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Thread: Had a great time, except...

  1. #31
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    KC, KS

    Rally problems?

    The only problems I had at the rally was that I didnt get to see everybody I wanted to, or get to attend all of the great seminars, or have enough time to ride all of the great roads in the area that are there if you look for them.

    As far as the food goes, it could have been better but I didnt go hungry, and the beer was cold. Thats enough for me.

    I had fun, would go back again and want to thank all of the members who put this on.

    For those with complaints, step up to the plate.

    Looking forward to Tennessee next year.

  2. #32


    I had a pretty good time at Gillette, all things considered but that was in spite of the location, not because of it. The organizers, and workers did a great job with what they had to deal with and I thank you all for that but as many have said in this forum, the location was lacking. A camp ground without shade trees is indefensible, plain and simple. As is a motorcycle rally a hundred miles or more from good roads.

    When Gillette was announced last year, there was a huge uproar over the location. I think the low attendence this year means that the objection was valid.

  3. #33
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Calgary, Alberta

    rally grousing

    Regardless of the location of the National, or the protocol of the site selection process, (about which I express no opinion) every year we have a whole lot of grousing about this or that.

    I sympathize with the volunteers who put in long hours in organizing the event, and who no doubt experience some degree of stress in doing so.

    But it appears from the attendance numbers that thousands of members are still showing up each year.


  4. #34
    Registered User 37071's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Petrolia ON

    Great Ale!!

    We had fun in Gillette. The lack of shade in the campground was not a problem. I was not in my tent in daylight hours. I was VERY grateful that my tent held together in Thursday nights storm. The showers and bathrooms in the North 40 were great. OK - the food onsite wasn't as good as I would have liked, but I did manage to sustain myself. The ale in the Saloon was wonderful
    Did anyone but me catch a cold?

  5. #35
    I didn't make it to this rally. Had my work and other schedules lined up, I would have gone. Some of the complaints I see for this site are the same as I have seen for other sites. For example:

    Trees. I didn't see too many of those in Wisconsin last year. There were a few trees in Vermont (and you could camp along the fence in areas to be NEAR (not under) trees. Shade is nice, but I've found it in short supply everywhere. Even the RA rally at the Biltmore had everyone setting up in a hilly, rough-ground open field with very limited coverage.

    Food. Food on the rally site in VT was a bit pricey, and probably had the same number of options that it sounds like Gillette had. As for Wisconsin, if you weren't looking for a brat, good luck. Really, I found ONE vendor who sold cups of fresh fruit, but it wasn't cheap. No big deal; I left the rally site and found food elsewhere. I even met a bunch of cool forum folks by going to dinner with them to a really great Cuban restaurant in Milwaukee. I also had a meal courtesy of the MOA for being an ON contributer. That's a good way to get some great free food.

    Showers. VT: kind of crowded at times. WI: not so crowded. I had to walk a bit to get to the showers in WI, but I could make the walk in 5 minutes. The exercise did me good. I was probably the same distance away in VT. There were MANY who had further to walk in VT. I had friends who were camped WAY out. Be happy the water was hot. RA rally at the Bilmore gave me an ICE ICE ICE cold shower the day I arrived. Thankfully it was pretty hot outside, but it was cold enough to give me a headache. I had hot water on other nights, but the showers were REALLY nasty dirty, and bathroom facilities were also not good. I believe the Biltmore was taking care of showers and not the RA (I'm not trying to knock the RA down. I'm just comparing).

    Closing ceremony. It was long the past two years. It RAINED in VT. Sit with friends, have a beer, sit way out and don't pay much attention until they draw names for prizes. I did a fair bit of socializing between awards, last year.

    The only way you're going to get gourmet meals, shade, and a shower close by is if you stay in a hotel. I'm sure we could also arrange something if they raised the rally fee to $200. I've seen photos of things like the Sturgis "rally" - their campgrounds look far worse (dirty, loud, muddy, and possibly no on-site food) than anything I've seen at an MOA rally. From what I've seen of the rally site this year, it looked like it was pretty well done. As for the location, it's not like you didn't know where you were going when you left home.

