The Most Expensive Golf Clubs Ever

John Woychick and Ron Herem – one of the holes we see from our deck in Phoenix.

Here in Arizona, our house overlooks a golf course, as do 84.4% of all homes in Phoenix (just kidding). But neither Maggie or I play. In fact, if you asked any of my golfing friends “Does Steve play golf?” the most likely response would be “Not so much.” This story is not about golfing, although I suspect both golfers and non-golfers will find something of interest.

First hole, 520 yards, Par 5

Living in the Twin Cities from 1997 – 2003, after joining the founding team of Net Perceptions, we purchased a nice home on Bent Creek Golf Course in Eden Prairie. I loved the unfolding deep green lawn stretching from my backyard seemingly to forever. Better was it never needed my non-existent gardening ambitions. Our deck overlooked the green of the first hole, a 520 yard, Par 5, providing hours of entertainment. Being the first of 18 holes, the final players of the day passed our home pretty early. This allowed me to take a bucket of balls after the concluding golfers had passed and chip them from my backyard onto the green. Then I would step up onto the green, and putt them all into the hole.

While never playing the course, I got along well with the club management, pro and groundskeepers. Once they’d needed to use our lawn for some sand trap repairs and I’d made it easy for them. I knew most of the groundskeepers and waved every morning as they made their rounds. One time I noticed an older guy operating one of the riding mowers. That seemed odd. All the rest of the crew appeared college age and in pretty good shape. This guy was neither. I never spoke with him, but asked about him one day at the club’s golf shop. After describing him, a look of acknowledgement came across the course manager. “Oh, he’s not a regular groundskeeper; he’s one of our members. Due to all his DWI arrests, he’s lost his driver’s license. But he misses driving. So, his wife brings him over here and we let him drive the mowers around.”

Although not a true golfer, I’d become familiar with the game during my five year stint at AT&T, where golf is part of the culture. Not only were deals done on the course, AT&T sponsored golf events (Pebble Beach Pro-am for one) and invites high-value clients and arranges for them to play a round with a genuine professional and AT&T executives. Like it or not, I was expected to attend and play. While no need for me to be a stellar golfer, embarrassing the company by shooting a poor game was also not acceptable. After several lessons and lots of practice, my game settled into one where although never hitting the ball very far, I always seemed to hit it straight. It turns out this often resulted in a half-decent score, especially when playing with those who tended to plaster the ball a great distances but in all the wrong directions.

My golf clubs were purchased used for $15 at a garage sale in the early 90s, and I never really thought much about them. When going to an event, I threw them into my trunk, and then onto a cart. Perhaps someone looked a bit askance at my clubs now and then, but after seeing Rodney Dangerfield’s bag of clubs in Caddyshack, I was glad the size of my bag was at the other end of the spectrum. For at least 10 years of playing and a good number of prestige events, those were my only clubs.

As it turned out, Net Perceptions was a success, and went public in 1999, just before the Internet bubble burst in 2001-2002. Before the crash, it appeared I had a great deal of money, although most of it was on paper and in lock-up agreements. One downside of suddenly acquiring a big chunk of money is the mistaken belief you’ve also acquired extra brains in the process. This leads to thinking you must have the magic touch when it comes to picking investments. Of course, those opportunities are being thrown at you right and left by people whose business it is to follow newly-rich people around with the goal of snapping up some of that loot. This is how I was exposed to and made a $25,000 investment in a company that manufactured custom golf clubs.   Here is how the scam, oops, I mean “business model” worked.

It begins with a desperate-to-improve golfer in a golf shop talking to the local pro on ways to improve his game. Everyone knows buying something, like special long-range balls, or the “super driver of the decade” or the “magic putter” which makes all putts roll accurate and true, is much simpler than taking lessons and actually practicing. And so, sales are made. It reminds me of the story of the couple passing a talented piano player at a bar, leaving a tip as they depart and saying, “Wow! You were just great. I’d do anything to play like that. Well, except take lessons and practice, of course.”

Back to our story: At some point, the pro suggests the stock off-the-shelf clubs the player is using may be holding him back. What might help is a special set of custom-made clubs, where grips are tailored specifically to the hands of the player, the shaft lengths cut to fit the player’s exact height and the heads all angled for his particular sweet spot. “Expensive?” he asks. “Oh my, not really, and think about consistently shaving half a dozen strokes from each game,” the pro replies.

