April 2014 Newsletter

BMW Club Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Connect Your GPS to Your Computer
  • Different Format – Potential New Members
  • Pawnee Steam Show
  • Let’s Do Some Riding
  • Let’s Do Some Safe Riding

President: Randall Eggert reggatss@gmail.com
Vice-President: John Moore john@jmooreou.com
Secretary/Treasurer: Norma Jo Quapaw myvtx1300c@gmail.com


Next Meeting
Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 pm
Martin Regional Library, 2601 S. Garnett Road
in East Tulsa.

Yes, this is different from the March location.  We will be in a room a bit smaller that will fit us better.

We will also discuss our ride to the Pawnee Steam Show, the club’s new calendar found on our home page, how to make your computer and GPS talk and a new text message feature that allows club members to send out quick updates or requests (see more below).

A request has been made for tips on attaching your GPS device to your home computer. Some want to glean the information collected on it during their last journey, while others want to load it with the destination for the next.  I can get a crumb-trail of our route while the unit was active, the speeds I drove, and the altitudes I hit while riding.  As always, I hope those who are more knowledgeable will participate and supplement what I have to offer.  The room at Martin has overhead projection facilities, so let’s make use of them!

The easiest way to get to Martin Regional Library is from US-169, exiting either 21st or 31st, and going further East (away from downtown), to about 1/2 way between the two cross streets of 21st & 31st.  Martin is on the east side of Garnett and parking is on the grounds.  This will be our meeting location for the remainder of the year.  Due to some conflicts there will be three months when we will have to meet on a Thursday, but still at the same facility and room.  As riding season and other conflicts arise, we may not have a meeting.  Be sure to view the newsletter or the new calendar for confirmation on all club events.

If you have an idea for a speaker or topic for future meetings let us know!

Last Meeting
We tried something different, and it worked!  Who’d a thunk!

Thanks to everyone that showed up.  Starting a new type of meeting that does not involve eating (darn), we met at the Rudisill branch of the Tulsa Public Library system on the corner of Pine and Hartford in North Tulsa.  For some reason, either I or the library did not quite get the reservation correct, so we had to wait a half hour for our room.  Still, I think we got everything done and it gave us more time to chat.  We were grouping in the lobby and the security guard came out and requested we be a little quieter– after all it is a library.  I think with the four concurrent conversations going on, each attempting to be heard over the others, our decibels did go up.  It was a nice afternoon, so we scooted outside and resumed our conversations outside the main doors and attempted to maintain a pathway for patrons to get in and out of the building.  John in his leathers, and those who rode in their various makes of full motorcycle gear, I guess could be daunting to the uninitiated.

Come 7:30, our meeting room was ready, and we all filed in.  There be 13 of us and we had a room capable of over a hundred.  The overhead projector was shut off from non-use from the previous group, and behind the diaz I found the P.A. and remote microphone that I could pass around should the need arise.   Nah!  Everyone made themselves comfy around the center. I grabbed a chair from the front row, turned it around to face everyone, and proceeded with the first REAL meeting of 2014.

A number of new faces prompted a round of introductions.  Since there was a quantity of new people, coming from as far away as Stillwater and Pryor, I felt we (as in club members) ought to introduce ourselves to the newbies, too.  So I started the who, where, what I ride, and how I like to ride.   A good range of answers from rally-goers, long distance, solo, and ghost towns.  This will be fun!  The treasury is in good shape, Rex has added a calendar that the officers can add events to for a quick look to see what is going on within the club, and broached about where to go eat, and got several suggestions that we’ll have to try.  Even Doron had highly recommended a place in Stillwater he thought very good and of great value.  I then started the subject of rudimentary GPS selection for your ride.

Rally: FarklesGroup participation in a discussion is not a weak point among our members.  A number of members more advanced than me, use an app on their smartphone to do all the GPS functions that can be done on a regular Garmin, Tom-Tom, Magellean or DeLorme device.  Cases are available for the phones that are water resistant or better, and mounts from R.A.M. and others will allow a phone or GPS to be placed where viewable while riding down the road.  I told the membership that I saw a bike with a GPS on a mount, and between the rider and the GPS was a fresnel lens to enlarge the image of the GPS’s small screen.  Don’t forget to take it with you when dismounting.

Does your GPS hate you? Maybe not. Doron Grudo suggested never setting your GPS to “shortest route” unless you want a scenic tour of every exit ramp in America. Other crowdsourced suggestions included cheaper alternatives to motorcycle-specific Garmin Zumo, using a Ziploc bag to keep your device dry and in case of theft never load your home address as “Home” but use a simple favorite instead.

It would seem the smart (technologically aware rider) would have a Bluetooth capable intercom in his helmet, linked with a Bluetooth-equipped GPS and equivalent phone.  I’ve got a cheapo Samsung Gusto flip-phone that you get for less than $20 with a plan or not, and even it has Bluetooth.   So you’re rolling down the highway after 600 miles, and you start looking for motels in the town 20 miles ahead.  Using the services in the vicinity search, you can punch locations on the GPS and Apple and Samsung devices and connect via cell to find a room.  For safety, I don’t condone doing that, but I’ve heard first hand of it being done.

