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Thread: Embarrassed to be a Member

  1. #46
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancogan View Post
    Possibly your reading is a bit selective. There are many complimentary threads and comments on how well the rally organizers handled the unusual heat. Embarrassed to be a member? Maybe the way we treated the drivers of the flame cars who only did what they were asked. But I feel the complaints about the rally are no worse nor numerous than they have been for past rallies.

    I got see Dan, so I had a good rally.

    For the guy who didn't talk to anyone. Been there done that my first rallies. No more. Volunteering getsyou involved, it moved you from being a guest to being a host. Big difference.
    I spent 3 hours saying "hi" to people at the registration tent, it's my favorite job.

    You are in CT and you can't find a local club? Let me introduce you to the Yankee Beemers. Next time stop and say hi, we'll give you free food, water and a chair.

    I remember the feeling of being alone at a rally, I needed an ambassador to show me the ropes ( iRene). I hope you (and lurkers that feel as you did) will try another rally and find out what I'm talking about.
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
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    87 K75CT

  2. #47
    Rally Rat
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    As I've said before in another thread, we had a great time, met some fun campsite neighbors from the beautiful state of VT, drank tons of water and even more beer, loved the bands, rode a K1600GTL with someone else's gas in it, and held my breath waiting for my name to be called in the closing ceremony (it wasn't). Our campsite running joke was "at least it isn't hot!", and while certainly it was, it didn't effect our great weekend! I'm looking forward to future International Rallies. You can't prdict or change the weather, so why waste time complaining. The tons of people who put tons of energy into it did an awesome job, and while there are a few complainers, there always are on this forum! We should be used to that by now.

    Overall, I am still proud to be an MOA member, as 99% of the people I have had personal interaction with throughout the club have been awesome.

  3. #48
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRidesABeemer View Post
    I remember the feeling of being alone at a rally, I needed an ambassador to show me the ropes ( iRene).
    Big Maine Woman does it every time!

  4. #49
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRidesABeemer View Post
    I got see Dan, so I had a good rally. ...

    I just thought that part bears repeating ... Good to see you, too. Did I tell you about the GS Adv that lives with us next to the Spyder? Oh, yeah, I didn't have it yet!
    Dan

  5. #50
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    r1100r :

    Next time you are at any rally , take the first step; stick out your hand and complement someone on their motorcycle.
    If that does not get you a bunch of new friends I don't know what will.

    Honestly have you ever met a rider that did not want to talk about their motorcycle??

    As for all the comments from others about camping :

    I camped as a, cub scout, a boy scout , and Explorer.
    Then Uncle Sam let me camp out for seven years, he also let me shoot guns
    " A LOT " sometimes people shot back !!

    If I never camp out again or shoot another gun , it will be fine with me, thank you very much.

    I plan to go to Sedalia next year , but will find a nice quiet motel and ride to the rally each day.

  6. #51
    Tim Hecht
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    just like the military...

    A whining sailor is a happy sailor...

    I don't have a dog in this fight nor do the thousands of US Men and Women of the US Armed Forces sweltering in the heat of Afghanastan and Iraq and all the other hot spots!

    Let's pause for a minute and thank them...

    Thanks.

  7. #52
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1100r View Post
    Maybe its b/c I don't belong to a local BMW MOA chapter, not that there are any conveniently near me, but I did not feel that welcome. Not sure what I was expecting, but as a younger member in my 30's I felt totatlly alone. I spent 2 days there and talked to maybe 4 people for a total of 30 mins! Mostly I walked around,bought things, took pictures of beautiful motorcycles, and ate some good food. It was nice to be surrounded by fellow BMW motorcycle owners but really they are older people, much older actually, that wouldn't even give me the time of day! They mostly sat in tents with their travel buddies and local chapter friends. So where was i to fit in? I don't have any BMW riding buddies locally, I drove there to meet some and drove all the way back to CT, 4 hours, without 1 name.

    I thought, was it me? I'm a pretty social person, versed in many things, and overall approachable.

    I have to say, I'm selling my BMW this weekend and buying a Triumph this weekend with the hopes of meeting people more my age and with a little more in common.

