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Thread: The worst part of the rally.....

  1. #31
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to drinking fountains? Seems like in olden days these were almost everywhere you went. The water wasn't always cold, but it sure was wet.

    Perhaps tap water is unhealthy or not trendy enough for some, but paying $8.00 per gallon at the vendors seems a bit much.

    I was happy to see that the leadership of the MOA stepped up to the unexpected heat situation by providing bottled water to all. Perhaps a water booth or two would be a thought for future rallies.

    I just didn't "get" the flame cars, not for our crowd and the added heat was adding insult to injury. The lady with the T-shirt bazooka & her strong armed rammer & shirt tosser were much more to my liking.

    I do think that as has been suggested, honoring various members as everyone arrives would be a practical idea. Tempers and patience get short pretty quick at these ceremonies.

  2. #32
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    The worst part of the Rally....BMWNA having their own party while Paul Thorn was on stage....beer cups considerably smaller than the one I got in Johnson City.....no rally sticker to put on the back of my bags.
    keep it light enough to travel.....
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  3. #33
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Wow! Three pages of what was wrong with the rally and not nearly the number of posts about the best part of the rally.

    Come on, folks....surely there was more good than bad. 7000+ people can't be wrong.

    Overall, I had a blast and can't wait to do it again! Thanks to all who made it happen!

  4. #34
    mumster
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    heat stop complaining

    I thought about complaining how hot it is... then I realized that: 1.) it isn't 109 degrees; 2.) I'm not 5,700 miles from home; 3.) I'm not dressed in a full BDU uniform and helmet and carrying 70+ lbs.; and 4.) there is very little chance that anyone will shoot at me or that I might drive over a bomb in the road today! Thank you to all who serve.

  5. #35
    Registered User motocamper's Avatar
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    #1 The Heat:
    I have live in the area since 1969 and it has never been this hot and there is no way to plan for it. It was Lopez a 101 on saturday afternoon. We were fixing a flat rear tire (that gt pipe sure is hot.) Lopez is the Ice Box of Pennsylvania and we were melting. It was hot. Saturday evening I was ready to stroke out and the flame cars only made it worse. I had to leave. Has the locals at Chippewana Falls said "It wasn't this hot until you got here"
    #2 Draft Beer:
    Draft beer is a problem because if one would like a nice cool beer while setting up the tent one needs to get canned or bottled beer. My site was five hunderd yards away and carrying back four draft beers was just impactical. I would like to carry a cooler to the beer tent and buy a six pack and a bag of ice from the MOA (sell canned beer) and return to my tent instead of riding into town after a hot afternoon at the added risk. I must confess I did drive home for my homebrews. (Wish you were here Scottie)
    #3 Flame Cars:
    What was the entertainment value of the flame cars?
    I could smell singed hair. I had a long hard day of riding and tire repair work and the last thing that I needed was to be flame broiled while setting in a solar array at peak solar minute of angle. I do not understand why flaming cars are entertaining.
    #4 Showers:
    They did not drain fast enough. Twice I checked and there was 3 inch of water laying. No telling what lie in that water. It could be that BMW rider are just shedding a lot of hair. I went to the creek or home for a shower and a homebrew.
    #5 Paul Thorn:
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    Why is what is banned in the forum allowed center stage at the rally or is this a banned topic?
    #6 Camp sites:
    We showed up on Tuesday to volunteers a where told where we could not pitch a tent only later to see others take the spots we would have used. One couple pitched their tent twice and were told to move by the same person, only to see those sites used by other campers (their last rally). If some one volunteers they should have first rights to a site.
    Tony
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    We're here for a good time HUEY LEWIS

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  6. #36
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    Different time of year

    Would it not make more sense to move the time of the Rally to a cooler month say May or September. I think it would make it far more enjoyable and doable for most members. July with crowded roads and heat is not conducive to enjoyable riding or rallying.

  7. #37
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    Draft Beer

    Hi Motocamper;
    This is Jim, one of the beer garden chairs.
    We are using kegs for many reasons. Labor is far less, for restocking, for securing product at day's end and then getting those 500 loose cans out in the AM. Also the cost of ice,and keg beer is cheaper, and trash volume is far less, making for a better beer garden environment. Plus the demands on our volunteers to handle that trash. We NEVER could have kept up with the stocking demands, and we would have chewed through FAR more ice if we had had cans.
    Hope that this helps.
    Jim Faucher, beer co-chair

  8. #38
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motocamper View Post
    #1 The Heat:
    I have live in the area since 1969 and it has never been this hot and there is no way to plan for it. It was Lopez a 101 on saturday afternoon. We were fixing a flat rear tire (that gt pipe sure is hot.) Lopez is the Ice Box of Pennsylvania and we were melting. It was hot. Saturday evening I was ready to stroke out and the flame cars only made it worse. I had to leave. Has the locals at Chippewana Falls said "It wasn't this hot until you got here"
    #2 Draft Beer:
    Draft beer is a problem because if one would like a nice cool beer while setting up the tent one needs to get canned or bottled beer. My site was five hunderd yards away and carrying back four draft beers was just impactical. I would like to carry a cooler to the beer tent and buy a six pack and a bag of ice from the MOA (sell canned beer) and return to my tent instead of riding into town after a hot afternoon at the added risk. I must confess I did drive home for my homebrews. (Wish you were here Scottie)
    #3 Flame Cars:
    What was the entertainment value of the flame cars?
    I could smell singed hair. I had a long hard day of riding and tire repair work and the last thing that I needed was to be flame broiled while setting in a solar array at peak solar minute of angle. I do not understand why flaming cars are entertaining.
    #4 Showers:
    They did not drain fast enough. Twice I checked and there was 3 inch of water laying. No telling what lie in that water. It could be that BMW rider are just shedding a lot of hair. I went to the creek or home for a shower and a homebrew.
    #5 Paul Thorn:

    Why is what is banned in the forum allowed center stage at the rally or is this a banned topic?
    #6 Camp sites:
    We showed up on Tuesday to volunteers a where told where we could not pitch a tent only later to see others take the spots we would have used. One couple pitched their tent twice and were told to move by the same person, only to see those sites used by other campers (their last rally). If some one volunteers they should have first rights to a site.
    Tony
    Care to elaborate on #5?
    keep it light enough to travel.....
    2013 GL1800 Goldwing
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  9. #39
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    I would change the date to September or October. Also, keep the closing ceremony to one hour. It just went on and on.

  10. #40
    High & Dry statdawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickG View Post
    My only negatives are directed more at BMW Corporate than the MOA whom I thought did a great job at this rally.

    2. Why did BMW schedule thier event opposite one of the main music events, Paul Thorn? He is a crittically acclaimed national touring act and deserved better. There were several local "cover" bands that could have been scheduled opposite and no one would have cared. But Paul is a top draw, which is why he has been asked to perform for us 3 years in a row now. I did hear that German party band early on as I was camped on the other side of the fence and they sure sounded like fun, but they are a party band for folks to party to. OTOH, Paul is a serious artist with a top notch band and deserved to have his portion of the entertainment schedule to himself. Everyone seemed to agree with Paul when he made that above statement!

    Otherwise a GREAT rally!

    Rick G
    To be honest the German Band is a top draw in Germany / EU. Plus it was BMWs GIG not the MOA's, so BMW can. It sure saved me a few grand to see them here.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BikeMike View Post
    I totally agree with what Paul said. Sadly,( for obvious reasons ) it'll probably be the last time he performs at a MOA rally!
    Mike, did Paul say that ? BTW, I never heard of Paul Thorn till this rally nor any of the other billings, sadly I am not a big music fan of any one type. I could listen to Paul for a song or two then on to something else. The music industry would be singing the blues for my dime. Personally I'd rather listen to new and old friends than have music at a rally. I know we have to have music for others.
    If one cannot command attention by one's admirable qualities one can at least be a nuisance

  11. #41
    Registered User lionlady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fauster View Post
    I was disappointed with the on-site Farmer's Market. And the fault lies squarely on my shoulders since I brought them in. I should have asked for specifics from the organizer instead of leaving it at "fruits, vegetables and baked goods".

    That's how we make these events better - listening to constructive criticism and using it for the next rally.
    Personally, the farmer's market was about what I expected. Local produce, in season. It was FRESH and wonderful! Rohrbaugh's (sp?) brought FROZEN apple cider. It was a real treat. Half gallon for $3. I bought 3 of them.The other stand had fresh tomatoes, peppers, green beans, etc. If I wanted bananas or kiwis, I'd find the nearest Food Lion, Mars, etc. The farmer's market was a plus.

