Red River Riders' Hill Country Adventure

The Texas Hill Country was crawling with members of the Red River BMW Riders Club over the weekend of June 4-7 as 13 club members and 13 other spouses, friends and former spouses of friends descended on a little slice of Hill Country heaven also known as "Blanco Settlement." Along the way, a rider who was not part of our group asked "Why choose Blanco?" Why indeed?

The boys bond

Is it because it has the only bowling 'club' that we know of that offers nine-pin games complete with children doing the job of resetting pins and rolling balls back to the players? Is it because the one 'upscale' steak house in town seems not to have working air-conditioning? Or is it because the settlement is perched along the charming banks of the Blanco rivulet?

A "rivulet" runs through it.

Hmmm. We think the answer is "All of the above," but a better response may be that it allows club members the opportunity to all hang out together in a pretty area that is close to other pretty areas, and within about 100 miles in any direction to find fun twists, turns, climbs, descents, flowing rivers, great roads, outlet shopping, lavender farms, motorcycle dealerships and chicken fried steak. Truly, something for everyone.

Drew with two Blanco food groups: beer and Oreos

In the truest sense of what makes our club unique, everyone seemed to arrive at the Blanco Settlement via a different route, went in different directions each morning, ate at different establishments, talked to different people and had unique and worthwhile individual experiences. Each evening, all would gather under the towering pinoak to drink beer, wine and softdrinks and embellish each and every daytime adventure in the retelling. The deer along the roadway got bigger, meaner and more aggressive. The roads themselves got steeper and more challenging. The huevos rancheros were the best ever! Ahhh, it just doesn't get much better than that.

The Road to Utopia

The official definition of "Utopia" is an ideally perfect place. Members of the Red River BMW Club have BEEN to Utopia and have an alternate impression that involves a first lingering smell of cow manure but evolves into a great cafe where we were given FREE dessert before our main meals even arrived. Utopia DOES exist!

Bruccini welcomes you to Utopia

A table of Utopians

Members went in all directions each morning--- to Wimberly, Boerne, Austin, Fredericksburg, Marble Falls and Leaky, which the locals pronounce Lake-y and are humorously offended when you say otherwise. Of course, we continued to mispronounce the name of the place we were staying. (It's "Blanko" according to a local, NOT our Louisiana drawled "Blannco.") Ron Franks and the Henderson gang found an incredible road near Lake Travis and Marble Falls. Critcher friends Tom and Sharon went to Austin and bought a beautiful new geezer glide, Dan, Bob, Beau, Todd, Sloan, David and others went to Fredericksburg for some highly-touted pancakes, and Liz and Steve went back 65 million years to a dry riverbed pocked with dinosaur tracks. Anyone who didn't have a big time just wasn't trying.

Tom and Sharon's new ultra road king glide king Harley king bike king

Steve points to a dinosaur print while looking over his shoulder for the really big critter that left it.

Hill Country Truisms
  • Deer have no brain function warning them to run AWAY from oncoming traffic.They are s-t-o-o-p-i-d.
  • Anywhere you go you will encounter someone you know.
  • Stories told later in the day are always larger than those told earlier in the day...even if they happened that day.
  • Breakfast is always better when it is made by someone else and left in the mini-fridge for you to nuke.
  • Just because the speed limit on most Texas roads is 70 mph doesn't necessarily mean it's safe to ride that fast. The same rules of stopped cars, blind hills and corners, roadway impediments and dumb drivers apply.

Bob gettin' Sassy!

Da boyz!

The Host and Hostess with the Mostess

Hill Country Scenery

Then you said what?

Adrienne & Steve chat while Bruce wears his helmet

She'll be comin' round the mountain...

The Toughest Enduro In The World? BMW UPDATE!

It's called the toughest enduro race in the world and after reading about it, I'm pretty sure I believe the hype. The Austrian Erzberg Rodeo is upon us and BMW will be there in force, hopefully with lots of bandages and gallons of the German version of Bactine.

You know anything that unflinchingly uses words like 'humiliation' and 'torture' is bound to be entertaining from a distance, but if this particular form of sadomasochism is your cup of tea, I'm sad to inform you that you're too late for Erzberg '09. Registration is full with 1500 competitors from 34 nations all eager to shout in their various languages, "Hold my beer and watch this!" In addition to the competitors are 100 emergency staff ( mountain rescue, Red Cross and paramedics) and six helicopters. The most prominent disclaimer on the Erzberg homepage is "Riders who need air ambulance services after an accident will have to cover all the costs themselves." So bring Bactine, bandages AND a high limit credit card!

