I underestimated the NEO motorcycling scene

When I started NEO Moto News, one of my concerns was not having enough news to write about. About a month after launching the site on Aug. 15, I’ve discovered I nearly bit off more than I can chew.

From being surprised by the number of motorcycle-oriented businesses in the region to the many storylines I’ve discovered about local events and riders, it’s been difficult to keep up with the steady stream of topics to write about and events to cover even as the northeast Ohio riding season is getting ready to wind down. 

The surprise began when I was researching motorcycle businesses and organizations to reach out to about the NEO Moto News launch. I’d figured I’d find a total of 30-40 shops, clubs, racetracks and other organizations. I ended up mailing about 90 letters and have been discovering more organizations each week since.

The biggest surprise to me was the number of motorcycle dealerships and independent shops. Within NEO Moto News’ 21-county coverage area, I identified 73 motorcycle shops. 

You can’t have that many shops remain in business without a highly active riding community. Bikes don’t need that much work or that many parts and accessories unless they’re being ridden regularly.

For a region with a short-ish riding season and has been losing population over the last several decades, seeing such a vibrant and economically active motorcycle community is refreshing. 

Though I’ve been combing the interwebs to find more events to add to the NEO Moto News calendar, I learned about one regional motorcycle competition event while I was out riding. I was headed northbound on Ohio State Route 164 to check out a section of the road that had recently been repaired and repaved. As I was approaching the repaved section, I found myself sharing the road with a steady stream of two-stroke enduro bikes. 

A short distance later, I was greeted by dozens of off-road riders staging along the road’s shoulder. When I got off my motorcycle to snap a photo of the transition between the old and new pavement, I could hear the “braaaaap” of riders making their way through the woods to my right.

I stopped briefly to ask one of the gentlemen directing traffic about the event, and he put me on to the event organizer and history.

Though I’m relatively new to northeast Ohio, my relative unfamiliarity with the region is a strength in my view. It allows me to approach covering the region’s motorcycling scene without preconceived notions and will help me to write with more energy for the first year or two of the NEO Moto News project.


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