced with. But yet there I was, walking up the driveway with this large, heavy, full-color envelope with a person riding some sort of cruiser down an almost-twisty road at a blistering 25mph, if you believe the speedometer. Those things are off by 10% most of the time, so calm down law enforcement, he was probably not going that fast. It had the words "FINAL ROSTER PENDING - PLEASE REPLY PROMPTLY" ominously written under "OFFICIAL INVITATION". Relax, guys, I'm still awestruck by the photo of the daredevil you put on the envelope. Inside was, well... desperation. There were some (damaged) stickers, a couple of brochures about the deals I could get on gear and services I either already have or would never use, some sweepstakes thing that I have almost no chance of winning, and not one, but two letters, plus an envelope to send my already approved application. They spared no expense.
When a member of 12 years does not renew, emails them about why they will not be renewing, writes blog articles about not renewing, and screams into the ether about not renewing, the AMA says:
"But, baby, hear us out. How about we negate your 12 years of membership, but start you off fresh, and, wait for it... give you 10 bucks off? You gotta say yes eventually, baby you just gotta."
They even sent me a new temporary AMA card complete with a new number and "member since 2020" printed on it. The AMA should probably turn over their recruiting and retention process to the pro-helmet side of the office as whoever thought this was a good idea has had one too many head injuries. I guess it makes sense that the organization that can't seem to figure out how to take my name off a spreadsheet is the same one that does not know which racing clubs have the most potential to improve the talent pool in MotoAmerica. Assuming that the AMA actually cares about road racing, that is.
I was going to just let this one go as I am trying to be understanding in this time of global crisis, but yesterday I carried a second large, heavy, full-color envelope with a person riding some sort of cruiser down an almost-twisty road at a blistering 25mph, (if you believe the speedometer) into my house.
This caused me to start swearing in Wisconsinese, something that happens from time to time when befuddlement reaches Midwestern Levels. "Jiminy Cripes!" I shouted between sips of my brandy old-fashioned, "I done toldya about a couple two-three times that I don't want none of youse guys stuff until the race license snafu youse guys created gets buttoned up". Pardon my language, but you have to understand my rage. This was the second bit of correspondence from them in under five days. Even if I was going to sign up, this second notification would have passed my completed application in the mail.
This envelope differed, though, as it had "Final Notice" on it but given their track record I doubt this is the final bit of mail I get from the AMA. The contents were almost identical. The card and stickers were missing, and a few words were changed, but the rest of the filler was there right down to the return envelope. A further scan of the included envelopes revealed that both were postage paid, which gave me an idea. I will be using both envelopes to send back EVERYTHING the AMA has sent me over the 12 years that we were together. Like any break up, it is only fair that I give back everything that they gave me, so all the pins, magazines, stickers, and any renewal notices - shredded or otherwise - will be coming their way soon. If it all fits into one envelope, I am thinking about taping the other to a box of old tires just in case they need some race take-offs. I don't want them to think that there are any hard feelings.
The AMA might not know what is best for American Road Racing, but at least they are doing their part to keep the USPS in business.