Thanks, Rich and Jackie! Through the foresight of Bikesville’s first employee, Rich Long, and his wife Jackie, we gained access to the 15 issues of the publication they had stored. Bikesville was printed offset, on newsprint, so the pages have grayed and yellowed. But the 16-page, tabloid format magazines have been scanned and tweaked a bit and have been reopened to the public — 42 years after the original launch.
Viable commercial entity? Bikesville broadly covered much of what bikers of that day were doing. The magazine was well received by its audience, but was never a commercial success. It was a labor of love by a small group of dedicated motorcyclists who all were gainfully employed elsewhere. The publication focused on, and participated fully in, the battles over land use and riding areas raging during the 70s. And the enthusiasts involved gained access to, rode, tested, occasionally broke, and always wrote about, some of the more interesting two-wheeled machinery of the mid-70s.
The Big Bang! Why, if it was so much fun to produce, did Bikesville halt publication? The gasoline crisis and related price increase of 1973-74 was an inhibiting factor for competition events that required moving people and machines over distance. But the coup de grace was the high speed, head on collision of editor-publisher, and driving force,Chuck Surprise. Weeks of hospitalization, hours of surgery, and mountains of medical bills drove Bikesville to an untimely demise. But not the publisher, who, mostly recovered, continues riding to this day. Some people never learn!
Now, thanks to the Longs, Bikesville lives again. The historic publications will be searchable, and readers can cut and reproduce articles and photos. Early reception from a very limited test audience has been uber enthusiastic. We hope you enjoy it as well.
A participatory venture. Readers who were involved in motorcycling in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and onward are invited to submit comments, memories, stories, photos (preferably scanned or digitized) to add to the history contained here. Thanks to the Internet, we can, perhaps, gain a measure of immortality? Ride on!