A book series introducing children to motorcycling
The vast majority of us who ride motorcycles can point back into our childhood to a time, place, and/or a person who influenced us. How many conversations about motorcycling origins have you heard begin with the phrase, “When I was a kid,…“? As I consider my own upbringing, it was clearly my father who influenced me to ride, having been a biker off and on since his own adolescence.
I first met Mark Augustyn of Little Rider Enterprises at the final race weekend of the 2022 MotoAmerica Road racing series at Barber Motorsports Park. I was familiar with the book series, having seen them in MotoAmerica‘s merchandise tents over the years and at other events around the Southeast. Mark and I talked extensively that weekend about his and Nancy’s inspiration for the book series, and the hopes they had for its future.
Mimi and Moto booth setup.
Theirs are very different experiences in how they came to the motorcycling life. Mark always loved dirt bikes as a kid, his room filled with posters of the great racers of the 1970s and 80s. Many of his friends rode, yet his parents never let him have a motorbike. College, career, and the busyness of daily life got in the way, but Mark finally returned to fulfill his childhood love by his early 30s. And he’s been riding ever since.
Nancy’s story begins in Germany where she grew up, and a father who regularly took her to motorcycle flat track racing. “I can remember standing along the fence with my dad,“ recalls Nancy, “and holding an umbrella in front of us as the bikes roared by, kicking dust and gravel all around us. It was such a thrill!“ Attending races and riding with her father are fond childhood memories she carries.
The family that rides together, stays together.
Nancy emigrated to the United States in 2011, met and fell in love with Mark the following year, and they not only started riding together, they soon started a family together. With the birth of their daughter, they began to look for early childhood books that they could use to introduce her to motorcycling. Aside from a precious few selections (I recall a Dr. Seuss book, “Go Dog Go”, and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle”), Mark and Nancy never really found what they were looking for.
So they decided to write their own.
In 2016, Nancy and Mark published their first children’s book, “The Adventures of Mimi and Moto: the Motorcycle Monkeys.” Mark remarked, “It’s very much a picture book for very young children. We always laugh when people say, ‘Oh, you wrote the book!’ Yeah, we wrote all eleven sentences of that book!”
The book that got it all started.
The first time they sold the books as vendors at an event was during the 2017 MotoAmerica races at Road Atlanta. They sold out of nearly everything they had that weekend, and they knew they were onto something. Motorcyclists with kids and grandkids loved the book, so they determined to start work on a followup story.
Their second book published in 2019, building on the success of the first. Entitled “Mimi and Moto Ride the Alphabet”, Mark and Nancy expanded the storyline with other characters, many types of motorcycles the characters rode, and faced the challenge of finding a motorcycling word for every letter in the alphabet. “There were some letters that were unbelievably difficult to try and figure out,“ chuckled Mark, “especially with letters like Q and X! We were motivated to do something that was educational as well as entertaining for slightly older kids.”
Book two, “Mimi and Moto Ride the Alphabet”
Nancy and Mark have book three in the series planned for publishing in spring of 2023. Titled “Mimi and Moto’s Magical Meteors: First Gear”, the storyline will expand even more with new characters introduced, more motorcycles and riding scenarios, and even a pair of antagonists known as “Mr. & Mrs. Cage”. The plot thickens indeed.
Book three, coming in the spring of 2023.
So if you’re looking for some great Christmas gifts this holiday season for the kids or grandkids in your life, some worthwhile and helpful reading material, why not also put resources in their young hands that will introduce them to motorcycling? The “Mimi and Moto” book series are well-written, colorful, action-packed, and engaging for young children. We highly recommend them.
For more on their complete offerings, check them out here:
*Here’s our video chat about their books and merch: