BMW Bikers of Metropolitan Washington's
22nd Annual Square Route Rally
May 31 - June 2, 1996

All Photos by Jim Colburn...Please click Thumbnails for Full Size Photos

From: Don Graling
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: Square Route Rally Official Results

As the "guy in charge of registration" I wanted to give you the official statistics for the Square Route Rally.

First, officially the weather was 100% perfect.
Second, IBMWR easily won the Largest Club in Attendance.
Third, Rick Landi is 100% certifiable.

The following list is my best guess of the Presidents on site. Note - not all listed Presidents registered as IBMWR.

Bill Hamilton/Bill Shaw/Bob Bell/Bob Higdon/Bob Ryun/Bob Stoll/Brian Curry/Dave Keuch/Don Graling/Terry Evans/Ed Tipton/Gary Harris/Greg Shamlett/Gregory Pink/Jim Colburn/Steve Coburn/Jeff Dunkle/Jim Fletcher/Jim Shaw/Mike Cornett/D.C. Mike Schen/George Wright/Paul Kanetzky/Rick Landi/Rick Povich/Roger Traversa/Scott Adams/Steve Anderson/Steve Buerkle/Steve Burnett/Ted Verrill/Rich Reigler/Don Eilenberger/Jon Diaz/Gerry Barton/Nancy Jablonski/Dana Priesing/Larry Fears/Elsie Smith/Bob King/Walt Sizemore/Steve Coburn/Rick Povich/Bill Ranck/Maureen O'Farrell.

Two of our Presidents won awards, Mike Cornett longest solo male from San Antonio, Texas (1809 miles) and Hal McCabe, youngest rider (26). Internet Presidents represented the four high direct mileage totals:

Terry Evans - Miami, Florida - 1102.35 miles
Gregory Pink - Plant City, Florida - 1024 miles
Rick Landi - Orlando, Florida - 965 miles

Thanks to everyone who attended, it was a very successful rally.

From: Bill Hamilton
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: Square Route Report

To One and All,

Thanks to Steve and Don and many others from BMWBMW for putting on a great party called the Square Route Rally. I for one had a good time. It was a pleasure renewing acquaintances from GA MTN and to make many new friends from the Internet. Larry, if you have any more stories to tell, I look forward to our next meeting as I am still laughing over the roadkill story. Brian, it was my pleasure, thanks for the tech tips. Jeff, I am glad I watched the surgery on Rick's bike because Brian was able to reach his hand up to the fan on my K and the diagnosis tends toward the same problem Rick had.

The ride home was beautiful except that just east of Harrisburg before the I-81/78 split I got something in my eyes (seemed more like a chemical than a bug- visor closed) that made the eyes burn and water so badly that eventually I had to pull to the side of the road as I could no longer see. Helmet off and the right eye was a roadmap in red. Blotted it dry and gave a few minutes to recover and I was on my way. It never happened before and trying to keep up with traffic while riding blind was not my idea of fun. All seems fine now.

Looking forward to seeing you all again, somewhere down the road.

Bill Hamilton
Saylorsburg, PA

From: Jon Diaz
Date: 3 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: Square Route and a bit of time on the road (too long)

Well, the rally is over and it was fun. Suffice it to say....even if someone planned a presidents meeting in a New Jersey solid waste dump, I'd be there in a heartbeat. I do enjoy a good BBQ'd seagull.... :)

My trip Thursday afternoon started out just Interstate blast down I-65 to meet the guys for pizza at BMW Motorcycles of Indianapolis. Herb Stark was in town for a few days, and since I had all night to ride anyway, why not go thru Indy? We had a fun time catching up, and then at 9pm said our goodbyes and everyone headed a different direction. I picked south.

I gassed the bike at Seymour, and continued to Louisville before picking up I-64 east. My thought for most of the week had been to take a leisurely all night trip on the way out, since I don't get to do that too often. But once the traffic thinned out east of Lexington and my right stereo speaker went quiet (blown? I'll check tonight), I ran out of things to keep my mind occupied and looked for a motel at 1am. Maybe next time I'll be able to do it.

