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Mid Atlantic Riders‘ Rag March 2004 BMW MOA Charter 280 The Monthly Newsletter of the Mid Atlantic Riders Dave Cowgill From the President President (302) 378-2682 Pete Mazzella Vice President H i, everybody! As I sit here writing this, I‘m looking out across the Chesapeake Bay from the south end of Kent Island. It‘s such a beautiful day that it‘s hard to believe that it‘s still February, although it‘s early March as you read this. There‘s not a motorcycle in (302) 645-0619 sight but we passed plenty on our way here and if family matters had worked out Dan Davis differently we‘d be riding right now for sure. Secretary (302) 697-9421 The weather service has been talking about this warm front for almost a week; I‘m glad Paul Reburn to say that, unlike the past two weekends, it Treasurer has lived up to the hype. The extended (302) 737-8668 forecast claims temps in the low 60‘s for the next five days with only a chance of rain. That‘ll sure get the juices Bud Heberling flowing for the riding season! The major shows that help to fill the Webmaster winter void are behind us, and the springtime flurry of open house (302) 398-4008 announcements are a ways off. It is those rare days like this that give us the opportunity to get out and go for a ride; to once again experience Ed Lombardi Next Breakfast the magic, taste the fresh air, to Editor re-visit that favorite stretch of (302) 453-8666 Our next breakfast will be in Dover at road, to stop by that little the Maple Dale Country Club at 9 AM roadside purveyor of the best on Saturday, March 13. Note the burgers, shakes, chili, steak or location change. whatever it is that you‘ve been denied these past cold months. Chances are, while you are out there it won‘t feel as warm as you thought it would. The sun goes down sooner than you expected and it is a rude awakening as to how fast the temperature drops with the sun. When you get home the heat feels really good and you find you want to snuggle with your favorite warm beverage rather than the cold one that went down so easily a couple of hours ago. That‘s okay; you got the ride! It felt so good to reconnect, to experience again the freedom, to feel alive! Savor that feeling for a little while longer. Every issue of this newsletter bring us a month closer to spring; a month closer to ―THE SEASON‖. I‘d like to hear from you folks about your favorite destinations. After we compile a list we‘ll start planning some rides for all of us that will include a stop at one or more of them. A few examples would be Hank‘s Place in Chadds Ford, PA for breakfast and ―Andy‘s‖ in Chestertown, MD for dinner and music. So I don‘t sound like a ride to eat kind of guy, Bob‘s BMW in Jessup, MD or Hermy‘s cycle shop in Port Clinton, PA. The places can be of any place you would like: restaurants, cycle shop, state parks, scenic overlooks and swimming hole, whatever… Just let Ed or myself know, and we will see what we can put together. Every ride is a good ride – some are just better than others. Be careful out there, and I‘ll see you on the 13th at the Maple Dale Country Club. From the Editor W e have three special articles in this month‘s newsletter. The first is a very interesting article on 1000-mile ride in less than 24 hours by one of our newest members, Geoff Ward. Geoff, along with member Mike Anderson did over 1100 butt-numbing miles in 21 hours in early January! You‘ll have to read the article to learn about all their trials and tribulations along the way. This article may prompt me to do a 1000-mile, one-day ride (yeah, right). Keith Siers has provided us with another great article. This one is on his ride up to Hermy‘s BWM to have his bike serviced and the ride back on his loaner F650. Keith, when I need service last winter, Cherry Hill BMW loaned me an F650 with only 9 miles on it and I liked it a lot. It wasn‘t painted the spiffy yellow of your loaner but a boring gray/blue instead. The seat height was too high and I also missed the accessory outlet for my gloves. Actually, I didn‘t like it at all now that I think about it. Finally, Pete Mazzella contributed another installment of his cross-county odyssey. This one discusses some very nice out-of-the-way cabins in Custer, SD, close (but not too close) to the huge rally in Sturgis. It‘s amazing what you can find when you step off the beaten path. Any member who reads this sentence and tells the editor at the next breakfast will receive their meal free. For those considering going to Sturgis in the future, you may want to take a serious look at these cabins. As anyone who has been to any of recent breakfast can attest, our membership is starting to really grow. Word of our group is starting to get around, our newsletter is being e-mailed to prospective members and our business cards