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Thread: What Made You Do It?

  1. #1
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    Well, my first "rally" was actually the 2nd Annual Harley Rendezvous in Saratoga, NY. It was a party, with motocycles, friends and "stuff" to do. Back then, we did lots of "stuff". 'Nuff said on that count. I think that was around '78 or so.

    My first "rally" on a Beemer was The Laconia Classic, in '80. Bought my first BMW on Wed, a silver 1974 R90/6. Registered it on Thursday, and was on my way to NH (from CT) on Friday. Talk about trust, eh? Well, most everyone else went to watch the races at Loudon- I took my gf and went for an all day ride on the beemer all around the area. I was falling in love with the bike, just enjoying its smooth power and easy riding nature. And finding out that I could get around 60 mpg was not an unpleasant discovery, either.

    Later that summer I went to my first real BMW Rally- the Dutch Country Rally in PA. I had become friendly with Ralph DeLuca and others at Canton Cycle- mostly due to my R90 breaking its detent spring and requiring a new tranny. (back then Ralph was just a lowly tech, not yet the owner). But by then I'd upgraded from the R90 to a gorgeous R100S Motorsport, and had a great time going to the DCR with 9 other Beemer riders. That there were 4 mechanics in our group of seven bikes was very comforting. The local riding was fun stuff, the games were silly (that was the year of "dress ike a pirate"), and I was enthralled with checking out the bikes, spending money with the parts guys, and learning all I could about the different models. The bonds were forged for Rally going- we all had a fun time, and the long distance riding thing (only about 350 miles, but the farthest I'd been on any bike to that point) was beginning to make sense.

    My first MOA National was two summers later, up in Lake Placid. I dragged a friend along- Andy Dossett, on her R90/6 (my old '74, now with a working tranny). Andy was bitten with the rally bug to a much greater degree than I ever was. That was her first National, and I'm pretty sure she has not missed one since! She won the women's division of the 5K Fun Run at Lake Placid (you want a good story? ask her sometime how she was feeling on that "run"), and sometime later took over the Chair responsibilities. Oh yeah, most of you know her as Andrea Borella.

    Now, I attend the rallies to taste the local riding, to see friends I've made over the years, and for the pleasure of the trip to and from each site.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffy777 View Post
    That is correct. I am out of the closet as one who has never "done it". I feel confident that I can admit my rally virginity to you, my Forum Family, because of the way everyone is so accepting and welcoming of people who are "different" here. Just because I don't follow the party line and go to the rally, I am confident of your love and acceptance because of the evidence of such things I see scattered all over this forum.
    Maybe some day I will take the leap and "do it" but for now I am scared off by visions of waaaaaay too many people in a somewhat confined space. I have avoided Marti Gras, Times Square on New Years Eve and a host of other events for the same reason.
    So for now I remain wholesome and pure.
    Talk to M1ka. There's enough room to get away by yourself, if you don't want to talk to anyone. As a confirmed introvert, I take advantage of those opportunities from time to time.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    Registered User chasman's Avatar
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    Talking

    Year 1975...I'm in my early 20s and riding a '75 R75/6...a riding buddy say "Hey, there's a big Beemer thing in Branson, MO"...turned out to be the 3rd BMW MOA National Rally. Joined MOA shortly afterwards and have been rallying ever since.
    Chuck Manley #12106
    2012 Howlin' at the Moon Rally Chair
    Ambassador, Knights of the Roundel #333, IBA Member, Life Member NRA
    Black '13 R12GSA (the Outlaw), Black '02 K12RS (157K)

  4. #4
    Mudbug
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    I went because I was in the neighborhood. Actually I was about 700 miles away and that was the closest I've ever been to a rally while a member. Since I was close by, I went.

    I got to see the underside of I-135 during a thunderstorm.


    I learned that the Garden of Eden is in Kansas and is made of sandstone and concrete.


    Sleeping on the ground is good for my back. Much firmer than any mattress.


