Forum Replies Created
Considering the small size of our club, we carry more clout than one would expect. The magazine is the perfect example. It is unbelieveable that we are only on our 3rd (or mayne 4th) Editor in the history of the club. We are seeing a large number of articles about women riders by women writers, (right now) but that’s OK. Our new Editor is a women and all new Editors tend to write about what they know and where their passions lie – be that road racing or off road rides. As time goes by, people will step forward to offer input on different topics (already happening). Ms. Schluter is doing a fine job as she sorts her way thru to find her nitch and put her stamp on OLT.
I particularly enjoyed the “RA History” look back at Robert Hellman in the latest issue. Hard to beleive he has been gone 10 years. An unbelievable gift to the BMW RA. His lasting imprint on the club should be to remember to not take ourselves too seriously as we go thru life and remember to enjoy the ride.
Everyone just needs to keep in mind that this is a volunteer club as is the position of Editor and not be too quick to complain about a late issue.
Sam Creasman, AKA SammyJoe, member # 21199
I agree. It was a very good Rally. The weather was great. The location was good and everyone was in great spirits. The Rally volunteers were great. We intended to camp, but my bike broke down in route to the Rally, so we rode 2-up on my wife’s bike while mine got towed to a dealer and stayed in a motel just for one night. Wish we would have had more time at the Rally.
To those of you who have newly joined (or rejoined) the RA, I want to use your comments about the lack of activity with postings to the Forum and questions about the frequency of OTL issues as a vehicle for my comments about the club and its magazine. The RA is in the middle of a major change period. When the previous Editor of OTL died, it obviously set off a giant power struggle within the Club that produced a lot of fall out – from top to bottom. People who had been deeply involved in the RA were pushed out or dropped out and there was a struggle for control of OTL.
Change is always hard, both for individuals and for Clubs. Major changes are most always very intense. This change within the Club has been particularly difficult and lasted longer that it should due to several factors. The 2 primary factors, as I see them, have been a lack of leadership from the Club President(s) and the attitude of the new Editor of OLT.
The new Editor decided to change everthing about the magazine, announcing that the main focus of OTL would be the new BMW S1000RR bike and Racing Coverage. He also announced that complaints against BMW corporate or BMW bikes would not be allowed. That upset many members, who complained. Those who dared to speak-up in “Letters to Editor” were dealt with harshly. They were basically told that if they didn’t like it – stuff it. This is where lack of leadership by the Club President came into play. The Editor should have been reminded that OLT was not his personal magazine to do with as he pleased, but that it was “The Club” magazine and that there needed to be a place for everyone in it. But above all, respect had to be shown to members. That did not appear to have happened. Consquently, participation by members has simply stopped.
Now, having said that – RA riders tend to be just that, riders, and not talkers. They tend to be experienced riders with their bikes pretty well sorted out the way the want them. So you will not see alot of questions about “How should I do this” or “What kind of farkel should I get” and you are simply not going to see a lot of postings.
As far as OLT goes, the jury is still out. The Editor is having a very difficult time making the transition from being a “Contributing Editor” to “The Editor”. As a “Contributing Editor” one is free to focus in on whatever floats your boat. But as “The Editor” you have responsibility for the whole magazine and it becomes your job to seek out contributors that you think might (might) appeal to a number of members and ask them to submit something. An Editor has to go out and look. They can not just simply sit back and wait for submissions to come in. Contributors have to be nurtured. It is rare that a Peter Egan comes along – a fully developed writer right from the get-go. Putting out a magazine is hard work, commercial or Club, and it becomes Mt. Everest when one tries to do it all by oneself. Right now, we are a very good picture book. Hey, my bike was pictured in the Jan/Feb and that was pretty cool.
So hang in there and keep riding and post when you can.
Well, to those of you who have taken offense at my comments about OLT. My point of view is my point of view. Nothing more. I would remind each of you that nothing or no one is perfect. Not Robert Hellman nor Bob Higdon or Will Guyan. If my thoughts about the Club have been error, they were/are based on educated guesses, because no one in positions of leadership within the Club ever wrote any editorials, “Open Letters” to the members, or “Guest Articles” explaining any of the goings on behind the scenes or the stitches on the curve ball. Perception is reality.
I don’t live in the past. I ride a ’81 R100RS because it is a bike that I love. I have owned Oilhead and Hex Heads and K-Bikes. My next bike will probablly be a GS. I am just a regular guy who rides when he can and tries to take a long bike trip at least once a year. I don’t live under a rock. I don’t begrudge anyone who rides the lastest thing out from BMW – be it a “R” bike or “K” or “RR”. I don’t have the $$ to buy a new bike every 2-3 years, but I don’t hold any resentment against those that do. I have read OLT religiously since I first joined the RA and still do. I read it from page 1 to the end. I waited a long time to write anything on the Forum or “To the Editor”, because I knew what the reaction by the “Faithful” would be – Instant attack.
I find it interesting that some in our Club seem to have developed an attitude that says critizism will not be allowed and that it is hoped that my post will be published in OLT so I can really get blasted by the good members who will show what a jerk I am. I think my critizism was very mild. The Mag is better. It has “Risen from the Dead”. The art work/photos are 1st rate. And I understand that that did not just happen at the “Push of a Button”. And, I think Will is improving. But, I don’t think we are as good as we can be. I have been challanged to do something besides complain. If I had anything to contribute in an article, I would submit. Unfortunately my skills do not lie in that area. I sweat blood just to type this response. The words do not flow easily. I erase, rewrite, and edit to be sure that what I say, is what I want to say. To those who have go into the “Full on -Attack Mode” – I say, just cool it. We are a broad community. There’s room for everyone and their points of view, even it they don’t match the new norm.
So. Keep on riding, keep the rubber side down, and keep an eye peeled for John Law with his “Special” good driver/rider awards.