    Not sure what I was expecting, but I was honestly dissapointed. At least the 8 hours of driving was a fun learning experience.

    Thank you for your time,
    listen bro, i think what you really have to do is come and camp. the key i have found is that it all begins at the tent site with whatever neighbors you wind up with. i'm pretty out-going, (perhaps an understatement?) and tho 54, sport tattoos and ear rings... i even ride an older bike, so i'm not up there with the olde-than-me set who are all doctors or retired miltary (or whatever- no judgement here) who have unlimited cash and ride all the brand new stuff with all the hottest gear on the market. i met loads of people both while volunteering AND just plain hanging out. I wound up camping with a mix of older more relaxed guys and a couple folks more my age and mentality... some of the best of times i had was just hanging out right at the tent under my ParaWing with the neighbors and a beer or three, or maybe over coffee in the morning.

    also, the suggestion to volunteer is a good one. you're a bit younger? volunteer in the beer tent or over at the stage. both places need energetic folks who can hang in whatever conditions, and at either spot you'll find yourself at the epicenter of the entire rally.

    bottom line is it really is all you make it out to be. i'd say give it another shot sometime and stay in camp more. i hear folks saying they didn't meet anyone or found it hard to have a good time, and i think...WOW. how could this BE?
    i went by myself, didn't know a soul to begin with and had the time of my life! yes it WAS hotter than blazes- so i told my girlfriend she'd be better off not coming (she REALLY WOULDN'T have enjoyed herself in the heat)... did i come away with a list of folks i am definitely gonna see down the line? well not really- with the exception of one guy whom i am fairly certain i'll see again outside of the Rally World... but many of the folks i spoke with i'll remember if i ever see them again- cuz that's who i am, i remember things, faces, names... for better or worse...

    are many of the BMW MOA folks older? it COULD be said it's true... was i initially almost *shocked*? maybe...BUT i found that during full swing rally mode, it was a good balance of all ages, and everyone getting along. tho i had to cut out right when the party began, Friday Night's Oktoberfest put on by BMW Motorrad was a TOTAL GAS and even tho hotter than freakin blazes in the tent, was shaking out to be a REALLY bangin good time.

    don't judge it by one event my man, give it time and do yourself a favor- go to a couple smaller local rallies and meet some of the folks from your own neighborhood. yak with folks who own similar bikes in the forum... BE a bigger part of the community and doors will open.

    we ALL have things in common, so work that angle to align yourself with EVERYBODY.

    cheers, dude!

    Tom

  8. #53
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    ..... retired miltary ..... who have unlimited cash
    Kevin Huddy
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  9. #54
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1100r View Post
    Maybe its b/c I don't belong to a local BMW MOA chapter, not that there are any conveniently near me, but I did not feel that welcome. Not sure what I was expecting, but as a younger member in my 30's I felt totatlly alone. I spent 2 days there and talked to maybe 4 people for a total of 30 mins! Mostly I walked around,bought things, took pictures of beautiful motorcycles, and ate some good food. It was nice to be surrounded by fellow BMW motorcycle owners but really they are older people, much older actually, that wouldn't even give me the time of day! They mostly sat in tents with their travel buddies and local chapter friends. So where was i to fit in? I don't have any BMW riding buddies locally, I drove there to meet some and drove all the way back to CT, 4 hours, without 1 name.

    I thought, was it me? I'm a pretty social person, versed in many things, and overall approachable.

    I have to say, I'm selling my BMW this weekend and buying a Triumph this weekend with the hopes of meeting people more my age and with a little more in common.

    Not sure what I was expecting, but I was honestly dissapointed. At least the 8 hours of driving was a fun learning experience.