    That said, I looked longingly at the amazing baked goods, but being only two people, buying a whole pie or loaf of bread just wasn't very feasible. Smaller portions would have sold better. I felt bad for the Amish bakery stand.

    Information should have flowed both ways. Riders are looking for small quantities to supplement the (ahem) less nutritious fare offered at the rally. Not a week's supply of anything. Foods that only need to be washed, then eaten are the ideal offerings.

    I also felt a little bad for the garlic/herb seller and the syrup stand. The issue being transportation of goods home on a motorcycle. I can't imagine they made much money.

    P
    Last edited by lionlady; 07-26-2011 at 12:34 AM.
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  12. #42
    Registered User lionlady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motocamper View Post
    #6 Camp sites:
    We showed up on Tuesday to volunteers a where told where we could not pitch a tent only later to see others take the spots we would have used. One couple pitched their tent twice and were told to move by the same person, only to see those sites used by other campers (their last rally). If some one volunteers they should have first rights to a site.
    Tony
    Was this in the area between the main gates, near the fence? That was the "Club Camping Area." Clubs reserved space ahead of time. There was surveyor's tape marking off sections for the clubs who'd reserved space. That would be "the same person" who asked folks to move. And explains why those same spots were later occupied.

    With the rock hard ground, it was tough to put signs up where they could be seen and would not get knocked down. On Thursday, as my hubby was teaching an MSF class, I ended up helping a bit with his Club Camping Chair volunteer position. It was tough to have ask anyone to leave after they'd already set up.

    P
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  13. #43
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    I understand that the MOA cannot control the weather, and though it was oppressively hot and definitely impacted my experience at the rally, I won't blame mother nature's cruel tricks on them!

    Things which I liked:
    1. Various attempts by MOA to ensure that people had cool drinking water, and the fact that there also were several potable water faucets around the fairgrounds for anyone to use. The sprinklers setup in various places was also a good idea, whoever came up with that idea.
    2. Having a variety of bands/musical performers of different styles throughout the day/rally helps ensure that everyone gets to hear some music that they like at some point each day, and they can simply plan to be doing other things at other times. Though, I thought that Mr Jennings' band was supposed to play later in the day then they did.
    3. The MOA staff, and more especially, the members of the MOA who volunteered to do so many things inthe oppressive heat demonstrates the character and quality of the people in an organization of which I am proud to be a member. I've attended a number of MOA rallies, and this one did seem to have a "family" like feel to it with many people pitching in to help.
    4. I liked having more vendors and more prizes in the daily drawings and the final drawings.
    5. I liked that there were some different seminars at this rally than in some of the previous rallies.
    6. I liked the variety of food vendors and the variety of local/national entertainment/performers as well as local/national beers!
    7. I liked the fact that in spite of everyone's discomfort, pain, and expenditures on water and colling supplies, that so much money was still raised to benefit the local charities. This sort of thing is good stewardship and helps to ensure that the MOA rally is a very DESIRED sort of event to communities who are approached to be rally locations.


    Things which I disliked:
    1. Maybe somewhere in the country, possibly in the dead of winter, flamethrower cars would be welcome. But, IMHO, booking them was a marginally interesting idea at best, and to actually have them do their flamethrowing into an already tired, overheated, and stressed group who were trying to hang on to their sanity through the rally was adding insult to injury, and just plain dumb. Anybody who was thinking should have just sent them home, even if you did have to pay them up front.

    2. It would have been nice if info regarding nearby swimming holes, beaches, and public pools would have been made available at registration, given the heat situation - a very minor gripe.

    3. I don't get forcing everyone to watch an effects-laden poor music video produced by Revzilla at the end of the rally to the people who have been sticking it out to that point. We were there, we knew what went on, we were part of it and/or watched it happening in real time. Being forced to watch a disjointed viedo in slow-mo with lots of synthesized noise while being hot and tired and dehydrated seemed pointless to me. Now, I DO appreciate the vendors appearing at the rally, selling cool products, offering discounts, and donating the many prizes. I think that we all show our appreciation through our business transactions with them at the rally, and maybe some applause,etc. The donators of the prizes should be able to do their (brief) selling schpiel during the closing ceremony - and fortunately most of them realized how uncomfortable everyone was and kept things brief.

