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Thread: My thoughts on 2003

  1. #1
    Registered User bob9125's Avatar
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    My thoughts on 2003

    I have been to each MOA rally starting with 1996 through this years (except 1999 in Rheinbeck). In my view, the best rallies of this stretch of years was the Fredericksburg, Texas rally in 1997 and the Missoula, Montana rally in 1998.

    I camped at both of these rallies. In Fredericksburg, I camped onsite. At Missoula, I stayed at the KOA. Both sites had great roads, decent weather (although Fredericksburg was iffy because of flooding the prior week) and adequate eating establishments.

    I enjoyed the ride to Redmond, but camping on site left something to be desired. The rowdy crowd insisted on playing loud music all night long and on Friday night, there were some fools riding through the quiet camping area at 2 am. With that, I packed up the next morning and headed for the motel.

    I am sure that attendance was great this year. I understood the MC to say that there were at least 7,000 at the rally and they were still counting. I'm sure the association made a lot of money, but I do not like rallies based in a city. This rally reminded me of an auto show or flea market. This rally did not appear to be about riding, but about commerce. I'm sure the vendors' loved it, and maybe that is what a rally is all about. But it is not why I have gone to rallies in the past.

    As I was packing up to leave Sunday morning, a couple on Harleys began talking to me. The lady was disappointed in the rally. Her complaints were 1) the organized rides started to early and lasted too long; 2) the rally organizers did not inform attendees where they might be able to find something to eat at 2 am; 3) the PA system sucked: and, 4) beer tickets were not sold at registration so you didn't have to wait in line to buy the tickets at the beer tent. I sure there were other items that were covered but I can't remember them.

    Maybe the rallies have not changed, but it is I who have changed. I guess I spent more time riding at Fredericksburg and Missoula and less time paying attention to the crowd. Maybe the crowd wasn't as riding and family oriented as I remember. All I know is, I am not sure that I want to go to another big rally in Spokane. Maybe the RT folks have it right with their Unrally.

    Bob Whittle
    Nashville, TN

    I do not know if I will go to Spokane.

  2. #2
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Question

    Charleston was my first rally, so I do not have the reference that you have with respect to other rallies, but I do think that you have to go into ANY organized event that attracts several thousand people with your eyes open. For example, I do not like to camp, so I would always stay in a motel... no matter where the venue. Others ENJOY the "Woodstock" atmosphere of camping (and if not, there was "quiet" camping available), good for them!

    Of course there will be some in the crowd that are inconsiderate of others... do your best to ignore them. I took on the repsonsibility to have a good time and made proactive choices to help ensure that. I think that if a person's attitude is that you paid your money so your expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter, then you will most likely be dissapointed at any rally.

    My hat is off to all that organized this rally, and to the Charleston area for showing us true southern hospitality. I'm sure that the MOA board learned valuable lessons at this rally to make next year's even better.

    Please do not abandon the rally... be part of the solution rather than part of the problem!

  3. #3
    Miserable Mark MarkF's Avatar
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    Re: My thoughts on 2003

    Originally posted by bob9125
    Maybe the rallies have not changed, but it is I who have changed. I guess I spent more time riding at Fredericksburg and Missoula and less time paying attention to the crowd.
    When I went to Trenton last year I got there late Wed nite. It was nice to pull in, no problem and pitch a tent. Slept late (8 AM) every day and then got out of town. Two days went riding several hundred miles each day and the third we took the bus trip to the baseball game. Hung around the park shopping, drinking beer, eating and kicking tires in the evenings. Even though a great little town was just a walk away we ate on site except for one breakfast. It was a big rally, not my cup of tea usually, but it was great because we were all together and I spent a lot of time riding. Plus, it was in Canada!

    MarkF
    MarkF

  4. #4
    RamingtonStall
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    Unhappy Charleston BMW MOA Convention 2003

    This was the first BMW Rally for my wife and myself. We probably should have seen the writing on the Wall as we were struck by severe thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday and should have stayed home.

