Category Archives: Michigan Destinations 2015

Club Ride to the Gilmore Antique M/C Show 6/11/2017

The Ride to the Gilmore for the Antique Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet.  During this Sunday’s ride, we saw many more motorcycles than we usually do on our rides.  As we got closer to the Gilmore, the density increased.  A 9:00 breakfast at New Beginnings started the day off and we were on the road by 10:30.  We stopped 1/2 way at the Allegan McDonald’s and enjoyed ‘the pause that refreshes’ in the shaded parking lot.  Since we were drawing out the ride as long as we could, we spent extra long at the stop.  The temperature was already starting to climb.  We then proceeded to the Gilmore and joined the few thousand cyclists there.   Posted by Ethan Powsner

Bikes waiting patiently as we eat
Bill Dirkmaat (L), Dave Winn
Phil Nellis (L), Gordy Hankinson
Mike Hankinson (L), Dave Neer
Bob Swanson (L), Colleen and Tony Wolfer
McDonald’s in Allegan. Rest stop. Tony Wolfer (L), Dave Neer, Rick Kraai, Jake Berzkalns
Al Dewey

Club Ride 5-21-2017

(See Bill Dirkmaat’s write up of the breakfast in the May Newsletter.)  The weather was not the most inviting, but thanks to the wonder of weather radar, it was clear that one could ride to the breakfast and the storm would be gone by the start of the ride at 10:30. That said, we had a  large turnout for breakfast, but only 5 riders and only 3 and 1/2 went for the ride.  It did rain a little on-and-off during the ride, but not enough to break out the rain gear.  Posted by Ethan Powsner

Left to right: Bill and Joanne Hankinson, Roger Van Den Brink, Jake Berzkalns, Cal and Kitty Van Den Brink, Ethan Powsner

Jake and his new-to-him F650 (now G650).
Getting ready for the ride
Jake Berzkalns and Tony Wolfer at the rest stop
Lunch at the Clifford Lake Inn near Stanton, MI. Front L to R: Bill Hankinson, Joanne Hankinson, Tony Wolfer. Rear L to R: Ethan Powsner, Jake Berzkalns

Battle Creek BMW Club Mini-Rally May, 2017

West Michigan BMW Riders won the “Largest Club in Attendance” plaque for the 2017 Mini-Rally hosted by the Battle Creek BMW club.  Located at the Green Valley Campground in Sturgis, MI, the weather this year was a bit on the chilly side, dropping to 35 degrees on Saturday night.

Just a few of the many bikes there. This was early in the registration.
Typical scene at the campground
Bill Hankinson in the process of diagnosing the need for a new battery. Left to right (John Obermayer, Mike Hankinson, Tom from TCD, Bill Hankinson)
Breakfast at El Zorrito in Topeka, IN. Left to right: Jerry Arnett, John Obermayer, Diane Obermayer, Ethan Powsner, Mike Hankinson, Bill Hankinson, Dave Wilson.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness event in Battle Creek. ‘The Dark Knight’ appears in his custom Polaris Slingshot
This modified Harley was one of many bikes at the Safety Awareness Event.
Do you remember when this was ‘State of the Art’ in RV’s?
This bike traveled in its own Sprinter van, complete with roll-out dolly.
Rally HQ, home of 24/7 coffee, tea & hot chocolate.

Sheperd Maple Syrup Festival – April 29, 2017

This trip came up suddenly.  My wife and I were going to be attending the Sheperd Maple Syrup Festival on Sunday the 30th with friends of ours who have young children. When the weather showed 100% chance of rain on Sunday, I was the only one who could reschedule to Saturday.  So, off I rode.  The weather was nearly perfect — just a little chilly; time to buy a heated jacket.   I missed all the rain, which didn’t appear in Grand Rapids until after 6 PM Saturday evening.  The ride was simple,  East Beltline to Northland Drive to Federal (Hwy?/Road?) to M-46 East to US-127 North to Sheperd.  On the return, I took US-127 North to M-20 West to US-131 South.  I had never been riding on M-20 West, so it was interesting to ride through Mecosta and Rodney.   Posted by Ethan Powsner

The hub of the Sheperd Maple Syrup Festival. Pancake Breakfast served here.
“Bottomless” Pancakes






Helicopter tours were available.
Interior of ’68 Shelby GT 500 KR. A brief look at the internet today indicates prices well north of $150,000.
Back in the day, you could get interesting options. There were a couple of these older K5 Blazers.
This was the only BMW motorcycle at the festival. There were a number of Harleys.
There was also a Quilt Show.