    4. Unfortunately, the closing ceremony of this rally was a good example of just what NOT to do when giving any sort of presentation, professional or amateur. A few tips to consider:
    A) If the "MC" introduces person A to say something, have them just say it and don't simply have them talk and have person A then introduce person B to actually say the thing that we're interested about. Takes to long and no one cares or remembers what person A said.
    B) Keep things moving. Don't attempt to use this as a Sunday Soapbox or to go off-script if you aren't experienced in going off script and getting to the point.
    C) Keep the crowd interested. Droning on for an hour, even under the best of environmental conditions, is tough on the audience. At the Johnson City rally, things were kept interesting by mixing in some prize drawings in among all the "thankyou" speeches, committee speeches, etc. IF you sprinkle in the carrots among the "stickes", the audience will be happier and more attentive than if you hit them with sticks for an hour or more and then start to feed out the carrots.
    D) DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE NEW TECHNOLOGY OR METHODS THAT YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY USED OR PRACTICED WITH BEFORE THE ACTUAL EVENT. That said, the MC did a decent job of recovery and dealing with the increasingly impatient mood of the crowd.

    5. Running out of the "GOOD" beer and having to settle for the budget Miller beer on Saturday night, but, I still drank some anyway.

    6. Having BMWNA hold their cookout/party as a separate, ticket-only event, and holding it close enough to the performance stage that there was a conflict between their musical entertainment and the scheduled musical entertainment on the main stage. This is just SIMPLY NOT COOL and unprofessional from a musician's standpoint.
    7. [Edit-added] BMWNA bringing ONLY the GT/GTL bikes for the demo ride? Well, it wasn't LIKELY that I'd buy a new BMW while at the rally, but it absolutely GUARANTEED that I would NOT as I have absolutely no interest in the model of bike that they brought. If they at least had some GS bikes, 650/800s, and a few R1200Rs I'm sure that I would have been standing in line for a test ride. This seemed so stereotypically authoritarian: "You vill try and like this flavor or go without".
    Last edited by boxermaf; 07-25-2011 at 11:23 PM.
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  14. #44
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    nothing to add here

    i can't honestly say i can think of any one *bad* point...

    well OK i DO agree that the conflict between the main stage and the OktoberFest Tent on Friday was borderline crass, but THAT horse has been beat to death. i was in the wings and Paul Thorn made a small joke about *that other band* or *sounds like fun*, or some such and then carried right on thru his set with little more ado. the main stage PA was loud and proud so it's not like BlechBlos'n drowned anyone out from the Oktoberfest Tent.
    that event put on by BMW Mottorrad USA was actually kinda fantastic in its own right anyway, and no easy feat in itself, considering the difficulty JUST in getting that band into the country for a one-off gig!

    all the organizers and volunteers are to be HIGHLY commended for their hard work in putting this Rally together. all the attendees are to be equally commended for sticking it out in the extreme circumstances.

    3 cheers for all!

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newstar View Post
    Wow! Three pages of what was wrong with the rally and not nearly the number of posts about the best part of the rally.
    I had a great time too, but the topic of discussion is the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by kenike View Post
    Please post what you would change about the rally, if you could. Constructive criticism can be used to continue improving the National Rally for it's members.
    Nix the flame throwing cars... Input "flame throwing bikes!"

    Swimming hole, while a nice accessory was highly underadvertised!

    I agree that the rally/vendors were focused on the GS crowd (myself being one of them). One way to offset that would be to offer a motorcycle rodeo course. You could make all sorts of divisions, by age, type of bike, years of riding experience. Have open course times and timed trials with finals and semifinals included in the course. I think this would provide something competitive that EVERYONE no matter what type of bike could compete in. Oh and there needs to be a veteran catagory to provide a special recognition for those riders who've served. You'd be hard pressed to find a national organization to recognize the part veteran's play. To have at least 1/5 of the audience at the closing ceremony stand up was inspiring (I am also a vet, so I'm tooting my own horn).

    Along with the motorcylce rodeo course we would need a farkle competition. As some of the more creative riders have really cool accents to their bikes. Small ribbons or cheapy medals could be given out as prizes for these events and it would give everyone something to be excited about. The guy from New Hampshire with an ice cooled air conditioner for his wife in the sidecar was stellar and truly first class!

