Jump to content

What has happen to us?


Whip

Recommended Posts

15 years ago when I joined this forum every day people made plans to ride. I remember riding 100 miles to meet Steve Carr while he checked out a new bike and then ride 300 more to meet another group of members for dinner. I got home that night around midnight with a big smile and a bunch of new friends. The first time I went to Torrey we had about 60 people and all we did was laugh, eat, drink and ride. Un Rally were the highlight of the year and it didn't matter where it was we did our best to be there.

 

I want to get back to that but I don't know how.

 

I know people blame Facebook but I don't buy it.

 

Did we get old?

 

Is there anything I/we can do?

 

@hANNAbONE

 

@AdventurePoser

 

@Limecreek

 

@BrianT

 

@SeanC

 

@Marty Hill

 

@Stir

 

@Bill_Walker

 

@azkaisr

 

@norah

 

@DouglasR

 

 

 

I want to hear from everyone!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Whip, I started riding at 59 so all of you had a head start on me.  I used to cross the country twice each year to look at the Pacific and attend Torrey.  Now I ship the bike to the west coast almost every year so I can see friends and look at the Pacific Ocean.  I'll be 84 in april and am very lucky to still be riding, tho a lot less.

See you at the UN.  My guess is that passion lessens towards all things as we age.  I do miss seeing the posts from a bunch of guys who are either no longer riding or gone.  Several wonderful guys who used to post a lot are sadly gone.  I miss 4 of them every day.

 

Marty

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

I hear you Whip. The MOA National rally used to attract close to 10,000 people; now, closer to 5000. I have almost nobody near me to ride with anymore as everyone has shifted priorities to other things.   :(

Link to comment

I was discussing this with a fellow BMW person on this site just yesterday.  I've never made an Un...but have been to Torrey a couple of times when I lived in N.California and a few MOA events like Sacramento and Marble Falls.

 

The issue for me is time, distance, and clothing.  It's not an expense issue.  I often (mostly) ride 3-500 mile rides on a Saturday just to have lunch with a friend.  Taking 2-3 days to get somewhere, 2-3 days to get back, and 2-3 days of riding is a huge time commitment.  Cambria is 4000 miles round trip from home.  As Chris pointed out in his post, coming from Texas to California in the summer is not a pleasant experience even in a car.  The amount of clothing to pack from light mesh gear from Texas to much warmer gear through the high ground is just too much.  It's likely I would need a tire change along the way.

 

I am jealous as I really would like to attend.  We haven't ruled out shipping or towing.  When we moved from San Francisco to Houston we had everything shipped (obviously) except one car.  We decided a one way drive would be a once in a lifetime drive.  It was....swore I would never do it again.

 

If the ride's were a 1000 miles one day I would be there most every time now that I'm retired, yet I do understand and appreciate the riding scenery and roads in the places these are held.  Man I miss California riding especially in the Sierra's.

 

So after that long answer it boils down to:

1. Too Far

2. Too much time due to distance

3. Too many different outfits to pack for diverse weather

4. Likely tire change due to mileage.

 

 

Link to comment

I once was fancy & free before she said...what about me? :grin: Hopefully, I don’t get old before she gets old-er-nuff to be independent. Or in other words, it’s all her fault! :rofl:

 

07B2CD5B-D934-4257-83F8-2810ABE639D9.jpeg

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2
Link to comment

For me it's age (76) and aggressive drivers coming out of the woodwork!  This is just NOT the Pacific Northwest where I began riding back in '75.  In summer we have these mega forest fires with dense smoke just everywhere which makes travel especially by motorcycle most unpleasant and frankly just not worth it.  Oh, and did I mention heat?  I used to really enjoy motorcycle camping but now the campgrounds are full with obnoxious rude in your face people with long lines to get into the mostly filthy rest rooms.  So, I just would rather stay home and home is on the Oregon coast where the air is relatively cool and clean most of the time.  I'm close to giving up motorcycling truth be told,  just not what it used to be.

 

Mention was made of facebook. I don't have a facebook account never have and never will.  This forum is about as close to social media as I'll no doubt ever get.  Speaking of motorcycle forums they ain't what they used to be for sure.

 

Actually if the internet went away I wouldn't shed any tears.  Might miss Amazon for awhile but I'd get over it.:5188:

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1
Link to comment

I don't know that it's due to anything that has or has not happened here. I think our group is aging out a bit, so maybe the answer is in trying to broaden our horizons to attract more riders from other brands, or at least other styles of BMWs.

I'm doing my small part to help:

I would love to see a huge turnout.

  • Like 4
Link to comment

 I went to my first ElPaso event in 06.  Lots of folks and great fun. Attended the 2007 Un in West Virginia and then kind of drifted away.  Still rode a lot but not with the BMWST groups.  

 

DyAnne and I started attending the Start and Fart events in 2016 or 17, cant remember exactly.  We also started attending the SECFF lunches around the same time.  Start and Fart always have great turnouts and if work dosen't get in the way , we plan on attending.  We have a blast and part of that is from the work that Dave and Ken put into the events. 

 

Generally the SECFF lunches run from 10-12 riders and its generally a three to four hundred mile day for us. That said, we have had thirty riders show up as well.  Great to meet up and have a good meal.  

 

We plan a summer motorcycle trip every year.  Three of the last four years we have ridden to the Un.  Had a great time at the 2019 Un in NY but not as many riders as the other Un rallys I've attended. Not going to make the Un this year just cant swing the time off from work but we are going to make the Driftin' event.  

 

So from my limited perspective, thing are still fairly active in this neck of the woods.     

  • Like 6
Link to comment

I'm trying to work my way back into the life.  A series of health problems have set me back; replaced knee, hiatal hernia, broken neck repair all in the last few years.  I wished like crazy I could have joined you in Yellowstone.  You don't need this board to call me up and ask me to join you.  If it's possible, I will.

I just told my wife this morning that when my wounds from my most recent surgery is healed, I want to start going on more rides.

  • Like 5
Link to comment

Pretty sure you can never go back.  Some things just can't be repeated.

