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by Dan Hartman

I’m not sure you know this, but Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly is an alternative newspaper. We are independent and locally owned, free and open to ideas. We are not controlled by the corporate owners of the big chain newspapers. M.M.M. doesn’t directly compete with the big dailies or weeklies, because we are a special interest paper oriented to motorcycles. But we are part of and interested in the independent press movement.

It’s sad to see independent newspapers around the country lose out to big chains. You lose more than the number of papers in an area–you lose ideas. The movement that started in the early 1970s as an alternative voice to the large mainstream press is vanishing in this country, as big business buys them up. It is no longer a voice which stands alone, but one that needs to make money for the big corporations.

M.M.M. wants to make money, too, but not at the expense of our readers. Independent opinions and ideas are important to Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly. It helps to maintain the paper’s integrity and makes the newspaper interesting to read. We are more than just a shopper; we’re a newspaper and proud of it. We are also proud of the fact that we’re locally owned and locally minded. Whatever we find in our research into the motorcycling community gets reported. The newspaper has a responsibility to stand on its own two feet. Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly was started because of a love for motorcycling. As long as this goal stays in mind, the newspaper should produce good moto-journalism.

I think it is important to explain what Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly is all about–a newspaper committed to motorcycling with an integrity about it.

I just returned from Canada on business (other than the newspaper). I spent a week there and couldn’t help but look for motorcycles. I was happy to find some.

In Ottawa there is a great place with restaurants, bars and shops called Marketplace. It’s an old warehouse area that has been renovated. On one of the side streets I found approximately 20 motorcycles parked in a row with the riders all standing around socializing. It must be the place to go in Ottawa for a night on the town. I spent some time talking to some of the riders about their bikes and what it’s like to ride in Canada. Some of them had French accents and were hard to understand at times, but the language of motorcycling is universal, you know.

I asked the friend I was with to drive me out to one of the local cycle shops, so that I could purchase a T-shirt with “Ottawa” on it, an enthusiast’s version of the souvenir shirt.

Motorcycles are everywhere you travel. Their different makes in different places make for good conversation. And when you see one on the road, you wish you were next to it on your motorcycle.

Ride safe and be free.

M.M.M.

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