LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Horseneck Motorcycle Riding Club, whose members enjoy riding motorcycles together while also perform community service as a group, recently reflected on its latest successes and discussed future goals after installing Steven Lichtenstein as its new president.
Former President Ira Sessler, who has held that position since founding the group in 2014, explained that people are often surprised to learn that the motorcycle group is focused on giving back to the community. But those involved have always been “dedicated to a safe riding community, charity and camaraderie,” according to the club’s website.
Mayor Rudy Fernandez, who is also a member of the club, said it’s the commitment to community involvement that makes the group so special.
“So much so that our club patch includes the phrase ‘community, charity and camaraderie,’” he said. “Not only will you see us riding our motorcycles, but also volunteering at places such as Habitat for Humanity, Toni’s Kitchen, the Kiwanis Karnival, and the Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities (LACD) parties.”
One of the club's more popular activities is an event the club hosts for the LACD Shining Stars program, where special needs individuals are invited to try on helmets and to sit on the bikes. One parent commented that she had “never seen her child so engaged.”
After obtaining a grant from Kiwanis of Livingston for trash collection, the club has been regularly participating in Pick It Up! Livingston as well.
The club’s charitable nature has also reached beyond Livingston, as members have also volunteered at a Veteran’s dinner for residents of East Orange and painting Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair.
This year, beginning on Feb. 1, the club will partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for families in need.
According to Sessler, the Horseneck Motorcycle Club places a great emphasis on community safety as well.
In May 2019, the club received a proclamation from the Township of Livingston for hosting a Motorcycle Safety Awareness Program within the community and also received a citation in 2017 for the club’s commitment to the community.
Each year, the members host public safety programs that feature topics such as “what to do when you come across an accident scene” and how to safely share the road with motorcyclists and bicyclists.
At the club’s request, the township proclaimed May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” in Livingston, recognizing “the importance of training to ensure that riders operate motorcycles legally and responsibly while understanding risk,” according to the official proclamation.
During their organized group rides, members utilize prominent safety features such as a Sena Bluetooth communication device that fits inside their helmets. According to Sessler, this allows them to share music while also being able to alert each other to any accidents, gravel or other things up ahead in the road.
In addition to the many service projects, the club also gets involved in community activities such as riding annually in the Livingston Memorial Day Parade.
In fact, newly installed president Lichtenstein is best known for spearheading Livingston’s increasingly popular Fourth of July Auto Show over the last 27 years. Since the launch of the Livingston Motorcycle Riding Club, motorcycles have been added to the mix of vehicles being showcased each summer.
The club also hosts an annual barbecue over the summer as well as a winter social, which will be held this year at Brooks Tap House in Caldwell.
During group rides, which are held both during the day and overnight, club members head to various destinations such as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, the Adirondacks in New York, Vermont and Chincoteague Island in Virginia.
Sessler explained that the club came to be when he was walking around his neighborhood with his wife and “noticed motorcycles that looked like they were gathering dust in multiple garages.”
“I realized that many people stop riding while they are busy parenting,” he said. “I hadn’t ridden in years.”
At that point, Sessler placed an ad in the local newspaper stating that he was in search of people to join a new motorcycle-riding club. Several people responded, and the club has been adding new members ever since, he said.
According to Sessler, the club is extremely diverse professionally, geographically and ethnically. Its 40 members span from attorneys, to financial managers, to small business owners, truck drivers, engineers and retiree and more.
Although many members hail from Livingston, the club also has members from Clinton, Bayonne and New York City as well as throughout Bergen County, Morris County and even Bucks County, Pa.
“We welcome all people and all bikes,” said Sessler, who added that there is currently one female member of the club.
For more information about joining the club or partnering with its members on a future project, contact the Livingston Horseneck Motorcycle Club firstname.lastname@example.org.