So, do you like having a free monthly motorcycle magazine that focuses on the huge variety of riding and riders in the East Tennessee region?
That's what we've been hoping. When we took on Handlebars back in January, there was some question of whether the magazine should even continue—are there really enough advertisers willing to support it? We believed that there could be if Handlebars appealed to a wider range of readers with different types of bikes, from dirt to touring. If we could build up such a readership, we thought, then maybe we can pique the interests of new businesses.
So far, so good. Most readers who've contacted us say they love the magazine, and just about every issue we print gets picked up. We did lose some advertisers in the initial changeover, but then we also gained some new ones. But the biggest factor we've really had to deal with is, yep, the economy. If you're a business owner who has to choose between paying the rent or buying an ad, you're probably going to choose the rent.
That's why I'd like to ask you a favor: If you enjoy reading Handlebars, let our advertisers know. The next time you're in their shops, tell them you saw their ads—because without them, the magazine simply wouldn't exist.
Handlebars is a community effort in many respects—written by members of the local motorcycle community and supported by local motorcycle businesses. And if you know of moto businesses or biker-friendly businesses that don't advertise, please ask them to consider it—they'll be delivering their message directly to readers who seriously ride. If you run across someone who may want to advertise, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With your help, we can surely make a great magazine that serves everyone on two wheels in East Tennessee.
—Coury Turczyn, ed.