Episode 20, in which we talk to filmmaker Eric Ristau and his collaborator, Neil Olson

A long, long time ago … or at least a couple of years … I stumbled across a crowdfunding campaign for a new documentary called Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs.

You definitely meet the nicest people on a Honda! (Eric Ristau & his daughter)

Being a sidecar driver (and a bit of a dog lover) myself, I felt compelled to make a contribution. The documentary is fantastic – fun, funny and poignant in equal measures, it explores riders and dogs of all types. That led me to a feature film, The Best Bar in America, made by the same person – Eric Ristau. When Sit Stay Ride 2 popped up, I got in on that bandwagon as well, and remain excited for its release, hopefully in the summer of 2018.

Which leads me to where we are right now.

Motorcycle deaths rose from 2016 to 2017, and most experts see no reason to think that trend won’t continue into 2018. Electric cars are here to stay, and electric motorcycles aren’t far behind them, with even Harley-Davidson promising to street an electric bike before the end of 2019. What’s more, European nations are setting future bans on internal combustion engines and tech companies are feverishly developing self-driving vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Motorcycling as a sport, a hobby and a way of life has perhaps never been more uncertain than it is right now.

Enter Eric Ristau, filmmaker, and the man playing the central figure in what is sure to be a dystopian epic focused on motorcyclists, Neil “Morto” Olson.  They are in the midst of creating a series called The Last Motorcycle on Earth, and I encourage all of you to check out the preview (see links, below) and contribute to the crowdfunding campaign if you can. The discussion with Eric and Neil in this episode is wide-ranging and was a lot of fun to do. I’m looking forward to seeing the series and hope their ambitions for its future come to fruition.

Neil Olson
Neil Olson, star of The Last Motorcycle on Earth. Photo by Kurt Wilson for The Missoulian.

Show breakdown:

0.00 Intro
0.39 News
3.57 Discussion with Eric Ristau & Neil Olson
47.37 MOA Plug: Americade discounts
48.53 Wrap-up
50.25 Fin


  • Building on last week’s announcement of the May schedule, I can now flesh the info out a bit, and I’ll get into some info on Season Two as well.

    Eric Ristau (at right) runs an interior film shoot.

    I spent much of Season One struggling to find guests – more from the perspective of not knowing who to approach as opposed to being turned down, though I have indeed been turned down a few times. Other prospective guests simply haven’t materialized, through no fault of theirs or mine, usually due to scheduling issues. I’m maintaining a list of people I’d like to have on the show, including guests suggested by you listeners! I’m of the mind that it never hurts to ask, and so I had more requests out there than I had remaining episodes. People got back to me in a surge, which meant I had more guests than episodes, which is why I decided to run four episodes in May. Now I can tell you exactly who will be my guests on those episodes!

    • 7 May, Episode 21:  Paul Beasley. Paul is a real live, honest-to-goodness engineer for Castrol. Thanks to the MOA’s partnership with Castrol, I was able to talk to Paul and dispel a bunch of oil-related myths.
    • 14 May, Episode 22:  Bill Conger. Bill competed in (and finished!) the 2018 Dakar Rally on a Husqvarna rally bike. It’s an amazing accomplishment.
    • 21 May, Episode 23:  Mark Barnes. Mark has been writing for Motorcycle Consumer News for a long time, and we get into a deep discussion on the psychology underlying used motorcycle sales.
    • 28 May, Episode 24:  Scott Auld. Scott is a recent addition to the motorcycling world, a prolific vlogger and one of my oldest friends. A video on his YouTube channel piqued my interest and I wanted to expand on the lessons he learned during his first year or so of motorcycling.

    That will wrap up Season One, and I’ll be on hiatus for all of June and July. In July, I’ll be riding to the MOA’s big rally in Des Moines, where I’ll conduct interviews for next season both at the rally and during the journey. Season Two will kick off on Monday, August 6, and we’ll be back with new music, new logos, new sponsors and a new URL.