 

i-HFvLZJP.jpg

 

Doesn't mean you stop trying, as long as you can accept that it might be less, well, magical.   The obvious answers to "What happened to us?" are all true to some degree.  We got older.  We have experienced loss.  We have moved on from that delicious discovery mode to ho-hum knowledge and familiarity.  We have become selective.

 

Mike, per his usual Mikeness, posted an antidote to the malaise, and I for one am really interested to get off my ass and ride up there, moto camping all the way.  That thing looks like a real Un to me.  I'm excited for the first time in a while to make some new memories.  We're going to toast to some old friends in Borah Borah.  That's worth the miles.  All 2,874 of 'em.  

  • Like 7
Link to comment

I got suckered into believing that I could and should be more than I was.  I poured most of myself into that quest, only to eventually realize that much of life is a zero-sum game, and I had been diluting myself while I was deluding myself.  Many of the people I was devoting my time and energy to weren't my friends, and while they were eager to accept the benefit of my efforts, they weren't helping to refill my tanks.  It hasn't been easy to see and accept the error of my ways, but I'm grateful that I've had the chance to do that before it was too late.  In the meantime, you and a few others have waited patiently, and encouraged me to spend time with those who ARE my friends, and we CAN refill each other.  I'm thankful or that, and eager to be back on a better path.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Joe Frickin' Friday

I see two main reasons, already articulated in this thread:

 

8 hours ago, Jake said:

Pretty sure you can never go back.  Some things just can't be repeated.

 

When I was in grad school many moons ago, our research center (a tiny division of the mechanical engineering department) was a very sociable group of folks.  We students were still in our 20s, but we regularly took our lab manager (a 50YO Vietnam vet) out drinking with us, we organized picnics to which faculty brought their families, faculty hosted Christmas parties at their homes, and so on.  I stayed in touch with the lab manager for a couple of years after I graduated , and he told me that the social environment there completely changed after my cohorts and I left town; the sense of togetherness that we had all enjoyed just wasn't present with the new crop of students.

 

That social environment may have been the equivalent of a rogue wave, in that it was a random grouping of an unusually gregarious collection of people that wasn't likely to be repeated very often.  I wonder if www.BMWR100RT.com was maybe the same sort of anomaly: a random group of people who were first drawn together by a need to socialize about a particular motorcycle, and energized by the advent of a new form of communication that allowed cheap, detailed, rapid transmission of text and images across thousands of miles.  And I'm understating the case when I say "particular motorcycle:" it wasn't just a particular brand, or a particular model, it was the '96-'01 BMW R1100RT that got this place rolling.  Tech Daze events sprung up to teach people how to work on these bikes, we talked on the site about how to deal with common and uncommon mechanical problems.  And we all had the exact same bike, so we all could help and be helped with the same information.  I think that commonality helped to bind us a lot.  

 

These days, we're dealing with several different models of BMW bikes from many different generations.  It's sort of like a foodie website that used to be dominated by members who were brought together by an extreme passion for spaghetti bolognese, but now it's populated by people who just like Italian food a lot.

 

This is the other reason:

 

17 hours ago, AZgman said:

The MOA National rally used to attract close to 10,000 people; now, closer to 5000.

 

 

Article here points out that younger riders don't ride for the same reasons we do.  Old farts like us like to ride as a hobby, which means we tend to buy big bikes and go sport-touring.  Young folks are interested in motorcycles for ease of transportation - which means they're buying small bikes and riding them around town.  You won't find those kinds of riders at MOA rallies, BMWST UnRallies, or START/FART/Torrey.  In short, new BMWST members are hard to come by.

 

Which means we're left with this:

 

9 hours ago, Jake said:

Doesn't mean you stop trying, as long as you can accept that it might be less, well, magical.   The obvious answers to "What happened to us?" are all true to some degree.  We got older.  We have experienced loss.  We have moved on from that delicious discovery mode to ho-hum knowledge and familiarity.  We have become selective.

 

My early years on an R1100RT and on this site were all about mad passion.  For several years I thrashed the local roads, hit the local club's Sunday breakfasts with Shawn,  learned every nut and bolt of my motorcycle, did a track day, a SS1K, a RidingSmart, and and along the way I traveled the whole damn country, seeing places I'd never seen before and meeting/riding with board members for the first time.  The novelty that once compelled me to ride 500-1500 miles to events has faded (my own physical aging is part of this too); I still enjoy it, just not enough to go to START/FART twice a year like I once did, and I don't think that'll change for me, even with new efforts at amping up social activity around here.  

 

If the above article is right, then there are fewer new sport-touring riders than there were 20 years ago, which means if we want to keep the fires stoked around here, we have to find a way to attract a larger share of them.  The alternative (which isn't bad, just different) is to accept the mellowing of passion as we age, and instead focus on camaraderie of getting together at events that are attended mostly by old friends - even if those events are a little smaller than they used to be.  Maybe make more of an effort to be welcoming toward the few new folks who do come to such events, so they are motivated to return in the future.

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

 

 

Cedar Key XVII

January 29-31, 2021

 

2003

The first El Paseo was my first BMWRT/ST event.

We've had many members visit, stay with us, and have led hundreds on rides of hundreds of miles to events.

Good people. Good times. Good roads.

Tech Days

Mitch stated the link between riding and maintaining "that" oilhead.

Tech changes, bike change, people change.

Regional riding, seasonal, all year, events,  created differences on the board.

Over time, the SE, Torrey, groups, with some overlap at UN, depending on location or motivations.

Pied Piper rides.

Age, health, accidents, family, changes lead to changes.

 

I started Cedar Key as a direct result of my experiences at El Paseo.

Not for the local roads.

For locale, weather, camaraderie.

 

I feel the riding and fellowship are linked. 

But not dependent. 

So, I started an event where people could get a break from winter cabin fever and hang out in a beautiful setting,

share life, stories, ride tales.

And, maybe take a ride to get there.

But, the roads aren't the attraction, UNlike other events.

We had 104 BMW motors the first year. I promoted on multiple boards.

Don't do that anymore, just here, and we see 30-50 riders, on average. Some new, some new to the event.

 

You know I had to stop riding (and work, etc) not by choice.

So, the scores of friends we made through the board, are still friends.

People still visit. We still attend, by vehicle, some events, and I plan Cedar Key.

In a sense, "we" don't have to get back to, because we still are doing.

Regional?

Seems the SE has more events on a regular basis.

El P, BRR, START, FART, Mayhem, SECF lunch rides, XFl rides, more.

Cedar Key is the second oldest, after Torrey, held in the same place every year.

Perhaps membership in a local BMW Riders has supplanted BMWST.

 

For me, the 2 aspects of board membership, the online and face to face, has changed a lot.

I don't sell BMW's anymore. Don't set up Service, help with warranty issues, etc.

So I'm waaaay  out of the current loop.

Used to deal with hundreds of riders, dozens of board members on a daily/weekly basis.

So, my changes wrt BMW et al is considerably different.

The dearth of Tech Days could be improved. Maybe "tire days", go in together on a tire machine, advertise use options.

Meet new folks this way. Accessories Day, help add farkles, etc.

Maybe actual TEch ?

No one has stepped up. Not blaming or faulting anyone, times change.

Perhaps there are folks out there riding for soup, lunch, whatever, and not posting.

Ride Tales used to be active, from all around the world.

Maybe people post on other social media.

I think the general aging of the group is a major determinant.

Since I joined 18 years ago, my daughters are married, 

 have families, and we have 4 grandsons (4 yo twins slept over last night) that we

interact  with multiple times weekly.

I miss riding.

I decided not to miss friends because of that.

See ya at Cedar Key in January.

Best wishes.

 

 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
3 hours ago, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

If the above article is right, then there are fewer new sport-touring riders than there were 20 years ago, which means if we want to keep the fires stoked around here, we have to find a way to attract a larger share of them.  The alternative (which isn't bad, just different) is to accept the mellowing of passion as we age, and instead focus on camaraderie of getting together at events that are attended mostly by old friends - even if those events are a little smaller than they used to be.  Maybe make more of an effort to be welcoming toward the few new folks who do come to such events, so they are motivated to return in the future.

I was telling someone the other day that I have attended two meetings of the Houston BMW club. Never went inside, was never welcomed in the parking lot. 

 

This group has always welcomed me when I arrive, even those that don't know me. Think on that for a while, think of the importance of that. 

 

The UnRally, events like START and FART, tech daze have formed what this group is about. Camaraderie. But I wonder about where the rally part is going. I hesitate to say that, as it will ruffle some feathers. Not my desire. Even talk of us becoming a charter club with BMWMOA. The best times I have had with this bunch had nothing to do with the place we stayed at. I would be just as happy staying at a motel 6 with a place near where we could gather. This group has never cared if you were wealthy, or just spent all your spare money to buy a good used RT. It is still that way. Riding 1500 miles each way to attend an event can get expensive. Motels today not as cheap as they were 15 years ago. Even eating meals on the road adds up. It is a LOT easier to make a decision to go when you can spend $1000 on a trip rather than $2000. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment

I think Mitch nailed it, it's actually the diversity of the group that has reduced its interest. Diversity is a good thing but it leads to less cohesiveness and less passionate interest.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I haven't been on an overnight motorcycle trip since the year before my first kid was born......she will be 7 later this spring.  In fact, I'm pretty sure the rear tire on my GS is the same tire that was on it when I got home from the Salida, CO UNrally.  Thats just sad, but between the kids and work, I just don't have time to ride like I used to.  I still get out on my Buell a few times a month, but only maybe 100 miles at a time.  The GS has been collecting dust for a LOOOONG time.  Without riding, I stopped checking in here on a daily basis.....then the forums format changed.  I know it was necessary, but it changed the routine I had for a decade+ and kinda just stopped logging in regularly.  

 

I really miss seeing everyone.  Especially when I see news like Ron.  I should make an effort to change that.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Francois_Dumas

We talked about this back in 2015...... things unfortunately haven't changed. I can of course not answer about the meetings, being the odd one out off the US continent, but I can tell you why I personally went amiss from the forums. Been thinking about it for some time, since my riding also fell down the wayside since I bought my new GS in 2017. 

For me personally it is a change in where to spend my time on, and getting older. Oh, and my Nikon is still not repaired.

When we found a house to buy in Italy back in 2013 (Shjeeez, where has the time gone???), things started changing rapidly in our life, My Dad got ill and died in 2014, we bought the house in Spring of that year, and have been busy closing our businesses, moving and restoring the house and surroundings..... and learning Italian..... and building an entirely new social life.

 

As I have already written in another post, the incident in Gunnison in 2016, the technical problems with the new GS and increasing health problems also added to the problem..... so my riding dropped dramatically after 2017. And at the same time, so did my on-line presence. Not only from the BMWST forum, but from ALL forums I was involved in (and there were many). Nina requires a LOT more attention now that we are retired and living this new life, I get tired sooner, we get more comfortable...... and then there is Facebook, where most of my life is documented now. 

 

In short, our life changed, our interests and occupations with it, and there is just less time to ride and less time to tell about it.

 

The good thing, like others mentioned above, the friends we made remain friends, and we even manage to see some of them from time to time..... Our UNRally in 2016 was the absolute highlight of all those years of membership of BMWST, even though I only got to ride one day (and trashed Whip's bike).

And we have met BMWST friends here in Italy 4 times already, and will see more hopefully....

 

Will BMWST ever be the same? No, I don't think so. But as long as it is here, we'll be part of it and contributing, if only in a modest way.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Another vote for Mitch's and others'  analysis, especially aging-out, the unique convergence of factors [ the rogue wave thing],  and the initial camaraderie over the brand. 

 

It happens elsewhere: From 2005-2012, our local Blue Knights gathered for  3-5 day rides, usually to John Day or Oregon coast.  We rode all brands. Like BMWST, it petered out for varied reasons.

 

I still ride to events closer to home due to p-t work constraints and family.  A good dozen or more of us have held mini-gatherings in Weaverville, CA--as we will again this Memorial Day weekend.  It's on its way to becoming a continuing event.  So instead of starting off with a bang, as in Torrey and the UN, maybe riders can grow new regional traditions.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

I'm in sync with Jake's comment :

Quote

We have moved on from that delicious discovery mode to ho-hum knowledge and familiarity.  We have become selective.

