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April 2004 - Mid-Atlantic RiderS


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									                         Mid Atlantic Riders‘ Rag
                                                 April 2004
   BMW MOA Charter 280

   The Monthly Newsletter of the Mid Atlantic Riders
Dave Cowgill     From the President

(302) 378-2682           i, everybody! We‘ve had a couple of nice days to tease us, but
                         the nice weather is almost here and I‘m rarin‘ to go! There are
Pete Mazzella            several places to which I always return- I guess you could call
Vice President   them ‗favorite rides‘: Route 9 is always good, along with route 100. If
(302) 645-0619                               nothing else, marvel at the number of new
                                             homes that are going up!
Dan Davis
Secretary                                  Like the swallows returning to Capistrano,
(302) 697-9421                             every spring I head down to Bob‘s for his
                                           Open House. (This year it‘s Saturday, April
Paul Reburn                                24th.) It‘s always a fun time with lots of
Treasurer                                  bikes, lots of folks, lots of food and sale
(302) 737-8668                             prices on whatever you might need. Best of
                                           all, is the good feeling that one gets from
Bud Heberling    helping all of those kids supported by the Pediatric Brain Tumor
Webmaster        Foundation. Bob Henig is a HUGE supporter of that organization, and
(302) 398-4008   the auction of goods and services at his Open House goes entirely to
                 support that group.
Ed Lombardi
Editor           Once the heat of summer is here, there‘s a ride that‘s always refreshing:
(302) 453-8666   Route 222 between Port Deposit and Conowingo, MD. Running along
                                                                  the river‘s edge under
                 Next Breakfast
                                                                  the canopy of trees is
                 Our next breakfast will be at Damon’s in New
                                                                  always nice and cool,
                 Castle at 9 AM on Saturday, April 10. Dave
                                                                  no matter what the
                 Cowgill will lead a wondering ride through
                                                                  day‘s temperature. I‘ve
                 New Castle and Chester County after the
                                                                  never checked, but
                                                                  there are a number of
                 pull-offs that may lead to a nice little swimming hole. On the south side
                 of the dam the picnic grove by the road was closed this past year, but
                 the park below the dam on that side was open. That‘s an ideal place for
                 a picnic lunch or supper. There‘s a nice pool at the swimming club on
                 the south side that allows non-members in for a nominal fee.
We recently discovered Tuckahoe State Park west of Ridgely, MD. It had several nice
picnic groves and hiking trails. I don‘t know if swimming is permitted.

Another of our favorites is Corduras State Park southeast of Hanover, PA. It features a
large lake with a variety of styles of boats for rent along with camping, hiking, biking
trails and a large public pool.

How about you folks? What are some of your favorite places and activities, besides
riding your motorcycle? Let‘s get together and ride our bikes to our favorite places! It
doesn‘t get any better than that!

See you ALL at Damon‘s on the 10th and we hope you can ride with us afterwards!

Reality Check
By Dave Cowgill

        s was mentioned at the March breakfast at Maple Dale Country Club, without
        some help, MARS is facing a bleak financial future. Through no fault of our own,
        we have lost the opportunity to escort and marshal the bicycle segment of this
area‘s premier biathlon and triathlon events. These events were the only fund raising
activity for MARS and will need to be replaced if we are going to continue to operate and
flourish as we have over the last couple of years. The good news is that we learned of
this situation early enough to plan and make some adjustments.

We are neither destitute nor in dire straits. Our present dues barely cover the
preparation and production of our newsletter. (In that regard, I have chosen to also
purchase a membership for Linda, as she too is a participant. Whether-or-not you
choose to do likewise is a personal decision, but we will be facing an increase in dues for
next year.) The treasury is used to fund prizes for club activities, covering extraneous
expenses such as bulk mailings through MOA and helping our two biggest social
functions, the summer crab feast and the winter dinner. Tickets for these affairs fund
the major part of the event, the rest is your club giving back to you.

We have been pursuing the purchase of T-shirts, hats, decals, mugs, etc. , but each
requires a significant up-front expense to the club, an amount that, given the balance of
the club treasury, your committee has not been comfortable spending. At least not at
the moment.

