Cycle mag provides fine read for any rider


April 17, 1994|By STAN DILLON

Last summer, Jerry Smith and his fiance, Lona Queen, were drawn to the rural environment of Carroll County. They decided to settle down in Westminster to devote their time to their business, a motorcycle publication that has been steadily growing since its inception in 1989.

Winding Road Motorcycle Times is a regional motorcycle magazine devoted to the motorcycle enthusiast that is different from other motorcycle trade publications.

Rather than targeted at a specific part of the industry, Smith's publication reaches across a broad spectrum of interests, from recreational riding to motorcycle events.

Smith never had any intention of publishing a magazine, let alone making a living from one.

"I was out on a ride on my bike in Frederick County when the idea of a magazine struck me," said Smith. "I felt there was a need to bring riders together. A magazine that would inform riders of places to ride. Essentially, I wanted to further the idea of mid-Atlantic motorcycle communication.

"The magazine is pretty unique. It is copy heavy, lots of words, not newsy, not technical, more literary than others. The most important feature, and the one that gets the most comments, is the events calendar."

Smith encourages clubs to publicize their events, and the calendar lists everything from club meetings to professional racing events.

A glance through the magazine's contents, one quickly realizes that there are articles for everyone. A recent issue had columns on restaurants, classic bikes, a Christian Motorcycle Association, motorcycle adventure stories and experiences on the open road by the readers.

It is a reader-driven magazine that follows its slogan "Bringing Riders Together." Smith encourages riders not to allow anti-motorcycling and negative stereotypes of riders to go unchallenged in the mass media.

Smith was into motorcycle magazines early in life, before he ever owned one. He got his first motorcycle as a combination high school graduation/birthday present.

He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1972 with a degree in sociology, but his interest was in motorcycles. He enjoyed setting up and putting old bikes together. The next thing he knew he found himself working as a mechanic.

Smith doesn't favor any particular make of bike. He enjoys customizing older bikes. He and his fiance own three highly customized motorcycles: a 1982 Honda, a 1978 Suzuki GS1000 and a 1982 Suzuki G450.

"I've been in the motorcycle business since 1968, mostly in the D.C. area," said Smith. "I've been in everyaspect of the business. I've been a mechanic, a salesman, store manager, taught motorcycle mechanics at a technical institute and been in accessories. I've road raced on and off at area tracks like Summit Point in West Virginia and raced in the expert class in 1984. I wasn't terribly good, but I liked it."

The free magazine is available at cycle-related businesses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington. The subscription price of $11 for six issues is paid mostly by people who can't or don't want to pick it up at a business.

tTC Smith and his fiance publish the magazine out of their Westminster home six times a year.

The magazine has exceeded Smith's expectations.

"It evolve in ways I didn't anticipate," said Smith. "I didn't anticipate the support in the motorcycle community for it. I never expected nor intented to make a living of it."

Weekend results

The 75-80 and Mason Dixon dragways continue to be plaqued by bad weather.

Joe Mayne of Mount Airy traveled to Capitol Raceway in Crofton and won Division I.

Several Carroll County drivers traveled to the Winston Invitationals at Rockingham, N.C., last weekend. Len Davis of Westminster went three rounds in the Super Comp Division. Other drivers who competed were Lee Howe and Todd Harris in Super Comp and Bruce and Marc Combs of New Windsor in the Super Gas Division.

In super sprint racing on the oval tracks, Cris Eash of Woodbine picked up where he left off last year by winning the feature at Selinsgrove Speedway. Eash is the defending champion at Selinsgrove and led all drivers with 12 feature wins last year. Eash finished ninth at Williams Grove Speedway Friday night.

At Lincoln Speedway, Jesse Wentz of Manchester placed sixth in the 25-lap feature. In other action at Lincoln, Dwayne Morris of Westminster placed sixth in the semi-late feature followed by Westminster's Randy Zechman in seventh, Howard Williams eighth and John Morris 10th. Greg Messersmith of Hampstead was runner-up in the thundercar feature, Corky Stull of Westminster was eighth and Mark Shorb 10th.

At Trail-Way Speedway, Westminster's Steve Owings was second in the micro-sprint feature. Mike Stull and Brad McClelland of Westminster were third and fourth, respectively. Messersmith was fifth in the thundercar feature. Brad Green of Westminster scored his first win of the season in the four-cylinder feature. Jeff Young of Westminster was fifth.

In late-model action at Hagerstown, Gary Stuhler of Westminster was nipped on the last lap by Al Richards and had to settle for second. Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was fifth.

At Winchester Speedway, Rick Jones had his third consecutive top-five finish. He placed third in the late-model feature and his brother Ernie was sixth.

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