View Full Version : BMW Club of Houston Rally Dual Sport Ride

10-24-2007, 09:11 AM
Our rally was last weekend, Oct 19-21,2007 in Smithville, Texas. The weather could not have been better, clear and cool. Here is an article I wrote about it.

BMW Club of Houston, LTD. Rally Dual Sport Ride
Carl Chapman #9948

Many months ago, I was asked to prepare a dual sport ride for our BMW club’s rally. I had done some dual sport riding in the area before and was somewhat familiar with the area, but had to tailor it to start and end from our rally site in Smithville, Texas. It was time to get out the maps and start planning and routing. I came up with a plan and created a GPS route. I went out on a Saturday in June to ride the route to make sure it would flow and be suitable. This route turned out to be over 200 miles and it took me 7 hours to complete. Normally that would not be a problem, but I was trying to fit the dual sport ride in so the participants could be back to the rally in time to enjoy other activities. After more planning and routing, I came up with a route I thought would fit the timeframe and give them a scenic and challenging ride. I went out again on a Saturday in September and rode the new route. It was 140 miles and took about 5 hours with all the planned stops for lunch and breaks. That should work. The weekend for our rally arrived and the weather could not have been better, clear and cool. I had made copies of the local map and highlighted the route for all the riders, but this ride was going to be led by me as there are so many unmarked turns and roads when you get off the beaten path. I also printed out a set of “Buddy rules” to use on the ride. The Buddy system has to be used in this type of ride so everyone stays together and does not get lost. Basically the Buddy system says, you are responsible for the rider behind you. When you make a turn, make sure the rider behind you sees the turn. If you do not see the rider behind you, then wait for them, give them 5-10 minutes and if they do not show up go back to the last place you saw them, they may be lost or need help. This break in the rider’s line will trickle up and eventually stop the lead rider so everyone can regroup. I have used the “Buddy system” on other rides and it works well if everyone is paying attention. I have to say this group did very well and we only had 1 rider get lost, but he was able to use the map and find us for lunch. This part of rural Texas has rolling hills, but nothing very dramatic, just a lot of ranches and farms with small towns in between to break up the greenery. The first planned stop was the Monument Hill / Kreische Brewery State Historic Site just outside of La Grange. This site is dedicated to the men that died and are buried here from the Dawson and Mier Expeditions involving early Texas history. The monument and tomb were placed on property owned by early German immigrant H.L. Kreische. Also on site and owned by H.L. Kreische was one of the first Texas breweries. Not only that, but it offers a very scenic view of the Colorado River from a 200’ bluff. From there, we made our way thru La Grange and on to the Fayetteville town square for lunch. Its hard to beat the Blue Plate Special at the Orsak Café. After too much lunch, we somehow were able to remount our bikes and continued the ride taking many twisty paved and gravel roads past old beautiful churches, over old wooden bridges, and even thru one creek with about 1’ of running water. Thankfully, everyone made it thru the creek like a pro. I had played up the creek to the other riders before hand without knowing just how much water was there. I think some were disappointed there was not more water in the creek, but I think all were relieved to make it thru. It was a cool tree covered area that provided another short break. We continued on many back roads that would turn from pavement to gravel without any notice so everyone had to keep on their toes and of course look out for their buddy behind them. Turns out, this was an International Dual Sport Ride, as we had one rider from New Zealand, one rider originally from Turkey, and 2 riders from Wisconsin. So when we passed a pasture full of Texas Longhorn cattle, I scheduled another short break Neither the Longhorn cattle nor some of the riders seemed impressed so we motored on. We passed thru several other small towns like Round Top where there were many cruiser bikes parked. You would have thought we all had loud pipes from all the stares we got as we rode thru town, I thought it was funny, but its not everyday you witness an International Dual Sport ride. We rode on the county gravel and paved roads winding our way to Serbin where another historic church is found. From Serbin, we had about 17 very fun miles to go before we arrived back at the rally site. We arrived back at the rally site 5.5 hours after we started and with every rider accounted for. The “Buddy System” was new to many of the riders, but they caught on quick and looked out for their buddy and I’m glad to say we all made it back unscathed and a little dirty. Thanks, guys, for a great ride.

10-25-2007, 11:11 AM
Hey Carl , I missed the DS ride by two hours. then hit a few of the dirt rds. near Fayetville and saw DS bike tracks:rider: . Missing out on a Internacional DS ride in my own backyard ,now this is a bummer.

James in Sealy / Bucharest Romania
R80 GS "Schek" Replica
1937 BMW R12
Ural Gear Up 2wd.
Maico GS
1953 Zundapp KS601

10-25-2007, 12:35 PM
James, sorry you missed the ride. Whichever of your bikes you might have ridden would have surely added to the International flavor.

10-25-2007, 03:34 PM

10-26-2007, 10:15 AM
Sorry I missed the DS ride, to many bike things going on at the same time. I was trying to make the Harvest Classic Rally and the BMW rally.
Glad y'all had fun.

10-30-2007, 08:07 PM

Here here... we need pics !!