 

I'd also throw my kids under the bus. But Jake was riding tons when his kids were at a similar age.

 

Also worth noting I saw this thread in the "active thread" box along with the update on Ron and of all things an oil thread.  

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

In addition to things others have mentioned, I think the Great Recession has probably been a factor for a lot of folks.  I think most people feel less financially secure than they did before the recession, because we've seen how things can go blooey, and that leads to a little more restraint in spending.  I know I lost a riding partner due to it.  Some people have recovered, some likely haven't.

 

One other possible factor: in terms of our organized rides, we've fallen into certain destinations permanently occupying the calendar.  It can be kind of "same ol', same ol'", no matter how great the destinations are, for those of us who have been around for years.  But who has the time and energy to organize a new ride, and what dates are available?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
John Ranalletta

Agree with all that’s been offered but add this thought.  Any hobby or avocation worth pursuing takes effort.  Getting ready for a long ride, even a long weekend FART or START takes every bit of a day’s effort to sort out gear, make-ready the bike (and trailer).   Add a day for most of us to get to the event, the event, a day for the return trip and putting all the gear and the bike right again, and you’ve eaten through 5-6 days.  Don’t take this wrong.  I enjoy the experiences, but it takes effort.  So far, the fun outweighs the work.  When it doesn’t (or I can’t hold the GS up any longer), I’ll probably drop out or do less.

 

Just an aside:  At the last FART, while we had a great group meal, it was obvious (to me at least) that some groups didn’t integrate with others.  My first experience with a BMW club in Indy was like that.  Ruth and I showed up with 30-40 members and for two hours no one reached out to welcome us.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
2 hours ago, Bill_Walker said:

  One other possible factor: in terms of our organized rides, we've fallen into certain destinations permanently occupying the calendar.  It can be kind of "same ol', same ol'", no matter how great the destinations are, for those of us who have been around for years.  But who has the time and energy to organize a new ride, and what dates are available?

 

I must agree with you when you talk about the "same ol, same ol"  because that's how it has pretty much become for me as in I been there and done that and it makes me tired just thinking about doing it again especially in today's world.  The other day I was thinking about going on that early spring ride maybe over the Cascades into eastern Oregon and then I think about the effort involved and I lose interest.  I've just had happier thoughts than contending with crazy drivers and over priced motels where a good nights rest is far from any kind of certainty.

 

Most of my riding has been in the northwest (OR, MT, ID, WA and WY) and there is hardly a paved road I haven't been on and more than once and I've pretty much satisfied my curiosity about what's over the next hill or around that next curve.  It just doesn't get much nicer than where I'm sitting right now.  Another issue I have is my wife no longer wishes to travel by motorcycle and I don't know anyone around here that rides any further than the local watering hole in the summer and always on their venerable HD.  I do miss some of the rallies of years past.  Hey, maybe someone will invent a time travel machine?  lol..lol..

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
John Ranalletta

A buddy sold his bike last year after years of hemming ‘n hawing.  The problem was a wife who hated riding and ragged on him for wanting to ride and being away from home.  I’m lucky in that Ruth enjoys riding maybe a bit more than I do; but some guys aren’t so lucky and some times, it’s just ain’t worth the grief.

 

As the line in the country song goes, “It’s hard to kiss the mouth at night that’s been chewing my ass all day”.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment

Obviously it's no one thing and the reasons given above are all true. But there's an overall big picture, motorcycling as a whole in the past 25-30 years has seen it's biggest renaissance ever (it's cyclic as I learned as an 80's Yamaha dealer) and appears to now be waning for a lot of those reasons. 

 

I started riding at 14 and have had at least one or two bikes constantly till now at 72 although just rode occaisionally from the mid 70's to late 80's (car racing and restoration left little time).  In the 90's some guys started a local vintage bike club at the beach that gave us a place to meet weekly and have group rides that was big fun. We also started the Riding Into History Concours that's still going on today with I believe increasingly more attendance every year..

 

A few of us branched out and joined the local BMW club in the late 90's, by the 2nd meeting I was designated as ride leader because I sort of knew where all the good roads were around N. Fla. We became known as the riding club, during the next decade membership went from around 65 to over 300. Monthly rides on Sundays normally had anywhere from 20 to 30 riders and others would meet at the lunch destination. Within a few years we were doing two and three day overnight rides and upping the day rides to around 500 miles. I wanted to move toward the off road side so started doing GS rides into the State and Nat. Forests and asked Bernie to keep leading the street rides because he was the only other person that knew where all the good stuff was and he knew how to use a GPS which simplified things. He’s now moved on to the Ken, Bernie and Terry show which is perfect because it is def more his style (and speed : )

 

Eventually like most clubs I've been in the politics got old so with a couple buddies help started a local dualsport group (CADS, Classic, Adv, Dual Sport) a decade ago with three rules. No officers, no dues, and no rules..  if you just leave people alone they'll almost always do the right thing, it's been the most fun and rewarding thing ever not to mention getting some great people together always willing to pitch in and help with whatever necessary. We do three rallies a year at no charge and announce them only on ADV in the Sandbox section. In January 150 or so riders showed up for the Polar Bear Rally which is almost more than we can handle but it seems to always work out.

 

But dirt riding is different than pavement, there is always a plethora of roads and trails yet to be discovered so the novelty almost never wears off. The downside is it's more physical and crashing isn't a matter of if but when so hanging up the spurs can come sooner if you're prone to that. Although when you do crash it just involves bushes, mud holes, or sometimes trees (at least in the SE) but not pavement, cars, or guardrails so the penalty isn't as excessive. And again, all the other reasons everyone else mentioned : )

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment

I agree with Gabby Johnson, "rawrry."  Sorry, different movie.

In all truth, ridership is down in the USA.  BMW bikes are more expensive than others and long distance travel on a bike has become less and less appealing for many reasons like those stated before this post. I have been seriously thinking about selling the BMW for another brand (FJR) but have yet to make up my mind (due to my 05 is becoming less reliable).  All of that said, there is an old joke that I will get some of it correct, not all, and it goes like this.