With the library’s security guy appearing at the door pointing to his watch, its time to wrap up.  Ken Jones chatted with me for a potential topic at a future meeting.  We cleared the room and groups set up again outside the front door for those last minute discussions.  Bob Gillespie worked with Kendall and the library’s Wi-Fi to get email working on Kendall’s laptop.  It has to work, Bob, cause I just sent Kendall a message.

Upcoming Events
The EasterRally is a private rally held on Perry Thigpen’s acreage outside Robeline, Louisiana on Good Friday through Easter, April 18-20.  A bathroom with shower is for use for everyone who camps and all the camping space you could need.  The last time I went, there were 4 tents sharing the facility.  The shower is separate from the toilet, so generally there is no waiting.   There is a Saturday shared meal where there is more than enough to go around.  Otherwise some great Cajun restaurants in the nearby towns that make my mouth water thinking about it.   I would contact Chuck Myers, Randy Eggert, or Dave Carter for instructions in getting there.  The GPS coordinates get you to the driveway from the highway, but you need just a little bit more information to join in.

The Blitz to Branson is happening on the 25th & 26th of April at the Honeysuckle Inn & Conference Center in Branson.  Their number for making reservations is 1-888-386-3648 and tell ’em your with the Internet BMW Riders to get the special pricing.  If you plan to attend let d_warren@charter.net know. Thanks to Norma Jo for letting us know.

Join us May 3, 2014 for a ride up to Pawnee, Oklahoma’s annual steam engine show. This is a great event for anyone who enjoys antiques or really huge noisy things. We’ll meet up at the Quik Trip on Gilcrease Museum Road and head west on US-412 at 9:00 am.

SportyRex Brown will lead a ride along the backroads they followed during filming of an episode of Two Wheel Oklahoma that featured Pawnee. There will be three photo opps along the way that you won’t want to miss!

If you’d like to meet us there plan on being at the Pawnee County Fairgrounds about 11:00 am. We’ll try to park in the south parking area.

We’ll plan on having lunch at the show then anyone interested can visit the Pawnee Bill Museum. Admission to the steam show is $10 per day and the show runs May 2 through 4 this year.

In addition, a list of events, their dates, locations, and basic costs has been made accessible on our site.  It is intended for planning only and is not a ‘final say’ on how much or final directions the event costs or how to get there.

Rex has provided the club with a new online calendar.  We will be posting our own club events along with other area events. We’ll use various colors to signify their function:  Club meeting, Club ride, MOA event (rally?), RA event, independent event, Dave’s next birthday!  Currently, the club doesn’t have an activities chairperson (hint hint), so it will be up to the members to submit ideas for the calendar to one of the club officers or Rex.

Another new idea came from a discussion on how to get quick messages out to a number of people.  Us old guys aren’t as quick on Facebook as the younger crowd, and the younger crowd is getting away from something as slow as email.

Group MeMost everyone has the ability to receive text messages, aka SMS. Again our technical savvy members scoured the web and came up with GroupMe.  It’s a free text message service that works like our own private Twitter. Any member who submits a text message will see it re-distributed to the other subscribed members immediately.  It works with any phone that is text-capable as well as Android, iOS and Blackberry devices. You can even use a PC and a web browser (remember those?).

Thus, the weather is looking good and let’s say you want to go for a ride. If you would like someone to share your ride you can open GroupMe app or just send a text message, “I’m leaving for lunch to the Venitian Inn in Tontitown at 10:30 today.  If you want to go, meet me at QT on 129th East Ave and 412.”  Even if you misspell the place like I did above, I think everyone will figure it out.

We’ll discuss this in greater depth at the April meeting (see above).

Speaking of riding…
We are fortunate to have the dealers at close proximity to us as we do.  I’ve heard of other Beemerphiles who have to go hundreds of miles to get to theirs.  With BMW Motorcycles of Tulsa (the former Iron Lightning) down by Woodland Hills, Bentonville BMW a hop and skip before the fun roads start, and now Oklahoma City getting refurbished with another BMW of OKC dealership opening April 1,  not quite as far the other direction, I guess we’re in the catbird seat.

I was emailed Saturday morning about an open house going on at the BMW dealership, BMW Motorcycles of Tulsa, in south Tulsa with free vittles.  We met up down there, and visited with others we knew, took a look at the BMW factory farkled K1600GTL priced under $30K, (it is pretty!), grabbed a quick bite and headed out to the Triumph open-house at Brookside Motorcycle Company on south Peoria.   Met up with another club member who said he’d be there, then talked a spell with one of the proprietors on what’s going on and their available motorcycles.  Had a pristine ’05 R1200ST that the original owner had custom painted and added some really nice parts to this sweet black BMW.   Also of interest were the electric Zero Motorcycle models that always generate a smile when accelerating from a stop.   Remember, these units have their highest torque at zero RPM.

Motorcycle Safety Course

Saw an article in the paper a bit ago about the motorcycle division of the Tulsa Police are putting on a number of limited, but FREE one day brush-up safety courses.  In looking at the web site, 3 of the 5 classes are already full, so you need to move quickly.  I think Guido and I had a similar course put on by the Broken Arrow police last year, found it intellectually stimulating, and, “I didn’t know I could make my bike do that!”.  Check out this site.

The Broken Arrow police motorcycle division is continuing with the same one day FREE course I attended last year.  Check their site at Broken Arrow Motorcycle Safety.

Check the web.  I see beginning and advanced courses being put on by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation being put on around the state, and one web site dedicated to a single physical location in Oklahoma City.