The bike is my now much-modified BMW K1100RS, which was brand spankin' new back in 1996. The official Atlanta Games sticker that is mentioned in the tale below is that white circle above the headlight. Directly below the Olympic sticker is a sticker for the US Cycling Federation.
So I slapped a sticker on, fired up the red K-bike and headed across North Carolina, down into South Carolina (where I realized that I was riding right by BMW's shiny new-at-the-time Spartanburg assembly plant and museum and that certainly called for a visit), and on down into Georgia to Atlanta.
After a little checking around I was able to find a room at a hotel that was completely full of hard-drinking blue-collar Russians who came to see the games. Not only were those guys hilarious, but at one point I realized that my brand-new helmet was missing and I found it, sitting on top of my motorcycle, right outside the front door to the hotel. What are the odds that you could leave a $500 helmet sitting anywhere else for 4 hours and not have someone nick it? My new Russian pals were taking turns watching it for me.
On to the actual events themselves - I was able to ride right up to the curbside and watch the competitors during the cycling time trial because, with those official stickers, all the cops and corner workers thought that I was some sort of Potentate involved with the cycling events. It was a fantastic experience - I was able to see the great Miguel Indurain win the Gold Medal in the last major race of his long career.
Later that night I was also able to sneak right up to the party and exhibit that BMW had set up at the Hospitality Center in downtown Atlanta. Getting into there required that I ride two blocks going against traffic on one-way streets. When I did get stopped and took off my helmet and so forth the security guys at the BMW Hospitality Center sorta looked at each other, looked at me, checked my ID, and smiled and said that my new bike would look fine sitting there at the entrance. And to enjoy myself.
(I later heard that one reason why I was able to get to the Hospitality Center so easily was that the head of BMW Motorcycles North America was riding around on a new, red, R1100RS. I was there on my new, shiny, red, K1100RS. Supposedly the BMW security folks saw me, blocks away, on their television monitors).
Ah, those were the happy days of a misspent youth. I'd hate to try some of those stunts today, considering how paranoid many folks have gotten over security at events like the Olympics.
Today, the scene would be something like this: