Aaron Frank Is Leaving Us, And That Bites

The author of Ruby's Ride is going into advertising? Say it ain't so!


There's no way to soften the news, so I'll just say it: Aaron Frank, who for 13 years has been a vital part of the close-knit Motorcyclist family, is leaving us for the chance to be a Don Draper-esque adman in his home city of Milwaukee. The newest employee of GMR Marketing leaves behind an incredible portfolio of awesomeness, from his not-so-humble beginnings as the first editor of Super Streetbike to full-time staff editor for us.

CLICK HERE to read "Ruby's Ride," Aaron's story about fulfilling a two-year-old promise to his daughter with a 44-year-old BMW sidecar.©Motorcyclist

Most of you know Aaron from his visible work, including features like "Ruby's Ride" (read it HERE, from the March issue), which I consider to be one of the finest pieces of moto literature I've ever read. But Aaron's contributions ran far deeper, often providing us on staff an alternative view of motorcycling and approaches to stories, often breaking us free from deadlock, and often calling us out for shortcuts taken at the behest of looming deadlines and the yowling of an ever-hungry Internet. Even though he worked from his home in Milwaukee, he was never far from us and always available.

Preparing a sendoff for Aaron, I solicited comments from those who worked closely with him. I was hoping for a few roast-worthy anecdotes, but his friends stood by him. “I tried to think of a snarky, insider story about Aaron Frank,” contributor Ed Milich said, “but came up blank. The guy’s simply a champ: racer, writer, wrench, and father of two great girls.”

Former art director Joe Neric offered this: “In the six years I worked with Aaron Frank, there were many skills I learned from him. I learned to ride a motorcycle with his tips. I learned how to write with his guidance. I learned how to not be fearful of becoming a father. But there’s something I’m still trying to learn from him: how to be eternally positive. All of us run into stressful situations and are tested, but it’s how Aaron handles those situations that shows his true character.” Well said.


From columnist Joe Gresh: "News of Aaron Frank leaving has hit me particularly hard. You see, Aaron edits the battered syntax and rambling bitching I do into the 700 perfectly chosen words known as Cranked. The man is a miracle worker. Why, he once edited just two words, 'caulking gun,' into one of my finest columns. Aaron was not thinking about my needs when he plotted his next grand adventure. I'd wish him luck if it didn't come at such a high cost to me. Oh, I'm sure Ari or Zack aren't too busy falling off motorcycles to tighten up my prose. God forbid Cook gets involved; he sends my stuff back marked up like the fifth victim in a Grindhouse movie." I'll send you some rubber gloves and an apron, Gresh.

Finally, this from former EIC Brian Catterson, who was gifted Aaron through one of our many corporate reorganizations: "I knew that Aaron had worked for MC under Mitch Boehm and that he'd written a book about Honda motorcycles, but beyond that I didn't know what to expect. To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. Aaron soon became my go-to guy, saving my bacon at the last minute way too many times when I got drawn into another time-sucking meeting with the latest in our succession of clueless publishers. I'd apologize for sometimes ruining his Friday-evening plans, but I'll just blame that on the time difference. And, besides, I assigned him some pretty plum gigs—those laps on Kenny Roberts' Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker at the Indy Mile come to mind. I still can't believe he survived the ride only to slip on his steel shoe and fall in a mud puddle!" Aaron probably laughed about it.

Aaron was also my go-to guy, able to ride and evaluate everything from a hard-core superbike to a mellow cruiser. He represented us with warmth, integrity, and good humor, and produced amazing prose without a hint of ego or pedantry, which reinforces our credibility within the industry and, more important, with our readers. I will fill his position. But I will never be able to replace Aaron Frank. Good luck, friend.