  6. #36
    WOW!! I did not mean to open Pandora's Box! I simply wanted to thank EVERYONE who worked so hard putting the rally together!

    I had a good time, my friends all had a good time, and everyone we spoke to during the rally appeared to have been having a good time. Sure, there were some "issues" at the rally but that can be expected at every rally (i.e. too hot, too cold, too windy, too humid, too dry,...) Everyone can find something to complain about.

    We just have to remember there were many folks who put a lot of their time and energy into making the rally the best they could, and THEY DID A GREAT JOB!! So again, to all of them, THANK YOU!!!

  7. #37
    I am envious of all the folks that had a great time at the rally.. I know I missed seeing many old friends and lost the opportunity to experience some great adventure.. My schedule this year just didn't allow me the time to attend.
    Congrats and thanks to all the rally chairs and volunteers.. Those of us that know what you do really do appreciate your efforts.. Bah Humbug to the glass half full crowd. . I guarantee no matter where, or whatever the location might be, these events are what you make them to be... they are not about others creating an experience for you..

    I hope to see everyone next year at the national a little closer to my home base... I can't wait... and bring on the Big Gig...

  8. #38

    Redeeming Points

    The best part of the rally was leaving Friday morning. I combined the Bighorns, Chief Joseph and Beartooth passes (AWESOME) in one magnficent ride before pulling into Red Lodge, Montana where there was a regional Harley rally just starting with over 18,000 registrants! Imagine that small hog get together against the measly 5-6K Beemers that showed up in Gillette. Knock them if you will, but they know how to party!

    All in all, happy I went. Did one 600 mile day and NEVER LEFT MONTANA! Devil's Tower is worth the ride in itself (for me at least), and the ride back through the Beartooth was memorable. 1700 miles in 4 days and the wife was not too grouchy when I got back!

  9. #39
    After reading this I am glad I couldn't make it this year...but then, beauty is in the eyes of the BMW holder.

    My son, his wife, and I hope to go to Tennessee next year for our first rally on a 2008 1200GS and, hopefully if it arrives, a 2009 800GS. My wife will have to get a better attitude if she is invited. She is concerned about burning fossil fuels.

    Not sure if we will tent or not. I like motels myself, having been in the Army for 22 years of that already.

    I like the TN location and haven't been in that exact part of the country before, close it however.

    I am hoping for some good and safe riding and fried catfish, okra, and grits. Having lived in Arkansas and born and raised in Iowa, I miss those foods living here in Wisconsin.


    BTW...having lived in Montana and driving there a couple of times from Iowa, Gillette was a stop for gas in the midst of not much else. But, perhaps it has changed a great deal since my last trip through.

  10. #40


    As many of you already know I am stuck over here in Iraq. I was unable to attend the rally in WY. I understand it might not have been all sunshine and rainbows. But let me say this one thing. Before you think or feel that it was so "terrible" please take just a moment to remember where you are. I am surrounded by an entire generation of people that have no concept of understanding what it is to have the freedom "We" take for granted every facit of our daily lives. We as Americans can gripe, bitch and complain about almost everything, and many of us do just that. I would just ask that you temper your emotions for just a moment and enjoy the ride. or don't.


    ps. See you all in TN.

  11. #41
    I SUNBURNED my head!!!!I mean, WHAT'S UP WITH THAT!!!!??? How come the sunblock committee didn't come around and slather up my noggin?? Worse yet, by brother SNORED IN HIS TENT!!!!!!!! Sounded like a dang moose!!! Somebody should do something!!

    Seriously, we had a great time. This was the first chance that I have had in many years to go west and I loved it. We camped in the North 40, 50 feet from a hot shower. Our tent site had power and running water in it. The beer hall was fun and we met a whole bunch of nice people. Special hello to Greg from Chicago. The riding and scenery were great. Thanks to all who put in such hard work to make it all happen! If you didn't have fun, well, I guess somethin' jus' ain't right about cha! Can I take my rally virgin pin off now?

