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

  1. #16
    sunbeam9
    Guest
    Sorry, no sherpa service at the Iowa Rally. There are Bed & Breakfasts in Middle Amana within walking distance of the rally site.

  2. #17
    RTFlyer
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by sunbeam9 View Post
    Sorry, no sherpa service at the Iowa Rally. There are Bed & Breakfasts in Middle Amana within walking distance of the rally site.
    If that's the case, I'll take the plunge, gear up and consider a lesson well earned. I suppose I'm a lot like Brett. I'll find something I like, then something better, then something even better, etc, etc...If I go with decent stuff to begin with, I don't expect any real problems. I'll just start out that way, and begin the quest for perfection.

    I appreciate any and all advice guys. I imagine that there's a learning curve, and that what works for one person may not work for another.

    As far as advice recieved already here...

    Lee, I should probably be as close to the beer tent as possible. I'm usually one of the late night revelers, so that increases my chances of finding my way back to it. BTW, the is absolutely the largest smiley I have ever seen.

    OU812, I was assuming that all beer was free for first timers! I guess we'll find a compromise in there somewhere.

    I plan to try the new mesh suit for a few hour run tomorrow to see if I've got any problem areas. It's supposed to be mid 80's and sunny! Maybe a trip to an outdoor store about 85 miles away to shop for tents and misc gear???

    Thanks for the info guys. Anybody else feel free to chime in!

  3. #18
    sunbeam9
    Guest
    RTFlyer wrote: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.

    Last fall I took some great county roads from Cape Girardeau to Salem and then rode Highway 19 up to Center. At Center there is a short cut to Highway 61 and then just take HWY 61/218 up to I-80. That will keep you clear of Hannibal & St. Louis.

  4. #19
    RTFlyer
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by sunbeam9 View Post
    Last fall I took some great county roads from Cape Girardeau to Salem and then rode Highway 19 up to Center. At Center there is a short cut to Highway 61 and then just take HWY 61/218 up to I-80. That will keep you clear of Hannibal & St. Louis.
    Thanks, I'll check it out. I've arranged to get the whole day off Wednesday, so St. Louis traffic will be less of a factor now too. I suppose it will all come down to weather and timing. If I can do 150 or so slab miles, I will have taken anough of a chunk off the trip to thoroughly enjoy the rest. On the other hand, your route will maybe add a few hours, but sounds beautiful the entire way...decisions, decisions...

  5. #20
    LEGEND IN MY OWN MIND..
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Buffalo Grove IL
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    751
    "OU812, I was assuming that all beer was free for first timers! "
    I heard it is free all the time.
    That was my joke.

  6. #21
    RTFlyer
    Guest
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

    I've come to some conclusions as of today...

    I probably won't pack as efficiently as I should. I'll leave things I need here, and I'll bring some things that I have no use for. It'll be a learning experience for me, so I'm not going to sweat it too much. If I truly need something, they'll have stores there. I found a quality brand-new tent on Craiglist here and saved a bundle, have a good sleeping bag, and a serious self-inflating air mattress, so at least I should be able to sleep at night.

    I'm probably going to make a generally straight run as far as routing goes with a small detour to avoid the worst of St. Louis traffic. I considered the route suggested above, but that will add considerably to the overall distance. I'm new to the touring thing, so I want to arrive in Iowa fresh, and not try to squeeze too many miles in per day. I figure that I can make the entire trip (380 miles) in one day in case of rain or other unforseen delays on my route. I don't want to plan any more than that for my first run. I can ride 200 miles per day locally without any problem, so I don't think I'm out of the ball park there. My route gives me about 130 slab miles initially, then a relaxed run for the remainder. Less than two hours after leaving the house, I'll have nothing but open road ahead of me.

    Theres a nice state park with camping at about the 3/4 point. If I feel like stopping, I can camp there, then continue. That would also be a good place to see how well prepared I really am.

    I'm starting a packing list today, based on some published on the web and tailored to my own needs. I'm also running by Grass Roots BMW today to see about a tank bag, tie downs and other misc items. I'm still a little confused as to how it all will fit on the bike, stay dry, and be stable. I'll leave plenty of time to pack and re-pack.

    Any advice on packing the bike would come in handy now. I've read the threads on it and seen some pic's of packed bikes. I just need to figure out my own system I guess.

  7. #22
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Manitowoc, Wisconsin
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    2,078
    Take a day trip with your bike packed as if for a long-distance tour. Then get home and set up camp and see how things held up on the trip. Then see what you really needed. Adjust as necessary.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador, Biergarten co-chair
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep, camping chair

  8. #23
    sunbeam9
    Guest
    And just as an FYI - we will be giving out a 10% off & free shipping coupon from Full Throttle Camping at the Iowa Rally to everyone. And we also have two 30% off coupons as door prizes from Full Throttle. Here is a link to their website:
    http://www.fullthrottlecamping.com

  9. #24
    RTFlyer
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by manicmechanic View Post
    Take a day trip with your bike packed as if for a long-distance tour. Then get home and set up camp and see how things held up on the trip. Then see what you really needed. Adjust as necessary.
    Good advice. I've got about a 170 mile run planned for Saturday. I'll load up the bike and make it a test run.

  10. #25
    RTFlyer
    Guest
    I just thought I'd wrap the thread up with a little summary of the trip.

    I drove up in one day, my first 400 mile day thanks to some sightseeing along the way. It was an easy trip, dry and low 80's for the temps, and I felt pretty good ater a few cold beers that evening.

    The camping was great. I had the necesssary gear, packed pretty well, and made it through the weekend without any great suffering.

    I met a few guys who post here, as well as a good group of guys with whom I ate, rode, and drank each day. I discovered that overall, you guys are my kind of people. An easygoing bunch who spent the weekend laughing, riding, drinking, and socializing. We didn't have to disagree about politics, social reform, discuss what we or our bikes were worth or anything like that because it didn't matter. I didn't even know what the occupations were of the guys I spent the weekend with until the last night there when the subject came up. We rode different bikes from different eras, and laughed until we cried every day.

    I admitted being a rally virgin to everyone I met, and was welcomed with open arms. I asked questions about the bikes I saw and learned a lot in the process about not only mine, but the beemers in general. All good-to-know stuff. The rally itself seemed well organized (if a bit laid back), and was just what I needed in a quick getaway from the daily grind.

    I've marked my calandar for the Iowa rally next year, and plan to attend a few more this year if I can sneak away. In the end...I'm hooked. I've found my perfect bike, and now a group of folks who enjoy theirs as much as I enjoy mine. I hope to meet more of you folks around the country at different rallies, and still plan on doing some touring myyself. Oh, and I've got a long list of future farkles...

  11. #26
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Payson, AZ
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    764
    Quote Originally Posted by RTFlyer View Post
    I just thought I'd wrap the thread up with a little summary of the trip.

    I met a few guys who post here,...
    GUYS! Guys! Do I look like a guy!!!!

    Was nice meeting you, too.

  12. #27
    Registered User 184480's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    179
    Glad you had a great time and yes, rallies are addicting! Over the last 8 years I've tried to make from 2 to5 each summer and a new one each year. Got sick last year and didn't make any but I'm signed up for Paonia and I might try Sipapu in NM also this Sept.
    Former bikes, Ahhhhh who cares!!

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