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MoJazz @ 4 desert dunes - American Falls

Hello Friends,

MoJazz turns four this week. MotorcycleJazz.com was launched on January 14, 2008 (a day that will live in infamy) but wasn't completely public until the 19th of January 2008. I want to acknowledge all of you for your support. In our first four years we've attracted over a quarter of a million visitors from more than 120 countries around the world. It's some ride. 

I particularly want to thank my friend and riding partner Daniel Colvin for his help with MoJazz. Also Steven Verschoor, Megan Broyles, Mookie Melehes, Jake Kopplow  and Alfonse Palamia - MoJazz contributors. The pay still sucks but we are, as always, sure having fun.

This year we decided to mark our anniversary with a new tradition: MoJazz year end awards. We intended to honor one of our readers with a "Person of the Year" award, and one product with a "Product of the Year" award but a completely predictable lack of discipline relegated us to giving out more awards than we'd planned for. So there are two winners for our first "Persons of the Year" award: Wade Popham and Jason Weeks. Thanks to donations from MoJazz readers, Wade and Jason both earned some swag.  

Wade Wade Popham earned his share of the first annual MoJazz Person of the Year award by becoming the first individual beyond the circle of MoJazz staff and friends to complete the Tour of Idaho Challenge. Wade collected a few more than the requisite 60 challenge points required to become an official Tour alumnus. Wade did this while riding solo (mostly), dodging fires and floods and dealing with a slew of navigational and mechanical issues. Wade published an extensive chronicle of his trip on ADVrider and it's one of the few pieces on that site we'd ever recommend to our readers concerning the Tour. We particularly commend Wade for his honest assessment of the mental aspects of the Tour (we think that he nailed it). As far as we are concerned Wade's adventure exemplifies what the Tour of Idaho is all about.

About the only quibble we have with Wade's story is his claim that the single best upgrade for his bike was a cushy seat! We are still trying to figure out how he sat down long enough to notice the difference. 

For his efforts Wade earns this shout and our favorite KLIM Hoodie. When the Tour of Idaho Jerseys are ready (this spring) Wade will own #3. Congrats Wade! And the email we received from your family lobbying us had absolutely nothing to do with this award (thanks for the money tho...)
Jason Weeks, desert racer par excellence, earned the other half of this year's Person of the Year award for several reasons. First, as service manager at Pocatello Power Sports, Jason went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that riders coming through Pocatello on the Tour of Idaho were in and out of PPS as soon as humanly possible - generally within a few hours (on that account alone we could have given the award to the entire staff at PPS). But what set Jason apart (aside from his ability to put up with massive amounts of grief from the likes of us), is his outstanding generosity toward fellow riders. We've seen Jason give up more than we suspect that he could easily part with in order to help out the family of a fallen rider. But all of the good karma in the world and a buck are worth about a cup of coffee in terms of tangible benefits so we thought that Jason could use a SPOT II Satellite GPS Messenger so that his significant other, Brandi, can keep track of him. Salute, brother.  Jason
Ballistic EVO Our product of the year was easier to divine (though not without some machinations) - the Ballistic EVO 2 Battery. We waited for almost a year for the other lightweight lithium ion batteries we ordered up for review to arrive and when we finally got tired of waiting settled on these instead. Now we wonder why we bothered to wait. The Ballistic EVO 2 blows most of the competition right out of the water and is less expensive to boot. When someone figures out a way to make something that produces power weigh half as much as before while producing more power with greater longevity, that's just very cool. You'll be amazed at how happy you'll be with one of these in your bike. 

There were some runners up for our year end awards that deserve a mention. Is anyone cooler than Malcom Smith? Not only is the guy featured in a couple of our favorite riding movies of yore but he's still out there going strong late in life. Malcom is a genuine inspiration on many counts. He's even got a Malcom Smith for President PAC with a catchy slogan - "Four More Gears". Our kind of guy. We also finally popped the balloon holding up our nose and got our minds right about KLIM riding gear. Look for several reviews of KLIM products in the coming year.

So here's to another year of great rides, great fun and great stories. Say hey on the forum , on our Facebook Page or on YouTube when you have time. We'll see you out there at Willow Springs, ripping it up MXGP racing, doing hound and hare scrambles, on the Tour of Idaho, in the Mojave or somewhere else. Stay tuned on the forum for info on our Tour of Idaho open rides this summer. Also, if you have any spare change, please be sure to donate to the Brad Allen Scholarship fund (even a few bucks helps).

Have a wheelie nice year.

Martin Hackworth

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