It’s about the ride!

Story by Emily Roberts// Photos by Dean Foster
December 15 2021

I’ve spent the past week filtering through our archived magazines to try to find some of Motorcycle Mojo’s most memorable moments, slowly strolling down the proverbial memory lane.

My job was to pick out some great articles and notable people, but when I opened up the very first “primal” issue of Mojo, time halted. I slowly flipped through each page of the digest-sized magazine and read my parents’ first-ever columns, which they had put together so carefully. Their thoughts and outlooks on the industry were written on the pages that I now spend my time trying to fill.

I started combing through each of my mom’s and dad’s columns: reading about their riding seasons and injuries, and about raising me to ride — and the fears that came along with that, as I moved up to bigger bikes. It felt like I had just found a journal that my parents had written years ago. A public journal, available to everyone to read — but for me, it’s the stories of our lives.

I read about what they were feeling and experiencing at a time when I was too young to understand what, exactly, they were working toward. But now, 20 years later, with Motorcycle Mojo still holding strong as Canada’s prominent motorcycle magazine. I couldn’t be prouder.

I read about my dad breaking his collarbone, trying to stay optimistic and hoping it would heal in time to take in the last of the riding season; his experience was similar to my struggles with injuries. I read about my mom learning to ride and finding joy in each bike she owned, which I often feel.

Then my dad stopped my trip down memory lane with a stern reminder that I have a legitimate job to do.

Throughout the years, I’ve watched my parents work countless late nights, put off riding to write and travel from show to show in order to mold this incredible publication into what it is today. Countless times, I saw my parents struggling to break into a new market and industry, all because they felt it needed to be done. I’ve realized how far my parents came with their ability to create something intriguing and thought-provoking for motorcyclists of all kinds.

For a graphic design artist and an auto mechanic to step away from their reliable jobs to set out into completely unknown terrain in an attempt to provide the Canadian motorcyclist with something they had been missing was truly a risk. Throughout the years, I watched their business grow, along with the magazine’s physical size, and began to understand just how many barriers my parents were constantly breaking, all while staying calm and collected (well most of the time).

I remember saying when I was a teenager that I would never work for my parents. It wasn’t because I didn’t like the idea of working for them. It was because I never thought I would be good enough. Over the years, though, I started to realize that the fear of letting my parents down was inhibiting me, not only from helping them but also from helping others by writing about my experiences.

I started writing my first article for Mojo when I was 18, after my Alaska trip. I say “started” because it took me almost a year to finish. I would attempt to write, then I’d read it over and delete it right away. It wasn’t good enough. Finally, my dad told me: “It doesn’t matter if you think it’s good; you have to start somewhere. If you can just put words on the page it will turn into something. It might take a few tries, but it’s a starting point.”

Sure enough, he was right. I finally completed my first article and then I turned it over to dad to completely overhaul through his editing process. Like anything, practice makes perfect — or close to it — and this was no different. I’ve come a long way since my first article, but this moment instilled in me the idea that maybe I was good enough to work for my parents and maybe, just maybe, someday they might actually want me to work for them.

Ten years later, I’m full-time with the magazine and, although I live on the other side of the country from my parents, we’re closer than ever. I have so much respect for them and what they were able to create from just an idea.

Throughout the years, I’ve watched Motorcycle Mojo change and evolve, along with my parents and the industry as a whole. From the custom-heavy beginning of the publication to the refined and well-rounded spectrum of motorcycle information that Mojo now offers, I’m proud of my parents for having the discipline and determination to make their dream a successful reality for all riders to enjoy throughout the years.

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