Harley riders ride together in a bunch to a bar to sit and talk about their bikes and riding.

Gold Wingers ride together in a bunch to a donut shop to sit and talk about their bikes and riding.

Sport bike riders go as fast as they can to get to a predetermined location to sit and talk about their ride.

BMW riders all decide on a destination, all take off in different directions, and eventually get to the destination.

 

Yes, we are a collective of individuals.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
RecentConvert

I've read this thread with interest because my perspective is somewhat different.  Candi and I are new to the organization and Spring Torrey 2019 was our first event.  We didn't know what to expect and I am not terribly social to begin with.  Our initial impression was that of an outsider.  The first day a number of people said hi, but only one took time to "invest" in us.  The area was new, the people were new and the weather wasn't spectacular.  We rode in the AM with a group and that was great.  In the afternoon, we rode by ourselves.  Turns out that was pivotal.

 

Candi and I were discussing the group event impressions as we rode and lets say those impressions were lukewarm.  The weather turned on us and we went down on the mud/hail mix of a backroad.  We punched a hole in the right side valve cover.

 

We limped back to Torrey and announced to the group in Whip's cabin that we had a problem.  Everything changed in that moment!  The group suddenly had a purpose and everybody joined in.  Tools appeared, labor appeared, riders set out to find oil and supplies,  "I know a guy that can probably fix that"  Everyone unable to physically help, was standing nearby watching and ready to jump in.   

 

That event was why we returned to Torrey in September.  We got to see what the group could do when they had a purpose and we liked it.  

 

Perhaps part of the allure of the group is adversity?   Perhaps the tech days we hear about from the past were the glue.  Perhaps the new bikes are too reliable and too maintenance free?

 

I agree with the same old same old concept.  We won't be going to Torrey this year, but hopefully will do the Driftless event and START.  New places and new faces.  That concept works well when new to the group.

 

Terry

 

 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Francois_Dumas

Terry has a good and interesting point. Many of us here are 'veterans' and so many of the reasons for dwindling interest are true for us..... but it is very important (and maybe overlooked) to hear from new(er) members. What turns them on, and what turns them off. 

 

If BMWST wants to continue, it should NOT be dependent on the veterans but rather on new blood! 

 

Just my ,02 cents. 

Link to comment

Related to riding in general, I have friends that couldn't get enough of riding, we rode three or four times a week, long day rides on the weekends, different riders came and went, but the base group always got together.

Now, I don't really ride with any of them anymore except my brother, who can't ride as much as I do due to obligations, but tries hard to get rides in, a few thousand miles a year. I don't think the other guys put on a thousand miles a year. I find myself going on long solo rides often, which is actually fine by me too. Luckily, through riding I have met new friends over the years that also love riding, can't ride as much as I, but do whenever they can, and at least plan one or two decent trips a year. In that regard I am lucky to have them as friends, not just riding friends, but true friends.

All my friends and family think I'm a bit of a freak for my love of riding.

People change, but I always encourage the young riders and non-riders interested in the sport. It doesn't matter what they ride, just ride!

Link to comment
2 hours ago, RecentConvert said:

 

 

We limped back to Torrey and announced to the group in Whip's cabin that we had a problem.  Everything changed in that moment!  The group suddenly had a purpose and everybody joined in.  Tools appeared, labor appeared, riders set out to find oil and supplies,  "I know a guy that can probably fix that"  Everyone unable to physically help, was standing nearby watching and ready to jump in.   

That event was why we returned to Torrey in September.  

 

Terry

 

 

 

I had a tire issue at the Lake George UN this past year. There were tire repair kits flying at me from Connecticut to Texas, and Texas ain’t next door IYKWIM. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Work, work related travel, aging parent care, and growing family time leave me with little time for cross country moto trips. I do miss the time on the road and all the memories and friendships gathered along the way over the past 20 years. 
 

To help pull-in the next wave of enthusiasts we’ll have to work at it. I’m lucky that my SIL, Nick has been riding since he was 16. Steve and I invited him to ride with us to UT 8 years ago to attend WSBK race. That was his first long journey and he was hooked.  Since then he has formed a group of like minded younger guys that I ride with when I can. 
 

I have reserved a cabin for Fall Torrey this year and Nick and Neil are coming along. Neither have been to Torrey and this will be Neil’s first long journey.   Neil will fit right in.  And Nick has learned about moto yoga and its benefits after a hard long day on the road from Steve.   I think we all just need to invest in the next generation of riders - they are out there.
 

image.thumb.jpeg.8bfb9cc1c8a7ace4a667102978fa3b24.jpeg

 
 

image.thumb.jpeg.6fd41c9920d413d5b3f0f1dd421bfb61.jpeg

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Terry, thanks for the observations from the Spring Torrey ride.  Your comments resonated with me and I think I know why.  And I have a potential solution.

You, Candi and other newbies to a ride are arriving thinking that everyone there knows everyone and rides together.  That is not always so; when I was at my first Torrey in the spring of 2019, I only knew a few of the others that I rode over with from Salida – all of whom I met a day or two earlier with via the hospitality of Whip.  When I met you and others in Torrey, I thought you were the ones who had been doing that ride for a while and never stepped into “host” mode.  

 

Perhaps others had the same reaction, so no one stepped into host mode with you.  Even when I attend a ride that I have been to before, like a START or FART, I fall into the trap of visiting with known riders and friends, and just assume that the new faces I see are folks who have been there for a while or, more embarrassingly, folks who I just didn’t remember.  Again, host mode is not a natural step when you don’t know for sure that someone is there for the first time.  It helps when a newbie arrives with someone else who introduces them around as a newbie, but for folks who arrive on their own, with no introductions from long-standing riders, it is harder to make connections. 

 

I know there is a general aversion to name tags at events, but it could really help when some folks are new and looking to make initial connections.  Perhaps a color coded name tag for prior attendees and first time attendees??

 

What do you say ride organizers? 

 

Randy

  • Like 5
Link to comment
12 hours ago, Sonor said:

I agree with Gabby Johnson, "rawrry."  Sorry, different movie.

