Friday, May 6, 2011

Royal Enfield C5 voted Bike of the Month on cycle website

Jeff Griffen and his Royal Enfield honored on CycleFish.
UPDATE —A note from Ron Schaefer (a.k.a. Lucky), founder of CycleFish: "Thank you so much for the mention of CycleFish in the article about Jeff’s Royal Enfield winning our Bike of the Month. I actually have always been a fan of the Royal Enfield myself, and was really glad to see Jeff take the win. As mentioned our site does have a large number of Harley riders, but we are working hard to let every rider know they are welcome on our site — which by the way has over 15,000 members, not 2,200.  We are trying to set ourselves apart from many of the 'biker' networks out there by providing a more friendly place where everyone can feel comfortable, as well as valuable resources for the entire riding community. I also took note of your comment regarding the posting of complete articles from other sources.  I really didn’t intend on stealing anything from anyone, but just reposted very select articles that I thought would be of interest to the entire motorcycle community – always giving credit to the original author and publisher. But I can see your point that they would want the readers to visit their publication, and will take your suggestion of summarizing with a link to the full article. Thank you again for the mention, and keep on doing what you do to let the world know about this great iconic piece of motorcycle history!"

 A Royal Enfield motorcycle is "bike of the month" for April on the CycleFish website. Jeff Griffen, of California, emailed me that his 2011 Royal Enfield C5 was the popular choice.

"The site has over 2,200 guys on it, most are Harley riders. My bike went up against 15 other bikes and I did very well in the voting getting twice as many votes as the guy that came in second.  Looks like even the hardcore old guys like the classics," he wrote.

Jeff goes by the handle "Teotwawki" on the CycleFish forum, which lists him as 56 and his occupation as "computers."

"Glad you like the bike," he replied to a forum member who congratulated him on his victory. "I think some of the old British styles are coming back into fashion but I got it because it is just plain fun to ride."

Jeff's note was my introduction to CycleFish, which describes itself as "a website created by bikers for bikers. If you are tired of searching for a website that contains everything a biker needs, then look no further."

The number of sites devoted to chatting and messaging about motorcycles exceeds my ability to absorb information. But I was impressed by the Motorcycle Event Calendar and the Motorcycle News links on CycleFish. The calendar is surprisingly complete, listing several rides and events I didn't know about right here in my home state.

Even if far away, some of the other events listed are fascinating. Here we learn of the San Diego, Calif. "School Girl Run," which invites women to wear (presumably) revealing school girl outfits and promises a "school girl bike wash, school girl go-go dancers, beer chug and vendors!" It's June 14 if you're in the neighborhood and your sixth-grade tartan skirt still fits.

A more serious note is offered by the Motorcycle News link, which contains valuable updates on recent motorcycle industry and government activities.

As an old newspaper man I have only one complaint with this otherwise valuable resource: Whatever automated program is used to hijack the news items pulls the complete stories into CycleFish, with only a "Source" link at the bottom crediting the organization that did the original reporting. That's not fair and, if it becomes standard Internet practice, it will eventually kill off organizations that pay reporters to do their jobs.

A better solution would be for CycleFish to offer only a summary (the first paragraph, perhaps) of each story, with a link that sends the reader to the original site for the meat of the article.

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