September 15th, 2014
“Deranged, maniacal, demonic and negligent” were words used by the former AMA Motorcyclist of the Year, Bob Higdon, when he gave the official benediction at the start of an annual Big Dog Ride. He also included the words “aesthetic, pictorial, grandeur, supereminence and best-of-the-best.” Higdon closed his offering of pearls with, “You have a great thing going here with the Big Dog Ride. I hope none of you die!” and then mounted his BMW R80G/S and piloted it quickly in the opposite direction.
The 2014 Annual Running of the Dogs offered an opportunity to look inside the make-up of the new and old members of the unique fraternity of Big Dogs. While not a secret society, the Big Dog Adventure Ride does have some elements of membership not found in other adventure designed motorcycle events.
Founded on the concept of riding a large-displacement dual-purpose motorcycle to the event, off-loading luggage, and then riding some of the toughest trails and tracks found in the Lower 48, the core concept still exists. Original sponsor, BMW of Denver, accepted the eventual morphing of the event to welcome non-BMW bike entries. In 2014 entrants included KTMs, Kawasakis, Hondas and Suzukis, but all had to be 640cc or larger.
For three days the entrants bounced their motorcycles and themselves off rocks and trees, plowed through deep mountain streams and brown murky mud wallows, often dodging ATVs and errant 4×4 drivers over some of the highest passes in Colorado. While the wide range of large-displacement motorcycles offered an interesting mix for a tire kicker in the parking lot, it was the genetic elements of the entrants and their professional backgrounds that drew interest in 2014. Are there some genetic similarities that drew this group together to possibly hurt themselves and their motorcycles as they pushed adventure-riding envelopes to levels far away from posing at Starbucks on a Sunday morning with their ADV motorcycle?
One Big Dog wrote of the others that they are “down to earth, solid, self-aware, self-confident, hard-working, contributors…. men of integrity who share a passion for adventure motorcycle riding.” Within that definition was one self-proclaimed ditch digger, a man who worked for a county government operating equipment to literally dig ditches, and another who was a retired financial services executive. Others included the manager for a major manufacturing company, a national evangelist, educational technology sales representative, insurance broker, general building contractor, service engineer, writer, mechanic and a statistician.
A look at the geographic bases for some of the entrants found them piloting their motorcycles to Colorado from distant points such as California, Texas, Arkansas and Virginia, others from neighboring states Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico. One entrant, from Honolulu, flew from Hawaii to connect with his motorcycle in Seattle. He then rode two days to the event, off-loaded his travel gear and banged up himself and his Africa Twin for three days. He then repacked and rode back to Seattle, stashed his rare Africa Twin and flew back to Hawaii. Another first-time entrant, sponsored by Bob’s BMW, rode his fully-loaded BMW R1200GS Adventure from Virginia to the event start point in Buena Vista, Colorado, where he off-loaded his traveling gear and bounced off rocks, slid through mud and wobbled in sand as a new Dog. He then licked his wounds and humped the interstates back across America. A Happy Trails sponsored entrant from Michigan entered a stock 2006 Kawasaki KLR650 that had only a Happy Trails skid plate and “Nerf” or protection bars for his possible get-offs.
When asked what they thought contributed to their adventure riding genetics, one answer was, “I have always liked the ability to get away from the busy roads with my motorcycle, to explore and be closer to nature.” Another said, “I like pushing myself, taking risks, testing my riding skills with my road bike, but managing the risks.” A third proclaimed, “I bought this motorcycle for its advertised dual-purpose attributes, to be able to ride it on an interstate or a jeep trail. It cost me a fortune, more than I expected after I got it equipped, so I like to make it earn its money.”
Some of the entrants were budget conscious, as represented by the number of Kawasaki KLR650’s entered. Cited as “the least expensive ride to adventure,” several of the entrants admitted to owning expensive road bikes but using their KLRs for more aggressive riding away from cruiser territory. Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA rewarded all the 2014 entrants in the Big Dog Adventure Ride, not just Kawasaki KLR entrants, by sponsoring meals that included the annual Big Dog BBQ, a way to all the Big Dogs hearts, through their hunger after a hard day of riding, and their love of a good steak.
