BWOM Fan Stories/pics
I set this portion of the website aside to add stories and pictures of fans inspired by BWOM. You can email me a pic with your bike and a BWOM t-shirt or sticker, and a story of your ride out there. I'll throw those and any other stories up here. Thanks---Weezie.
FROM ISRAEL H..
Hello, my name is Israel H, I currently live in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and BWOM changed my life.
In 2012 (My hell year) mom and best friend died, quit my job, got divorced, etc etc..I moved to Guadalajara to get out of Cd. Juarez.
After about 6 months living down there I was on vacation in Guanajuato and very lost in my life. I had a dream of making motorcycle trips, after little research on line I found BWOM and just clicked. I sold my jeep, bought a motorcycle, moved back home and started following Billy’s footsteps I am about 50% done territory wise and about 25% done with the states but I would love to remember and honor the person who inspired me to get back on the bike and shape what is now my life…
THANK YOU BILLY!!!
FROM JOHN H...
I would just like to send you a photo I did as a tribute to BWOM and Billy, it was a couple of years back and I had been inspired to get back out on two wheels by Billys videos of his rides.
I bought an old 1976 Kawasaki Kz750 restored it and then rode it from Manchester in the UK to the War Memorial in Bastogne, Belgium.
The war memorial has all 50 States engraved into it to commemorate the men who were killed in action from those states.
As a BWOM inspired tribute I took a photo of myself under the Nebraska section for Billy.
It was after this that a bit of YouTube banter and emails started with Billy, and some BWOM Stickers made there way to the UK, they are now on my bike and I will try to find a photo where they can be seen clearly and send one on.
I think its great that you and Tracy are going to carry on with the BWOM site, I can not express how fundamental the Bwom series and Billy's infectious passion has been, in me actually getting up of my arse and taking control of the fun part of life that to often gets side-lined and forgotten in the every day antics of life, and the Rat Race of work and Bills!
Thank you for your time and persistence in keeping this going, I still don't think you have yet grasped just how important this is to the everyday average Guy or Girl that has or is still yet to be inspired! It really has made a Massive difference to my lifestyle and outlook on life.
I hope these photos attach ok .. ( If not ill try and send them separately)
(The Non American English Guy)
From Pearse K...
I was on the BWOM site the other night and it dawned on me that I never sent this email and I saw your near the end of Bilmaa's farewell ride I do hope it has gone with out any hiccups.
I mentioned to you in a comment back in late April I think on YouTube. That I was going to trade in my Kawasaki Er-6N for a VFR and take it to France on a charity bike in September. It's my way to do something tohoner Bilmaa's memory. Well sir I did indeed get the VFR and it is some machine. I took it for a good spin the other day. I left the house at 9am and came back at 9pm. Am not much of a video person my self more of a photo guy. But am going to try and document it. Am more on Instagram my self as Megakane84 if your interested to follow.
Hopefully I've attached the picture's probably and you can see that I was not messing. If I didn't you can see them on Instagram
From Daren T...
Tracy and Kevin,
After seeing the latest video a couple days ago on the YouTube channel (BWOM 9 - Last Train to Jackson) I felt compelled to email you both and just tell you my story and how Billy and you both have affected my life.
I found Billy’s channel in 2009-2010. Finding the channel when I did was a real blessing as I was going through a divorce and watching Billy's videos was one of the outlets I used to take my attention away from the day to day challenges I was facing during that time. Truth be told, I was so inspired by the adventures you guys shared on the channel that I decided to get back into motorcycling after 3-4 years of not riding and picked up a 2000 Honda VFR800 Interceptor. I scoured the internet for a couple months and then flew from Kansas City to Dallas and rode it home. I felt like I was a part of BWOM the entire way home and remember hoping that I might just happen to see Tracy BWOM’ing down a highway when I was going through Oklahoma on the way back to Kansas City! Here is a pic of the bike. It’s the best bike I’ve ever had and I can see why Billy loved his so much.
In April, when notice came up of a new video on the channel, I was excited because Billy hadn’t posted anything in several months. Shocked is an understatement when I heard the news and for the next couple of days I was honestly upset. My girlfriend even asked me what was wrong and I tried to explain to her about Billy and the YouTube channel but I think it just kind of sounded strange to her that I was upset. It sounds cliche to say that I feel like I knew him but I really feel that way. I’ve watched all of the BWOMs at least two times through, all the videos on the channel and I even used Billy’s VFR teardown videos to do maintenance on my bike. Billy also introduced me to several songs via his BWOM video intros that I had to download because I thought they were great songs! I just feel like he was someone that I could be friends with and I wish I had had the chance to meet him.
