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  • 29 Sep 2015 5:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    SEPTEMBER
    Brian Goetz 5 Years
    Linda Opp 20 Years
    Wayne Opp 20 Years

    OCTOBER
    Don Alexson 5 Years
    Carmen Vailly 5 Years

    NOVEMBER/
    DECEMBER
    Lee Damico 5 Years
    Marc Dubresson 15 Years
    Doug Hubbard 40 years

  • 29 Sep 2015 5:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It was my fourth visit to the BC rally held every year mid-August in the town of Nakusp.  I really enjoy the area; great riding to and from, and the roads, geography and geology of eastern BC are fabulous.  Nearby towns are charming; Kaslo, along Kootenay Lake, Revelstoke, a ferry ride across the Columbia and  Nakusp itself is right on the water, a quiet, quaint town.  The rally is held in the Municipal Campground, a couple of blocks north of “downtown”. And I really appreciate my Canadian friends; wonderful, open people who are welcoming and fun to be around.

    I decided to take the ’72 R60/5 that I acquired about a year and a half ago.  After going through its systems and sorting everything out, new battery, new tires, etc., I was anxious to stretch its legs on a long roadtrip.  I picked up a 22 liter tank in good shape on EBay to have a bit better range than the toaster tank it came with.  Even then, running at 5,000 rpm most of the time, mileage wasn’t great.  It is fun to ride, comfortable, and very nimble.  Now, with 19,000 miles, it is almost broken in.

    I usually ride up the 395 corridor and stop the second night at my brother-in-law’s in Joseph, Oregon, about 850 miles along.  Besides the opportunity to hang out with him, the Wallowa valley, mountains and lake are incredibly beautiful.  He was on a horse packing trip during my trip up so I stopped at Crater Lake NP the first night, then up 97 to Redmond and east on 26 to Mt. Vernon.  I had a bit of rain starting there, gassed up and headed up 395 to camp at Ukiah-Dale State Park.

    The next morning I planned to get just south of the Canadian border near one of the smaller crossings.  I’ve got to say that the section of US395 from Mt. Vernon to Pendleton is just spectacular.  I went up through Walla Walla and hit 195 at Colfax, WA.  Then an awful section of traffic and stoplights through Spokane.  I rejoined 395; the countryside and road now being much more enjoyable and camped at Lake Roosevelt on WA Hwy 25. 

    I crossed at Patterson, went through Rossland, Trail, over to Salmo and up the west shore of Kootenay Lake from Nelson to Kaslo.  North of Kaslo, the lakeshore drive gets pretty rustic and eventually turns to dirt.  I stayed at a Provincial Park on the lake’s shore beneath tall, steep mountains.  I went for an invigorating swim in the lake to rinse the road sweat off..

    I headed back toward Kaslo and onto BC 31A over to New Denver one of the most beautiful stretches of road you’d ever ride, then north up Hwy 6 to Nakusp and the rally.



    It was a great rally.  The Bee Cee Beemers rent the entire campground for their event so there is lots of good shady camping with showers.  Catering by local Deb Guest provided really good meals each of  three nights.  The Canadian dollar is around 75 cents so the rally fee was a bargain by US comparisons.  There were some GS rides, guided tours, a trip to the Hotsprings, bike events, Reinhart’s famous “Kicking Horse” coffee always on tap, and of course my own rides of discovery in the area (watch for deer and bears which are abundant!).

    I left for home early on Sunday through Nelway.  Getting through Spokane was much easier on Sunday morning, then down to Lewiston, ID.  The road from Lewiston to Enterprise, OR is one of my all-time favorites.  Going south through Asotin it is WA 129, turning to OR Hay 3 after crossing the Grande Ronde river.  From Asotin, you wind up onto a plateau, twist down the river gorge and back up the other side onto the plateau again before descending to Enterprise, which is just north of Joseph, my destination.  This road is known a “Rattlesnake Grade” and is one of the best set of twisties in the west.