So, where does all of this lead? As I said, we are NOT in dire straits. What we all need
to do is pull together, attend as many club activities as you possibly can and bring your
significant other along, too. That will help to forge new friendships and to strengthen
the old ones. Remember, we ARE a family!

Be generous when purchasing 50/50 tickets we‘ll now be selling at our breakfasts, it‘s
the only fund raising mechanism we have. Who knows, you might be the luckiest
member of the club!

And please do not hesitate to present any ideas that you may have to your executive
committee. This is YOUR club and we ‗re here to do YOUR bidding.

From the Editor

         e have responded to your request for more and exciting club activities. In this
         issue (the largest ever, by the way) we‘re announcing two new contests, which
         will start in the next two months, and each is described in detail in this
newsletter. The Executive Committee has worked overtime to make sure that MARS is
not simply a breakfast club, but a club with tons of activities for its members.

                                     The first contest is a GPS Point-to-Point ride where
                                     you can show us your prowess with this digital
                                     device and win a few bucks in the process. The
                                     second is a summer riding contest, which has been
                                     reworked by Scott Wasser into a really great event.
                                     He has turned this contest into a means of building
                                     camaraderie, putting miles on our scooters and at
                                     the same time, seeing a lot of scenery.

                                    Scott‘s article includes only the basics of the contest;
                                    the preliminary details will be given out at the April
10th breakfast at Damons. Scott will also answer questions and take suggestions. If your
really interested in putting miles on you bikes, and most of you have told us that you
are, then you need to show up at Damons to ask questions and to learn the rules of the

This month we have two articles from the same family. Our secretary Dan Davis and his
lovely wife, Carolyn, have each written an interesting article for the newsletter. This is
the first time this has been done during my one-year tenure as the editor; perhaps
another couple would also each like to submit an article for the same issue.

MARS is looking for a special person to serve on the Executive Committee. The
committee is composed of the club‘s officers and two at-large members from the general
membership. The present committee consists of those officers listed on the left side of
the first page of the newsletter, plus Scott Wasser.

The committee does the work of the club, makes all the day-to-day decisions and
discusses possible new rides, ways to increase membership, special events, etc. We meet
on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 pm at Dave Cowgill‘s house in Middletown,
and the meetings usually break up by 9:30 pm.

The committee needs a positive thinking person who is interested in the success and
progress of the club and is willing to put in the time for the monthly meetings. Most
importantly, he or she must be willing to initiate and take on and complete various club
projects. We will accept either a veteran member who knows the workings of the club or
a new member who can bring fresh ideas to the committee and wants to learn about the
club quickly.

If you would like to become more active in the club and can set aside some time each
month, please call Dave Cowgill at (302) 378-2682.

Last Call For 2004 Dues

       ues for the 2004 season were due April 1. If time crept up on you too fast and
       you haven‘t gotten around to it yet, please send you‘re $10 to our Treasurer, Paul
       Reburn at 1121 Mayflower Drive, Newark, DE 19711. If you joined our group
after October 2003, and paid your 2003 dues, then you don‘t owe dues for this year.
How‘s that for a bargain?

This is the last notice, and anyone not up to date on his or her dues will be dropped from
our membership list. Please don‘t let that happen!

The Winter Mileage Contest Ends this Month

      he Winter Mileage Contest is finally coming to a close after five months of snow,
      ice and bone-chilling temperatures. The winner will be determined at the April
      10th meeting at Damon‘s when we see who was willing to brave the elements
during what seemed to be the longest winter on record. For those of you who may have
forgotten that you entered this contest, the entrants included: Paul Reburn, Keith Siers,
Dan Davis, Ed Lombardi, Jim Glancey, Tom Postell, Eric Grau, Bud Heberling, Mike
Dobson, Amy Anderson, and Mike Anderson.

Remember, in order to win you must arrive on the same motorcycle that you entered
back in November. For the lucky person, some might say penguin, who rode the most
miles during the last five months, you will win a $50 gift certificate to Bob‘s BMW and a
hug from every member of the club to help you finally get warm.

A Contest You Won’t Want to Miss
By Scott Wasser

         hether your thing is racking up the miles or simply seeing the sights, the club
         this month kicks off a new riding contest that should make you as happy as an
         R1200GS owner at the opening of a new
off-road park.

