September 29th, 2015
“Keep doing what you’re doing because with your help, we are making a difference,” Dr. Edward Ahn of Johns Hopkins told the crowd.
Motorcyclists met at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Md., before taking a scenic route through rolling hills in the countryside.
Dick Story from Howard Bank emceed the event, and Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen 2015 Jessica Bayuk joined the fun.
Jimmy Tragle won the drawing for a new Honda Rebel and a Dunlop tire. Regina Smith won a Scorpion helmet, and Grayson Dixon took home a Cardo Systems Scala Rider TeamSet.
As of Sept. 28, the individual, motorcycle club/chapter and motorcycle business with the most raised were Bob Henig ($32,986), GWRRA MD-B ($27,350) and Bob’s BMW ($52,811).
The event had raised $110,576 by ride time, and is still collecting donations online. Fundraisers will receive incentive credit through Oct. 27.
Thank you to the volunteers who organized the event. This year’s task force leader was Tom Chicca.
September 16th, 2015
Dr. Gregory Frazier | September 14, 2015
The unknowing observer may have perceived mayhem prevailing during the Annual Running of the Dogs during the 2015 Big Dog Adventure Ride, but entrants went away lusting for more of the organized motorcycle adventure chaos.
Billed as the “Transcendental Last Starting Big Dog Adventure Ride,” the 25th event added an extra day of high altitude ground pounding to celebrate a quarter century of the fraternity of like-minded big displacement dual-sport aficionados pushing themselves and their motorcycles to extreme limits.
The event started in Golden, Colorado where veteran Big Dog entrant and owner of Wolfman Luggage Eric Hougen sponsored a Welcome Party for the 2015 entrants. Multi-year entrants spent the evening recounting wild events of years past while newbie entrants listened in awe. For example, a large crowd listened to the tale from a Texas Kawasaki KLR650 rider who lost the track on a high speed dirt road in Wyoming, rode down into the barrow ditch running alongside and was bounced off the back of his motorcycle at speed, doing a double back flip in the air before landing in softening sage brush. After the story was told several newbies expressed doubt until a veteran Big Dog stepped forward and verified the recounting by saying he saw the whole episode because he was following the KLR rider, but managed to stay on the road while the KLR vectored off, riderless through the desert.
Day 1 – Day 3 found entrants topping some of the toughest mountain off-road passes in Colorado. Red Cone, Webster and Mosquito Passes all saw Big Dog entrants mounted on 640cc or larger motorcycles cross over them, some during severe mountain rain storms. Each night the tired and broken Dogs would return to their base camp in Silverthorne, Colorado, where Kawasaki USA had established a welcome and media center for entrants manned by volunteers from Grace Moto Adventures.
2015 Big Dog Ride
Like a good Boy Scout, this Big Dog demonstrated his tire plugging skills after finding a two-inch long nail stuck in his rear tire.
One entrant wrote after Day 2, riding with a group of advanced riders that topped a mountain only to turn around and ride back down. “I was flabbergasted. Surely I thought we were going somewhere. I did not throw a helmet or kick rocks, but I was plenty astounded. I had led the way up and target fixated on a two-and-a-half foot deep rain gully in which I promptly stuck my front wheel and crashed. That was bike pickup number one at 12,000 feet. Of course, that then necessitated starting on a steep pitch and getting cross-threaded a second time. Then, I helped a Big Dog from Wisconsin pick up his bike (twice) and found him an off piste route around the trail so he could get up. Then I walked down and picked up another downed Dog’s bike, and walked it up, using the throttle and others steadying the bike through the worst part. Well winded and beaten, I stumbled up a quarter mile to where everyone was enjoying the view. So, yeah, I was a wee bit surprised when told that everyone was now ready to go back down. It was a ‘whoa cowboy . . .’ moment.”
Another new Dog expressed surprise when he opened his Rider’s Kit and could not find routing instructions for the next days nor GPS coordinates or downloading information for his GPS. He asked a veteran Big Dog, “How will we know where we are going if we don’t have maps or a guide to lead us? I know we stick with a group, but aimless wandering seems to invite the risk of getting lost.”
The veteran Dog looked at the newbie and said, “Now where would the adventure be if we mapped everything from the get-go? If you’re looking for us to make you lunch on the side of the trail or put a foil covered chocolate on your pillow at night, you’ve signed up for the wrong adventure. Stick with your group and you’ll be fine, nobody gets left on the mountain.”
Old and new BMW models competed evenly over some of the more difficult sections of the event.
That night after a fun day of adventure the newbie Dog had to admit the apparent mayhem was really well organized and wildly fun. When a veteran Dog from New York who owns a chocolate making company gave out individual plastic wrapped Big Dog chocolates designed with a dogs paw on one side and the Big Dog logo on the other, the newbie Dog said, “OK, I get it now. These chocolates are well earned Big Dog chocolates, not wrapped in foil or put on my pillow.”