    It was nice to have a place to stay and a shower in Joseph.  The next day, I rode into the Hells Canyon Recreation Area on good FS roads, to Imnaha then up to the Hat Point Overlook.  It is hot, desolate wilderness, with evidence of past fires and spectacular views back to the Imnaha River valley and Hells Canyon itself to the Snake River far below.  It is the deepest river gorge in the US,  I came back to Joseph via the FS road south from Imnaha towards Halfway, OR, then up the paved road into town.  A good days ride; only 101 miles.

    I couldn’t come south of John Day on 395 because of a huge fire in Canyon City, so retraced my route back to SF via 26 and 97.  They were fighting a fire that had broken out at the NW corner of Crater Lake; smoke was in the air almost the entire way home.

    I would recommend the BC Nakusp rally to everyone.  It is one of the best rallies in the west!



    Mike Morlin

  • 29 Sep 2015 5:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    No matter how many times I encounter good will and the instant sense of community that motorcycling creates, I’m amazed.  My experience on the 2015 Range of Light (RoL) has so far been the highlight of this year. 

    It generally doesn’t matter what you ride, motorcyclists respond to each other.  We wave to one another and exchange friendly nods.  Our club goes further.  I’ve come to know and enjoy riding with many of our members.  It feels great to know that I can share my passion of riding with other people.  The community we have is physical and extends beyond the keyboards many of us sit behind for much of the day.  I like that and I’m always excited about seeing my fellow club members.  I met many new people on this year’s RoL, and each were instantly part of our community.  It’s a great feeling to belong and share something in common with others.

    Our turn out this year was great.  I’ll leave it to Joyce or JV to elaborate on the final numbers once the expenses are fully tallied.  Profit, loss, and participation counts are important. To me,  our success is measured by the number of volunteers engaged and the sense of community the RoL created among the participants.  Each evening was paired with grassy camping, good food, and great company.   Everyone I talked to enjoyed the routes and felt spoiled by the grassy fairgrounds.

    I’ve gained much from being in NorCal.  Friendships have been made with people in the club that I might not have ever met.  Seeing the number of volunteers contributing to the massive effort that was the 2015 RoL makes me proud to be a part of this club.  A enormous Thank You goes out to all of those that made the event possible and the participants.

    Dan Rowe

    President

  • 29 Sep 2015 5:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On a recent club ride it dawned on me how attacking the “Twisties” was similar to a game of 8 Ball! In a game of pool, it’s necessary to make the shot you’re on, but it’s just as important to leave the cue ball in place to line up your next shot! To do that one must look through the shot and decide what the next shot will be and how to set it up, before taking the shot you’re on.

    OK, how is that like our ride? When approaching the first corner of a series, it’s easy to position yourself for it, but you will also need to be in position for the following one! Look through the corner and pick where you need to be to set up the next corner. Now keep your eyes up, looking through the corner and on the spot you want to be at when you get to the exit of this corner. Now you’re in position for the second one, but wait: Now you need to start this process all over again! By always looking and planning one curve ahead of where you currently are, you will be in the proper position to make that next shot, and the next one too, until you win the game!

    Usually, that starting positon will be to the outside of the turn. So a right hander, being on the left side of the lane gives you the best view through the turn. Especially blind corners. In fact for these, one should slow down enough to begin the turn, looking as far through it as possible, until able to see the exit, and coincidently then, the entrance to the following corner, then go for it! Here’s a tip for the left handers on the two lane roads we like to ride on. If starting from the left tire track, once leaned over, your shoulder will be directly above the center line, which puts your head over the line and into oncoming traffic! Another reason to start the left turns from the right side of the lane, and not cutting it too close at the apex unless you can see all the way through the turn and know it’s clear! Now let’s put on our game hats and play … ‘er ride!

    No new recalls by BMW NA at this time.

    Steve Kesinger; Your Safety Guy

  • 29 Sep 2015 5:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I've been hearing about the ROL Tour for years, but I have never been able to attend one. I always liked the idea of a "gypsy tour" and this year my schedule allowed me to make the ride. On Friday afternoon I arrived at Orland at about 5PM and gassed up so I would be ready for riding the next day. There was another BMW rider at the pumps, and he had already been to the Fairgrounds. He told me there was no food onsite, so I thought I'd go set up my tent and then go back out for dinner.

    When I checked in and mentioned that it was my first ROL, Ed Perry asked me to write up my impressions. I've been to five or six National Rallies and the 49'er a couple of times, so I have some other events to compare to.

    I rode around the site and found a nice grassy area behind one of the big buildings. I saw some folks that were already set up in the shade and were relaxing with adult beverages. Looks like a good place to camp! I introduced myself and asked if I could set up next to them. They were very nice folks and made me welcome. It turns out Tod (yes, with one "d") and his wife Avillia and their friend Ted were members of the River City Beemer club and had been riding together for many years. They had 100K mile awards from A&S BMW on their bikes, so I knew they had some experience. Since I was riding alone I rode with them on Saturday. Being with Avillia also got us a table at the "Women-Only" Happy Hour, and some nice snacks for dinner on Friday night.

    Having the GPS info was a huge plus on the Poker Run. Jerry and the others folks at the GPS table were very helpful with the file transfer and installation. Because I don't have audio capability on my Nuvi 50, it would have been much more difficult to keep looking down at the tank bag. PS I know it's tough to print out the booklets, but I have one suggestion; use a bigger font for the route sheet.

    Joyce was a great host, moving around taking pictures, helping people get set up, and find the beer donation truck. She helped me get a tee shirt because somehow the website had not made a record of my online purchase.

    I didn't complete the ride to Susanville because I woke up about 2AM Sunday morning with a sore throat. I decided I didn't want to be two-hundred-plus miles from home if it got worse during the day. I also was thinking about all the Burning Man traffic coming back to the Bay Area on Monday afternoon. My thanks to all the volunteers that put in the time to create another ROL. Great camp sites at Orland and Yuba City, great roads Saturday day, good food Saturday night, nice people. I'll plan on attending again.

    Ran Bush

  • 15 Sep 2015 5:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our Tour Captain, Ted Crum, after doing all the hard work of making reservations, is taking a break this month.  I did the Marine Corps volunteer thing of standing still in line as everyone else stepped back.  I have decided to try and introduce some of my favorite little known twisty roads to this month’s tour. 

    Since everyone has had their appetite wet for twisty roads by riding the Range of Light, be prepared for more with this month’s ride & camp tour to the Hornswoggle Campground, located northwest of Nevada City and very close to Bullard’s Bar Reservoir.   The campsite has tables, fire pits, water and toilets.  This month’s meeting will start Sat. @ 5:00 pm.

    The direct route to the campsite is to ride up to Nevada City and continue northwest on Hwy. 49 about 14 miles until you cross the Middle Fork of the Yuba River, then make a left on Moonshine Road which winds its way up to Marysville Road.  Make a right on Marysville Rd. and the Hornswoggle 2 (Sugarpine) Group campsite will be a little ways up on the right side of the road.  For those of you who are fortunate to be retired or sick of work, we have the campsite for both Friday and Saturday nights.

    If you are joining us the tour, we will be meeting at the Black Bear Diner, 2351 Toste Road, Tracy, CA.  To get to the diner, take 580 towards Stockton and exit on Grant Line Road, take a right onto W. Grant Line Rd. and the diner is on the right.  The tour will start at 8:30 am SHARP!  Gas tanks should be filled and bladders empty.

    This month’s tour will be about 250 miles so we will be moving right along.  We will be heading up into the hills using many small two lane roads.  There will be no freeways used on this tour.  Once in the hills, we will seek out some of the small one lane country roads located close to several of my dirt biking areas.  All parts of the route are paved but I guarantee that you will find at least one and possibly several roads that you did not know existed. 

    Hope to see you all,

    Russ

  • 15 Sep 2015 5:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I’m sure that most everyone who rides a motorcycle remembers the first time they saddled up.  That inexplicable feeling of freedom that came with the ability to all of a sudden become detached from the connected world and focus on a much more finite universe.  At least, that’s how it was for me.  I was 21 and scraped $1250 to purchase a used 1983 Honda Magna 750 and my life changed.  I was elated with this new world I was now a part of, a world that has become an obsession. 10 years and two bikes later I finally found myself on the back of a GS.

