Sunday, July 31, 2011

August 2011 Newsletter

August Club Meeting

Our next monthly club meeting will be held on Monday, August 8th, 6:30 p.m., at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, in the Mayfaire Shopping Center in Wilmington.

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Five Guys is located at 6801 Parker Farm Dr # 125, in Wilmington.  As usual, we will have dinner around 6:30 p.m., but you are invited to come early to chat in the parking lot while we wait for everyone to arrive.

Be sure to mark your calendar now for our September 12th meeting.  And remember, the currently planned dates and locations for upcoming club meetings are posted on our Google-hosted club calendar. You will also find an announcement for each month's meeting on our club web site.

July Meeting Photos

Many club members persevered through a hot summer evening's ride to join us at our July club meeting. We enjoyed some great barbecue at Jackson's Big Oak Barbecue in Wilmington. Here are a few photos from the meeting, which are also posted on our Google Picasa web page.

Ride-to-Eat Event

On July 2nd, we held a "beat the summer heat" breakfast ride to The Purple Onion in Shallotte. We had a very good turn-out (about 16 by my count) for this ride-to-eat.  It was great to see everyone who was able to join us.  Here is a slideshow of photos taken during the get-together (also available on our Picasa web albums).

If the current heat wave continues, we will be scheduling another breakfast ride later in the month of August.  Details will be announced later, both as an update to this newsletter and via email to our club members.  Stay tuned!

BMW MOA 2011 - Bloomsburg, PA
by Jill and Tony Barcia

We left for the MOA on Wednesday taking two days to arrive. Wednesday we did some interstates to get to Skyline Drive and went to mile 55 to Big Meadows Campground. At the campground there is a visitors center, campstore, amphitheatre and big camp sites with picnic tables, fire rings and cool nights. Thursday we decided we had enough 35 mile driving so we got off skyline drive at Luray and continued on Interstate 81. Our cool day and night on Skyline Drive were over as temperatures soared to 97 and maybe above for the rest of the weekend. We camped inside the "gates" of the fairgrounds where chartered clubs had reserved spaces (we were honorary members of Riders Of Knoxville). Chartered clubs can reserve spots in premiere places (i.e. near the fairground bathrooms, the vendors and food concessions). To make it even better we were right next to the big Motorrad truck and all the 1600GT and GTL's. Very convenient for getting in line for the demos.

To repeat, it was a hot weekend but there were cooling tents and water sprinklers all over and a wonderful stream down the road to swim in. The food vendors were exceptional and plentiful (no lines for food) and we found lots of clothing to buy at the merchandise vendors (in air-conditioned buildings). We did three demo rides (two up) two on the GTL and one on the GT. Motorrad brought 7 GT's and 21 GTL's so there were plenty of chances to get a ride. The ride started out on the interstate to get a feel for the bike, then proceeded to some state roads and ended up on some very curvy back farm style roads which allowed us to really explore all the handling and acceleration capabilities of the new BMW. It is by no means a luxury touring machine like a Goldwing or our LT. The GTL's no longer have an adjustable seat and all of the ones at the rally had the lowest position seat which made the ride uncomfortable for someone Tony's height. The GT seat was adjustable and much better. The passenger seat was exceptional as it put the passenger (me) in a position where I could see the road and not the helmet of my husband. These two new machines definitely have all the acceleration and handling capabilities for any road conditions. Unfortunately, they are not in the same category as the classic LT. While I enjoyed riding both of these machines I don't think I will be owning one in the near future.

The vintage bike display was outstanding with many pre WWII totally restored bikes. Interestingly enough, there was only one "toaster" and it was modified with a new exhaust and suspension. Lots of R69 and R69S models for viewing. There were even a couple of WWII German military bikes on display.

Downtown Bloomsburg was charming with its old buildings and beautiful fountain in the middle of town. Unfortunately, they weren't prepared for all the bikers to eat dinner (although I think that is because there was plentiful food at the fairgrounds and the organizers and town people counted on that). MOA organizers provided shuttle buses into town (and to the offsite camping and lodging) for those who didn't want to take their motorcycles.

The closing ceremonies were a bit long and dragged out but the execution was exceptional. There were two wide screen monitors projecting videos and what was going on at the stage (we were in the grandstand of the fairgrounds) and a "show" with flame throwing cars. Something which was new to us. After about the 4th go round of the cars the stands probably heated up 10 degrees (remember it was 97 to begin with). We had a wonderful time at the rally saw three other Coastal Carolina BMW members - Gerry Dockery, Lance Bedwell and Benton Blalock.

