Posts Tagged With: bmwmoga

Two Wheeled Santas

This morning was the annual BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia and BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta toy run for the Towns County Sheriff’s Office’s Empty Stocking Fund.  The dealership acts as a drop off point for toys from customers and people who have heard about the ride through word of mouth.  This year there were two large, motorcycle sized boxes full of toys.  I wonder where they got those big motorcycle sized boxes?  The toys are then usually loaded up in the dealership’s van and taken to the sheriff’s office by a caravan of motorcycles.  The ride is open to all motorcycles and all they ask is that you bring one unwrapped toy the day of the ride or drop one off in the toy box before the ride.  Of course the largest percentage of motorcycles are BMW but there were Ducatis, Hondas, Kawasakis, Triumph, Can Am Spyder and more.  There were 46 motorcycles this year.  There was even a family of four on a BMW with a side car!  It’s a fun day.  The owner’s of the dealership provide coffee and a light breakfast for the riders before the toys get loaded up.  The sheriff is there at the justice center waiting for us to arrive.  There are offices packed with donated toys at the justice center.  The sheriff goes out of his way to thank the riders, often thanking as many as he can individually.  The numerous ways the toys get distributed is really interesting too.  Families can come pick up the toys and even have them wrapped if they are unable to it themselves.  Deputies can meet parents to deliver toys, deputies can and do drop off toys on Christmas Eve, leaving them at a spot designated by the parents so they can retrieve them to be put under the tree and some toys are even delivered on Christmas by the deputies in person.  It’s all based on what the family wants to do.

Since it’s December the weather here can be frigid or warm.  In the past we’ve been rained on, snowed on, iced on and had freezing fog.  This was the first ride I’ve been on where it was sunny!  On my way to the dealership this morning it was a crisp 32° (F).  When we departed Marietta for Young Harris it had already warmed to 41° but when we got to Jasper the sun suddenly disappeared, it got overcast and the temperature rapidly dropped to 30°!  As we got to Ellijay, the sun came out again and it warmed into the low 40’s but when we reached our pit stop in Blue Ridge it was 32° and freezing fog again.  By the time we reached the justice center in Young Harris it was sunny again and 46°.  Talk about roller coaster weather!  But I think the cold weather and the frozen fog in the tree tops helps put you in the Christmas spirit and really does make us feel like two-wheeled Santas.  After the toys are delivered we usually break up into smaller groups and head for lunch or to go do some riding in the area.

As Sheriff Clinton told us, “It warms your heart to know that you helped make sure a child had a Christmas present under the tree.”

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Categories: General, Rides | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

We Rode To Myrtle Beach…..Sort Of

Today was the first Saturday this season for “Pancakes On The Porch” at Rider’s Hill in Dahlonega, GA.  These are not just pancakes, these are HUGE pancakes.  These pancakes are the size of a dinner plate!  Don’t ask me how they cook them without burning them and flip them without breaking them.  Whatever you do, don’t order two.

My Blue Knights Chapter rode up to Rider’s Hill from various locations to enjoy some of those pancakes with our friends as well as some members of Blue Knights Georgia IX who showed up too.  We had planned on a ride somewhere in the area after our hearty pancake breakfast.  As it turned out many of our members had “honey do lists” waiting for them back home or just wanted to head home.  Maybe they wanted to head home for a nap but I would’ve preferred napping in the rocking chairs on the porch to the symphony of motorcycle engines.  One member on his Gold Wing joined Donna and me for a short ride.  As Steve put it, “It’s too beautiful a day to not go for a ride.”

We headed north from Rider’s Hill and took Georgia HWY 60 past the “rock pile” and Two Wheels of Suches.  We made the right onto the stretch of Georgia HWY 180 which is named Wolf Pen Gap RD on the stretch between GA HWY 60 and US HWY 129 (the map image below DOES NOT do this road justice).  Once at HWY 129 we made the right and then headed up and over Blood Mountain and back for Rider’s Hill.  After a short break we headed for home.  Down in Dawsonville, they were having “Spring Fling Days” and we wanted to avoid any traffic from that (we got caught in road closures for a foot race on the way up), so after we left Dahlonega we took Georgia HWY 52.  While on HWY 52 we saw a sign for a street named Myrtle Beach so in a way, sort of, we rode to Myrtle Beach today.  We branched off on Georgia HWY 183 before making the turn on Georgia HWY 53 towards Jasper and then on for home.

There were a lot of BMW Motorcycle out on the road today as the BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia was holding its annual Georgia Mountain Rally up in Hiawassee, Georgia.

The odometer on the Magic Carpet passed through 81,000 miles today and now sits in the garage plugged into the battery tender with an odometer that reads 81,163 miles.

Part of the parking lot at Rider's Hill this morning for "Pancakes on the Porch".

Part of the parking lot at Rider’s Hill this morning for “Pancakes on the Porch”.

 

Wolf Pen Gap RD between Georgia HWY 60 and US HWY 129.

Wolf Pen Gap RD between Georgia HWY 60 and US HWY 129.

 

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Let’s Help Santa Deliver Some Toys!

Today was the BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia’s annual Toy Ride to the Towns County Georgia Sheriff’s Office.  The club holds its Georgia Mountain Rally every spring in Hiawassee, GA which is located in Towns County.  The county and the area are extremely hospitable to the visiting motorcyclists and this one of the club’s ways of thanking the community.  The Sheriff’s Office is the dropping off location and distribution center  for toys that will be distributed throughout the county from several sources or from deputies who have found children or families in need of some help during Christmas.  Toys can be picked up at the sheriff’s office or even delivered.  In some cases toys are even left secretly by deputies.  The club asks motorcyclists to drop off unwrapped toys at the two Atlanta area BMW Motorcycle dealers.  Then on the day before the ride Blue Moon Cycle’s toys are brought to BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta, where the ride to deliver the toys leaves the next morning.  Any motorcycle is welcome to ride and help spread some holiday cheer.  This year we filled the sprinter van up!  There were even 5 bicycles loaded into the van.

This year, my friend Sean joined me on the ride on his Victory Cross Country Tour.  As I was riding to meet Sean for the ride to the dealer it was 40 degrees (F) and there were a few snow flurries floating around.  Perfect weather to help out Santa Claus!  We got to the dealer where the riders were treated to hot drinks and breakfast before we all helped load the van.  There were about 30 -35 motorcycles riding up this year.  As we headed up north the temperature was dropping and the sky was still overcast.  The heated grips and heated seat were put to use.  Every year we have a scheduled stop in Blue Ridge, GA.  In Blue Ridge we were greeted with snowflakes falling from the sky and a temperature of 34 degrees (F).  Again, perfect for Christmas!  I looked at my phone and was greeted with a weather advisory for freezing mist and freezing fog for the Blue Ridge area.  After our pit stop we were back on our way to Hiawassee to deliver the toys.  As we rode on, we could see snow at the higher elevations.  The sheriff and his staff were there to greet us with coffee, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies while we unloaded our toys to be added to what had already been collected.  I don’t know how anyone was able to get any work done at the Sheriff’s Office as the offices were all filled with donated toys.  Their goal is that no child in the county should not go without a Christmas toy.

After dropping off the toys our group started splitting up to head for lunch and home.  Sean and I took a ride up and over Blood Mountain on US HWY 129, looking at some snow-covered mountain tops.  On most of our ride to lunch the temperature had dropped to 31 degrees (F) and we could even see some of the freezing fog at the higher elevations above us and at Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia.  We stopped in for a leisurely lunch at Turner’s Corner Café before continuing on for home.  Sean had made an observation today too.  As most motorcycles were BMWs (there was Sean’s Victory, a Triumph Tiger and Suzuki V-Strom also) he noticed that most riders were wearing armored, fabric riding gear and full faced helmets, including him, instead of jeans and leather jackets.  He also noted there wasn’t a “beanie” helmet in the bunch.

It was fun to help out Santa Claus.  I also tried out a feature on my phone that’s called “BlackBerry Storymaker” that can make a “story” from pictures or video and that attempt is right below here.

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Riding As A Two Up Married Couple

A while back the editor of the BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia’s newsletter, The Centerline asked me to write an article for an upcoming edition.  He wanted the article to be about riding together as a married couple.  The article was going to be placed in the February issue that they were calling the “Love” issue because of Valentine’s Day.  They were also going to have articles from single men and women riders and spouses who ride separately.  It was actually harder to write than I thought it would be!

