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  #21  
Old 04-11-2021, 10:10 PM
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Awesome trip, Prop! Thanks for sharing your experiences. The pictures bring them to life
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  #22  
Old 04-13-2021, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by haigha View Post
Awesome trip, Prop! Thanks for sharing your experiences. The pictures bring them to life
You're all welcome. Thanks for being the kind of community where I and others can feel so welcome to share.

One of the best things about being at the Perf Center is the attention to detail they put into the little things. I walked out on her last day to find the B(M&M)W's all lined up just so. Our host said they like to arrange the colors this way and even do different sets for holidays.. Black, orange and white for Halloween, Red, White and Blue for July 4th, etc. I was reminded of our time there so long ago. Could you imagine walking ANYwhere and seeing THIS scene today? (Oh, and don't laugh. Digital cameras were all the new found rage in 2002. These pics are small for a reason.


Today was a 'normal' day so they just made pretty look more pretty...
My daughter made a friend with the other female in the group. I mentioned her dad and I got along well, too.
On the last day of the 2 day course, they saddle up in a number of different cars. It's brilliant, really. Let the customers send their children- future BMW owners- around the course in all different kinds of Bimmers. The best part? Have your customer *pay* for the experience! And yet we do. So gladly... For *this* smile... And oh yeah.. the defensive driving part. That too.
Parents do not ride along with kids and signs warn about being in the paddock. Be aware that access here is an invitation, not a foregone conclusion. Make yourself a polite partner in the experience and the good folks here will offer their graces when they can. I don't know what it's like if someone is an ass about things. That's just not my approach. I have found the flies and honey approach most effective. To wit, the invitation for the factory tour complete with a drive over to the plant in an Individual X5.

I didn't get invited to do the full X5 off road course, but I'd done it before in an E70. It was still fun to topple the brief exit path and see how things have changed across 2 decades.
The huge center screen is beautiful and bright. The glass dash is delightful and detailed. I am betting that there's a reason they don't ask us to parallel park these huge things. It's easy to forget how big it is behind the wheel. Like an M5, nothing that big should be so nimble. And yet.. they each snort like a monster pissed about its cage.

And so it was finally time to go. We arranged dinner in Greenville with our new friends and really enjoyed the conversation, milkshakes, and camaraderie. We were both anxious to extend welcomes to our home cities. I expect I will make a trip to Vail for another bicycle experience. Metal and cadaver bits in my knees will keep me off the slopes. But good people are their own reward. I sure hope we meet again when it's time for more classes or before. The people here amplify the fun of the cars.
I mentioned that we were then set off in a last minute invite to the South Carolina coast. We loaded up the bike on the BMW carrier and toddled off to the unknown. We'd never spent time here, and it has been glorious. Edisto Beach has maybe 6 places to eat (2 on Monday's) and a bit fewer places to drink. Cheap beer is not cheap on an island 60 miles from the nearest Costco. But a few bucks is plenty to enjoy the function and form of the beach rider's choice. This from the bait and tackle shop just a 1/4 mile up the road. Something ab buying beer at a bait and tackle shop makes me enjoy it more. And I don't even fish.
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  #23  
Old 04-13-2021, 03:11 PM
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My final post from Edisto Beach comes at the welcome relaxation derived from hauling bicycles 1/2 way across the country on the back of an E53. I've always said the 3.0 and 4.8is V8's are great city cruisers and I believe they still are. I still think that same peppy i6 my wife drove for nearly 20 years is one of the smoothest motors BMW has ever put out- on any chassis. But there is *just something* about running down those Carolina left-lane bandits with bikes, family, and weeks of luggage in tow. I ran a number of folks down who took some exception to being passed on the right- after they refused to yield. It MUST be embarrassing for them when passed with bikes hanging off the back. Jackasses to the one.

We connected with my 1st ever college roommate and his bride who was my fraternal 'Big Sister' 30 years ago. Just down the road a piece is Savannah, GA. What's a 90 minute roll out in an E53? Nothin. That's what. Herein was the namesake of Savannah's founder and that of our small college up the road in Atlanta.
But the stay on an island with less than 7 miles of pavement comes with its own speed. I top out at about 17mph on this thing, but then, I don't have any real place to be...
We've arrived at the end of Spring Break for most folks, so the time here is gloriously absent a crowd. I don't mind a crowd, really. But it is nice to have clear paths absent the same idiots who can't find the correct lane on the highway.
Riding on the beach is impossible in some places and awesome in others. The mirror of this experience with life is not lost as waves crash a few feet away. Neither does the siren's song of the fat bike- perfect for sand and yet beyond my reach so far. We'll get there. Hopefully before the big bills from college arrive. For now, the bike on which I've upgraded both the drivetrain (1x12/oval chainring for those interested) and the wheels and disc brakes (cause, obs) is the perfect little transportable commuter. I don't normally drink caffeine except on vacation. This trip's black coffee binge set itself in motion at the BMW center. It continues.
The best part about hauling your own is the same as the best part about driving your own. Just a few miles up the road is a state park with some short trails of historical interest. One of the more fun points along the trail is- as best historians can tell- a ginormous trash heap for all kinds of shells from animals the ancients ate. I find my self bemused at the thought of those huge landfills around the country and what significance, mysteries, and realizations will be told from them to generations beyond ours. Clearly, a deserted trail allows the mind to wander. Deserted indeed..
Pro tip:

Should you find the perfect pier for a shot, be judicious in your placement. A gust of wind shot across and shifted my ride away towards the water on the camera's click. I was worried I would have to either swim or walk home. The water was far from clear enough not to accept my time there as anything less than a terrible lesson.
Guard rails needed. Like I said: Riding parallels life. This trip so far has been no exception. when the wind blows you too close to danger, find yourself a spot with guardrails. It's a much more relaxing memory.
Tomorrow, we're off to the thriving metropolis of Charleston, SC. We will stay there as we did for my sister's wedding many years ago. There it was that my tiny lil wifey discovered the mint julep. (And her 1st real hangover) We're both anxious to reunite with the historic hotel bar there and of course, the hangover-inciting freshly minted bourbon. I'll drop them for a plane ride home on Thursday while I take off to visit family in Florida. It's been much too long since any of us have been able to move so freely. I'm taking full advantage before the new role starts in May. More on that as we load up the E53 and roll on to the next stop. See you fellas soon.
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  #24  
Old 04-14-2021, 12:41 AM
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I'm in Ooltewah, just north of Chattanooga.
My daughter is also 5' 2" but only 11. Well, I'm 6'3" so the apple didn't fall too much far from tree, lol.
Nice thread and my daughter is already eyeing my 532M which makes me so proud!
Great pictures!
I drove through Ooltewah just last Sunday on my way back to New Jersey. Preparing for a move to GA, I am driving my fleet down there one at a time. I too stopped at the Zentrum on Tuesday 6th April and took the same photo of the brown 4.4i.

M5Zentrum by Al Mancuso, on Flickr
X5zentrum by Al Mancuso, on Flickr

Propellerhead, if you had stayed to the weekend, the BMW CCA was there with the M X 1 event for all M and X vehicles. It was a really fun time.
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  #25  
Old 04-14-2021, 04:24 PM
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I got a new job, sooo ROADTRIP!

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Good beer in my opinion. And, a fantastic journey as well!
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  #26  
Old 04-14-2021, 07:49 PM
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Was at the Performance Center on Friday with my wife and at an “X Event” on Saturday. The ‘06 LMB 4.8is is still there and still has near no miles.


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  #27  
Old 04-24-2021, 07:00 PM
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I drove through Ooltewah just last Sunday on my way back to New Jersey. Preparing for a move to GA, I am driving my fleet down there one at a time. I too stopped at the Zentrum on Tuesday 6th April and took the same photo of the brown 4.4i.


Propellerhead, if you had stayed to the weekend, the BMW CCA was there with the M X 1 event for all M and X vehicles. It was a really fun time.
Sorry I missed it, and especially your E39! Love that red!
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  #28  
Old 04-24-2021, 09:21 PM
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Best times for daddy daughters!
Great dad! Several years ago, I introduced my daughter to oil changes on our BMW motor bike and now she does all maintenance herself. It's so fulfilling to see positive influences a parent has on a child.
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  #29  
Old 04-25-2021, 11:41 PM
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Tomorrow, we're off to the thriving metropolis of Charleston, SC.
And so it was that we left the serenity of the 7 mile loop on the island and headed off to Charleston. We arrived mid-afternoon and were settled shortly enough. I was out the door and looking for trouble by 1 or 2. Now, as far as trouble is concerned, I never have much trouble finding it. My 1st and only day unescorted in Charleston was no exception.

Ya see, what had happened is that I was on a regular, ya-see-any-place-normal kind of pish-poshy street with stores that sell stuff for folks without financial concerns. Yeah, so there was this sign.. Read: "(Somebody's- I forget) Alley Bar- In the alley behind the Yeti store. Coldest beer in town." We all have our siren's song, amIrite? If I am not tied to the mast of a ship already, well.. I'm in THAT bar. (There's a literary joke in there- bonus if you guess it)

I mean, who *doesn't* look for a place that has beer cans on a deer? I can't say I've ever considered it a necessity, but I will say that the *type* of place that's crush cans on antlers is pretty much where I wanna see what's going on...
Sure enough, at the next alley was... well... a right turn down an alley. I was compelled. A parking lot or 2 that I wouldn't leave *any* car passed by and there again.. an arrow on a sign to sing along with the song. By now, I was too far in. One turn later and there it was. The sign (with another arrow down a yet smaller alley) directed me as promised..
See? the thing is at this place, they'll sell you a $4 PBR. And for a mere $1 more, they'll add on a shot. I hope this only works on adventurous folks who follow blindly signs for cold beer.)Which is to say, it uhhh worked. After the 2nd shot (tequila instead of bourbon) I told the tender that I was happy to buy him the shot if he'd just keep the PBR's cold. We toasted 3's (or so) before The Call came in. The measure of any bar is the shitter. Here's what the sh!tter says ab this place:

Except for some open-market shopping finds in Charleston of shit-our-kids-will-sell-for-pennies, we had shrimp and grits that will, as my buddies are prone to say, "make a puppy pull a freight train," Charleston was a nice prep for the plane ride home for my girls.

I would say *we* had not planned for my daughter to return, but teenagers are teenagers, mommas are mommas, and my plans? Well my plans are some sort of sub-atomic matter that scientists wonder why it exists, *if* it exists, and whether it does or not exist, will just call by it's name shit that they can't explain.

I'm a husband to her mother and a daddy to a teenage girl. My opinion isn't even dark *matter*. My opinion is equal the shit that keeps dark matter from colliding with our planet. The smart folks call this 'dark energy' cause they can't explain it. either. So yes, gentlemen. My opinion isn't even the masses that simply must exist but we can't find.. My opinion is the unexplainable enigma that holds that shit in place. In other words, my opinion is pretty much off the readable scale.

The short answer is that my girls departed as a pair that day. And I was left to see what- and where- was next. I straddled up the circa 1999 pivot bike BMW rack for the E53 and off I went... Searching for either a tree or a pot. I needed to pee.
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  #30  
Old 04-27-2021, 09:23 AM
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Mrs. OB and I were there in Charleston the past 2 days. We had a wedding at the Wide Awake Plantation in Hollywood, SC and then spent the next day in Folly Beach. Love the SC coast.
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