are being given out to bikers in the area. We‘ve been seeing a lot of new faces at our monthly breakfasts and 3 we‘re planning on a larger room at the Maple Dale Country Club for our 2004 winter banquet. Our club and its members must be doing something right. And from my point of view, I‘m getting more interest from members in contributing articles to the newsletter. Keith‘s article is his second and Pete has written at least three. I was particularly gratified to receive an article from Geoff Ward who has only been a member for a few months. Thanks fellas, you make this job a lot easier. Would it be too much to ask for a female member to contribute an article? The rest of club would love to hear about the various issues of motorcycling from a woman‘s perspective. Topics to consider could be: finding a decent selection of motorcycle clothes in women‘s sizes, nice bikes that also fit, the pleasure or lack thereof of riding as a passenger, etc. If you would like to try your hand at an article, contact me at the number on the first page and I can help. I can also arrange to take any photos you need. A New Breakfast Site for Dover in March T hanks to Jay Schmittinger, we‘ll have our March meeting at the Maple Dale Country Club in Dover. Although Dover‘s Best Diner is a great place with a nice staff, the Maple Dale Country Club is much nicer and the breakfasts will be the same price. Depending on the feelings of those attending the breakfast, we may make the Maple Dale Country Club our permanent odd-month breakfast location. We‘ll see. Many of you were at the country club for our winter banquet so you know how nice of a place it is and how to find it. The country club is at 39° 10‘ 20.9‖ N, 75° 34‘ 30.0‖ W. For those who didn‘t get a GPS for Christmas, the directions are below. From the north or south on Route 1 Exit 104 (Scarborough Road). Continue straight across Route 13 on Scarborough Road. From the north on Route 13 Turn left on Scarborough Road. (Second traffic light north of the Sheraton Hotel and opposite the entrance to Route 1). From the south on Route 13 Turn right on Scarborough Road. (Opposite entrance to Route 1). then: 1) Continue on Scarborough Road 1.8 miles to the second traffic light (College Road). 2) Turn right on College Road and go 0.7 miles to the traffic light (Kenton Road) 3) Turn right on Kenton Road and go 0.6 miles to Maple Dale Road. (You‘ll see the country club sign on the right) 4) Bear to the right for the country club. 4 We hope to see a record crowd on March 13 and we‘ll need to know if you want to continue to have our odd-month breakfasts at the country club or return to Dover‘s Best Diner. Now, if someone can get us into the Brandywine Country Club for our even-month breakfasts…. A Worthwhile Charity Event I t‘s a bit early, but circle your calendars for what is sure to be a large event to raise money for a New Castle County police officer who was critically injured and is now permanently paralyzed. The event will be on Saturday, May 8 th at Dover Downs and will feature vendors, raffles, a best bike contest, local talent and celebs. There‘s going to be a tattoo artist there, but we bet no one is going to have the BMW roundel tattooed on their arm! Groups will leave for the rally from Mike‘s Famous Harley Davidson in New Castle and from Seaford Harley Davidson and take scenic routes to Dover. (No, this isn‘t a Harley- only event.) If you don‘t want to ride with all that American Iron, you can just show up at Dover Downs around 11 am. Larry Schmittinger is going to lead a New Castle group to the rally. We‘ll meet him at Damon‘s at 8:30 am for breakfast then join up with the group at Mike‘s Famous at 10:00 am. Larry promises to buy us beer and soft drinks after the ride. These types of rides are how we let the world know just how kind-hearted and charitable bikers can be. It also lets other bikers know that MARS exist and we actively participate in these events. For more information, see http://www.daddycurranmotorcyclerun.net/index.htm. Our Very Own Web Site M any of our newer members, and some of our veteran members, don‘t realize we have a MARS website. The site is a gold mine of information with current and past newsletters, ride reports, photos, a message board and links to many other motorcycle- and BMW-related sites. Yahoo hosts the site and you can join by going to the home page at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marschapter/ and signing up; it couldn‘t be easier. After joining, all messages posted on the site will be sent to your personal e-mail where you can either delete them or post a reply. Joining will allow you to be more in touch with what‘s going on in our little club and will enhance your membership experience. Give it a try. Our World Wide Web wizard, Bud Heberling, maintains the site and does the