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Thread: Had a great time, except...

  1. #61
    Registered User Slablog's Avatar
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    I just rolled in this afternoon from my four day ride home to Atlanta. My worst experience of this rally was when I ran over my prescription bifocals 45 miles from Gillette on Wednesday afternoon.
    All in all a nice time. Too windy for me, but I expected it. The vendor food seemed to get better as the days progressed. Maybe I just got hungrier!
    My favorite line spoken at the rally: "A non-denominational religious service will be held tomorrow morning in the saloon."

    Now I gotta go nurse my sore butt, from riding 3,900 + miles on a F650GS. (Paul and Voni. Don't say it!)

  2. #62
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    What is being pointed out by some members now is a healthy review of what went well and what could certainly be done better or different in the future. That is how an organization grows and improves.

    Let us hope that as a national club, we have the maturity to admit our shortcomings, learn from them, and each year, build a better mousetrap.
    fwiw, this has been S.O.P. in the 12 years that i have been volunteering for rally support. each committee chair gets the opportunity to do exactly what you suggest.

    if you're talking about examining/changing rally site selection criteria, the best approach is to get a spot on the agenda at a board meeting and state your case. i bet you could do this by phone if it's not possible to travel and attend in person.

    ian

    (on the road to paonia. i had a kick ASS time riding to and camping at the rally, riding through wyoming, montana, utah, colorado and new mexico. there was plenty of good riding related to this rally, imo.)
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  3. #63
    Jim Bud
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    Another MOA Rally and a good time...

    This was a very good rally....it was a bit remote....and therefore I had the opportunity to ride through some new places on the way there and the way back....afterall, it's all about the ride, right?

    The facility was very nice....lot's of camping space....lot's of parking space....great meeting rooms....and very nice local people.....I had local folks asking if I was lost when I stopped 20 miles from the site to just take a look at some horses this is a good sign....

    I thought that the vendors were great....and the vendor areas were also great....and every time I turned around, I saw another food vendor....and the typical line waiting to buy something.....now, the food,.....well, it was "rally" food.....but after looking for a while, I found a vendor with a chicken salad to make up for the pizza the day before, and even though I had to wait....the BBQ was OK....a bit fatty...but tasty none the less.....

    All and all it was a very good rally.....I volunteered for two assignments, and both times when I arrived they dd not neeed me.....there were too many helpers already.....but every time a volunteer helped me with something....I thanked them for volunteering....without them there would be no rally...

    The highlight of the rally for me was Thursday night at 2 AM when out of my tent under the front entrance of the main building watching a nasty storm pour down on us....I was there with two other folks, one was the volunteer guard in from the weather....and I all I could think aobut was any rider "out there" somewhere caught in the storm, when a rider appeared in the middle of the worst of it.....we flagged him to the front door out of the weather.....he had just arrived form Boston....not an insignificant ride......on a BMW Crusier....he was starry eyed,,but smiling to be finally there....he said his clothes were dry.....the rainsuit had worked......it's one of those moments when a trip to the MOA is captured in the riders eyes.....memorable.......

    Now, who wants to comment about a little wind or sun? Or maybe some rally food?

    BTW, had a great ride back over Beartooth, camped a night in Yellowstone....and rode back a 1,050 mile day from Yellowstone to SoCal .... great rally

    Thanks to all that made it possilbe....
    Last edited by JimBud; 07-25-2008 at 04:17 PM.
    Jim Bud...

  4. #64
    Rally Rat warthog's Avatar
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    Jim, I was one of your shelter mates under the overhang of the Heritage Center during the storm. I remember watching the almost horizontal rain and thinking to myself -- boy I'm glad I'm riding in that.....then at the end of the main entrance I spy a lone headlight turning into the complex and think he/she must be soaked. It was about 1:30pm I think. Yes, he was from Beantown and his first gear rain suit had kept him dry. I'm pretty sure the security guy got a picture of him.

  5. #65
    Rally Rat warthog's Avatar
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    I would like to thank Karol and the two first aide guys, and my neighbor at rally. (I was unable at time to catch names, but I knew Karol from previous rallies) who helped me when I had de-hydration.
    Glad to hear you made it home OK. Its OK about the names you did not look the best and we just wanted make sure you got hydrated.