    Thank you for your time,
    Too bad you did not stop by the Yankee Beemers site to say hi. You would have been offered a seat and a cold bottle of water along with some conversation. I'm not sure why you were ignored by 7000 people...
    MOA #107139
    RA #28511
    YB #2005

  10. #55
    Rather Be Ridin' alabeemer's Avatar
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    I was the MC this year for the Closing Ceremonyand I am currently a member of your Board of Directors. So if there is a clique in this club, I guess I am in it. However, first I want to apologize to all who have posted or voiced their opinion about how awful the Closing Ceremony was. Make no mistake, I was not pleased either. But before more is said about how the Board (or the MOA) is non-responsive, or just doesnt care, please allow me to explain a couple things first about the Closing itself. Most of you know but some may not that all of the Committee Chairs, including the Closing Ceremony chairs volunteer their time. In many cases and in mine particularly, I am not a professional and have no professional expertise in the production of the Closing Ceremony. I like so many others was asked by the rally chairs agreed to take that job with the intention of doing the best job I couldplain and simple. One of the Chair responsibilities is to design the ceremony itself including elements provided by each individual committee that has a part in it. So my job was to gather that information and with all the elements together create the order of the ceremony itself. That job in itself is a daunting oneto determine what goes in and what does not. I have been involved for the past three years with the Closing having chaired the rally in Johnson City and served as that Committee Chair for Redmond and again this year. Certain elements of that ceremony are passed down from year to year such as the performance of the National Anthem (which by the way, I have seen NO mention of that fantastic performance by those Bloomsburg High kids!) and other items. The order of the ceremony itself was settled about two weeks prior to the rally and we knew it would run longwe did NOT know about the heat. The awards portion of the program is notorious for being a big consumer of time. So we have tried for the last two years to shorten and speed up that part of the programwe did try this year too. To many these awards are an important part of a traditional BMW rally. Granted to many others (and likely more) they are not at all important. Something we (the Board) know and have struggled with. However please remember that the Rally Chair (under the current setup) has the final say as to how that ceremony is produced and conducted. (This point is made for explanation and in is no way intended to be blame directed at this years rally chair team). The point is that although I produced the proposed running order, it was passed before several other sets of eyes for approvalnot just mine.

    The addition of the screens this year was an attempt to bring a different element to the ceremony itself. That proved to be a challengetechnically. You may be interested to know that we were changing slides as late as 5:55PM on the stage to try and make that come off like it should. You might ask why that was necessary. Well the Color Guard presentation we had lined up cancelled on me at 5:35PMthey had a slide.Several of the people that were supposed to have appeared on stage decided not to do soafter 5:30. These elements completely changed the program we had put together and required immediate changes. Again, not an excuse of any kind, this post is meant as an explanation. The pressure was great on the stage itself, just like in the standsand maybe more so in many respects. I certainly wanted a ceremony that people approved ofand the entire team did what we could to make that happen unfortunately it did not for all of us!

    The point is we started with a plan and that plan was almost totally changed less than ?¢ hour before the anthem was performed!

    Now to the show prior to the ceremony It was my idea and desire last year to have a little fun in the hour before the ceremony and while people are gathering, something going on to be fun instead of just sitting there. Those of you who attended Redmond and decided to stay for the ceremony will remember that we were inside, played music, played with the t-shirt gun and listed many of the awards on the video screens to save time. I hope you agree that ceremony went pretty well. In an effort to duplicate what worked pretty well we contracted the outdoor video screens to have the same capability. I still think that was a good idea. Again, technically it was a challenge. Along with that we contracted the flame cars back in March having no idea that the heat would be the issue it was. The intent was to have something different and unique that could be going on as people were arriving for the ceremony nothing morenothing less. That contract was signed and committed to and would have been forfeited in full even if the performance was cancelled. Please know that was a real consideration regardless of the forfeited money! However the decision was made to continue hoping that the show would be worth it.it was not. Please understand I was just as upset as you were. It was not at all what I had been led to believe it was in terms of the show itself and it was hotreally hot given the conditions we had. Although it was not up to meI should have called it off after the first passI know that now. But in no way was that show done in ignorance or arrogance or with disregard for you the membership. It was just not that way. An unfortunate happeninga mistake for sureand I will take the flame for it. I have already.