hundreds of little things necessary to keep it current and interesting. Bud‘s one of those quiet, behind-the-scene types who does what ever it takes to get the job done. 5 You have GOT to read Oilhead Valve Adjustment for Dummies and Oilhead Throttle Body Synching for Dummies located in the ―Links‖ section of the site. They‘re guaranteed to make you laugh out loud! Web Site Photos Needed A s mentioned above, we have a great web site but it could use more photos. If any of you have photos of yourself with your scooter, at club activities, or any other club-related or ride-related photos that we can post on our site, please forward them to our Webmaster, Bud Heberling at email@example.com and he‘ll take it from there. Be sure to include a brief description of each photo (where and when it was taken, who‘s in the photo and anything else that may of interest in the shot). Photos in .jpg format are best and they should be less then 100 KB. If you have any questions, please contact Bud directly, he‘ll be happy to assist. If your photos are not on your computer but on paper, Bud can handle them too. Bud may have to crop the photos, adjust their color levels and edit the captions as needed. Bud, a Delaware State Trooper, promises to give photo contributors special consideration if he stops any of them for speeding. New Members W e welcomed three new members at our February 14th breakfast. Ed Pierce and Cynthia and Robert Davis joined our club and we hope to see them at future rides and breakfasts. In the past several months Jim Glancy, Eric Grau, Paul Kase, Jerry Schaar, John Souder, Amy and Mike Anderson and Jennifer and Jeff Ward helped swell our ranks. We now have a record-breaking 46 members and we‘ll soon have over fifty! A sincere thanks from the club to all of those who have taken the trouble to bring in new members. 2004 Dues Due on April 1 O ur $10 annual dues will be due on April 1. It‘s not just a worn out, meaningless phrase, we really do value each of you and hope you will again join us in 2004. In May we plan to have our first annual GPS point-to-point, we‘ll have another multi-day ride in West Virginia, a big summer bash and more planned rides than you can shake a ratchet at. So please renew and don‘t miss out on the fun in 2004 – we really want you back. Your dues help defray the cost of many club programs and expenses, including the ink and postage for this newsletter. We mail six or seven newsletters a month, and have you priced ink cartridges lately? We also have expenses for business card stock, social functions, ride prizes and recognition awards. It adds up quickly. 6 Please send your check to Paul Reburn, at 1121 Mayflower Drive, Newark, DE 19711, or you can save the postage and give Paul your money at our March breakfast in Dover. Members who joined after October 1, 2003, do not owe dues for 2004. Club Business Cards F or those new members who are not aware of them, and for the older members who may have forgotten, we have club business cards. The cards have your name, phone number and e-mail address (if you have one) and an optional photo; on the back are details of our meeting times and places. The cards were started almost a year ago to give to bikers who you meet in your travels and provides a contact name (you) if they would like to join or want more information. In the past year the cards have been credited with bringing several members into our little group, so we know they do work. They‘re also handy to throw into those fishbowls at restaurants from which they draw cards for free meals. The cards are on a sturdy stock and give our club a professional appearance. If you need cards, please contact Ed Lombardi at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the number on the front of the newsletter and he‘ll be happy to provide them. If you would like your photo on the card then provide Ed with several photos (so he can pick the best one for the cards) either digitally or on paper and Ed will do the rest. Shown are the two optional fronts and the back of the card. A Saturday Ride By Keith Siers I had really planned to do the 18,000-mileservice on the RT myself. I had an official BMW oil filter and requisite crush washer. I‘d even bought a set of four feeler gauges from Bob‘s and Bud promised to provide backup for the valve adjustments. However, my garage is not heated and the thought of doing a couple of hours in the cold really did not appeal to me. With the bike passing 19,500 miles, it dawned on me, my bike was also due for the annual. That was my break, since I wouldn‘t dare tackle the ABS fluid change, I might as well have them do the rest too. They‘d have the Tupperware off anyway. Great idea. (Sigh of relief—I mean disappointment) I asked Barb if she‘d follow me up to Hermy‘s so I could drop the bike off. She gave me one of