So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Well…I don’t really know what to say here. I hadn’t planned on writing this blog..hadn’t really even planned on talking about this at all but to a few friends…but I guess, for lack of better words, I’m feeling a bit inspired by a friend of mine right now.

He said to me “What’s up with 4theriders? It seems like the site has crawled to a halt” (or something like that…just with a lot more bad words).

It has.

Not much been going on with 4tr-land as of late…lots of reasons why, to be frank. Some I’ll talk about, some I wont. In fact, I have no plan with what I’m going to say or do in this blog right now, I’m just typing as things come to me.

I hadn’t realized that I had a big readership with this blog, to be honest. It only occurred to me when the wife of a friend arbitrarily brought it up to me, saying that she loved reading it. She’s not even a motorcyclist, yet the writings of myself, Kevin, Matt, and Max had touched her enough that she would keep coming back to read more. How many people actually even read this?!?

Anyhow, this year has been a rough one. A really rough one, actually. I often tell people that the Dow Jones directly reflects my income. If the Dow is down, photo sales are down. The economy affects EVERYONE. I provide a commodity based service. No one NEEDS photos…they just LIKE them. But people DO need to ride. Those of us that can afford to ride, do…but save our money for gas and tires…not for photos. Totally understandable! I’m the same way.

I didn’t start 4theriders for the money. Even now, I don’t do 4theriders for the money. I do it because I absolutely LOVE doing it. I love the motorbike community. I love motorbikes. I love to ride. I love to shoot. I love to change it up and be creative. I love the guys that I work with. Toe, [white] Kevin, Matt, [aZn] Kevin, Max…these are some of my best homies in the world! We’ve travelled to far away lands and seen and did things that we may have not otherwise seen or done because of 4theriders.

But it is my job. My sole means of income. And this year was BLEAK.

I’ve tried other avenues of photos to try and suppliment this years track related income…models, weddings, architecture, et cetera…but it’s not been enough to get me through this winter. I’ve not been able to put ANYTHING away for the winter at all. Normally, Id have stashed away enough cash to get me through until March or so…but not this year. Nothing.

That means it’s time to bite the bullet and get a 9-5’er. I don’t really know exactly what this means for the future of 4theriders… Next year, it might just be a hobby. I’ll do it when I can…but family comes first. I have to take care of my family. I have to get a “job.” It’s prolly not going to be easy in this economy too. Meh.

Nothing is concrete yet. Don’t think that 4theriders has foldeded up and won’t be around at all anymore…but things might be pretty different next year…who knows?

I want to thank all of you for a good run though. Regardless of the outcome, all of you have been what’s made the last few years of my life some of the best years of my life. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

I can tell you that the last few months have been pretty hectic. Lots of personal stuff going on and all that riff-raff…but aside from the personal stuff, I have been getting around a bit… here’s some pics of the last few months of my life, in no particular order. Enjoy.

A sunset near Lassen National Park
lassen national park

From an architectural shoot
stairs railings

These doors could lead anywhere
medevil doors

Somewhere beautiful
hwy 80 donner pass truckee river

Exploring the east side of the Sierra
yz250 sierra nevada mountains reno

Taking pictures in a church
bible scriptures church catholic

Hiking many miles up a mountain range, then off-roading back down to recover my dirtbike
stranded yz250

Visiting far away places
lassen national park

Riding trails that have not been ridden on in a LONG time
yz250 yamaha closed trails

Hiking across the wilderness
sierra nevada forest tahoe

Riding hundreds of miles solo and losing myself to nature
desert riding yz250

Crashing my RallEment in the snow during a blizzard (not pictured here, but it DID happen)
honda element in the snow

klaatu barada nikto!
bruce campbell vs army of darkness reference

Sailing with old friends
sailboat

Exploring new places
single lane road in the mountains forest service road

Fixing broken bikes
gsxr crashed plastics

Watching people fall down ATGATT
skateboard crash

Jumping RallEments
jumping honda element

Coloring pictures
garfield coloring book odie

Driving in the snow
scooter doom versa hauler

Spending time with my beautiful, fun, amazing girlfriend :)
kinsy

And chasing rainbows… till I post again…
rainbow over honda element in the desert

PS – I’m working on a new video right now. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever released before. No ETA…it’ll be done when it’s done.

kthxbyeluvu.

21 thoughts on “So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish”

  1. Joe… just saw this… damn. You are, without a doubt, an amazing, talented photographer… I’m such a crappy rider, and I’ve got dozens of pictures you’ve taken over the years that make me look like I can actually ride… seeing you and Toe at the track days, having you two zoom in for lunch… it’s all part and parcel of some of the best times of my life, and I’m so sad that so many newbies will miss out on the thrill of seeing themselves look like a “real” rider…
    I truly hope that, like Dani said, you find that Dream Job, make a ton of money, and can then get back to what we need you to do… be at the track with your camera, and make us look good!
    There will always be lunch for you at my pits should you be at the races, and I wish you so much success that you can quit being successful, and get back to the Important Stuff at the track! :)

  2. I KNEW THAT STAIRCASE LOOKED FAMILIAR!!!

    That house you shot was over in the Pleasure Point hood…

    I did the hardwood floors you where standing on….Hope you liked how they turned out!

    Cheers!

  3. Dammit Joe. I’m sorry to hear it’s been so rough this year, watching the adventures is amazing and makes me want to be out there with ya. I know it’s rough making a living in the photo business, that’s for sure. Hopefully you find something solid to prop up the bills and shit, and can get out there next year!

  4. Have you thought about moto journalism? Something like Hell for Leather?
    Thank you for keeping us addicts on the east coast entertained during the winter.
    Rock on dude!

