On August 8, 2014, Jaremy J Lee, Joel Russell and I left another trucker/biker group, 18 Wheels Motorcycle Association, and formed Trucker’s Riding Club. This sudden exit from 18WheelsMA was a bit abrupt and kind of forced on Joel and me by Jaremy. Yes, we had been talking about leaving and starting something that was more for drivers that were a bit more “hard-core” about their riding, but I, personally, had not planed on it happening right then. I was not really happy with 18Wheels, I really didn’t fit in and the association president and I had a few differences of opinion on a few things. I wanted to wait till after their yearly gathering in September because I had spent some time planning a week of riding the Ozark mountains to see if there might be a few that would come join me and were as dedicated to riding like I am. I really wanted to give it a chance to work. But, I was not given that chance because I woke up the morning of August 8th to fond that Jaremy had started Facebook profile, page and group for TRC. Well, we had been kicking around the name, American Trucker’s Motorcycle Association, and that is what he started. After many hours on the phone, I spent my own money to buy several domains and started working on a website.
I spent many hours creating every graphic and writing every word that appeared on the website and I had it up and functioning within a few days.
I even wrote up a basic set of by-laws that would form the foundation of the set of by-laws and rules that were in place when I resigned several months later. (Here are the by-laws and rules that were in place when I resigned. TRC BY-LAWS TRC Rules)
Personal problems between Jaremy and Rooster (18WheelsMA President) grew. There were lots of things said and posted that kept everyone in turmoil. I was even mentioned in some of the slander that was being thrown back and forth, though I had nothing to do with it. Though Joel and I did not really want to become a “club” Jaremy pushed for it by saying that being a “riding club” would shut Rooster up. So we changed the name from American Trucker’s Motorcycle Association to Trucker’s Riding Club.
The 3 of us were trying to come up with a design for a patch and not having much luck. So I did a bit of research and found a logo company on-line to create it. Once again, I paid for this out of my own pocket. Jaremy kept saying that he didn’t have the money to help with this right now, but as soon as TRC had some money in the bank, I would be reimbursed. It took several weeks to get something that all 3 of us liked…and yes, we all 3 agreed to this design. Everything in the patch had meaning. It is an “old school” rig in a “new school” art design. The 70s style “Keep on Trucking” font was to show and honor our trucking roots. The 70s were a big time in trucking. The safety orange and green were not only so it could be seen well, but to represent those damn vest that many of us have had to wear on the job. The American Flag paint job on the big truck was to not only show our patriotism, but to also honor all the veterans that have become truckers and bikers. I also forked out the money to get copyrights to both logos.
Course, changing the name and direction did not stop the arguing that was going on on-line and on the phone. The bickering had its effects and because of the strain it had on Joel’s marriage, his wife was still in 18Wheels, he resigned. Since Jaremy had insisted the Joel and I be equal to him, we had set up a tri-head, 3 co-presidents. Nothing was done without a 2/3 vote of the 3 co-presidents. When Joel left, that created an opening. Jaremy and I talked and we didn’t want to fill the position with just anyone. So, we decided to appoint our 2 co-vice-presidents, see how they did, and would pick from them later to fill the vacant president position. We each chose someone who we were close to. I chose Dan Vermilyea and Jaremy chose his brother, Justin Lee.
At the time, I was handling the website, writing and re-writing the by-laws, the rules and the officer descriptions and duties. Jaremy was supposed to be taking care of getting us approved in the states that we had people interested in joining or that had already joined. Now this is where things get weird and confusing. Jaremy told me that we were approved in MO and several other states. Dan and I were working on MS, but had found that it was going to take us 6 months to a year.
There started to be other problems. I caught Jaremy in several little lies about many different things. One day we were good in MO and the next week, we were not. Supposedly, the lady that he knew in MO and was going to have make our patches was dicking him around. So I talked to her. We had an agreement and when she failed to meet the deadline and did not give me notice that it would be late, I fired her. I was almost at the point of forking out the money for our patches myself when all of a sudden Jaremy puts a new patch design up in the group on Facebook. (The design at the top of this post.) Jaremy never consulted me about a change in patch design and I had no input on it. When I called him to talk about it, he fed me a load of crap about it having to be changed for us to be approved in MO. Again, I thought we had already been approved there because he had told me we were. When I talked to Dan about this change, he thought I had been in on it from the beginning. I was told by Dan that they had been working on for several weeks and that Jaremy had led them to believe that I knew all about it.
Well, I had enough. I resigned my position and membership. If the co-president was going to go behind my back and totally disregard our motto of “Honor, Respect & Integrity” I was not going to be a part of it. At that time, TRC owed me close to $500. (It still does to this day.) My first thought was to not sign anything over till I got my money back, but having been through everything I have been through with other groups, I decided that I would be an adult about it all and transferred ownership of all the domains over to Jaremy that afternoon. Of course, since Jaremy didn’t have a hosting account with GoDaddy, the website went down as soon as the transfer was complete. Things went down hill from there.
Jaremy had said that he would be honorable in everything. He would make sure I got my money and that Joel and I would always remain on the books as co-founders. Besides driving a wedge in my friendship with Dan and his wife Ann, he bad mouthed me to all the membership at the time and those that have joined since then. Luckly, Dan and Ann being the people that they are, the wedge didn’t last long and our friendship remains to this day. They are also no longer member of Trucker’s Riding Club. Dan and Ann got the website and forum back up and running after I transferred everything and held positions where they could see the accounts. Jaremy had set up a PayPal account in Martha’s (his wife) name for TRC members to pay dues, buy merchandise and to pay bills from. It didn’t take much for Dan and Ann to see the TRC money was being used for personal expenses by Jaremy. Netflix and dinners out and other things were paid for out of this account.
Though Jaremy claims that TRC had 100s of members, they only had 17 when I resigned. At one point they had about 40, but since Dan and Ann’s resigning, they have dropped back down to less than 20 members. Apparently Justin doesn’t have a motorcycle of any kind and Jaremy’s bike is unridable. They have never had any kind of club ride or gathering. At this point, TRC is nothing more than a Facebook/internet motorcycle riding club for wannabes. There is nothing real about it! There is no honor, no respect and no integrity held by it’s leadership. Not only does TRC/Jaremy still owe me nearly $500, it owes Dan & Ann nearly $300. I urge anyone interested in this group to demand to see the books, have them prove that the leadership owns and actually rides a motorcycle and do not give them any money!
I will not be rejoining 18WheelsMA, but Rooster and I have had several phone conversations. Come to find out, when Jaremy was confronted about several thing he posted on-line, he implied that he knew who posted it and that he would talk to “HER.” The only “her” at that time was me…and I never posted any of that crop. As a matter of fact, other than a couple of posts on my personal profile on Facebook that were done in the last month or so, I have never publicly said anything negative about 18Wheels or TRC. Rooster and I may have our differences, but at least 18Wheels members are real and do get together for rides. It still does not fit my needs, but it great for those that are not as “hard-core” a rider as I am.
The only reason that I am publicly saying anything now is that I am pissed off that not only have I not gotten my money back, but Jaremy has also screwed my friends, my trucker/rider/biker brothers and sisters out of their hard earned money and time. I know that I, Dan and Ann put our hearts and souls into trying to get TRC off the ground and make it something real for truckers that love their bikes as much as we do. To see Jaremy tarnish it as he has done is totally disgraceful. And just for those that think I am sinking to his level by making this post…There is a time to sit back and let things be and there are times the a person should speak out. I am tired of being quiet. I am tired to being the only adult in this. And until TRC/Jaremy repays me, Dan and Ann the money owed to us……