It’s Winter in New England. As such my thoughts turn to memories of good times in my past. My most enjoyable hobby for over 30 years was motorcycle touring so I dug back in my archives to my most trusted and beautiful motorcycle, a 2001 BMW K1200LTC luxury touring machine I nicknamed “The Blue Whale”.
I owned this beauty for 4 years, amassing over 68,000 happy miles on her before a train wreck destroyed my beautiful bike. While living in Graniteville, SC a head-on train collision and subsequent derailment caused a tanker carrying concentrated chlorine gas to rupture, spewing its contents in my sleepy little textile town. I would have been killed but God had other plans for me that day. I was literally in a local hospital in intensive care the night of this tragic train wreck. I had congestive heart failure and watched the newscast of the tragedy unfold on a TV in my hospital room. It happened Jan 05, 2005. The story made national news as there were over 300 injured and half a dozen deaths directly caused by this tragedy.
My home in Graniteville was just outside the one mile radius of the area worst affected by the green chlorite cloud that permiated everything. My BMW K1200 was parked in my backyard and covered with a full touring bike cover. The chlorine gas did thousands of dollars worth of damage to everything metal on the bike causing the insurance company representing the railroad to buy the bike from me. As a result, after being released from the hospital and recovering from a resulting prostate surgery I was forced to buy my next motorcycle, a new BMW R1200RT. I rode that bike for 51,000 miles in the next 3 years after my move to Portland, OR. I still miss my Blue Whale.
2001 BMW K1200LTC – 68,000 miles
2005 BMW R1200RT – 51,000 miles
I chose to exit motorcycling in 2015 before moving to New England in October of 2015. I had two other bikes after my BMW days including a 2008 Triumph Rocket III and a Piaggio BV250 Touring scooter. Both were in pristine condition when I let them go.
I honestly don’t miss motorcycling as my reason for hanging up the hobby involved the passing of legislation allowing for legalized marijuana use. The number of car drivers high on dope made motorcycling very dangerous. I don’t regret my decision to quit while I was ahead. I accumulated almost half a million miles on street bikes with zero accidents. Not many can claim that accomplishment.
2008 Triumph Rocket III Power Cruiser – 2300cc triple – 15000 miles
2009 Piaggio BV250 Touring Scooter – 11,000 miles nicknamed “The Bottle-Rocket”
As you can see there was a drastic difference in size and displacement between my last full sized bike and my scooter. By the way, I rode the scooter just as I did my touring bikes, long distance and getting 75 mpg on regular gas. 🙂
You’ll notice I kept my bikes clean, spotless, showroom new. I certainly didn’t baby them when I rode and never owned a “Trailer Queen” like some Harley riders. BMW owner ride they machine, hard.