  5. I just saw this for the first time. I feel kinda sick at the thought that 4theriders wouldn’t be part of the moto world forever. I just took for granted that you’d be creating masterpieces and giving away your amazing riding knowledge for the bargain you do and all would be well.
    I wish I’d bought more photos now. :( You deserve the world Joe, and so does your family. I appreciate all you’ve done, all you’ve said, all you haven’t said and every single shot of sheer brilliance you’ve created.
    I hope you land the dream job. I hope it makes you millions so that you can bank that money then say, “F you, dream job”, pick up your camera again asap and get back to your serene and extreme life. You have to be Pixar’s, Jackson’s, Speilberg’s or some movie makers wet dream; I hope you make it through this down time in Joe-style! Thanks for all you have done for us!

  6. Joe,

    It has been awhile. I haven’t been on a bike in three years for much of the same reasons that you are in the position that you are in. Absolutely the best times of my life doing trackdays and racing in the AFM with the Code 4 boys and because of you I have most of it in photos. if you have any of my photos laying around i would be happy to purchase some from you. Maybe a blow up or something. AFM # 977 2006-2008.
    Good luck to you my friend and God Bless.

    Dean

  7. I ran into your site from a post on dgrin.com, and I must say I know what you mean–probably more than anyone else out there. See, I do the same thing in North Alabama, and I’m also about to get a 9-5 if I can find one. :(

    We have a passion that runs deep. I haven’t even met you and I tell in your images and words. It’s what drives us to do what we do. Too bad we fall into the ‘starving artists’ category. :(

    I’m making a final go at my site and need to bring in enough advertising revenue to cover expenses this year, or like you, I don’t know what will come next. But I’ve thought about my ‘final words’ post and I was going to use the same title, lol.

    Best of luck to you whatever happens, and feel free to call me if you ever want to chat about the business side of what we do, 615-512-5520. I’ve actually got a few techniques I use to generate revenue that you might be able to use too.

    And if you want to watch something cool. Check out another project I’m involved in that’s all about motorcycles: TopEnd.tv

  8. Man, Joe…i can totally relate except for the kiddos! Hard to say what the future holds for any of us, but I know unless one of us wins the lottery, money from heaven is gonna be hard pressed.

    I can’t thank you enough for all the enjoyment you have provided by your awesome photos and the insightful words in yer blog. I have enjoyed all the writing you guys have provided.

    I can think of a couple of photos I’d love to buy for G’s office walls. We gotta talk, though it isn’t income, it’s money to put in a kid fund or for some silly ass thing that ‘s needed. 9-5 eh? I can’t imagine you there, it isn’t fucking fair…artists rarely are able to make a serious living, that is unless you are George Lucas or some such…;)

    cheers mate…lets talk soon!

  9. Wow. I can’t believe what I just read. I totally understand though. I really hope to find you taking shots at one of my track days next year. I’ve always preferred 4theriders over any other photo company. Best pics by far no matter what. I’ll never forget a track day last year at Thill. We were at the baymont and happen to be hanging at the pool the night before. I mentioned something how i’ve never gotten a pic of a right turn dragging knee. You said, ‘we’ll get it tomorrow’. I’m thinking, wth? have i even dragged knee in a right turn. hahaha Then as i head out for a session you see my copper sv and yell too me…i’ll be out near turn 14. Sure as hell, you got 2 of my best pics on my weak turn side ‘right turns’. Came out great. Have a big one framed in my house. Thanks for the motivation. Wishing you the best in whatever comes your way. We’ll miss your presence in the moto community. ;)
    -Cain
    ’03 Copper SV.

  10. I’ve really only known you guys for a couple of years but from the beginning always felt like all of the gang was “real”. There is a big difference in this world of people doing what they have to do and doing what you love to do. Few of us are able to live on what we love but I knew from the very beginning that you and the crew really did love what you did. Joe, family does come first and it’s unfortunate that not enough people feel that way but I have always believed that whenever one door closes another one opens up! I really missed your work this year because your photos had “soul” to them. Not just the same old shit every time. Good luck to you and if you need anything I can help with don’t hesitate to let me know.
    Kinda a little sad…..

  11. Word Brother…Family first, and we gotta be strong ourselves so we can take care of them…I get the need for change as I plan my exit from Sopiago, moving on and re-inventing my ‘self’…which likely means a McJob of some sort too…
    …you are not alone, we are too big to be a club, we who are moving on are an association! Maybe I’ll see ya on two wheels somewhere out there…

  12. You gotta do whatcha’ gotta do buddy. I certainly hope you continue to do what you’re so good at in some capacity, but I understand that you need to make ends meet too. You have helped countless people by inspiring them to do better.

    The 9-5 is going to be hard as hell after having so much freedom, but I wish you the best.

  13. Wow man… I never thought I would see this, knowing in my heart why you do all you do. But having said that and knowing how sideways stuff has been for me for the past few years, I GET IT… You have alot of people who care for you Joe and I think I am one fo them. I am not sure what I can do at this point to help but I can throw some biz your way as I see it. Please let me know if I can help… Maybe jet your bike or weld something… LOL
    We have had some good times. You know where I am and I hope to be here for along time.
    BTW thanks for douching my doggies off with tomatoe paste when they got skunked… YOU not just do it 4 the riders… You do it for the doggies and we all (DOGS included) appreciate this and more. Hugs lil buddy. -cM

    1. Hey Dude

      Been reading your blog for a while now. I’m from Australia, so not too sure how I found your site.

      Anyways, thanks for the entertainment, your pics and videos have been inspiring, always make me want to get out and ride.

      Good luck with the 9-5, sometimes needs must.

      If you’re ever down @ the island taking pics, I’ll be sure to buy a handfull!

      Cheers

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