    I found my reserved parking space in Hewlett, Wyoming. Still far from the door at work.


    You can carry a lot of stuff besides two people on a K75.


    North Dakota is far for everywhere.


    The northern end of the Mississippi River is more scenic than the southern end.


    And I find Ardys everywhere.

  5. #5
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    I went to meet my fellow wackos.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  6. #6
    07 R1200GS Rich's Avatar
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    I was riding a Honda Goldwing back in the early eighties, and my friend Tom Willis had just bought himself an 83 R100RS. At the time I thought it was probably the ugliest bike I had ever seen. Fortunately I kept that opinion to myself. (Especially now that I think it is the prettiest BMW ever made)

    Right around 1985 he invited me to ride with him to the Dells Rally. I had never been out of the state on my bike, maybe not even more than 100 miles from my house, so I thought, what the hell, why not. I remember thinking it was going to be one very long trip. We left on a Thursday and had to be back to work Tuesday morning.

    On Thursday morning, it was drizzly and cold, like maybe 50 degrees. I was cold just waiting for him to show up at our meeting point. We got on the road and by the time we reached the east side of the state it was a tad warmer, and the sun was out. We camped somewhere near the twin cities that evening, and by Friday early afternoon we were at the Dells.

    I had an absolute blast at the rally. I couldn't believe how friendly everyone was, I even had complete strangers walking up to our campsite to get a better look at my Goldwing and ask questions about it. How cool is that? The biggest thing I remember about the rally is the heat, we were looking at 98 degrees with 98% humidity. I was hot!

    Well, Sunday morning we wake up soaking wet. It was pouring cats and dogs, a few bikes were laid over from sinking in the mud, and we had to pack up and leave. We rode all the way to Fargo in a pouring rain, and I froze my rear off. The highlite of the day was getting a motel room to sleep in, all our gear was soaked and we we near frozen. We had left Saturdays Dell's temp of 98 and were now riding in 50 degrees and rain. It sucked.

    We made it back Monday, but it never did warm up much. Tom has since moved across the nation, but we still keep in touch, and the Dell's trip is always a memory to laugh about. When I got home from that trip I had BMW on my mind. In 1986 I bought a new R80RT and sold the Goldwing. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I couldn't believe I was paying a whopping $6000 for a motorcycle. (Neither could my wife )

    I rode that bike all over, but the only National I ever made it to with it was the Black Hills National, whichever year that was. I always intended to make it back to the Dells rally but just haven't yet.

    A few years later, a couple of new BMW's later, and I finally was able to attend another national, the Spokane Rally. It was that event that really hooked me. I've been to Sturgis 20 times, but never had the fun I had at Spokane. You folks that regularly go know the feeling. I was in awe, and the credit card bought me all kinds of goodies I only saw in ON ads. I enjoyed it and the people I met, and vowed to return to another national.

    Unfortuanately, work has a knack of getting in the way, so I missed the last two nationals. I have since changed jobs, and Gillette is at the top of my list for next year. I may even take in the Dells.

    Bottom line, it is just hard to beat spending time with people that share something in common, whether it is a BMW motorcycle, or anything else that bonds people together. And of course it helps being in a place where you can take a stroll any time of the day and see 7000+ beautiful bikes to gaze at, talk to their owners, and maybe meet those special people who become your new life-long friends. It doesn't get any better than that.

  7. #7
    HeRidesAHarley Mongo's Avatar
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    I tried to go to my first National Rally in Vermont 06. I left my house in the rain, arrived in the rain, packed up a campsite in the rain because my SO (who was already there) told me the tent was taking on water and rode home in the rain. I was completely bummed out because there were so many Rounders there I wanted to see. I didn't get to see any I was there about an hour.