A full set of top brand irons typically ran about a thousand dollars then, and the fully-customized set with a fitted set of shafts and grips was about $2,000. So, the pro arranges for a “fitting,” using the computer software, camera and other goodies provided by the company in which I’d invested. Once the company got the specifics for the golfer, they tweaked their stock shafts, clubs and grips to match the order sheet, applied the logo of whomever’s brand was specified (Callaway, Ping, Wilson, etc.) and then, finally, the most important and perhaps costly step, packing them up to look like high-value works of art.

Part of my $25k investment was a set of custom clubs. They would arrange for me to go to the factory—which was local—and be personally fitted for a set of clubs and receive those clubs for free. Of course, at this point, I already knew the cost from the business model was around $200 bucks, but still, I couldn’t resist “free” and was on time for my appointment the following week. Arriving on Saturday morning at the company’s warehouse-like facility, I removed my clubs from the trunk of my car. They’d asked me to bring the set I currently played with, perhaps as some sort of baseline—I wasn’t sure. But I hefted them onto my shoulder and strolled through the wide open double garages of the warehouse space where I was welcomed by the investment guy and one of the measuring pros. The pro grabbed my bag, looked at it and said, “Oh, Mr. Larsen, you must have grabbed the wrong bag, these are lady’s clubs. Did you pick up your wife’s clubs by mistake?” When I looked at him quizzically, he said, “I’m serious, these are Mickey Wright signature clubs.” Apparently this Mickey Wright logo I’d been seeing for the past decade wasn’t some famous male golf pro, but a famous woman golfer. Oh god. Do you recall the scene at the end of the “The Six Sense” when Bruce Willis’s character flashes back on all those scenes, realizing he actually wasn’t in them and redefines the entire film, giving it a whole new meaning? My mind flashed over years of looks from other golfers and caddies as they saw my clubs, then shot a look at me, then again at my clubs.

Duh! It finally hit me—what all those funny looks were about. Upon reflection, it came home to me that acquiring money doesn’t make you any smarter than you were the month or year before. Unfortunately, the market crash and subsequent IRS issues wiped out any semblance of my “being rich,” which in the long run, was probably all for the good. I stopped looking for homeruns and returned to saving at least 20% of any money that came my way and while perhaps not the “smartest” play one can make financially, it’s consistent with my values of hard work, persistence and determination. In the end, they’ve always served me best. And I stopped playing golf and gave my $25,000 clubs to my cousin.

Falling in Love with a Tesla

Deep blue Tesla Model 3
Lotus on top in back, NSX in the middle and McLaren in the foreground.

Okay, no surprise, I’m a car guy. Everyone knows it. I’ll not clog this newsletter with information on my collection of three of the most iconic cars of all time: a 1969 Lotus Elan, a 2002 Acura NSX and a 2014 McLaren MP4-12C, although the McLaren makes an appearance later in this story. You may notice they are all three yellow. It’s a weakness, what can I say? You can see pictures and read all about why they are so great here.

The Polaris RZR would go just about anywhere. It also managed to fill a very big garage space.

When I let my Polaris RZR go a couple of years back, it created an extra space in my 7-car garage and a void that had to be filled. What to do? What to do? After months of input and debate among my car buddies, I settled on finding a low mileage, 2-3-year-old Mercedes Benz S-550. The primary attraction of this car was its precipitous depreciation rate – one of the five worst in the world. It meant a low mileage version of this powerful and great looking 2-dr coupe with an original sticker of $155,662 in one example, was priced at just $57,900. This is an awesome saving. Plus, if you bought one certified pre-owned from a MB dealership, they honored the full five-year warranty as if you were the original owner, and added an extra year.

Mercedes Benz S-550 2-dr. coupe

I wanted this car so Maggie and I could drive to and from California and perhaps Minnesota in ultra-luxury and safety. Once the model, year and miles were decided on, the search began. I looked for over 3 months, in no particular hurry. It drove my car buddies crazy, but I love being in the market for a car and delight in chasing down all manner of crazy alternatives. The Sancho Panza to my Don Quixote was a good friend and ultimate car guy, Clayton Saffell.

Saffell and I met in the Phoenix Lotus Owners Club and he provided invaluable assistance and guidance during my Lotus Elan rebuild. Although a good bit younger than me, Saffell knows more about cars than Elon Musk knows about batteries. He has perfect recall to an encyclopedic memory, and strong, although nearly always justified, opinions on a great many things, including automobiles.