But what I want to share most of all with you and what really speaks to me more than anything else is the friendship that is evident and exhibited between you guys. It’s obvious that you share a very special friendship and that you all love each other very much. I’m particularly reminded of “Tracy against the mountain” in BWOM 7. Tracy, thanks for being willing to share those moments and showing what being best friends is all about. I too am kind of a “loner” but have those times when I realize I can’t do everything on my own. I think as guys, we don’t usually say those “three words” to our other guy friends but the feeling is there whether we say the words or not. It is obvious that Billy loved you and that you loved him. This has made me appreciate my friends and be more willing to let them know how I feel about them while I can. We all don’t know how much time we have. "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14
Billy’s videos really were great and Kevin this latest video is as well. I think you nailed it and look forward to what you are going to do with the channel and Billy’s memory. Even the song you picked, “Sleep on the Floor” was just perfect. I’d never heard it before and now I’ve downloaded it! Thanks for introducing me to it! Taking Billy on one last ride had to be one of the toughest things you both have ever done. But carrying on the BWOM adventure is a great tribute to Billy. Thank you both for being willing to share this part of the the BWOM story with those of us who didn’t know Billy but will miss him a lot. Thanks for being willing to share your adventures and your lesson in friendship with me.
From Perry W...
First, I want to give my condolences for your, your friends, and everyone else's loss. BWOM is, by and large with the aid of other youtubers, the reason I ride to this day.
I just wanted to say that, I just was made aware of the fact of Billys passing. Having rode a motorcycle from 17-23 (I am currently 25), there was a period in my life where my daily rider and only motorcycle was out of commission.
Two days ago I just recently got another bike, and inspired by BWOM, I call my friend up and let him know 'I want to get as many state lines on our bikes as possible.' He, like me, is an avid rider. Thus, we hit our first two goals. I would have started this project even at 17, but when I first started riding, phone's didn't have GPS, I was the only one of my friends with a motorcycle, and I sure as hell didn't want to ride around and get lost.
Having done that, I wanted to check back in with the BWOM gang...and that's when I learned.
There is no good way to end this e-mail. I just wanted to let you know that the videos, content and productions that went into BWOM inspired people whom you have never met before, take up similar lifestyles, challenges, and have even, in my case, changed me as a person.
Keep the shiny side up.
p.s. Attached are two pictures of our first outing. Both feature me, as my friend wasn't really into BWOM. And, much like you folk at BWOM, I am going to ride my sport-bike on long hauls. You may use them for whatever reason, purpose, etc. that you deem fit. It would be an honor to be on the BWOM website.
From Brandon S.
Hope this email finds you well. I realized that I sent you a teaser way back when I did this trip but never followed up. Here's a blurb for the "Fan Stories" page if you'd like to use it there.
I unfortunately didn’t learn of Billy’s channel until after his passing. It was XXXDEADHEAD’s tribute video that sent me on a week long run through Billy’s videos. In that time I was incredibly inspired by his passion for both video and riding, as well as his commitment to his friends and people that were close to him. As it was winter in Minnesota, I couldn’t get out and use all this motivation on a trip right away, so I set to planning as many trips as I could.
I took off from the Twin Cities for a 5 day, 2100 mile trip to the Ozark Mountains on Memorial Day weekend. It was the longest and highest mileage trip I had ever attempted. Barely 300 miles in, while cruising down I-35 and thinking about all the “what-if” scenarios that could end my trip early I saw a sign for Manly, IA. I was instantly reminded of BWOM V “The Northern Tier” (Part 3, specifically) where Billy and Tracy make some bad puns at the expense of the town name.
Without giving it a second thought, I took the exit and made the 7 mile run to Manly, IA and took a picture in front of the Police Station. Being in the same spot those two had been years ago gave me a sense of comfort and symmetry that carried me for the rest of my ride.
The rest of the ride, I felt like I kept running into their old haunts. Each state line reminded me of Billy’s motivation to get all 50 states, and riding the Pig Trail reminded me of the hardships he faced during BWOM 4 “Road to Gumption.”
All in all I had a fantastic time on that solo trip. Although I wasn’t able to meet Billy or even watch his videos during his life, he had a large impact on this trip and the others I’ve taken since then.
Kevin-Thanks for all the work you’re doing to keep the channel and website going. It’s cool you’re keeping it alive and I’m looking forward to seeing BWOM 9 when you get it finished!
From Kevin S...
I just wanted to drop you a note. I stumbled on to Billy’s channel with their Alaska adventure. It caught my interest because I ride adventure bikes. But after watching his other videos I was hooked. I think I was drawn to Billy and Tracy because I grew up in the Midwest (Nebraska City) and I found their goofy humor very similar to mine. I have enjoyed all their BWOM’s and recently started to try my hand at vlogging. Attached are a couple of pics from my recent trip up to Northern AZ and to the NM border. Couldn’t find the AZ sign so that will come another day. I moved to AZ back in 1980 but still consider Nebraska home. I rode bikes back in the day along with racing Karts. But Kids came along and I didn’t have time for either. Now the kids are grown and I got back into bikes about 5 years ago. I’m looking forward to your video with Tracy up to Jackson Hole. I have put Signal Mountain on my bucket list, so hopefully in the near future I will get up there also.
