What Cycle Source Did During The COVID “Vacation”
Article By: Patrick Garvin
Originally Published In The August-September 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
It’s been a hectic time here at Cycle Source Magazine HQ or as we now refer to it publicly, The Source Media Group. With the onset of the quarantine imposed during the COVID Crisis, I’ll have to admit, we spent the first month just dead in the water, seemingly helpless as we watched events get canceled, newsstand locations cancel orders. The issue of the magazine gets extended. After we had our little pity party, we picked ourselves up by the bootstraps and got to work. At the time, we were firmly broadcasting ShopTalk to the world, and with that experience, we set out to launch the first-ever Cyber Rally. 10 and 1/2 hours of broadcasting, we brought everything that you would expect from burnout contests, wet t-shirt shows and make your own bikini contest to a cyber bike show with live participants from all over the world. In the end, we could see a great opportunity here and after the rally tore the studio down to rebuild it, better, more powerful, the six million dollar broadcast station… Ok, not that much better, but I couldn’t resist the nod to 70’s Television.
What we did do was add in a new computer system that is now capable of true 4K broadcasting, some other live components, and technical wizardry that gave us a real chance at expansion. We currently sit at four weekly shows with three more on deck for a very short release date and upgraded capabilities for existing long format shows like Grease & Gears Garage, Road Show, and Grease & Gears TV. I wanted to take a moment to introduce our print media fans to all of this and make you aware that you are now able to watch any of this programming from the comfort of your own couch, on your living room television set as long as it can get to YouTube. Through our partnership with Choppertown we are watching the numbers skyrocket, and that is proof enough for us that this new media is king. Here is a little introduction to what Source Media and each new program is:
CANNONBALL CHRONICLES: The Motorcycle Cannonball has been well documented with racers riding age-old machines, dressed in full regalia from a time gone by. This year, however, this living breathing monument to motorcycling past moves years into the future with a new live broadcast: The Cannonball Chronicles. Stemming from an interview series started by Open Road Radio’s Gina Woods, this new weekly program will primarily feature the trials, tribulations, and stories of the race teams as they prepare for the upcoming Motorcycle Cannonball Race. Join host, Jason Sims, promoter of MCR, along with his co-host Rob Nussbaum, of Retrocycle as they deliver Cannonball news, talk about its history, and introduce us to the competitors. Going under the same name Gina Woods had for her interview series was just too good of a fit, and you can expect that Open Road Radio will be working in concert as this show develops.
Additionally, each episode will feature the incredible work of renowned motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter. Michael will feature one image per show that he captured during previous historic races and provide an indepth description of who, what, when, where, and why before opening it to group discussion. You can participate in these discussions through the comment section of your favorite social media platform; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, and Periscope. Motorcycle Cannonball, Retrocycle, and Choppertown will also be carrying the feed, so be sure to tune in on Wednesday nights at 9 pm EST for the Cannonball Chronicles.
BIKE NITE LIVE: With host Pat Jansen we go into the culture and community surrounding Bike Nite from the bikes and people who come in live remote to the entertainment with live bands each week and the food. With Billy Grotto from Twisted Tea, we have a live segment that is like a “Today Show”-style cooking segment making everything from Chicken Wings and pizza to other rally foods and snacks. While the cyber version of Bike Nite was a no brainer during the quarantine, the extension of this proves to be interesting. As the states begin to open up, we have begun to go to physical Bike Nites and bring them into the show. As the world gets back up to speed, we look to launch full-scale live remotes from Bike Nites all over the United States.
CYBER SWAP: With hosts Tom & George Banks, Cyber Swap takes a “Home Shopping Network” approach to the Motorcycle Swap Meet. With Swappers coming in remotely, we go one part at a time introducing the parts for sale, and while the bidding goes on through the comments, the hosts and the swapper talk about the parts. Additionally, there are whole bikes for sale, blow out parts, and apparel that comes in from manufacturers and once a show a big-ticket item with a live auction mechanism. As with the Bike Nite Live show, we have begun to bring in live remotes from actual swap meets, and the extension of that will be actually full remotes from swap meets everywhere.
GREASE & GEARS TV, GARAGE & ROADSHOW: Grease & Gears TV was born at the end of a company called Rally TV and performs much of the same functions. It is a live report from the rallies on the who’s and what’s from the events. It is a no muss no fuss approach to live event coverage and has a great following that’s been built over the past ten years or so. That type of broadcast ultimately led to the formation of Grease & Gears Garage. Starting with an I-Phone on a tripod, the humble beginnings of Grease & Gears Garage five years ago have come a long way. What we saw in that fi rst year was that more people watched our live broadcasts from Sturgis of national builders and fabricators performing live from the Broken Spoke than the amount of people that were in Sturgis. As the years went on, what we learned most was the need for a more personal approach, then came Grease & Gears Garage Roadshow. In this, we go live to a builder’s shop for a segment of Grease & Gears Garage, but we also develop the personal story of that builder and where they come from, where they live. Included in this is our own in studio work where it is the staff of the magazine performing bike builds under the header Grease & Gears Garage Live.
SHOPTALK: With hosts Chris and Heather Callen and Make Persichetti, ShopTalk is a weekly motorcycle news and entertainment program. I can hardly believe we are heading into the fourth year of ShopTalk. The growth of the audience and refinement of that program has been incredible as we fi nished the segment just this past week that feature not only Jay Leno coming in live remote from his museum-like garage in California but also Michael Ballard and Jesse James Dupree live from Sturgis the night before the official vote from the City Council on the fate of this year’s rally. ShopTalk has become a very important tool in delivering news and information to the street level community in and around the motorcycle world. As our flagship show, we feel that ShopTalk is taking its place as the leader of this new media platform scoring a respectful 80-100,000 viewers per week.
All in all, this is a hard yet exciting time for all of us in the motorcycle community, and what we hope from Source Media is to provide alternative ways for our community and industry to come together and celebrate the culture of who we are moving forward. If you would like any additional information or would like to get the media packet for any of these shows, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org