    The first time I heard of the Range of Lights Gypsy Tour was a few months prior to the ride at another BMW NorCal event, the 49er Rally.  I met a few of the folks from the club as well as some weekend warriors who also decided to remove themselves from the comforts of their bubbles to venture out on a new adventure in search of expanding their network of ridden roads.  That’s where I met the “Rabbit” Peter and Wendy who ride two up but you’d never believe it trying to catch them.  After riding the poker run with the two of them along with some other riders, all of which suggested that I attend the ROL, I marked my calendar.

    Upon arrival at the Orland fairgrounds I signed in and headed off to find a shady spot to pitch my tent.  I immediately noticed that a lot of the riders showing up hadn’t quite shaken off the daily grind and I started to wonder if I had chosen the right event to spend the holiday weekend.  As riders got settled in and possibly after a few of those graciously provided Lagunita IPAs, the story telling and lighthearted banter started and things began to shape up.  The universal truth about these types of events is that everyone has one thing in common, they love the ride.  It’s amazing how quickly this one commonality can bring together such an array of personalities that would have otherwise never crossed paths.  Once settled in everyone was so open to sharing their riding experiences and bike modifications.  Just walking around the facilities looking at all the different bikes was great. It turned out to be a perfect evening and I had a blast meeting all the new faces and listening to their stories.

    In the morning after some well needed coffee and pastries I packed up and got ready to chase the “Rabbit”.  Our group was completed at 7 bikes and eight riders; Jens, Kelly, Jon, Steve, Peter, Wendy, Jeffrey, and myself.  We headed out at around half past eight in the morning, rode through the remaining valley floor between Orland and the Mountains, finally reaching some twisties! That’s when the day transformed into an amazing mixture of beautiful scenery and amazing riding for me.  We flew past Lake Almanor, down through Greenville, and stopped in Quincy for a little lunch (The food and waitresses were great).  I had never been up that way prior to this ride and appreciated it immensely.  The towering Ponderosa Pine trees and beautiful outcroppings of rocks made for some impressive views, not to mention the “Rabbit” pace is brisk (hence the “Chasing the Rabbit”).  We then headed across some back country roads and finally down the backside of lake Oroville and out through the valley to the destination for the night, Yuba City.   The fairgrounds were welcomed, the hot showers were welcomed, and most of all the ice cold beverages that were waiting to quench us few arriving parched riders were welcomed!  The rest of the night was filled with food, laughter and great stories from the days ride. 

    Day 2 started off in about the same fashion as the previous day with one small difference, I was a bit nervous about chasing the “Rabbit” down the GS route.  I voiced my concern about it with my riding group, in dramatic fashion, saying something along the lines of, “I don’t want to die.” Admittedly, up until this point I’d never needed to turn off my ABS and honestly had to be shown how to do so.  True to form these seasoned riders said, “Don’t worry, we’ll keep track of everyone’s whereabouts.”  The safety plan was sound, one rider would ride a few miles and wait until he saw the headlights behind him before continuing.  That was enough to put my mind at ease and we headed out at around 8 in the morning.  The ride was fantastic right out of the gate! Following the “Rabbit” out of the valley, winding down a canyon alongside a river, through some tunnels, and out past some campers.  It was a beautiful flow to the ride, there was very few cars or obstacle, the tarmac was in good condition and once again the pace was great. 

    We got through the GS portion of the ride without incident, ate lunch in Greenville and headed though what was in my opinion the greatest portion of the ride. The ride around Antelope Lake and over the Janesville grade, what a fun road! The feeling I got riding down this grade can only be equated by adding up all the rushes of excitement during each Christmas morning for the first 8 years of my life, which would probably generate enough energy to power a small locomotive up an 18 percent grade for 32 miles towing 13 cars full of coal.  We were carving up the path between the lake and 395 like a wild pack of hyenas, tearing through the byway!  I was so incredible focused on the road and maneuvers. Also, for the first time I was the “Rabbit” as my group allowed the young guy out front for a few miles.  It was incredible, one of those moments where you feel completely connected.  My machine, the road, and I were all one entity.  We came down the grade into the valley feeling as if we were storming the beaches of Normandy and reaching the chevron was our victory hill! When we pulled in, feeling like we had won over the mountain, we were high fiving and laughing like school children!  The last few miles flew by and we arrived at our destination for the night in Susanville.  The night was once again filled with jovial riders sharing stories and I couldn’t help but feel like I was a part of a family now.

