Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure


Motorcycle TourMagazine

About Whatchathinkin'

Backroads’ fairer half, Shira Kamil, has an interesting perspective on the day-to-day things riders run into which is both extremely well written and informative. She adds a new polish to the editorial team here at Backroads.

Name: Shira Kamil

Current Rides: Honda 919, Suzuki V-Strom 650

Favorite quote:

Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator. ~ Robert Orben

Sparkling Silver

The saying goes that hindsight is 20-20. As we head into 2020, I’d like to take a brief glimpse back to the year 1995 and the start of the magazine that you are holding in your hands. Cue Sherman, Mr. Peabody and the Wayback Machine, it’s time for a little trip into history.

History lesson begins: First there was a riding club started in 1991 by Brian and Marty Trionfo called Sport Touring MC. The club had a newsletter that was eventually titled BACKROADS and helmed by member and MTV artist David Wilson. David moved to New Mexico and I took over the task of putting the newsletter together while working at National Speed Sport News (remember Chris Economaki from Wide World of Sports? He was my boss, and a greatWhatchathinkin one). The day came for the newsletter to go on to its next stage, and that was in 1995.

Brian and I toiled, worried and pulled late-nighters over that first 16-page black and white newsprint. When we picked it up from the printer and loaded those bundles into our Dodge Caravan, we knew we were on our way to publishing history (or hoped so, anyway). We had set our sights on BACKROADS - the magazine – to make its debut at that year’s Ramapo 500 sign-in at the Red Apple Rest in Southfields, NY. With much anticipation and anxiety, we watched as riders picked up their ‘500’ packages and an issue of BACKROADS.

And that, as they say, was the start of some beautiful friendships. Those made in the motorcycle industry: our first motorcycle press intro invite from Rob Mitchell at BMW, the great ink in Motorcycle Consumer News from Fred Rau which jump started both our relationship and that with our readers, our many travels with the wonderful touring companies over the last 25 years such as Edelweiss, our first overseas excursion to the Alps, who had already made their mark in the touring society and Scott Moreno of IMTBike, which began just a few years after we did and brought us to Morocco, which to this day was one of my favorite trips ever.

And, of course, all those made during our years of BACKROADS’ rallies and events: from our very first outing that brought one dozen riders to the Finger Lakes to our annual Spring and Fall rides gathering dozens of riders to points north, south, east and west. Our Edelweiss tour to Montana put us together with Mark Byers, and his lovely wife Betsy, whose monthly words bring thought, inspiration and insight to the motorcycle world. In addition to the great people we now call friends, there have been so many friendships, and some marriages, that have developed over these 25 years amongst those who might never have otherwise met.

Things changed over these 25 years as well – the black and white newsprint went to full color glossy. More and more people joined our advertising family – dealers, restaurants, inns and hotels and so many great products have been featured in these pages, bringing riders parts, accessories, service, new motorcycles, terrific destinations, meals and to places they may never have ventured if not seen in BACKROADS.

For our 25th anniversary, we hope to bring you, our wonderful readers, even more adventures, information and fun than before. We are planning to have events every month – a simple invite to join together for a meal somewhere during the winter to combat PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome), a weekend of schooling and socializing on our ROADS Scholar Day (details to come), our anniversary tour with IMTBike to Portugal in May and our Grand Tour to take place in June (details in this magazine) – not to mention our regular rallies and trip to VIR to better ourselves with the folks at CLASS in September. Stay tuned to these pages as well as our website and Facebook page for up-to-the-minute details and announcements.

While I look out the office window at the sun reflecting off the newly-fallen snow which is quite beautiful, I, too, reflect on the past 25 years and the marvelous adventures we’ve had, the wonderful people who are now in our lives and how incredibly fortunate Brian and I are to have been able to live this life and to have shared it with those who have taken this journey with us. To those who have joined us on our rallies, thank you for your support. To those who have yet to discover the fun to be had, this is your open invitation to become part of this great BACKROADS family – 2020 will be a sparkling silver year indeed.