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Thread: Had a great time, except...

  1. #46
    bored, bored ... dlowry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Snow Country, ON, Canada
    This was our second rally and we had some fun. Since we were traveling over 2,500 km to the rally, we took our time, saw parts of the country we hadn't seen before and spent time riding in the Blackhills before the rally. When we got to the rally we pretty much parked the bikes, other than to get something installed by one of the many vendors who did come to the rally. I was sorry that a couple of them only brought a limited amount of supply to the rally and didn't replenish when it was obvious there were more people there than they expected.

    We chatted with all sorts of folks who traveled from near and far. We ran in to people we met last year and this year out on the road in places. As for the weather, I could only dream it was as nice as it was. It was warm in the day, but the evening and overnight were near perfect. There were just as many trees this year as in West Bend last year so it was perfect in our mind.

    Our only gripe was the food service. On site was only OK, and on Saturday it seemed so congested in the rally grounds we ventured in to town. We did find a nice restaurant that wasn't lined up out the door like many were, and while they were slightly overwhelmed, they were pleasant and very hospitable to us.

    Whether in town or on the rally site, we found all of the people we encountered to be be wonderful, pleasant people who were always interested in where we were from.

    As someone said earlier, it's not the destination, it's the journey, and for Cheryl and myself, what a wonderful journey it was, and the destination was pretty good as well. I hope we see everyone next year, and the year after, and the year after, and, well, I hope you get the idea.

    A big thanks to everyone who helped put on this rally. I'm glad you were there to do all the dirty work. I only got to work in the beer garden fetching beer for fellow members, but it was fun and something I will do again. Thanks to the fellow from Texas who told me about the stick-on reading bifocals so I could read my maps on the way home with my sun glasses on. A big shout out to all the fellow Sherpa campers and to Ted for conversations and the accommodations!

    15 R1200 RT, 12 G650GS
    83 XN85 D Turbo

  2. #47
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Sheboygan, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by BMWBagby View Post
    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!!!
    Relax. You didn't open Pandora's Box.

    But you did point out that 'elephant in the room' that many of us noticed, but no one wanted to be the first to mention!

    I have yet to read a single complaint being leveled at a specific member, nor do I think I will see one. Individual effort is the glue to holds a rally together and this year was no exception.

    What is being pointed out by some members now is a healthy review of what went well and what could certainly be done better or different in the future. That is how an organization grows and improves.

    Let us hope that as a national club, we have the maturity to admit our shortcomings, learn from them, and each year, build a better mousetrap.

    A friend of mine once quipped "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."

    Used to think it was corny (not to mention, poor grammar), but I see some wisdom in such sage advice.

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by jgifford View Post
    Good grief, I can't believe I'm about to feed the troll but I feel I must...

    It's about the Journey, NOT the Destination.

    Did you volunteer for Awards & Tallies? No you didn't. Did you volunteer to co-chair Awards & Tallies. No you didn't. If you don't like something, then do something to change it.

    Besides, how often do you see a couple who are 91 and 88 ride two up for over 500 miles? Folks who sign up for awards and win deserve the recognition for accomplishments. If that were you on stage, you'd be glad to get the applause as well as the recognition for your accomplishment and be inspiration to others. I only hope I can make it to 91 and still be riding a motorcycle to MOA rallies.

    If you don't like the closing ceremonies, don't come. They'll call you to pick up the prizes that you need not be present to win.
    Ok John, thanks for your comments. But before you get to worked up, please note that I did not get personal in my comments. I simply stated my opinion of the rally. Your little insult is far worse IMHO. Don't worry, you didn't hurt my feelings that bad.
    I can tell by your web site, you are quite the volunteer. Good for you. Just because some of us don't have the ambition you do, doesn't mean we don't have a say in things or can't be allowed to speak.

    Rather than make personal attacks at me, why don't you and the MOA take note of my comments and others and prove me wrong with the next event.

  4. #49
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Marion VA-In the middle of some of the best riding in the country.
    Complaints about this rally will make the MOA able to make future rallies better. They will give the committee an opportunity to address potential problems before they happen. Regardless of how good the next rally is planned and executed, there will be problems unique to the location and we will hear complaints about this time next year. I expect we will have some complaints about Gray being a "hick town" full of hillbillies, etc. I am one and proud of it. I live a little over a gallon of gas away and don't want to live anywhere else.