  12. #42
    67-year-old Teenager indygt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    NE Arkansas - Between Goobertown and Buck Snort

    Papa John choked

    I've attended 17 of the last 22 BMW MOA rallies, starting with Laguna Seca in 1986 and I would rank Gillette as one of the best.
    The only sour note for me and my Indianapolis BMW Club friends came Saturday night when we called Papa John's Pizza at 9:08 p.m. and ordered three pizzas to be delivered to the entrance of the quiet camping area.
    The girl who took the order told me the delivery girl would call my cell phone as she approached for precise directions in about 45 minutes.
    Ninety minutes later, she called but her call rolled over to voicemail without ringing my phone. She left a message saying she couldn't find us - we were standing at the entrance the whole time and never saw her - and that she was returning to the pizza joint with our pizzas.
    I immediately called Papa John's and asked the order-taker to call the delivery girl and send her back.
    She never showed up and we all went to bed without dinner.
    On the flipside, we had excellent service the next morning at the Perkins restaurant on Highway 59 south.

  13. #43
    Registered User R1100rtp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    St. Paul, MN
    Quote Originally Posted by ARValkguy View Post
    As many of you already know I am stuck over here in Iraq. I was unable to attend the rally in WY. I understand it might not have been all sunshine and rainbows. But let me say this one thing. Before you think or feel that it was so "terrible" please take just a moment to remember where you are. I am surrounded by an entire generation of people that have no concept of understanding what it is to have the freedom "We" take for granted every facit of our daily lives. We as Americans can gripe, bitch and complain about almost everything, and many of us do just that. I would just ask that you temper your emotions for just a moment and enjoy the ride. or don't.
    ps. See you all in TN.

    Thanks for the wake up call, and more importantly.....thanks for what you're doing.

    See you in TN in '09
    Ride Hard, go far, and keep smilin...
    Karol Patzer, Ambassador, Friend of the Marque Past Dir. BMW MOA Foundation
    '07 R1200GS, '15 F700GS, '12 WeeStrom-Adv., '88 K75C
    2008/2014 BMW MOA Rally Chair MOA #27994, RA #13106 #IBA#94

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Thumbs up 1st timer @ Gillette

    Well sir, this was our 1st moa for me and the squeeeez. Can't beleive I'm read'n about sooo much win'n from the participants. I guess it's because of the advanced age of so many of the members. Personaly I spent all my hot daylite hours inside listening to some great seminars/speakers, or perusing the vendors and their wares. Who hangs-out all day in their tent anyway? I found the showers in the back fourty to be clean and accessible during my 3 visits without any wait what-so-ever. The community "blue houses" were also surprising clean and fresh each day; except for the morons who couldn't hit the spot or remember to drop the lid on exit. As far as the camping conditions: if u need the shade, get a hotel room; if u need a shower, camp closer; want some silence, camp farther away; don't like the food, go to town- it was very close and accessible. Many thanks to all the great volunteers who helped us find our way. U WERE GREAT! Special thanks to the weather commitee for the exceptional light show, the cooling showers which thin'd out the shallow end of the gene pool, and the refreshing breeze each night. I promise to make up for only ridn'n 1200 miles to attend 08'; as I'll see u next year in TN.
    Stop whin'n and start rid'n or buy a HARLEY.

  15. #45
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Careful, Darryl. With 40,000+ members, there are not enough 'positions of responsibility' to accomodate everyone who finds disfavor or room for improvement at a Rally.

    You risk opening old wounds.....MANY see our current template for selecting a rally site as a flawed process, and said so, only to be shouted down by the faithful core.

    If circumstances, personality or motivation does not lend itself to running for office or serving on a committee, an individual member still has as much a voice in the MOA as you, I or any BoD position.
    If you and your fellows cannot dig up a slate of candidates, nor present a coherent plan before the board for change, then all you're doing is whining and trying to ruin the party for everyone else who can have a good time even with a few extremely minor inconveniences.

    Instead of using the electrons here to whine about it, use them to build a better plan.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison

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