The contest/competition was created to give club
members more riding opportunities and encourage
more members to lead rides and participate in them
– even if it is only as a passenger! It will feature
fantastic prizes in five different categories and is
geared to give the greatest number of members a
chance to win something. But even those who don‘t
come away with a prize will be winners because they
were motivated to do what most of us like doing best: ride our motorcycles.

Here are the contest basics:

Every month, our newsletter, the MARS Rider Rag, will have a calendar listing of
OFFICIAL club rides, including the date, time, destination, ride leader and proposed
approximate mileage for each ride. All you have to do to enter the competition is show
up for a ride, sign in with the ride leader and then initial next to your signature at the
end of the ride. You‘ll then be credited with having ridden the official mileage (as
determined by the ride leader‘s odometer) for that ride.

You don‘t have to fill out anything else or tell anyone you want to join the contest. You
don‘t have to keep track of your own mileage; simply go on a club ride and you are
automatically entered into the contest. Your mileage for that ride, and every other club
ride in which you participate, will be counted and kept by the Ride Coordinator – me.

Contest leaders will be listed each month in the newsletter along with the calendar of
upcoming Official Club Rides. One of the coolest things about this contest is that the
competition is divided into five different categories, giving you a chance to win one of
eight prizes. The categories are:

      Most Club Miles Ridden
      Most Club Rides Attended
      Most Club Rides Led
      Most Club Miles as a Passenger
      Most Club Rides as a Passenger

First- and second-place prizes will be awarded in the first three categories. Only first-
place prizes will be awarded in the Passenger categories. Everyone will receive a
certificate of participation.

In order to qualify as an Official Club Ride, a ride leader must provide the Ride
Coordinator with the following information at a club meeting or in writing (e-mail is

      Ride date
      Starting time
      Starting location
      Ending location (if not a round trip)
      General destination or route
      Approximate mileage
      Contact information (e-mail or phone number) for the leader

A catchy ride title (such as Dan‘s Daunting Dash) and brief description of the ride (―A
fast-paced ride on some winding back roads in southeastern Pennsylvania‖) are
encouraged. Beginning with the April 10 club meeting at Damon‘s, the Ride
Coordinator will begin compiling a calendar of Official Club Rides for the entire season.
Rides for any given month may be added to the monthly calendar as few as seven days
prior to that month‘s meeting, but more advanced notice would be appreciated.

In addition to picking a ride route and leading the group, ride leaders also will be
responsible for determining the official mileage of a ride, obtaining the signatures and
initials of ride participants, and submitting the Official Ride Forms to the Ride
Coordinator. Blank Ride Forms will be available at club meetings and on our web site.
Completed forms must be turned in at the first breakfast meeting following an Official
Ride, or immediately mailed to:

Scott Wasser
Ride Coordinator
104 E. Minglewood Dr.
Middletown, DE 19709

Ride leaders also may submit Club Ride proposals to me via e-mail at

That‘s it for the basics. Of course there are more detailed (and potentially mind-
boggling) rules that we need to establish to ensure that all club members understand the
competition and are treated equitably. These preliminary rules will be distributed to
club members at the April meeting. We encourage everyone to at least scan them at
their leisure because they will contain information crucial to participating in this

If you have any questions or comments about this competition, please raise them at the
April meeting or bring them to the attention of the Ride Coordinator before May 1. The
final rules will be distributed at the May 8 breakfast at the Maple Dale Country Club.
Once again, our only goal here is to encourage club participation and make that
participation as enjoyable as possible, so please ride as much as you can and lead
whenever you have the opportunity.

Although the rules still need to be finalized, we‘ve scheduled a few rides to start things

APRIL 10 – DAVE’S DUAL-STATE DRIVE. Club president Dave Cowgill kicks off
the first ride of the contest. Dave will lead us through northern New Castle and Chester
Counties and promises a very beautiful, scenic ride with a lunch stop. Starts: 10:00 am
Ends: Mid-afternoon. Distance: Approximately 80 miles. Departure Point:
Damons in New Castle. Contact: Dave Cowgill (302) 378-2682 or

