Saturday I drove a photographer for a big bicycle event in Sonoma County: Levi Leipheimer’s King Ridge Gran Fondo. The big route was 103 miles, which drew about 3000 of the 6000 participants. That's a bunch of bikes on some steep narrow twisty roads. We were on course from 7 am until about 3 pm. It was a great experience, lots of fun and lots of learning. It was gratifying to see the cyclists trust me up close (where the cameraman wanted to be), participating in their flow, even around curves. It was challenging to maintain a steady line in traffic (between 5 and 45 mph), and provide a steady camera platform even when he was moving around behind me. My steed for the day was this 1976 BMW R75/6 - rollin it old school. We chose this loaner ride over my much newer (and higher-tech) 1985 BMW K100RS because of the huge pillion perch. The cameraman was moving all over it too - and not necessarily at the most convenient moments. On the negative side, old school means a single front disc brake, cable-actuated, and a cable-actuated drum brake in back. A similarly ineffective headlamp, when I wished for much more help spotting Bambi when we left our campsite in the pre-dawn hours. And it took me a while to remember to turn off the choke after I was going and the fuel petcocks when I stopped, but that's not the bike's fault. On the positive side, those Bing carburetors were nicely tuned and had a sweet feel. Excellent control with feather-touch changes, unlike the Bosch Motronic fuel injection on my bike, which responds with lurches that shift balance between front and rear, which is especially problematic in corners. Also, a good steady never-say-die torque waaay down low. While shooting cyclists climbing goat-trail roads in the mountains, I was often below 2000 RPM, just chugging along with two big guys on board. On my bike I would have had to keep the revs up and slip the clutch, which would have smelled bad.