Sky Meadows 1995
Meadows Revisited, or How I came to own a BMW...
About seven years ago, as I was walking across Nebraska Ave. on the way to catch a bus to class, I saw a motorcyle that made me literally stop in my tracks. It was a blue BMW K1 stopped at the light on Wisonsin Ave., I had never seen anything like it. It was simply beautiful, perfection. The light turned and as it passed I remember thinking, "now that is what a motorcycle should be."
A year or two later I was tearing through a parking lot on my ZX-6 Ninja andI saw another bike that forever left an impression on me. It was silver smoked orange, and it was the second motorcycle that I can recall, actually looked like a motorcycle should. Of course this was one of the legendary BMW R90S's, and from that moment on I was smitten. Over the next year I traded the Ninja for a little Yamaha SR-250 that had one cylinder and could be easily picked up and moved into almost any nook or cranny. The Yamaha was the perfect city bike, but every time I rode through Georgetown I would look across Key Bridge to Rosslyn and the beginning of I-66 and I knew deep down that as soon as I graduated from Law School I would need a big bike, a bike that could take me on I-66 and beyond.
In September of 1994, the beemer bug bit once again. This time it was a fully laden R100GS parked on the Mall in downtown Washington DC. The rider, a rotund fellow from Germany, told me all about his adventure of having traveled most of the United States over the summer and asked me how great it must have been for me to see the Grand Canyon for first time like he recently had. I confessed I had never been west of Lubbock, Texas and he laughed and told me to buy a beemer and see the world. Well, it snowed shortly thereafter and thoughts of 2 wheels were quickly shelved for thoughts of two skis.
In early April of 1995, just before putting away the Washington Post sports section, I quickly scanned the motorcycle ads like I always did when I saw it, an ad for a 1971 R75/5 with a toaster tank, in good condition, for $600 "Must Sell." I called my girlfriend and we were off to look at this red beauty. I sat and watched as the next person to look offered $500 and drove off. I vowed then and there to put aside at least $100 per week into a Motorcycle fund.
Over the spring, summer and early fall of 1995 I looked at over 30 BMW motorcycles, each week adding money and each day logging online to the IBMWR Internet BMW list to learn more about BMW motorcycles. I started out with $750 looking for an older R60/5, but as the year wore on I found myself with more money and with each week a different price range of motorcycles. I ended up working my way up through the older R bikes until just losing an R100RS to someone who bought it sight unseen while I was on a test drive. That weekend I decided to begin looking at K bikes, more specifically, the K75. I had always wanted one but found the prices asked prohibitive. By now I had a pretty good grasp of what sellers wanted as opposed to what they were asking, and started to include K75's in my weekly weekend inspections.
October 7th, 1995 I went to look at a K75S in Bethesda, Maryland. The seller seemed nice enough, if not totally disinterested in BMW motorcycles. He bought the K75 for a long summer trip he ended up not taking, and simply left it under a tarp for 4 months. He had finally bought a Honda VFR750 and needed to sell the K quickly to make up for a cash problem from the down payment. It was a beautiful bike and had everything for which I had looking for so long. He wanted too much though, so I left to look at a K100RS (that was in serious need of a great deal of TLC.) The following weekend was one of those blustery cold and rainy Washington fall weekends that drive people to the shopping malls and I had settled down for a nice relaxed reading of the Saturday paper when I saw the K again advertised, this time for about $300 less then the previous weekend. Well, figuring it was a no lose situation I called Chris, the seller, and offered him about 70% of what he asked and right then and there he accepted and asked me to come up right away to complete the deal. I made it to Bethesda in record time, money and legal papers changed hands, and as I pulled out of the driveway the proud owner of a 1988 BMW K75S with 23K on the clock, it suddenly hit me that my search was over but that the journey had just begun.
I proudly announced to the BMW Internet list that I had finally bought a bike, and was greeted with loud "hurrahs," many I fear more in relief at knowing I would no longer invade the list every Friday with a blizzard of questions about certain models and specific years. It was then that Bill Shaw wrote me that he, Don Graling and Brian Horais would be riding that weekend and he asked me if I wanted to tag along. This for me was a big event for it was my fist ride with other BMW riders. It may not seem like much, but with the exception of the Higdon send-off (for which I was late and didn't really get to meet anyone) it was my first real time to meet the people I had grown to know over the past few months on the Internet.
We met that Saturday morning and rode through the beautiful Virginia countryside, over the Mt. Weather road, and stopped at Sky Meadows park for a photograph. Little did I know this ride with people I had never met before, in the space of a year, would be repeated but the strangers would be good friends.