Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 2011 Newsletter

Club Meeting

Please come join us for second annual club holiday gathering and meeting at The Harp Restaurant on Saturday, December 17th, 4:30 p.m.  The Harp Restaurant is located at 1432 South 3rd Street in Wilmington.  We have previously enjoyed several great meals at The Harp, so I hope you have marked your calendars and will be able to join us.

Unfortunately, The Harp Restaurant could not accommodate us due to other large party bookings.  We will now be meeting at The Mad Boar Restaurant in Wallace, NC on Sunday, December 18, at 12 Noon.  The Mad Boar is also expecting several large parties in our meeting date, but has said they can accommodate us.  To ensure they set aside enough room for us, if you believe that you will be attending, please let me know by sending me an email at, so I can give the restaurant an idea of how many to expect.

Upcoming Meetings

Here is list of the dates for our upcoming club meeting in January through March.
  • January 7th, Location to be determined (Changed)
  • February 4th, The Boundary House Restaurant in Calabash
  • March 3rd, Location to be determined

If you cannot remember the date for the next meeting, remember that our upcoming meeting is always posted on the Announcements page of our club web site and also on our club's Google Calendar.

2012 BMW RA National Rally

The BMW RA Chartered Clubs Coordinator, Michael Johnson, has sent me a document with information on  lodging at the 2012 BMW RA Grand National Rally site that is located at Cooper Mountain, Colorado. This rally site is above the 6,000 foot elevation in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for cool night sleeping with pleasant days to go exploring the surrounding area. The BMW RA has three designated camping areas. The main one is at the base of the resort. It is a soccer field and totally flat.  At the soccer field is also a big parking lot for RVs or trailers that do not require electrical hookups.  Bathrooms are located there.  Camping will be allowed there no earlier than the Wednesday before the rally.  On Thursday of rally week, available camping will also be available inside the ski resort.  The document that the BMW RA provided is available here on our Google Documents page.

International Motorcycle Shows

The 2011-2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Shows have begun!  The closest show for our area will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center during the weekend of February 24-26, 2012.

View Larger Map

This will be a very location convenient location for many of us, being only a three and half hour drive from Wilmington.  I have already been asked by several club members whether we will arrange for a group ride to this event.  As the show date approaches, we will look into whether the weather will cooperate and if there is still interest in doing this.

If you will be unable to attend the Charlotte show, other nearby International Motorcycle Show will be held in Washington, D.C. on January 13-15, 2012.

Web Site Changes

Speaking of our club web site, if you have recently visited the web site, you probably have noticed that it looks a little bit different. I have been working on renovating the club web site to give it a "cleaner" look -- larger fonts and narrower columns to make the everything easier to read, reorganizing the information pages, and restructuring the overall site to make it more usable on mobile devices (i.e., smart phones).

This remains a work-in-progress, so let me know if you would like to see a specific feature changed.  I hope soon to try creating a photographic header for the web site.  If you have some good panoramic-style BMW motorcycling photos that you want to share, send them to me and maybe you will be able to see them there!

The web site is also now linked to our Google+ page for the club.  If you are a Google+ user, I urge you to begin following our club Google+ page to see the most up-to-date information.

Cardo Scala Rider G4 Mod

I have been using a Cardo Scala Rider G4 Bluetooth headset for a few months, but was never completely satisfied with the volume of the helmet-mounted speakers.  Here is a link to a short article I have written describing a modification that I had made to my G4 headset to allow me to use ear buds instead of the standard speakers.

Graphic Artist Needed

Our club needs a logo!  If any of you have graphics skills and want to create some sample club logos for us to use, please consider contributing a little of your time and talent.  We need a rectangular-shaped logo that can be used within the BMW's guidelines for officially chartered BMW clubs (which we are by being a BMW MOA chartered club).  If you are interested in trying your hand at the project, please contact me at for information on the dimension guides that must be used.

GPS Tip of the Month

If you are a Garmin nuMaps Lifetime Subscriber, it is map update time again.  The City Navigator North America NT 2012.30 update has been released and can be downloaded from  Once again the map update is too large to load the entire lower 48 states into a Zumo 550, so be prepared to free up some space on your GPS receiver before you update.

2012 Motorcycle Racing Season

The schedule for the 2012 motorcycle racing seasons for MotoGP, World Superbike, and AMA Pro Racing are starting to be established.  The latest provisional schedules have been published on  It looks liek we have another exciting racing season ahead as we cheer on the BMW Motorrad and Italia BMW racing teams in World Superbike, as well a BMW-powered race team in MotoGP.

Challenge Rides

Our club continues to hold several ongoing challenge rides, as an inducement for everyone to ride and explore the state.  If you are in need for an excuse for a nice day ride, or perhaps seeking ideas for a weekend trip somewhere, take a look at these challenge rides.  These challenge rides include:
I have set up a Google spreadsheet to keep track of the progress of each club member who has submitted their results thus far for the North Carolina State Historic Sites Challenge Ride.  This Google spreadsheet can be viewed here.

Watch soon for similar Google spreadsheets for our CountyCourthouse Challenge Ride and NC State Parks and Recreation Areas ChallengeRide.

Membership Directory

I am also working on migrating our membership listing from a document-style list to a Google spreadsheet.  My hope is that everyone will find the new format easier to quickly browse when you want to find information on another club member (like their email address or the type of bike they ride).  You can see the draft Google membership spreadsheet here.  This is a work-in-progress and it is available, in its current state, for you to see here.  If you see any of your information that needs to be updated, please let me know!

I welcome any suggestions or comments that anyone may have.

See you next month.  Until then, ride safe and ride far!