    We vascillated between (a) riding to the rally which we wanted to do, vs. (b)Trailering the bikes and staying at the "Nearby" Watt Powell Park. We chose (b) as the thought of riding through the forecast thunderstorms with 60 mph cross winds and pitching our tent in the mud at the U of C just didn't seem like the right way to initiate ourselves to Rallies. As we had friends that were planning to Trailer their bikes and stay in their camper, it worked out well with us going via our Van and trailer. We had 2 days of very nice, but wet, rides, after getting 25 miles outside of Charleston. On Friday we rode as a 2-some and on Saturday we rode with our more experienced friends as a 4-some. Hardly the type of thing for which we would have needed to attend the BMW MOA Rally! Judging by the many small groups we passed, these small groups were the norm for this rally, unlike the organized AMA rides.

    The totally "spread-out" venue made it impossible to really ever be a "Rally". It was much more of a Convention, not unlike the International Machine Tool Show in Chicago's McCormack Place.

    Since the "Buses" didn't go from the University to the Watt-Powell RV park , the non-availability of transportation encouraged us to enjoy our private party with our cheap Beer and Scotch at the RV park except for our walk over on Friday evening only to see the Mud Pit that was the Beer tent area and then get Drenched as we walked back to the RV Park.

    This makes our 3rd Rally of any type, (1) AMA's Crossroads 2002, (2) Ohio ABATE's June Jam 2003, and (3) the 2003 BMW MOA rally. In 2 weeks we will go to (#4) the HONDA Homecoming 2003 in Marysville, OH to see how they conduct a Rally and their Ride for Kids.

    So far, the BMW MOA rally was the biggest but it was too big and way too spread out. The relatively Small OHIO ABATE Rally showed that those Harley Riders really know how to throw a party. The AMA All Brands Rally has been our favorite so far, as it focused on the Riders and the Rides rather than the bikes.

    From our weekend in West Virginia, we learned about the excellent roads of West Virginia and the wonderful people whose hospitality was truly outstanding. We made good use of the BMW MOA Web Site to download the excellent roads and we will definitely go back to West Virginia on a DRIER weekend when we will stay at a campground 25 -30 miles outside of any big city.

    Ride Hard and Far! And with GPS, Know where you are!

    RamS


    Last edited by RamingtonStall; 07-15-2003 at 01:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    I also have some thoughts on the 2003 Rally.

    1. I had a good time and appreciate all of the work that went on to put on the event. I enjoyed making new friends, the bikes, and the venders. The roads to and from and in and around Charleston were great and all of the local people I met were very friendly and helpful.
    2. I especially didn't like the way the camping and exhibits were spread around the city. I camped in the quiet area to be close to the civic center. I enjoyed the poeple and activities at this site, but had little if any interaction with those at the other two campsites. I never visited the campus site or the beer tent. I much prefer the arrangement, like at Trenton, where everything is pretty much at one site.
    3. Despite my criticisms, I have Spokane on my calendar!
    John Peck
    Maple City, Michigan
    R1150R
    F650GS

  6. #6
    www.nassauwings.org JaimeC's Avatar
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    Of all of the MOA National's I've attended, I think I liked the Rally in Moodus, CT the best (I forget the year). Now THAT was a rally site! There were rooms available, a NICE swimming pool, plenty of camping space, and everything was at the one site.

    I've also been to the rallies in York, PA; Morganton, NC and did a day trip to Rhinebeck, NY (I live on Long Island so it was only 100 miles each way).

    I've also attended quite a few local rallies (the Finger Lakes Rally over Labor Day weekend is my current favorite, followed by the Charter Oak Rally over Memorial Day). I like camping, and I like the feeling of "getting away from it all." Please, no more urban-based rally sites??
    Jaime A. Cruz
    http://www.nassauwings.org/
    http://www.popsrun.org/

  7. #7
    Primary Ride 97 F650 gwb36's Avatar
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    I have been to every National Rally since 1978. I find it very exciting to find out the uniqueness of each rally. They are all different and when you have a Trenton or Missoula it is very fulfilling. Even the worst are worth the attendance. An open mind goes a long way. I did not particularly like the spreadoutness? of this rally and hope this does not become the standard procedure.
    Can't wait for Spokane and what unique feature I will find there. I think a fairgrounds rally will look good again.
    Sincerely
    George W Becker

  8. #8
    CustomSarge
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    Talking points regarding '03 National in Charleston WV (Soapbox now Occupied) :

    1> Touted as an event from Thursday through Sunday, what's with closing ceremonies at 1800 Saturday ?

