My “Two Cents Worth”Well, I had to write in and tell you that I just read the online Letter Rip calling your mag a turkey edition, and I had to say that this gentleman took the words right out of my mouth! However, I had a much more focused desire, and that desire was to point out first, that the general meat of your mag consisted of pretty much a motor heads gear and mechanical diary, and that it really dealt with nothing that interested me for the long term.Let me be more specific (April 2008). I looked at the table of contents, and I see 5 of 6 topics in the features section are on something mechanical. The other is pics with little or no interesting info on riders most of us will never see or hear of. Departments are the same, knees, and then more tools and mechanical info. Where is the info on RIDING in the woods of Wisconsin? Or the desert of Idaho? Or the mountains of Montana?As an aging (48 year old senior B) rider I enjoy the fact that I now have a bit more time, a bit more knowledge, and a bit more money to spend on a hobby that keeps me in shape and allows me to get out with others. The fact is that I ride because I like to RIDE! I spend my time getting my bike ready so I can RIDE it. Now sure, we all have to do some work on our bikes, but the vast majority of work on today’s modern bikes is about maintenance, not build-up. The beauty of our new technology is that we get to enjoy it while we RIDE it. The fact of the matter is most of us are tickled that we have suspension that works like butter, that the bike fires up and idles on the first or second kick, and that we can go ride all spring, summer, and fall, and usually only have to buy tires and air cleaner washing chemicals. But I digress. As you can see, the main reason we own these machines is to RIDE them!I live in Idaho, and I have literally out my back door within 30 minutes about 6 million acres of ride-able terrain. I’m not exaggerating, and I’m not being sarcastic. It truly is over 6 million acres of desert, again, desert that we have open to riding. So I can literally wear out a bike, run out of gas, and burn through tires until I should have a sponsorship with Dunlop. My point is that what we want is information, i.e. articles about where to ride, and where to go to ride in fun and awesome places. I spent 35 years climbing mountains all over the world and the number one draw was always where to go next. It’s no different with riding a dirt bike. We ride to go SEE cool and amazing locations, terrain, and to meet others at those locations. How many people would be interested in knowing that they could ride 50 mile loops through the desert here in Idaho, and never repeat any of their trails for an entire season of riding? How many of those people after visiting would be more prone to dropping a line to the local government after hearing that some area they had visited might be shut down, or have access restricted. Hard to say as we are pretty much kept in the dark about what’s out there to ride in different areas. Your mag is a perfect medium in which to spread this information. Why isn’t it being done? I would love to know where I could go to travel with my friends and bikes to experience more riding and new terrain. What does lie over that next ridge? I have a pre-conceived notion that there is no riding in the mountains on the east side of the states. I’m sure I’m wrong, but how would I know? I have never seen any articles on where to go ride there.Secondly, I wish that as a continuing feature in your magazine you would do the research and publish a detailed account of one “local classic” race. I know from experience here that we have a couple of races that are long standing, classic and are just amazing experiences. Not only do we have a great desert racing community, with some sensational races, we also host one of the few ISDE qualifiers in the nation. I learned that this year, the Idaho City 100 will be one of only two qualifiers, and that it is the only place in the NATION that you can ride a 100 plus mile course without repeating any of the course. That’s the only place in the USA! Our riders are coming here, getting the skills that they need in order to compete in international events, and they are being successful because of it. That’s an awesome thing. Especially since I get to go ride the same forest trails and experience those same difficulties! But who knows and where do we learn about it?So there you go, my two specific suggestions about what you should add to your editions. First there should be a location to highlight every issue, with a place to go as a destination, with information regarding the area, the season, the local clubs, etc. I can’t imagine you would run out of information or ideas on that one anytime soon! And secondly I would recommend you include in each edition a write up on one famous, or infamous local club race that has stood the test of time, and has become a local legend in the riding circles of that state or region. By the way, have you ever heard of the Oreana 100? FYI, David Kamo is from a small town here, and is just tearing up the desert racing season this year! He was in Chile for the ISDE last winter as well. It would be great to hear about these riders who RIDE in places where the rest of us like to ride as well.Thanks for letting me spew, I hope I was concise, and even if I was criticizing, I wanted to include what I think is a resolution to my perceived lack of info on your mag. If you want me to provide an article about Idaho to get the tire rolling, you just give me a shout! I’ll be on it as fast as my KX450F fires up and we’ll be heading out to some wicked sand wash canyons to show you the way.Steve Silva
Wilder IdahoThanks for the letter. You see a lot of mechanical stories because that is what the majority of our readers buy Dirt Rider for. There is a reason we are the largest off-road motorcycle magazine and it is because we satisfy a wide variety of viewers. As to the point of doing a “where to ride” section. Sure it would be easy for a few months but uncovering new areas is a very time consuming and expensive proposition. To do it the Dirt Rider way and to a high level it would take a staffer or a great contributor to go out and research the areas and get good photos. We don’t have the budget or the time to do it right. And experience shows that we can not get consistent content on this subject from contributors, clubs or individuals about spots all over the country aside from a lot of, “come ride at our place, the mud hills, it’s rad!” Supplied with a blurry photo of a guy on a clapped out XR400. Secondly, and on a more personal level, I would not want some magazine to go telling everyone about my favorite area because, and trust me on this, it would get trampled. I enjoy the searching out of good riding areas on my own and relish in the accomplishment of finding new places. Through this I meet new riding friends as well.It would be the same in trying to get info and especially good photos on clubs. We have to think about these stories on a national magazine level and sometimes what happens in Idaho is as important as what happens in Southern California. And to a guy in Michigan, neither of those places is too important. The majority of our readers do ride and they ride a lot. But we suspect most of them would rather focus on something that is more central to what they do, which is ride, more than something abstract such as riding someplace that is likely out of reach.Truthfully there are plenty of online resources to satisfy the need to go riding in places you are not familiar with and they do a better job, in real time and with specific information about where you are looking to travel than we could ever do. If I were king, our web site would have an area for this but our site continues to suck. If you wanted to give up your favorite place, then send in the story and I’ll put it up online to see if it floats. And ask some of your riding buddies who help out with trail maintenance and keeping riding areas open to help you out with the article.