Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Camaraderie of the Ride

One of the many joys of the motorcycle industry is getting the opportunity to ride with others in the business, spending time together in the activity that brought the majority of us here in the first place. I got to take advantage of this just last weekend.

Many of you know I spent nearly 30 great years with Cycle World Magazine. When you work at CW, there is one event every year that you look forward to – the Cycle World Trek. Even though I have transitioned from host to guest, I was still really looking forward to the opportunity to ride and mingle with an array of industry folks.

My last Trek was in 2009, which made me even more eager to make it out to the annual event. A two-Trek absence might not sound like much, but I had been on every Trek since 1982 (and I have a collection of Trek shirts to prove it!). While there’s a lot of Trek history (as a lot of folks have gone on this ride over the years to create that history), the brief chronology is this:

In 1975, founding publisher Joe Parkhurst, having reported on a number of the early Ensenada to La Paz endurance runs and PR stunts, became enamored of Baja and wanted to share the riding with magazine advertisers. He did just that. The Baja Trek was created, and a who’s-who of industry attendees launched the first event, which to this day remains unique in that is it the longest-running invitational riding event of its type in the business. In the years since, the Trek moved north of the border to Arizona in 1991, followed by a move to the current location in California over a dozen years ago.

As it has in recent years, the Trek held its base camp at China Peak Ski Resort near Huntington Lake, Calif. At about a 7,000 foot elevation, just south of majestic Yosemite National Park, the location provides plenty of breathtaking scenery. It also provides plenty of opportunity for well-meaning pranks and tomfoolery.

Here I am taking in the open road

Myself with two longtime friends from Cycle World

Now that’s one big tree

As you can tell, the scenery is gorgeous

Its always nice after a long day of riding to come back and relax by the fire

Tomfoolery at its finest

First time attendees to the event are lovingly branded ‘Virgins’, and this year had the largest class of virgins in recent memory. A shout out to newly appointed President and CEO of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Robin Boettcher, for attending and meeting industry supporters of the foundation. We also had a few second generation Trekkers at this year’s event, and I’d love to see that trend continue.

While the Trek has seen changes over the years, one thing remains – the people that attend have a passion for motorcycling. Since the last Trek just one year ago, Cycle World has seen changes too, with a new owner in Bonnier that is injecting fresh perspective and energy into their leading media brand.

In many respects, what our team at Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group is doing to change the market with AIMExpo is quite similar. We’re a change agent that’s creating a market-driven show that will also inject fresh perspective and energy into a market segment that’s been asking for change for some time. As I’ve said previously, we’re bringing every market constituent together in the right place, at the right time, at the right venue, to make our business more effective, efficient, and energetic, creating excitement for both trade and consumer attendees.

In chatting to many of my riding peers over the weekend, we acknowledged the beauty of the Trek is in the participants – you get to know new industry compatriots, face challenges on the trail together, and it all adds up to great camaraderie thanks to a motorcycle ride. The point is, there is no Trek without energetic participation, which CW creates the environment for.

Quite honestly, the same story is true for AIMExpo – we’re creating a bold new environment for you to conduct business in, and it will take energetic participation from everyone in motorcycling to ensure we get to the potential of what we’re creating.

Come join us, its going to be a great ride!

(Photos courtesy of Cycle World Trek Facebook Page)

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