Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 2012 Newsletter

Happy New Year, everyone!  Hopefully you are ready for another great year of riding and adventures.

January Club Meeting

For January 2012 (It's hard to believe 2012 is already here!), we will be meeting for lunch at The Front Porch Restaurant in Elizabethtown on Saturday, January 7th, at 12 Noon.  The Front Porch Restaurant is located at GPS coordinates N34.63212 W78.61679, can be seen on this Google Map, and is shown on the map below.

As is our normal procedure, monitor the weather forecast and check your email on Friday evening for a postponement message if the weather is in question.

If you are interested in joining me for the ride to Elizabethtown, you can meet me at the Mobil Station (aka Maco Depot) located at the intersection of Highway 87 and Highway 74/76, just west of Leland (GPS coordinates  N34.28554 W78.13919 ).  Be fueled and ready for a departure at 11:00 a.m. for the 49 mile ride.

The February meeting date and location are now posted on the Club Calendar, as well as the March meeting date (the March meeting location has not yet been established).

Follow-up on Etymotic Ear Buds

After last month's article about converting the Cardo Scala Rider G4 to use ear buds, I received some interesting feedback from club member Ron Manley.  Thanks for the contribution, Ron!
I noticed on their web that they have a Custom Fit option. Since the little foam thingys are a compromise, I decided to try out a custom fit set.
I am pleased to report that they work very well.
Went to an Etymotic selected hearing center to have the molds made. They send them off somewhere where the final product is made. Since you must specify which headset you will be using, when the molds are returned to you, your headphones, in this case ER 6i's, fit into the mold perfectly and as an added benefit, the volume level seems to be louder. If you have not yet looked into the Custom Fit program, I can report satisfaction.
The only hitch was that Etymotic's 'approved' dealer knew nothing about the program. It took them about a week to get the paperwork and read how it works.
My cost was $100 plus tax and shipping.
Ron also recently informed me that Etymotic is currently holding a sale (through January 15th) on some of their ear buds.  Information can be found on the Etymotic Research web site.  You can also order Etymotic ear buds through

Ride to Pittsboro Trip Report

As some of you know, there used to be a gathering of motorcycles every Sunday at a grill named Michael's in Chapel Hill. These gatherings were a great way to several hundred different kinds of motorcycles in one location. Typically you would see bikes of all makes. Models, and ranging from latest to many interesting classics. Unfortunately, Michaels closed a few years ago and these gatherings disbanded.

A few weeks ago, club member Bob Thomson called with word that the Sunday morning bike gatherings were back and happening at the Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro (GPS coordinates  N35.74406 W79.16465). On Sunday, December 4th, Bob and I made the ride to the Pittsboro to check out the action. We enjoyed a nice back road ride from Benson to Pittsboro, using a route shown to us many years ago by fellow club member Chris Wilcox.

Because the weather was a bit cool, attendance at the Pittsboro gathering was light – perhaps two dozen bikes at any one time. According to folks there, the gatherings are larger when the weather is warmer. Nevertheless, we got to see several interesting bikes, as can be seen in these photos.

For these gatherings, the Carolina Brewery is open for coffee and breakfast and Bob and I both enjoyed their breakfast burrito. While there, we even bumped into Jon Ross, the service manager from Capitol BMW, riding his R1100S.

All told, Bob Thomson and I enjoyed a great ride, and I hope some of you will be able to join us for a future trip to the Pittsboro gathering.

2012 Dakar Rally

If you are interested in the Dakar Rallies, be sure to visit the Dakar 2012 web site in the coming days.  The 2012 rally is a route nearly 9,000 kilometers in distance, starting in Mar Del Plata, Argentina and ending in Lima, Peru.  The rally starts January 1st.


In our November newsletter, I mentioned that Garmin is focusing their mapping software development efforts on BaseCamp, rather than Mapsource.  Garmin recently released a beta version of BaseCamp that offers a number of new features.

This beta is a pre-release of the forthcoming Version 3.3.1.  They have already updated the beta once, to version, to fix some of the shaping point issues for Zumo 4x0 and 5x0 units.

If you have been a devoted Mapsource user (as I was), I encourage you to give BaseCamp a try. You can download BaseCamp from the Garmin web site.  A link to the beta version of BaseCamp can be found in the Garmin BaseCamp forum.

International Motorcycle Show

Another reminder that the 2012 International Motorcycle Show, sponsored by Progressive Insurance, is being held in the Charlotte Convention Center on the weekend of February 24-26, 2012. If you have never attended an International Motorcycle Show, you owe it to yourself to do so at least once. You find more information about these upcoming shows, including ticket information, at

Tony Barcia Plays Santa Claus

Club member Jill Barcia forwarded some recent photos of her husband, Tony Barcia, as a scuba-diving Santa Claus at the North Carolina Aquarium.  Tony's efforts were featured on the 6 o'clock and 11 o'clock news on WWAY-TV3, including film of Tony in the tank.  I thought everyone would also enjoy seeing these photos.  Well done, Tony!

Video of the Month

And for the video-of-the-month, we have a short YouTube clip of a stunt rider performing on a KTM 125.

Video Link

I look forward to seeing everyone at our January 2012 meeting.  Until then, ride safe and ride far!

Bill Murray