Central Cal BMW Riders'
11th annual Autumn Beemer BASH
September 21, 1996


From: Francis Furgeson
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 1996

Subject: BMW: Autumn Beemer Bash

Having left my thermarest home in Portland, and with Sacramento just ahead, I decided to skip the Autumn Beemer Bash and head over to Tahoe for a quiet weekend of luxury and gambling. This quickly turned into a harrowing night run over the Sierra ahead of a roaring pack of hundreds of Harley riding, office professionals disguised as rabid, evil tempered outlaw bikers, capable of the mose vile and disgusting acts...and those were just the girls! Reno itself was a swarming mass of snarling, sputtering machines. Virginia St was straight out of a Mad Max movie...I headed for saner digs...like the Motel 6. Here, one would literally have needed nerves of steel and a Harley primary chain to even get close to the main desk. Impossible. I turned glumly down 395 toward Carson City. Virtualy next door was a motel with a welcoming vacancy light. I whipped into the drive, paid for a room and happily moved to inhabit my evening palace.

My spirits sank as I opened the door. This wasn't meant for people, it was designed for bats...small bats. There was, blessedly, a bed and it looked to have nothing living in it, but everything else....sigh. The chairs came from some curbside with a "free" sign on them. They were for people 4 feet tall. The tv was a motorola (can any of you remember when motorola last made tv's), and had that dulled plastic finsish that comes with great age. Still, I was tired and only needed a scotch or two, some tv, and then sleep for the day of adventure which tomorrow promised.

As I settled in, I decided to have a quick look about to gauge my surroundings. You couldn't see out the window without standing up, so I stepped outside. This wasn't really your normal motel. The cars and folks here weren't travelling....they were lived here: the working poor. I spoke with Mike who did security at a local casino. His face bore the deep scars which only a knife or razor could have made. He had fresh stiches, too, revealing some recent entertainment. He told me horror stories about the bikers and the truely terrifying and disgusting things they were doing in the casinos, probably even as we spoke. Still, he said, his biker buddies at his favorite bar were delighted when this mob came to town. "Drop in there tonight", he said as he sauntered away, "I'll buy you a shot".

"Definitely", I thought, and turned back into my room.

TV was more of a waste than usual. The main problem was I actually couldn't hear it. Outside, thousands of Harleys roared, howled and thundered endlessly by through the wee hours of the morning. It was unbelievable. I, at least, have a deaf ear I can turn to the world; most folks don't. I now understand the AMA's anti noise fetish. Hell, I'm a biker and _I'd_ vote to outlaw the damned motorcycles if I had to put up with that crap very long. It's just stunning, and obnoxious and stupidly self indulgent.

Come morning, I packed and headed off exploring. Down to Carson City for breakfast at the City Bakery...spendy but nice, especially with the gorgeous ladies sunning themselves at the outside tables. This is certainly an area of beautiful women. They're everywhere and always extraordinary. I think the casino industry's huge need for waitresses, dancers, dealers, and entertainers draws these beauties, and creates wonderful scenery for old fart bikers like me to study.

After breakfast, I decided I'd have a look at the brothels which sit just east of Carson City on Hwy 50. They're not far from town, stuck well back off the road and marked with signs that look crudely hand painted. I rode in to have a look. The setup is about as welcoming as a missle silo (where do I get these allusions!) The buildings are surrounded with chain link fences and have imposing gates with a door bell buzzer one pushes to gain admittance. I didn't go in. The brothels looked like a collection of mobile homes with a kind of small central area and alot of separate rooms....sounds logical. Anyway, it was 10:30 on a Sat morning, and they were already doing a vigorous business if the number of pickup trucks parked outside is any indication. I'd had my look and satisfied my curiousity. I moved on. This time to Tahoe.

The ride to Tahoe on Hwy 50 from Carson City is wonderful in every way. The road is a cyclist's delight with wonderful turns and vistas. The surface is perfect. Lake Tahoe is stunning. I gloried in this ride. With noon appoaching, I stopped at the Desperado Bar and Grill for a pint of Widmer Hefeweizen..a local Portland beer. On, then, to the Tahoe Biltmore Casino for a $5 lash at the slots...I quit with $10 in hand and rode back to Reno via Truckee...another great ride. Back in Reno (Sparks, really), I lost my $10 quickly at the Nugget. I then briefly watched the North American Grand Prix for a few minutes and then moved on to the Atlantis where I converted another $5 into $10 with a very fortuitous 40 quarter win. That would do it for gambling. I was even. After a nice dinner of truely exquisite Italian food at a small but excellent restaurant I found by chance (forgot the name, damn it), I wandered back to Tahoe to a much nicer room and a very pleasant evening. The next morning I'd have to race home..another 12 hours of hard riding.

I excaped at 7:30 am Sun morning and headed over to pick up 395 north to Susanville. It was a teriffic morning, and the passage was uneventful save for passing 4 Harleys with Oregon plates somewhere in the vast sandpile which 395 traverses. I waved happily as I passed. They glowered back. At Susanville, I stopped for breakfast and then gas. As I pulled into the station, there were the Oregon Harleys, but there weren't 4 of them..it was more like 12. They had a truck too...doubtless to carry the beer. I gassed up, and as I pulled out and waved one of them weakened and smiled back.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. Luckily, as I got to Medford and felt the usual exhaustion setting in, I overtook a guy in an Aerostich on a K100. We tacitly rode together for a hundred miles or so chasing each other through the 50mph marked sweepers at 75 or so. It sparked my attention and focused me at a time when that was just what I needed. At Grants Pass I pulled off for gas. He kept going. I buzzed northward through Eugene, Albany, Salem, Woodburn and finally home. It was 7:30 at night, I was shot...vibrating and twitching like Cleuseau's boss (ala Pink Panther). I was ready for a rest....what dreamers we are! My girlfriend was ready for a fight.....

francis ferguson



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