APRIL 24 – ED’s EXCELLENT EXTRAVAGANZA for the ELITE: Actually, it‘s
Bob‘s extravaganza, as in the annual Open House held each year at Bob‘s BMW. Ed
Lombardi will lead us to food, fun and a fantastic auction. Starts: 8 am Ends:
Approximately 9:30 am Distance: 85 mi. Departure Point: BP Truck Stop just south
of Middletown on Rt. 301. Note: Because participants may want to depart at different
times, this is a one-way ride. Consequently, riders may proceed directly home rather
than returning to the departure point. Contact: edlombardi@comcast.net

MAY 1 – PERRYVILLE PRANCE: A ride through some of Maryland‘s horse country,
through Chesapeake City and then to Perryville for a scenic break before returning to
Delaware. Starts 8 am. Ends: Approximately 11:30 am. Distance: 125 mi.
Departure Point: BP Truck Stop just south of Middletown on Rt. 301. Contact:

participation in his last attempt to show club members the scenic beauty and sometimes
scintillating roads of Slower Delaware, so Dan‘s trying again. Starts: Following
monthly meeting at Maple Dale. Ends: About 1.5 hours later at Dover Downs.
Distance: 60 mi. Departure Point: Maple Dale Country Club. Note: This is another
one-way ride that ends at a fund-raising motorcycle gathering for a fallen police officer.
Members are encouraged to attend the event at Dover Downs, but are not required to do
so for purposes of the club mileage competition. Contact: daviscd5@comcast.net

And speaking of riding… MARS wants to congratulate Keith Siers for having the highest
miles of all Delaware riders in the recently completed BMW Motorcycle Owners
Association mileage contest. Keith logged 13,295 miles on his R1150R. Our beloved
club president, Dave Cowgill, logged 5,281 miles, followed by our esteemed vice prez,
Pete Mazzella, at 1,016 miles. By the way, the person riding the most miles was a fellow
from Texas with 73,222 miles – between April and October!

Suggested Rides for the Upcoming Season

    t seems we‘re always talking about places to go after our monthly breakfasts, on a
    nice Saturday, or for the upcoming summer riding contests. So we‘ve put together a
    list of potential one- and two-day rides that may stimulate discussion and produce
other destinations. The list is by no means exhaustive, and we‘ve done some but we can
do them again!

Some factory tours and museums are only open on weekdays, so it‘s a good idea to check
before going.

    The Herrs potato chip factory tour in Nottingham, PA. They‘re open on weekdays
     only. Darn!

    St. Michaels, MD.

    The touristy town of New Hope, PA. The only practical way to get there is to go
     up I-95, but worth the trip.

    The new Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

    Rock Hall, MD

    The Spy Museum in Washington, DC. If we told you much about this we‘d have
     to terminate you!

    Gettysburg, PA

    The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA

    A ride across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

    The Baltimore Museum of Industry

    The discount outlets in Lancaster, PA. If you go, don‘t forget to take extra empty
     luggage space to bring back all your purchases.

    The Shady Maple Restaurant near West Earl, PA. A HUGE buffet style restaurant
     that attracts tourists from all over the region. It‘s a very nice place.

    Hershey‘s Chocolate World in Hershey, PA

    The Crayola factory tour in Easton, PA

    The National Cryptographic Museum at Ft. Meade, MD

    The touristy town of Jim Thorpe, PA. Almost all interstates, but worth the ride.

    The Harley Davidson factory tour in York, PA. Park all the BMW‘s around the
     corner so they‘re not seen.

    The Smithsonian‘s Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport in Chantilly, VA. This is
     part of the National Air and Space Museum, and has only recently opened.

    Chestertown, MD

    Cape May, NJ. The ferryboat ride itself is worth the entire trip, and if you‘re
     lucky they‘ll even stop the boat to watch the whales in the Delaware Bay. It‘s a bit
     pricey, though.

And the New Members Just Keep on Comin’

           arch was one of our better months for new members and we were privileged to
           welcome six new faces. We welcomed Tim Bayard, Dennis Wooten, Peter
           Anstey, Deane Smith, Donna Lenozioszek and Daniel Sacher. Thanks for

Along with this newsletter, a membership application is being sent to each member to
give to potential new members. A copy is also posted on our web site at

MARS’ New Breakfast Meeting Place in Dover

          ARS‘ first monthly breakfast at the Maple Dale Country Club on March 13 was a
          great success and we had a record turnout of 27 people including five new or
          potential members!

