Thu. Aug 22nd, 2019

Refereeing Professional Biking With BMW’s R1200GS Journey

James Carlisle uses his personal 2011 BMW R1200GS during his USA cycling referee duties.
James Carlisle makes use of his private 2011 BMW R1200GS throughout his USA biking referee duties. (Madeline Brawley/)

Bike: 2011 BMW R1200GS Journey
Rider: James Carlisle
Age: 52
Residence: Beaufort, SC
Occupation: USA Biking bike referee

I received into bikes towards the tip of my Military profession, which lasted 26 years. Somebody handed me Neil Peart’s ebook; his tales have been actually the impetus for purchasing my first bike. Since then, I’ve owned six bikes, from an F650GS to a sidecar rig and a café R100, and put nearly 250,000 miles on them complete. However I fell in love with the R1200. In the long run, I received two of them. One is a 2009, and it is abroad with my spouse, who’s nonetheless within the Military. The opposite is a 2011, which I take advantage of for work as a motorbike official for USA Biking.

Getting paid to ride. What's better than that?
Getting paid to trip. What’s higher than that? (Madeline Brawley/)

In the event you watch bicycle racing, you’ll discover us within the background—or the foreground. There are numerous completely different sorts of races, and a number of duties inside every. You could be a chief choose, site visitors management, working the pit lane, or carrying the cameraman on the again of your bike. Through the massive occasions, just like the Tour de France, there are groups of devoted motorcyclists for every function. For smaller races, there would possibly nonetheless be a number of motorcyclists, however we’re all working a number of jobs. Particularly once you’re using with the peloton and officiating, it will possibly get difficult.

Associated: Tales Of Working Inside The Bike Trade

Usually, you will have completely different teams—mens, womens, professionals, amateurs—operating concurrently, in staggered fields. It’s as much as us to make sure no one’s breaking the principles, hold the opponents protected and knowledgeable, and handle the race. You want to be decisive. Let’s say the lads are operating gradual, and the ladies are hammering, closing in on the again. Possibly you isolate the lads, let the ladies move. Possibly you pause the ladies, let the lads rebuild their lead. However you continue to want to think about backmarkers and riders working again after a flat tire. Then there’s a wreck, and every thing modifications immediately. Like I stated, difficult.

Loaded up and ready to ref.
Loaded up and able to ref. (Madeline Brawley/)

As a motorcyclist, essentially the most thrilling race is the criterium. The bicyclists are operating on a really brief course, usually lower than a mile, with numerous sharp turns. They’re hitting upward of 30 mph by way of tight corners, separated from one another by fractions of an inch. When one thing goes dangerous, it goes dangerous very, very quick. The moto refs must be on the ball. As a result of the course is so brief, it’s solely seconds earlier than the entrance of the sphere is coming again round. Being in your bike and proper within the thick of the motion is critically thrilling.

For the longer races, speaking throughout the course generally is a problem. I’ve hard-wired a HAM radio into the R1200 in addition to my helmet, and added a giant whip antenna to extend my vary. I’m like an outdated Gold Wing rider on the market. I even have professional-style emergency flashers for once I’m dealing with site visitors management. One different factor: I switched to gentle baggage. Safer for the racers, in case they make contact with us.

What can't BMW's GS adventure bike do?
What cannot BMW’s GS journey bike do? (Madeline Brawley/)

However there are not any modifications required. Anyone can do that utilizing the bike they’ve received. It’s an incredible part-time job. I additionally educate elementary faculty and run Younger Scientists of South Carolina, a charitable basis that gives STEM alternatives for teenagers within the Lowcountry. Getting concerned isn’t troublesome. You full a two-day course by way of USA Biking, do some on-line coaching to fulfill the U.S. Olympic Committee necessities, after which apprentice underneath a veteran official. And also you receives a commission, even through the apprenticeship. In the long run, you develop into a full-blown moto referee, sharpen your motorcycling abilities, and make just a little cash too. How cool is that?

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