A founder and past president of the Muskegon Motorcycle Club, Dan Raymond was a…
A founder and past president of the Muskegon Motorcycle Club, Dan Raymond was a pioneer in the area of motorcycle sports. His tireless efforts established Muskegon as a mecca for the nation's top motorcycle hill climbers.
In August 1920, Raymond, along with seven friends, founded the Muskegon Motorcycle Club. The group negotiated the purchase of Mt. Garfield, and more than 30 acres of level territory at its base. In 1921, they celebrated their purchase with the first annual motorcycle hill climb. Raymond and his fellow riders entertained a crowd of around 50 spectators.
The popularity of the sport grew rapidly and Mt. Garfield was selected as the site for the American Motorcycle Association's 1929 National Championship Motorcycle Hill Climb. An estimated crowd of over 10,000 attended the event. Since that time, the Muskegon Motorcycle Club has hosted more than 30 national championships at the Mt. Garfield site. Crowds for the annual event reached upwards of 15,000 during its heyday in the mid‑60s.
As a competitor, Raymond was best known as a Jack Pine champion, earning five crowns between 1928 and 1933. Sanctioned by the AMA as the run for the national road championship, the Jack Pine was an extended and strenuous test of the reliability and endurance of both the rider and the motorcycle. As a measure of his achievement, Raymond compiled 988 of a possible 1000 points during the 1929 competition, in which only 41 of 91 riders that gathered from seven states completed the cross‑country trail of over 500 miles.
The Grant native continued on his roll with a Jack Pine co‑championship in 1931, as well as individual titles in 1932 and 1933. In 1934, he won the Muskegon Motorcycle Club's hill‑climbing championship. A serious accident in 1940 curtailed his days as a competitor, but he continued to champion the cause of motorcycling as a legitimate competitive sport and a desirable form of recreation up until his death in 1986.