Not to be left out of the celebration, BMW of Denver hosted evening entertainment. The founding sponsor of the Big Dog Ride offered two multi-media presentations by entrants. The first, “Across Russia Dodging Babushkas On A BMW,” was by veteran Big Dog David Rankine, who shared his adventure across from South Korea to Europe via Russia. The second presentation, “Cambodia – The Long Hard Big Dog Way Around And Down,” was presented by John Harkins and recounted his self-guided ride through Cambodia with “no agenda and no fixed time.”
Another fixture in the Big Dog activities was Bob’s BMW of Jessup, Maryland. Bob’s sponsored two entrants in the 2015 event and gave away gift packages and discount certificates worth $1000 to lucky recipients needing replacement parts for their BMWs.
Several factors contributed to the possibility of the 2015 Big Dog Adventure Ride being the last. According to one of the organizers, Clem Cykowski from BMW of Denver, “Our core group of BMW riders are not getting any younger. What we did with a R80G/S or R100GS is beyond some of our brittle older bones now, plus the motorcycles have evolved in weight. As was once said, ‘A man’s got to know his limitations,’ and for some of us muscling 600 pounds of 100 plus horsepower is beyond our limitations. That said, these modern adventure models have abilities none of us could have dreamed of when we started the Big Dog Ride 25 years ago.”
To some traditionalists like Ed Russell, his BMW R100GS carried the BMW flag.
Another factor has been the increased traffic in the mountains favored by the Big Dog entrants. In the early 1980’s, when the Big Dog Ride was being born, there were few events designed for big dual sport motorcycles meant to be ridden to the event and then used in the event. Over the years, with the increased interest in motorcycle adventure touring and adventure riding, numerous copies of the Big Dog Ride have spawned, some organized by motorcycle tour companies as packaged training courses while others are manufacturer sponsored adventure rides.
What continues to separate the Big Dog Adventure Ride from the other adventure ride events is the camaraderie of the entrants, the big displacement motorcycle adventure seekers who comprise the fraternity of Big Dog members. It remains a select order of elite adventure seekers not bound to a single brand or model of motorcycle, but bound by the commonality of their pushing personal envelopes with like-minded motorcycle adventurists.
The spirit of the Big Dog entrants can be seen in the wide range of adventure model motorcycles entered in the event each year. While the most common model motorcycles remain the BMWs, the second most common have become the Kawasaki, and specifically the KLR650 models. Often a BMW owner will have a KLR650 as their off-road motorcycle, choosing to use the BMW for their road work and the less precious (expensive) Kawasaki for their dirt work. Other entrants profess to be “adventure motorcycle agnostics,” claiming not to know which brand, make or model is best for adventure riding, choosing to pursue their adventures on models ranging from an electric Zero to a monster Victory.
Some of the early entrants and their support crew prior to dirtying themselves and their motorcycles over wet and muddy passes like Red Cone and Webster on Day 1.
Kawasaki USA hosted the Big Dogs with a sponsored BBQ of two-inch thick T-bone steaks and served as base camp hosts for the event.
From KTM to Victory, the fraternity of Big Dogs has always been about the camaraderie of the entrants.
A first on the Big Dog Adventure Ride was an entrant with his riding companion, a little dog, on the back.
The history of the Big Dog Adventure Ride can be found on their website From there adventurists can see how the event morphed from a weekend of off-road adventure riding for strictly BMW enthusiasts to the modern group of motorcycle adventure seekers less brand specific and more tied together by their fraternal belief that any motorcycle can be used for adventure riding.
Whether the 2015 Big Dog Adventure Ride was truly the last event or the Big Dog Ride rises from the ashes like a phoenix and morphs further like several Dogs wished, entrants in the 2015 event agreed it had been their best
As the Big Dogs were cutting through their two-inch thick T-bone steaks during their traditional BBQ, a KTM rider stopped to point out to the Suzuki entrant sitting next to him, “Kawasaki sure knows the way to a Big Dogs heart by sponsoring these Big Dog steaks, but it’s the organizers who make this memorable by having a violinist wander through our midst while playing Beatles songs.”
August 18th, 2015
Watkins Glen, NY | September 4-7, 2015
Bob will be repeating his successful and very enjoyable Ride-2-Brunch-2-Do-Good event at the Finger Lakes BMW Rally over the Labor Day weekend again this fall. The ride and brunch is small, intimate and tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.
Last year there were 15 participants for the inaugural event and is limited to just 17 so it is first RSVP, first paid and first to have fun and do good. The cost remains at $100 per person and this excellent brunch at one of the highest rated dining establishments in the entire Finger Lakes Region includes the participants choice of 1 appetizer, a salad, a seasonal entrée, dessert, coffee, any non-alcoholic beverages and if they wish one glass of wine, beer or champagne.