April Club Ride — Frank L. White Gravesite, Woodlawn Cemetery, Leslie, MI

Frank L. White is the chef pictured on the Cream of Wheat cereal boxes.  His story is on Wikepedia.  Besides being of general interest, Mr. White’s grave site lies at the end of an interesting route that includes I-196, I-96, M-50, M-188, the Grand River, as well as numerous country roads.   We started the ride with the usual hearty breakfast at New Beginnings and departed with 8 riders — Phil Nellis,  Roger Vanden Brink, Mike Hankinson, Mark Giem, Jake Berzkalns,   Dave Winn, Jodi Lee, and Ethan Powsner.  The weather was perfect as we motored east on I-196 and I-96 in order to clear GR before we took a meandering route to M-50 East for most of the rest of the way.   The mid-ride rest stop was at the McDonalds in Lake Odessa.  After we reached our destination in Leslie, we had lunch a few short blocks away at the Leslie Depot Diner.

Posted by Ethan Powsner

Breakfast @ New Beginnings. Large crowd today.
Pre-ride staging, Club Treasurer Bill Dirkmaat(L), Phil Nellis


Rest stop at Lake Odessa McDonald’s


Tiny Chapel on shore of Lake Odessa


No better sight than a line of BMWs. At Woodlawn Cemetery in Leslie, MI


Taking photos of Mr. White’s gravestone. It doesn’t cease to amaze that this icon of hot cereal lived in Leslie, MI during the last years of his life.


Frank L. White grave. You can learn more on Wikipedia.



Lunch at the Leslie Depot Diner
Left to right. Ethan Powsner, Jodi Lee, Dave Winn, Roger Vanden Brink, Mike Hankinson, Mark Giem, Jake Berzkalns

BMW MCGR G 310R Debut (4-15-2017)

BMW MCGR had an open house this morning to welcome the new 310 R.

The star of the open house

















Much needed coffee, lemonade, water and baked goods
Lots of bikes, many good deals


Al Dewey (back to camera) wearing the club sweatshirt








The weather couldn’t have been better.   After this, I pre-rode next week’s club ride to Leslie “The Cream of Wheat Ride”.  While in Leslie, I stopped at the McD’s for a refreshment, some shade, and to adjust my shift lever to better fit my new boots.

Shade is your friend when you are ATGATT
Fine tuning the shift lever placement

Posted by Ethan Powsner

Fennville and South Haven 04-01-2017

Beautiful day for a ride. Combined a little of everything. Shopping for motorcycle boots, riding out in the country, having a picnic, coffee breaks, and even some slow speed practice.









Where else in Grand Rapids can you get Starbucks coffee and see hundred(s) of motorcycles?





There were quite a few shoppers at BMW MC GR





Fennville was a nice place for a picnic and some coffee. Had a sandwich in this little park adjoining the post office.









“Roots” coffee shop in downtown Fennville.









Mural in South Haven









Overlooking the lighthouse








Inspired by Jerry Palladino’s “Ride Like a Pro” video, I tried my hand at the Slow Race and Cone Weave. There are plenty of vacant industrial buildings with nice parking lots.  Today, I carried my supply of cones and a large reel-tape measure. It helps if it is cool out.

Posted by Ethan Powsner

Open House at BMW MC of GR 3-25-2017

The weather was terrible on Saturday March 25th. Rainy and gusty; ironic, since the day before was amazingly nice.  The lure of a pancake breakfast at the BMW MC  of GR, as well as service specials and  Distributor Reps for the ancillary products made it too  good to miss.  I rode in, but my bike was parked all by its lonesome — at least while I was there.  No worries, I saw plenty of club members: club Treasurer – Bill Dirkmaat, Dave Winn, Phil and Roxanne Nellis, club VP – John Malnor, Rick Kraai, Bob Swanson, and Jake Berzkalns.  Turnout was healthy — by my standards and considering the weather.  The pancakes and sausages were tasty and washed down with ample supplies of coffee and OJ.

Rainy day — a few bikes out front. Waiting for someone to try ‘rain mode’. 








Quicksilver was all alone out front. A waterproof tank bag is needed.















Good crowd inside. Group listening to tall tales of riding the Veldt on the GS being while being chased by rhinos.









R9T – Racer — no rain on this specimen.









Posted by Ethan Powsner