    As long as I have food, shelter and good riding, I can work around the rest of the situation and have a good time.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  5. #50
    Don't know what everyone is complaining about. You can find fault with anything if you try. The rally staff did an excellent job in putting together a very good rally. As for not having any shade, I don't recall having any shade in West Bend or in Burlington and the weather was a lot cooler in Gillette than both of those. In Wisconson and Vermont I arrived several days before the rally and did most of my touring before going to the rally site. We did the same this year. We left on the 11th and rode up through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, then on in to Wyoming. Before arriving at the rally We rode to Jackson Hole, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Cody, and the Big Horn range, all fantastic riding. We also did Devil's Tower from the rally. On the way home we did Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, and the Bad Lands. Added all up I had a great time and wouldn't have changed a thing. If your only memories of the trip or rally are of the lack of shade, the weather, and the food at whatever place you chose to eat, maybe you should have gone to Disneyworld. Thanks to the rally staff and the many volunteers for a great rally. Looking forward to Tennessee in 09. Remember it's the ride that makes the adventure, not the destination

  6. #51
    A few things:

    Most of my complaints are things that Karol and the others had NO control over. (most things that they did have control over ran like a Swiss watch) Was Karol actually everywhere at the rally? Or does she have a clone? GREAT JOB

    Wind, Rain and lack of Shade-------well this is Wyoming!!

    I would have liked to have seen more vendors. I only saw two, (Flea Market) and one of them (Matt) was from home. It would also be nice to have someone carry tune up parts at rally. (no one had any points, Bob's is offering free shipping but said they didn't have enough room for more parts) I was also disappointed that many vendors that I knew from previous rallies were not here.

    My biggest disappointment was that due to a breakdown on the way (in the exciting town of Bill, Wy) I missed the New Riders. (the first song I hear when I got home on Pandora was Somebody Robbed the Glendale Train)

    As for food:
    1) It was a lot more affordable to eat in town than at Redman and that was 8 years ago
    2) If you think that food was expensive here, Go to Sturgis next month!

    Gas: I had to run ETHANOL in Denver and bike ran like crap (and hot) until next fill up in Wyoming (same problem on return trip again Denver's crappy gas)

    There are always complaints, but overall this was a great rally.

    I would like to thank all those who put this on.

    I would like to thank Karol and the two first aide guys, and my neighbor at rally. (I was unable at time to catch names, but I knew Karol from previous rallies) who helped me when I had de-hydration.

    I would also like to thank the BMW MOA member in Douglas, Wy that gave me a place to stay and a charge when having electrical problems. (since I contacted you from the Annomous Book I will not publish name)

    And to the guy that said this should have been in Gunnison,Co: It would have been impossible this year due to Cattleman's days, Auto Show, and a Regional CMA Rally this month there. (the best places are often already booked for other events, sometimes even other MC events)

  7. #52
    Registered User MrZip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Hazelwood MO
    All in all pretty good time - Our group actually had the most fun at the "Black Hills Stampede" in spearfish. That was really the best way to enjoy the national. chris' campground was nice and shaded, good showers and a nice pool!! best of all it's located in the prime "Black Hills" riding area. As you all know the MOA is mostly a BIG disappointment to me - so no need to rehash that. Lets just say I don't expect much at a National rally and usually that's what I get - "NOT MUCH"

    The national rally is just a big "vendor" fair anyway so if you don't need anything from a vendor (which I don't) it's a pretty useless rally.

    Our group camped in the north 40, which was a great location - we were close to the showers, had a decent food vendor close by - and the shuttle made it simple to get around - I couldn't figure out why everyone was crammed up at the main complex - the north 40 was pretty good especially if you brought some shade with you! (In this area it was better then expected)

    I didn't get a rally shirt because for the past few years all they are is a shirt with a big rubber patch on the back - most of the time you can't even tell if the shirt has anything to do with motorcycling. Anyway I'm not buying a hot rubber patch shirt!

    I left the rally early Friday morning (two days is plenty & why on earth would you stay for the awards ceremony) it was pretty funny to meet several riders on the road who were still trying to get to the rally.

    Next year in TN. If you like 95 degree heat and 95% humidity go for it - I won't!!

  8. #53
    Registered User mike m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    St Louis
    I am a 10 year member of the MOA and this was my first National. I am from Denver and due to my work schedule I haven't been able to make the journey to Wisconsin, Vermont or even Spokane. When I saw this years rally was in Wyoming, I was pleased that I was going to be able to attend a National for the first time.