For those who missed the breakfast, you missed one of our better meetings. The country
club was a great venue and all of us had a great time. We had our own room and the
buffet breakfast was excellent – and all for eight bucks! Above are several photos from
the breakfast, and we hope to see all of you at the club again on May 8. (Photos courtesy of
Carolyn Davis.)

Maple Dale Every Month?

     he MARS Executive Committee is considering moving all of our monthly
     breakfasts to the Maple Dale Country Club. We‘ve had a recent surge in
     membership and a large fraction of our members are now south of the C&D Canal.
Although our southern members have made the trek to Damons in New Castle
numerous times without complaining, we think moving all of the monthly breakfasts to
Dover will make the club much more user friendly.

The committee is not going to make this decision without input from the membership,
so please try to attend the April 10 breakfast at Damons and we‘ll talk about it and get
your feelings on the subject.

Announcing MARS’ First GPS Point-to-Point Ride

          e‘ve been mentioning it for a while and now we‘re ready to make the official
          announcement. (Drum roll, please)…. On Saturday, June 5 the Mid Atlantic
          Riders is going to have its first, and we hope not last, GPS point-to-point ride.
For all of you who got a GPS under the tree on Christmas here‘s your chance to show the
rest of us just how good you are and show the spouse or significant other that‘s it‘s not
just a high tech way to find your way to Home Depot.

The rules are simple.

   1. To participate, you need to contact Ed Lombardi at edlombardi@comcast.net or
      call him at (302) 453-8666 by May 21. The cost will be $10 each to cover the cost
      of the prizes. There must be at least 6 participants in order to have the ride, so it
      is important to contact Ed by May 21.
   2. Each rider will receive a set of coordinates by phone or e-mail on Friday, June 4.
      We‘ll meet at those coordinates at 9:00 am on Saturday for the start of the event,
      and to collect your money. This location will also be a place that serves breakfast.
   3. At the Saturday morning breakfast, each rider will be given a set of eight
      coordinates in random order. In addition, each will receive coordinates for the
      meeting point at the end of the event.
   4. The riders will have time to study the coordinates and formulate a plan to visit
      each in the least number of miles. Riders can leave whenever they want, but
      there will be a minimum of three minutes between each departure. Each bike‘s
      mileage and its exact time of departure will be recorded as it leaves.
   5. Each coordinate will be a place where you must get some sort of receipt. For
      instance, it may be a grocery story, restaurant, convenience store, dress shop, etc.
      An acceptable receipt could be a gas or meal receipt, a receipt for a purchase in a
      store or a matchbook or napkin with the establishment‘s name.
   6. After visiting all the coordinates, the riders must go to the final meeting point
      where each rider‘s elapsed mileage and elapsed time will be recorded.
   7. The winner will be the rider with receipts for all the coordinates who traveled the
      fewest miles. In case of a tie, the person riding a Harley wins who completes the
      course in the shortest time wins. Two or more bikes with elapsed miles differing
      by less then one mile will be deemed as having identical mileage.
   8. You must be on a motorcycle for this contest and passengers are allowed.
   9. This ride will not be an Official Ride for the upcoming mileage contest.

If you do not have a GPS unit and would like to participate using only a paper map, you
are most welcome, for the $10 fee. All of the above rules will apply and you are eligible
for the prize money. Good luck, and don‘t try to study the map while driving!

The ride will encompass much of the Delmarva Peninsula and we expect that the course
can easily be completed before 3 pm. We‘ll officially close the contest at 4 pm and
rider‘s arriving at the final meeting point after that time will not be eligible to win.

The winner will receive cash on the spot for 80% of the money collected, with a $100
cap, and the second place rider will receive 20% of the collected money, with a $20 cap.
Each rider will receive a certificate of participation, including any rider who arrives at
the final meeting point after 4 pm.

If this ride goes well, we‘ll put on a much larger ride in the fall. That ride will cover
more area and have more coordinates. We‘ll heavily advertise the contest and have
more prizes, a certificate to all attendees and maybe a T-shirt.

