By Kevin Duke
A side benefit to riding motorcycles is that a rider’s age is fairly easily obfuscated by riding gear and a full-face helmet. Thus attired, I could pass myself off as a 20-something even though I’m carrying around a number twice as large.
While you might not be able to tell my age when I’m geared up, you could if you glanced into my home office. My collection of motorcycle magazines numbers in the many hundreds – perhaps thousands if including a decade’s worth in my mom’s basement – stretching back to the 1980s. It’s a sure indicator I can’t qualify for millennial status.
Millennials, apparently, are largely unfamiliar with words printed on paper, instead getting their info almost completely online. To me and the generation I come from, a library of back issues was once an invaluable resource of information that was otherwise inaccessible.
But then the world wide web came into being, and moto information began its dissemination digitally. The publication you’re browsing now began spurting dribs and drabs of moto-centric content way back in 1994. A few years later, in 1997, I had scored my dream job of a staff position at a national motorcycle magazine, and I was shocked when my first new-bike launch included an invite to the web: Motorcycle.com.
At that point in time, the internet was generally regarded as little more than an electronic version of a bathroom wall – a bunch of people with no authority spouting off about things they had only cursory knowledge about. With my longstanding love of printed magazines and the marginal penetration of the web at the time, I remember feeling as if Motorcycle.com was just an imposter in a respected and professional industry. But MO was blazing a trail…