John Burns sure has impeccable timing, doesn’t he? Just as he was penning his piece about the revolving door that is the moto industry, I was penning my deal to make my return to Motorcycle.com. Of course, it was far too soon to be announcing anything to my MO compatriots (or anyone else, for that matter), but as I read JB’s Whatever column I couldn’t help but let out a little chuckle. “If only he knew…” I thought.
The truth is, I left MO for a number of reasons, not least of which was a very attractive offer that happened to coincide with an internal curiosity about whether I could apply my talents elsewhere and take on a “real job.” It was a perfect storm of timing and circumstance (and not knowing what a “real job” is), and after more than a decade scribbling words about motorcycles, I decided to go for it.
For the first six months or so I really didn’t miss things here. It was nice being able to ride bikes and not have to write a story about it afterwards. I was faced with new challenges, and I was engaged in putting myself to work in a new capacity. It was fun. It was a lot of work, mind you, but I was inspired by all the supremely talented people I was surrounded with. In fact, I was happy watching the other guys from afar, getting their turns attending swanky press intros – it is the best part of the job, after all.
Meanwhile, I was traveling all over North America to consumer trade shows, interacting with the general public in a way I rarely ever did in my time as a journalist – and I interacted with them en mass. However, instead of talking about a product, often the interaction started with someone asking, “Hey, aren’t you that guy on YouTube?” After explaining that I used to be that guy on YouTube, inevitably said person would come back with a retort about enjoying a video I was in or a story I wrote. No matter what city I was in (or province), the sentiments were the same. People actually watched my videos and/or read my stories. Who woulda thunk it?
This started a whirlwind of reflection within me. The compliments I received were no doubt very generous, but also convinced me that I did miss the job. With the changing landscape of the motorcycle – and media – industries, the opportunity to be a part of it again with both the written and the spoken word was very appealing. Add to that the opportunity to reunite with Burns, Brasfield, and video guy Sean Matic, as well as work with two new guys – Brent and Ryan – and the perfect storm of timing and circumstance that led me to leave MO reappeared to bring me back.
While JB’s piece was brilliantly written, as always, I’ll admit I had a few doubts as to whether I was making the right decision. I had left MO for a reason, after all, but that all changed after reading the many, many comments you wonderful readers left. You guys love what we do, and though it took me a while to realize you appreciated the work we did, I definitely see it now. Motorcycle publications as a whole are going through some twists and turns, but I wouldn’t have made the decision I did if I didn’t feel Motorcycle.com could help lead motorcycle media forward.
At the end of the day being a motorcycle journalist was the reason I went to college. It was my Plan A because I didn’t have a Plan B, and even though I thought there wasn’t anything left I could contribute to the profession (if you want to call it that), I realize now how wrong I was. Now that my batteries are recharged, I’ve got plenty of ideas on how we can provide both you faithful MOrons, and the new pups joining us for the first time, content you can all enjoy. However, getting started on that will have to wait until next week – as you read this I’m sitting in the cheap seats on the way to Lisbon, Portugal, to ride the new Ducati Scrambler 1100. So much for settling in slowly…
Yes, it’s true, my fellow MOrons, Trizzle is back.