I’m sad to report the sudden death on Saturday of Dave Moore.
Dave probably won’t be known to many readers, but he had a long time connection with motorcycling and the internet. With the internet in its infancy, he was first a forum moderator, and then as forum administrator, on the “Ride” forum on the Compuserve portal site.
When I first got online in 94, there weren’t many ways of accessing the web; the choice was pretty much limited to AOL, Pipex or Compuserve. I joined Compuserve, soon found the motorcycle forum there, and was an active member there till about 2002.
At its busiest in the mid to late 90s, Ride was the foremost place for web-connected riders to meet online and boasted an active membership of thousands. Whilst the biggest group were from the USA, a real feature of Ride was the fact that Compuserve was international in scope and thus Ride drew members from all over the world from Alaska to Australia.
International Rallies were a key part of the Ride forum and I met Dave on a number of the “Eurocis” meets, in Italy, Austria, Alsace, Provence and the Pyrenees to name a few, which drew riders from all over Europe and not a few from the US, and I also made it to one of the huge US meets at Porterville in California where I met a bunch of the US members.
Dave also opened up his house to all-comers for the “Not the New Year” party at the end of January, and I went along several times, and met a crowd of visitors who’d made the trip from all over the UK but also from Europe and often from the States too.
On top of that, there were short informal weekends in Wales and just ordinary rideouts, some of which I joined when the diary wasn’t too crowded.
After AOL took over Compuserve in 1998, Compuserve was deliberately run down. At a time when access to the internet was opening up rapidly with many companies offering cheap or free dial-up subscription, the $9.99 a month subscription service that didn’t include phone charges was well out of date, and the forum started shedding members. By 2004 the Csi membership had largely faded away, and the forum was just about dead on its feet. But the meets still kept a hard core of long-time members in touch with each other.
Dave had a riding history going back well over 30 years and shared with me a fondness for Honda’s old late 70s 400-four, and like me had experienced this otherwise sweet-mannered bike’s occasional violent tank slappers. He also had a passion for old Goldwings and Aspencades and owned several, including one he personally imported from the US. The less-than-loved appearance of his bikes occasionally excited adverse comment but Dave was a bloke who rode bikes, rather than coddle them.
Thanks largely to Dave’s enthusiasm, I’ve been lucky enough to make some lasting friends from the Ride forum. The online motorcycling community has lost a true pioneer.
My sympathies are with his family.