After 24 Big Dog events and numerous copies around the world, ranging from the Big Bird Ride in Japan to a Big Puppy Ride in the USA, the original Big Dog Adventure Ride remains unique. While the men who comprise the field of entrants have been cited as deranged, maniacal, demonic and negligent, they also enjoy the fraternity of like-mindedness, being pure adventure seeking motorcyclists while agnostic and accepting when it comes to the best motorcycle make or model for adventure riding or touring, a gene unique to their core.
An adventure riding whisper in the wind at the 2014 Big Dog Adventure Ride was the 2015 Annual Running of the Dogs would be the last. One veteran entrant lamented, “It would be like putting a trusted old dog down,” while another suggested, “There could be a last last?” The 2015 event is slated for August 9 – 12.
August 23rd, 2014
Visitors, customers and friends,It is now less than a month until the Baltimore-Washington Ride for Kids® event here in Howard County, Maryland. I would hope that most everyone reading our newsletter knows at least something about the Ride for Kids®, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation(PBTF) and our involvement with this fine organization.
Bob’s and I have been personally involved for over 20 years now. Bob’s has done substantial levels of FUNdraising with events like auctions, Galas and even two Ultimate Bike raffles (UBR1 & UBR2) and hundreds if not thousands of personal solicitations on my part and that of our staff. We’ve had customers donate motorcycles so we could fix them up, sell them and raise money through these efforts. Those donations generate a tax letter for that generous individual. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years and our grand total is much closer to the 1 million dollar mark than one half these days.
The need is great, the cause is good and the organization stands well above most other non-profits in the entire world in terms of how they manage the money and how little of what comes in is used for fundraising, management, salaries or general overhead.
I have been honored to serve on the PBTF Board of Directors for the last 6 or so years. I also serve on the local Task Force that hosts the event, one of 38 around the country this year. Thankfully none of my friends or neighbors, current or past employees or our own son are afflicted with this terrible disease.
So here’s the personal request: Please join me. Please ask a friend to join me as well. You’ll be part of a fine group of caring motorcyclists, riding all brands of motorcycles on September 14th for this event. If you’ve never been before you will be impressed and you will leave touched.
Sure I know that many of you will be busy or have another reason you cannot attend. That’s normal. So the next request I would make is to ask if you’d care to make a donation, right here, right now. Cash, check or credit card works.
For those who frequent the dealership, small donations can be placed in the containers by coffee or at the Service Reception desk. Larger amounts can be rung up on a credit card at the front counter with or without another purchase or even added to a Repair Order with part number RFK . We are happy to accept personal and business checks. In 2013 we accepted 63 individual donations this way in varying amounts from $100 to $2,500. September is usually the big month for in store and online donations.
My goal is to deliver at least $20,000 of my customer’s money to this year’s event, all of which helps fund research that will help find better treatments and a cure. So please help us make September the biggest month this year. We are honored to accept and deliver your generous donations.
If you desire to write a check or tender a credit card for $100 or more please let my staff know to inform me so I can thank you personally. Just earlier this week I was handed one for $500 from a long time customer who has watched what we have done over the years and has participated in the ride a few times as well.
I know that my business sells expensive toys so I also know that many of my customers have money available to support worthy causes. And I also know that the PBTF and RFK are not the only good causes out there asking for your money but this is truly one of the most worthy causes affecting children. They are rated one of the very best by Charity Watch and Charity Navigator every single year.
The lesson I have learned well over the years is that most people don’t give because no one has asked them to so I’m asking you to consider giving to this excellent organization. It will always be an honor to deliver your money if you cannot join us at this great event but the 50 mile police escorted back roads ride is very scenic, highly enjoyable and just one of the reasons you should consider attending. And if you do I hope you’ll let them know, when they ask you, if you wish to give your donation or fundraising efforts credit to your local motorcycle dealership, you’ll say yes and then tell them it is Bob’s BMW. You’ll also get personal recognition.