Got up early and hit the complimentary breakfast before getting out on the road. Huntington and Charleston were dispatched before 10am, and I took I-79 north to Sutton. Jumped off on 15 to Webster Springs and Valley Head, and north on 219/250 to Elkins. Seneca Rocks was particularly impressive this day, and the ridge seems to stretch for miles. At Elkins, I gassed up and headed east on 55 until it ran into I-81. Then north to I-70, and a few back roads took me right into the site. I think it had been 956.4 miles since I had left work 27 hours earlier, but I'm just guessing. :)

I ran into a crowd at registration right away, and was informed that IBMWR had taken a nice big camping spot far away from what was going on. I slid the bike in and set up camp.

Chatted with everyone for awhile, and then Don treated to a bowl of chili (I think they were trying to get rid of it, but I liked it), and then back to the campsite for beer and merriment. I think I finally fell asleep at midnight.....well before everyone else as usual. It was cold outside, but probably the best night of sober sleep I've ever had on the ground.

Did I mention how spectacular the weather was? Hot, sunny days,  crystal clear nights, and the only hint of moisture came from someone spilling their beer. After the drenching I took on this weekend last year not fifty miles from this site, I was ready to see this part of the country without a rainsuit. I debated not bringing it at all, but didn't want anyone to think I was being cocky or anything. :)

Got up late on Saturday, and Bill Shaw volunteered to drive us into town for breakfast. Ran into PinkG just as he was getting off the bike after an all-night thrash, and brought him along as well. The Cozy Inn was a nice place with good food, and apparently quite popular (when I mentioned it to Susie last night, she said 'I've been there!'....her mother lives about 75 miles from it) with people from miles around, although they could stand to get some larger milk glasses. I think Terry had about six of their shot glasses full of milk at one time. :) Good strawberries and lots of heavily salted pork products.

Got back to the campsite and started messing with Rick's bike. He had said that the overtemp light had come on during his trip around the beltway, so he pulled off some bodywork so we could look at the fan. To say it was seized up would be an understatement. The fuse was fine tho, so he and Jeff Dunkle ran a series of tests to try and make the thing run after I got it unstuck with WD-40. They were unsuccessful, so Rick called Bob's BMW and after getting confirmation that they had a part, took Jeff's bike into the city to get the fan. After having him pass me on the outside of a corner on Deals Gap, I wasn't about to offer him my only ride home. :)

Went for a short ride in the afternoon to pick up sunflower seeds and a tank of gas for the ride home. There was a lot of traffic out for the day, so I cut it short and got back to the site around 2pm. Rick hadn't returned from the dealer yet, so a few of us sat around in the shade and BS'd until the Oilhead tech seminar started at 4pm. That actually went very well....we had a lively group with a lot of experience, and it was less a class and as someone put it to me, more like a big internet discussion without the screen saver. I hope to do more of those in the future.

Dinner followed and the club had another fine restaurant in the area cater our dinner. Hard to believe they still had food left over when we went back up for the awards ceremony. As you've heard, we won biggest club going away, and clearly had the best time. Jim took lots of pictures, and Steve even got one of me flattening the tires of Jo Bell's new Ducati. She still looks better on it than I do, but just barely. :)

The campfire that wouldn't die cranked up again for the evening and we had a pretty large group surrounding it. I kind of fell into the background watching other people, and then slunk away to go to sleep. I like getting an early start anyway, and even tho I wasn't dying to get on the freeway after Friday's curvy road overload, I wanted to be home as soon as possible.

Woke up once during the night and pulled an earplug out. I could still hear Larry talking, so I knew it couldn't be morning yet. So I fell back asleep. Woke up again a few hours later and couldn't hear anybody, and then couldn't fall back asleep, so I figured this might be a good time to leave. PinkG was packing his stuff, so I had him help me move the RT out to the road so I wouldn't drive over someone's tent, and I loaded as quietly as possible.

I was bummed that I wouldn't get to say goodbye to everyone, but as I packed, various members of our group walked by to do whatever people do at 4:30am, so I was fairly content when I rolled out of the site. I picked up i-70 and headed west. Today was to be nothing more than an Interstate blast home.

