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 22nd, 2015
September 18th, 2015
Keep in mind, you don’t have to wait until September. Donations are graciously accepted all year long Donate Today!
Interested in volunteering? Ride for Kids is always looking for volunteers at the event to help with registrations, parking, and much more. As well as riders with sidecars to be VIP escorts! Email Ellen directly for details.
My sidecar rig and I are ready once again to participate in the 2015 Baltimore-Washington Ride for Kids event on September 27 at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland. With your help and participation it’s going to be our best event ever so be sure to join me and hundreds more.
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.”
September 11th, 2015
September 10th, 2015
Valerie Thompson fastest female motorcycle racer with 201.2 mph pass at inaugural Colorado Mile Speed Competition
(Watkins, CO) – September 9, 2015 – Seven-time land speed record holder Valerie Thompson became the first female member of the Colorado Mile 200 MPH Club with a top speed pass of 201.2 mph on her Quicksilver Powersports Lubricants/CTEK sponsored BMW. Thompson premiered an Iron Horse Motorcycles prepared motorcycle with an all-new hand built racing engine provided by BMW Motorrad, the first of its kind to see competition in the US.
The Colorado Mile, presented by US Mile Racing, is a new competition for the 2015 land speed racing schedule. The event is held at Front Range Airport in Watkins and is Colorado’s first one-mile speed event. US Mile Racing also hosts the Texas Mile where Thompson dominated in 2014 with a personal best speed of 217.7 mph.
Thompson made a total of 11 runs on the one-mile course during the three-day speed festival, taking special care to break-in the custom built BMW racing engine and all-new high performance exhaust system. Denver’s high attitude provided its typical challenges thrown at every racing team manager and tuner.
“Valerie is a true champion and fierce competitor, so we decided to provide her with a S 1000 RR Stage 3 HP Race engine, specifically the ‘Power Motor’ variant. This is the first time we have imported a Stage 3 engine to the US from the BMW HP race shop in Munich. Producing 215 hp from 999 cc, it’s the same engine specification BMW Motorrad offers teams participating in the FIM WSBK series,” said Mike Hernandez, Manager BMW Motorrad Parts and Accessories.
“This was our first competition after several months of event cancellations at Bonneville. In addition to the BMW engine, we were testing a new Akrapovic exhaust system and other new equipment,” said Thompson. “The 8300+ foot elevation near Denver is much higher than where we normally compete, so we knew optimal performance would be a real challenge. Despite that handicap, we learned a lot and I know the Quicksilver Powersports Lubricants BMW will go much faster at other venues. I’m very excited about our next race on the salt,” said a confident Thompson.
Thompson’s next competition will be the prestigious Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout September 17-21, featuring the world’s fastest streamliners and motorcycles.
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!
June 17th, 2015
Scoot into Summer with HUGE SAVINGS!
Only 2 Scooters Remain!
Today thru June 30 purchase a 2014 BMW C600 Sport at Bob’s for ONLY $8990 plus fees!
Call Bob’s TODAY for complete details. 1-800-269-2627
*Offer cannot be combined with any other programs, promotions or discounts. No cash value. Expires June 30, 2015.
May 22nd, 2015