WOW!!! Thanks for the kind words.
I have not visited the site for a long time, my life has gone in another direction. Glad to hear that the site is growing with all of Charles' hard work.
I know very few people know the beginning history of this site, as only a handful of us "two stroke" nuts were around on the Internet at the time. This is kind of a long story, but I will attempt to make it somewhat brief, to keep from boring anyone to tears.
Every story needs a beginning, so you'll need to know at least a little about me.
In the early 1970's I was introduced to scrambles at Fishkill NY and fell in love with motorcycle racing, unfortunately it was not until 1975 that I raced my first race on a 1974 CR125. Racing for nearly 8 years, I lost interest and "retired" for the first time.
For many years following my "retirement" it felt as though I was a motocross addict, I would buy a bike, race a few times then lose interest. Unlike many of you that have stayed with it from when you began.
Around 2006 feeling a bit nostalgic, I built a history site for my local racing district. This was done without permission using a free web site. It caused some attention and no one was really sure who had begun the site. One day I went to a local race (Claverack, NY) to talk to some old racers. There I ran into some old friends, specifically Jeff Conboy (www.raceprousa.com
) and Tim Weeks.
Nearly everyone was racing four strokes besides these two guys, so we got into a long conversation about when the four-strokes had become prominent and why the rules were set up to allow double the displacement for four-strokes. Any one that knows these two guys will understand that once you begin a thought, these guys will start "riffing" on it and the jokes start flying. Before too long a paper plate was secured and the words "Two Stroke Mafia" was scribbled on using a black sharpie and duck taped to the EZ-UP.
Not wanting to be "left out" during the next week I designed a logo ( design is not really one of my strong points) that contained bullet holes and the text Two Stroke Mafia. At the following race I brought a print out of the logo, which began a whole new set of funny stories. This was so much fun!! Besides, racers walking past smiled when they saw the sign. So by the following week I created a quickie web site. Adding some photos from the internet.
Once they saw the web site, it was really on. We ended up changing the name to Two Stroke Militia. Then began getting some interest from a few others and wrote some articles, posted some jokes and caused some trouble on the local message boards.
You have to realize that we were doing this as a joke. Since I was doing the majority of the writing Jeff thought it would be funny to call me "The General". For anyone that knows me personally this is so far away from who I am a person that it's hilarious. Again, all done as a bit of a joke. None of us took it very seriously, we posted stuff we found on the Internet. It was our attempt to bring to the attention of others the silliness of a rule that in our mind made no sense.
Since it was a joke, after a while we lost interest. When the domain name came up for renewal, I checked the Google analytics and found that nearly 75 visitors a day were visiting the site. We hadn't updated it in many months but the site was getting traffic and much more than it had while we had been working on it! We decided to renew the domain name and rebuild the site using Wordpress.
Then the site really began to take off. But we had a weird image problem on our hands. It was called Two Stroke Militia and I was posting on other forums as "The General". How can you take that seriously?
After checking on Go Daddy, I discovered the domain name Two Stroke Motocross was available and purchased it. Changed the logo (again my very bad design) and moved forward. During this time we gained supporters and regular readers.
Soon after a few regulars suggested a Forum be added. A place for like-minded two stroke supporters to converse and share information, stories and more. I was dead set against it.
After spending time on other forums, I hated the way users attacked each other and didn't want to deal with all the fallout. Plus at the time there was a two stroke forum called Pinger Talk, which was not well visited.
Two users in particular kept at me for months, I relented by imploring them to become moderators and stating that I would be extremely strict in how I would allow users to interact with each other. Believing that more people would participate if they were not driven away by folks that lived to attack others.
Unfortunately, shortly after beginning the forum, both of these guys stopped being moderators. By then, quite a few people were using the forum and I didn't feel like pulling the plug. A few months later, Coop came to the rescue being one of the best moderators ever. (Can't thank you enough for the support, you're the best Coop)
With the help of the forum and the expansion of people becoming more interested in two strokes, other believers began contacting me at TSM. From there it went kind of crazy. The number of visitors every day grew into the multiple thousands. Which completely floored me.
So here I was, a guy who no longer raced or rode "leading" a group of two stroke believers. Next I wanted to be able to give something back, but was unsure how to make that happen.
Over the years, many people who supported two-strokes and worked in the industry began communicating with me on a somewhat regular basis. Little Donnie Emler at FMF and Rich Winkler from Dirt Werx were two of the most helpful, their help is and was deeply appreciated. But there are so many others that helped and supported the site, including Vince from Maico International. Vince was a huge help to me and helped me through many sticky situations. (Thanks Vince!)
In 2009, an idea from Derek Harris written on Thumpertalk (of all places) caught my attention. Derek wanted to show folks what he could do as far as building competitive machines and planned to "hire" a racer to race 2 or 3 Nationals on a YZ250 two stroke modified by him. I contacted him and offered to help. We talked back and forth quite a bit and we decided to work together.
This was the beginning of Project Two 50. Which I want to state right now was totally Derek's project from the beginning. Even the logo was designed by Derek.
The idea of the project was to create enthusiasm for the two stroke on the National level. Which of course was what I hoped for.
Unfortunately, Project Two 50 is a whole different story. Many people were hurt and upset with how that turned out. To this day I take full responsibility for the failure of Project Two 50. Maybe someday I'll write more about that, but not here or now.
After Project Two 50 imploded, my interest in motocross and racing was at an all time low. Charles had been an advertiser on the site who had been pretty nice. (with the exception of Coop's initial run in with him LOL) So before advertising the site for sale, I contacted Charles as he seemed extremely passionate about Two Strokes. We spoke and worked out a deal, and he became the sole owner of Two Stroke Motocross.
There are so many people that deserve thanks for their help in building TSM to the site it was when Charles purchased it. I could never fully thank them all properly. If you are reading this and had a hand in helping TSM grow, I thank you.
I hope this helps to explain the beginnings of TSM. It has grown tremendously under Charles' stewardship and I look forward to seeing it grow into the future.
Charles, you are my hero!!
All the best,