Stopped for breakfast in Breezewood at the Gateway (not too good), and at this point picked up the PA turnpike to go west. This road is as miserable as I remember it, but since it was the most direct route, it was really my only choice for the day. Pennsylvania came and went, and the only thing I remember about Ohio is a little rain and lots of construction. Stay clear of the Ohio turnpike if you can help it this summer. Indiana was one big racetrack as usual, and I got to the south side of Chicago just as the traffic was starting to build, so I went thru the city.

Got home around 3:30pm, about 13 hours to go around 720 miles, changed oil on the RT, and collapsed right after the basketball game at 9pm.

Boy does that bike need a wash.....

Thank you to all my friends for the great weekend.

Jon Diaz
SoD #3

From: Rick Povich
Date: Mon, 03 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: Square Route: The Ugly Truth (way too long)

Before all the fawning and praise-heaping starts to become overwhelmingly saccharine, I decided to throw in my inflation-devalued two cents worth about the Square Route Rally. It's kinda long--actually it's too long--so you may want to hit DELETE right now and save yourself some time and me a slander lawsuit.

I don't get to many rallys and when I'd seen Don "Donut Man" Graling's posts about the Square Route Rally, and considered it's relative proxiity to my home, I thought I'd give it a shot. So I met up with Scott and Frances Adams and Jeff Dunkle for the ride to Camp WestMar, in Thurmont Maryland.

I went to this rally under the assumption I would have a good time (not unreasonable, I think). I'd met most of the D.C. Gang last year and at that point they seemed like a pretty nice bunch of fellows. But I didn't spend the weekend with them then.

When I finally got to the rally on Friday, I had my eyes opened very wide. I quickly became better acquainted with those D.C. types--and _many_ other presidents. It was quite a chilling encouter. Don't get me wrong, these were nice people--so I was told. I'll take on good faith the word of whomever it was that made that claim, but I have to tell you about those presidents with whom I spent any amount of time. I know it's considered bad form to malign your host, but I gotta call it like I saw it. So I beg your indulgence to bear with me.

To set the stage, one of the first people I was introduced to at the registration desk was Larry "I'm in pain!" Fears. Actually, Larry is a nice guy. Larry is a _great guy_. But the trouble is you can only believe somewhere in the vicinity of .05% of anything he says. The man has a serious problem with reality. And pain medications. And Kermit Chairs. And Jim Colburn.

Yes there's Jim Colburn. Famous White House photographer and self-promoter extraordinaire. Jim was a swell guy from the beginning. Until he started on the Clinton stuff. Then there was trouble. With Larry. But that's way too convoluted to rehash, so I'll leave it to the alcohol-numbed memories of those in attendance to try to rationalize.

 But back to Jim. Jim was a busy guy all weekend. He's a photographer, and all photographers are kinda spastic, so Jim fits well within that category. Jim ran around taking pictures, and contributing good will and creative energy to the rally. But he continued to mutter something about tax writeoff every time he took off his lens cap. And God forbid you should ask him why he has only a hundred or so miles on a brand new bike. Worse yet, don't even try to get within three feet of the bike or you'll risk serious injury from the man.

When he wasn't barking orders at the presidents to line up and look into the sun and "say cheese", Jim was harrassing Larry Fears with his acidic attempts at a "Crossfire"-like dialog. And Larry would take it hook, line and sinker. It often got ugly.

All the while Jim and Larry got into it, Larry's nanny, Dave Keuch was trying to keep Larry from getting too maniacal. It usually worked, fortunately.

Dave was a pretty nice guy but he rode a really miserable excuse for a K1. Ugly piece of aluminum and fiberglass, but hey, to each to his own.

On Saturday, Dave kindly offered to lead a ride through some of the backroads around Thurmont, Maryland. It started as a nice ride, but it got worse. Dave dragged us around some of the prettiest roads in that part of the state and made us enjoy every moment of it. It was sheer hell.

I give Dave a tremendous amount of credit (and sympathy) though. Anyone who volunteers to nurse Larry back to health makes Mother Theresa look like a mercenary. So I guess that makes Dave seriously masochistic. But then again, to ride the K bike he has, he needs to be masochistic. Which explains why the guy was always smiling. Hmmmmm...

