The Ride for the Cure is dedicated to Harold Gantz. Harold was a long time member of several NJ BMW clubs and a lifelong motorcyclist and enthusiast. Harold lived over a decade with prostate cancer before passing away from it in August of 2018. The members of all the NJ motorcycle clubs and many other friends morn his passing. He was noted for being a friend to all and an enthusiast who passed on his enthusiasm to others.
The photo above was taken on a nice summer day in 2011, during a ride through Harold’s beloved NJ Pine Barrens. We stopped in Chatsworth at Hot Diggity Dog for some lunch. Harold was riding “THE K75S” – a bike that went though a number of hands – including mine – and Harold’s – and is now owned by Harold’s friend Pete Lisko.
From the NEW SWEDEN BMW RIDERS INC. APRIL 2014 Newsletter:
Monthly Feature, Club Member Q & A: Harold Gantz
Harold joined NSBMWR about 10 or 12 years ago. He was rally co-chair with Pete Lisko for the 25, 26, and 27th Last Chance Rally at Apel Farm. And, of course, Harold was newsletter editor for the past four years.
1. Earliest fond memory of riding a motorcycle, minibike, etc.?
I spent a few years growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A fourteen year old could get a junior license and ride a sub five horsepower motorbike. Coincidentally Vespa made a 50 cc scooter that was rated at 4.9 hp and most of my friends in junior high school had one. I got lots of pillion time on those Vespa’s riding on the back of other buddy’s bikes. One of my friends took me all over the place including some sand roads near the edge of the everglades where we crashed the scooter over and over. It was the most fun I ever had as a fourteen year old. I asked my parents if I could get a Vespa, too and was repeatedly turned down. But the hook was set.
2. Earliest fond memory of New Sweden BMW Riders?
My ’94 K75 was fairly new and Brian Curry and Don Eilenberger told me about a local event called the Last Chance Rally in Mays Landing. I bought a tent, sleeping bag, and Thermarest, then strapped them to the K75 and attended my first ever motorcycle rally. First rally and first time sleeping in a tent. It was loads of fun.
3. Any Life lessons?
Work to live, not live to work, enjoy your kids when they’re young before they learn to talk back or get arrested, and spend as much time with your grandchildren as possible. And ride a motorcycle often.
4. Best riding experience?
My best riding ever was after the BMW MOA rally in Burlington, Vermont. I decided to leave a day early and ride home alone. I had a K1200LT at the time. Left the rally dorm at 6:00am and took back roads south from Burlington, crossed into New York at the Crown Point Bridge, and rode south on route 9N. Crossed the ridge via Route 11, it started to rain steadily, I picked up the NY Thruway, and headed south. Took the Thruway to the Garden State Parkway to the NJ Turnpike to home. All in the rain. And amazingly didn’t get wet. It was a great ride, I stayed dry, and I was impressed with the all-weather and highway capabilities of the ’LT. The second best riding experience I ever had was riding my K75S with my son-in-law and his dad around the Poconos for a weekend and over-nighting in Wyalusing. And some of my best riding experiences were whenever my son and I took a ride together.
5. Best Bike ever owned?
The best bike I ever owned was my mystic red ’94 K75 Standard that I bought new. Smooth, quiet, and comfortable. Not too big, not to small. I loved riding that bike, keeping it shined up, and sometimes just looking at it.
6. Worst Bike ever owned?
The worst bike I ever had was the same mystic red ’94 K75 Standard. That son-of-a-bitch motorcycle failed its clutch splines. Twice. Out of warranty.
7. Any bike you wish you never sold?
If I grew up independently wealthy I would have kept every motorcycle I ever owned. Just like Bill Joel did. He’s my hero.
Thanks to Phil Levin, New Sweden President and current newsletter editor for remembering and digging this out for us!