After a few false starts, money allocated to this purpose was burning a hole in my pocket. So, one Saturday Saffell agreed to go with me to visit a couple of MB dealers who had S-550’s for sale on their lots. One condition, however, was visiting a couple of Tesla dealers. Saffell was strongly considering the purchase of a Tesla Model 3 and Tesla had special pricing that weekend on in-stock models.

We looked at the first MB S-550 and decided to pass. Then, to the Tesla dealership. We checked out the Model 3 demo on the showroom floor and got a few questions answered, but didn’t like the salesperson or the vibe of the dealership. So it was off to see the next S-550 prospect.

Clayton Saffell

That one didn’t leave us gushing either, although it was a great car and a decent price. The next Tesla dealership was near Kierland Commons, in Scottsdale. We met an over-the-top helpful salesman. We drove the Model 3 around and Saffell decided to pull the trigger and order the car then and there. It was a breeze. The salesman guided Saffell through a smartphone app, and before you knew it, he’d matched the specs of the car he wanted to a car in their inventory and made a $5K deposit to hold the car until he could pick it up on Monday at the delivery center.

As Saffell was lining up his new car, I learned all sorts of things about Teslas of which I was unaware. If you don’t count rotating the tires, the first service is due at 124,000 miles when the brakes need inspecting. You never need an oil change or have to stop at a gas station. The car is quicker from 0-60 than anything other than a total muscle car and even then, it’s no slouch. It has zero emissions. Consumer Reports rated it as the safest car they’d ever tested. More of it is built here in the United States than any other car – it is more “made in the USA” than Ford, Chevy, or Chrysler. The design knocks your socks off – inside and out. It is just spectacular. And it is built to drive itself, if and when the government regulators and lawyers get all the kinks worked out.

You order a new Tesla from your phone.

And then there is the process of acquiring a new car from Tesla. It’s completely different from any other car buying experience you’ve had. Everyone is familiar with the term “slick as greased owl shit,” right? The Tesla car purchase process represents a brilliant manifestation of that phrase. Saffell didn’t physically have to sign his name once. After he’d decided to buy the car, we were done in less than 15 minutes and all he needed to do then was pick up his car on Monday morning. As we were about to leave, I said to the sales guy, “Ya know, I think I’d like one, too.” I turned to Saffell and asked, “Do you think this is better for me than an S-550?” Without a moment’s hesitation, he said, “Yes. I do.” I’ve known Clayton Saffell since 2011. Every suggestion he’s ever made to me has been perfect. Well, except Roon, but that’s another story and not his fault.

Maggie and I have been living with our brilliantly blue Tesla Model 3 with its pure white interior for a year now. The damn car has squiggled and wormed its way into my heart. It was the most impulsive auto purchase I’d ever made. I was certain it wouldn’t last. Quite the opposite has happened. I have come to love it. New technology frequently irritates the crap out of me – especially Apple products. A day doesn’t go by that I’m not screaming at my iPhone, iWatch, or iPad, asking “Why are you doing this? I didn’t ask you to do this! Please stop!” Tesla is as full of technology as Apple, but they simply implement it so much better. For example, our other cars are set to open our garage doors and neighborhood security gate by pushing either a special clicker or button in the car. Tesla, which has advanced GPS, has you decide where you want to be when the gate or garage door opens. Approaching the gate or garage doors, you do nothing. No clickers, no buttons, you just drive up and things open. It is so intuitive, so simple and cool. You don’t realize how arcane other cars are until you drive them after driving the Tesla. I’ve driven up to our gate many times in one of our other cars and then realized I needed to find my clicker. You find yourself asking, “Why doesn’t this just do this automatically, like the Tesla.”

Most people familiar and comfortable with gas-driven cars excessively worry about running out of battery power. This is called range anxiety: “How do I know where the next charging station will be? What happens if I run out of battery charge?” I’ve noticed this fear is almost the exclusive domain of those interested in an electric vehicle like the Tesla, but haven’t purchased one yet. One finds that within a few months of driving an electric car, most fear that you’ll not have enough juice to reach your destination goes away. Last year I loaded the Tesla with 2 other good-sized guys like me and one average guy – Saffell and headed for Las Vegas. Leaving the house with a full charge, Tesla’s navigation system showed us heading north and west, stopping in Kingman, AZ at a charging station a few blocks off the highway. Off we went, with the car doing a good share of the steering, accelerating, and braking while we jabbered away. Pulling into the Kingman charging station a few hours later, the Tesla’s battery was just over 23%. The Tesla screen said we should charge it for 15 minutes to give us enough juice to make it to Las Vegas. In just 15 minutes, our battery showed 81% charged. Wow! And we made it to the north end of Las Vegas with juice to spare.