    All in all I would recommend this trip to any rider, at any skill level as there is a group to follow and help you out along the way if you get hung up.  A wonderful experience and ride.

    A huge thank you to BMW NorCal for putting on this amazing adventure as well as my riding group; Peter, Windy, Jens, Kelly, Jeffery, Steve and Jon.  You all made this trip so much more enjoyable, a truly great group of people.


    Dave Craighead

    R1200GS rider

  • 15 Sep 2015 5:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    G’day, Daniel Harman here. This Labor Day long weekend I took the plunge and joined the club’s ROL Gypsy Tour as a guest; as it turns out, this was the best weekend of riding I have had in a long time (and certainly in California), but more on that later.

    Background

    A little background about myself. As you many have guessed from the intro, I am Australian and have been living in the Bay Area for almost a year now. As for riding motorcycles, I grew up riding dirt bikes as a kid and then later progressed to predominantly road riding. In my early 40s now, I guess I have been riding motorcycles for a little over 20 years and have enjoyed many bikes along the way including some great BMWs (the K1300s I had from new a firm favorite). Since being in the Bay Area I have gravitated to more adventure style riding; with such a beautiful State to explore, my previous bike (a Buell) was simply not up to the desired touring duties. This being the case I bought a 2002 GS1150 Adventure about a month ago and the ROL was the second weekend I managed to get the GS out since owning it.

    First impressions of ROL

    I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little nervous turning up on Friday afternoon to the first night’s camp. First impressions though was what a supportive and friendly bunch of people. Ed Perry checked me in at registration (who I would later ride with all weekend) and after setting up camp near Scott and Tom, was then invited to join them for dinner that night in the local town pub. A fun night eventuated and I instantly felt welcome and at home. An early night was had, with excitement looking forward to what Saturday had to offer.

    The riding

    The riding was quite simply awesome. Whilst I have not ridden a great deal in California, I have ridden a lot in Europe and in Australia so know a good road when I experience one. The roads on ROL just blew me away; from sweeping corners following Feather River, to technical “goat track” style roads up to Antelope Lake, with some dirt track detours enjoyed along the way, I finished each day exhausted but with a huge smile on my face. Wow! This great riding in addition coupled with spectacular scenery, really made the long weekend special and cemented my desires to join the club sometime in the near  future. 

    So thank you

    So with that in mind, a few shout-outs and since thank you to all of you home I met along on the ROL. In particular, Ed, Fred, John and Dan whom I rode with most of the weekend. Seriously enjoyed the challenging riding and look forward to many weekends of riding to follow.

    Cheers,

    Daniel Harman

  • 15 Sep 2015 5:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings to the NORCAL group and thanks for a great weekend in the beautiful Sierras!

    Long time riding buddy and colleague Joyce Sampson extended the invitation to come down and see how it is done in California.  Since I am always grateful for an excuse for a road trip, and the 25th Annual Range of Light Gypsy Tour was a wonderful opportunity, I started this trip from my home base in Mount Vernon, WA on Friday, burning down the slab for about 13 hours to arrive at the Orland, CA kickoff location.

    Upon arrival, it was quickly obvious that Joyce and the rest of the crew were a busy bunch making this event happen.  I appreciate Scott Maas taking me under his wing and showing me around.  In fact, before the weekend was over, Scott and I had put on a few hundred miles of great riding together.  I'll shamelessly admit I hijacked a hard working volunteer and kept him from being the target for additional tasking from the boss.

    I am an 'outsider' in a couple of ways.  First, simply because I am not in the club and live some distance away.  Second, and more acute, I am new to the BMW world and events like this.  I have never been a camper and this is my first BMW.  Being an East coast transplant, I also have had few opportunities to ride in California.

    To put things in perspective, here is the sum total of my California riding experience.