I would be pleased to sit and talk about any of this over coffee at any time; in person or on the phone.
A generous donation of any size can be securely made ONLINE TODAY!
Owner, Rider, Enthusiast
August 21st, 2014
Some of you may already be following good friend and customer, Jorge Serpa as he travels the Americas top to bottom, but for anyone who is not you can start today! His adventure is planned to last through March 2015 and Bob’s will be providing regular updates along his journey.
Jorge departed on August 3 from Washington D.C. on his BMW R1200GS (A.K.A. The Mule which was of course purchased here at Bob’s BMW!) on a pre-planned route to Ushuaia, the southern most city in the world. Total distance traveled is an expected 31,000 miles, from August to the early part of December (Part 1) and from December to late March 2015 (Part 2).
Part 1 covers the stretch from Washington D.C. to Alaska and then south to Panama City; and Part 2 goes from Panama down to Ushuaia and then back to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The trip was divided up this way for financial purposes. If not able to secure enough funds for the whole trip, upon reaching Panana he will return to D.C. via the southern states.
This is not Jorge’s first rodeo to say the least. He decided years ago he wanted to spend most of his time traveling the world by “alternate means of transportation” and has since done just that crossing the Atlantic from Brazil to the US on a 35′ sailboat; completing a Round the World journey via Amtrak trains, a container vessel, the Trans Mongolia, and Trans Siberia trains; driving on a motorcycle from Paris to Lisbon and then onwards to Guinea-Bissau, just to name a few! Every adventurer approaches their adventure differently and Jorge is a planner. Jorge sat down to plan the America’s route and itinerary on a day to day basis and took everything from financial challenges, to weather challenges, to landmarks he didn’t want to miss into consideration.
For instance, the areas to be covered during the time he travels Jorge identified three important weather conditions to take into consideration:
In addition to this Jorge researched ferry dates leaving AK and returning to the Lower 48 and decided well in advance which ferry makes most sense for his traveling purposes. His plan is to be on the September 8 ferry because the following September 22 ferry would mean being in Alaska well after the autumn frosts have started and to leave earlier than the 8th would only mean he would have more time to kill before entering Central America.
Will Jorge meet these key dates to stay on track? What unexpected challenges is he going to encounter? What beautiful sites is he going to see? Find out by following along Jorge’s journey…
An album has been created on Bob’s Facebook page and will be regularly updated or you can check out Jorge’s Facebook page to get a more live feed. You can learn more about the trip by visiting his website.
August 21st, 2014
Oktoberfest and Swap Meet Scheduled for September 20
Oktoberfest in September?! That’s right folks, just like the Germans have done for hundreds of years, Bob’s is celebrating Oktoberfest in September! We are especially pleased to announce, back by popular customer demand, WOLO gourmet food truck will be onsite serving a German themed menu!
Customers will also have the opportunity to meet and speak with product reps from the motorcycle industry, check out Bob’s sponsored racer, Jeremy Cook’s newest bike, shop incredible end of year specials, register to win amazing door prizes (you do not have to be present to win, just stop by to register!), AND buy-sell-trade at the annual customer swap meet! For the latest Oktoberfest updates as they come in, be sure to LIKE Bob’s BMW Facebook Page.
Interested in selling at this year’s swap meet?
Contact email@example.com to reserve a space…it is absolutely FREE! We do not charge sellers a commission of sales. We will also have a dedicated area for items to be donated or sold for benefit of the Ride for Kids®. Keep in mind the more sellers signed up, the more shoppers we attract for you so if you have any unwanted motorcycled related items you want to unload, this is a great opportunity to get in front of hundreds of fellow riders and make some money!
Track Day Rescheduled for October 6
If you were interested in participating in Bob’s annual track Day but the July date didn’t work for you, we’ve got some good news…track day has been rescheduled for October 6!