This is the only time I’ve charged my Tesla outside my home garage, except for once at Kierland Commons when Saffell showed me how to plug it in and follow proper charging etiquette.

Other than this one trip, we drive around town all day and evening. Rarely do we use even half the juice in the battery. When we get home, we plug it in. I’ve not been able to see an increase in our electric bill, although I’m sure there has been. I’ve just not been able to quantify it. The 3-year cost of ownership puts the Tesla in a genuinely low-price bracket when you factor in that you don’t spend any money for gas nor do you take it in for tune-ups and other repairs.

Another enduring quality of Tesla is how quick it is. It was only a few weeks ago when a car with a very loud set of pipes coasted up in the lane beside me. Looking over I saw it was an Asian tuner car, great big wide tires, body panels galore and rumbling pipes, as the driver blipped the throttle every couple of seconds. The rear airfoil was huge and painted logo and words on the car’s doors promoted a host of speed shop brands. It was clear this driver was hoping for a race. Even though Maggie was with me, I decided, why not?

As soon as the light turned green the car next to me began roaring like a madman. The tires squealed as the driver dropped his clutch and his car took off a bit ahead. Me, I floored the Tesla, shooting across the intersection, and before we were all the way through, I was over a full car length ahead. In the next hundred feet, I was 3-4 car lengths ahead and a half mile further on, as I slowed for a red light, I was all the way stopped and waiting as the tuner car pulled in next to me. I just looked straight ahead. What the young driver probably did not understand is, unlike a piston-driven car which makes maximum torque and power typically over 5,000 RPM’s, the Tesla’s maximum torque and power are at zero RPM’s. And it’s totally quiet. This is just so incredibly fun I can hardly stand it.

With 640 HP in a 3,000 lb. carbon fiber car, 0-60 is less than 3 sec.

Here is what is funniest. This sort of thing at stoplights happens to me all the time in my McLaren. Anyone having anything close to a “hot car” attempts to take it on. In this situation, had I been in the McLaren, the result wouldn’t have been much different. But here is what would have been different: Yes, I’d have blown off the Asian tuner car in the McLaren — but people in five states would have known about it. The McLaren’s light carbon fiber body and 640 horses channeled through its “sport exhaust” can wake the dead when pushed hard in race mode. It’s been verified – they come right out of the ground and they are pissed! This is why, about 95% of the time when someone pulls up beside the McLaren, revving their engine in hopes of a quick drag race, I just let them go. It’s not worth the bother or the noise.

There was no advance inclination I would be this smitten with the Tesla. It is so beautiful to look at, inside and out. The sound system is the best I’ve ever had in a car. Tesla surprises owners with feature that have no practical use, but are just crazy fun. Did you know the Tesla can emit farts of all sorts from under any seat in the car? What other car does that? It has a Santa mode that makes the turn signals jingle like bells and has the car show up as a Santa’s sleigh on the screen. When setting up your Tesla after purchase, you are given the option to name your car. What you put as its name comes up each time you turn the car on. Without much debate, we named ours “Steve & Maggie’s Tesla.” A week or so later, Saffell called me and suggested I rename my Tesla. He said, “When it asks you what you want the name of your car to be, just type in 42.” So I did and the next time I turned the car on I noticed the name of our Tesla was now “Life, the Universe and Everything.” Of course, any geek worth his comic book collection will recognize and appreciate the Douglas Adams tribute and reference to “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”

My intention was not to fall for the Tesla. My plan was to drive it for a year and then line up something else. Not now. This Model 3 began working its way into our hearts from the first day and hasn’t stopped. I get a charge every time I get into it. Pun intended.