    I ordered the 2015 R1200GSA in January, when it was a pile of un-assembled parts in Germany.  By March, it had still not found its way across the pond so I took my first ride down to visit Joyce on my Honda GL1800.  That was my introduction to Yosemite and Joyce apparently had no qualms about leading me and my half ton of bike on a wild ride on gravel roads somewhere near Oroville.  That was my first forest road ride.

    By May my new GS had arrived in time for me to take it to the 49er Rally at Mariposa.  This was a first for several things – first long-ish trip on the GS (and a chance to check out my new Rich's Custom Seat!), my first BMW oriented rally and my first experience sleeping in a tent since I was about 8 years old.  I was also grateful to take advantage of the GS Clinic and get some idea of what I should do when the pavement stops.  My next visit was for the Range of Light.

    As for the summer in between these rallies, I did a little riding on my own – a 14,400 mile “Ultimate Coast to Coast” ride up to Deadhorse, AK then to Key West, FL and back to Washington State.  With a little local riding thrown in, the GS now has 22,000 miles on the meter.

    The Range of Light was a perfect bookend to the official summer season.   I can honestly say that I doubled my camping experience over this weekend.  I am happy to say that I felt quite comfortable on the GS loop and the weekend was great.  The scenery speaks for itself.  It was also a treat to see the R1200GS bead breaker in action.  That is one expensive tool, but handy to have!


    The “Range of Light” comes from a John Muir description of the Sierras and is certainly appropriate.  The 'Gypsy Tour' comes from the mystery routes and destinations of the ride, which are only revealed the night before.  The volunteers worked hard and late getting route files loaded onto GPSs each night.  Clearly, events like this take time to organize and I have to give credit to the team for their agility and resilience in executing this whole affair.  Especially when the Saturday venue had to cancel two weeks before the rally (the fairgrounds was preempted to be the forest fire base) causing a rapid re-plan with a new venue, new support and new routes for the whole weekend!   The good news is that this is an area with an abundance of great rides.   The daily ride distances of between 200 and 250 miles were perfect for the rally, with scavenger hunt stops to make and lies to be told over lunch. 

    This was certainly a change from this Iron Butt rider's normal mode. I think the lengths were just about right.  Much of the fun of a ride like that is the visiting done at the stops, lunch, etc.  So, with twisties and towns, a 35MPH moving average is the most you can expect and an 8 hour ride with stops, makes around 200 easy but attainable (6 moving hours @ 35MPH is 210 miles, lunch is most of an hour and other stops always take at least 15 minutes, etc).  For comparison, from my Iron Butt experience, in order to maintain a 60MPH average speed, you need to spend most of the time at 80 to make up for stops.  What wasn't a change is I have maintained a perfect record of never having won a poker run or a raffle prize.

    I would like to note that both the Range of Light Gypsy Tour and the 49er Rally shared common attributes.  They were both superbly run events and certainly reflected an immense amount of effort and attention to detail.  My hat is off to Joyce and Andy Anderson for the events they chaired, as well as the host of other volunteers that made both weekends a success in my book.  Well done!

    My ride home on Monday kept me off the freeways and on nice twisty roads through Northern California, Oregon and Washington because I just wasn't ready to stop the great riding.  I put another 1800 miles on the GS this weekend and they were all fun.  I look forward to coming back again to sample more of that great country!

    Paul Whelan

  • 15 Sep 2015 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings Readers!  It was my pleasure to co-chair, along with Bob Empasis, the 25th Range of Light Gypsy Tour.   For me, it was a fun, exciting, exhausting, and very rewarding experience!  The ROL is a moving logistics marvel that requires lots of planning, pre-riding and volunteers to ensure the event goes smoothly, and that the roads and GS routes are safe, fun, and well, just down right make sense.

    Anyone who’s ever been involved in planning anything knows that no plan survives first contact with the event itself.  But our planning did not even survive first contact with the planning stages.    The original routing was to begin in Orland and travel over 317 miles to our second stop, the Trinity County Fairgrounds in Hayfork, CA, where we were to have dinner catered by a local restaurant.   Along the way to Hayfork, riders would have experienced some beautiful streets, a 20+ mile GS loop with absolutely stunning scenery, and some fun poker run questions that included a Sasquatch sign, and a plaque commemorating the fact that a Japanese bomb balloon had landed near the Hayfork fairgrounds during World War II.  Apparently no one was injured.  

