January 31, 1999 Ride
By Don Graling

We started organizing our Sunday trip on Friday morning with a flurry of emails between Ted Verrill, Bill Shaw, Larry Fears and myself. We finally settled on leaving at 8:00 AM on Sunday from the corner of Route 7 and Georgetown Pike and with a plan to ride to Larry Fears house in Charlestown, West Virginia and have breakfast.

I called Brian Horais on Saturday and invited him along and we were set. Got up on Sunday morning and when trying to unlock the small compartment on the K75RT to get my winter gloves I realized that the lock was frozen since I had washed the bike last night and left it outside. I rode for about 15 minutes with my summer weight gloves and although I have heated grips my hands were freezing. I pulled into Sully Plantation and finally was able to get the compartment open. It was very cold probably in the low 20's.

I arrived at the Mobil first and was followed shortly thereafter by Brian, Bill and Ted. Bill woke up late so he arrived with his Darien Jacket and just jeans on. He was very cold. We stood around and shot the breeze for 30 minutes. A guy on a Concourse (sp?) had pulled up and was meeting another BMW rider on a K100 in a couple of minutes. Turns out the rider he was meeting was the original owner of Capital Cycle and had sold the business to Bat DeLuca. He had nothing to stay which was too nice about Bat - so what's new?

Anyways we headed out Route 7 to Route 9 to Charlestown - uneventful although cold trip out. I've used my new Gerbring's electric jacket several times and love it more every time. Great even heat and it's neat to have my arms warmed. I'm always cold on a motorcycle and this jacket has really helped. We met up with Larry and his friend Jim at Larry's house. We jumped in their two cars and went about 1.5 miles to Grammy's in downtown Charlestown. Nice little diner and we all sat at the counter. We had a great time busting on Bill about his new job at Morton's and solving all of the remaining problems of the AMA, BMWMOA and IBMWR. Larry also entertained us with stories of his nights out on Friday and Saturday having some good clean fun? It was a hoot!

Went back to Larry's and Bill, Brian and myself loaded up to head home. Brian led us on a spirited ride home through Brunswick, Maryland and back to Leesburg. Brian really knows the roads in Northern Virginia and has a photographic mind to remember the best ones. He was a Naval Aviator flying A-6's in the 70's and it's good to see the U.S. Government investment paid off for something.

Overall it was a great five hour trip. I know that we go back and forth on the list about the value of owning a BMW Motorcycle but it's all worth it when it gives you the chance to meet friends like these and relax for a couple of hours. I've been busting my butt at work and it was great to put it aside for a couple of hours and really have a great time.

See you,

Don Graling
Centreville, Virginia