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Thread: Camping: OK BMWMOA, I Can Take a Hint...

  1. #1
    GearHeadGrrrl
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    Camping: OK BMWMOA, I Can Take a Hint...

    Not having my vacation time locked in enough months in advance to secure a motel room at inflated prices I was forced to camp. Arriving friday morning all the camping space left was some pasture (I found some leftovers) far from anything and totally unshaded. It was well lighted though, so well that in the middle of the light I could easily read my alarm clock and see how much sleep I'd missed. The 200 yard walk to the nearest restroom at 4am was a real wake up after I'd finally fallen asleep an hour or so earlier. I won't even get started on the "climate"... suffice to say the Bunch of Motorhome Whiners & Motel Occupants of America's convention planners believe the local Chamber of Commerce's word on the expected weather.

    So BMWMOA, I can take the hint... clearly a blue collar worker like myself has no place riding a 22 year old airhead and sleeping in a tent in such elite company as BMW owners. Sure, I could buy a new K series "Light Truck" with a new motorhome to trailer it behind and try to fit in- but then I think of all the gas and tires I could buy and how many miles I could ride by old airheads and Buell with that money!

  2. #2
    Unregistered
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    I think it was amazing the amount of work that went into this thing, everyone volunteering and they managed to get things to run pretty smoothly...but, and I think this is the real problem...there are too many people to make this an enjoyable event.

    This was my first MOA rally, and I will likely not be back. While I enjoyed the conversation with the surrounding folks, it was not worth the 1) lack of camping space, 2) lack of showers, 3) the unbearable heat.

    I arrived on Thursday afternoon ~3 PM...and I had to set up camp on a semi-gravel area near the mobile homes (this actually turned out nice because of the monsoon that came in Thursday night, everything slide down hill).

    I highly doubt the majority of folks attended this event to were there to just hear George (which was pretty cool show) but come on, there were 16 showers for guys. They were constantly dirty, and there was a constant line (expect for 3 AM when I ended up taking a shower the first night). You can't tell me that 1) more money could be put toward shower trailers, 2) hire, not volunteer a professional cleanup service, and 3) proportionally set the number of showers to match the gender that attend (I never, never saw a line in the womens side of the trailer).

    I think that all of my concerns could be addressed with having more than one event during the year (less people likely to attend) and second, don't do it during the hottest frigging months of the year.

    The rally is what you make of it, but I did not find much of interest for my tastes besides the vendors (which I know are there because of the number of people that attend). I will give credit to the surrounding area of Lima...despite it's lack of quality roads, the rallies position to wally world and plenty of food joints was nice.

  3. #3
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    This was my first MOA rally, and I will likely not be back. While I enjoyed the conversation with the surrounding folks, it was not worth the 1) lack of camping space, 2) lack of showers, 3) the unbearable heat.
    1. get there earlier if possible, i still saw many good sites available on friday
    2. i showered at midnight 3 nights and 9:30am one day and didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes. its a 9000 person rally, what did you expect???
    3. blame the nothern hemisphere's relation to the sun from may till september, not the rally...............


    its all what you make of it, i had a blast, and i left with a sunburn, 4 hrs of sleep and about 15 nasty spider bites

  4. #4
    Registered User lazygoodan's Avatar
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    Camping

    This was also my first rally. I camped just south of the horse track, which wasn't bad. It was fairly open when I arrived on Friday at 10am. It was close to restrooms/showers, and the best -- paved bike parking 40 feet from my campsite.
    I also experienced no shade and plenty of street lights (couldn't tell day from night inside the tent). But I only waited 3 minutes for a shower at 5:45 am Sat.

    I purposely avoided the Loud Camping area when looking for a campsite. However, my friends ended up there, and I wish I'd checked it out earlier. They were in the shade, about 40 yards away from the nearest other tent. Plenty of space to spread out. However, it was near to the road, so there was that kind of noise, but no streetlights shining in the tent.

    I enjoyed myself, and plan to go to VT. The hightlights to me were:
    1. Hey - they gave away 3 motorcycles (even thought I didn't win one)
    2. Oilhead Tech Seminars with Joe Katz, Paul Glaves, and Anton Largiader.
    3. George Thorogood show -- not a huge fan, but they were great live.
    4. Best of all - the great people I met. Even though I had to stand in line for a demo ride, breakfast, etc., the time passed by quickly because of great conversations.

    Thanks to MOA for a great event.
    Jim
    2008 K1200GT

  5. #5
    Registered User einnar's Avatar
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    I got there thursday about 3pm, and ended up camping right near the entrance. Even with constant traffic and people cheering on runners EARLY in the morning, I got plenty of sleep. I was up between 6-7:30 am each day, and didn't wait more than 15 mins to get into a HOT shower each day. I was in the sun during the day, and got rained out on Thursday night. Had another tent blow into mine, bending a pole, and causing a LOT of water to go betwen my groundcloth and my tent.

