They say that records are made to be broken. Well someone (Todd Trumbore) decided that the record for the most BMW motorcycles on a ride should be broken. The record was in the possession of the Swiss, but had been eclipsed by a group from Missouri which was awaiting confirmation from the Guiness people. They assembled 241 bikes for their record, and rode a couple of miles to make it official. This does not sound like much, if you've seen a Harley parade on any nice weekend, but these were BMW riders. They of the lone wolf clan with tent and bed roll, they of the hyper mileage solo from Prudhoe Bay to Key West clan, they of the honey you fly and I'll ride and meet you there clan, they of the long way up/down/round clan, they of the ride my tires till the cords show, they of the getting there is all the fun clan. Getting this many members of the clan to assemble in a single place and take the same route requires mystical powers, a cosmic gateway, and a sacred amulet. Or free food.
Actually, the free food came along with a worthy cause in the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which, along with the record attempt, together formed a powerful force uniting the clan. The newly franchised BMW dealership at
for the event, opening on sunday and offering discounts for all. So the stage was set. A venue, a noon start for the ride, police escorts, and even the weather gods arranged a warm and sunny day while holding off the threat of rain until later in the evening. All we needed was 242 machines with a blue and white propeller on them.
Some of us got there early and got to live through a lot more of the "will we make it" roller coaster. True to form, there were relatively few large groups of bikes arriving. Most like me arrived solo, stopping and immediately shedding pounds of gear. BMW riders are fond of their gear and many subscribe to the ATGATT (all the gear, all the time) concept. I bet we broke a record for the most non-leather riding gear in one place, and I bet the glow of
could be seen from outer space. But I digest...
While we were waiting, a bike show broke out. Not since the national rally had I seen this many BMW bikes and variants. Old and new, crusty and pristine, fast and slow, farkled and not, they were all there. I could not help but take a camera-stroll through the parking lot. I'm not sure which model was most prevalent, but
added to the armada of them that was present. It looked positively spartan next to some of the more farkled examples sprinkled throughout.
Looking for what I was interested in, there were also many R75/5s around. Both in toaster tank form and not, but all of them in excellent shape. The /2 contingent (or the Earles of Fork as I am fond of saying) were out in force as well, with and without sidecar. Todd drove his spectacular dover white rig, but there were many other nice R50/R60/R69 examples to be found.
might have been counted among them were it not for new carb floats which did not arrive in time. A few beautiful R90S examples showed up along with a few drivers more like mine.
There was also a 2004 R1100RS in two tone blue which continues to be a bike Iwant, but only in that color scheme. Of course, there were many many other great bikes around including an HP2 and an HP3, some S1000RRs, and probably every variation of R and K bike out there. The
was of course instrumental in swelling the ranks at this event by promoting it (eg:
), and by just showing up in force...
After a cliff hanger trickling of machines as we approached noon, applause rang out as each bike drove in getting us close to 240. We finally registered number 242 with perhaps 15 minutes before the noon start to thunderous applause. WE DID IT !! A few more of the clan trickled in for insurance. I'm sure that the official count will be in by the time this hits the air. After a group photo, we saddled up and hit the road for an 8+ mile ride to make it official.
The ride then continued for another 30 miles or so.
I suspect that having achieved the objective, the clan began to revert to its natural ways. I saw several riders peel off as we progressed, choosing to head for parts unknown or to ride at a different pace. I peeled off as the tour passed a half mile from the house. More of my favorite roads have been discovered, and I will now need to re-mark the territory.
. It will be many moons before the clan of the propeller gathers again in like numbers to bathe itself in such honor and glory.