With everything going the way of reality TV, social media, and blogs, a few friends in Northern California took a different road with Basket Case Magazine. Yes, it is printed, on paper, with glossy photos and pages to flip through. There’s something to be said for holding a mag in your hand, keeping it, and going back to it later, capturing a moment in time in physical form. I digress…
Basket Case Magazine birthed in early 2016 by three buddies with a shared passion for motorcycles. Anxious to publish something out of Nor Cal, Josh Sheehan, Holly Anderson, and Ian Clark started the mag to focus on their scene of bikes, photographers, runs, clubs, and artists. I hooked up with one of the founders and co-editors, Holly Anderson, to talk shop. Enjoy!
Holly Anderson & Josh Sheehan of Basket Case Magazine
What type of bikes do you guys ride? Ian has a ‘76 Honda CB750 chopper he calls the Rusty Trombone. Josh has a 1976 Shovelhead chopper with Paughco hardtail frame. It’s got a 10 over narrow glide. I’ve done so many miles next to him hauling ass on that thing. That bike is badass. I have a 2002 Harley Dyna T-Sport, a mile-eater that’s awesome for riding around all these Nor Cal roads.
First time on two wheels? I started riding bikes after being sick of being on the back of my old man’s bike about 12 years ago. Started off on Hondas, a ‘73 CL350 and an ‘84 Twinstar. Soon after I was off to the races on Harleys including an Evo chopper that one of the Deathtraps built, and a Sportster 883R. Josh’s dad was a flat track racer and he’s been on bikes since before he could walk. His first street bike was a Sportster chopper. Ian’s also been around bikes most of his life, learning how to ride in Sonoma on a mid-70’s Yamaha Enduro, racing through the vineyards, ripping away from park rangers. He is mostly into riding Japanese bikes and getting rad with vintage Vespas.
Riding buddies? There is a great scene up here in Nor Cal, it’s really tight and everyone knows each other and we hang out together at all the runs and make our own rides. Mostly we roll with the Deathtraps MC (Josh is a member). We’ve been riding with a newer crew of younger dudes around Santa Cruz. It’s so rad to see them get so excited about choppers and building shit. It’s awesome to be around that excitement. It’s contagious.
Last two-wheeled adventure? This summer has been epic, with tons of rad rides and good weather. We just did the Golden Chain Run to Belden #7. This was a ride up some of Nor Cal’s best roads, from Sonora to Belden on the Feather River. We also did the Helltown Run to Mammoth for skateboarding, hot springing, and gun shooting. We’ve done this the last few years. Such good people, and so many mental stories.
Road trippin' on the Sonora Pass - Photo by Holly Anderson
What is your favorite road to travel on in NorCal? The roads between San Francisco and Santa Cruz in the mountains are insane. One minute you’re in the twisties in a redwood forest, the next on the ridge looking down to the ocean on one side and the city on the other. Also riding to Big Sur, south of us, is always amazing. Sheer cliffs into expansive ocean, and tons of awesome camping spots there too.
What is your best, have to go, can’t be missed, local establishment, and why? If you are in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you gotta check out our favorite watering hole, Monty’s Log Cabin. It’s got fresh bartenders, lots of taxidermy, a mean jukebox, and a fire pit in the back. Very biker friendly. We are having our Issue #2 release party there, and it will for sure be a barn burner.
How did the idea of Basket Case Magazine come about? It’s funny, because originally we wanted to just do a small/leaflet-like ‘zine, really raw, photocopy and print like 100 of them to give to our friends. We wanted to make something less fleeting than what you see online and on your phone, you tap it to “like” it and then it’s gone. A mag is something you can hold and keep, and look at again. You can tear out pages and put them in your shop, and it’s always there in physical form. That turns us on. The more we talked about what we wanted to do, the bigger the ‘zine got, and then we just decided either we were going to go all the way or not at all. We really wanted to have something to showcase some of the runs, events, bikes, and stuff that makes our community up here in Northern California, since no one was really doing that. We’ve also been putting on rides this summer to build community. It’s basically a ride that starts at the skatepark, everyone skates for a couple hours, then we all hop on our bikes and ride to our friend’s shop for BBQ and beers. All bikes are welcome, and it’s just a good excuse to get out and ride, and meet other people in our community.
Who works with you and what are their roles? There’s three of us, myself, Josh Sheehan, and Ian Clark, and we all founded the magazine together. Ian is the art dude, he does all the layouts, and helps with making calls on photos and editorial content. Josh & I are co-editors, and do everything else, from getting content, shooting photos, selling ads, social media, event promotion, etc. Lee Bender has been a huge help with the mag since the start, and has the Staff Photographer title. He contributes photos and stories that bring you right into the moment.
How would you describe Basket Case Magazine? We called it Basket Case because we want it to be a mix of all kinds of random stuff, and everything considered. I think what differentiates us is that each issue we will focus on a different chopper club. There is an old magazine, called Colors Magazine, that we have used as inspiration, that focused on chopper clubs and their antics. So our goal is to feature something like that in every issue. We also want to focus on a lot of content from Nor Cal, although you will see features from all around the globe.
What should readers expect to see in every issue? Our goal is to feature events, chopper clubs, an artist, a killer bike with a smokin’ hot babe on it, and a photographer feature. We basically give that issue’s featured photographer 10 pages to show whatever they want. The first issue was Lee Bender, #2 is Godspeed, and we have a lot more folks out there with photos to make your head explode.
You can grab Issue 2 here and be sure to give Basket Case Magazine a follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Crossing the Feather River - Photo by Holly Anderson
Article by Lisa Ballard / Photos by Holly Anderson