Moron me. Oops, I mean 'More on me'

Hi, I’m Mark Gardiner.

I’m a Canadian, although I spent a chunk of my childhood in Switzerland. I now live in Kansas City. I started riding motorcycles -- more accurately, I got my first moped -- in the summer of ’69. There were a few breaks in there, but I’ve basically been riding motorcycles about 40 years and writing about them for about 20 years.

I club-raced in Calgary with the CMRA at Race City, and after moving from the prairies to the maritimes, I raced a few seasons at Loudon with the LLRS. At different times, I raced with WMRRA (Seattle), OMRRA (Portland), AFM (San Francisco), and in the oft-derided AMA Pro Thunder class. But I’m best-known as the guy who quit his job, sold everything he owned, and moved to the Isle of Man to compete in the TT.

That story is told in my memoir Riding Man, and in Peter Riddihough’s great documentary film One Man’s Island. Riding Man is currently in development as a feature film, at Escape Artists, but it’s Hollywood; I’m not holding my breath.

When I returned from Europe, I worked first as a full-time freelancer then as Senior Editor at Motorcyclist, until the embittered old fucks and psychopaths fired me. (I'm over it.) As a journalist, my work has appeared in virtually every major English-language motorcycle magazine, including Cycle World in the U.S., MCN and BIKE in the U.K., and Australian MCN. My stories have also run in France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Poland. I currently write a monthly column for the great British magazine Classic Bike, and blog monthly for

I’ve written several other books. Classic Motorcycles is a survey of the cultural on motorcycle design and engineering -- and I just released my Bathroom Book of Motorcycle Trivia. I co-wrote BMW Racing Motorcycles (with ex-Road Racer X editor Laurel Allen). I’m currently shopping around a screenplay based on the real-life ‘Great Escape’ of the British Army team which went to compete in the 1939 ISDT, and had to escape Nazi Austria on their motorcycles when WWII broke out.

On non-motorcycle subjects, I wrote Build a Brand Like Trader Joe’s and a non-fiction novel about fly-fishing called Year of the Raven that earned me $11 in royalties when it was first published but is now available again on Kindle and has pulled in an additional four bucks.

With royalty income like that, you might be surprised to learn that I actually still work. I’m currently the CEO of an advertising consultancy called Revolutionary Old Idea. I live in Hyde Park (near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) in Kansas City. I’m married to Mary Pinizzotto, a gifted dancer, teacher, coach, and actor. We have a scruffy mutt named Mr. Chubbs.


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  2. Hey Mark. Nice to meet you at the TT. Email me if you want to do that interview on the motorcycle stamps. Cheers, Matt Warburton

  3. Hey man, I am a Bonneville Racer and have supervised filming out there on an amateur level. If you need any advice, feel free to contact me

  4. Hi Mark,
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  5. Mark, just bought your book Riding Man, glad it's back in print. It was great spending time with you at the Pan America event last year. Hope to see you again! - Bill Roberson