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One Hundred Thousand: An Extended Ride Tale.


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One Hundred Thousand: An Extended Ride Tale.







On the way to Spring Torrey, just short of Grand Island Nebraska, I pulled over and snapped the above picture of my odometer. What does that odd figure have to do with the very round number 100,000?



Some of my close friends already know, so I’ll beg their patience for a bit while I bore everyone else with the gist of the story



First, for those who don’t know me:



59 years old

Riding since 1967

First BMW, an R65 purchased used in 1985.

Present bike, my 16th, an R1200GS.

Member of this board since March 2001.



In mid-February of 2004, I went to work one cold Thursday morning and didn’t return home for a month. By 10:00, I was in the hospital ER, having had a stroke. I know I mention it here often, and sometimes worry that I mention it too much. (There he goes again!) Well, it’s part of who I am now, and we all tend to view things through a prism of our own personal experiences.



Anyway, for months afterward, any thoughts of riding were on the back-burner as various therapies occupied most of my time. Included in that was the task of relearning how to speak. (After eight years, my speech is still kind of choppy, something that I know is quite noticeable at times)



In June of ‘04, about 19 weeks later, I got back on my bike. Boy, did it feel good. The rest of the year, I rode locally, seldom going farther than 25 or 30 miles from home. I knew I had to carefully acclimate myself to riding with the numbness and weakness that the stroke left me on my entire right side.



The following spring, ’05, I started doing small trips again, ridden with friends. In the fall, I rode solo to the Torrey gathering in Utah. At the time, I had attended Torrey twice before. Although I’ve done 5,000-6,000 mile trips, this time I was very, very apprehensive about doing a 3,000 mile trip by myself. In the end, I had a splendid time.



OK, back to that odometer reading. It represents the precise moment I achieved a personal milestone, 100,000 miles ridden since the stroke. I would have gotten there last fall, but a slightly wrenched back prompted me to cancel my last 2 trips of the year. Now, 100,000 miles in eight years is no big deal to many riders. Heck, I have some 25 and 30,000 mile years under my belt as well. On the other hand, going back to that hospital room, not knowing if I would be able to ride again, it sure feels good to know I made it back. I can still bike all over the country, enjoy the ride and see my friends.


Life is good.



Here are a few photos of that 100,000 miles...



On the way to the Unrally in John Day Oregon:


Banff/Jasper Park, Alberta Canada.




Bear Glacier, British Columbia.




Hyder Alaska.




Fraser River, British Columbia.




With friends Kathy R & David EB Smith at the Unrally in New Hampshire.




Bah Habah (Bar Harbor) Maine with Chicago buddy Rich Patenaude.




On the ferry from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia.




Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.




Gaspé Peninsula, Saint Lawrence River, Quebec.




On the way to the Unrally in Lake Topaz Nevada:


Beartooth Pass, near Red Lodge Montana.




Chief Joseph Highway.




Going To The Sun Road, Glacier NP.




Oregon Coast.




Avenue Of The Giants, California.





With Lester V, Leslie & Jamie at the Topaz Lake Un.


(© Russell Tammany)




Spring 2011 Torrey / San Antonio Trip:


Monument Valley.




Four Corners Monument.




Torch of Friendship, San Antonio.





Unrally in North Carolina:


With Mitch, Shawn & Benicia Rich at New Switzerland.





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Special, very special.

Congratulations on the milestone - and more so for the personal resolve and dedication this kind of thing takes.



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Great seeing you again at Torrey and looking forward to seeing you in Salida!

Your recovery from your stroke has been inspirational. I look forward to your next 100K.


Beautiful photos too!

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Great to meet you at Torrey, Ron. Sue and I enjoyed talking with you. Congrats. on the 100K! :thumbsup:

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Congrats Ron and feel free to tell your story as often as you wish. It is what made you the man you are today and is an inspiration to all. Keep rolling to the next 100k as Paul stated!

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Nice tale, Ron. Your will to overcome adversity is inspirational. Thanks for sharing.


See you in Salida.


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When I saw your last Torrey check in post I said to myself, man he must have some serious miles on that GS. Guess I was right. Nice work Ron! :thumbsup:



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Can't think of any word other than "inspirational"! I am so lucky my triple bypass has left me with no adverse legacies or symptoms, so I can appreciate your efforts a great deal. :thumbsup:

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Nice n Easy Rider

Thanks for sharing Ron. You are an inspirational example of perseverance overcoming adversity. :thumbsup:

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When we met at the NE UN, I guess I was luckier than I thought. And I was impressed at that time. You sure do know how to enjoy riding and the country. Keep those wheels turning! Hope to meet again . . .