    Will I be back? HELL YES! The people make the difference!

    - Some say the glass is half empty, some say the glass is half full, I say, are you going to drink that? - Lisa Clayman
    - A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain. --Robert Frost

  6. #6
    Registered User Fritzc's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Airheads/Elite

    Quote Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl
    So BMWMOA, I can take the hint... clearly a blue collar worker like myself has no place riding a 22 year old airhead and sleeping in a tent in such elite company as BMW owners. Sure, I could buy a new K series "Light Truck" with a new motorhome to trailer it behind and try to fit in- but then I think of all the gas and tires I could buy and how many miles I could ride by old airheads and Buell with that money!
    Didn't you get over to the Airheads Tent? You would have had lots of company on poverty row. We are very reverent towards our airheads, always praying to them (at least lots of riders were on their knees by their bikes). Your 22 year old bike would have been just a youngster in this crowd. There was lots of camping space and they just kept on squeezing in. "Always room for one more." I suggest you subscribe to the airhead list http://www.airheads.org/ and keep track of events and rallies and chatter. Best part of airheads is when all the "elite" riders come over to look at our bikes and mutter "Wow! So that is what they used to look like!" OR: "You came all the way from California on THAT??"
    Please don't give up on us just yet.

  7. #7
    boomyrmyname,dangermygame boomyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered

    This was my first MOA rally, and I will likely not be back. While I enjoyed the conversation with the surrounding folks, it was not worth the 1) lack of camping space, 2) lack of showers, 3) the unbearable heat.

    I arrived on Thursday afternoon ~3 PM...and I had to set up camp on a semi-gravel area near the mobile homes (this actually turned out nice because of the monsoon that came in Thursday night, everything slide down hill).

    I highly doubt the majority of folks attended this event to were there to just hear George (which was pretty cool show) but come on, there were 16 showers for guys. They were constantly dirty, and there was a constant line (expect for 3 AM when I ended up taking a shower the first night). You can't tell me that 1) more money could be put toward shower trailers, 2) hire, not volunteer a professional cleanup service, and 3) proportionally set the number of showers to match the gender that attend (I never, never saw a line in the womens side of the trailer).

    .
    I think next year the showers should be CO-ED to acomodate us guys who aren't USED to having to wait in line at the mens room.

    Another solution could be invite Hooters girls to have a sponge bath tent for donations to help raise money for the "Botched Plastic Surgery Victims Fund"

    Actually...

    If you insist on taking a shower between 7-9am, or 8-10pm you probably have a line to wait in, but even so when I went Friday morning to rinse off the road/sweat slime from the trip in Thursday, there was a long line, but I was in the shower after about a 20 minute wait in line. Not too bad in my opinion. Everyone seemed to get in and out quickly. If you scheduled to avoid "prime time shower times", there wasn't a line. I jumped in Saturday afternoon with out waiting in a line at all.

    I thought everything was very well done, and considering the turnout, I was impressed. Certainly camping is fun, but comes with a few sacrifices in comfort. Instead of writing off the whole thing, sign up early and get a motel room reserved.

  8. #8
    Unregistered
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti
    1. get there earlier if possible, i still saw many good sites available on friday
    This is why I won't be back, I should not have to fight for a spot or squaters, thats just my opinion, what ever floats your boat I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti
    2. i showered at midnight 3 nights and 9:30am one day and didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes. its a 9000 person rally, what did you expect???
    You must have been at another rally. I don't think it makes much sense, there were 9000 people and only 16 showers. Add more was my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti
    3. blame the nothern hemisphere's relation to the sun from may till september, not the rally...............
    Change the date, or at least move it around every once in awhile...everywhere in the northern hemisphere in July and August is hot...do it in the early spring or early fall one year.

    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti
    its all what you make of it, i had a blast, and i left with a sunburn, 4 hrs of sleep and about 15 nasty spider bites
    I won't disagree with you on this...it is what you make of it, I just didn't find alot of positives besides the very nice folks, which I can also find at smaller rallies during better times in the year.

  9. #9
    Miserable Mark MarkF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl
    So BMWMOA, I can take the hint... clearly a blue collar worker like myself has no place riding a 22 year old airhead and sleeping in a tent in such elite company as BMW owners. Sure, I could buy a new K series "Light Truck" with a new motorhome to trailer it behind and try to fit in- but then I think of all the gas and tires I could buy and how many miles I could ride by old airheads and Buell with that money!
    Wow! Is there a new attitude at the MOA rally? Cuz you would fit in better than any LT or Oilhead owner at any of the local rallies I've been to. Maybe you just fell in with the wrong crowd.

  10. #10
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    Highlights for the rally for me:
    1. Good friends that were camped around me. The only thing loud about Loud camping was the proximity to the highway, which didn't bother me. Plenty of shade in the right areas.
    2. Good beer to enjoy the concert and good friends with at the beer tent.
    3. Vendors galore.