    As far as rides were concerned, I planned my trip so I could visit the Flaming Gorge, Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP and Cody on my way to Gillette. They may have been the best consecutive riding days of my career. I spent the last couple of days of my trip at the rally and had a great time.

    I hope people keep in mind that the MOA has members from all over the country and many cannot take the time to travel long distances to get to a rally. I am confident that the lower attendance was due to easterners not making the trek...just like many westerners that didn't make the trek to Lima.

    Isn't that why the MOA chooses locations around the country? So every member has a chance to attend one (or more)?

    Good on you, organizers and keep up the good work!

    Mike M

    MOA# 86571

  9. #54
    I have presented 5 to 8 hours of seminars every year for at least ten years. And, I've got to say that the seminar facilities at this rally were superb. Last year I was in an open shed, divided from another seminar by a tarp, and trying to talk over the Oom Pa Pa band about 90 feet away. One year I was in a sheep shed that was so warm we turned the 5 foot livestock fans on. Then nobody could hear anything.

    This year, air conditioned room, good seating, good sound system, etc.

    Every rally has pluses and minuses. This one was mostly pluses.

    I camped by Camp Gears. When the reefer trucks set up for beer and ice we moved. Grass, shade, water, toilets nearby. Showers a bit of a walk but not bad.

    The elevated shots Voni took from the top of Energy Hall make it clear the site was not crowded.

    We came to Gillette from the west. US 14 and US 14A, as well as US 16 through either Tensleep Canyon or Shell Canyon are world class motorcycle roads. We watched hang gliding from the turnout just east of Burgess Junction. And then there was Yellowstone and the Tetons. And Lolo Pass on US 12.

    If you had time there were plenty of good roads to ride.

    From the east there was the Black Hills. And lots of the plains. Flooding in Iowa. You could almost plan your adventure.

    I predicted 5,200 attendance. So 5,103 wasn't far off in my mind.

    Lots of folks like to travel 300 to 350 or so miles a day. That takes lots of days from New England or the mid south. That thing called work does interfere. When we lived in Kansas anyplace in the 48 contiguous states was 2 days away (for us). Now retired, we live in about as remote a place as there is in the 48 states near Big Bend National Park - but we've got lots of days off We rode to Gillette from Texas, by way of Alaska and took 3 months.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  10. #55

    Good Rally

    Verna and I rolled in on Monday and left on Sunday. We volunteer to help out, see old friends and meet new ones. I don't ride to the rally to ride. I do my riding on the way there and back. You sure don't have to have a rally some where to ride some place. The rally was good and we had fun, but we do every year where ever the rally is.
    When life hands you lemons,
    ask for salt and Tequila!!

  11. #56
    Rally Rat Sue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Madison, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by TOTOLee View Post
    Verna and I rolled in on Monday and left on Sunday. We volunteer to help out, see old friends and meet new ones. I don't ride to the rally to ride. I do my riding on the way there and back. You sure don't have to have a rally some where to ride some place. The rally was good and we had fun, but we do every year where ever the rally is.
    Hats Off to you and Verna, Leland and Slina, and Bob & Mary.... The Gofers are some of the hardest working people at the rally!

    Sue Rihn #43753
    BMW MOA Ambassador
    Sometimes it's the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride.

  12. #57
    Registered User clowry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Flesherton, ON

    Great time, except...

    The backrest blew off my R1200CL somewhere along I-80 in Iowa on the way home! Talked to the dealer this morning, and they figure it'll be about $250 by the time they get it here from Germany. Off to the Boneyard I go...

    The rally itself was great! Could have had a few more places to eat, but we managed. We also could have brought our camp stove, but opted not to this time. No big deal. We reconnected with some folks we met last year, and met a bunch more; shared stories, knowledge and the fellowship of the road; added a few farkles to the bikes; enjoyed some fine microbrews in the Saloon; took in the Thursday night light show with some fellow campers in Ted's fine Sherpa Village AND had an amazing ride both to and from Gillette. Couldn't get much better, IMHO!

  13. #58
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    Whine, whine, whine. Why not just get a motorhome and be done with it?

    I had a great time, and that includes riding across Nevada and Utah on I-80. (I found a great restaurant in Elko, NV.)

    During the rally, I rode out to the Devil's Tower, then on out to Rushmore, and had some really great riding there. (Hint: US-16 Alt.)

    I don't like fast food, so I don't usually patronize the onsite vendors. We went into town for food each day and, with a little sleuthing, discovered some really good restaurants. (If you didn't go to Pokey's BBQ, you missed out -- relatively inexpensive, good portions, great food.)

