True Meaning – The 2011 Fall Boston Mountains Tour
We got word from fellow news team member, JulieU, that a write-up was brewing from one of the crew that attended the 2011 Boston Mountains Tour (BMT). A significant other and forum member, Ms. Goes Fast, was so inspired by the event that she wrote a speech for a class project about the Boston Mountains Tour and what it meant for the participants. As you will read, events such as these have a special meaning for they are all about rekindling that bond between driver and car as well as the common kinship shared by enthusiasts from a diverse background. Click through for a video slideshow and to read the true meaning of the BMT and be sure to leave a word of appreciation for Ms. Goes Fast.
It’s a cool crisp autumn morning, you’re waiting, anticipation building; you’ve spent the last few months preparing for this day. As you line up, in your head, you go over a check list:
Tires in good shape – CHECK!
Gas tank full – CHECK!
Two-way radio on – CHECK!
Top down – CHECK!
Everything you have done to prepare your car and yourself goes crashing through your mind, as if it were your entire life flashing before your eyes. “Did I tighten everything back up? I made it here, didn’t I?! – CHECK!”
Your mind wanders back to the previous spring; mountain sides to your left, deep valleys, green fields, hills full of trees to your right! In front of you, long sweeping curves, peaks and valleys, hairpin turns, switchbacks, chicanes… a playground to anyone with a passion for driving!
Finally, a voice comes over the two-way, “Group 1, ready to go! Be sure to turn on your driving lights and reset your trip meter.” The 2011 Fall BMT has officially begun.
The Boston Mountains Tour, or BMT, is a biannual event held in Arkansas for sports car enthusiasts. It began in the spring of 2007, and was cofounded by Julie Urasaki (JulieU) and Jerome Moore (jmoore2k). It is not a car show, a street race, nor is it a poker run. It is a tour of the picturesque roads that wind through northern Arkansas and the Ozark Boston Mountain Range.
Jerome’s explanation of the BMT sums up the technical aspects; the route and event schedule are preplanned, by a small group of organizers, and are only revealed the morning of the event. The schedule always includes rest stops to allow for restroom breaks and gas refills. There are also stops included for lunch and photo opps. The participants are split up into groups. Each group is led by a Tour Guide who is always an experienced driver, usually with track experience. Each group is followed by a Sweep Car that will assist any driver, in the group, should they need it. There is no registration fee. Those who attend a BMT are only responsible for their lodging, food, and auto expenses.
The lineup is always impressive! The majority of the 40+ sports cars are Honda S2000s, some stock, some with power and/or handling modifications. But, that’s not all you’ll see at the BMT… you won’t have to look far to see a supercharged Lotus Elise, or a Z06 Corvette. Maybe you prefer the Dodge Viper, the Porsche 911, or the Mazda RX-8? Perhaps a Honda Civic Si, Acura NSX, or a Mazda Miata? Any and all sports cars are welcome, as long as you are in the first 50 to sign up!
BMT is held in early spring and again in late fall. The official ‘one day’ event begins Saturday morning; however, most participants arrive Friday evening and stay through Sunday. Why? The answer is simple… it’s something we “BMTers” like to call family. This family has fast food employees, sales associates, computer technicians, and insurance adjusters… bartenders, video producers/directors and boat dock builders, aerospace engineers, auto body technicians and even a C-130J pilot for the USAF. It’s a family of all ages, religious views, and ethnicities. We come from all over the center of the country; Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, and Kansas, to name a few of the most common.
Within the BMT family, we all share a passion… a passion for driving… a passion for winding roads, and phenomenal scenery… a passion for a car, and the desire to meet others with the same passions. While most of the participants first heard of the BMT through the forums, some came across the event in other ways; Simon (SimonRL), our favorite Miata driver, heard of the BMT through a friend, while Greg (gregAP1) heard about it from his local Honda shop. They gave him a flyer when he was there for routine maintenance. Everyone who has had the pleasure of attending a BMT, whether it’s their first or tenth, all make plans to return; boiling down to this: They were drawn to BMT, for the first time, because of their passions… they continue to come back for the people.
My first BMT experience was during the pre-drive in the fall of 2010. I was invited, as a passenger, by my boyfriend, Matt (mpetus). He was asked to be a Tour Guide for the event. Matt had talked about the event many times before; about the scenery, and the fun roads and how great the drive was, but he always talked the most about the people who attended… I had heard enough about some, Julie, Jerome, Andy (ChOpper), Janet (Janet&Travis), Simon and his dad, David, (just to name a few) that I knew them by name before I even met them!
I enjoyed the ride, the bright reds and yellows of the changing leaves, the long, sweeping curves. I felt the excitement of the hairpin turns and the switchbacks. My first experience with a spirited drive was better than any rollercoaster I’ve ever been on!!! But, what I enjoyed the most was how welcoming the group was… Andy, Julie, Jerome, Simon, and David made me want to come back after we left, and I began counting the days until the actual event, because I already felt like part of the family… and I was filled with the anticipation of meeting more of my “relatives.”
Julie and Jerome knew the roads that would make up the routes for the Boston Mountains Tour were amazing to drive and were excited about sharing the experience with other car enthusiasts. Their vision of a fun, safe drive was a success from the beginning. However, the BMT became more than just a drive, it’s an experience, where friendships are made, and a family is formed, a family that is intertwined just as the infamous section of Arkansas’ Highway 23 known as the Pig Trail.
I cherish each and every one of the car guys and gals that have added so much fun and friendship to my life. – Jerome Moore, BMT Cofounder
I’ve made SO many friends as a result of the BMTs and learned so much from them. – Julie Urasaki, BMT Cofounder
I consider every BMT-er family. We keep adding to the family (cheers guys and gals). These good people have affected my life as they keep me passionate about putting on the event, to continue to improve the event and keep it a success. – Andy Klenk, Current BMT Master Tour Guide
–Ms. Goes Fast
With special thanks to Matthew Frank, Julie Urasaki, Jerome Moore, Andy Klenk, and all of the BMT family.
For more personal accounts on the BMT, check out the thread “What does BMT mean to you?” located in the Ark-La-Tex S2000 Owners Forum. Video courtesy of vbmarcus. Images courtesy of ChOpper and zbillster.