It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Geoff Crowther, one of the founding board members of The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies and the driving force behind our first international conference, held on the Isle of Man in 2007 to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the TT races.
Geoff and his wife Cynthia, both avid outdoor adventurers in addition to motorcyclists, were fixtures at IJMS meetings, beginning in 2004, when we were gathering as part of the annual Popular Culture/American Culture conference with a collection of panels dedicated to Motorcycle Myth and Culture. Geoff was, at the time, Director of the Leisure Consumer Research Group and Principal Lecturer in the Department of Marketing at the Huddersfield University Business School, UK. He was particularly interested in the search for adventure in motorcycling and supervised several postgraduate research programs including studies of motorcyclist’s consumption of edgework and the communication/marketing of adventure to motorcyclists. He presented his work at conferences in San Antonio (“Adventure Quests of Track Day Motorcyclists”), San Diego (“Riding the Snake: Myths and Fantasies of Embodied Experience”), Atlanta (“Commodification of Adventure in Motorcycling: The Shaping of Consumption Experience”), San Francisco (“Sustainable Motorcycling: An Inevitable Downshift?”), and Colorado Springs. You can find samples of his thoughtful analysis in the IJMS archives, particularly in the special issue he co-edited dedicated to his passion: the Isle of Man TT.
His written work, however, does not convey his unflaggingly genial, impish presence. Ever ready with a mischievous smile, he plunged into action—on his motorcycle, through the Yorkshire dales and lane splitting through Manchester streets, and on foot, tramping over the hills in the Lake District and New Zealand’s South Island. (We once held a meeting to plan a conference on motorcycling futures on a hike looking over Lake Wanaka.) He delighted in being in motion, trailing the rest of us in his wake. This love for adventure left Geoff with a profound portfolio of stories to share with others, including several set on two wheels. Many in our ranks will miss hearing Geoff relate these tales with his signature sense of humor, as he painted vivid pictures of various sights he had seen over the years. And as fellow motorcycle scholars, we will greatly miss Geoff’s contributions to this field of study, particularly how he explored underexamined areas and challenged us to venture into them with him.
These images of Geoff convey his passion for motorcycling and life. As Geoff would undoubtedly want, we raise a glass of the pink prickly pear margaritas we were imbibing when we met in San Antonio with appreciation for his dedication to motorcycle studies and his friendship. We love you Geoff and we will miss you.