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I remember the El Paseo's before the stroke, and was thrilled when we saw you back in the saddle.

Great pics, hope you'll be sharing many, many more.


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Ron you are my hero!!! What a beautiful photo album of your travels. Can't wait to see you again, hopefully in Torrey this fall. Take care and ride safe as always.

love n

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That is a very special 100K miles and you are a very special guy to many of us. Thanks for the ride tale, those are fantastic photos.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
On the other hand, going back to that hospital room, not knowing if I would be able to ride again, it sure feels good to know I made it back.


Nice ride tale, beautiful pics - and a moving story.


Welcome back. :wave:



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Ron, Thanks for the background story; those of us who haven't been on the board for years and years need some filling in. What a wonderful way to hit a personal 100,000 mile marker! When my 99 turned 100,000 earlier this month, I was about a mile south of the Tidewater/Valero oil refinery, just outside Delaware City. Not nearly so scenic!


Come back down to Georgia, and I'll treat you to shrimp and grits again.

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Can only hope that our paths meet sometime in 2012.


Here's to you Master rAAAN...the riches guy on the planet.!


Blessings always

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That is a great story, Ron! You've made a heck of a comeback!


BTW, I noticed last week, in Torrey, that your speech had noticeably improved since I last saw you, in 2009.

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Stupid sand got in my eye reading this. Need a tissue now.


Kidding aside Ron, I always enjoy your company and your story is inspiring to us all. Thanks for sharing it with us. We are lucky to have you.



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The best ride tale I have ever read. What a great story behind 100K miles! And Ron, I've been on this board as long as you have, yet I was not aware you had a stroke, so I'm glad you told the story once again.


Congrats :thumbsup:

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On the other hand, going back to that hospital room, not knowing if I would be able to ride again, it sure feels good to know I made it back.


Nice ride tale, beautiful pics - and a moving story.


Welcome back. :wave:



Ron, you truly made Lemonade my friend. :)


:grin::cry: (Happy tears)

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It's been way too many years since I've posted here - but your story brought me back. I just had to let you know how much joy reading this has given me. I remember all too well hearing abut your stroke and then living through the updates along side all your friends here.


Ride safe my friend and keep the awesome stories and pics coming. You are truly an inspiration.


And to all my other friends here that I haven't 'spoken' to in way too long, you're all still in my thoughts often and I hope you are all well and still riding.



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Paul Mihalka

Voooooodoooooo! Thank you Raaan for bringing him out of the woodwork. Why don't you stay around for a while?

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Great accomplishment Raaaann..


You've covered some nice country on a bike with good pictures, including a special bunch of BMWST friends.





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Paul! I'd love too. I'm gonna give it a try. Life is very, very busy right now, but I do miss you guys.

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Thanks for sharing this. When you mentioned this at torrey, I hadn't realized how long it's been. 100k is more than a lot of riders ever cover and a huge accomplishment after a stroke. :clap: I'm always glad to see you at Torrey or the UN and look forward to chatting with you for many miles to come. You rock! :thumbsup:

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Like Russell B said, you ROCK!! Congrats to you and it was great to see you. Here's to another 100k!!

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You just amaze me, Ron. I know your stroke was and remains a pivotal point in your life, but the way you never let it stop you is a testament to your love of riding and to what makes you such a great person. Congratulations on a very, very, special 100,000 mile mark.


Love the photos, as always. :wave:

Hope you are coming through N.Y. or to N.Y. this year. We'd love to have you visit. Woof!




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I have had the pleasure of talking to you twice, at the Un in Lttle Swizerland and again at HeleN Back.


You are the definition of inspiration, perseverance, and kindness.


Thank you.



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Most Excellent!! Thank you for who you are and for sharing your story, vibrance, and love of life with all of us.


Hope to see you more as you strive for your next 100K.

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Ron, some great thoughts, and your pix inspire to do more riding on the Other Coast.


Here's to your next 100,000 miles!



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Ron, simply put, you're the man! Always enjoy the conversation when I see you. Really nice photos too. :thumbsup:

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Ron you are an inspiration to us all! I admire your courage and perseverance in the face of adversity. Thank you!

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Your turn to buy or mine?


I forgot. We'll thumb wrestle, that'll do it! :wave:


Oh, thanks for the pic!


Another one from New Switzerland:


(Last 2 sorry souls who've been to all the Unrallys)



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Good on you Ron.


You are one of the first folks I met from this community and will always remember chasing you on UT 95, many, many miles ago.


You still had the old Boston Green RT at the time.


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