In all truth, ridership is down in the USA.  BMW bikes are more expensive than others and long distance travel on a bike has become less and less appealing for many reasons like those stated before this post. I have been seriously thinking about selling the BMW for another brand (FJR) but have yet to make up my mind (due to my 05 is becoming less reliable).  All of that said, there is an old joke that I will get some of it correct, not all, and it goes like this.

Harley riders ride together in a bunch to a bar to sit and talk about their bikes and riding.

Gold Wingers ride together in a bunch to a donut shop to sit and talk about their bikes and riding.

Sport bike riders go as fast as they can to get to a predetermined location to sit and talk about their ride.

BMW riders all decide on a destination, all take off in different directions, and eventually get to the destination.

 

Yes, we are a collective of individuals.

 

Hi Sonor, sent you a private message.

Link to comment
On 2/18/2020 at 5:13 AM, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

I see two main reasons, already articulated in this thread:

 

 

When I was in grad school many moons ago, our research center (a tiny division of the mechanical engineering department) was a very sociable group of folks.  We students were still in our 20s, but we regularly took our lab manager (a 50YO Vietnam vet) out drinking with us, we organized picnics to which faculty brought their families, faculty hosted Christmas parties at their homes, and so on.  I stayed in touch with the lab manager for a couple of years after I graduated , and he told me that the social environment there completely changed after my cohorts and I left town; the sense of togetherness that we had all enjoyed just wasn't present with the new crop of students.

 

That social environment may have been the equivalent of a rogue wave, in that it was a random grouping of an unusually gregarious collection of people that wasn't likely to be repeated very often.  I wonder if www.BMWR100RT.com was maybe the same sort of anomaly: a random group of people who were first drawn together by a need to socialize about a particular motorcycle, and energized by the advent of a new form of communication that allowed cheap, detailed, rapid transmission of text and images across thousands of miles.  And I'm understating the case when I say "particular motorcycle:" it wasn't just a particular brand, or a particular model, it was the '96-'01 BMW R1100RT that got this place rolling.  Tech Daze events sprung up to teach people how to work on these bikes, we talked on the site about how to deal with common and uncommon mechanical problems.  And we all had the exact same bike, so we all could help and be helped with the same information.  I think that commonality helped to bind us a lot.  

 

These days, we're dealing with several different models of BMW bikes from many different generations.  It's sort of like a foodie website that used to be dominated by members who were brought together by an extreme passion for spaghetti bolognese, but now it's populated by people who just like Italian food a lot.

 

This is the other reason:

 

 

 

Article here points out that younger riders don't ride for the same reasons we do.  Old farts like us like to ride as a hobby, which means we tend to buy big bikes and go sport-touring.  Young folks are interested in motorcycles for ease of transportation - which means they're buying small bikes and riding them around town.  You won't find those kinds of riders at MOA rallies, BMWST UnRallies, or START/FART/Torrey.  In short, new BMWST members are hard to come by.

 

Which means we're left with this:

 

 

My early years on an R1100RT and on this site were all about mad passion.  For several years I thrashed the local roads, hit the local club's Sunday breakfasts with Shawn,  learned every nut and bolt of my motorcycle, did a track day, a SS1K, a RidingSmart, and and along the way I traveled the whole damn country, seeing places I'd never seen before and meeting/riding with board members for the first time.  The novelty that once compelled me to ride 500-1500 miles to events has faded (my own physical aging is part of this too); I still enjoy it, just not enough to go to START/FART twice a year like I once did, and I don't think that'll change for me, even with new efforts at amping up social activity around here.  

 

If the above article is right, then there are fewer new sport-touring riders than there were 20 years ago, which means if we want to keep the fires stoked around here, we have to find a way to attract a larger share of them.  The alternative (which isn't bad, just different) is to accept the mellowing of passion as we age, and instead focus on camaraderie of getting together at events that are attended mostly by old friends - even if those events are a little smaller than they used to be.  Maybe make more of an effort to be welcoming toward the few new folks who do come to such events, so they are motivated to return in the future.

Exactly-  "focus on camaraderie of getting together at events that are attended mostly by old friends - even if those events are a little smaller than they used to be" That is what I felt at last years Un.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Well, I feel a little guilty, as over the years I have developed a resistance to ride with a lot of folks.

I still enjoy riding and I don't really have problem leading a group of riders. It has just somehow become very complicated.

Between FaceBook and Intercom systems most folks don't seem to really care about the actual ride anymore.

I try to make it an enjoyable event for the fellow riders, but as some of you know or have experienced, we don't all enjoy the same things.

Mitch has a very valid point, the different models that BMW makes, causes some groups of members to form sub-groups.

It is fully understandable, that GS riders want to have a little dirt and RS/S riders want some high speed sweepers, while RT riders, riding 2up would like to stop and smell the roses or visit some sites along the way.

Tech Days used to be great events, I remember riding several times up to the TechDay in Atlanta, that Chris and Joel organized. 

It is there where I learned to work on my 2000 RT and my 2007 RT. I even organized a group ride one year from Jax to ATL, but most of them called it a day after lunch, because 300 miles of GA back roads was just too far in one day. :4316:

 

As for trying to get local riders to join the BMWST.com, it is difficult. I don't know what they are looking for in an organization.

We are not here for their entertainment or for their rider training. I don't mind mentoring a rider and giving him some tips or recommend some books or schools, but they have to do some of the work themselves. 

Yes, we also have a lot of guys, that like to help folks troubleshoot their bike problems and make suggestions on how possible to repair them.  But some guys forget that BMWST.com is an enthusiast site and not BMW-MotorRad-NA.

SECFF was started with the idea to give regional riders an excuse to get on their bikes and meet some fellow riders for lunch. Ken, Terry and I where hoping that some would look at a map and maybe make an interesting route to get to lunch. I have even offered ride ideas to some guys, just asked.

But I feel like I have to pester the local guys with constant reminders that a ride event is coming up. I am sorry, but after sending out multiple invitations with no results, I just start getting flustered.

 

Any way thanks for letting me vent and I am looking forward to START 2020. 

Just get out and ride and try to share some of your experiences. The conversations will start by themselves.

PS: Please don't get offended by grouchy Me, just asked and I will let you tag along on one my rides. 

