I had planned to ride my 64 R60/2 to the rally, but semi-retirement activities prevented me from giving it “the once over.” Instead, I loaded my Honda GL-1800 with camping gear, knowing the abuse I would take from BMW purists at the rally, and headed for Joe Groeger’s shop to join others for the ride to Lake San Antonio. Others, it seemed, had either ridden to the rally on Friday, or canceled altogether. Joe planned to drive his Mercedes wagon to the rally and carry camping gear for any who wanted to ride light. To reserve fuel for Hummers and Yukons, I elected to throw in with Joe and leave the Goldwing locked securely in his shop. We made record time to the rally as any who have ridden with Joe would expect. I could not have gotten there faster in a helicopter. I was having flashbacks of the autobahn as we acquired ownership of the diamond lane.
This year’s rally was a laid back affair, with old friends greeting and chatting about world politics, the escalating Euro (which we all know is the depreciating dollar), remembrances of the departed, and most of all, motorcycles. I need not have worried about GW abuse as a Honda Shadow and a Harley Davidson Fat-Bob, Road Queen, or whatever was also in attendance. The usual suspects arrived with BMW’s of all colors and vintage, complete with side cars, rust, and even green paint. Tom Weiss’s outdoor cooking is down to a science, and all enjoyed perfectly prepared BBQ chicken, brats, beans and salad. After dark, people retired to their campfire chat rooms or nomadic lodges for the night. The moonless night sky lit up with stars like fireworks. Those of us who live in urban areas seldom see such a sky.
Morning, however, brought fog as sleepy campers foraged for coffee. Fog prevented the traditional photo assembly of bikes, but it burned off in time to pack camping gear and depart in bright sunlight. My ride back to Redwood city was as speedy as the trip down. In Redwood City I repacked my camping gear on the GL-1800 and returned to San Jose on a clean bike with a nearly full tank of gas. A fine rally!