    Downside - mostly my fault and when I heard the total attendance wasn't surprised.
    1. Waiting for a shower, I should've gotten up an hour earlier since I wasn't asleep anyways. A second shower wagon by the load camping would have been diamond in the rough.
    2. Good food on the grounds was scarce or long lines to wait, didn't eat friday night, and too much good beer.
    3. More friends than I could ever meet.

    All in all, had a good time, enjoyed the rally, determining if Vermont is possible. Would really like to see that area.
    Last edited by mabugner; 07-25-2005 at 05:37 PM.

  11. #11
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    Cool Plan!

    Your comments are just off base. Sorry.

    Here are a couple suggestions. Hell, I will buy you the first beer next time, to make these go down easier :

    1.PLAN! Read the site map and forums before departing and arriving. Have a back up plan/ site. Find out whose going in your group, make arrangements with them to help you get a site.
    2.Understand the later you arrive the slimmer the pickings. Arrive earlier in the morning, cooler driving, less traffic, more selection at site. There were plenty of spaces by the pond in the shade! Twenty five meters from bathroom and one hundred meters from shower. I was amazed no one found them. All you have to do is drive around for a lap or two and you would have seen other sites.
    3.Hotels were not that high. Holiday Inn was the same weekend price it always is, and had rooms Saturday. According to Expedia, Orbitz there were still rooms available in the $50 buck range within 5-30 minutes range. (Thank you Rally Cyber Caf?®!!) Prices for hotels on the weekends are always higher. Make reservations early and change when dates are final.
    4.Speaking of prices. I think the rally chairs did a great job in keeping prices low. Concessions, ice and beverages at beer tent were not bad. Thank you!
    5.Showers. There were 4K+ people on site. You are not going to waltz in the showers at 7:30 in a.m. and get right in. Get up early, try mid night, mid day. Wear a swimsuit, or not, J and use the hose. They were everywhere. Was great way to cool off and rejoin the gathering.
    6.To support your RV comment, the motor homes were a shock, never seen so many at a BMW rally, but Ohio is one of the RV capitols. And it was known that the heat was going to be bad, so what they hey. I hated the heat as well!
    7.Start planning for next year. NOW!!! Find some folks to ride out with and enjoy!
    Life's too short....lead, follow or get the %$#! out of my way!

  12. #12
    Registered User Beemn's Avatar
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    My first rally also...now I wish I'd been doing this for the last 30+ yrs that I've been riding beemers...

    I got there around 3pm Thur and seeing the camping area pretty full I went looking for shade and I found it right on Main St across from the Seminar 5 building. Great place and soon after others started pitching their tents and we ended up with a nice group.

    Lots of noise and other discomforts but thats life, and we, Mrs Beemn and I, had a great time. She ended up modeling for a clothing vendor who was doing a seminar on Sat. and we just enjoyed all that we could.
    Keep on Beem'n,
    Rich :cool:

  13. #13
    Bob C
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    I wish I could have made it the rest of the way to Ohio so I could have had a chance to b!tch about the camping..

  14. #14
    Registered User einnar's Avatar
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    I even saw tents pitched inside the animal barns. Not sure if they went up before the storm, or after, but I imagine the shade vs. animal smells was a tossup.

    - Some say the glass is half empty, some say the glass is half full, I say, are you going to drink that? - Lisa Clayman
    - A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain. --Robert Frost

  15. #15
    GearHeadGrrrl
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    In reply to some of the arguments in defense of BMWMOA and "advice"

    1. I tried to get their early, but one of the mounts on my sidecar broke and I had to double back 200 miles to get a replacement. Thus I arrived friday am vs. thursday am as planned. None the less, rally organizers should plan on having decent rally space available for the camper who can't make it 'til saturday pm.

    2. I visited the airheads tent and thank them for their hospitality. Tent space looked to be in short supply in their neighborhood though so I decided not to impose.

    3. The shower snafus were unforgivable- BMWMOA knew how many motel rooms were available and new how many would be camping. I've volunteered on many MS society bike rides and such over the years and while otherwise disorganized they always had plenty of showers- besides an attended and maintained shower truck or two they typically rented a nearby high school or college athletic facility mostly for access to the showers.

    4. Clearly the organisers don't do much camping- lights and noise will ruin a good nights sleep.

    5. BMWMOA can do better- My first rally was Escanaba National back in '87 and nobody complained about that event. Cool climate, lotsa space, etc. The debacles in West Virginia, Spokane, and now Lima show that BMWMOA has no institutional memory of how to run a rally. It seems like BMWMOA is headed down the slippery slope to a "convention" in Vegas or Disney World, with the bikes trailered in. Hoping to appease the airheads BMWMOA will probably let us pitch our tents by the dumpsters out back, providing we don't pound any tent stakes into the pavement.

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