The 'Erzbergrodeo' begins with the Iron Road Prologue, in which riders can ride scooters, sidecar rigs, ATVs, dirtbikes, even Harley street bikes up a nearly ten-mile stretch of mountain. The fastest in the Prologue free-for-all move on to the torture and treachery of the Red Bull Hare Scramble, the Rodeo-X Endurocross or the new Rocket Race. Only 500 of the fastest finishers in the Iron Road Prologue will move on to the Red Bull Hare Scramble, a 4-hour 1-mountain flog staight up a threatening, boulder-strewn, switchback-laden mountain.

Defending champ Blazusiak

KTM factory rider Taddy Blazusiak will be back to defend his title. Former two-time winner and Dakar Champion Cyril Despres will be trying to unseat him. German Andreas Lettenbicher and Austrian enduro champion Gerhard Forster, Rudi Poschl, Jade Gutzeit and Gray Dick will all be taking on the Iron Giant on the BMW G450X. As one event publication put it, "This is going to be one crazy race."

  • To see the Erzberg in all its gory glory, rent the documentary called "Tougher Than Iron: The Enduro at Erzberg 2008".


Taddy Blazusiak was once again crowned champion of the "Iron Giant" but the BMW team riders acquitted themselves very well. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport´s Andreas "Letti" Lettenbichler placed third in the famous Hare Scramble, and rode the BMW 450 X into the finals of the inaugural Rocket Ride.

"What a brutal affair," said Lettenbichler of the Hare Scramble. "Rocks everywhere and lots of new sections. There were no lines to keep riding, all you could do was drag and tow the bike.“
Lettenbichler finished third in 2:25,17 hrs, behind Poland´s Blazusiak and Britain´s Graham Jarvis.

Interestingly enough, Letti did well on a much heavier 4-stroke while many of his top-challenging competitors rode lighter 2-strokes.
BMW South Africa´s Jade Gutzeit, who enjoyed the support of BMW Motorsport at the Erzbergrodeo, managed to score 15th place. Out of 500 riders qualified for the Hare Scramble, only 21 made it to the mountain top.

Erzberg Hare Scramble Top Ten Finishers
1. Tadeusz Blazusiak (POL), 1:41,46
2. Graham Jarvis (GBR), 2:22,05
3. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER), 2:25,17, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
4. Ben Hemingway (GBR), 3:27,48
5. Cory Graffunder (CAN), 3:37,50
6. Rory Mead (NZL), 3:38,02
7. Dan Hemingway (GBR), 3:54,24
8. Chris Birch (NZL), 3:55,01
9. Gerhard Forster (GER), 3:58,21, BMW Motorrad Motorsport
10. Kyle Redmond (USA), 4:08,49

R1200GS Stars Sunday On SPIKE TV-UPDATE

Jesse's Ride

I'll admit to you that I have never been a big fan of Jesse James, although his stock did rise a smidge when he married America's Sweetheart, Sandra Bullock. However, Jesse is doing something this Sunday of interest to BMW riders. Tune in to SPIKE TV at 9 pm (CST) Sunday, June 14 to see Jesse ride an R 1200GS to a remote Alaskan village to deliver medical supplies as part of his new series "Jesse James Is A Dead Man." The "Arctic Bike Journey" segment should be interesting, not so much from the standpoint of Jesse's deadpan 'I know more than you know' delivery, but to see how the bike handles the notorious Arctic Ice Road. Knobbies rule!


Jesse James has an amazing ability to render the interesting tedious and he showed his skill at this again Sunday night. In addition to a rampant case of the 'dumbs'---riding without heated suits in -60 degree temperatures (note to SPIKE TV: they sell this stuff all over the Internet. Seriously they do.) and Jesse's riding 'partner' waiting too late to order his studded ice tires meaning - shocker - they did not get in in time for the adventure, there was a total lack of information about the bike. No explanation of the mods, why the R1200 GS was the right bike for the job, not even a mention of the brand and model. Thank goodness the BMW roundel was given 2.3 seconds of airtime. Sorry to say folks, but the Red River Riders Club Lame-o-Meter pegged on this one.

Leno Checks Out BMW S1000RR

NBC's own motorcycle collector extraordinaire Jay Leno was in the crowd recently at Long Beach, California, BMW for the unveiling of the super sporty S1000RR. The S1000RR is BMW's newest entry in the fastfastfast lightlightlight market and dealers around the country should be getting them in (at least to display) soon. Depending on delivery schedules, one of the bikes could be available for locals to ogle at the big BMW Bash in Jasper, AR, over the July 4th weekend.

To find out all there is to know about the bike, go to the website and blogspot created just for it at: