I started the first Version 1.01 of this bCozz site on MSN on 02-02-2002 when I pressed the button of registration. I was new to computers and saw that MSN Groups was free and had a lot of good features. I was using a roadkill tower and monitor, thanks to Country Tom. It had Windows 3.1 The hit counter was installed at zero.
Having begun my search for information over 45 years ago, I quickly became convinced that motorcycling in the USSR, although extremely popular with fans, was mostly for the military. Then with the internet age, information became possible to find from various sources, it turned out to be rather scanty, and the content of this site, which opened in 2002, was just as scanty at the beginning. And I cannot fail to mention the invaluable assistance that so many people have provided and are still providing in the ongoing process of working on it – both from Russia and the former Soviet republics, and from other countries. These are like-minded people – historians, motorsport fans – owners of their own archives, journalists, museum workers, and, finally, motorcyclists – racers, mechanics, team leaders, designers. Through their efforts, this site has grown and is replenished with unique materials that cover many of the “blank spots” of history. A detailed listing of what and to whom I am obliged would take several pages, so I have to limit myself to a simple mention of these people and express my deep gratitude at least in this way to you all.
But all good things come to an end, MSN closed its groups after seven good years, and they offered a “migration tool” to move it all over to Multiply. It even worked, and all the content was successfully moved. Then on 02-02-2009 began Version 2.0 at Multiply, and I stepped up to a Windows XP. The hit counter was still counting.
Life at Multiply was awesome for a few years, everyone around the world could contribute as much as they liked and the site just kept getting bigger and bigger and then BIGGER! and then HUGE! I must say I was even impressed myself how much content was on that site! More than I ever dreamed of. My Cossack dream had come true! Everything, manuals, knowledge, experience, was just a few clicks away for everybody. And it was still free with unlimited storage.
Then came the great crash in 2013. Multiply announced it’s closure to become an Asian flea-mart site. The scramble began to save all the information on the site. Some of you guys started new sites on a trial basis to see what could be done.
I also tried to save stuff, pages of PDFs. I also installed a WinHTTrack Mirror (whatever that is) which ran for months, trickling down every post and comment from the old site. Getting it all back up here is impossible, it has to be done one line or paragraph at a time, then Cat has to insert all the photos, it’s a big ask. I have it on my pc and it is searchable!
When Cat was in Oz (again!) we sat down and transferred everything to his portable hard drive, but when he got home to Holland it didn’t work for him, possibly bcozz I have the “mirror” embedded somewhere on my computer. Neither of us are IT experts or programmers.
Cat decided to bite the bullet and start this domain (Version 3.0) which he has paid from his own pocket, thanks John! using the WordPress platform. It got off to a wobbly start due to inexperience, hackers, hackers, and more hackers trying to get control. This is still happening sometimes hundreds a day! Cat is using WordFence to keep them out.
So here we are, now in 2021 in the middle of the global COVID-SARS pandemic. We’re all a bit older nowadays, I know I am. My health has gone downhill, I still have 5 Soviets and a sidecar but cannot ride anymore or drive a car. But my enthusiasm for the bikes is as strong as ever.
Some of you have been with us along the entire journey. Hi Guys! We continue to plod thru the archives, restoring as much info as we can. Stay tuned.
The homepage counter is still counting, now at 1.36 million hits (February 2021).
Stay safe and Ride safe
JD aka Don Black
(the Russians call me Don, but that’s another story!)