We've well past crested a decade and a half on this board and are heading toward twenty years of "promoting Sport Touring primarily, but not exclusively, aboard BMW Motorcycles." And in the past few weeks, we've been keeping a close eye on the membership totals as they neared 25,000. Truth be told, there have already been more than 25,000 registrations on this board. But with the ones we've sadly had to send packing, as well as those who've registered, come back a year later and forgot their info so they re-registered (and we had to combine both memberships into one or the other and delete the unwanted one), as well as a few other anomalies, the official registration count by the software was approaching 25,000.
We watched and we waited. And somewhere in the past week or so, it happened. Who is not important as they're the result of the circumstances above. One more dual membership or one more/less person banned, and it would have been someone else. What's important is that we've grown and continue to grow.
People come and people go. Some have registered and posted a few times, got the info they needed to know, and left. Others came here to sell or buy something. Others registered with good intentions, but just lurked, never to post. Some people are just shy that way. But they ride and we want them here just for that reason alone. There are websites with many more members. Good folks, all. But the closeness and genuine community we've developed here is hard to be found elsewhere. Perhaps it's the smaller numbers and how that contributes to getting to know each other better. Or the fact that we're focused on Sport Touring on BMW's (other brands welcome, but BMW's mainly and RT's first and foremost). Or that we're just kind of different. No profanity. No name calling. No politics. Classified transactions are private. No polarizing arguments (guns, religion, Miley Cyrus). Whatever it is, this site is not just a great place to visit, it's almost like a second home.
Admin Mike, who's been here almost as long as I have (or is it the other way around?) shared some very touching words with the Admin Team. I've added a little to them and they're below just so you can see how we, and most of you, feel about this place.
"Wow! What a journey it's been over the years. Remarkably, during that whole time, I think we've stayed pretty near to the ideals that (founder) Cary Littell brought to the creation of this place, with our constant focus never swaying from his original intent that it would be a place that existed to help others of similar interests.
We've occasionally bickered, sometimes had to play the role of a stern parent, and from time to time had to discuss kicking someone's tail out of here. But, members have forged genuine, lifelong relationships . . . friendships have been created, a few have found love and married. We've been joined by marvelously generous and knowledgeable people. And we've lost a few we barely knew, and a few we knew so well it still hurts. And always--always--there have been those who rose to the occasion when another was in need.
Thanks for a great ride."
Let me echo that. From all of us who have served as Admins, past and present, thanks for the great website YOU have created, and the great ride everyone has enjoyed.