    The fires that broke out in the Clear Lake and Trinity county area in late July and early August changed all of that.   Ever tell yourself to listen to your intuition and don’t let someone else talk you out of something your intuition is telling you?  And then you ignore yourself?  I hate that when that happens.  

    I started watching news reports of the fire and called the fairgrounds to see if we should cancel.  They said “let’s wait just a few days and see.”  My intuition said, “cancel.”  I didn’t listen.  At the beginning of the following week, Trinity called to cancel because the closest fires had grown over the weekend, and Hayfork became the base of operations for the fires.   And even if they put them out before Labor Day, they said, “the firefighters will probably still be occupying the fairgrounds.”

    Thus began a whole new series of phone calls to various places that would make sense for our partially existing tour, and the third stop—Susanville, CA.  When I first started planning the ROL, I called a lot of places.   It was a good thing I kept all that contact information—phew!  But since it was so close to the start date, and it occurs over Labor Day, very little was available.  Thankfully, Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City could accommodate us and that became our second stop.   So, we needed to generate new street and GS loops for Day 1, do new pre-rides for, do a new re-design of part of the old Day 2 loop, and get a new caterer.   Thanks to club Treasurer John Vashon for stepping up to get the new caterer and getting the insurance for our fairgrounds.  And indeed, this is where all the volunteers come in—well, that’s not exactly true—but this is the best place in the story to discuss this absolutely essential component of any major event. 

    I’m happy to say, the 2015 ROL included around 30 volunteers.  Without them, this event simply could not have happened.  So, because of their key role, and because volunteerism is part of what makes a club great, I would like to thank them here in print and in the accompanying photos, which were taken and kindly provided by Buddy Scauzzo.

    First, thanks to co-chairman Bob Empasis, who designed all of the street routes and handled the catering for the Hayfork location, and to Buddy Scauzzo who did the GS Routes.  The fires’ locations required us to steer clear of most everything west of I-5 in that area, so it was a real challenge for them to develop routes that were driving into the same general region north and east of I-5 that did not require riders to be on the same roads on two days.  Bob did an excellent job of de-conflicting the two routes (only 10 miles of a road from Day 1 was repeated on Day 2).  But hey, we’re traveling in the opposite direction so it was different right?.   Buddy tried valiantly to find a GS route that worked for Saturday, but let’s just say his pre-ride experiences generated a “no go” on that and some very worthy campfire-sittin’/beer-drinkin’ stories to share.

    Among the other “firsts,” to be thanked is Wynne Benti, who designed the 2015 ROL event and T shirt logo.   Awesome job Wynne! 

    Given that we had to do more pre-rides than usual, we had a lot of pre-riders, who besides myself, included Bob, Buddy, Scott Maas, Peter Oxenbol, Russ Drake, and Richard Burton.  A big thanks to Buddy and Richard for stepping in literally at the last minute to do the new Day 1 pre-ride.  As a former ROL chairman, Richard also provided a suggestions, explanations, and advice for this “noob” chairman.

    The last minute change also pushed back the printing of route sheets and putting together the registration packets, so the registration booth volunteers were vital to that process:  Ed Perry, Heike Schmitz, Fred Montano, John Vashon, and Walt Farnlacher.   Another key component to registration is transferring GPX files to people’s GPS’s, and that process takes time and occurs on each day of the ride. Buddy Scauzzo, Markus Fromherz, Scott Maas, Bill Lopez, Jacobo Galina, Ted Crum, and Bert Lankins, and all provided great support there. 

    John Clement, Roy Ulfsrud, Mario Bajandas,  Mike Huntzinger, and Cheyenne Angela Johnson dealt the poker hands – sorry folks, no complainin’ if you didn’t win.    The 2015-16 board members who attended the ROL (Dan Rowe, Bill Lopez, Ted Crum, John Vashon, Ed Perry) all stepped in to help with various jobs.  And several of those already mentioned were troopers who wound up doing lots of little tasks here as the need arose!  Mini McMahon and Wendy Shipler, both did a lot of running around to help convey messages, tasks, things, take pictures, etc.   Thank you Ladies!