 

Newsletter #6: The Book is Out

Rich on his motorcycleLate last year I was talking with my friend, Rich Marin.  Rich is recently “sort-of” retired.  Although moving from New York City where he’s spent most of his career, to his new permanent residence near San Diego a few months back, he’s not yet grasped some of the key aspects of “being retired.”  His level of activity in retirement roughly equates to 2+ normal full-time jobs, one part-time gig and a host of demanding past-time activities, one of which is writing and publishing a 1,000 word column every day.  Rich’s commitment to daily writing and keeping his friends informed about the things he thinks about was a good part of the motivation for getting this newsletter going again.  If you are so inclined, you can subscribe to Rich’s daily blog post here:  https://oldloneranger.com/

In our conversation, we discussed an upcoming motorcycle ride in May of 2020 with a group of friends that have been riding motorcycles together for twenty-five years. Rich felt this silver anniversary ride along some of the group’s favorite south Utah roads needed something special to commemorate it, beyond a T-shirt or logo’d scarf.  Rich proposed pulling 25 years of ride reports and stories from over 50 rides into a book and surprising everyone with it at the May event. Would I help him edit it? Of course, I would. Many people have trouble saying “No” to Rich Marin and me perhaps more than most. And so the project began.

The amount of work involved in writing any book is greater than people realize.  There are several book authors on this list, so you know of what I speak. Pulling together stories written over twenty-five years, even when the majority are from one author, involves logistical complexities on the level of building a multi-story house – with a pool. Fortunately, Rich has written and published several books before this, so he knew what he was biting off.  Rich had a pretty good idea of what he wanted, what he cared about and what he didn’t, making my editing work fairly straight forward once that got sorted out.  Rich ended up doing all the heavy lifting.  It turns out I had a good number of pictures to contribute along with the more boring and typical editing tasks – spelling, grammar, word usage, echos, page numbering and chapter headings, etc.  Best of all, I was pleased to write a foreword to the book, a first for me. I’ve written many dust jacket blurbs; this was my first foreword and I enjoyed doing it.

Rich’s book is terrific.  It will be of greatest interest to those who know Rich Marin. If you’ve ridden with him on any of these rides, it will be an absolute joy.  When coronavirus dark clouds began forming around the upcoming May ride, Rich couldn’t stand the thought of his friends not being able to read what he’d put together.  Also, assuming the coronavirus situation may have resulted in said friends having some excess time on their hands, he rushed to the post office and mailed copies of the book to the AFMC family and they should all be reading it by now.   If that does not include you, and you wish to purchase the book from the publisher, you can do that here for less than $30:  http://www.lulu.com/shop/richard-marin/the-ride-is-all/hardcover/product-24435231.html

Here is what the publisher had to say about the book: “This is a book about a group of avid motorcyclists who have banded together for twenty-five years of riding all around the world. They adhere to the principle of High Mileage and Low Expectations based on an early manifesto compiled in a Vermont barn over too much alcohol and good times. The tales and the characters evolve and age as time passes, but one thing never changes. The ride remains all.”

I’m super impressed with what my friend Rich has accomplished and proud of the small part that I was able to play.  Below is the Foreword I wrote to Rich’s book:

Foreword

By: Steve Larsen

Rich Marin is a large man. Not just big, he’s BIG.  When he was eight, they thought he was twelve.  At fourteen an orthopedist told him not to play tennis until his tendons caught up with his size.  At sixteen he stopped fitting into off-the-rack sizes.  He started college at 310 pounds and was recruited to join the football team.  As an adult, the issues he confronts due to his size are impossible for those of normal size to ever imagine.

Marin’s bigness may be the single most significant aspect determining his life’s course.  Jobs he took in college, girls he dared ask out, the motorcycles and cars he bought and the clothes he wore, all were governed by his prodigious size.  If clothes make the man, then size picks the clothes that make the man.

Few traits determine character more than size and riding a motorcycle. Rich came to motorcycles as a youngster in Italy. Not only did motorcycles provide freedom, he rapidly learned how fast they would go and how quickly they could turn and stop. On scooters and small cc motorcycles, he learned to thread through the narrow streets and backroads of Rome, across slippery cobblestones, chasing guys his age. Given his extra size, he subconsciously developed a set of advanced riding skills, ensuring he was never at the back of the pack. Marin has never tolerated being at the back of any pack. His place is–and always has been–at the front.

Being at the front by itself, however, does not make a leader. Marin’s leadership of the AFMC (American Flyers Motorcycle Club) has never been questioned.  One reason is his willingness to play the Tourmaster role (including the hard work of setting dates and ride locations, booking hotels and scouting restaurants, evaluating and then outlining a route map). No other members are really up to this.  For those who’ve taken this on, and only a small number of brave AFMC members ever have, they’ve rarely done it again. Except for Seattle Bob, who’s done it twice (Salmon Run and Montana/Idaho), and me, who’s done it three times (North California, Arizona and Copper Canyon), this is not a project to which anyone willingly signs up.

