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Thread: My first Rally! Hints, suggestions, tips???

  1. #1
    RTFlyer
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    My first Rally! Hints, suggestions, tips???

    First, a little background...I bought my R1200RT a couple weeks ago at Grass Roots BMW in Cape Girardeau as a replacement for my V-Star. The 600 mile service was completed this week. My intention upon buying the bike was to begin touring, and after having pined away for the bike for years, I bit the bullet. I have gobs of vacation time available now. I had been using much of my vacation time over the past few years visiting my parents in the Milwaukee area, but I lost them both on consecutive days this spring so I plan to use my time off now to see a few things and live a little. I lived in Germany (Furth and Bad Kreuznach) as a kid, and my mother was German (born in Essen), so that's another reason for the BMW.

    I'm planning on attending the Pure Stodge Rally in Iowa, my first rally having been an owner for only two weeks now It looks to about a 350 mile run, depending on what route I take, so I think it'll be a perfect shake out run.

    I'm not new to bikes, so I don't really have any concerns about the trip or the actual riding. I've got a day free on either side of the rally dates to allow for weather, so I have no concerns about the ride itself. I'll probably break the ride up there into two days, since I can't get an early start on day one. That should also help allow time for some relaxed sightseeing and pics to document my initial run. The shortest route would take me through St. Louis, but I'm considering adding a few miles to avoid the rat race there, especially since it looks like I'd hit there during the afternoon rush hour.

    I plan on camping alone once I get there. I've been gearing up, but I do have a few items to pick up yet. The main thing now is a decent tent. Honestly, I have spent quite a bit between the bike purchase, license and insurance, a better jacket (Olympia), a full mesh suit (Teiz MS), new helmet, etc, so I would like to find something decent, but I don't want to spend $500.00 either. I'm thinking a 3-person might be best there, so I can sleep two at times and have some room for gear. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    So otherwise...what will I wish I had packed when I get there?? How do we spend our days? I plan on arriving early afternoon Thursday, and breaking camp Sunday, weather permitting. I hope to get lots of info on farkling my RT, specifically adding some electronics (satellite radio, GPS, radar detector, camera mount).

    So help a brother out guys. Any advice or suggestions are welcome. Also, I do like to drink beer . Does any of that go on at rallies??

  2. #2
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Firstly, welcome!

    I like Eureka tents. Good quality and not ridiculously expensive. Do bear in mind that this is not a throw away item nor an investment type thing but you want a decent tent that provides good ventilation, weather protection and one that will last.

    My other suggestion might be the Kermit chair. It's pretty much the icon of camping chairs.

    The blue words are links to the corporate sites but you may poke around a little and find better deals elsewhere. Good hunting and I hope to see you at Pure Stodge!

  3. #3
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Make it easy on yourself for the first rally and check out

    Sherpa Tents.

    Ted does all the work and you have all the fun. Have used Ted's services and it is an A+ enterprise.

  4. #4
    RTFlyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    Make it easy on yourself for the first rally and check out

    Sherpa Tents.

    Ted does all the work and you have all the fun. Have used Ted's services and it is an A+ enterprise.
    Thanks Paul. Ted doesn't list the Iowa Rally as somewhere he'll be.

    Believe me, I've been reading, reading, and reading threads on camping, rallies, and equipment. Thanks for the link!

  5. #5
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Here is another link that is a great primer for motorcycle camping.

    There are some tips in there, like water usage, that are not to be found elsewhere.

  6. #6
    RTFlyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by wezul View Post
    Firstly, welcome!

    I like Eureka tents. Good quality and not ridiculously expensive. Do bear in mind that this is not a throw away item nor an investment type thing but you want a decent tent that provides good ventilation, weather protection and one that will last.
    That's a coincidence. I was shopping online last night, and had highlighted one of their tents. Aluminum poles, packs small, and as you said, affordable. That may be the ticket.

  7. #7
    Brett
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    I have Coleman exponent tents for one and two people depending on the weather and length of trip. I also have an Eastern mountain four person tent that I use a lot depending again on time and distance and comfort level I want. When I go to a rally with 150 people I probably see 130 different tents, sleep rolls, sleeping bags, stoves and packing systems. Helen Two wheels bags are the best and a Jet boil for cooking is the best and a kermit chair is the best, other than that it's opinion on about everything else. Thats why I have 7 tents 9 sleeping bags, 6 different riding combination suits and jackets, 5 helmets and so forth. Just remember buying good stuff saves you a lot in the long run, just ask my wife, or better off don't LOL

    Brett Endress
    Altoona Pa

  8. #8
    sunbeam9
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    We are so glad that you are coming the the Iowa Rally - we will do our best to make your rally experience fun.

