At about 15 years of age, an acquaintance and I rented mopeds while on holiday for a week in a resort town. What began as a one-day rental became a week-long ride. I loved the 2-wheel experience, but set it aside as a youthful holiday memory and didn't ride again until about 5 years ago. My touring bike is an R1150RT, which I acquired from Cathy a couple years ago. My commuting bike is the 400cc Yamaha scooter I've had since I started riding.
I prefer the companionship and safety of a group ride over riding solo; and my favorite type of riding is touring with small groups. I always look forward to our events and lunch rides. I loved the tour of the Ontario Highlands in 2019 (see the August 2019 newsletter for a trip report) and this year I'm hoping to ride on H-58 from Munising to Grand Marais.
I have been riding motorcycles all my life (owned 50 total along the way). I am a Charter Life Member of the AMA, a Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan Member, a member of the Michigan Sport Touring Riders and Goldwing Chapter E member. Retired from Chrysler after 31 years and 8 years at an Automotive piston supplier in Auburn Hills (pistons have been supplied to BMW motorcycles over the years). I live in Rochester Hills about a mile from the BMW dealer. Looking forward to riding with the club this summer.
After college, and into 48 year career in law enforcement, it was a progression of Honda 550, Honda 750, then zero until after our two kids had flown the nest and gotten married. Then started a re-interest in bikes with another Honda 750, then Goldwing. My wife, Gail got her riding certificate and for a while rode the 750. I started looking at the BMW brand, joining the MOA, and even attending the annual gathering in Ohio and in Ontario before purchasing a used 1100RT in 2009. Loved the bike, took some regional trips until its untimely demise at the hands of a slow speed rear ender. Protective clothing really works!
In 2013 I upgraded to another used, but newer model, a 2008 1200RT. Love the electronic cruise control. We've made not enough trips on her. Mostly day trips with this group, or the local Blue Knights chapter.
Would like to do a ride in Ireland, with the Celtic Rider company.
Treasurer: Jim Mick
(spouse: Jeri Mick)
My first bike was a used scooter -- an Allstate Cruisaire (sp?) sold by Sears. I 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 my dad it was a good choice. Years in college and the Marine Corps led to no bikes until I met my wife in Hawaii on R&R from Vietnam in 1968 when we rented a white 1965 Honda 305 Dream and Jeri got her first motorcycle ride.
After Vietnam, while stationed in 29 Palms, CA, we purchased a new 1970 Honda CB350 and put almost 5,000 miles on it in just 4 months, then moved up to a 750 BMW (the last 750 BMW from the first shipment to the US in 1970/71 - $1951.40 out the door). 24,000 miles in the first year. I was also racing my Hodaka Super Rat in Motocross and Desert Races (Barstow to Las Vegas). That was fun because I had a "pit crew". I preferred Desert Racing to Motocross. While stationed at 29 Palms, I made a trip back from MI with our miniature poodle in a "Calgon" cardboard box strapped on the BMW gas tank. Behind a windshield, Jeanie would get down inside the box above 35 mph, but head out of the box any slower. A transfer to HQMC and all but the BMW got sold. Soon after our first son was born, the BMW got sold, but not until Jeremy got a ride on it (while in the parking lot in one of those plastic car seats from the early 70's, strapped on top of the tank).
As our boys were growing, most of the time we saw a couple of motorcycles on the road, I would say: "There's Jeremy and Jason". I guess that sunk in. Jeremy got his first motorcycle as soon as he got his driver's license. A year later he went from a Honda 250 Rebel to a Honda 400 so Jason got his brother's bike as soon as he got his license. Jeri even got her bike endorsement and rode a 200 Honda for a while, then a 400 Kawasaki for a while, but always preferred the back of a larger bike.
Jeremy, Jason and I made several motorcycle trips together, sometimes with a cousin, or a friend like Brian Boers (another member of MCBeemers). Jason started referring to himself as Jay while he lived a few years in HI. That name has stuck and he’s a member of MCBeemers (pretty blue LT).
In 1994 Jeri started riding with me again when I bought a 1984 Gold Wing. We quickly transitioned to a 1994 Gold Wing. Jeri and I began visiting "Highpoints" (the highest natural elevation) of each state. We did several, but I was still working full time driving for Schneider.
Jeri sent me on a 6-week trip to visit the state highpoints in 1997 and I wrote a book "High On A Wing" which is a lot of history and trivia about the highpoints. I have given several of the books to members of the club, so if you would like one, just let me know. I also have some to sell, if you want to provide a gift to a fellow-traveler/biker. ($10 each) It was about the same time that I started a business making the first "Spring-Loaded Highway Pegs" for touring motorcycles. That business became "Riding Is Wonderful, Inc." and the product became "Mick-O-Pegs". After a couple more BMWs in the early 2000's, I had as many as 4 bikes in the barn for a while, but now Im down to just one 2002 Honda GL1800 with over 150,000 miles on it. We sold our 1994 Gold Wing with 254,000 miles on it (no engine work and it still needed no oil added between 5,000-mile changes).
I grew up in a "car" family, but I've taken it beyond Just Cars. I'll happily try my hand at anything that moves. When I was young, the answer to the question, "Why does your family of four have nine cars?" was, "Because we sold one".
I got my first motorcycle ride on the back of a family friend's bike when six or so years old, and my parents bought him and his brother a couple minibikes when they were young -- which could ONLY be driven on their driveway and sidewalk in front of their house (and then...at the instruction of a police officer ... not on the sidewalk. And then, not on the lawn, as it killed the grass. Not a lot of fun, really. But there was the time my brother "fixed" the squeeking brakes by oiling them).
My hopes of getting a motorcycle were damped by my parents' "NOT AT MY HOUSE!" rules. However, in an amazing bit of diplomacy, my younger brother worked over my parents and got permission to get a motorcycle, and I picked up one of my 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). I haulled that bike up to Michigan's UP, and rode a lot of miles around the Copper Country for my first senior year at Michigan Tech (and it may have been part of the cause for my SECOND senior year), 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.
I figured I'd sell the T500 to a friend in the UP and get a newer bike. The buyer asked to borrow and try it out. That afternoon, I picked up my friend and (no longer) buyer from the hospital, so the bike was sold to someone else, with a few extra scratches tossed in, no extra charge!
Well, the plans to get a different bike didn't work out, leading to an extended period of no bike. I got back into biking seriously in 2009 when the same friend who had broke his foot on my T500 made me an offer I couldn't refuse on a 1985 BMW K100RT. I was happy to find out that motorcycles had been a secret love of Paula's as well. Getting new tires on the K100 lead to the purchase of a 2002 K1200LT, and the dealership suggested coming for an MCBeemer's meeting, where we met a whole lot of really cool people.
My K100 and K1200LT have since been joined by a 1990 Harley FLTC and a Buell Blast (everyone should have a "drop bike" to introduce others into riding, right?).