New Member Guide to the TCD

Welcome!

Whether you are considering joining or are new to the BMW Touring Club of Detroit, here is a quick overview of the TCD and what to expect.

The TCD is a diverse group.  After a few interactions with the club, you will notice that we are a diverse group of riders.  The wide variety of bikes, types of riding, and personalities is a big part of what makes the TCD what it is.    We have people who only ride on-road, only ride off-road, people who are expert at vintage bikes, those who primarily ride long-distance, folks who only ride around town and many combinations of these.  Depending on what type of activity you attend, you may immediately meet like-minded riders who share your interests, or you may not.   Whether you fall right in or not, please know that there are different types of riding groups within the TCD and everyone may or may not be represented at any single club event.  What you should expect, are friendly people who enjoy motorcycles and riding.

The TCD is a great resource.  The collective experience of the club is immense.  Whether you need help on a motorcycle technical issue, advice on gear, travel suggestions, how to use your GPS or connect all your bluetooth devices, or a wide-variety of other topics - you'll find a wealth of knowledge to help you out.  People can quickly refer you to the other members of the club who have the most experience, or you can post a question on the TCD forum for answers.

We Ride!  The club has always been oriented toward riding.  No meetings (well one a year...), just riding.  Members of the club have literally been everywhere across all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, South America, Europe, etc.  It's not uncommon to have 8-9 people sitting around a table at breakfast who have all ridden to Alaska.  If you're still learning the ropes, don't be intimidated - everyone starts somewhere and you'll find lot's of people willing to help you.  One of the greatest parts of the club is finding other people to ride with, and you'll typically be able to find others who would like to join you for an adventure, whether it's near or far.  That said, we typically don't hold large group rides.  If we have a lot of people on a ride, we'll split into groups of 4-5 riders.  It's makes the riding more enjoyable, allows for more personalized approaches, and makes the logistics easier.

What we do:

  • Local Rides
    • We have a variety of local events that we try to change up.  Ice-cream rides on road (we need a destination), dirt-road rides in Washtenaw and Oakland counties, Detroit Urban Rides.   We're always looking for fun suggestions.
  • Regional TCD Rides
    • We host a variety of rides for our members around Michigan and surrounding states.  We have both on-road,  ADV, and combination events where both types of riding are available.
  • Rallies and Other Events
    • National and regional motorcycle rallies across the country.  Most definitely the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Rally, and the BMW Rider's Association National Rallies, but many others as well.  Daytona Bike Week / Biketoberfest, Americade, Mid-Ohio Vintage Days, New Horizons, etc.
    • BMW Club Rallies - Finger Lakes, Four Winds, Hopewell, Wisconsin Dells, Top O' The Rockies
    • ADV Events - March Moto Madness, Overland Expo, Touratech Rally, Wailin Wayne and others.
    • Training - RawHyde, BMW Adventure Training, MSF, California Superbike, etc.  There are often trips to these and others.
    • Track Days - Primarily we do the dealer track days, but some get serious and attend Sportbike Track Time events.
  • Local Gatherings
    • Monthly Tuesday night events.  Ypsilanti Bike Night is where this started, and we often meet there in the summer and winter.  We also occasionally move it around to different locations.  Check the club calendar or forum.  There is a mix of riders, but this tends to be a lot of the ADV riders in the club.
    • Geezer Meetings.  It's good to be retired and have time to work on your GPS routing skills and drink coffee.  That's what these are. Typically held at 10 am in South Lyon on weekday mornings when the rest of us are at work.  You'll know you found them when you see a bunch of guys sitting around the Java House with their helmets on talking to each other through their Sena headsets (that makes drinking coffee more difficult I understand...)
    • Breakfast.  Sunday breakfasts have been held for most of the club's 50 year existence.  The Lifetime Members of the Club anchor this long-standing TCD tradition.  Somewhat less attended by the ADV riders.
  • Pick-Up Rides
    • Informal rides, or other members looking for someone to ride with often pop up on the TCD forum on the website.
    • ADV rides are very often on one of our social channels.
    • When the official calendar has an opening, you can bet that there is something going on to fill in the time with rides.

One of the best ways to connect with a lot of members is to introduce yourself on the TCD forum.  Let us know what types of rides you're interested in and a little about yourself and your bike(s).  Before long you'll be a regular.

Riding off-road is best done with friends.  If you need a hand picking up your bike, or for various other reasons it's great to have someone with you.  Because of that, the ADV riders have started using some additional tools to communicate amongst themselves.  We have a TCD Adventure Riders Facebook Messenger Group, as well as a Slack messenger group used by the ADV riders.  If you'd like to become a part of that, send and email to us and we'll set you up.

If you have any questions, please reach out.  Send an email to tcdpresident@bmwtcd.org, and we'll get right back to you.

See you on a ride soon!

Mike E

'16 R1200GSA

One thought on “New Member Guide to the TCD

  • June 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm
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    Great article Mike, job well done!

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