  6. #66
    Ninja Hippie smammon's Avatar
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    Fantastic time

    I want to say thank you to Deb and Karol! I was personally amazed at the organization and the level of detail in everything.

    Registration took about 2 minutes including standing in line. The seminar rooms were fantastic. The beemer saloon was perfect. Everything but hard liquor and it was air conditioned! When the band played you could sit under the tent or go inside the building for conversation. The shuttle seemed to run every 5 minutes instead of the 15 they advertised. Handling the line Thursday morning for pins/patches and tickets was as elegant and logical as I have ever seen. The moment I truly realized the level of detail you went to was when I fired up my computer on a whim and discovered WIFI in the north 40! Not just bleeding over but actual AP's clear out there!

    Yes there were warts but I've yet to see an event that didn't have them. For example, just try to predict where people will camp ahead of time... I guarantee you will place the showers in the wrong spot.

    You guys did an awesome job organizing this thing!

  7. #67
    Registered User 118078's Avatar
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    My second national rally, and my wife's first. We both had a great time and she says she wants to do it again.

    We both signed up for volunteer work, and met some great people.

    Loved the seminars, saw all three of Helga's in the big theatre.

    I was disapointed in the food choices, but I never went hungry. Beer was cheap and plentiful.

    We did great roads thru WA, ID, MO, and WY. Glacier Park, back roads in both MO and WY, Beartooth, Cheif Joseph, and the Big Horn mountains, riding doesn't get better than this.

    I never waited for a hot shower, and the showers were clean, short wait for the shuttle.

    We had a great time coming and going, and all thru the event.

    My only complaint is I didn't win a bike!!!!!!

  8. #68
    ben721364
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    Observations

    I left home early and reached Gillette early. The ride was spectacular and I couldn't have asked for better riding weather, except for the strong headwind that I bucked for 100 miles or so in the TX Panhandle. I looked around Gillette on arrival, rode by the rally site then headed out to my motel in Buffalo (60 miles). En route I decided that to me the rally was less important than the opportunity to ride in the mountains. I headed west and South the next morning and missed the whole rally. Attendance reported above confirmed my suspicions. I didn't think I was meeting as many BMWs as usual.

    It sounds like an awful lot of hard work went into this rally and for that I am appreciative, though I elected to miss it. I did thoroughly enjoy the ride.

  9. #69
    Rob Mayes
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    While I had a great ride to and from, and loved the rally, The lack of vendors and food stands really left a lot to be desired.

    I cringe just thinking about a breakdown on the eastward stretch of I-90. Getting gas could be tricky out on that stretch if you went past one station too many.

    But all in all, a rally is people and what we make of it, and while us BMW riders are somewhat excentric we are great people who can count on each other.


  10. #70
    gulfcoastbeemer
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaGSA View Post
    The best part of the rally was leaving Friday morning. I combined the Bighorns, Chief Joseph and Beartooth passes (AWESOME) in one magnficent ride before pulling into Red Lodge, Montana where there was a regional Harley rally just starting with over 18,000 registrants! Imagine that small hog get together against the measly 5-6K Beemers that showed up in Gillette. Knock them if you will, but they know how to party!

    All in all, happy I went. Did one 600 mile day and NEVER LEFT MONTANA! Devil's Tower is worth the ride in itself (for me at least), and the ride back through the Beartooth was memorable. 1700 miles in 4 days and the wife was not too grouchy when I got back!
    I didn't attend the rally primarily because I had passed through Gillette several years ago and thought it a rather dreary location for a meth lab much less a BMW MOA National Rally.

    On the other hand, I did spend a week in Red Lodge, Montana and never tired of the place, the people or the scenic roads in the immediate vicinity -- particularly the Beartooth Pass. It's a puzzlement to me how Red Lodge can host the very successful and rather large mid-July Beartooth (Harley) Rally, yet fail the BMW MOA National Rally site selection muster.

  11. #71
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gulfcoastbeemer View Post
    I didn't attend the rally primarily because I had passed through Gillette several years ago and thought it a rather dreary location for a meth lab much less a BMW MOA National Rally.