    Fast forward to West Bend. What a difference a year makes. I had a great 2 day ride out. I stayed over at Loraz's where we stayed up and sampled various adult beverages until the wee hours. Had a great stay with the Cogan's the next night. Had a great ride in terrific weather. I had a blast at the rally! I volunteered every day. Got to put many faces to many names. I got to spend some time with my SO who I hadn't seen in a few weeks. I met many new people, sampled some more adult beverages, ate well and returned home in terrific weather. It would be nice to go next year but that is unlikely. It is difficult for me to get a week off in the heart of the summer because I'm in HVAC. Two weeks is nearly impossible. Maybe in 09 it will be close enough that I can do it in a week.

    I'm thinking maybe Nova Scotia for a week next summer. I wonder what Blue Knight will be up to?

  8. #8
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    The short answer seems to be that it ain't about the bike.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  9. #9
    Registered User RGVILLA's Avatar
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    My first rally was in Durango in 94. I had been riding beemers since 1976 but was never much interested in the MOA. I don't think I knew it even existed. I raced flat track on HD's in the early 70's and also had a lot of Jap bikes that I loved. I had gotten a real bug and bought a ZX-11and sold my R90/6 to help pay for it. My brother who was riding an R60/5 invited me to ride up with him and a friend. We stayed at Ft. Lewis College. IIRC it was about $20 for the three of us. I kind of enjoyed flaunting the ZX and blowing by all the BMW's. The riding was great and since I had done the area a few times and loved the skiing in Durango in the winter and fishing and hiking in the summer it was natural to go. In my college days I had back packed around the area, riding the Durango Silverton narrow gauge and getting off and hiking for a week or so. I enjoyed the rally, meeting people and having a good time with my brother. My brother was a dedicated rally goer and I remember he rode the /5 up to Montana for a rally. Meanwhile I totalled the ZX and bought a Connie. In 2004 I totalled it. (run off the road both times) and was looking around for a bike when I found the R1100R. Decided to ride it to Lima and really enjoyed myself. Joined the local club here and went to some local rally's and got hooked. I won't make Gilette, other plans but maybe
    08. I'm kind of a loner so don't meet many people but have a few acquaintances on this board I'd like to meet. I like to see all the bikes, visit the vendors and check out the local riding. I love racing so thats always a plus and I try to make the Vintage days at Mid Ohio every year. I camp so I don't care about hotels etc. It's nice to have a choice of food places as oatmeal every morning can get old. I have to have my stove and coffee, no matte how much free coffee is available. I don't drink so I could care less about the beer tent. I think I enjoy our local rally's more than the nationals. More chance to meet people and really get to know them. Oh yeah, I always manage to run into one or two flaming *******s who think they know it all, but that happens anywhere. I love the ride to the destination as much as the destination and there is no such thing as a boring road to me.
    Richard Villa
    2007 Aprilia Caponord, 97 DR350/441, looking for an airhead, sold the R1100R
    "Rebels of the South, It is better to die on your feet than to continue living on your knees" Emiliano Zapata

  10. #10
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    . . . or even the roads.

    Voni
    sMiling
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves/
    Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
    BMW MOA Ambassador / FOM / Roving Forum Moderator/
    Selected Friends of Wile E Coyote/ A Million BMW sMiles

  11. #11
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    . . . or even the roads.

    Voni
    sMiling


    Voni knows.

    Hey Voni, somewhere in my boxes of photos, I have a photo of you on Big Red back at Oshkosh. I didn't know you then, but when I looked at it later, is was pretty apparent it was you.

    I'll get it scanned and posted one of these days. I've got a few fairly old rally photos.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  12. #12
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    stupidity made me do it