those yeses that indicated that the trip would be slightly more enjoyable than a root canal, but it was a yes. So I called Steve at Hermy‘s to get an appointment for this 7 week. He said they could fit it in and asked if I‘d need a loaner. Why yes, yes that would be nice. (Barb was dancing in background) Rode up on Saturday morning. It was a decent day with temperature in the mid to high forties. The Gerbing liner was plugged in and set just high enough to keep the chill off. Got to Hermy‘s just after 12:30 p.m. I signed the paperwork and was ready to head back. They loaned me a bright yellow ‗03 F650-GS w/ABS to ride home. The riding position is upright and very comfortable for me and it had hand guards and heated grips. At start up, this bike has a very different sound to it, louder than the Ks or the Rs but a pleasant sound. I really liked hearing it climb through the gears. It shifted easily and smoothly. This bike will surprise you with its pep and will jump right into the traffic and not look back. After saddling up and familiarizing myself with the controls and the turn signal gear, which is like most other bikes, a single unit, I was off. One thing the bike did not have was an accessory outlet. Without the juice the Gerbing liner is not as warm as the liner that came with my jacket. The clouds had rolled in and the temperature had dropped a little. Without the fairing, I needed one more layer up top. A few miles down the road it started to sprinkle off and on and I knew I couldn‘t drive straight through, as I had on the way up. I figured I could tough it out to the McDonald‘s in Sadsbury on Route 10. That‘s about a third of the way and I figured I could then make it to Newark for a second stop. I was getting kind of miserable. I actually rode through a few snow flurries. In addition to the cold, the wind, which had kicked the RT around, was really bullying the 200-pound lighter GS. A hot cup of coffee, a hamburger and a warm restaurant really improved my outlook. It had stopped raining while I was eating. Dressed and ready to roll again, I knew I could make it to Newark. Within ten minutes, the clouds gave way to some blue skies and the temperature was up. I was warm enough to get back to enjoying the ride, but I didn‘t stop in Newark; the GS and I were having entirely too much fun. Last night, as I looked back on the day, all I could remember was what a good day it had been. I had ridden six hours split between two very different but very nice motorcycles. The cold and misery were forgotten. 8 MARS’ Guest Columnist My First Iron Butt Ride By Geoff Ward I first ran across the idea of endurance riding while researching BMW cycles in November of ‘03. I had decided that I wanted to buy a motorcycle that would be more useful for sport touring than my ZRX1200R. While I was deciding between a Yamaha FJR and a K-bike, Mike Anderson lent me a copy of ―Going the Extra Mile‖ by Ron Ayres. I was immediately hooked by the tales of endurance riders across America and began planning my own distance rides. Soon I chose my K1200GT and began making some (I thought) necessary modifications for long trips. I installed FIAMM horns, running lights, a headlight shield, and, most importantly, an XM stereo. Apart from these, the GT was already set up perfectly for me. My initial plans were to take the trip in the late spring of ‘04 but that plan soon changed. The Geoff at the start of the ride phone rang on Dec. 28th; it was Mike. He mentioned that the weather was looking pretty clear for the first of the year and would I like to take the ride we had been talking about since I had first bought the GT? The Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000 is a ride of 1000 miles in less than 24 hours and it seemed to be the perfect way to begin distance riding. After visiting the Iron Butt website (ironbutt.com) I was able to download the witness forms, log sheets, and other info needed to document our ride. The IBA rules are very strict concerning documentation, which seemed like a pain at the time but later I realized that they‘re just trying to keep riders honest. We decided on a circular route of primarily highway riding to Myrtle Beach, SC. Since Mike had already been there, this seemed to be the best way for two directionally challenged fellas with no GPS to get there and back with minimal chance of becoming lost. I was so charged up that I couldn‘t sleep the night before we left. Finally, it was time to go when Mike pulled up at 6. My lovely wife Jen got out of bed early on her day off to sign our witnessed start forms and take a few pictures of our odometers and us on the bikes. (Thanks Hon!) We stopped first at a Wawa to get a timed and dated receipt and make our first log entry and rolled out to the highway. Highway riding is the perfect way to make friends with a new bike. It was early on a day when most folks are still in bed nursing their hangovers so there was very little traffic. We basically owned the road, so apart from the cold, (30°) it was a great start. No cops, no cars and all the time in the world, it truly doesn‘t get any better than that! There‘s not a lot I can say about the northern portion of our trip, as the urban areas we rode through (Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, etc.) aren‘t terribly exciting. We did however have the joy of dealing with all the cagers and their charming driving habits. 