Vol. 3 - Issue 7
July 2012

Team Ride West Journal 


I. TRW Events  

Team Ride West to Mt. Erie  - June 2nd 2012.    

The weather was -  weird!  It was nice, and then not so nice, and then drizzle, and  then rain. Then it would clear up and you'd think  "We're OK now," only to have the entire process repeated - all day!


This is a nice casual ride route, enlivened this time by interesting things we found along the way. At the top of Mt. Erie the view was rather blah due to clouds, but we were interested to interact with a group of teens in camouflage clothing with nerf guns and cudgels and so forth.  Turns out they were self-described "nerds" organizing to act out the central premise of "The Hunger Games."    I thought it would be better to use paint ball guns, and they agreed, but that would be a REALLY bad idea.


Over lunch at The Farmhouse we discussed the sight we had seen much earlier - a string of canopies set up to the west of I-5 as we headed toward Smokey Point.  Curt Hammond had grown up in the area and told us it was "Square Lake."  We decided to check it out on the way back. After some adventures finding the entrance to Square Lake, which is on a dead end road, we enjoyed watching some radio controlled electric hydroplane racing!.  There were at least two classes - the current designs and "Vintage," scale models of famous unlimiteds of the past. Most of the racers had 5 or 6 boats, and simply swapped the power pack into the one about to be raced. Many of them had shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, and even their personal cars decorated to match the logos and name of the boat they were racing.  Fun stuff, and I imagine this lake is used by other groups for similar races on a frequent basis. It might be a good excuse for a look see on a Sunday ride.

  1. Dave Preston - BMW F 800R
  2. Mike Doll - Honda Goldwing
  3. Kurt Langston - Kawi KLR 650
  4. John Swenson - BMW R 1150GS
  5. Curt Hammond - BMW 1150 GSA
  6. Anand Namasivayam - BMW K 1300S
  7. Ron Pollard - BMW R 1200 GS
  8. Eric Pollard - BMW F 800 GS
  9. Ron Phillips - BMW R 1200 GS
  10. Lee Stewart - BMW R 1200 RT

Gettin' Lost on Whidbey Island -  June 16th

There's a tradition here. Originally I took groups to Whidbey Island with no route directions and sort of got lost on purpose. Over the years I developed two different sets of route directions,  but the good people of Whidbey Island continue to grow and develop and new roads come in and others are closed.


Between one thing and another, this ride has NEVER gone entirely to plan - which is sort of the plan, so it all works out.  This year we had 16 bikes and a wonderful time.


Over lunch at Kim's Café in Coupeville I ascertained that almost everyone wanted to keep going north, and thus we did, pausing for a few minutes at Deception Pass and then riding on to a repeat visit to Mt. Erie. There I learned that if you ride your BMW F 800R around a tight hairpin carefully and in 1st gear (it was raining) and then accelerate with intent, it will light up the rear tire and gently sashay across the road in a controlled manner!  After the 2nd time I decided I should not visit that well again, and calmed down.

After that we rode out the "top" and then came back down by our usual back road meanderings to the Smokey Point area.


No slide show of this one, as the pics I took were sort of blah, and the camera videos were mostly too wet to see anything!

Here is who went:
  1. Dave Preston - BMW F 800R
  2. Mac Khan - BMW K 1200 GT
  3. Pat Cordell - BMW G 650 GS
  4. Tim Smith - Kawi KLR 650
  5. Bill Sutton - Kawasaki C 14
  6. Michael Sarkies - Suzuki TL1000R
  7. Ron Pollard - BMW F 650 FS
  8. Erik Pollard - BMW F 800 GS
  9. Peter Nomides - BMW R 1200 RT
  10. Melanie Milhoite - Triumph 800
  11. Bill Anderson - BMW K 1200 GT
  12. Brian Lee - BMW F 800 GS
  13. Tony Basile - Ducati ST 4
  14. Mike Judkins - BMW R 1200 RT

Worthy of note - the nice people at Kim's Café called me at home on Sunday. They had heard that a group of motorcyclists had been involved in an accident on Saturday, and wanted to make sure it was not us!