Ed Lombardi has a GPS unit, but since he‘s coordinating this ride, he‘s ineligible to
participate. He has offered to let someone else use his unit for the point-to-point. So if
you‘re interested, let him know. Scott Wasser also has a unit that he‘s willing to loan out
for the ride. Tom Postell is reading this sentence hoping to get another free breakfast.
Sorry, Tom.

For those of you who want to sample the contest, there are three coordinates below, one
in each Delaware county, using either a GPS or a map, drive to at least one. If you need
help, or want to know what‘s at each location, contact Ed Lombardi.

In New Castle County: N 39° 26.561‘ W 75° 41.653‘

In Kent County: N 39° 12.982 ‗ W 75° 34.396‘

In Sussex County: N 38° 34.635‘ W 75° 17.281‘

Volunteers needed

For anyone who does not have a GPS, or who doesn’t even know how to spell GPS, but
would like to share in the enjoyment of this event, we have a need for you! We would
like about four volunteers to help register contestants, assist the ride coordinator and
club secretary in recording times and mileage and monitor some of the intermediate
locations. Who knows, you may even need to help find lost bikers!

If you can give us about eight to nine hours of your time on Saturday, June 5, please
contact Ed Lombardi at edlombardi@comcast.net or at (302) 453-8666. We promise
that you’ll have a good time and make new friends.

If you can participate, please contact Ed by May 21.

Outside the Beltway
By Dan Davis

      lthough I have driven the DC Beltway many times both in a car and on a
      motorcycle, it is not one of my favorite roads. Traffic volume, periodic
      construction, the possibility of accidents and the inevitable traffic tie-ups have
always made it an adventure that I would rather avoid. Last Saturday my wife and I
                                                 were making a trip from Dover to
                                                 Leesburg, VA with a stop at Bob‘s
                                                 BMW, so I began to explore the
                                                 possibility of another route that would
                                                 let me avoid the Beltway all together.
                                                 With the help of Ed Lombardi and his
                                                 magic GPS, we came up with a route
                                                 that went from Bob‘s to Leesburg on a
                                                 series of both primary and secondary
                                                 two-lane roads which skirted Rockville
                                                 and Gaithersburg and ended with a
                                                 ferry ride across the Potomac. The
                                                 crossing at White‘s Ferry is the first
                                                 place north of the Beltway where you
can cross the Potomac, and for our purpose it was ideal, since it is located only about
two miles north of Leesburg.

Although we made the trip in an SUV, the route is motorcycle friendly with about three
quarters of it through farmland
and pretty countryside. There
were the inevitable traffic lights
and heavy traffic in some areas
near Rockville and Gaithersburg,
but these were more of an
inconvenience than a problem.
The trip from Bob‘s to Leesburg is
about 50 miles and took about an
hour and a half, but this included
the wait for the ferry and the trip
across the Potomac. The ferry
costs $3 and leaves about every 15
minutes, and in case the wait is
longer, there is a snack bar on the
eastern side of the river. Once
you‘re in Leesburg, you‘re about 25 miles from Harper‘s Ferry, 35 miles from
Winchester, VA, and 150 miles from Deep Creek Lake, Md. All of these destinations can
be reached on fantastic back roads.

In order to compare this route, we came back to Dover from Leesburg on the Dulles Toll
Road, the Beltway and Route 50. The return trip was about 30 minutes less than the
time it had taken for us to get to Leesburg, but not nearly as interesting or scenic. If

anyone is interested in this route, I would be glad to provide the exact roads and route
numbers. It will definitely be my choice if I‘m on a motorcycle.

MARS Guest Columnist
Carolyn Davis

      Short Story…of how I think I came to marry a member of the 3rd and Union riders
      of California, PA and later become a charter member of the Mid-Atlantic Riders!

My first face-to-face encounter with bikers was as a student in California in 1968.
Indeed, where better? The Two Young Men were in my geology class. Two memories
are lasting: the clear blue eyes of one…and the fact that the other let me sit on his bike
for a photo during a class field trip, where we were to examine and take samples of
dolomite. See photo from June 1968.