    So going forward what should we do? That is a great question. Your Board and Rally Chairs for 2012 have already begun that discussion. In fact that was discussed on Saturday night within one hour of the close of the ceremony! We have heard you, and we will take a long hard look at these programs and see what can be changed starting next year. It should be noted however that there are many, many items involved in the planning of a rally, a closing ceremony, the entertainment and all the other aspects of an event this large. It should also be noted here again that your rally is totally planned and executed by a staff of about 10 people at the home office and over 100 separate volunteer committees! The rally itself is produced on site by an army of volunteers that donate hundreds of hours of their time to you the attendees. And all of these people do this for no other reason than to be a part of something bigger than them. Planning is underway and has been for 2012 for over 6 months! It is not easy, and sometimes it is not fun (if you think I had fun conducting that ceremony you are mistaken). But the magic of this club is the spirit with which so many come together as volunteers to make it all happen.

    In Closing I hope all of you that were offended will accept my apology for any discomfort I caused youand I mean that sincerely. Also, please know that your Board of Directors has heard your comments and we do care about the quality of each and every rally as well as the total operation of this great club. We will take a long hard look at the current rally model and do what we can to improve it going forward. We will again visit the possibility of moving dates and all that is involved in doing that. Do changes need to be made? YesWill changes be made? Yes Will everyone be happy once the changes are made? Most likely notBut I ask that you do not take that to mean those in leadership positions dont careBecause that is just not true. We work hard every day with the lofty goal of pleasing everyone while knowing that is an impossible task.

    Lastly please remember. We were dealt an unprecedented set of circumstances with the heat this year. However, your entire rally team made quick decisions to minimize as best we could the effects of those circumstances. We set up the sprinklers, we gave out water, and we had the MOA building open on Friday night as a cooling center and we did whatever we couldas best we could. We tried. Next year no doubt you will see many changes..and again we will try the best we can. I am proud to be a part of this great club and again, I strongly urge those of you who have not yet become a part of the planning and execution of the rally to do so. It is a rewarding experience for me and one that I will continueeven with the negative comments. Again . I tried.
    Vance Harrelson
    MOA Ambassador/ Director
    R1200GSA - G450X - G650GS Sertao
    "Always Remember, Whatever You Believe, You Might Be Wrong" - Paul Thorn

  11. #56
    From MARS
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    Well done, Vance.

  12. #57
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    Closing ceremony

    Hi Vance:
    I've been waiting for you to break your silence. Those of us committee chairs that arrive early to set up, and leave late to break down, know that Vance is one selfless, hard working MOA member. Quite a lot of pure physical grunt work was done by him and Stan Herman, THROUGHOUT the entire Sunday to Sunday period.

    As beer garden chair, I mercifully missed the booing, and the entire closing ceremony, doing my thing at the taps. I can only hope that the booing was directed not at him, but the circumstances. We all need to lighten up a bit people!

    As has been said, all the proper criticisms have been made, and heard. We all did our best. Please put down those torches and pitchforks.

    MAD DOG aka jim f.
    beer garden co-chair

  13. #58
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    Making Friends

    Hey Tom:
    Excellent post. Indeed, all you need to be is outgoing. I didn't care if you had ear rings, tats, or even if you had showed up with a green mohawk. {Heck, I had hair past my shoulders in college. 69-73 in case you're wondering. So who am I to judge?} All I cared about is that you helped out, and had a good time. So, if an old guy on a 93R100GSPD can get along with pretty much anybody without prejudice, then perhaps younger members ought to give us a chance too!

    Next time, grab a beer, pull up a chair, sit and swap lies. It always worked for me.

    BTW {to the unhappy first-timer}, my first rally in 94 was overwhelming too. Now I can't go 5 minutes without bumping into a friend. Trust me, it'll get better.

    MAD DOG
    Beer co-chair

  14. #59
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    Thanks Vance.
    I believe most people know how hard it is to put on the Rally, and how hard you worked. The silent Majority were happy as far as I can tell. To those who complain, get involved, we need Volunteers for next year.
    Martin.
    Rally Volunteer Committee Chair.
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
    BMW MOA Charter, Life member.
    Valley BMW Riders. British Columbia.

  15. #60
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    A class response, Vance.

    You're the best!

    Voni
    sMiling
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