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Internet BMW Riders The Chain Gang - F650 IBA - Iron Butt Association
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Here is a bit of motorcycle safety for the cage driver. Know a 4 wheel driver that could use some motorcycle safety education? Show them this! I think it will get their attention!


Long Distance Adventures
New England 1000 Certificate Iron Butt Saddlesore Certificate
The New England 1000, completed on June 21, 2001
with Bob Griffin and Don Smith (see picture).
Earned Achieved the Bun Burner 1500 in May, 2002 at the Mason Dixon 20-20. A fun ride and a learning experience.
The First Endurance Rally ! - May, 2002

May 23: I just completed my first endurance rally. 36 hours to gather as many bonus points as possible from a choice of four groups. I chose the Southern routes as the weather looked to be wet and cold anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon! I arrived Thursday night in York, PA in preparation of the Mason-Dixon 20-20 Rally. A delay in changing my reservations meant that I was the only rider still at the Comfort Inn, about 4 miles from the Rally hotel. In a way, nice and removed. Friday came, and I hung out and worked on planning for most of the day. Rode over to the rally hotel and met a few of the early riders coming in. Talked of equipment and strategies. Just before 3pm, I returned to do my check-in and odometer check. Friday night included the arrival dinner and initial riders meeting.

May 25 -26: 6:00am was slated as the start time with a 5:30am riders meeting (or so I thought). Running late in the morning, I arrived about 5:35 and the rider's meeting was already well under way. First mistake. This is NOT a good way to start a rally as I was already behind. Since this is meant only as a brief review, I'll just say that it didn't bode well for a smooth day. We were all off the starting gate at 6:00am. Most headed for the first bonus, and I followed. The first part of the ride went downhill rapidly after the first bonus. A wrong turn (misread directions?), a distrust of both my GPS and directions (maps were useless - covered too large an area), and I rapidly became an hour plus behind schedule. After the second bonus stop, I vowed to chill out and get the rest of the legs right. I did OK, though I continued to lose time as I stopped for extended periods at bonus stops to recalculate my planned journey.

Highlights and Special Mentions: Definitely the Memorial for the Sept. 11th United Flight 93. The roads in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The decision to just Ride the ride until I ran out of time.

The Results: So, I survived the rally! I also rode my butt off for a total of 1,522 miles in 33 hours. This will earn my Iron Butt Bun Burner award. Out of 80 starters and 71 finishers in the Rally, I placed #38. Pretty good considering my initial confusion and losing a number of points due to that confusion. I attained about half of the bonus points I originally set out for. Most of those attained were fairly high, fortunately. The K1100LT ran like a charm, and I'm left sore and tired from the journey. I am also very satisfied with my results. I'm looking forward to next year and future endurance events.

There are lots of stories and adventures in this one. And my rally was pretty uneventful! You should hear the stories from other riders!

Ok, so not so long distance ...

April 26 -27: Approximately 380 miles from South Portland, ME to Medford, NJ. An Aviation Museum, dinner, and breakfast along with visits with all those folks I see online regularly and not so regularly. The trip down was enjoyable and the weather just got warmer. Time enroute, with stops, was close to 7 hours. The trip back was an adventure. The day started out wet and cooler. The wet never went away, and the temps just got colder. Arrival in Maine was in high 30s, spray and rain, and cold. Donned the Widder vest and leg chaps about half way home. With an extended visit with a fellow rider in NY, I completed my return ride in 10 hours.

December 27 - 28, 2003: A note on the Flying W, where we met in April, 2001. We flew down in my Cessna Skylane for the weekend and to meet other Cessna Pilots and enthusiasts at the Flying W for brunch. The Motel is really well done and reasonable. The Restaurant is just as good as I remembered it. Try it out!

The Experienced Rider Course ...

April 9, 2005: Just thought I'd talk a little to the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) ERC (Experienced Rider Course). I know there is some controversy around the MSF organization around the country at this time. What I want to speak to is about the rider experience and not the political events or interaction of the MSF. For the past three or four years I have taken on the organization of a BMW Riders of Southern Maine sponsored ERC event. I personally have taken the ERC three times in the past five years. If you are reading this and haven't taken the ERC, you may want to consider it.

Everyone that has taken the course, experiences it in a different way. All that I have talked to say that they got something valuable from the day of training. I like to take it as early as possible in the year to serve as a refresher after a long winter of non-riding. The common experience is that everyone completing the course learns something about their riding experience and style that enhances their skills and/or awareness. As this season gets underway, I notice specifically how rapidly the cagers dismiss my presence and pull out in front of me. I usually recall the course lessons as I ride along, noticing how closely I'm following or counting the threats in front of me. When I'm feeling confident or comfortable, I find myself riding too closely and sometimes missing that vehicle that is slowing for the turn.

Of course I can go on about the cagers that could care less about the motorcycle, and other risks as we ride. I just want to remind my fellow motorcyclist that is reading this that the ERC is a good investment in a small amount of money and time. Whether you take an MSF version or some other riding school, I'd recommend doing this once a year. As I've learned from my pilot's experience, training makes a difference for both the new pilot and the experienced pilot. The same goes for motorcyclists. Wouldn't it be nice if the "point & shoot" drivers were required to take training every year? My guess is many of them would flunk out. Motorcyclists would probably be safer. Well, that won't happen! So, its up to us to keep our skills sharp. Take a course to hone your skills and RIDE SAFE!

A Friend's Journey ...

A very dear friend of mine has undertaken a journey of a lifetime. I'm sure many of us dream of doing anything close to this. In May, 2006 he began his travels to ride around the world. At first, he had planned this as a non-stop trip. But, as a business owner that became more unlikely as planning progressed. After building a business, few people want to leave it all behind to accomplish one goal. So, he has planned to ride several weeks at a time, then return to business for a couple months.

He has completed that journey. Of course, as the world political climate changed, revisions to the original plan were made. 8,000+ miles on his original 2003 BMW F650GS, and several thousand on his new BMW F850GS tallied the United Kingdom, Western Europe, much of Eastern Europe, Scandinavian countries, and Turkey, Greece, etc... He never got to do the mid-east or Russia, partly because of the political situation. He has been saving most of the stories for a book that he is now writing. I'm looking forward to reading it once he has finished with it. I'll be sure to post it here when it is available.

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Just a Few Events of the Season
   
Downeast Rally - Hermits Island, ME
~~ Always exciting ! ~~
May 18 - 20, 2014
   
Mason Dixon 20-20 - York, PA
~~ 500 ~~ "It's a Rally, not a Race"
May 23 - 25, 2014
   
The BMW MOA International Rally - Minnesota State Fairgrounds
July 24-27, 2014
   
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KOG T-shirt Pics
Front of KOG T-shirt KOG T-shirt Logo Back of KOG T-shirt
Contact to inquire about a Long Sleeve T-shirt.
These may or may not be available now. K1100 Owner's Group shirts.
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