    1982..I'd just booked my first "decent" job in the theatre that was a long enough run to include a week's paid vacation. Like a fool, I let everybody else sign up first. They took all the summer weeks and well into September, and the only week available was in October. Nothin' to do but head out to the Octoberfest in San Diego. It rained all the way from Chicago to Hobbs, NM. I learned why it's important to put your raingear on in the right order. Third day; one quart in each boot by the time I got to El Paso. But I knew I was on the right track when I followed "that guy" who built side-car rigs in the SD area, and his Steib, replete w knockout GF into the rallye. (There was a story about him in the news some years ago) Rode thru LA ,where I left my key turned awhile and ran my battery down. Learned where my battery was located, and camped that night in Joshua Tree NP. Where I learned that if I let it sit in the sun for awhile it would turn over easier and start after all, and I wouldn't have to live there. Camped in AZ and listened to the World Series on my transistor radio...remember those? And then it poured all the way from Hobbs back to Chicago. So hard that even cars were pulled off under the bridges on the Dan Ryan Expy S of Chicago. Six miles from home and I was standing under another bridge in the rain. I don't remember much about the rallye itself...a white Motosport RS getting all the att'n...beers from the back of a pick-up. But I have a thousand great memories of the drive and the people I chanced to run ito along the way. The goofy mistakes, the insane wall of fog, the gas station attendants asking if I thought it might rain. How can ya not love going to rallyes?!!
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  13. #13
    Chromehead bobs98's Avatar
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    I didn't know any better

    And it just kind of worked out that the 2006 Rally in Vermont was on my way home from my (almost) weeklong trip with my riding buddies. Left home on Thursday, a week before the rally, headed up to the Finger Lakes, then north along the St Lawrence and in to Canada. We would be heading south thru the Adirondacks on Thursday, so I figured I'd turn east and they would continue south. Instead of getting home Friday, I'd just leave the rally on Sunday and make it home sometime that night.

    Well, I had made some contact with some very fine folks over at Chromeheads, and started to organize a group for a Friday morning ride. I had also barged in to the MOA Forum and answered a call for help to serve the volunteers in the Beer Garden on Wednesday night with Rev. Willlie, where I met the whole crew there. Since I was serving the volunteers, I might as well be one, so I volunteered a shift on Thursday afternoon in Registration. What better way to meet people, than when they first arrive, and I even got to register a few of my fellow Chromeheads. I also got hooked up with the Forum Frenzy for the Friday shift in the Beer Garden.

    Since I had committed to being there Wednesday evening, I might as well get there early enough to do the ERC on Wed afternoon, so I left my friends on Wednesday morning and arrived at the rally before noon. Checked in with Sherpa Mayberry and headed off to the ERC. Oh yeah, I didn't know anybody there.

    By the end of the beer shift, I had made several new friends. Met a few more doing demo rides Thursday morning and at Registration in the afternoon. We had an impromptu and unorganized Chromeheads gathering Thursday night to discuss our next day's ride. On Friday, 17 of us took a beautiful ride and lunch, then back to the BeerGarden for more fun with the Forum Frenzy.

    On Saturday I visited the Mobile Tradition and saw Peter Nettesheim's fantastic collection and several demonstrations before riding off with a couple of my new friends for a visit with a local friend who lives about and hour away. Back to the rally in the rain for the final night. Great entertainment for the entire rally, lots of new friends and many more I never got to meet. Even got to ride home to NJ with one of my new friends.

    I had no idea what to expect going in, never dreamed there would be over 9000 attending. Fantastic experience, all the way around. Great vendors, displays and seminars. Of course I didn't get to do even half of what I had planned. Sorry I couldn't make West Bend, won't be able to do Gilette, but wish I could. Can't wait for the next one.

  14. #14
    Registered User Turbo_Fluffy's Avatar
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    1998 Missoula...

    It all started for me from an invite to join some good Ann Arbor friends in Missoula for the BMWMOA rally - way back in 1998. Terry, Dave and Mosk extended the offer to join them at a Beemer Rally... I was riding a 1985 Honda Magna at the time... couldn't understand the rally thing, and initially felt out of place pulling into a BMW rally on my Magna.

    9 years later... I couldn't feel more comfortable at these large rallies. I now look forward to the next rally each year. We (Turbo Fluffies) continue to meet new friends at each of the rallies. See you all in Gillette in '08.

    -Kevin
    Turbo Fluffy Motoclub - Seattle Chapter
    http://turbofluffy.org

  15. #15
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    Oshkosh was my first,rode there to see what it was all about..
    Nose

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