Worthy of note #2 - a 2012 BMW F 800R, ridden on winding back roads and some freeway, will return over 55 mpg.  J

II. Picture Perfect
 TRW members 2Fast Track Day

Folks at a 2Fast Track Day - most in this picture are Team Ride West members


Content Editor:              Dave Preston

Production Editor:          Nicole Turner

In This Issue
I. TRW Events
II. Picture Worth a 1000 Words
III. Team Ride West Events Calendar
IV. You, Me, You-Tube, We..Etc....
V. Product Review
VI. Dinner at Cafe Veloce
VII. The Ride West Difference
VIII. Team Ride West Concept Ride Procedures
IX. Pithy Words to Ride By...
X. Quick Links
III. Team Ride West Events

Please check the  web site frequently for changes.




7/6-8Fri-Sun - Black Dog Selkirk Rally in Idaho

7/8, Sunday - DEMO RIDE #4 @10:00am


7/13-14, Fri-Sat - BIKE SWAP! @Ride West


7/16-17, Mon-Tues - California Superbike School @The Ridge

7/17, Tuesday - Team Ride West dinner - 6:30pm @Café Veloce

7/19-22, Thurs-Sat - WSBMWR Rally in Menlo, WA

7/25, Wednesday - 2Fast at The Ridge

7/28, Saturday - 2Fast @Pacific Raceway

7/29-8/5, Sun-Fri - Touratech WABDR Tour



8/1-5,  Wed-Sun - Rally In the Gorge in Stevenson, WA

8/4, Saturday - Team Ride West ride @9:00am Marblemount

8/5, Sunday DEMO RIDE #5 10:00am @Ride West

8/10, Friday - 2Fast @Pacific Raceway

IV. You, Me, You Tube, We... Etc.

We have our own Team Ride West web site page on the Ride West site. There you'll find lots of information, links to ride videos and slide shows from past adventures. Check our new video of the 2Fast Track Days 2012!

V. Product Review  


1. "Cycle Wipes" - for visors, bugs and bikes.  Full disclosure: this new product has been invented, developed, and is being marketed by Ride West General Manager Dave Swezey and his family. He also happens to be my boss.  When Dave gave me a pack of Cycle Wipes to try out (my "wages" for helping him write a press release in my spare time) I did not mention them as a candidate for a product review.


Given all that I was determined to test this product rigorously and to be as skeptical as possible in order to counter natural bias. Skepticism comes easily to me so that was not a big problem.  So... on with it!


Ride West BMW EventsCycle Wipes - A Riding Essential


"Cycle Wipes" look like similar wet wipe products, of which there are dozens. What's new?  It turns out - quite a bit.


As claimed, Cycle Wipes do a great job of cleaning dust, dirt, and bug detritus from helmet visors and other surfaces, including lights and turn signals so you can be seen! A dozen to a pack is a nice handy number, the pack (3" X 7") is small enough to be stashed anywhere, and the bright red packaging stands out.


A month later I wanted to use another one. A resealing strip on the pack keeps the remaining wipes moist, and it really works!  I expected after a month that the remaining package would be a bit dry, but not so.  Many competing products (actually, there is no one product that is a direct competitor) are bulky and/or inconvenient. Cycle Wipes are made of a soft mesh fabric, are ammonia free, and are safe to use. They don't dry out unless exposed to the air for 30 minutes or so.


A second surprise came when using a Cycle Wipes to clean inside my visor after riding in rain.  Among the various ingredients is a light soap concentrate, so when you clean the inside of the visor you're also adding anti-fog capability - cool!  If you leave a clean Cycle Wipe out to dry, it becomes a soft and small buffing cloth for helmet, windshield, or whatever. No need to carry additional rags. The creators experimented with various formulas with this product, and it has paid off.


To my surprise, this is a VERY usable product, and I expect to have a pack with me at all times. 


To order, or for more info, check out the Cycle Wipes web site at www.cyclewipes.com. Common prices are $6.95 for a single pack, $5.95 for two, or $4.95 for three or more - which makes sense. These are very useful for motorcyclists, bicyclists, car, truck, and RV drivers - anyone who travels through weather, bugs, and other detritus.


And... a portion of every purchase is donated to children's charitable causes.


YES!  We carry them at Ride West!  Come by and pick up some!


