This past Thursday a small group of Cycle Gear employees were invited to attend the celebration of Motorcyclist Magazine turning 100 years old. I saw a sneak peek at some of the invited guests and knew it was going to be a who’s who of the motorcycling industry, and was honored to be included. What I did not know was how incredibly “once-in-a-lifetime” this party was going to be.
There were a few bikes on display in the garage area where the party started.
After a little while of taking it all in, they made an announcement that they would be opening the photo studio, which is where the awards for motorcycle and motorcyclist of the year and century would be presented. This is where everything became a bit more surreal. Since Motorcyclist is a major magazine and they share space with a handful of other car and motorcycle publications, so I knew it would be impressive. What I did not know was that behind those doors I would be able to photograph the motorcycles of two great racers. Eddie Lawson and Ben Spies.
Motorcyclist put on a slide show that painted the history of the magazine through pictures of the covers.
They then went on to crown the motorcycle of the year…
…Followed by Motorcycle of the Century.
Since the name of the magazine is “Motorcyclist”, they also named the Motorcyclist of the Year. Sadly, the recipient was killed in a racing incident last MotoGP season.
Kevin Schwantz, Marco’s good friend and mentor accepted the award on his behalf.
Last but not least was the award for Motorcyclist of the Century. Malcolm Smith was on hand to accept his award, and bounded to the stage with the energy that once allowed him to win 8 ISDE, 6 Baja 1000, and 4 Baja 500 gold medals. Even if you didn’t know about his history with motorcycling, you had no choice but to be inspired to ride and to feel good about the sport. You could see in his eyes how much love he still has for motorcycling.