My article made it on the front page and you can read the February 2013 Centerline by clicking here.  They named the article “Lucky Motorcyclist”.

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Santa Rode Up On A Beemer

Or actually a few Beemers!

Today was the BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia’s 10th annual toy ride and the beneficiary was the Towns County Sheriff’s Office Empty Stocking Fund as it has been the past few years.  The club collects toys at the two Atlanta area BMW Motorcycle Dealers, BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta and Blue Moon Cycle and then transports them by van to the Sheriff’s Office just before Christmas.  Then beginning on Christmas Eve, the Deputies begin delivering toys.  While the toy box was full, the actual number of riders to deliver the toys was down a bit, probably due to the heavy rain and wind that was moving into the area.  We’ve made this ride before with more than 50 motorcycles!  The riders will head for Hiawassee, Georgia followed by the van full of toys.  It’s always a fun and rewarding ride.  And yes it did rain!

The full toy box.

 

The toy delivery vehicle.

 

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I’m A Published Photographer, And NOT On WordPress!

The original photo submitted to BMW ON.

That’s right, I now have a photograph published in a monthly, international magazine!  Every month BMW Owner’s News, the monthly magazine for members of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMWMOA) has a section of member submitted photographs called “Picture This!”  BMWMOA announces on its website what the theme is and members can submit photos for possible publication in the magazine.  Most pictures try to merge motorcycling and the theme if at all possible.  About two or three months ago, the theme was announced as being “Campfire” and I submitted a picture taken at the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Georgia (BMWMOGA) campfire on the first night of the Georgia Mountain Rally from 2011.  The picture was taken with a 2.0 megapixel camera on an old HTC Ozone Windows Mobile smartphone of all things!  That’s right, a cell phone photo.  I took a chance and sent them the photo.  Today, the July 2012 issue of BMW ON arrived in the mail and there it was; my photograph!  The picture is on page 16 and is photograph and caption 12.  Not bad luck for a snapshot taken with a cell phone.

The page with my photograph in the July 2012 issue of BMW Owners News.

Categories: General, Rallies | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

This Sounds Like It Will Be Fun

A few months ago, another member of the BMWMOA started asking on the BMWMOA forum about routes, roads and places to stay on a trip he was planning to take this spring in the southeast and on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I offered some lodging suggestions and some roads to try out.  He liked some of the suggestions that others and myself gave to him.

One of their stops is going to be Blairsville, GA and he messaged me and asked if we’d like to come ride with them for while before they headed up to the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Robbinsville, NC.  Well we of course said yes!  It’s a great chance to show off some our fantastic motorcycling roads here in north Georgia.  I’ve spent a few days looking at routes and planning a ride we could take before sending them on up to the Iron Horse.  We’re really looking forward to it.

Donna is off the week they’ll be coming through.  We had been thinking of taking a short one or two night trip somewhere later in the week already.  Then last night Donna says “Since we were looking for a place to go anyway, why don’t you call the Iron Horse tomorrow and see if we can get a room reservation?”  You see the Iron Horse is a motorcycle lodge and campground but we’re not campers so we get a cabin/room.  Today I did just that and we’ll be showing Mike & Wendy the way up to the Iron Horse!  I think this will be really fun!  And then to add to it, other friends of ours from the BMWMOGA will already be up there at the Iron Horse but leaving the day we arrive.  However because of some construction at their home they may extend their stay now!

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Santa Arrived On Two Wheels

Today was the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Georgia’s Toy Ride to the Towns County Sheriff’s Office in North Georgia.  The club’s Georgia Mountain Rally is held in Hiawassee, located in Towns County.  The Sheriff’s Office collects donations of toys to distribute to needy children in the county.  The toys are delivered by Deputies beginning on Christmas Eve.  The toy ride is the club’s way of giving back to the community.  This year in addition to members donating toys and the 2 area BMW motorcycle dealerships, BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta and Blue Moon Cycle, collecting toys, the club also decided to purchase a nice cache of toys from the proceeds earned during the rally.  We had two BIG boxes of toys to load and take on the trip this year.  In the past few years we’ve had overcast skies with cold temperatures and even snow.  But this year gave us cloudless skies with chilly temperatures.  Come on, it wouldn’t be a Christmas Toy Ride unless it was chilly!  We had 40 motorcycles make the trip to deliver the toys.  And it wasn’t just BMW motorcycles either!  We had a group on Harley Davidsons show up with toys and there were a few Ducatis in the mix too.  Kids needing toys for Christmas trumps motorcycle brand loyalty every time.

