Why are you leaving your current position?
I’m not leaving, just going on indefinite hiatus. This website is a one-man operation (with occasional contributions from other like-minded jackasses) and the time and effort required to feed it and maintain it while raising two kids and having a full time day job can be a bit arduous. For a brief moment I had hoped the site would allow me to ditch the day job, but that pipe dream has long since gone up in smoke. Time is money, so to speak, and websites incur costs just being online; the site will stay up as long as its economically feasible for me, but I’m not going to spend any more time on it.
Just to clarify, I have gotten a lot of free gear and services for my efforts, but never received a dime for anything I wrote. That almost changed last fall as a big online retailer came calling and offered to pay me to post something about them. I told them I wasn’t interested in writing 1000 words on why everyone should shop at their site, particularly because I stand by my post on independent bike shops, but I was more than happy to take their money and write an unbiased piece on the history and evolution of their company. They declined, as I suspected they would.
Do you think you were adequately equipped to do your job well?
Absolutely. The goal of the site was always informative entertainment for the average dual sport rider. I’ve been equipped with average riding skills and a relatively neutral ego most of my adult life. My insecurities counterbalance any pompous tendencies I may have quite nicely, so all my opinions are based on being an average rider, not someone trying to ‘brand’ themselves or trying to prove they know everything. The site was never about feeding my ego, there are no claims of any expertise and my name isn’t listed anywhere. It was about learning and sharing things learned.
What was your relationship with your manager like?
He’s a bit mentally unbalanced.
Wait, I thought this was a one-man show. Aren’t YOU your own manager and just asking yourself these questions?
Yes, these are just standard exit interview questions I copied and pasted from Google – my therapist said it could be a healthy exercise. But the aliens who live in my microwave believe she’s not to be trusted, so I don’t really know. Yoda says once I become a Jedi and get my X-Wing Fighter out of the swamp I’ll become enlightened. Right now I don’t think my meds are working too well.
What was the biggest factor that led you to leave?
Besides the aforementioned time vacuum for little/no return, there’s also the fact that the motorcycle industry is just that – an industry. And like any industry, its filled with business-minded people, some of whom take themselves a little too seriously for my taste. I pride myself in being the antithesis of that.
I am very passionate about motorcycles, but the fundamental reason I got a bike in the first place was for FUN, and I’ve come to realize I have no business doing business with business-minded businessmen. I’m just a guy who likes riding and writing, which is probably the precise reason why this website has failed to be successful monetarily. While I can appreciate business savvy entrepreneurs (even the narcissistic ones), my personality is more suitable for monkey business.
What did you like most about your job?
Reading comments and receiving emails from people all over the country who took the time to say they enjoy the site and thanks for the effort. Or, even better, letting me know that I put a smile on their face. That’s been very rewarding!
What did you dislike most about your job?
There’s a lot of haters and nay-sayers out there! I’ve been told everything from print is dead/nobody reads anymore to my site stats are just ‘bot traffic to I’m full of shit/I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve also had people imply that I’m a prima donna and a sellout.
It’s a strange contradiction – off-road riders are some of the friendliest, most helpful people out on the trails, but get them online and a large number of them can’t wait to slam each other on forums and in comments sections.
Were you given the tools to succeed at your job?
Absolutely. Thanks to all the companies who kicked me down free stuff!
What could have been done for you to remain employed here?
Everyone in the world who rides a motorcycle could give me a dollar.
What skills and qualifications do you think we need to look for in your replacement?
5th grade computer skills, 8th grade sense of humor, type with at least two fingers, ability to use spel chek preffered but knot nessisarree.
Any parting comments?
Just a bunch of thank-yous. First and foremost to Zach Berning from Primitive Road Media Group , who I love like a brother. He really inspired the whole endeavor, and was always very generous with his time and IT expertise. My wife and kids for the countless times they had to quit waiting for me to finish writing something or figure out why WordPress hates me. To the occasional contributors: Frank Morton (who I love like a slightly deranged uncle), Roger Hudnut, and Scott Whitaker. All those who took the time to show off their dual sports and share their stories in the Real Bikes, Real Riders section. Companies & past sponsors in no particular order: Seat Concepts, IMS, Schaeffer’s Oil, Moto Lab, Deuter Backpacks, Airborne Cycle, Double Take Mirrors, Atomic Moto, Cycle Wipes, Giant Loop, Titan Straps, Brandon and Dana from The Moto Shop, and anybody else that slipped my mind!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to admiring myself in the mirror-