In 2000, learning to ride a motorcycle was on my bucket list. So, when I learned that MCC offered weekend motor safety classes for $25 (including the bike), I decided to check it off my list. I told my husband, "Here. You get the kids this weekend." I was excited.
On Saturday afternoon, the bike decided to lay down while I was still on it and got hurt. I showed up on Sunday, in pain, to explain to the instructor that I wasn't going to be able to finish the class. The instructor called me a "pussy" for wanting to quit. Because of that caring individual, I stayed and passed the class, but had to spend the next six weeks on crutches.
In November, while taking the kids to the apple orchard on North Ave. I saw a beautiful Honda GL500 parked along the side of the road for sale. I contacted the seller (our own Jim Mick!), and bought it without a test ride. I pick the bike up during a snowstorm. What a way to get started.
Once the bike was in my garage, that is when I found out my husband disapproved of my riding, and wouldn't help me with basic maintenance of the bike at all. On my own, I was going over the bike by pulling off the air filter, and discovered I had to remove a mouse nest. I replaced the filter, and I rode that Honda everywhere for a year, instilling confidence in my riding and my ability to maintain a bike.
In the spring of '02, I received a call from a friend who recommended a BMW, and told me he was looking at one I would love. He was right! I fell in love with this candy-apple red R1100R they had available on consignment. I rode that bike everywhere I could. All that riding eventually helped me decide to move to a bike with a larger windscreen and fairings, and I acquired the R1150RT I have now. I've had the silver RT for at least ten years, perhaps longer. I've put more than forty thousand miles on it, traveling all over the country. Right now, there's a new Bagger on its way to me from Berlin. I plan to make a few minor customizations to it, because I want a bike that's clearly mine - my own.
I'm starting a new adventure with my retirement, and this is a present I'm giving to myself. Because riding is my therapy. my joy, my passion, and I'm looking forward to sharing my passion with you this year.
I returned to motorbikes only recently, picking up a Yamaha maxiscooter for commuting and occasional touring. I still commute with it, as it excels at that. For touring, I acquired Cathy's R1150RT when she upgraded to her Bagger. And the RT is a much better touring machine.
Treasurer: Jim Mick
(spouse: Jeri Mick)
Jim's first bike was a used scooter -- an Allstate Cruisaire (sp?) sold by Sears. He could legally ride at the age of 14 (under 5 hp, no passenger, and not at night). Next was a new white 1965 Honda 305 Dream during college. The enclosed chain guard convinced his dad it was a good choice. Years in college and the Marine Corps led to no bikes until he met his wife in Hawaii on R&R from Vietnam when Jim rented a 1965 Honda 305 Dream and Jeri got her first motorcycle ride.
After Vietnam, stationed in 29 Palms, CA Jim & Jeri purchased a Honda CB350 and they put almost 5.000 miles on it in just 4 months, so they bought the last (white) 750 BMW from the first shipment to the US in 70/71 using a reenlistment bonus. 24,000 miles in a year and a first child joined the family, so the bike got sold. After a couple more BMWs, Jim is back to a 2002 Honda GL1800.
His hopes of getting a motorcycle were damped by his parents' "NOT AT MY HOUSE!" rules. However, in an amazing bit of diplomacy, his his younger brother worked over his parents and got permission to get a motorcycle, and Nick picked up one of his own two weeks later from a garage sale at age 21, a seventeen year old, very abused Suzuki T500 two-stroke (mocked as an over-grown chainsaw by his brother). He haulled that bike up to Michigan's UP, and rode a lot of miles around the Copper Country for his first senior year at Michigan Tech, where he got his first awareness of BMW motorcycles, having been pulled over on suspicion of an expired plate (it wasn't! The bike had been ridden enough that spring that by April 1, the plate was covered in mud!). The police officer told of his BMW that he put 20+k miles a year on.
Nick figured he'd sell his T500 to a friend and classmate in the UP and get a newer bike. The buyer asked to borrow and try it out. That afternoon, he picked up his friend and (no longer) buyer from the hospital, so the bike was sold to someone else.
Well, the plans to get a different bike didn't work out, leading to an extended period of no bike, he got back into biking seriously in 2009 when the same friend who had broke his foot on Nick's T500 made him an offer he couldn't refuse on a 1985 BMW K100RT, and was happy to find out that motorcycles had been a secret love of Paula as well. Getting new tires on the K100 lead to the purchase of a 2002 K1200LT, and Ron at the dealership suggested coming for an MCBeemer's meeting, where Nick and Paula met a whole lot of really cool people. Nick's K100 and K1200LT have since been joined by a 1990 Harley FLTC and a Buell Blast. His next bike will probably not be what he currently wants -- either a RnineT or an R1200C.