VI. Dinner at Cafe Veloce

We enjoy a fine time and great food at Café Veloce for our club monthly dinners. "Our" night is the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Most people arrive between 6:00 and 6:15pm, and by 6:30pm we have looked at each others bikes sufficiently to sit down to order food. We're in the "club" room in inclement weather and out on the deck when the sun shines.


This month's TEAM RIDE WEST CLUB DINNER will be on Tuesday, July 18th.

Cafe Veloce is located in the Totem Lake mall area north of Kirkland and south of the Bothell/Woodinville I-405 exits.


Directions to Cafe Veloce: 
  • Heading north on I-405 take exit 20B (NE 124th St) and then the ramp to Totem Lake Blvd. You will go through the traffic light to 120th Ave and Café Veloce is to the right just past the auto parts store.
  • Heading south on I-405 take exit 20 (NE 124th St) and turn left on NE 124th Street. You will go through two traffic lights and then take a left on Totem Lake Blvd. Into the right lane, and right at 120th Ave to the restaurant.

VII. The Ride West Difference

Say you're chatting with friends about the varied events and rides you're enjoying with Team Ride West. Say further that these friends ask you, "What makes Ride West different?"   Here are concepts we would thank you for putting across - the "Magnificent Seven."


1.   With Team Ride West, more rides, dinners, and events than anyone else.

2.   More in-store sales, swap meets, seminars, classes, etc. than anyone else.

3.   Ability to purchase insurance for your bike, home, and auto - all in-house.

4.   More demo bikes, and longer demo rides, than any other dealer.

5.   New for this year - our track school and track day support program.

6.   Service Department capable and happy to work on any brand.

7.   Wide assortment of used bikes of all brands.


VIII. Team Ride West Concept Ride Procedures

Team Ride West rides are referred to as "concept rides" because route and destination changes may evolve during the day depending on the wishes of those on the ride, the weather, and events of interest we may find along the way. The initial route directions will be sent out by e-mail a few days prior to the ride, but it is not required that everyone on the ride follow the same route or reach the same destination!


Here are the guidelines that we follow:

  1. Arrive at the start of the ride (usually Ride West BMW) with a full tank of fuel and funds for fuel, food, and other expenses during the day.
  2. Sign in and receive the printed instructions if needed. (Pause - if you do not have both a motorcycle endorsement on your license and insurance on your motorcycle, we ask that you wait until you do to ride with us.)
  3. Be VERY careful as we turn out of the Ride West parking lot onto 16th. Cars can and sometimes do turn left from Lake City Way onto 16th - potentially at a lethal speed.
  4. Once on the ride, find a group to ride with of 3 to 5 bikes - based on friends, model, experience, style of riding, and/or desired pace.
  5. Allow LOTS of space around you - front, side, and rear. Do not "tailgate."
  6. At major intersections that involve a turn, make sure the person behind you (in your group) has seen the turn before you accelerate away.
  7. RIDE AT YOUR OWN PACE - always.
  8. Pass on the left - well over the centerline. Do not pass on the right - EVER, under any circumstances barring dire emergency.
  9. Use hand/foot signals as needed. There's no required guide to these.
  10. On the way home, once past the final group fuel stop, it's every person for him/her self. You may drop off at your exit or street without the need to let the entire group know - but mentioning your intent at the final stop is a nice gesture.
  11. Other groups of motorcycles? - pass them very carefully with lots of room.
  12. For groups larger than 15 bikes or so, we will expect people to take some responsibility for following the route directions and/or others in the group, or for finding their own route. This rule is called "YOYOMF" for "You're On Your Own My Friend."   Kudos to Bill Hucks for coming up with the phrase, although his version is just a bit more colorful.
X. Pithy Words to Ride By...

Rider Tip! When was the last time you tried something as simple as standing on one foot? Go ahead, Try it. I'll wait.


If you're like most people, including me about 8 months ago, the first time you try this you'll be appalled.  You may find you cannot stand on one foot for more than a few seconds, or even at all. What happened? 


You began to age. That's it. 


Good news - with practice you will get MUCH better, and at some point you can find all manner of additional exercises on the Internet to try.  Practice in the morning and before you go to bed. You'll be very pleased with your rapid improvement. Much easier than dieting, and it could be argued that the benefits are greater.  


And of course, this has practical applications to riding a motorcycle as well.

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