Bob Higdon was there, of course. And I even got to talk to him. For about thirty seconds. After we exchanged greetings, he hastily asked me something about a cryptic message he'd received from Jeff Dunkle, spun around and was gone quicker than a wink. Each time after that I'd see him lurking in a dark corner of the Bier Halle with a mustachioed guy named J.J., who wore a strangely woven straw top hat and kept muttering nasty things about Jim Shaw. I didn't know what any of that was about, nor did I want to find out.

Speaking of beer, I met Ted Verrill at the rally. Ted makes his own beer. Lots of it. And it's dangerous. So much so, he's got the EPA certificate to prove he's allowed to even make the chemistry projects he alleges to be potable. For future reference (and as my public service to you), it's the stuff in the plain brown unmarked bottles sitting in the K side bag full of ice. Do yourself a big favor and steer a wide berth around that side bag. You'll thank yourself later. Trust me. I know.

After I'd finally gotten to Camp WestMar, I looked for Don Graling. He'd repeatedly _PROMISED_ me a cold beer. Even though he constantly maligned my choice of Rolling Rock, I politely remained silent and waited for that cold beer after a long hot ride. When I got to the registration desk (and got through my initiation rites with Larry Fears) I looked up Don, but he was nowhere to be found. He apparently went off somewhere for a ride.

But it wasn't on his PD. Don's immaculate PD remained stealthily under cover the entire weekend because Don didn't want to get any dust on it. I'm not sure what Don rode, but he probably took his son Nick's scooter, at least until Rick Landi showed up. Then no one could use the little bike because it was firmly planted between Rick's legs for the remainder of the rally. You'd hear faint pleas from poor Nick, then you'd hear Rick howling with laughter as he rode away with Nick running after him. A truly sick sight.

And I never got that beer from Don. I forgive him though, he was a busy guy all weekend, what with running around making sure we all had raffle tickets that yielded us no prizes.

I guess the person who's really responsible for this entire group of D.C. rabble is Steve Andersen. He's the smiling, affable leader of this highly unusual gang, but he's actually a nice guy. I didn't see anything odd or notweorthy about his behavior, but all the really smart ones manage to get away with their strange misbehaviors until it's too late for us to do anything. All I can say is he's the Head Honcho, and thus all the Square Route mayhem is within his control.

OB Miami report: Terry was there with his usual aplomb. What strikes you most about Terry's appearance at a rally is his housing arrangement. Terry travels with Winnebago-sized accoutrements. His tent was, shall we say, spacious, at the least. Once, when Terry wasn't looking, 20 or 30 of us got a tour of Casa Miami. The observation deck presented the viewers with a spectacular panoramic view of the sea of humanity we called Camp WestMar.  Wall-to-wall tents and Beemers wherever you looked. Quite a stunning vista!

We next went to Terry's Jim Beam cellar, where he keeps his well-documented stash of Jim Beam. Suffice it to say, it's ample. He's got a national liquor licence that enables him to legally transport the amount necessary to keep him in his state of perpetual animation.

The really cool part about Terry's tent was the parking loft on the second level. This is where Rick Landi kept taking Nick Graling's scooter and doing wheelies with another unnamed president on the back of the bike. Landi would ride into the tent and not be seen for at least a half hour at a time.

While we were touring La Casa Miami, we interrupted a group of Ducati riders who'd snuck in to Terry's Jacuzzi and were loudly frolicking. We made a hasty exit before we got noticed. Yeeessshhh!

If you have the opportunity to sneak a visit to La Casa Miami, go for it. It makes the White House look like a pop-up trailer.

The reedeming aspect of Terry's visit was the presence of his saintly cousin Janice. She was a fabulous lady who caused me wonder what she could posibly have done in another life to deserve the punishment of being dragged hither, thither and yon on the back of Terry's K100.

I could go on, but I figger I'm already in enough trouble as it is, so I'll just sit back and wait for the feces to hit the rotating cooling mechanism.

This was my very abbreviated account of only a few of the BMWBMW folks, but I didn't want to take up too much of your time (thank God, you say!). So now you're probably asking me, if this was such a miserable time would I do it again?

In a heartbeat. Thanks BMWBMW. It was a perfect weekend. Dont change a thing.