    On the other hand, I did spend a week in Red Lodge, Montana and never tired of the place, the people or the scenic roads in the immediate vicinity -- particularly the Beartooth Pass. It's a puzzlement to me how Red Lodge can host the very successful and rather large mid-July Beartooth (Harley) Rally, yet fail the BMW MOA National Rally site selection muster.
    I was there - Red Lodge - during this year's Harley something or another in July. There was no visible central point of it all - just lots of bikes at lots of hotels, and bars. I saw one small vendor display at one motel. I think it's an apples and oranges situation.

    Quite frankly, after about an hour there I was eager to get out of town. Partly the cacopheny of the bikes running up and down the street, and partly the Gatlinburg character of the town. Apologies to all fans of certified tourist towns. It's not my cup of tea!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  12. #72
    Registered User redclfco's Avatar
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gulfcoastbeemer
    I didn't attend the rally primarily because I had passed through Gillette several years ago and thought it a rather dreary location for a meth lab much less a BMW MOA National Rally.

    On the other hand, I did spend a week in Red Lodge, Montana and never tired of the place, the people or the scenic roads in the immediate vicinity -- particularly the Beartooth Pass. It's a puzzlement to me how Red Lodge can host the very successful and rather large mid-July Beartooth (Harley) Rally, yet fail the BMW MOA National Rally site selection muster.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I was there - Red Lodge - during this year's Harley something or another in July. There was no visible central point of it all - just lots of bikes at lots of hotels, and bars. I saw one small vendor display at one motel. I think it's an apples and oranges situation.

    Quite frankly, after about an hour there I was eager to get out of town. Partly the cacopheny of the bikes running up and down the street, and partly the Gatlinburg character of the town. Apologies to all fans of certified tourist towns. It's not my cup of tea!

    Immediately after the rally, I spent Monday-Wednesday in Montana, fished, hiked, and rode to my hearts content. The only thing that was missing was Disneyland! Darn it!

    But in all seriousness, we know that Disneyland can be no where near Beartooth Pass, or chief Joe highway. The west is big, and the rally organisers knew that they were plunking the 08 Rally down in an area that was HUGE in beauty, and HUGE in geographic location, but not necessarily real close to anything; other than many of your friends, and soon to become friends in the BMWMOA.

    Paul is correct, Red Lodge would of been overwhelmed by the sheer size and volume of the BMWMOA; no way would it of worked because of that problem! What, we would have had to rent out the whole town, but where to put the people!?

    You had to make an effort to ride to the towers, to the pass, to the many other wonders this area had to offer. If it was a moped rally, this location would of never worked, but a BMW Motorcycle Rally? Comeon, get real. you ride a machine that was designed for distance, so the fact that it was a few miles to see all the wonderments of Wyoming/Montana should be expected! You ride a BMW for goodness sake!

  13. #73
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    It was not the best of rallies.
    It was not the worst of rallies.
    It was what I made it and I had a good time.

    I saw a couple people who I have come to really value as friends. Put faces with screen names and made new friends. Looked up some friends I have not seen in years in Rapid City and near Devils Tower.

    Selected my camp site and set up my tent with a little care. As a result was high, dry and smug after the light show and rain.

    Had a bunch of marginal food and one of the best camp meals ever served up by a new, young, very excited member I met from Denver.

    Darn vendors! Once agian they took my money. Have they no mercy?

    Closing cerimonies are what they are. To be frank I would have prefered to listen to an audio tape of it rather than the live XXX rated audio served up in a tent near mine during the night. Ahhh love or at least ardent lust.

    As to crossing the Great Plains, do it quickly if you don't like them. In the process do it quietly as to not disturb those of us that find a subtle beauty in them. No I do not desire to live there full time. I do love my visits. Wild flowers, fields, open range and birds soaring in endless blue skies.

    Thanks to all who worked to make it happen.

    Tennesse next year. What good or bad can I say about that??? I have left it.

  14. #74
    07 R1200GS Rich's Avatar
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    I'm just going to go on record as saying I had a great time at the National. Yep, the location maybe left something to be desired, but so what, it's all what you make it.

    And who said there were no trees?

    My camp:



    Ok, so I got a little lucky!

  15. #75
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1ka View Post
    I saw a couple people who I have come to really value as friends.

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