Savage Roads

Friday, February 16, 2018

Daytona Bike Week 2018

Daytona Bike Week
Daytona Bike Week started in 1937. It may have been the appeal of the hard sand, the warm winter days and the cool idea of a motorcycle race happening on the beach. It most definitely the spirited activities surrounding the event that have kept people keep coming back year after year. Bike Week has been a biker tradition since January 24, 1937 with the first running of the Daytona 200.

1937 Daytona 200 as the crowds look on in amazement
The first race took place on a 3.2 mile beach and road course, located south of Daytona Beach. Ed Kretz of Monterey Park, CA was its first winner, riding an American made Indian motorcycle and averaging 73.34 mph. Kretz also won the inaugural City of Daytona Beach trophy.

1937 Daytona 200 Winner Ed Kretz
The race course ran, in 1937, approximately one and a half miles north on the beach; through a 1/4 mile turn where the sand was banked, and then onto the paved, public roadway portion for the trip south. Coming back on the final turn, another high sand bank awaited riders as they raced on the hard sands of the beach. Interestingly enough, starting times for these events were dictated by the local tide tables. The races continued from 1937 to 1941. In the early years the Daytona 200 was also called the “Handlebar Derby” by local racing scribes.

Getting ready at the starting line

Harley-Davidson has always been a big part of Bike Week in Daytona Beach. In 1940, Harley-Davidson not only won the Daytona 200 mile road race Championship, but 8 of the top ten were won by Harley-Davidson.

A big win for Harley Davidson at the 1940 Daytona 200. 

In 1942, the Daytona 200 was discontinued because of the onset of World War II. The American Motorcycling Association (AMA) sadly noted it was “in the interest of national defense” that the event was canceled. With the war, came a general rationing of fuel, tires and key engine components. Even though the racing event was “officially” called off, people still showed up for an “unofficial” party called Daytona Bike Week. On February 24, 1947, the famous motorcycle race resumed and was promoted by the legendary Bill France. Newspaper stories of the period recount that the city fathers asked the townsfolk to open their homes to the visiting motorcyclists because all hotel rooms and camping areas were filled to the max. The 1947 Daytona 200 featured a record 176 riders and in 1948 Life Magazine did a full feature on the event.

                                      Racers line up prior to the 1948 Daytona 200.  In 1948, a new beach road course was used because of developments along the beach. Organizers were forced to move the event further south, towards Ponce Inlet. The new circuit measured 4.1 miles. The last Daytona 200 to be held on the beach road course took place in 1960. In 1961, the famous race was moved to the Daytona International Speedway.

Following World War II, a new course was used 
Bike Week has always had a flavor of its own. Some time after the war, the event began to take on a rugged edge. While the motorcycle races on the beach were organized, events surrounding the race were not. As time passed, locals became afraid of the visitors and law enforcement officers and city officials were less than enthusiastic about what some termed an “invasion”. Relations between the Bikers and law enforcement officials continued to worsen. When things appeared to be at their worst after the 1986 edition, a special task force was organized by the city in cooperation with the local chamber of commerce to improve relations and change the magnitude and scope of the event.

It is time for the 76th Daytona Bike Week are you ready!
Today Bike Week has transformed into a 10-day festival that expands throughout Volusia County. There are hundreds of events for motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy. Bike Week now welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and is enjoyed by locals and motorcycle enthusiasts world wide.Plenty of action and all about the vroom...

Pat Savage

Friday, November 3, 2017

Crush Of The Day #26

                                         Long overdue here's a bunch of beauties for you!

Friday, July 28, 2017

How to Contact Music Journalists on Social Media

                                               My first cover story in the UK. Photo by John Nordhus

Social media is both a blessing and a curse. This shouldn’t be news. These days, it’s easier than ever to connect with friends, fans, and total strangers. For musicians, it opens new portals to press opportunities and even lucrative contracts, but as with everything, there’s a certain level of finesse for each and every action.

Unfortunately, as anyone who’s ever tried online dating will tell you, a certain level of decorum disappears when people are protected by the Internets veil of anonymity. That’s why it’s more important than ever to retain dignity and treat others, particularly music industry professionals you’d like to work with in some capacity, with the same respect you’d show total strangers in real life
As a music journalist in the digital age, my inbox is literally bombarded with cold calls and requests for coverage from artists and publicists alike. That’s to be expected and while it’s somewhat annoying when the requests obviously aren’t genuine or were mass sent, the real frustration comes when my social channels are bogged down with insistent, even aggressive, messages. And, like online dating, there’s barely a, “Hi! How are you?” before the sender explains what he or she wants in explicit detail.

