Our February 2012 cover bike is owned by Mike Schweder from Blue Springs, Missouri. Below is some additional information about Mike and his 2008 Precision Cycle Works (PCW) Detroit Bobber. We photographed cover model search winner Jennifer, on Mike’s bike for this month’s cover.
CC: Mike, what is your occupation?
Mike: I’m the original founder of Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine, and am currently the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. Most people don’t know it; however, I’m also a certified hypnotherapist, and have a practice; A Healthy Change Hypnotherapy, which is located on Main Street in Blue Springs, Missouri.
CC: Why an online motorcycle magazine?
Mike: With today’s technology, and everyone’s desire for instant gratification and current information, I truly believe that most print magazines and newspapers will be gone within the next few years. I mean, when's the last time you flipped through the Yellow Pages? We currently have readers in all 50 states and over 100 countries, which is nearly impossible to do with a print publication. I also feel it’s important to be able to publish unlimited photos for the events we cover, which you simply can’t do with a print magazine. Another huge advantage of an online publication is that every article and photo we’ve ever published is archived right below our current articles, so you can easily go back and read all of our back issues any time you like. Another distinct advantage is that when we cover an event, the article and photos are normally published within only a few days rather than a month or more down the road. Since we don’t have the printing and distribution costs associated with print publications, we’re also able to offer our advertisers much lower advertising rates than print magazines, while offering them a great deal more exposure. A lot of people in the publication business today compares online and print to the difference between e-mail/facebook messages to mailing a letter. I mean, when’s the last time you mailed a letter?
CC: But what about motorcyclists who are not Internet savvy?
Mike: Although we realize there are still some motorcyclists who don’t have computers and may not be Internet savvy, that isn’t our target reader base. Again, we’re planning for the future, and the future is online.
CC: Do you have any hobbies other than motorcycling?
Mike: Yes, I also enjoy travel, scuba diving, sports cars, shooting, and hanging out with my wonderful fiancée Nichole and her beautiful daughter Skylar.
CC: Why do you ride?
Mike: It’s what I do, and what I’ve always done. I’ve been on motorcycles as far back as I can remember. My Dad always had motorcycles when I was growing up, and I can still remember sitting in front of him on his motorcycles and holding onto the gas tank. I feel that riding is one of the most fun and exhilarating things you can do, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to turn my lifelong passion into a business.
CC: How long have you been riding?
Mike: I started riding on my own when I was 7 years old, so let me get the calculator out…humm…I guess about 43 years. Damn…I’m old!
CC: What was your first bike?
Mike: It was a shiny blue Honda MiniTrail 50 that my Dad brought home in the trunk of our car from Hatfield’s Honda in St. Joseph, Missouri.
CC: How many bikes have you owned?
Mike: Believe it or not; only nine. I’m kind of sentimental when it comes to motorcycles, and tend to hold onto things I really like.
CC: How many bikes do you currently own?
Mike: I have two right now. My 2008 Precision Cycle Works Detroit Bobber and my 1999 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy that I bought new back in 1998.
CC: What do you like most about your Detroit Bobber?
Mike: I’ve always wanted a bobber or a chopper to just putt around town on, so when I saw this bike, I just had to have it. I’d never seen a PCW Detroit Bobber before, and love the look and style. There seems to be very few bobbers out there with a 250 rear tire, so in a way, it’s sort of the best of both worlds between a bobber and a chopper. These are very limited production bikes, which also make it unique, and to the best of my knowledge, it’s the only one in town.
CC: What is your dream bike?
Mike: My bobber is it for now; however, I’m kicking around the idea of also getting a Harley-Davidson Ultra for when I travel. The Fat Boy still works fine; however, I think I’m getting to that age where comfort might just be a bit more important than style when traveling. In other words, I can see a Geezer Glide in my future.
CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Mike: There’s so many it’s hard to narrow down. While growing up, my dad, mom, sister, and most of my friends and relatives rode motorcycles together, which are some of my most fond memories. The summer I graduated from high school, a buddy and I rode out to Colorado Springs and back. I had a Honda 750 chopper at the time, and had never ridden anywhere near that far in my entire life. It was an incredible experience, which I wouldn’t trade for the world. My road trip to Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Florida a few years ago was also a blast, and is the longest motorcycle trip I’ve been on so far. Our annual trip to Sturgis with my closest riding buddies is something I look forward to every year, so again, I have way too many to narrow it down to only one.
CC: What is your least memorable riding experience?
Mike: If I had to pick a particular incident, it would probably be back when I was a teenager, and hit my neighbor’s German Shepard on my dirt bike when it shot out of the bushes in front of me on a dirt road. I flew over the handlebars, hitting my head, and ended up sitting on my butt about ten feet in front of my bike facing the same direction I was going. I wasn’t wearing a helmet and received a concussion. In case you were wondering, it didn’t even seem to hurt the dog, which I’m grateful for, because I love animals.
CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?
Mike: None. There are several great motorcycle clubs and organizations I’d love to belong to, and I try to support them all as much as possible, but unfortunately I don’t have the time to commit to one particular group.
CC: Which motorcycle rallies & events have you attended, and which is your favorite?
Mike: Way too many to list, but a few of the larger ones include Sturgis, Daytona Bike Week, Biketoberfest, Bikes Blues & BBQ, Little Sturgis, Four-Corners Rally, Freedom Rally, Steel Pony Express, and the annual Kansas State A.B.A.T.E. Rally at Lake Perry is always a good time. My all-time favorite though, has to be Sturgis. My riding buddies and I make an annual pilgrimage to Sturgis every year, and the Black Hills is so beautiful, it just never gets old.
CC: What is your favorite bike night location?
Mike:We have several great bike night advertisers, and it would be impossible to pick only one. They each offer their own unique experience, and I enjoy visiting them all. This year’s Cycle Connections Cover Bike & Cover Model Search events that we put on around town has gotten so fun and popular that this year’s events are going to be off the hook!
CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
Mike: I enjoy both, but I really enjoy riding with a small group of friends.
CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
Mike: Way too many to list, but I probably spend the most time riding with Dave Baxter; better known as Stripe, who is a great friend and fellow Cycle Connection team member. We attend and cover a lot of events together for the magazine.
CC: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Mike: Please ride safe, and always keep the “What If?” scenario in mind. For example, “What if this vehicle does that?” or “What if that vehicle does this?” The increase in cell phone usage and texting has also added a whole new level to the dangers that inattentive drivers present. If you aren’t constantly watching out for bad drivers, and don’t ride with the thought that every vehicle on the road may just be out to get you, you probably shouldn’t be riding. I think everyone should also keep in mind that it’s much easier to blame someone else when you’re involved in a multi-vehicle accident; however, regardless of who is legally at fault, the majority of the time you need to take at least part of the responsibility for failing to take proper evasive action to help prevent the accident.
Photos by Bruce Stimpson with Stimpson Photography.