New Magazine Offers Tips on Motorcycle Touring
By Michael Di Natale
Gary Dolgoff and Kate Jackson used to just be two friends who shared a common interest in motorcycle touring. While they loved to ride, it was about more than just the road for them. So, when they noticed that there wasn’t a publication catering to their interest, they did something not many people would try; they started their own, “Road Trip: The Magazine of Motorcycle Travel.”
“We knew that there are many, many others who share this interest, yet we were aware that there was no magazine catering to people like us who wanted information about traveling in comfort, style, and safety,” said Dolgoff, “and who would be interested in reading practical service articles and entertaining travel pieces slanted toward motorcyclists.
"As we researched the idea and discussed it with other motorcyclists, we realized we were right on target with our idea and that there was, indeed, a need for such a publication.”
With each coming out of different backgrounds, Dolgoff and Jackson bring different things to “Road Trip.” Jackson has been a professional writer and editor for over 20 years. She has worked for large publishing companies and trade magazines, and was once responsible for the creation and launch of a magazine of one of her former employer’s publications.
Dolgoff, having ridden motorcycles for the better part of the last 39 years, provides the magazine with inspiration for stories. He has logged thousands of miles as a motorcycle tourist, so he knows what riders want and need to know. Although he has no prior professional writing background, he has made the leap to travel journalist very quickly thanks in part to help from Jackson.
Despite their experience, the pair has faced many obstacles while turning their idea into a reality. Weather and natural disasters have interfered with trip planning, motorcycle problems have plagued them and on the business side of things, distribution channels had to be opened. Perhaps even more challenging was developing a layout for the magazine that would properly convey the attitudes of its publishers.
“We wanted a publication that didn't scream at you, something that had a richer look about it, to set a different standard for a motorcycle publication,” said Dolgoff. “We have a very clear vision for the magazine, wanting it to contain travel journalism, not what's known as ‘moto-journalism,’ which tends to be more travel diary than journalism.”
After a year of hard work that Jackson called “somewhat akin to a high-wire act performing without a net,” their magazine printed its first issue this fall. With only a small budget to work with, Dolgoff and Jackson had to split the writing and editorial duties for the inaugural issue.
Despite the limited staff, the final result is sophisticated magazine that merges the needs and wants of a motorcycle enthusiast with excellent travel writing. Taking on all the writing responsibilities for a magazine would be a difficult task for anyone, but to do so while running the rest of the magazine is an amazing feat.
Fortunately for the Jackson and Dolgoff, their hard work has been rewarded with praise and promising news from their distributors
“As soon as the first issue appeared, we began to receive letters, e-mails, and phone calls from readers thanking us for finally creating a more sophisticated magazine for motorcyclists and for addressing the needs of riders who like to travel,” said Dolgoff. “Places that distribute the magazine have phoned to say that their shipment has gone out in a few days.”
"Road Trip," which is available for free at selected motorcycle dealerships, shops, rental agencies and lodgings, aims itself at a different audience than that of the typical motorcyclist one is likely to conjure from a heavy diet of TV and movies.
It’s written for the serious traveler, not for the rebel outlaw. Inside, readers will find safety tips, motorcycle news and travel features which include suggested routes for riders to follow if they want to attempt the trip themselves.
The current issue features the American southwest, with the two largest features being devoted to trips through Tombstone, Arizona and the San Juan Skyway in California.
Jackson successfully captures the adventure of a trip on the road as she takes us with her through the area know as the San Juan Skyway, culminating with a drive past the ancestral cliff dwellings of the Pueblo Indians at Mesa Verde Nation Park. Similarly, Dolgoff brings us inside Tombstone, the site of the infamous “gunfight at the OK Corral," a city which feeds off its own infamy to offer tourists reminders of the good, the bad and the ugly parts of the old west.
Jackson and Dolgoff have, with “Road Trip,” given birth to an excellent alternative travel magazine. Anyone looking for an adventurous trip would not be disappointed with the suggestions they find within. For more information about “Road Trip” or to find out how to subscribe visit roadtripmag.com.
Michael DiNalale is a student at the University of Massachusetts and an intern at GoNOMAD.com.
Read more GoNOMAD Stories on Motorcyle Touring:
Easy Riders: Motorcycling India
South African Motorcycle Tours
GoNOMAD Directory of Motorcycle Tours Around the World
Tour the British Isles by Motorcycle