This isn’t to say that you should never try to connect via social media. On the contrary, if done properly, it’s a great entry onto a writer’s radar. Here are a few tips to contact music journalists on social media.

Do: Follow your favorite music writers on social media

Don’t: Request a follow-back immediately

Would you follow a random stranger on Twitter or Instagram and then immediately contact them for a follow back? Unless that person specifically said, “Follow me, then tweet to request a follow back,” don’t do it. The same goes for music journalists. Yes, our job is to source great artists and write about them, and yes, we may even be interested in your music, but asking for a follow back immediately, even in the sweetest way, guarantees we’ll ignore you.

Why? Consider the alternative. Whenever I get a new Twitter follower, I’ll always look at his or her profile, just to see who they are, what they do, and what we have in common. If that follower is an artist, I may listen to one or two tracks organically to get a sense of his or her sound. That won’t always lead to an article, but there’s that possibility. And yes, it may warrant a follow back.

Alternatively, by the time I check my phone and see that I’ve got a new Twitter follower and a tweet from said follower asking me to reciprocate, I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth. If this person is tweeting at one music journalist in this fashion, it’s a safe bet he or she is reaching out to a whole bunch more the same way. There’s zero chance I’m going to follow him or her back or even take that quick moment to listen to his or her music.

Do: Respond to their tweets in a genuine way

Don’t: Reply to tweets with non-relevant links to your music

Twitter was made for discussions, and the cool thing is that anyone can participate and get involved. But when those discussions are interrupted by self-promotion or off-topic garbage, it can kill not only the chat but also any relationships that were blossoming between Twitter pals.

Keep in mind that music journalists are fully formed people, too. We have good days and bad days; we have 140-character random thoughts that we tweet out without really thinking about them. If your favorite writer tweets, “Can’t wait to hit Disneyland with my BFF this weekend! Don’t you guys love Dole Whip?” don’t reply with, “Listen to my new single, ‘Best Song Ever!’ When can you review it? Let’s do an interview!” Again, like so much of this, it’s obvious. But it happens all. The. Time.
An appropriate tweet, on the other hand, might be, “Dole Whip is the only reason I go to Disneyland!” And, since your aim is probably to engage this writer in some way, add a relevant question (emphasis on relevant), like, “What’s your favorite ride? Mine’s the one with the shortest line!” Interactions like this are genuine and human, which is all we’re really asking for here.

Do: “Like” their photos on Instagram

Don’t: “Like” all of their photos on Instagram in an effort to get noticed

Everyone’s had this happen at one time or another: You open Instagram, see that you have an obscene amount of new likes, and realize you have no idea who said liker is. Usually, it’s:

  • a creepy creepy creep
  • a random company trying to get your attention (and dollars)
  • a bot
  • your mom’s friend who just joined Instagram, followed you, and is liking all of your pics
  • a drunk ex from college
If you’re a music journalist, however, there’s one more option:

an artist who saw your name on a blog/figures you covered his or her friend so, naturally, you’re eager to cover him or her/randomly found you

Look, we appreciate followers just like everyone else. But, to re-emphasize the first two points, don’t act like a freak trying to get attention by flooding our Instagram “like” feeds with a barrage of hearts. Yes, it’s weird that some dude I don’t know is liking photos of my friend’s one-year-old baby, my cat, and the pretty personal photo I posted on Christmas 2014.

In circumstances like this, I have to wonder, “What’s this person’s end game?” which is a question you, as an artist, need to be asking before every social media interaction. What do you want to achieve here? If you’re liking a bunch of Instagram photos, you’re probably trying to get noticed.
There are better ways to do that, like (see above) through genuine interactions. Pick an appropriate post, like a photo of a concert, the beach, or something that’s a little removed from that writer’s personal life, and give it a like or comment along the lines of, “Awesome shot! Zuma Beach is my favorite, too.”