    1a> Registration closing at 1700 Sat ? My nephew had to work & arrived from Lexington KY at 1830, therefore; NO pin or patch, even though he was preregistered. What sort of remedy is there for him?

    1b> Country Store running out of short sleeve T shirts by 1200 Friday ???? I got there 1330 Friday & was basically told I should have gotten there sooner. Yet, by advertised duration, the event wasn't even half over !

    Suggested alternative: on preregistration form, have 4 boxes for numbers indicating how many additional pin/patches (1st is included), & how many short sleeve T shirts in Med, Lrg & XLrg you wish to purchase at that time. When items arrive at HQ, create 5 boxes & sort total numbers as a fixed reserve. Each prepurchased item is picked up at the Store by redeeming their pink copy of registration. Should a person not be able to attend, prepurchased items are redeemed by calling the Store, getting shipping cost of items, sending in the original pink copy (make a spare copy first) and including a check for shipping.
    S1> Encourages preregistration.
    S2> By keeping it to 3 sizes & pin/patch, setting up the reserve shouldn't require a lot of effort. You're only reserving by total numbers and only including the highest volume items.
    S3> Preregistrants KNOW they will have the mementos they want. i.e. Cheese off fewer people (I sure was one on Friday P.M.).

    2> Early Registration, before official opening on Thursday :

    2a> Should REQUIRE one stint of volunteer service for the privilage of preregistry. I mean first in the registration process is the signup, no signup = no preregistration.

    2b> Volunteer name lists should be managed by their chairperson to verify service completion. There should be some kind of "penalty" for not completing the one tour of duty.i.e. if you miss the original duty; get in there, signup & keep your obligation real. {maybe, only maybe, there is a list of Goldbricks in the final rally report in the ON}

    3> General Observations Negative :

    3a> The WEATHER; nobody responsible, but the NOAA does have records & tracks trends....... and this IS West Virginia in mid July.

    3b> The building construction at Univ of Charleston; dirt, traffic, noise, etc. This is something at least several people were aware of & chose to dismiss (bad dogs, no biscuits).

    3c> Split Venue : OK, you tried it once; given the response at closing ceremonies, I hope you've learned just how bad an idea it turned out to be. I don't need to list the reasons, at least one Forum thread will cover this in excruciating detail (+ vehemence).

    3d> PA System in Colliseum : does REHERSAL suggest anything? How about a little instruction on microphone use in a HIGHLY reverberant enclosure? This is an oversight that
    should have been on a check list, given how many years this event has been held.

    4> General Observations Positive :

    4a> Given good weather, West Virginia IS a magnificent state to ride around in.

    4b> The locals couldn't have been any nicer, friendlier or happier to help make this event as good as it was. They weren't the weak link in the chain (but what about the closing of 1 block of the 1 way street, right before the bridge back to UC campsite, just in time to confuse everybody riding back after closing ceremonies ???!! Without detour directions ??!!!!!)

    4c> The Civic Center was a good location (AC is GOOD) for vendors etc, it just needed a BIG field next to it.

    End of Soapbox / End of File

  9. #9
    MLaBar
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    Rally vs Convention

    I enjoyed the rally, but it felt just like the Honda Homecomings and Wing Dings and more like a convention. Had there been any matching crazy pants, it would have been just like a Wing Ding.
    It's difficult to get the rally experience from inside your hotel room, but that's what many of us choose to do with larger rallies and in the heat of the summer. Many of us hung out around the bikes in front of our hotels to get that rally feeling and comadere.

    The vendors seemed to do very well in the air conditioned comfort, and the seminars were top notch. My only suggestions would be:

    1. Add an additional credit card reading/processing gizzmo for the registration. I waited an hour to get registered. Shoulda pre-registered.

