We decided to find a ride on the Internet. That's when we discovered there didn't seem to be a good source of published motorcycle events. A few sites were found, but were either for other areas or badly out-of-date. That's when we decided to start www.lets-ride.com. We figured it is bound to be more popular than that Google website that had just opened a week before.
We sat down and thought about what it would take to make a perfect motorcycle website.
We decided that we should publish a 'list of motorcycle events'. The listings shouldn't just include the name, date and city. It should include enough descriptive information to allow a person to decide whether the event was for them. Each event could then also link to other sites, which would offer even more information. Additionally, we should include events from all over the world; after all, we were going to use the "World-Wide-Web". Being the dumb bikers that we are, we decided, with the help of a few beers, that covering the whole world would be cool.
The site would need something besides plain ol' boring text, so we decided to add pictures. After all, we had purchased a scanner real cheap (only $535.00) and didn't really know what else to do with it. It looked impressive sitting there on that computer desk, but nobody knew how to use the darn' thing. We dug out a few of our old Sturgis pictures and went to work. We learned how to operate the scanner and the first few photos were scanned. (We're on a roll now...)
We thought it would be really neat to have a link to every motorcycle website on the net. (Guess how many beers we had downed before we came up with that one. Does anyone have any idea just how many sites there are?!!)
Would we make any money? "Of course we will" we said to ourselves. "Build it and they will come. We'll all be millionaires." We decided to create a classified ads section, so we could also sell advertising. "Oh boy, watch the money roll in!" we said in anticipation. We were ready to go. Our dreams would be fulfilled!
We purchased space on a server and the administrator told us to FTP the HTML pages to the server. Huh! FTP? HTML? What the ...?
Ok, so now we had to find someone to do this stuff. And, we had to learn a lot. Plus, we had to remember things from school. Like spelling, ya' know, rules like "I before E except in Budweiser." We had better learn quick, our beer fund was getting low!
Finally, in October of 1998, we were online. The money didn't roll in. We didn't become instant millionaires. At the end of our first month we looked at our stats. We had 9 visitors. We found out later my mother looked at the page 8 times. We still don't know who the other person was.
We kept working at it and the site began to grow. We began to get advertisers, we began to sell classifieds. We learned from our mistakes. We began to succeed. We now have the perfect website! Well...o.k., so we're still trying! But at least we can afford to buy a beer every now and then. And, with the number of visitors constantly increasing, we may soon be able to buy a whole six pack.
Take a look around our site. Browse all you want. We're sure you'll find something that interests you. Let us know what you think about it. We want your comments. Compliments and criticisms are both welcome. That's how we learn to improve!
After many years we are still here. The Y2K bug didn't take us off line and by 2008 we even figured out what HTML stood for. We're addin more to our site and still trying to improve. Maybe someday we'll have the perfect motorcycle website.