Top 10 Things The MO Staff Will Be Doing This Week
As jobs go, working at a motorcycle publication is pretty darn good – as long as you’re not too fond of money. Still, like every job, there are work days and there are work days. This week, aside from having Monday off for Labor Day, we’ve got a pretty hectic work schedule planned.
After being held up for months by late-arriving bikes, a fractured bone, and delayed shipments, we are setting out with six wire-wheeled adventure bikes for a three-day shootout to be published in the near future. In the interest of letting you, dear reader, know how hard we work to bring you the very best in motorcycling, here are the Top 10 things the MO staff will be doing September 6-9, 2016.
10. Writing lots of notes
Six motorcycles generate lots of information that we need to track. During our ride, we want to remember topics to discuss, and afterwards, we need to write up notes for the poor sap who’s stuck with churning out the words for this shootout. E-i-C Duke takes the traditional course with his little spiral-bound notebooks. Burns eschews digital forms of recording his thoughts. So, one might expect he’d be in the notebook set, as well. However, in all the years I’ve worked with him, I’ve never seen him lift so much as a pen. Somehow, his stories end up online, pointing to manual labor at some point in the process. Tom Roderick and I choose digital means of storing information. I favor Evernote on iOS. Since I see Tom tap-tap-tapping away at his iPhone, he’s either sexting or taking notes. I’ve been too afraid to look.
9. Manning the home office
I’m still not sure if token young guy, Troy Siahaan, considers himself lucky that he doesn’t have to share restaurant booths with us after three days with no showers or if he feels he drew the short straw this week. Either way, the news items aren’t going to post themselves, and our workhorse Dennis Chung can’t do everything by himself. Then, while I’m out having a good time on two wheels, he’s got to clean up this mess of a T10 list that I’m writing in my jammies at 11:00 the night before we hop on our mounts for an early start (Dude, I’m trying to sort your rambled thoughts instead of packing my bike… —Ed.). (Did I mention that Monday is a national holiday celebrating labor?) Time management was never one of my fortes, but I digress.
8. Running the contestants on the dyno
Come Friday morning, the day after this list goes live, the six wire-wheeled adventure bikes will gather at MotoGP Werks to get the hard numbers for the test. In a perfect world, we’d do this before the three-day ride so that we wouldn’t be counting on our butt dynos to track six power curves. We all know that some members of the staff have better butts than the others, don’t we? One of the hidden challenges of these big shootouts is getting the bikes to the dyno at the same time. Scheduling conflicts almost always mean that at least one of us is forced to load two bikes into their truck in order to sit in L.A. traffic while the person who doesn’t attend the dyno testing is at some important “meeting” that usually involves “lunch” and “business.” Not that I’m bitter, at all. I enjoy being a little cog in the machine that is Motorcycle.com.
Being lifelong motorcyclists, we are well aware that we don’t play well with other children. Add in deadlines, miscommunications, or even waning sunlight, and the situation is prime for us opinionated guys to butt heads over something. However, like hangovers, these black clouds pass, and we return to our little happy family status.
After the fight comes makeup…uh…well…we just start getting along, again. Camping out in the wilderness after a day’s ride is conducive to good times. Stories will be told for the first time – or the hundredth – and we’ll learn a little more about the crazy people we work with.
5. Not enjoying a campfire
Since this is year 73 of California’s drought, the National Park Service has declared that no fires of any kind may be built in the campgrounds in the area we’ll be haunting. We won’t even be able to cook with charcoal, which means that there will be no repeat performance of last year’s chili show where a can of chili being heated on the open flames had its contents rise up out of the can in a single piece until the tower got too tall and flopped into the coals. Ah, good times.
3. Dealing with some kind of adversity
Last year, we had flat tires and had to lift bikes through a small opening next to a locked gate on a dirt road in the rapidly falling twilight to avoid being stranded on a desolate mountain. At the time, these problems are just obstacles that need to be surmounted. Afterwards, they become key elements of an adventure that will be told in future campground bonding sessions.
3. Making endless passes for the photographer and videographer
Ever had the hankering to make 30 U-turns on a semi-blind corner of a narrow forest road? Then motojournalism may be the job for you. The result of this sweaty, thankless work is pretty pictures in which we try look like we’re going much faster than we actually are.
2. Not faceplanting in any puddles
Okay, so this is more of a personal goal, but I’m cautiously optimistic that, this year, I won’t decide to dive into a puddle while I’m busy riding a motorcycle. Since the drought is still going on and we’re going to be many, many miles from the coast, I’m pretty confident that there will be no puddles for me to terrorize this week.
1. Riding motorcycles for three days in a row!
In our hearts, we’re just like you. We love riding motorcycles, and the thought of spending three days riding, eating, and riding some more makes us positively giddy. Including minimal cell service and virtually no usable internet access in the mix only makes the idea of the ride that much sweeter. Yeah, we’ll make a good show of being professional and discussing the bikes. After all, the company is buying the gas, but the simple reality is that we’re going to get some serious seat time, which is something that happens less than we prefer!
Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.
More by Evans Brasfield