    2. Make sure th PA systems works for all areas in the venue. (I was where you couldn't understand what was being said... I moved.)

    3. Keep the campers (and beer) in one large area.

    I would like to thank everyone that worked so hard in organizing the rally. Logistaclly, the urban site has to be twice the work for the organizers and they should be recognized for their efforts.
    To fully appreciate the effort that goes into putting a rally on, I suggest volunteering at any level. I'm glad I did.
    Looking forward to Spokane.

  10. #10
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    best rally

    One of the best rallies ever was Escanaba, MI in the late 80's early 90's? All the beer you could swill for $5.00 for the weekend!

  11. #11
    Only visiting this planet
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    Sorry last post was from me, i'm now registered.
    K Erlinger

  12. #12
    Registered User bob9125's Avatar
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    I failed to thank the many volunteers who put this rally together. My remarks are not to take away from the effort that was put forth by the many. Having volunteered at past rallies, I realize the sacrifice you make and I applaud you for your help.

    I guess what I need to decide is 1) are big rallies really worth it for me and 2) should I make the effort to attend an in-town rally?

    I think we have had some good comments here, both pro and con.

  13. #13
    Registered User 104830's Avatar
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    This was my first national having just joined the MOA this past year. All in all I had a great time. Arrived weds and helped with beer tent set up then pulled a shift from 6- 11 selling beer that night with members of the GONZO TOURING TEAM who I rode up with. the facilities at the Uof C where good ,just a little crowded by friday afternoon. I also pulled a shift at the communication desk on wends. which was fun, met alot of nice people. If you have never volunteered you ought to consider it , you meet great people and give back alittle something to the rally, these things don't just happen, hats off to all who worked to make this one run smoothly
    My only complaint would be the lack of signs or lack of good signs at the camping areas, the parking garages, and in the civic center it self ,directing people as to where to go
    Lookin gforward to Spokane and a one site Rally

  14. #14
    JIMMYC
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    My Thoughts

    Let me start off by saying I came to the Rally with an open mind. Over the past year I defended the decision to hold the Rally in an urban environment. I got a lot of crap for it but non the less I was willing to give it a try. I could see almost immeadiatly there were going to be problems. Arriving early (9:00) Thursday there were no signs directing riders coming into the downtown area. By the time I got down near the Civic Center I saw one person waving franticly but alas I was in the wrong lane at rush hour. Some one posted two or three blocks earlier suggesting left lane for riders would have be helpfull. There was no signs in the parking structure informing us the fourth floor was where we were supposed to go. Parking enforcement let us know just before we walked out of the building.

    Registration was not too bad at this time. At most rallies I ask about volunteering imeadiatly and this was no different. Imagine my supprise when I was told " We don't need any except for security". As much as I don't care for these positions I said yes as well a my wife. Anyone who has done security knows how frustrating it is along with lots of abuse. We want to do something for the club.

    I camped at the University under the trees where I could park my bike close by. This is where our security duty took place on Saturday. I have heard the argument against day passes at previous ralllies because of security reasons. I fully agee with this policy. But unfortunatly there was no way to secure the site from anyone who wanted to wander in or in some cases rearrange the barricades to suit the needs of even some rally goers. This was very frustrating to the chairpersons and all the security people. I went to the restroom facilities on several occasions in the middle of the night only to see people wandering among the parked bikes. Some were not rally goers. On Sunday morning around 2 a.m. I was awakend by two young (late teens)local girls wandering around looking a party. They found it with some of the riders who had little discression.

    Why was this site so poorly secured? And why was the support from the top so minimal. The Chairpersons and their help were hung out to dry! What a great way to encourage volunteering.

  15. #15
    Registered User xmas's Avatar
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    Angry security

    There was no way to secure the UC camp site. We were under maned and could get no help. Thank 's for the few who did. Our security was spread over 5 sights. Try working 15 to 17 hrs. for 5 days, maybe you could stand a 12 to 4 AM next year. Also there was campus and local police all night. I am sure you saw the little old lady and man on the gate we have been there for the last 10 yrs. Vote for a one site rally . We tired our best.

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