Onward to Manhattan, BMWNA HQ, Bob’s BMW & Washington DC

Seems that the sun, blue skies and any good lighting for photography has alluded me for the past three weeks since leaving Northampton, Mass. This morning further signs of cold weather hit me with a temporary setback. As I tried to harness every bit of warmth last night while riding toward the city, I had my heated vest cranked, solid heat on my heated gloves, heated hand grips turned up and of course my PIAA Cross Country LED lights blazing me a trail I could see while cruising the barely lit backroads after any evidence of daylight (I did not say sunlight) faded as I rode into Binghamton.

So this morning when I tried to crank over Doc, I was met with the depressing sound of a solenoid clicking. In other words, a dead battery. No worries. I recruited the local AAA service. At the call center they seemed to pass on the make of my ‘vehicle’ to the local driver. But with my head down and a somewhat obscured view of the parking lot from inside the warm motel, I didn’t notice the tow truck circle the parking lot. He was looking for a BMW, and it didn’t occur to him that the motorcycle sitting in front was his target.

Just a few hours south on route 17, a bigger road than I normally like to travel, but the miles I had to cover today and with foul weather threatening, I decided to take 17 until I reached the Palisades parkway and then the George Washington Bridge. But by the time I rode into Roscoe, legendary for fly fishing in these parts, I followed Art’s suggestion and thawed out over hot coffee, chicken noodle soup and a tasty sandwich at Roscoe Diner before battling the biting cold to the Big Apple to visit my friends Tim and Lisa and ultimately onward to visit BMW North America and then back to Washington DC where I delivered my final presentation of this east coast WorldRider tour.

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Hot soup and coffee at Roscoe Diner.

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I had a chance to meet with some of the corporate BMW staffers, here is communications manager Laurence Kuykendall, at their offices in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey before heading south to DC

Bob’s BMW not only sells the usual cadre of BMW motorcycles, spare parts and accessories, but it’s a veritable museum and destination for BMW enthusiasts worldwide. Not only does Bob’s stock many parts other dealers don’t, Bob has many classic BMW motorcycles on display including socme with little or no mileage and even in the original crate as shipped from Germany. Owner Bob Henig also has collected virtually every BMW or motorcycle collectable and they are everywhere at Bob’s BMW — from his office, to the shelves around the showroom to display counters and more. One will exercise their neck muscles while perusing the motorcycle eye food everywhere. In one of the display cases miniature bikes sit atop broken glass. But this isn’t just some sort of artsy display technique, no this glass is from an illegal break-in at Bob’s some years back. Rather than toss the glass broken by the thieves hoping to roll out some of the bigger toys at Bob’s, the broken glass makes for not only an attractive display counter but a great story, too.

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Passing through Kinnelon, New Jersey and Fayson Lakes, I stayed an evening in buddy Tim’s log home just off this lake.

As you can imagine, the WorldRider presentation at Bob’s was special. When Bob hosts an event, he goes big. This night was no exception. Marking only the second time I’ve presented in the evening, the evening started with a cocktail reception where snacks, drinks and beer and wine were available as guests roamed Bob’s BMW Bike Museum. Then all the guests were treated to a beautiful and tasty catered dinner by one of Bob’s favorite local Italian restaurants. By the time I walked on ‘stage’ everyone had a belly full and were in good cheer.

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Posters on the entrance door to Bob’s — no tickets left, theWorldRider event is Sold Out!!!

This was the first event that guests had to reserve and purchase a ticket in advance. With only 100 seats available, the event sold out weeks before I arrived. Even better, one of the guests, a surprise appearance, was Jeremiah St. Ours, my friend and partner in crime through many miles in South America. Jeremiah was in town visiting family and the timing worked perfectly to attend Bob’s WorldRider event. For regular followers of my blog, or for those of you who’ve been to my presentations, you’ll remember Jeremiah was with me when on that fateful day in January 2006 that I slipped in the mud in Bolivia and severely broke my leg. Earlier this year I was able to make my way to Durango, where Jeremiah calls home, and spend time sharing and reliving stories from the road and embarking on a photo tour of Arches National Park.

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Classics everywhere.

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Parts available immediately even for vintage bikes can be found at Bob’s

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Bob’s BMW is truly a motorcycle museum and worth a stop by any serious motorcycle enthusiast.

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Partner in crime and fellow South American rider, Jeremiah, showed up for tonight’s presentation.

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A sold out crowd of more than 100 showed up for a trip around the world with WorldRider. (photo courtesy of Bob’s BMW)

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The crowd was pleased with the stories and photographs and kept me on my toes during the Q & A portion. (photo courtesy of Bob’s BMW)

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Jeremiah, Bob Henig (owner of Bob’s BMW) and yours truly in the Bob’s office, which is a museum in itself.
Note the bike (not the girl) in the background. It’s an amazingly beautiful 1913 Indian Single. Very rare, 98% all original and never restored!

During the Q&A portion of my presentation Jeremiah was called on to add color to the stories — especially when asked about my chain maintenance (or lack thereof) during our days from Mexico to Bolivia. I can’t say enough how happy I was to see him again and so pleased that he took the time to come out and here me talk for a few hours! There are many more details of the evening’s presentation on Bob’s website here.

I enjoyed mingling with the guests, sharing my stories and answering questions into late evening. While it’s rather impossible to condense my three-year journey into an hour or so, many guests wanted to hear more. So I agreed to return to Bob’s BMW sometime in the next year, hopefully on the release of my upcoming book, to bring more of my adventures to the passionate group that attended this evenings event.

With family so close, I sadly wasn’t able to spend the time with Bob and his family as I did in Rochester, but I agreed in the future we’d ride together and share more stories on travel and motorcycles. Back in Virginia, I was able to spend one last evening with my brother Jon, his wife Maria and my two beautiful nieces (who all showed up at Bob’s for my presentation). Even better, my friends from New York City, Tim and Lisa showed up. So it was only appropriate to pull a few corks and celebrate a successful event and good times with family and friends.

Later this month I will be back in California and speaking at BMW Motorcycles of Riverside.

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