 

  • Like 10
Link to comment

I had to chuckle at John's statement, "A buddy sold his bike last year after years of hemming ‘n hawing.  The problem was a wife who hated riding and ragged on him for wanting to ride and being away from home.".  My wife likes to see me go!  I'm a real neatnic compared to her.  She does a lot of hobbies and crafts.  When I'm gone for a week or so, she can spread all her crap craft projects all over the house or start a 1,000 piece puzzle on the dinner table without me bitching.

I've been a member of this group for quite a while and never been to an event.  I do like to take one or two long trips (2-4 K round trip) each year, but I'm a weenie on the long trips and avoid the riskier weather shoulder seasons.  I've had some character building rides in May and October.  I wanted to go to the John Day event (close) but work got in the way.  Work is no longer an impediment and I hope to go the the CA event this summer.

I'm a member of a state BMW club and a non denominational club.  The center of gravity for these clubs is 180 to 250 miles from my home so I don't get to participate in most of their activities, as a one day ride for them is a 2/3 day for me which is a bigger time commitment and a much larger $ commitment.  I also find that since I'm not a regular, I am not part of established cliques.  I'm not bad mouthing here.  Most groups of any size have sub groups who just hit it off well and don't go out of their way to bring someone in the the smaller circle.  When I go to various bmw state annual camp outs, I find the same thing.  Riders may come in from a variety of places, but they immediately look to camp next to and hang out with people who they have hit it off with in the past and these groups don't mix it up much with others.  If BMWST events are not like that to some extent, I'd be surprised as I think it is basic human nature.  It's natural to clump up in to small groups that like what you like;  fast in the corners vs not so fast, those who drink scotch and smoke cigars and those who like smoke free and micro brews, or prefer greasy spoons to nicer sit down food outfits, motel rather than tent, A to B riders vs stop and smell the roses riders, those that like to wrench and talk about wrenching and those who don't,  ect.....  and while I may have one or more of the traits that make these groups bond, I'm not comfortable with just inserting myself into their midst when it's obvious that they are just fine with the folks they already have.  I like going to the national BMW event because there are just so damn many people there, most haven't got established groups and you can stumble into the company of some really nice people who are just as unattached as me.  It's interesting that this club is now making efforts to become an ofishul BMW club so they can clump up at the MOA national.  Who knows, if the members of this group make an effort to 'recruit' some new blood at the MOA, this could be a plus.  Wave some passers by with the offer of a cold beer, cigar, a piece of shade and a place to sit, whatever.   If it's just so this group can have their own camp spot to clump up in and visit with existing BMWST members exclusively, well that's OK for catching up on what our buddies are doing, but it does little to expand this group.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I originally joined the 1100RT forum due to surging issues. Mainly read the repair forums.

 

My riding (41 years) is primarily commuting, as much as 15,000 mi per year. I raced from 17 until 45. My weekends were primarily at the track or getting ready for the track or winter.

 

I have only done a handful of group rides. They were ok, but prefer to ride alone. Most of my friends do not have motorcycles.

 

I am considering attending the Driftin event. Only about 3 hours from home. Depends if the kid plays beach volleyball.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Calvin  (no socks)

I've been riding 50 years. It comes and goes. Some years lots of miles, others not so many. This internet group is the same. I visit BMWST  prior to a trip and see who I can surprise by showing up unannounced . My  passion is still strong and I will ride 2500 miles for a couple of slices of pizza and a beer with friends. (Ask Whip)  I've done Torrey a dozen years in a row from Florida. Lost contact with some east coasters and made friends with others.  I wouldn't trade a minute of it for love nor money. 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
On 2/17/2020 at 12:47 PM, Marty Hill said:

I miss 4 of them every day.

 

Marty

 

Here you go my friend, I don't believe I've ever shared this one with you.  Just a little chestnut for ya.

 

i-TLK5mHs.jpg

  • Like 8
Link to comment
7 hours ago, Calvin (no socks) said:

My  passion is still strong 

 

Our Sockless Stalwart epitomizes a good point.  It should be acknowledged that those members who are still putting on the Torreys and the STARTs & FARTs along with the more localized events are worthy of praise and admiration.  They are to this day carrying the BMWST torch.  That can't be easy sometimes, but true leadership never is.  As the man said, "Good on 'ya!"

  • Like 13
Link to comment
20 hours ago, Jake said:

 

Here you go my friend, I don't believe I've ever shared this one with you.  Just a little chestnut for ya.

 

i-TLK5mHs.jpg

 

Jake, many thanks for posting a wonderful memory.  I miss him every time I see a BMW bike or go for a ride.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Well, this is an interesting thread. I miss so many elements of what we had--and it makes me sad to think about it--but those memories are also some of the best memories I have with other people. What makes them amazing is precisely that they were formed at a certain point in time with certain people who came together. The fact that we can LOSE those moments is what makes them amazing.

 

I had a little bit to do with running the board, organizing the first Tech Daze in our part of the US, creating RidingSmart, starting El Paseo, etc. It took leadership and risk and money and time, and it's not sustainable over a long period. Other people have to step up...from a different demographic...and do their own thing. Some of the things we all created will never "be" again, and they shouldn't. The fleeting nature of those is what makes them so special. I view my own role in all that as just a spark and guide--most of the real work and commitment came from everyone else. Think about all the people who made RidingSmart and El Paseo amazing. And Torrey--I got to enjoy that because of all the work that OTHER people did.

 

For me personally, I couldn't take the emotional load of the @ssholes who were a part of the online experience, and I was struggling with my own mental/emotional issues. I just had to leave for my own sanity. Later I sold all five of the bikes. And I miss it every day. I'll probably get back into it at some point.

 

Something like this requires crazy people to have a vision and be committed to leadership. That happened before me and after me, and it's all good. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have spent so much time with all of you. I met 500+ in person that I would never have met otherwise, and I built some amazing experiences in my head. Even though I don't communicate with many of you, I love you dearly.