9 Needless to say, I was glad to get below Richmond and on to more open road. This was when I really appreciated the GT‘s cruise control and heated seat, as I was able to relax a bit and stretch out. The weather got steadily warmer as we proceeded south and the bikes were just eating up the road. Before I knew it, we were exiting on I-40 below Raleigh. I-40 is a flat, curvy, well-maintained road and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what the big Beemer‘s motor could do. It still amazes me that no matter what speed you travel, the GT always has more to give. The bike is a lot faster than I am! Mike and Geoff (r) at the We were soon on Route 17 heading into Myrtle and beginning of their excellent it was a balmy 70 degrees. Man, what a change! adventure After a short lunch break at Hooter‘s (The waitresses are better looking here at home!) we re-fueled at a combination chicken house and gas station and were on our way home. I realized that we hadn‘t even stopped at the ocean; we were so focused on getting our miles in! I hope the next time I go down there I won‘t be on such a strict timetable and I‘ll be able to enjoy the sights a bit more. Soon we were back on I-40, headed north this time, enjoying more of this nice chunk of super slab. Fatigue still had not yet kicked in for me. I actually thought, ―Hey, this might be easier than I thought!‖ Famous last words. The sun went down as we headed out of SC and it seemed that every gas station we stopped at was shuttered. Thank the Lord for gas cards! Another thing I learned to appreciate was the bike‘s mileage capacity between stops so we were able to make pretty good time. We only became sidetracked once when we decided to explore a back road in NC. Probably not a great idea at night in a state we knew nothing about, but it turned out okay. We didn‘t run across any roving gangs of murderous hill folk or anything like that (hee, hee). Once we reached I-95 again we just put our heads down and hammered. I started to get tired somewhere below Richmond so I slowed down a bit. I must have been more tired than I thought because at one point I noticed that I was going 57 mph in a 65 mph zone! This was actually for the good because we finally started to notice a fairly large police presence somewhere around Washington. They were hiding on every corner and embankment, it seemed! It began to rain lightly as we left the Washington area so we proceeded with caution the rest of the way home. 10 We arrived back at the Wawa tired, sore and worse for wear 21 hours after we left. I went in for an ending receipt and headed home to wake up Jen again to sign my witnessed ending form. Mike decided to get his last receipt in the form of a warning for speeding from a Statie who nabbed him in front of Governor‘s Square! All in all, the trip was a great learning experience and I will be doing it again. I only would have changed a couple of things: 1) My zero mph tip-over at a gas station in SC. (the only damage was my pride.), and 2) the blistered saddle sores I sustained from wearing loose fitting under gear. (Ironic, eh? Note to self: quit shifting around while you ride!) At the time of this writing, I just received my Iron Butt Assn. plate back, sticker, pin and certificate. These items were just icing on the cake after the feeling of accomplishment I got from the completion of the ride. It was a lot more challenging than I initially thought, but I can now say that I‘ve done something that very few people have done. An Inexpensive Wheel Balancer In the year I‘ve been with the club, I noticed many members are cheap wise with their money. Therefore, I couldn‘t help but notice an article in the March issue of Motorcycle Consumer News on an inexpensive homemade wheel balancer that gives excellent results. For those members who don‘t get this magazine, the balancer is made from ¾‖ PVC pipe, some PVC Ts, four hose clamps and two pieces of steel bar stock. The method of balancing is ingenious and simple. After the wheel and axle are resting on the device you first let the tire find its natural balance point with all weights removed. You then add weights to the top of the wheel and let the tire move to its new resting point. You then move the weights a small