    I would also like to thank the fairgrounds’ staffs, the caterers, and most importantly, our sponsors, who provided some great prizes for the closing ceremony dinner:  Adventure Designs, Ben’s Motorcycle Works, BMW MOA, CalMoto, Wunderlich America, and the Zen House.  Thanks also to Ozzie’s BWM of Chico, CA, for helping out a rider with a dead battery!

    There were about 160 riders (about 30 of whom were “walk-in” registrants) and who rode a distance of 240 miles from Orland to Yuba City.   Before leaving Orland, riders partook in some really fantastic fresh-baked goods and coffee catered by local breakfast eatery, the 4th St. Café – Mmmmmm, Mmmmmmm, good!  Sticky Buns!  Croissants!  Cinnamon Rolls!   The street-only ride from Yuba City to Susanville was 190 miles, but if you did the GS ride, which went around Butt Valley Lake Reservoir, it was 200 miles.    Other sites on the routes included the beautiful Feather River Canyon, and the towns of Chester and Greenville. 

    I’m happy to say no one was injured on the ride, though we did have a few mechanical breakdowns, which were taken care of.   This year, we had our luggage SAG Wagon as usual, driven by Andy Anderson (thank you Andy!).  Bu we also owe a large debt to our Safety Wagon crew—a first during this year’s ROL—driven by Richard and Angela Johnson, assisted by their son, Tyler, and daughter, Cheyenne Angela.   They were able to pick up a rider stranded by a mechanical problem.

    Last, but definitely not least, anyone who’s ever ridden the ROL should say thank you to the ROL’s founder and first chairman, Doug Hubbard.  Those of you who attended the 2015 ROL know the story I’m about to tell because I told it there, but its important to share the history for those who weren’t.  Doug Hubbard, who originally thought of the idea in 1981, and along with some riding pals, pre-rode an area in the Sierras to have the very first one.  But accidents happen, and it would be another 10 years before Doug regenerated the idea, presented it to the Board of Directors, and chaired the first event.  It was a success, but not as successful as they had hoped and so they had to cancel the food.  Note, he said food and not drinks!  So, included with this article is a picture of Doug and the very first commemorative item of the very first ROL – a belt buckle.  Doug sent me these pictures, but club member Greg Hutchinson and one other NORCAL rider actually brought along their own belt buckles from that occasion – nice!  Viva La ROL!

    Finally, if I missed thanking anyone, my apologies, but I appreciate everyone who did help!  All in all, the 2015 was a very successful and rewarding adventure! 

    Joyce Sampson, Chairman, 2015 Range of Light Gypsy Tour


    1. ROL volunteer photo.  I don't know if you can get this in the article anywhere, but just in case, here are the people beginning with the front.  Jacobo Galina (kneeling); Front Row, L-R:  Bob Lankins, Dan Rowe, Fred Montano, Joyce Sampson, Buddy Scauzzo, Mini McMahon (kneeling);  2nd Row, L-R: Scott Maas, Heike Schmitz, John Clement, Peter Oxenbol, Ed Perry, Ted Crum, Mike Huntzinger, John Ellis.  Back Row, L-R:  Andy Anderson, Roy Ulfsrud, Markus Fromherz, John Vashon, Bill Lopez, Dan Harmon, and Walt Farnlacher.


    2. Club President Dan Rowe, Co-Chairman Bob Empasis and volunteer Walt Farnlacher.


    3. Safety Wagon Crew, Angela, Randall, and Tyler Johnson.


    4. Cheyenne Angela Johnson, safety wagon crew and poker run dealer


    5. GPX transfer table at Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds.  Staffers shown are Bert Lankins, Bill Lopez, Buddy Scauzzo, and Jacobo Galina.


    6.  Poker Run table at Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds:  Mario Bajandas, Mike Hunztinger, Roy Ulfsrud, and John Clement.


    7. Wynne Benti - logo designer

     

    8. ROL founder and Chairman of the First ROL, Doug Hubbard


    9. Doug Hubbard's belt buckle from the 1991 ROL


    10. Andy Anderson, Luggage Wagon driver


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