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Association of Recovering Motorcyclists: Riding keeps alcoholics sober

ARM alcoholics Association of Recovering Motorcyclists

Riding motorcycles is keeping alcoholics sober says Association of Recovering Motorcyclists (ARM) NSW Chapter spokesman Warren Cartledge.

“For me, riding helps my recovery and I also need that fellowship which is a big part of Alcoholics Anonymous,” he says.

ARM was founded in 1986 by Judy and Jack Jensen of Wisconsin and now has more than 100 chapters in the USA, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Guam, England, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Thailand and Netherlands.

ARM alcoholics Association of Recovering Motorcyclists
Saying the “Serenity Prayer”

Australia has had a chapter in Western Australia since 2005 and has a new Chapter forming in NSW.

“One of the original members in WA was directed to an alcohol counsellor by police after an incident and that counsellor directed him to an AA meeting that was founded by ARM members; he is still sober today, nine years later,” says Warren who is also proud of being sober himself for over 20 years.

If you are a biker who is still suffering from addiction it isn’t too late. There are plenty of reliable drug rehab centers out there ready to help you get clean.

Blackout drunksober ARM alcoholics Association of Recovering Motorcyclists

Warren says he was a “blackout drunk” when he was in the military in his 20s.

“I came out of blackouts in other countries. I’d start drinking in one country and wake up in another and not know how I got there and that can be extremely dangerous in the military,” he says.

“The military didn’t help me at all with my drinking problem, and at the end when I was at my rock bottom, I made a desperate phone call to AA.

“An AA member spoke with me, and then arranged for three other AA members to visit me at home, and the next day took me to a meeting and thankfully I have been sober ever since.

“But I still had this void because I loved riding and there were no other sober bikers that I knew of to form that brotherhood and bond with.”

Warren says ARM was formed because AA and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) told recovering alcoholics to cut their hair and sell their motorbikes and live a “normal lifestyle”.

“To a biker, riding and brotherhood is a normal lifestyle.

“We didn’t fit the norm of what AA portrayed, so ARM was born out of necessity,” says Warren, 55, who has been riding all his life.

He started riding a Honda CB350 twin, has owned numerous bikes over the years and now rides a 2000 Harley-Davidson Night Train and has a Kawasaki 650 Vulcan S.

Warren got sober in 1992 and became a full member of ARM in 2005.

ARM membership

ARM has more than 1000 members globally. Warren is unsure about Australian membership but says there is “always room for one more”.

“We are bikers who have chosen to remain clean and sober without forsaking the lifestyle of brotherhood in the wind,” he says.

“We are not associated with any other group, nor are we a 1% club.”

ARM owns no property or clubhouses, claims no territory and rides “free of inter-club politics”.

Australian members do not wear the international ARM back patch to ensure there is no conflict with 1% clubs.

“We have been able to grow through our respect for other MCs in the areas we live and ride and by respecting the individuality of our members,” Warren says.

“We do not require members to ride a specific brand of motorcycle nor do we ridicule the member’s personal choices.

However, motorcycles must be 500cc or more.

“We do not claim our modified lifestyle to be the only truth, nor do we suggest that any other lifestyle is inappropriate,” Warren says.

“We are bikers who have chosen abstinence from alcohol and drugs because it is what we believe in for ourselves. For some of us, it is the only way we can continue to survive.”

Warren says they have regular monthly get-togethers and rides in the fledgling NSW Chapter while the WA Chapter has weekly rides to and from AA and NA meetings and get-togethers.

The sister organisation for recovering female riders is called Recovering Women Riders. Warren says ARM and RWR membership varies from 22 years of age to over 70.

ARM alcoholics Association of Recovering Motorcyclists
Recovering Women Riders

To be a member of ARM or RWR you must be active in recovery from alcohol or drug dependence.

“Our members are not affiliated with any particular 12-step program, however our members attend AA and NA meetings and respect the traditions,” Warren says.

“We are not part of the Salvos or any other particular charity although we support many other charities around the world.”

Click here if you are interested in becoming a member, click here to email Warren, or call him on 0407 447051.


  1. I’m 25 years sober and have just started the process of becoming a prospect. Ride free and often [sic] daily.

  2. ARM mc is one of the mc’s out there. They are well respected among the motorcycle club community as well as independent bikers also. I very proud and honored to considered for membership. MLLH&R to ARMmc
    Spider prospect chapter 72

  3. I have been in recovery for 7 years. I’ve had a few slips along the way. I’ve always wanted to ride and was encouraged by my boyfriend to take classes so I did. He rode a Harley (my dream bike) just like my dad so I was instantly hooked. He helped me find a good cruiser to practice on and I’ve been riding for over a year now and it’s time to find a group to ride with. I’ll need a sober one..

  4. Ride for Wilson House

    The Wilson House of East Dorset has been closed to the public since March 16th, and reopening July 31st, an unprecedented stretch of time in its 32 plus years of welcoming people home from all over the country, and the world. Now, more than ever, we are asking for your help to continue maintaining the historic birthplace and childhood home of Bill Wilson.

    During the summer and fall months in East Dorset, the streets around the Wilson House are alive with the sound of bikes coming in from all around the region, to spend the night, take in a meeting, stopping by for a visit after giving thanks at the gravesites of Bill and Lois, or for our famous Friday night suppers.

    We lost a lot of time and now we are relying on your 24 hours, to ride for the benefit of the Wilson House. Presently we’re estimating revenue losses of $150,000 to $200,000 through the end of this year. You can show your support by participating in the first ever Ride for The Wilson House. Whether riding solo or with a passenger, participants can ask friends and families to sponsor part of your ride (10, 20, 50+ miles), together we can help ensure the future of the Wilson House.

    Each 100 miles represents 1 hour of each day:

    500-mile ride: $500
    1000-mile ride: $1000
    1500-mile ride: $1500
    2400-mile ride: $2400

    Whether you ride 500 miles or 2400 miles, each mile counts! Our goal is to finish by October 15, 2020

    Register by emailing our Director or Development, Lindsey Harty:
    Please include: your name, mailing address and miles goal

    Remember to take pictures of your odometer to track your progress! Share the sights along your journey and post to social media, tagging us @wilsonhouse and use the hashtags #Ride4wilsonhouse or #Wilsonhouseride

    Donations can be made by check payable to: The Wilson House P.O. Box 46
    East Dorset, VT 05255 or via PayPal on our website

    For more information contact:

    Lindsey Harty, Director of Development at (802) 362-5524 or

    The Wilson House of East Dorset and Griffith Library maintain the spirit, memory, and purpose of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, at his historic birthplace and childhood home.

    Our purpose is to foster a welcoming home, providing facilities for people in recovery to pursue spiritual growth, education, and development.

    Honesty, Integrity and Gratitude.

    The Wilson House of East Dorset is a 501(c) (3) not for profit corporation.

  5. Hi I’m 3 months sober and look for a club to ride in Massachusetts pleas let me know if any are in the cape cod area

    1. Gidday Carlos,
      Please see the the following information from our web site
      If you would like to be considered for membership you can send a letter to:
      A.R.M. International, 1503 Market St., LaCrosse, WI 54601;
      Or email ARMintl86 @;
      Or, you can complete a Membership Information Request Form, on the web site
      We will contact the chapter nearest you, (or the chapter you prefer), and they in turn will make contact with you.

      1. Big g’day to you Warren, I made contact yesterday and already have brothers from West OZ chapter reaching out, 120 days clean JFT
        Matt Gosnells

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