amount and rotate the tire 90° and note the time it takes to reach the new balance point – the longer the time to reach its neutral state the better the balancing. You continue moving the weights small distances and rotating the tire 90° each time until it takes about 20 –30 seconds for the wheel to reach it new balance point. According to the author, the balancer cost him about $10 in parts; perhaps some member will construct one and make it available to the club. From the Vice President Camping in Custer, South Dakota By Pete Mazzella C uster, South Dakota is located about 25 miles south of Rapid City on Route 16. The ride is very pleasant and leads to Wyoming through the Black Hills National Forest. During my trip to Coos Bay, Oregon, two summers ago, I stayed in a log cabin with my two friends, Ed and Joe. I told our editor about the cabins some time ago and he asked me to send him the information. Well, I forgot where I stashed all my stuff from the trip and counted all the info as lost. Now, that is pretty hard to do in 1,600 square feet but I did. Last week, in a fit of organizational anxiety, I found the information on the cabins and wanted to share it with all of you. Frankly, I recommend 11 this facility very highly. The trip there is fun and uncluttered. The cabins clean, operational in every way and well apportioned. Heck, they‘ll even take your dog! Our cabin had a full bath (shower but no tub), TV on the Dish, phone, BBQ grill, full kitchen with microwave, a coffeepot and complimentary coffee. The owners, seeing our bikes, gave us rags to clean them and supplied more when we needed them. We had a little pond behind us, deer all over the place, and one morning, a hot air balloon landed just over the hill. Their ad says that they‘re open all year. You can contact Jorgensen Log Homes at their web site, www.jorgensenloghomes.com. Their address is 204 Harney St, Custer, SD 57730. Their phone number is 1-800-568- 4146 or 1-605-673-3345and they can also be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. I just checked out their site and they show the cabin we used. I found the place quite by accident in a tourist booklet that I saw in Mitchell, when I was traveling out to the hills. There were three of us and the cabin had two double beds. For a little extra, they supplied a rollaway bed. Electric lights, I must not forget the electric lights. When the rest of the world is dark and still, we found it very nice to walk in the cabin and turn on the lights. It would have been a little hard to watch the TV by candlelight. As an aside, the last half-mile to the cabin was not paved when we stayed there in 2002. Is it paved now? I am not sure. However, the Harley‘s managed just fine and you GS‘ers might get a kick out of the rocks on the dirt. While we were there, we were hit with a terrific storm with thunder and lightning. The road washed out a little. The wash out was wasn‘t a big deal. The Harley‘s didn‘t even mind, they just splashed through the mud. The next morning, the road graders were out and restored the roads to perfect condition. I think that we were very lucky to get the cabins at the last minute. We didn‘t have a planned reservation and I was concerned that Sturgis and all the good places in the area would be sold out. I guess that I had resigned myself to some no tell motel with questionable characters with me on a BMW. But the Jorgensens were happy to accommodate us and invited us to stay with them the next year. When I return to the insanity of Sturgis, I plan to stay with them again. While we were there, three guys from New Jersey stayed in the cabin next to ours. They had three new Goldwings: Red, White and Blue. They had their picture taken for their club magazine and were very proud of their bikes, and rightly so, they were beautiful and well maintained. Two years ago, there was a stable and pasture across the dirt road. While we were cleaning our bikes, the horses would come to look at us cleaning our iron mounts. I thought that it was pretty funny that the horses were checking out their replacements. Finally, I must mention the peace and quiet of the place. I‘ve been to the Americade and Sturgis and have heard about Daytona and the noise gives me a headache after a while. Stories tell of the noise going on all night, too but not here. It is so quiet that you can 12 hear the grass grow. In the morning, the songbirds fill the air with their music. If you are quiet enough, you can watch the deer feeding on the nearby hills. If I sound enthusiastic about the place, it is because I am. If my route permits this year, I intend to stay there again as I pass through South Dakota, (the Gateway to North Dakota). The picture near the top of the article is of Joe, Ed and me. I‘m the little guy.
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