My second encounter was in May 1969 on a drive to the famous Gold Rush town of
Angels Camp, California. The destination was the Calaveras County Jumping Frog
Jubilee. (As a librarian, I refer you to Mark Twain‘s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of
                                    Calaveras County, 1865 or go directly to
                                    www.frogtown.org/frogtown/frog.html)        I should
                                    have been studying for spring finals, but instead got
                                    into (not on) my 1968 BMW 1600 with no planning
                                    beyond having my map, sufficient fuel and money.
                                    All went well on that warm sunny day until traffic
                                    stopped abruptly several miles from the fair grounds
                                    entrance. After an eternity of ―stop and go,‖ with
                                    progress measured in inches, my car overheated.
                                    Pulling to the side of the road I sat and waited for
                                    the cool-down, with firm plans to continue on. With
                                    unexpected time now to pay attention to my fellow
                                    travelers I saw that this clearly was not just a
                                    destination for those steeped in American Literature
or for children with disciplined frogs. I soon began to notice the level of noise
increasing. Suddenly, bikers were everywhere! Knives and chains were everywhere!
After many failed attempts to restart my cooled car, I approached one of them sitting
under a tree and asked that he look at my car, He didn‘t find or solve the problem, but
did look under the bonnet, scraped something with a very large blade, said something
about corrosion, then returned to the shade.

I decided to change tactics and approached two cars with people the age of my parents
to ask for help, feeling certain that they would do—well, what parents do! They would
offer help, advice and comfort—all mixed with exasperation. They quickly closed their
windows and locked the doors when I tried to speak! (Was it my striped bell-bottoms?
Long hair? Some wardrobe malfunction?) Time to change tactics again!

Eventually a group of bikers wearing headbands with feathers (with more chains and
more knives) came to my aid. They collectively looked about and decided it was a
starter problem and that I should turn around and head for home, which by then was

my choice too. One guy stopped traffic, one told me how to pop the clutch as he
sprawled on the trunk of my car, and another confirmed that it was safe to turn around.
Relieved, disappointed, and professing gratitude to those bikers and, indeed, the entire
international community of bikers, I made my way back home, all the while pondering
the kindness of strangers and the unpredictable forms they make take. No, I never
made it back to Angels Camp! Perhaps it‘s time! Perhaps I‘ll be there May 13-16th, 2004
with my own frog, Marian, competing with the over 2000 frogs expected, and even
beating the1986 record of Rosie the Ribeter, jumping over 21 feet! Maybe I‘ll be on a
BMW this time! Just maybe….

For Sale

2004 YAMAHA FJR 1300 (yes, the one you've been reading about.) The bike has only
600 miles and has a transferable warranty, electric windshield, hard (side) bags,
electronic fuel injection. It‘s grey with grey wheels. It‘s much too fast for me!
$11,700.00 new (wait-listed everywhere). Yours for only $10,800.00 and it‘s first come
first served...

Larry Schmittinger
302-235-0102 - work
302-235-5500 - home

1983 R80RT

18,000 miles in very good condition with hard suitcase type bags and a new full
windscreen. Asking $3500, will accept offers.

Gerald Schaar

Upcoming Rides/Events

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, April 16-18, 2004 - Beast of the East Bike Build
Off sponsored by The Harley-Davidson Shop of Ocean City. Will feature custom bikes,
radical choppers, and more at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, Glen Avenue,
Salisbury, Maryland.     For more information call 410-213-0444 or go to

Friday Evening, April 16 – Unveiling of the 2005 R1200GS and K1200LT at
Bob’s BMW. There will be free T-shirt to all attendees, munchies and more, and you‘ll
be able to take a test ride on these new bikes. The events start at 7:00 pm and there is a
cost of $20.05 per person. For more information check out www.bobsbmw.com

As most of you know, Bob‘s is located at N 39° 07.989‘ W 76°48.037‘

Saturday, April 24 – Open house at Bob’s BMW. Food, festivities and all the
usual stuff you find at an open house at a motorcycle shop. For more information check
out www.bobsbmw.com

Saturday, April 24 – New Sweden BMW Riders Spring Flea Market to be held
in conjunction with Cherry Hill BMW‘s open house in Cherry Hill, NJ featuring food,
vendors and special attractions. For more info call Bill Alford at (856) 429-2869.

Cherry Hill BMW is conveniently located at N 39° 54.778‘ W 75° 00.321‘

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