'12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S
Riding in the west is different. Wide open spaces. Long distances between towns. Gas early and often. The lack of a feeling of the security of a convenience store every few miles. This actually scares some riders used to riding in more confined and congested areas.
But the west has prairies, woodlands, forests, and mountains. And of course the Pacific coast. Temperatures on a given day can range from triple digits to the 30s at various places, and can easily swing by 40 degrees at a single location.
The long vistas, higher speed roadways, and variable topograpy can be appealing to many riders. But it certainly can put other riders way outside of their comfort zone. Speaking purely of the weather it is no different than other places. Florida has more tornadoes than Kansas, it gets hot in Alabama too, it gets cold in Vermont too, it rains in New Jersey too, and no western Interstate outside of southern California comes close to rivaling the Pennsylvania Turnpike or I-95 for inflicting pure misery on a motorcyclist.
Some folks like riding long distances. Some don't. Some riders have enough vacation or free time to ride long distances. Some don't. At the same time some riders hate to ride amongst congestion and heavy traffic. Some don't. Eastern riders used to their environment hate the west. Western riders used to the wide open spaces hate the east. This has been true since the first western rally in California and the first eastern rally in South Carolina. It is also why there have been more midwest rallies than either truly eastern or western.
I believe it would be an error to out-of-hand declare Canada ineligible to host a rally. We call ourselves an international rally and say the club is American in the continental sense of the word. I've crossed the border easily 20 times in the past 15 months with no problems. Don't think it is too much to expect of pepole to get a passport to attend a rally; we expect every Canadian to do so as well as all the other international attendees. Folks with DUIs or other criminal entanglements in their past should start early to get the necessary waivers.
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA
78 BMW R100S, 90 BMW K1; 99 BMW R1100RT, 12 K1600GT
Regarding border crossing between Canada and US, I had no issues at all. On the way back into the states, the border officer wanted to see my stickers from Deadhorse. Since they were packed away in the panniers, we decided other people in the line behind me would get mad if we stopped the process just so he could check out some stickers. We laughed and i was on my way.
As far as riding across the states to get to a rally, I rode up to Alaska and then down to the Rally. Then came back across the high plains once again. Very windy. And like Paul said, gas and convenient stores can be far apart. But the scenery can be enjoyable if you have an open mind. I actually get tired of riding in mountains with all the switchbacks and such. Sometimes, it is good to just go straight. And even if I just rode from home, Salem was only around 2,000 miles away. Just a few day's ride. Isn't that the idea of having a motorcycle? To ride? And those long straight stretches give you time to think to yourself. For long periods of time. Without worrying about what might be coming around the next turn that you cannot see.
This is a big country, but it ain't that big. There is no Rally location i cannot get to in at most 3 days. But then again, I live in the middle of the country. You know, the boring part.
'09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
'77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!
Before we start to bash Americans for what "they" expect, remember that most people do not have a passport and the minimum cost is now $135. Not an insignificant amount to most.
People whine about spending $1.50 for a bottle of water at the rally. Are they going to gladly spend the $135 and add it to the rally cost?
Someone from the MOA in the past posted about the vendor difficulties being a major factor against a rally north of the border. Something about not being certified to sell in Canada? I can't recall exactly. And the border crossings being more difficult nowadays was also mentioned. Perhaps you all can direct questions to them.
I've crossed the border from US to Canada several times in the 80 s and 90's ( supposedly the good old days ) and every time I was interrogated like I was a criminal and was delayed for a half hour. I was a police officer and had no criminal record or DUIs! In fairness, I should mention its not just a one-way northbound hassle. A Canadian friend went thru hell when he was moving to the US and bringing all his belongings and wedding gifts across in a trailer. Lots of expensive brand new items of course, and the US Customs wanted proof that they were truly his wedding gifts and not purchases made while in Canada. How do you prove that? After he was made to pull over and unload the entire trailer in an inspection area, a supervisor came by and examined his paperwork. He recognized the town in NJ where he lived and said he was in the Army years ago with a buddy from that town. My Canadian friend did know the same person and the supervisor laughed and said to tell him hello and let my friend go on his way!
The Catch-22 is that a passport or approved alternative such as a NEXUS card or enhanced driver's licence is required to return to the US. Without documentation that will permit return to the US, Canada is forced to deny entry to those who could be stuck not being able to get back to the US.
'06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)
Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
'78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!
So much for NAFTA and the Global Economy.