    I think having guided rides that leave on the hour would be great as long as the time of the ride doesn't exceed about 2 hours. It was difficult enough for my riding partner and I to ride to Bloomsburg, and to see that the 'day rides' all exceed 4 hours made me not even want to attempt them. I think the GT/GTL demo crew had this set up perfectly. The ride route utilized terrain that challenged all skills and was just long enough to be a ride, but short enough that I don't think anyone would not want to ride it.

    Two hour volunteer shifts would be more attractive. Having a board with needed volunteers at registration and asking each registrant where and if they would like to volunteer would be nice. I think if I were asked at registration if I could volunteer a two hour shift sometime during the rally at X, Y or Z location. I don't think I would have said no and having volunteer coordinators to drop off shift changes would be a must.

    I think the on the spot sprinklers were a great idea and were actually critical to the health of some of the attendants. One other thing that could have been done is to purchase large blocks of ice so that attendents could make ice statuary by cooling thier warm hands in the ice blocks. The rally staff was very proactive in emplacing heat measures. I think the aging population of the BMWMOA makes it difficult to handle the pressures in an 'on the spot' manner as was done. I'm sure that not all future rallys will be this blistering and that we will have some that will be more so. Shade was a premium at the rally, and I don't know how the rally organizers could have done any better than they did. There was a swimming pool company nearby... we could have given them a free outdoor booth! or had several BMWMOA dunktanks set up for the charity!

    I like the idea of the provisions of 'cool rooms' brought up by R80RTJohnny. In the Basic Training environment we have coolers alongside the road with sheets soaked in icewater. There were several people showing signs of heat exhaustion. I think putting an area over by the Barton House or Rupert School would have been ideal with the tree shade there. As a place to treat people for heat injuries before they became critical and medical personnel were necessary.

    Moreso to future campers... if I were to plan on camping at a rally like this, I think I would first make hotel reservations in advance. Then as the event nears and there is 'optimal' camping weather. I would cancel my reservations before I was charged a late fee.

    I like the idea of having a permanant fruts and veggies stand. I like carnival food, but in the heat, sugar and hot fried food is the last thing I want to be consuming.

    Hand washing stations outside the port-a-johns are a must!

    Finding area restaurants was challenging. I usually looked for a bunch of motorcycles outside and then asked one comming out if it was good or not. So maybe having the local restauraunts put together a BMWMOA special and advertise it in the upcomming Rally manual.

    I think having the rally manual mailed 2 weeks prior to the rally would be awesome. So I can plan what I am going to do before I get there. I think during the registration you could ask if you wan the manual mailed early or pick it up onsite. During registration an addendum could be given for things that were unable to make the cutoff publication date.

    A flag at the closing ceremony instead of on screen, there was one in the distance and could have been pointed out during the National Anthem.

    We could do a motorcyle parade for the community that we are in. I think it is cool to see thousands of riders come through and it gives the communities a reason to come out and see what we're up to. It also pulls the locals out of their homes and gives the local businesses more opportunity to capitalize on having people out and about.

    Pulling in the younger squids needs to be a priority. Having a track nearby or even a local half mile road "closed off" and "set up" as a track would be fun to watch. I think BMWMOA is great at handling/managing liability and waivers would of course be par for the course. Working with the local law enforcement and emergency department, I don't believe this would be too hard to pull off.

    Closing ceremony needs to be less than an hour. If we want to do all these awards we can do a formal awards dinner at an offsite location, the highlights/awards can be posted onscreen (PowerPoint style w/photos) while attendees are filling the stages.

    At the rally completion if the site does not have a light controled intersection, we could use a traffic officer to assist getting everyone out of the gate and across the street. If you needed to get on 11 South, or get across the street to get up to the freeway, that was a bit hokey the way normal traffic was comming from two directions with three avenues of egress.

    The rally "Schedule of Events" was difficult to use. RPU for anything over 90 minutes needs its own section. Things that happen daily for the duration of the day such as "Off-Site Showers" need its own section. My thoughts are anything less than 90 minutes nees to be in the daily schedule of events. Other things that are half-day or day long need to go into another section. I ended up not attending any of the seminars just because the schedule of events was so daunting.

    So if I were to pick the major things I would like to see in future BMWMOA rallies...
    2 hour guided rides
    Motorcycle rodeo course (maintin GS course)
    Community parade
    Fruits and Veggies stand

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