Moving into May and the upcoming summer I can look back on this winter/spring as a good one. I celebrated a big birthday in March (my 59th the second time) and unlike Joe Friddle who took that opportunity last year to do a nice long ride, I opted for a nice long flight to Bali instead.
I entered a foreign country where motorized two wheeled riding is an everyday part of life. They do it there out of necessity to get to work, to the store and anywhere else they need to go. It is mostly on scooters with a few motorcycles thrown in, but make no mistake: they take their riding seriously.
I saw families of 5 on scooters, people heading to work or making deliveries where there was so much stuff on the scooter you wouldn't even know it was there, and it covered people of all ages. Yes there were cars and trucks as well, but the scooters far outnumbered the 4 wheelers. Their idea of a wide 2-lane road is probably equivalent to one of our own one way roads, and most of the roads were even smaller than that. Yet it all worked like a fine tuned machine.
After viewing what looked like a chaotic uncontrolled mass movement of vehicles, I began to realize that it was well orchestrated. There were a sprinkling of traffic lights, no police officers directing traffic and very few road signs, yet it all flowed without incident. This was because they knew what they were doing and were used to the way it was being done. I was informed that most accidents are caused by foreigners coming in and not understanding the "flow." This flow included passing on the left, passing on the right, cutting into lanes, zipping past and darting in at the last minute etc....but everyone was conscious of the other riders/drivers and that was the key to it all working. They looked out for each other and cared about the other driver/rider. Almost every one of the Balinese own a cell phone, but it would be the rare occasion that I saw one using it while driving. I think they understood the concept of not using the device because it could cause accidents. Honestly, with the fast mass movement of vehicles on such small roads, it would probably be instant accident if they did use it. It sure would be nice if this kind of concern for driving/riding would catch on here at home.
So to that effect, with the upcoming Summer riding season, be conscious of the other guy like you always are. Try not to get distracted by your own GPS or handle bar mounted cell phones and remember that unlike the Balinese who look out for each other, we live in a country of drivers that really don't pay too much attention to anything but their cell phones. I know that does not include everyone, but the vast majority of drivers on our roads are usually preoccupied with things other than watching the road and the other driver. So it is up to each of us to keep alert at all times and constantly watch the other guy. Be safe this summer!
Maybe part of a Drivers' Education course could be a trip to Bali to learn how to drive :-)
See ya down the road,
THE ASHEVILLE BMW RIDERS
IN CONJUNCTION WITH
ARE PROUD TO PRESENT:
THE 2ND ANNUAL
BLUE RIDGE HIGH PASS BOOGIE
General Information: The Asheville BMW Riders in conjection with Eurosport Asheville will hold its second annual Blue Ridge High Pass Boggie, a single day fund raiser for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Participants will enjoy scenic mountain vistas and the best motorcycling roads the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. You’ll enjoy a choice of 3 different routes. A long challenging 400+ mile pavement ride, plus the options of a shorter paved 200+ mile route, and a very interesting dual-sport loop for the adventure folks. Shortcuts will be available to allow more leisurely-paced riders to select a route that reduces mileage and ride time. This event will follow a loose rally format, although riders will receive directions for the entire route (including short-cut options) up front at check-in. Riders will then depart at their own pace and ride with others (if desired) in small groups according to their riding style or personal preference. The all-paved-road 400+ mile loop will take about 10 hours, the 200+ mile loop will take 4 to 6 hours, and the Dual-Sport (mixed pavement and gravel) will take 6 to 8 hours) running at posted speed limits and allowing for fuel stops. Allowing for stops along the way, riders should have plenty of time to re-collect for a buffet dinner at (Wild Wings Cafe) Asheville . Participation includes a commemorative ride t-shirt, bike sticker, Friday night mixer at Eurosport Asheville " with...INCLUDING PIZZA AND BEVERAGES., continental breakfast, catered dinner, and many door prizes during dinner. Fuel, food, and rest facilities are readily available along the route. Lunch will be on your own.
Eligibility: All riders and brands of motorcycles are welcome to participate in this benefit event.
Benefit Info: All proceeds from this event, minus basic expenses, will be donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. We couldn’t have found a more appropriate beneficiary for our ride!
Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015, Rain or shine.
Registration and Cost: Riders must pre-register for this event by sending their name, address, and email address, with the registration fee, or use the PayPal feature on our website (www.abmwr.org). Registration form appears below and is also available at Eurosport Asheville or our website. Registration is limited to 150 participants, and will be on a first-come, first-signed basis. IMPORTANT:
“IMPORTANT: Pre-registration for this event is now closed. You may, however, register in person on the day of the event (May16th) between 6:30am and 8:00am at Eurosport Asheville, 30 Bryson St, Asheville, NC. We will try to supply late entries with an event t-shirt, but cannot guarantee size or supply. Please try to join us in our ride for the Parkway.”
. The registration fee is $85 per person, applies to all participants (i.e., 2-up requires two fees) and is nonrefundable.
Releases: Each rider and passenger must sign a release relieving Eurosport Asheville and the Asheville BMW Riders of any and all liability resulting from any accident, loss, or damage, in connection with this event.
Check-In: Check-in begins at 6:30 am at Eurosport Asheville, 30 Bryson Street, Asheville, NC 28803. Eurosport will also have their parts and service departments open for last minute pre-ride needs. Registration closes at 8:00 am sharp.
One additional thing you'll need is hotel info. This year, we only have one lodging block being held. Folks can call the Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore South in Arden, NC at 828-684-6688. They will need to mention "BMW Club of AVL-Blue Ridge High Pass Boogie" for a discounted rate of $99.00.
Please Choose "Rider" or "Rider and Passenger" & Let's Boogie!
After you complete the payment process, click the link on the right side of the page to be taken to the registration page.
IN MEMORY OF KENT SKOUG:
It is with great sympathy that the Asheville BMW Riders mourn the loss of one of our own. Kent was very involved in the ABMWR. He was the club Secretary as well as a Ride Captain. He was also very active with the BMWRA and on their Board of Directors. Kent leaves behind his wife Ursula and two sons. A true gentleman and friend. He will be missed greatly.
Kent's passion was riding his motorcycle. He loved the Western North Carolina area because, as he said, "there is not a straight road". One of the attractions he had for deciding to move to NC from Seattle was the Blue Ridge Parkway. He enjoyed planning motorcycle rides and encouraged people to ride. On his most recent ride across the country to meet with other riding enthusiasts, his travels led him through the Lolo Pass in Idaho. It was there that he had an accident that unfortunately proved to be his last ride.
The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to benefit the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Please send donations to:
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
717 South Marshall St. Suite 105B
Winston Salem, NC 27101-5865
(Please include " In memory of Kent Skoug" with your donation for appropriate routing.)
Or call the Foundation at 866-308-2773 if you have questions regarding credit card donations.