Rick "It wasn't the damn bat'try" Povich

From: Larry Fears
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: Square Route Rally (percocet long)

1 day has passed and I thought it is time I throw my 2 cents in about the rally. Can it be said too many times? What a great bunch of folks. The rally began for me with Don picking me up with the PD in tow. Now you would think that because Don were giving me a ride I would be kind enough NOT to comment about his trailered bike, but what fun would that be? Actually we should all thank Don. I believe that the reason they did away with the unlimited mileage warranty was because of so many high milers driving up the averages. Well at the rate Don is going he'll have maybe 2k by the expiration of his 3 year warranty. Thanks for keeping the curve down, Don. :-)

In regards to Rick Povich's statements: I can attest that all I say is 100% true. It's just that the the truth can sometimes be a bit boring so I claim artistic license to make it more palateable. ;-) You've got it all wrong about me and Jim Colburn. He's my favorite liberal. Lively debate is only enhanced by my recent legal drug use. That is a pretty mount you've got there Rick but with that UGLY green color I wouldn't go around slandering a beautiful K1. :-) Especially one that belongs to "Saint David" Keuch.

Jon Diaz, Bill Hamilton, Greg Pink and I have decided that it is time we form a weight watchers chapter of the IBMWR. We further decided that we're not too big but rather many of you are too small. Our first canidate for "fattening up" will have to be Rob Lentini. We will forward the program as soon as the details are worked out. :-)

As always the Fla connection drew lots of worshipers at the altar of outrageousness. Terry was sober enough to examine some odd malady Scott Adams was drunk enough to show him Saturday night. Makes me glad I'm not a doctor. The worst questions I get are related to depreciation methods. I got into the spirit though, but was disappointed when the good doctor declined to give his expert advice about my hemroids. ;) As always Rick Landi managed to equal his miles to the rally with circuits on the z50. Using a torch fueled by gas soaked underwear was a nice original spin on remedying the lack of a headlight on his chosen mount. I await the next rally only if to see how he's going to top this one.

After a long discussion with Jim Shaw and Don Eilenberger I've determined that these two have forgotten more about electronics, computers, etc. than I'll ever hope to know. The good news is that Don has given me some invaluable advice in regards to a new mount. (more on that as it develops) We also were able to determine that both Don & Jim are old enough to be my father. Were either one of you delivering milk or mail in St. Louis in the spring of 1964? Should I begin to call one of you pa? Both? ;-)

It seems that Ted Verrill, Bill Shaw, and Bob Ryan have begun a new splinter group WHSC. If you attended the rally feel free to email me your application for a number. :)

Bob "The K1 is really a Goldwing" Bell showed up with his knockout wife on a Duc. All I can say is "Old man, you've got style"

Ed Tipton showed up with his better half Nancy and didn't seem to mind when I introduced him to everyone as the "exploding K sight glass guy". Hopefully he'll come again in spite of all of our outrageousness.

As always Jeff Dunkle and Brian Curry had me perplexed when I tried to decide which one of them should hold the title of "Inspector Gadget". These guys have thought up all kinds of tricks for BMWs. To bad I'm not a patent lawyer. :-)

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of folks but I enjoyed meeting so many new friends and seeing the old. Had a blast again and I can hardly wait until our next meeting. Hopefully I will have my cast off by then and won't be so quite and reserved. Until then ride safe and long.

Larry Fears

IBMWR members with no monitors to look at stare at the fire and imagine that the dancing flames are really icons.

Don Graling cooks the books to make SURE that IBMWR wins the "Biggest Club" award....When WILL they learn to keep us away from their computers?

Larry (More Percoset NOW) Fears blows some smoke out of his...face.

DCMike Schen comes up with the bribe money to ensure that we get the best camping spaces. Judging from the size of the rocks under my tent he must have pocketed most of it.

The IBMWR group shot

Jeff Dunkle (R) explains women and the inner workings of a K rear light to young Ted Verrill (L).

Jon Diaz shows off his massively parallel knowledge base at an Oil Head tech seminar. Nothing practical, of course, just ways to make them go faster.

Terry (That's Doctor Evans To You... Here's My Bill) Evans cleans another 1000 miles of road grime from his machine. No cracked frames this time.

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