    The weather was extremely accommodating, with temperatures only in the 80s and sunshine every day. The rain and wind were at night, when I was asleep, which is about as perfect as it can be.

    We were able to choose a camping site, based on viewing where sunrise and sunset were, that kept our tents shaded by a building. Besides, how much time do you spend in your tent during the day? Go riding or go shopping. In fact, we were able to surf the web from our tents in the evening.

    I didn't have to wait one minute for the showers, with plenty of hot water. I chose to take the shuttle out to the North 40. I walked up to the stop, which was at the edge of the field where I was camped, the shuttle arrived, and it dropped me right next to two shower buildings. What was not to like about that?

    Wyoming is generally a state I find myself riding through to get somewhere else. It was nice to stop and look around a bit, and the rally made that easy to do.

    The volunteers were wonderful and the whole thing ran like a well oiled machine. If you've been to previous Nationals, you know that compressing the awards ceremony into an hour and a half is nothing short of miraculous! To add to that the fact that everyone got to sit in the shade the whole time was an added bonus.

    The food was less than impressive and ... that's my only real complaint.

    What I saw most of all was people out riding to and from the rally and talking about riding. Everyone was grinning stupid grins as they talked about the passes they ridden to get there and how much fun the trips had been - and how much they were looking forward to riding those mountains again to get home. "Which way did you come over the Big Horns? Damn that road was a AMAZING." and so forth.

    BMW had a great presence between the demo fleet, sample bikes, their staff, the stunt riders and more. If you ever have any doubt about this being a group of motorheads, just get a guy out doing wheelies and stoppies and other such fun. The crowd immediately swarmed to watch.

    But, yeah, just like every other rally in recent memory there wasn't much shade and the vendors after 8 hours of dealing with people called it a day. How dare they!

    The highlight for me was probably playing out on the motocross track. For those GS riders out there that didn't, you missed out on some GREAT fun.

    While it was a quiet rally, if you didn't have fun, that was a choice you made.

  14. #59

    I don't own a Harley

    Quote Originally Posted by Raceydog View Post
    Oh my god. You Harley guys sure do complain a lot. We BMW riders would have enjoyed the rally for no other reason than the ride to Wyoming. Too bad they took away all of the trees before you all got there. Perhaps the short ride over to the Black Hills would have made it better had you gone.
    Raceydog, I'm not sure why you ASSumed I had a Harley? I don't but there's nothing wrong with owning one. If you know anything about the region, you would know that the Black Hills are a much nicer place to ride than the plains of Wyoming. Custer State park, Needles Highway, 385, 16 and 16a.

  15. #60
    Low speed, high drag
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Mankato, MN

    Thumbs up

    This was my first National. Overall, I had a great time.

    -I registered at 12:15 on Wednesday- went in planning to use the toilet and get some A/C, and they scooted me right through Registration- before it was officially open!
    -North 40 campground- camped 50 yards from the shower, 100 yards from the shuttle stop. LOTS of room, throughout the rally.
    -Volunteering at Registration on Thursday allowed me to meet a lot of new folks.
    -Excellent tech seminars taught me a ton of stuff, including why I was getting oil seepage from the oil filler on my R1150GS (Thanks, Paul Glaves!). I picked up the parts I need to fix my seepage (plus some extras) for a whopping $5 in the flea market.
    -Vendors were ready to sell me almost everything on my long-term farkle list, all in one weekend! Unfortunately, these cost a little more than the above-mentioned $5...
    -The beer was cold, and there was FREE WATER WIDELY AVAILABLE! Made it easy to stay hydrated.
    -Thousands of fellow BMW enthusiasts, the majority of which are very easy to strike up a conversation with!

    Negatives: (mostly tongue in cheek...)
    -I never attained rally "Virgin" status, instead being referred to as a lowly "Greenhorn." How humiliating...
    -I chose my campsite carefully, so I don't get to bitch about that.
    -I got conned into wearing my Greenhorn "1" pin around the grounds all weekend, and didn't even get close to winning a random T-shirt.
    -There were some other issues- all of which have been sufficiently groused about. Not everything can be perfect. None of these issues were going to keep me from having a good time. If these are the worst things I've got to deal with, I lead a charmed life!

    I met a lot of new friends, and caught up with a couple of folks I met earlier this year. I now have great contacts in Wyoming, Florida, and California. That's what it's all about for me!

    See you in Tennessee!

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