The event begins with a very enjoyable and spirited 75 minute (+-) ride starting at 9:30 AM sharp that uses beautiful secondary roads between the Rally location at Watkins Glen State Park and the Stonecat Café in the little town of Hector, New York. There is live Jazz music playing while we dine, converse and otherwise enjoy ourselves.
All net proceeds from this FUNdraiser are donated to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® through their annual Ride for Kids® event which Bob participates in and escorts one of the Star kids in his sidecar. That event will be held on Sunday, September 27 in Ellicott City, Maryland should you be interested in joining us there too.
Additional donations can also be handed to Bob but outright contributions are always welcome. If you can’t join Bob please go to the link below and support the great work the PBTF® does. The PBTF® is a federally registered 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. Bob and Bob’s BMW are fast approaching the $30,000 target for FUNdraising by 9-26-15 but we are not there yet; you could be the one to make that happen.
The full disclosure: Bob is a longtime supporter, fundraiser, past RFK® event leader and currently serves as a member of the PBTF BOD. He’s thankful that neither his immediate or extended family or any of his fantastic staff and their families have a child affected by this terrible disease.
To join the fun and fundraising event email or call Bob at the details below his signature or stop by the dealership with your check or credit card; any of the staff can accept payment and a positive RSVP if he’s not there.
August 7th, 2015
Bob’s BMW is the proud “Chief” Sponsor of the first annual Riding with the Heroes. The Howard County Police Department and Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services are hosting this motorcycle ride to benefit Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF).
These organizations have a tremendous impact in our local community as well as the public safety community. Grassroots serves our community with crisis intervention hotline programs, walk-in counseling, the Mobile Crisis Team, Day Resource Center, Homeless Shelter and much more. ICISF trains individuals in critical incident stress management and this training is the basis for our Critical Incident Stress Management Teams here in Howard County and around the world that respond to crisis situations and disasters, aiding our public safety employees in the aftermath.
These are very worthy non-profit organizations that need our help to continue to grow and expand their services. Bob’s BMW is a current and ongoing partner of Grassroots so we are thrilled to help promote this motorcycle ride fundraising event! We hope you will join us in this great event!
All participants will get a short sleeve event t-shirt and lunch. Pre registration is $25/Rider & $15/Passenger or you can register for $30/Rider & $20/Passenger the day of the event. Ride begins at Howard County Public Training Center at 9 a.m. sharp!
January 23rd, 2015
November 18th, 2014
Every year at this time, we at Bob’s BMW like to inspire the generosity of our customers. Our “Comfort & Joy” program is designed to make it easy for you to help those in need. This year we’re asking for monetary donations to support a very worthy cause, the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center which serves individuals and families in crisis here in Howard County, MD, and nearby communities.
Donate securely online today and Bob’s BMW will MATCH donations received* so together we can make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Quantity of 1 = $5. The “quantity” entered is your donation in multiples of five dollars. For example, select quantity of 5 in your shopping cart to donate $25.
*Donations up to $2500 will be matched by Bob’s BMW! Though donations from this page are restricted to $100 per order, we strongly encourage you to CALL us if you’re interested in donating a larger amount.
November 10th, 2014
This Veteran’s Day Bob’s BMW wants to say thank you to those who have served and are serving so bravely to protect our freedom. Detour to Bob’s today and enjoy tasty treats and coffee, and allow us to say thank you in person for all you have done and are doing to protect and serve.
While you’re here feel free to throw a leg over Bob’s 2003 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replica, custom painted by BMW North America (pictured above), and get your picture taken!
Want to give back to those who served? Take a moment to read WHICH Veteran Charities received A+ rankings in 2014.
September 15th, 2014
-September 15 posted by Ride for Kids®
Beautiful skies and warm air accompanied more than 200 participants at the 23rd Baltimore-Washington Ride for Kids on Sept. 14. The event had raised $113,105 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation by ride time.
The event’s Stars were the seven local brain tumor survivors who led the ride from Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City: Gabriel, Maggie, Nick, Olivia, Paige, Ruxy and Yosef.
“Because of you all, we are finding inspiration which is leading to progress and hope,” Dr. Chetan Bettegowda of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told the crowd. “There used to be dozens, now we have hundreds and thousands of people around the world working on research for pediatric brain tumors.”
As of Sept. 14, the individual, motorcycle club/chapter and motorcycle business with the most raised were Bob Henig ($22,775), GWRRA MD-B ($14,161) and Bob’s BMW ($33,568). The top non-motorcycle group was Team Gabriel ($6,790).
The event is still collecting donations online at www.rideforkids.org. Fundraisers will receive incentive credit through Oct. 14.
Joel Gladding won the drawing for a new Honda motorcycle, and a Cardo Scala Rider TeamSet went to Jimmy Tragle. Bruce Hill won a Tour Master gift card.
Thank you to the dedicated volunteers who organized the event. This year’s task force leaders were Tom Chicca and Marcy Rich.
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 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.