I made the American Motorcyclist May 2011 issue cover…

…. and practically the centerfold too. :P

The good folks at the AMA contacted me a couple of months ago asking if I would write a 700 word piece for them about how to plan and execute a successful road trip. Since I know a couple of things about the topic, I agreed and sent in a write-up. The most difficult part was really trimming it down to the required word count seeing as I wanted to speak volumes about the subject. I think I managed to get it down to about 900 and they did the rest. I think they did a great job with the editing as they kept the essence of what I wanted to say, especially with respect to leaving your gadgets at home (sage advice that I’ve never actually taken) and having a good attitude while on the roadtrip (images of bawling my head off and coming to blows with my co-rider Sarah when stuck in the mud in Slana come to mind).

When they requested the article, they mentioned something about using some pictures from the photoshoot they had commissioned last year. I didn’t think much about it, until a friend pinged me on Friday saying something to the effect of – “Holy &^&@#^@, I came home from work and saw you on the cover of my AMA mag.” This being April 1st, I was going to reply with something to the tune of “Haha… yeah right, nice try.” until he sent me scanned images. Cue shock, delight, shock, surprise, shock, and then finally acceptance. Yes, there was a lot of shock involved and not a few thoughts of feeling like a complete tool and poseur seeing as I haven’t ridden a motorcycle in the past three months (it’s a hiatus!). Oh and the SV featured in it hasn’t run in 8 months since I got stranded on the US-Canada border. Looking at the magazine cover, I felt like I was looking at someone else that I knew way back, and not me! I know that I should just chill out and enjoy my 15 minutes of fame though. And maybe I will. I’m especially delighted with the inside photo accompanying the article, which was taken on a street close to where I live, with downtown Seattle in the background – my own beloved city! It’s a shame the Space Needle isn’t in it.

Yesterday evening, I finally got my own copy in the mail, along with a stack of free copies, same as they did last year, bless ‘em. It’s too bad that they are subscription only (even if they do have a distribution of 250,000 or so), so most of my friends won’t be able to buy a copy on the newsstands and have to settle for PDFs. I’ll be able to send one to my mum though, who after last year’s article finally figured out that I don’t really ride a scooter. :)

Oh and I cannot wait for outraged letters to the editor start pouring in, about how they could feature a squid sans motorcycle jacket, pants, helmet or gloves. What can I say – vanity won out over setting a good example for today’s youth. ;)

Here are screenshots of the images and article:

Rashmi AMA Cover

Rashmi AMA Inside pg1 Rashmi AMA Inside pg2

Cover: Link to hi-res PDF
Page 1 – Link to hi-res PDF
Page 2 – Link to hi-res PDF

(Major thanks to Gary Meyering for sending those to me!)