Track Days with Roger Lyle’s MotorcycleXcitment offers riders of all makes and models NOT just sport bikes, an opportunity to ride freely, as slow or as fast as you wish in a controlled and safe environment, practice skills, get better familiar with your bike and its capabilities, and get tips and pointers from professional coaches like Roger Lyle and Jeremy Cook!
August 21st, 2014
Bob's online ecommerce store continues growing in popularity thanks to its expanding inventory of products to shop and the constant new features and upgrades implemented to make the shopping experience the best and easiest it can be. The newest features we encourage everyone to take a moment to check out include the One-of-a-kind section, New Products section, Product Reviews available on each product page, and the microfiche updates.
Treasure-hunters and bargain-hunters agree: The “One-Of-A-Kind” section of our website has become the hot new ONLINE destination.
One-of-a-Kind is like a personal visit to Bob’s attic! Browse & buy from an ever-expanding and ever-changing selection of singular items: Used, New-Old-Stock, Modern, Vintage, Rare, Leftover, Collectible, Frivolous, or Just-Plain-Weird, parts, accessories, and apparel… you just never know what you may find!
New Products Just One Click Away
Easily check out the latest and greatest products under the ‘Featured New Products’ section on the right-hand sidebar of the ecomm homepage. This section changes regularly as new products are loaded onto the site, so be sure to check back regularly!
It’s easy to do and there is no login required! Next time you are browsing www.store.bobsbmw.com:
Although still in the works, we are excited to share we are working hard behind the scenes to add extra enhancements to the microfiche navigation as well as some additional and very useful information on parts to make the microfiche shopping experience as simple as 1-2-3! Stay tuned on that but in the meantime…
August 21st, 2014
Bob’s BMW partnered with MotoDiscovery to obtain a special permit granting 20 motorcyclists into Cuba for a 12 day “People to People” motorcycle adventure. This is an exclusive opportunity to explore the country rarely visited by outsiders.
The tour will be led by Christopher Baker, a Cuba travel expert and award-winning author. This tour is more than your typical motorcycle adventure, this is an opportunity to travel back in time and experience the culture through people to people interaction with locals. You will ride through the Cuban countryside, stopping along the way to meet natives and make friends, and learn more about Cuban history.
MotoDiscovery serves in the capacity of “advertiser” of Cuba travel, legally permitted as stated in USA Office of Foreign Assets Control Guidelines. Any travel to Cuba promoted by MotoDiscovery will be authorized and legal for USA citizens under the license held by Antilles TravelLLC. No. CT-2013-299634-1.
August 21st, 2014
Bob’s BMW is an avid supporter of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and has taken special pride for over twenty years to help raise awareness of this cause. Bob personally has participated in the Ride For Kids® each year, been a VIP escort in the ride, and for the past six years has been a board member. Throughout the year he takes every chance gets to bring attention to the cause and raise money whenever possible.
This year’s motorcycle ride will depart and end at Turf Valley located at 700 Turf Valley Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042 which is convenient to Interstate 70 and US Routes 40 and 29. Complete details on the ride are available online.
If for any reason you know you can’t attend but still want to be involved please go to Ride for Kids® and make an online donation crediting Bob Henig or another participant in the event you may know. Every dollar counts and it all helps to fund the research that has already led to great new treatments and will one day find a cure.
Hope to see you there!
P.S. Anyone who has been a VIP escort in the past and wants to do so again, please email Bob@bobsbmw.com directly.
Send your friends a video reminder of the upcoming Baltimore/Washington ride.
August 11th, 2014
Dear Past Ride for Kids® VIP Escorts,
I hope riding motorcycles and some level of fundraising for our upcoming event has been a healthy part of your year so far. As the local Task Force Member responsible for getting VIP Escorts signed up for what is sure to be an amazing Ride for Kids® on Sunday, September 14, 2014 I’m reaching out with my annual invitation. If for any reason you know you can’t attend or be a VIP Escort but still want to be involved please go to this link: Ride for Kids and make an online donation crediting myself or another participant in the event you may know. Every dollar counts and it all helps to fund the research that has already led to great new treatments and will one day find a cure.
