I'm not criticizing anyone, and I know that internet forums are an especially easy place to grind your axe... BUT there have been a lot of thumbs-downs and not enough thumbs-ups.
Let's keep in mind that our rally organizers are all VOLUNTEERS, and they are trying to set up an event for 5,000 + people. We range from the under-the-stars-with-nothin-but-a-toothbrush crowd to the trike-and-trailer-and-motel6-anyway crew. We're not all going to be happy, and we are all going to need to compromise. That's the nature of the beast.
I'm going to be stuck here in Richmond for the weekend, due to things beyond my control (that I am still trying to get out of). I would give my right arm to make this, which would be my first National. Would I be fired up about having to take a shuttle-bus, or leave my bike away from the tent? Not really, but I wouldn't let it ruin a good time. I've camped near there, ridden some of those roads, and been to a few beer-tents in my day, and I'm sure I would have a blast. I HATE it that I'm going to most likely miss it, especially since it's in my back yard.
The only way to make sure you have everything the way you want it is to ride alone, and even then you will probably still end up with a rock under your sleeping bag. I'm not trying to rag on anyone's gripes, but I am saying we should keep in mind the unbelievable effort that the organizers (VOLUNTEERS!) have put into trying to make this the best experience for everyone.
If I don't make it, I hope you will all do me a favor and take the time to thank all the people that have put so much time and effort into this rally. Most of all, I hope you have a good time.
Just my .02.
By the way, if anyone needs a place in richmond to lay over or extend their trip, I have garage space and plenty of bunk/couch/floor room, plus a fridge always full and a grill always on. Email me or call 804 339 8593.