On the way back I even got to find out first hand from someone about the toy ride.  Myself and another rider had stopped in a restaurant for lunch on the way home.  The manager came out and asked us what we were riding.  Then he asked where we were headed and we told him we were on our way home from the toy ride.  He knew all about it.  He explained that he and his wife were Towns County residents and had contributed toys in the past.  He went on to say that over a year ago he had gotten laid off and times got tough and they couldn’t contibute last year.  He even ended up selling his Suzuki C50 motorcycle and longed to ride again.  Now that he’s working again, they’re contributing again.  He thanked us for our help and told us how much it was really appreciated.  His words made the ride even more worthwhile.

After lunch I went to the convenience store next door to get gas for the trip home.  As most places are now, the pumps are credit/debit or pre-pay.  The girl working was outside and called out to me as I was walking towards the store “It’s OK, I’ll go in and turn it on.”  A moment later, a voice of “Go ahead.”  was heard from the speaker on the gas pump.  When I went in to pay for the gas she told me that she always lets motorcyclists pump first and then pay because in her 15 years of working at convenience stores she’s “Never had a biker ride off without paying.  No matter how scuzzy he looked.”

And the quote of the day came from Bob Wooldridge of BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta.  “NOW we have a ride!  The guy on the Harley with the skull mask is here!”

Oh and the Magic Carpet came home with over 63,000 miles on the odometer.

It was a good day all around!  Many thanks to Ian Schmeisser for taking a good portion of the photographs below.

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Low Country Boil

Today was the election meeting for the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Georgia and the club’s annual low country boil.  What a novel way to get members to show up to elect club officers; a free low country boil!  Donna and I got on the bike and rode the hour and half or so to Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, GA.  This ride was to be nearly all interstate mainly so that we could sleep in for a while on a Sunday.  Sure it’s quicker but it’s not as fun of a ride.  We had a pretty good turn out too.  I guess it was the free food.

For some reason his female passenger's butt got sore after about 80 miles.

 
One of the really neat things about a BMW Club is all the different styles of motorcycles that show up.  Not every BMW motorcycle is a boxer engine powered motorcycle.  There are also single cylinders, twin cylinders and four cylinders motorcycles of various configurations.  There are sport touring bikes, roadsters, touring bikes, sport bikes, standards and dual sports.  There’s also bikes still on the road that were made in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  And believe it or not even some bikes that are not a BMW!
 
It was also a good day to ride and travel on some two lane roads we’d never been on before.  The big plus was spending some time with friends of a common interest.
 
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Led Across Fort Mountain By A K1600GTL

One of the members of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Georgia put together a great ride across Fort Mountain in Northern Georgia.  And to make it more interesting he led us on a new BMW K1600GTL demo motorcycle!  The K1600 is BMW’s new inline 6 cylinder motorcycle.  There was a total of 22 motorcycles that showed up for the ride.  We met in Cherokee County and took off up Ga Hwy372 and headed on into Forsyth County and back out to Ga Hwy 53 towards Dawsonville.  Then before getting to Dawsonville we headed up Ga Hwy 183 and 52 on into Ellijay to head across Fort Mountain and its great twisting road.  It was “spirited” ride to the point that in some of the curves I was scraping the kickstand!  That’s always a fun sound to here.  Once we crossed the mountain we stopped in Chatsworth for lunch at Village Cafeteria.  After lunch some of the group headed back across the mountain while others headed off in other directions or headed for home.  Donna and I took a nice leisurely ride down Highway 441 before cutting across heading to Canton and then on home.  When we got home we had ridden a total of 177 miles and during the ride the “Magic Carpet” had its odometer pass 58,000 miles with a total of 58,083 miles when we got back home.

You can see some more photos of the ride by clicking this link.

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