Please note that our start and end point has changed back to TURF VALLEY RESORT located at 700 Turf Valley Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042 which is still convenient to Interstate 70 and US Routes 40 and 29. Please also not that we also had a date change and our ride will be held Sunday, September 14, 2014. It’s great to be back to our original Ellicott City host location which is perfect for connecting to the great back roads for another new and exciting route.
This year I will only be confirming the first 10 three wheelers (sidecars or trikes) and the first 10 touring machines with trunks, backrests or armrests for the older kids, siblings or parents. For that reason I need a you to let me know as soon as possible if you are available to take on this very important role and commit the time required. Those who wait too long may not be able to participate as a VIP Escort.
Attached is the VIP Escort form to complete; you’ll be handed this form when you arrive unless you complete it in advance (DO NOT SIGN IT YET!) and bring it with you. The form helps insure that every motorcycle, trike, sidecar and rider involved is up to the task of properly representing the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation as a VIP Escort for a Ride for Kids® event. All of us are responsible for the safety and pleasure of these special kids and their families.
I am only sending this out via email this year so if you know someone who would like to volunteer their services that may not have participated before please forward this to them as well. Contact me immediately if you have questions by email or call me during normal business hours at my dealership at 301-497-8949 x218 and please RSVP before August 31, 2014. After that date I may not be able to get you approved for this year’s event.
For your RSVP email place the words “VIP ESCORT” in the subject line.
The email in which you RSVP to me must contain the following details on separate lines:
FIRST & LAST NAME
CURRENT HOME MAILING ADDRESS
CURRENT EMAIL ADDRESS
CELL PHONE NUMBER SO WE CAN REACH YOU NO MATTER WHAT
YEAR, MAKE AND MODEL OF YOUR MOTORCYCLE, TRIKE OR SIDECAR RIG
NUMBER OF SEATS AVAILABLE ON YOUR MACHINE & ANY LIMITATIONS FOR PASSENGER SIZE
APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF MILES YOU’VE RIDDEN DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS
FINALLY, PLEASE CONFIRM THAT EVERYTHING ON YOUR MACHINE IS SAFE & ROADWORTHY AT THIS TIME
These last few items are very important:
Once you’ve agreed to accept this responsibility you should arrive early enough to get checked in, complete or turn in paperwork, sign the releases (must be done with a witness) and be assigned a VIP passenger AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE RIDE LEAVES AT 9:30 AM.
I urge you to arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 AM on Sunday morning (09/22/2013) so this can be accomplished in an ENJOYBALE AND UNRUSHED MANNER. And please be patient, this event is all volunteer run; we place the wellbeing of the children, their parents and siblings first.
VIP passengers are assigned based on the PBTF guidelines; the youngest kids will generally be placed in sidecars and these sidecars will be at the front of the ride, next will be older kids, siblings and parents in sidecars or on larger touring bikes or trikes with roomy back seats. The decision to accept or decline a vehicle or escort for this ride rests solely with the event team.
We cannot guarantee that every VIP Escort will have a passenger. When requested and where possible we will keep a parent and child together in a sidecar equipped for two persons or grant a repeat ride to someone you’ve developed a relationship with on past Ride for Kids® events.
FINALLY, DO NOT FORGET YOUR VALID MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS PERMIT, INSURANCE INFORMATION AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION CARD; YOU CANNOT BE A VIP ESCORT AT THIS OR ANY RIDE FOR KIDS® WITHOUT HAVING THAT INFORMATION WITH YOU AT THE EVENT.
With the greatest respect for what you help us do,
Baltimore-Washington Ride for Kids® Task Force
Board Member, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
For more details on this event go to:
August 6th, 2014
$100 INSTANT CREDIT NOW plus $50 GIFT CARD LATER
Now through September 30, 2014, purchase $1,000 in Original BMW Motorcycle Equipment and receive a $100 instant credit PLUS a $50 gift card for you or your riding buddy to use at a later visit to your Authorized BMW Motorrad dealer. Bonus gift card can be used for any BMW Original Part, Accessory or Service visit.