 

Your high school and college and early parenting experience all involved different people than are in your life now, too. You hang on to a few of those relationships, but generally life moves on. The loss of those times is particularly acute if you aren't GROWING and LIVING in new ways, yourself. My wife and I have enjoyed some recent RVing, my professional career has taken some good turns, and the priorities just get reworked. I think it's really healthy to flip through those memories, but not so much to yearn for a different time. How many of you have grandkids, now, and need/want to spend time with them? How many of you have a spouse whose company you really enjoy and can't quite imagine spending your one week AWAY from him/her?

 

I'm so very, very grateful for the memories that you folks have been a part of in my life.

  • Like 18
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

I've been riding for around 40 years. For many years I rode 25,000 miles a year even on small 100cc bikes I'd achieve that sort of mileage. 13 years ago I had a bad accident on my R1150RT and was out of action for several months. As soon as I could bought a 1200LT and set off the following day for long trip round Europe. When I got back I parked it up for a few weeks, never would've happened before. I don't know whether it was directly related to the accident or just feeling more fragile but the enjoyment from motorcyling had gone. The LT was replaced with a Honda NT700 hoping a lighter bike would make it easier to ride again. I put 75000 miles on this over approx 7 years, (now averaging 10,000 miles a year). I bought a BMW R1200RT to replace the Honda and have started to go places again. Down to Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Romania last year, an area I'd wanted to go to for a while. The RT now has around 70000 miles on it in three and a half years. Finally my annual mileage is back where it should be.

This forum is the same sometimes you visit and leave again after a short time. Another day you spot something that makes you want to stay on there for ages and come back day after day. Working long hours (Driving) doesn't leave much time for sitting in front of computers or riding, except to and from work. I have very few friends that still ride, but ride most days even during the storms last weekend. I'd love to get over to the US for some long rides.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

David,

"How many of you have a spouse whose company you really enjoy and can't quite imagine spending your one week AWAY from him/her? "

 

Remember when you floated the idea of a couples ride/event?

Plenty of feedback, back then.

Your quote above is one of the reasons, after solo at first 2 El Paseo's, I brought Beth as pillion, for years.

We made friends, shared the ride and experiences.

 

To this day everyone like her better, and I'm OK with that.

:grin:

  • Like 3
Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

wHIPdON...I think it is as easy as the answer "life". Life happens and it's always evolving, changing, converting.

 

It adds and subtracts from us / to us.

 

Older friends and family die and pass into eternal life and new ones show up - grandkids etc.

 

Work takes its toll also, some scraping by some leading the pack, some with no time to make up deficits and hafta work 2x.

 

A wedding here and 60th, 70th, 80th, birthday there, First Communion and other milestones all rob us of certain weekends.

 

Sometimes there is a connect, a plan, a reason to spread wide the schedule and allow....sometimes it just doesn't "fit"

 

I wish I had the opportunity to hit 'em all - to see and re-see many of my friends made over the decades.

 

The recent death of Raaaan only solidify's  this objective thinking.

 

I'm happy as I can be seeing him for what turned out to be our last meeting @ Red Lodge.

 

And now Ken Insley.....a gut punch for sure.

 

I can only hope I can get a long road trip on this summer. Sadly, everything else seems to take precedence.

 

Sux...but that is "life".

 

Pax Christi'

 

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment

I haven't ridden in 3 years, many of my riding buddies either died or gave it up.  Loved riding distance, hardly ever took the bike out for a 5o mile jaunt, wasn't interested in the risk/reward ratio.  As I have aged, my mind believes I still have the same skill set I once had, except I know better.  I always thought I was fast, now I am half-fast, my timing would be off and I am not sure I could adjust safely to the change. I also think, and it might be an ageing issue that the roads are less safe, cell phones and distractions seem to be everywhere.  I will probably sell my 62,000 mile 99 R-1100 RT this year, someone else should enjoy it.  I always felt it was the perfect bike, balance to power.  I have even noticed as I ride my bicycle, that a 15 -20 mile ride, on a bike path is fulfilling, when I was racing bikes, if I didn't ride for 3 hours or 60 miles it was not a ride,that was 4 days a week and a race on Sunday. I always think I can back to the same physical shape, but being realistic, I doubt it and the motivation, like riding a motorcycle for 12 hours straight through from Hanabones' house or some rally  in Arkansas is not there. Life changes, our season is short up here, we travel, I golf and ride my bike.  I smile at the memories, Gunnison will be forever etched in my mind as crazy, and fun. I have traveled across the United States several times, as well as up through Canada and Nova Scotia, the hobby or/and the bike owes me nothing.  The fact of the matter also is that our nearest NY State dealer is 5 hours away, we have one in Toronto but can't cross the boarder now and they are 90 minutes away, the Pennsylvania dealer is 2 hours away.  Life changes, the fact that Marty is still riding at his age is tremendous, but as he admitted, it is different. Thats my story, Life goes happily on, just a different chapter. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
Yeeha Stephen

Well, I diversified, but to several MC groups instead of Non-MC activities. I've been the Tour Director for the Dallas/FTW BMW club for 8 years, ridden with the Plano Texas BMW group (was on their ride committee for a while) , the Two Wheeled Texans group ( https://www.twtex.com/forums/ ) and the eclectic group the Dallas Lone Star Riders.

Put 200k on that red 1150 RT...120k on a 1200RT... 30+ on a 1200R... 30+ on a 1200RSW and recently picked up a 1250RT (currently grounded by Covid 19 sheltering)

Been to Mexico a couple of times, Canada a couple of times, spent a couple of weeks in Cali around last summer's Quail Gathering Rally, and finally got to knock Alaska off my bucket list. We flew in, rented BMW's from MotoQuest for 2 weeks, flew the ladies in at the end of the ride and did a 9 day-Inside Passage cruise back. Then there's the countless trips to Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Tennessee ...

Got my 300k BMW award from Motorrad and I'm well on my way to the 400k award.

I haven't lost the passion, I just spread it around a bit.

Yeeha!

SS

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Allen Faber
On 2/17/2020 at 4:53 PM, Mike said:

I don't know that it's due to anything that has or has not happened here. I think our group is aging out a bit, so maybe the answer is in trying to broaden our horizons to attract more riders from other brands, or at least other styles of BMWs.

I'm doing my small part to help:

I would love to see a huge turnout.

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...