Few tasks besides parenting involve so much work with so little thanks. You set up a perfect route with awesome roads, spectacular scenery, and blissfully comfortable hotels, but then pick one restaurant having a bad night and the group is quick to point a finger and wonder amongst themselves how one person (the Tourmaster) could be so totally inept, blind and incompetent to make such a horrific error.  I suspect the number of times he’s heard sincere expressions of thanks and appreciation at the end of a ride are few.

But Rich’s leadership goes far deeper than the willingness to do the hard and thankless organizing tasks.  From my very first ride with the Flyers, Rich’s unshakeable self-confidence was indisputable. Rich inspires confidence in others because he has so much of it himself. On my first ride with the Flyer’s out of Las Vegas to northern Arizona through winds so strong we had our bikes leaned far over to keep moving straight, not once did I worry we may not reach our destination.  Rich said we’d be fine, and that was all we needed to hear.  Only later did I learn trucks exiting the freeway that afternoon were not allowed back on.  Rich’s self-confidence is not the “big ego” sort of confidence, but the organic, home-grown confidence of someone who has done it before.

Another thread weaving through Rich’s leadership style is honesty. He just doesn’t make things up and he’s rarely wrong. He’s not a fun guy with whom to argue. His retention and recall of facts is extraordinary. On a recent Greece trip, we arrived in Delphi and were getting off our bikes at the hotel, and I asked Rich to confirm my hunch that our final leg the next day, back to Athens, was pretty short.  Now, for most of us, after 11 days of riding, the distance for any particular leg of a trip has gotten pretty mushed together and foggy.  Without hesitation, Rich said, “Yeah, pretty short, only about 185 kilometers or so.”  As he saw me doing mental arithmetic he said, “Less than 120 miles, 2-3 hours at most.”  Of course, he was spot on, which when it comes to cities, distances on a map and their general direction, he is always exceptionally precise.

A lot of Flyers like to ride close behind Rich although not many keep pace with him for long. My theory is they trust the clarity of Rich’s vision on where we’re going, more so than anyone else in the group. Rich’s sense of what not only a single day’s ride represents, but an entire trip, is a unique part of his intellect and no doubt a key part of what led to his highly successful business career. I suspect planning and executing these rides allows him to exercise and play with this part of his brain so particularly well-suited to these sorts of tasks. He may or may not be aware that not everyone shares his particular talent for creating a vision in his head consisting of an entire map with every stop notated, every hotel and restaurant pictured, and the time and distances to be covered.  Once he’s traversed an area, it’s fixed in his mind.  He knows the Moki Dugway is three miles long and has six switchbacks as well as the number of view pull-offs on the Burr Trail to Bullfrog and how long it takes to get down and back alone versus going with five riders.  Very few people can do this, and no one I’ve ever met is better at it than Rich. Did he have a vision in his mind twenty-five years ago of creating a group of motorcycling friends with which he would spend a good part of his life?  You’ll have to ask him.

The last attribute of Rich’s leadership profile is his unwavering support and loyalty to his inner circle of family and friends, and no one is closer to him than his fellow riders in the American Flyers Motorcycle Club. Some years back, Rich invested in one of my start-up companies. Not long after he’d made the investment, which I assumed was due to our brilliant idea and killer pitch deck, the company’s board decided to pivot in a new direction and asked me to step down as CEO. Rich called the chairman of the board and read him the riot act, demanding his money back.  It turns out he hadn’t invested in the company, he was investing in me. Without me in the picture, he wanted nothing to do with them.

This book represents the compilation of memories and ride reports from twenty-five years of the American Flyers Motorcycle Club. Nearly all of what you find here is written by Rich. He diligently wrote reports of each ride, memorializing them for all who attended.  On occasion, Flyers went on rides Rich was unable to attend and the contributions of the members who chose to chronicle those rides are also included here when those reports were found.

This book will hold the greatest attraction for those who know Rich Marin and if you’ve ridden with him on any of these rides, it will be an absolute joy to read. Like planning a ride, assembling all of this wasn’t a simple task, but Rich, thanks for doing it.  I think it’s great!