*The $50 gift card must be used by December 31, 2014 and redeemed at Bob’s BMW for motorcycles purchased in August and September.
Online sales do not qualify. Offer is not valid in combination with any other retail offer from BMW Motorrad USA.
July 31st, 2014
By Janene Holzberg, For The Baltimore Sun
“This will be the second-most-memorable trip I’ve taken,” Bailey said from the porch of the rancher she’s called home for nearly 45 years as the adventure got underway July 18. “The first was a ride on the Concorde from London to Dulles [International Airport] in 1988.”
Henig told his passenger that the excursion on scenic back roads to visit her close friends in Sykesville just might top her pricey flight on the now-retired supersonic transport that traveled at more than twice the speed of sound.
“I’m hoping by the time I bring you back, it’ll be close as to which trip was more fun,” the Columbia resident told her, quickly adding that they’d only be traveling at 45 mph or so.
Henig practically had to take a number and get in line to see who would be the first to escort Bailey. She said a TV reporter and motorcycle enthusiast she met when she served on a judicial nominating commission years ago was the first to egg her on.“It all started with Dick Gelfman,” Bailey said of the retired WJZ newsman, who is known for organizing Ride Across Maryland, a fundraiser for breast cancer research. Bailey remains in contact with him and his wife, Lenore Gelfman, a Howard County Circuit Court judge.
Henig began encouraging Bailey to take a ride in his sidecar seven or eight years ago after “we kept showing up at the same places,” she said. Bailey has been a member of the Howard County Police Advisory Council since it was formed in 1992 by then-Police Chief James Robey, who appointed her. Henig is on the board of the county police foundation, so their paths often cross.
Robey, an Elkridge Democrat who retired in 2014 as a state senator and previously served two terms as Howard County executive, said he wasn’t surprised to learn of the unusual trip but wondered with a laugh “why Millie wasn’t the driver.” “She’s so active, and she knows everybody. This is why she has stayed alive as long as she has,” he said, noting that she still drives a car. “She’s one gutsy lady.”
Bailey, who claims to know “two-thirds of the people in Columbia,” attributes her longevity to a busy schedule, a healthy diet and not worrying about things she can’t control. A former manager for the Social Security Administration and a widow with no children, she has served on numerous boards of county nonprofits and organizations over the years.
Running Brook Elementary School students call her their “Guardian Angel” for her fundraising efforts there, and she runs a group that sends homemade cookies to American troops overseas. “This is going to be a surprise for my adopted grandkids,” Bailey said before the pair set off. “They know I’m coming, but they don’t know how.” Henig assured his passenger that she was in for “a spaceship-smooth kind of ride” in his $75,000 Duetto, of which there are only 31 in the world. The manufacturer had hoped to build 100, but BMW stopped making the K1100 motorcycle that tows the rig, he said. He owns five other sidecars and 70 motorcycles, including a motorized unicycle.
As Henig flicked an electric switch to lift the sidecar’s hood and helped make Bailey comfortable, longtime neighbor Barbara Bryan happened to walk up the street with granddaughter Leah Williams. “I’m so glad I got to see this,” said the retired nurse, who’s known Bailey for 42 years. “Nothing gets by Millie. Her mind is so fast. This is amazing for her.”
When the pair arrived 50 minutes later at the home of Julie and Ken Girardini, the couple said they were caught off-guard by the sight of their friend, whom they assumed would be arriving in her Ford Focus. “It was quite a shock, definitely, but she was having a ball and was all smiles,” Julie Girardini said. “Millie is always willing to try something new.”
Bailey said afterward that the ride was “just wonderful.”
She’s tried other unusual conveyances, she said, like the time she unhappily rode a camel in Morocco. She did enjoy riding an elephant in Thailand, though. Henig said Bailey was “the perfect passenger,” riding with her face shield up and a contented expression that “put a smile on my face all day.” So is Bailey done with adventurous modes of transportation? “Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” she said. “Something exciting might come along, so I can’t rule anything out.”
Click HERE for more photographs and a video of the ride.