Thanks and take care
FROM BILL D...
Bill D sent me this pic. Amazing place to take a By way of motorcycle pic!!!
FROM CARL s...
I am a huge fan of the BWOM videos on YouTube. That trip to Prudhoe Bay was long and tough, and you can tell the guys ran out of steam on the way back, but there is that episode when Tracey got the flat tire, and Billy rode back to Anchorage to get it fixed, and Tracey sat there alone along the side of the road and spilled his guts to the camera. That is some of the best film in the whole series.Thanks for keeping the flame lit. BWOM 9 was fantastic. I don't know how you guys made the ride, and don't know how you could also make such a great series of videos while also making that ride. I am attaching a photo of my Electra Glide, proudly displaying a BWOM sticker. Live to Ride. Ride to Live. By Way of Motorcycle.
From John K.
I just finished watching the BWOM 9 series. Thanks to you, Tracy and Billy's family for allowing all of us YouTuber's to vicariously be a part of Billy's return trip to Jackson Hole, WY.
I don't remember when I first discovered the Billmaa channel but I know it got me through some tough times and got me back to motorcycle touring. In the late Summer/ early Fall of 2016, I bought a used VFR like Billy's and did a few trips with it before the year ended. In the Spring of 2017, I wanted to do some additional mods to it and looked up the channel to see what he had done to his. I saw the video from 4/14/17, clicked on it and started watching. My first thought was - Who's this guy, that's not Billmaa?? After the initial shock of hearing what happened to Billy, emotionally, I was right there with you guys.
I live in Chicago and in Fall of 2017, I too visited the Volo Museum for the 1st time. I'm also a member of a group called Motorcycle Sport Touring Association, they do a yearly ride near Marietta, OH called the Mail Pouch Fly By, so I was in your neck of the woods last Fall during that rally. Their national rally - STAR 2018 - is in LaCrosse, WI, it's the week of June 10-14. If you ever need a reason to ride, check them out - ridemsta.com
Thanks again for letting us be part of the BWOM journey, I'm sure Billy's plan is just getting started!!
Lucas Y. wrote:
I was looking through some of the photos I had taken on a trip to Maine with me wife a couple years back. One of the photos stood out to me, as it seemed familiar. Before our trip I had never been there, I had never been further north than Erie. Then it hit me, I had seen the area in Billy's video from his and Tracy's trip to Maine. When they crossed into New Hampshire they stopped in the same place that me and my wife stopped. The state sign has been changed, and the trees have grown more; but we, by some weird coincidence, got to stand where Billy and Tracy had stood years before our trip.
I had watched Billmaa's videos for years. My wife, Carolyn, started watching them with me, and we always said how awesome it would be to see the country BWOM style. I was riding an R6 at the time, and wasn't tough enough to do any serious touring on it. So I always sort of thought that trips like that would just be a dream. That was until January 2016, during a snowstorm when I was signing the papers to buy a new Yamaha Super Tenere. The salesman had asked what my plans for the bike were, and before I could muster an answer my wife said "we're riding it to Maine, then the rest of the country". That evening I started planning the trip that would lead us to Acadia national park. We started referring to the plans as "Operation lobster roll". Clearly influenced by "Operation Clam chowder". By May we had finalized the arrangements, and pulled out of our driveway the Saturday of Memorial day weekend. The bike had 2404 miles on it that morning.
We spent that night in Wilmington Vermont, after having ridden across PA, and up to Albany NY, before cutting into Vermont. It was in the low 50s that morning, and riding through NY the bike was showing near 100 degrees. Then the thunderstorms came as we departed Albany. Riding east on route 9 through VT that afternoon in the rain just felt so right. The next morning we departed for Maine. I actually had to convince myself that pressing on was the right choice as I was so sore from the day before. Carolyn and I sat on the bridge between VT and NH that morning and debated calling the rest of the trip off. I'm glad we decided not to. We stopped to grab a picture of the New Hampshire state sign, and then continued on our way to our destination of Camden Maine that afternoon. That ride will always be one of my favorite memories. We stopped for every state sign, except for RI, as we had to cut our trip short because of major flooding at home. Finished the trip with 1893 miles, with 727 of them on the ride home in a little over 12 hours. All because of the inspiration from a couple guys that I'd never even met.
I'm glad that you and Tracy are carrying on what was started with BWOM. I hope you guys inspire more people to get out there and ride.
I've attached the photo of my Tenere with the NH sign, it will always be special to me, just to have been in the same place.