Do: Request to DM them after building up a rapport

Don’t: Endlessly spam them with your music

Seriously, is there anything more invasive than a Facebook message or Twitter/Instagram DM from someone you don’t know and that person doesn’t provide a reason for contacting you? It’s one thing if it’s a completely organic, “Hey, Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your latest ReverbNation piece!” and quite another when it’s, “Review my album! Here’s a link to share with your readers, and please post it on your social media channels!”

Here’s an actual example of a cold-call Facebook message I got recently from someone I don’t know from Adam:

At first glance, it doesn’t seem so bad. This person seems to have a lot going for his or her music: 2.5 million Spotify streams ain’t bad. But it’s clear that he or she is after one thing: coverage, and there’s no subtlety, which is a turn off. (And, for the record, I had no idea who the person was that apparently referred this message-sender to me. Also a turn off.)

Think about it this way: you’re at a bar, and you spot a music writer across the room. You wouldn’t walk right up to him or her and say, “I’ve got 2.5 million Spotify streams! Cover me! Here’s my single! Listen to it!” That’s a surefire way to not get coverage. Remember, social media isn’t removed from real life; politeness will take you far.

Start your interactions in public; Twitter is ideal for this. Once you’ve developed a foundation for a professional relationship, ask if you can send the music writer a DM. He or she will probably know what’s coming, so if you get a “yes,” it’s a great sign. And it’s all because you created a basis of familiarity.

Do: Find something you both have in common

Don’t: Make it obvious you want something from them

For me, there’s nothing cooler than someone who shares my interests, whether they’re music related or not. Like most people, my social media profiles are an amalgam of what I like and what I don’t, which opens up conduits for conversations with my friends, followers, and whoever else happens by. If an artists pops in to add his or her two cents, that’s completely okay. In fact, if that person adds something particularly special to the conversation, that’s definitely going to pique my interest.
For example, one of my weird, musical quirks is a love for jug bands. So when I recently got a message request on Facebook from a guy who plays in a jug band and recognized that I was a fan, I immediately accepted. That spoke my language in a real, human way, as opposed to someone who spews a bunch of generic, copy-and-paste garbage at me (see above).

If it’s obvious that you’re half-assedly injecting yourself into the conversation and pretending to like say, a particular cuisine the writer is raving about for the sake of a little attention, wait for a better opportunity. If one doesn’t come up, this person probably isn’t the right person to be writing about your music.

Why? Because if you’re a hip-hop artist, sooner or later, the writer will tweet about something hip-hop related. If he or she doesn’t, double check that you’re familiar with his or her beat. If that writer regularly covers Latin music or smooth jazz, it’s not going to be a good fit anyway. And no, he or she won’t make an exception for you because you’ve got 2.5 million Spotify streams.
All of these tips can be boiled down into one, trendy catchphrase: Don’t be thirsty. Seriously, just like in real life, quality relationships take time to foster — even professional ones. Keep in mind that even though these words of wisdom definitely increase your chances of coverage, they don’t guarantee it. There’s a plethora of reasons why a journalist could choose to ignore you. When that happens, don’t take it personally, move on, and start the process all over again.

Allison Johnelle Boron is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Goldmine magazine, Paste, and more. She is the founder of REBEAT, a “blogazine” focused on mid-century music, culture, and lifestyle.

The post How to Contact Music Journalists on Social Media appeared first on ReverbNation Blog.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Savage Harley Roads #3 The World's Most Dangerous Roads

Imagine riding your bike down a scenic road in some exotic, far-flung locale when around the bend the railing disappears, the road narrows to practically a trail, and thousands of feet below -- if you squint -- you can see the skeletal remains of cars long lost. Yes, sometimes the road less taken is less taken for a reason. And in the case of these 12, it's because they can kill you.

James Dalton Highway


  If we've learned anything from Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel, it's that the roads in Alaska suck. And the most infamous sucky road is the James Dalton Hwy, a 414-mile passage between the Arctic Sea oil fields and civilization. Winter is unfortunately peak season for drivers, and high winds and icy conditions turn the road into a Slip'N Slide for truckers. 

Kabul-Jalalabad Highway

Located in “the Valley of Death,” this notorious road is highly trafficked by the Taliban and attacks are de rigueur -- so don’t expect an easy, breezy drive. Even still, the narrow mountain passes that always seem to be full of oversized freight trucks are just as frightening.