How we began

All about how we began..

A group of BMW motorcycle riders in Santa Barbara in the early ’80s were just a loose alliance of friends who would occasionally go on impromptu rides.

Club Meeting
  • But as the years went on, their bond grew stronger, and they eventually decided to formalize their relationship and create a club.
  • The group met to discuss their plans, and they quickly elected officers. Doug Cowin was named vice president, Fred Carlberg was named secretary/treasurer, and Earl Ness, who was a dentist, was named president.
  • The group needed to have 10 members in order to be chartered by the BMW Motorcycles Owners of America Inc., so they went out and recruited a few more riders. They eventually settled on the name “Santa Barbara BMW Riders,” and opened a checking account with the money the fledgeling members chipped in.
  • The club’s first order of business was to get some legal advice. Earl Ness knew a lawyer who could help them incorporate, and they met with him at one of their dinner meetings. The lawyer gave them a bunch of paperwork to fill out, and they eventually incorporated and became tax-free. The club’s members were all passionate about motorcycles, and they loved to ride together. They would go on weekend trips, attend rallies, and just cruise around town. They were a close-knit group, and they always looked out for each other.
  • The Santa Barbara BMW Riders is still going strong today, and it’s a testament to the friendship and camaraderie of its founding members. They were a bunch of misfits who just loved to ride motorcycles, and they ended up creating something special. In the words of our current president Steve, “They were a group of guys and gals who found each other and found a way to make their passion a reality. They created something that has lasted for decades, and they left a legacy that will continue to inspire others.”