Community Commentary Editor's Letter: Reaching the 100th Issue Milestone

Editor’s Letter: Reaching the 100th Issue Milestone

Racing the 100th Issue Milestone

Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time, and things fall your way.

In October 2005, my wife’s step-sister’s husband sent me an online job listing for an editor for a motorcycle magazine based in Malibu with the odd insistence, “Must be local.”

At the time, I was happily working as the Editor of ATV Action magazine in Valencia, while living in Malibu and riding motorcycles in my spare time. The ad seemed odd to me. “How is it there’s a motorcycle magazine in Malibu that I’ve never heard of?” I wondered. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, so I set it aside.

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Ultimate Motorcycling Editor Don Williams

After about a month, it was still gnawing at me, so I looked at the ad again—it was still there and the job hadn’t been filled, which also seemed a bit off to me. The ad told me to send a résumé and a salary history. I did neither. Instead, I sent an email saying simply, “I have experience, and I can do that job.”

I didn’t expect to hear back. However, in less than a day, an email reply appeared asking me to set-up a job interview at Curtco Media Labs at Pt. Dume in Malibu. I was familiar with the building—a striking contemporary modern design—so, I was anxious to see it.

A little research revealed that the publication in question was Robb Report MotorCycling. I had never heard of Robb Report, let alone Robb Report MotorCycling, so I set off to a bookstore and picked up an issue of each.

Robb Report wasn’t my style, but I was seriously impressed with Robb Report MotorCycling. I had never seen a motorcycle magazine like it—content or appearance. I was amazed and intrigued—ultra-high end in every way.

The next step was the job interview. I’ve never owned nor worn a suit in my life. When I interviewed for ATV Action, I was in 501s and a t-shirt. I wasn’t going to buy a suit for the interview, so I came up with the idea of riding there on my Kawasaki KLX400SR in riding gear. I figured they’d be impressed by my dedication to the sport and not notice that I wasn’t in a suit or tie.

It worked. I was interviewed by a friendly—if possibly a bit confused by me— HR woman, who quickly sent me off to talk to the boss—a guy by the name of Arthur Coldwells.

I show up at his office door, walk in, sit down, and we start talking. For two hours, we talked passionately about motorcycles and nothing else. We didn’t talk about the magazine. We didn’t talk about the job duties. We didn’t talk salary.

Then, Arthur says to me, “So, are you going to work for me?”

“Sure!” I responded.

I gave ATV Action a month’s notice, as I didn’t want to leave them hanging after 10 years with the magazine. I arrived at Robb Report MotorCycling on December 27 (13 years ago to the day of the publication of this issue) and stepped into the breach to finish the production of the March/April 2006 issue—Issue #11.

Eight-nine issues later, I am more thrilled than ever to be working for what I consider to be the best magazine in the sport, the greatest staff to work with, and a boss that’s as cool as the guy I met in the most unlikely of circumstances 13 years ago!

Of course, without readers, we wouldn’t be celebrating our 100th issue. The readers have always been the crucial ingredient in our successful recipe, so everything we do revolves around serving and entertaining those who give us their time. Thanks, so much for making it all happen.

Stick around—we easily have another 100 ahead of us, and we’ll continue to try to make each issue better than the previous one.

Don Williams
Don Williams
With 45 years of riding experience, Don Williams is a fan of all kinds of motorcycles. He enjoys sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, touring bikes, adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, and rideable customs. Ask Don what his favorite bike is and he will tell you, "Whatever bike I'm on."

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