Stan Ellsworth, host of American Ride on BYUTV

Motorcycle History Buffs Rejoice!

Transcript below the video

Let’s face it. History can be boring. In a country where attention deficit has been described as a national epidemic, a 30 minute television show devoid of celebrities judging something, or adultery and drunkenness among suburban housewives is going to be a tough sell to Hollywood.

Stan Ellsworth, host of American Ride on BYUTV

But history can be fascinating, especially when it’s presented by 6’ 2” 300 lb, former NFL lineman Stan Ellsworth. Ellsworth, using the “open road” as a metaphor for freedom, travels the blacktop ribbons of the USA, and passionately narrates the quintessential story of America.

Right now the show is only available on BYU television. Yes, you read that right. Brigham Young University, ground zero for The Church of Latter Day Saints, is airing a (gasp) show featuring a long haired, bearded biker dude on a Harley-Davidson!

Forgive my sacrilege, but I’m not sure if the rumble is from Ellsworth customized Softtail Deluxe or Joseph Smith’s casket spinning in his tomb in Nauvoo, Illinois. (Smith was the founder of and leader of the LDS Church.)

But either way, American Ride is probably the best show that may never reach a mainstream audience simply because it doesn’t have sex, violence or people acting stupid as its central theme.

Introduced last year, the first season covered the dramatic story of the colonies and the Revolutionary War. For history buffs and motorcycle enthusiasts, (especially cruiser / Harley-Davidson enthusiasts) American Ride is the best of both worlds.

There’s no doubt Ellsworth knows his stuff, and his large and imposing stature, unscripted and enthusiastic delivery keeps viewers’ attention though what might otherwise be dry and boring when narrated by anyone else.

Now in its second season, American Ride continues following the progress of our nation’s early years, leading up to the Civil War.

I screened the first two episodes of season 2 on a pre-release DVD and thoroughly enjoyed each one.

If your cable or satellite company doesn’t carry BYU TV, surf on over to to catch up on the first season and become a fan of USRIderNews on Facebook as we’ll be giving away season one and season two DVD sets in the coming months.

Does it beat Full Throttle Saloon on Tru TV or the Hairy Bikers on BBC? That depends on your tastes. For me, I’d rather watch American Ride, Full Throttle TV and Hairy Bikers than American Idol, Desperate “Hose Wives” or Jersey Hores, uh Shores any day of the week.

But that’s just me. I could be considered biker trash.

Until next month, ride safe and always take the road less traveled.

5 thoughts on “Motorcycle History Buffs Rejoice!

  1. I've enjoyed Stan's presentation, episode after episode, and find him colorful, historically accurate and compellingly addictive to those of us starved for real history.

  2. I ran across "American Ride" by accident a few months ago and have not missed an episode. As someone who has visited many of the places Stan Ellsworth has been, I have to say his narratives are true and correct.

  3. We love American Ride and the host, Stan Ellsworth. Your (gasping) comments show you must not know many Mormons. Perhaps you shouldl learn about some of them at and you just might be surprised at the diversity you will find.

  4. I agree that this is a great show to watch and really enjoy it and I also enjoy watching Hairy Bikers – the US version (haven't seen the BBC version yet.) Also, I don't believe that Joseph Smith would be in his 'casket spinning in his tomb' …I believe that he would be out there wanting to ride with the rest of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that ride Harley's (and other brands of bikes). My husband and I own and ride three Harley's, plus he is the assistant director for our local H.O.G. chapter (and he has a big beard!) In fact, there is a group of LDS church members that belong to a riding organization called The Temple Riders – ( "The concept of Temple rides grew out of our desire to add a spiritual dimension to the joy and freedom associated with motorcycle riding. We felt that we could be faithful to Church standards and still ride a motorcycle." Ride safe! Joan

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