Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 2011 Newsletter

Happy New Year

I want to wish all our Coastal Carolina BMW Riders Club members a Happy New Year!  I hope you enjoy safe travels and many new riding adventures in 2011.

January Meeting Reminder

Our next club meeting is scheduled for Saturday, January 8th (weather permitting), at the Boundary House Restaurant, which is located at 1045 River Road in Calabash, NC [GPS coordinates:N33.88965 W78.56796].  Use this Google Maps link if you are not familiar with the location.  We will meet at the Boundary House Restaurant around 11:45 a.m., with lunch starting at 12 Noon.

An RSVP is requested, so I can make a reservation for group seating. If you are planning to come, by Thursday, January 6th, please send me an email at

As usual, if the weather looks uncertain (possible rain, etc.), please check your email on Friday evening and/or Saturday morning for a meeting postponement notice.

For anyone interested in riding together from Wilmington to the Boundary House, the group will depart at 10:45 a.m. from the B-P/C-Store located at the corner of Highway 17 and Grandiflora Drive (i.e., at the entrance to Magnolia Greens in Leland).

December 2010 Club Meeting

After having to postpone and relocate our December club meeting due to poor weather, we were finally able to get the meeting scheduled at The Harp Irish Restaurant.  Despite the shortened notice, we had a great turnout!  In case you missed the meeting, here are some pictures taken by club member Jerry Dockery and I.

2011 Rallies and Events

There are many terrific rallies and events already announced for 2011, and it's not too early to start looking ahead and making your plans for which events you want to attend this year. In the past week, more rallies have been added to the club's Google calendar.

Coming up soon at the International Motorcycle Shows , with the the Washington, DC show scheduled for January 14-16 and Greenville, SC show scheduled for February 25-27.

The 2011 BMW Motorcycle Owners of America International Rally is scheduled for July 21-24 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania and the 2011 BMW Riders Association National Rally is being held June 30 - July 3 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and browse the club calendar to familiarize yourself with some of the BMW rallies scheduled for this Spring and Summer.  (You will also find the planned dates for the February and March club meetings too!)

2011 Rallies and Events for Google Earth

For those of you who use Google Earth, I want to provide you a link to a new file that will allow you to see where many of the 2011 rallies and events are being held.  Use the link shown below and to download the 2011 Rallies and Events KML file to your computer.

If you save this KML file in your personal collection of places in Google Earth, it will always update with the latest additions that I make showing new rallies and events in 2011.  Check it out and let me know if you find it useful.

If you are not currently a Google Earth user, I encourage you to download the software, which is free, and try it out.  I am currently working on a series of articles explaining how you can exchange information between Google Maps, Google Earth, and your GPS unit and mapping software.  Watch for an announcement soon.

BMW MOA Superstakes Contest

I want to remind our BMW MOA members again about the BMW MOA's 2011 Superstakes II Contest. The BMW MOA is selling tickets to provide a chance to win a very special R1200GS bike as a grand prize. For every 10,000 tickets sold, another R1200GS will be added to the prize pot. And, for each additional 1,000 tickets sold, an additional $1,000 shopping spree will be included. The contest is only open to BMW MOA members. For more information, check the BMW MOA's 2011 Superstakes web page.


If you are a GPS user, you probably have struggled, from time to time, with converting the format of GPS coordinates you have been given.  For example, the web site for a club's rally may give you the coordinates in a format like N29°58.893 W081°59.045 or like N29°58'53.58" W81°59'2.7", whereas your GPS unit only accepts coordinates in a format like N12.34567 W87.65432, whereas .  Good news -- there is a web site that makes it easy to convert GPS coordinates between formats.  The GPSVisualizer web site offers a geo calculator function that makes these conversions easy.  Just enter the coordintaes in the Latitude and Longitude input boxes, click the Convert button, and you have your convertered cordinates.

Coordinate conversion is just one of the many useful features you will find at the GPS Visualizer web site.  You can find GPS Visualizer at