[Editor:  You can also enjoy some photos taken by Tony and Jill Barcia, which have been posted to our Picasa web albums.]

GPS Tip of the Month

This month's Tip-of-the-Month is a suggestion for those of you who are Garmin GPS users.

For both Windows-based computer users, Garmin offers two desktop computer programs for planning your routes, managing your waypoints, and downloading your GPS tracks. One – Mapsource – is the program that is probably most familiar to the majority of Garmin GPS users. The other program is called BaseCamp, and has been the program that Mac computer users have had to use.  For Windows PC users, Basecamp has usually been viewed more as a program suited for use by hikers and bicyclists because of its support for offroad tracks, etc.  And historically, Garmin has not done the best job updating Basecamp with the enhancements and bug fixes provided to their Mapsource users.  

Well it looks like things are about to change. If you read the and Garmin GPS forums, you may have recently noticed many discussions about a new, beta version of BaseCamp that has been available for end-users to download and test.  Garmin has been actively developing this new version of BaseCamp and has publicly stated that, going forward, BaseCamp will become Garmin's most-modern desktop mapping program and that Mapsource probably not be actively enhanced/updated. 

Well the big news is that Garmin has just released the official new BaseCamp software, for both Windows and Mac users.  While the changes, versus Mapsource, are too numerous to discuss here, one of the most significant changes that Mapsource users will notice is you will use and manage all of your mapping data (waypoints, routes, and tracks) in a single "library" instead of numerous, separate data files.  This will not be a change for our Mac users of Basecamp.

If you are currently a Mapsource software user, you may find that it will take you a bit of time to learn your way around the new Basecamp software.  Nevertheless, the new Basecamp software is very interesting.  I encourage you to download a copy and try it, especially since Garmin indicates Basecamp, not Mapsource,  will be the software package they will be developing, going forward.

You can download a copy of Basecamp from the, under the Support | Software page.

Video-of-the Month

Encountering Road Rage seems to be a increasing frequent problem, and is especially a hazard for us as motorcyclists.  This video illustrates just how much of a problem it can become, particularly when we do not think about how our riding actions may be perceived by other drivers.  The situation shown could have had a very unhappy ending.


Google Plus

Google has finally unveiled their social networking system, called Google Plus or Google+.  Like its competitor, Facebook, Google+ is a system for sharing information with the people you know.  Unlike Facebook, Google+ offers much more control over how you can share with your family, friends, and others.

I managed to acquire an early invitation to Google+ and looks like it could be a great tool for communication between our club members.  Google+ provides another way for me to share club-related information with participating club members.  Google+ can also be a great way for our members to organize rides with each other, or to seek help from other club members with your motorcycling questions.

Since Google+ is currently in what is being called "field testing," you can only join by receiving an invitation from another participant.  If anyone in the club is interested in trying Google+, send me an email and I will send you a Google+ invite.  To participate in Google+, you must open a Google account and have a Google email account (both are free!).

I encourage you to try out Google+, and hope you enjoy and find it as useful as I already have.

VIR AMA Race Cancellation

The AMA Superbike race scheduled for August 12-14, 2011, at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) has been cancelled by the track.  Unfortunately, AMA will not be able to replace the race with another event.  For those interested, a SpeedTV article discusses the fallout following VIRs cancellation of the event.  This is very sad news for  motorcycle racing fans in our area.  Hopefully VIR will be able to get their house in order and host another AMA event next year.

August SBK and MotoGP Events

The World Superbike and MotoGP racing seasons continue, and more events are scheduled for broadcast on SpeedTV during the month of August. Here are the broadcast dates and times for the events that have been announced, thus far, for SpeedTV:

Czech Grand Prix - August 14th, 8 a.m. (rebroadcast August 14th, 5 p.m.;
  August 16th, 1 p.m.; and August 17th, 3 a.m.)
Indianapolis Grand Prix - August 28th, 2 p.m.
FIM Superbike
Silverstones - July 31st, 2 and 3 p.m. (Races 1 and 2)
  rebroadcast August 3rd at 3 and 4 a.m.
FIM Supersport
Silverstone - August 2nd, 2 p.m.
  rebroadcast August 4th at 3 a.m.

Be sure to watch the World Superbike events and cheer for the BMW racing teams.