    'You Wrote: Also, I do like to drink beer . Does any of that go on at rallies??'

    The Traditional Iowa Rally Beverage courtesy of The Pure Stodge Touring Association happens to be beer. So you are in luck.

    I don't know how the gnats have been down your way but they have been rather wicked up here - perhaps bug repellant might come in handy.

    The Pure Stodge Touring Association invites you to attend the 33rd Iowa Rally.
    Rally Fee includes:
    - Rally pin to the first 350 attendees
    - Rally cup to all
    - Coffee, tea & lemonade
    - Beer
    - Camping Thursday, Friday & Saturday
    - Friday night Chili supper
    - Friday night band
    - Saturday morning Rider Safety Seminar
    - Saturday night BBQ Pork dinner
    - Saturday night band
    - Door prizes
    Come and enjoy the historical Amana Colonies.
    More info at:
    http://purestodge.org

    The new location offers great tent camping and the Amana Colonies are welcoming us with open arms.
    The Millstream Brewery in Main Amana will have a band and food available at their establishment on Thursday night in honor of our rally for attendees to go to.
    The brewery is hosting a walking poker run through the Amanas for our enjoyment during the rally along with tours of the brewery.
    We have door prizes available from various Amana shops and motorcycle related items such as a great Marsee tank bag, Helen Two-Wheels packing system, tires, etc.
    Bring your friends!

  9. #9
    Registered User 184480's Avatar
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    As far as the tent goes my preference has been as I got older to be able to stand in it to get dressed. I got to hate rolling around on the ground getting dressed in the morning. There are lots of tents today with center heights of 58+ inches.
    I have a nice folding cot I use too. No more sleeping on the ground for me.
    I like beer too and a Beemer rally is the best place to enjoy them!
    The Iowa Rally is great and if you like that come out this summer to the Top O' The Rockies Rally in Paonia, CO. You'd like that too I'm sure!
    I'm going to rent one of the Sherpa tents this year. Never tried that but have heard great things and seen them at a number of rallies and I'm looking forward to not hauling and setting up all that stuff!
    Former bikes, Ahhhhh who cares!!

  10. #10
    RTFlyer
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    So who provides sherpa service at the Iowa Rally?? I'm thinking that may be the way to go too.

    That would save me the effort of putting my gear together in two short weeks, only to see better equipment being used there.

    You may see me in Colorado too, depending on the dates. It's on my short list!

  11. #11
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    No such animal at Pure Stodge, as far as I know.
    Ted's service has had rave reviews for quite some time and I opted this year to use his service for the first time this year at the International Rally at Johnson City, TN.

  12. #12
    3 Red Bricks
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    Things to think about:

    Layers- so your not too cold or warm day or night

    Cheap rubber slip on sandals - for those middle of the night dashes to recycle the beer.

    EARPLUGS - someone always snores after an evening of (usually me)

    Location, Location, Location - the closer your tent is to the beer garden, the less grounds you have to complain about late night revelers (me). If you want a quiet night, put your tent farther away from the noise (also applies to airports and train tracks)

    Have fun


    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  13. #13
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    Smile

    To simplify packing, using Sherpa Tents at the rally would seem to be the best bet. I bought a Catoma Tent early this year after seeing how easy it was to put up and that it had plenty of room for my twin size inflatable mattress. Using the Sherpa Tent services will allow you to observe other tents and allow you to discuss the pros/cons of the many different makes with thier users. I own a large Coleman tent (4 person) and a smaller Eureka (2 man) but prefer the Catoma as it has a covered vestibule at each end, good ventilation, and plenty of room for me and my gear. Hope to meet you at the Rally (I'm a beer tent volunteer).
    Ride Safe

  14. #14
    LEGEND IN MY OWN MIND..
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    And 1st timers always buy the first round.




  15. #15
    Registered User Rod Sheridan's Avatar
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    Talking

    Things I have learned at BMW rallies,

    - never try to sleep within 6 kilometres of a Pirate of the Conch Republic

    - The Rolling Broccolli Riders are great people, however they stay up drinking and laughing far later than my mother will allow me to.

    - whenever I bring the small leaky tent, it rains.

    - whenever I bring any other tent it rains, except for those times when you're stuck in a dust bowl worse than the Sahara, and you spend the rally hoping for rain.

    - never bring a Kermit chair to a BMW rally since almost all BMW owners have a Kermit chair. This results in situations where you are looking for your blue Kermit chair, out of maybe 3,000 other blue Kermit chairs.

    - if you go to a rally where newbies receive a different coloured mug, always claim to be a newbie regardles of how many times you've been there. (It's the only way I can have people be friendly to me.)

    Glad to have been of some help .................Rod
    Work is the curse of the riding class

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