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Thread: Was this your first National/rally say Aye

  1. #1
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Glen Ellyn, IL

    Was this your first National/rally say Aye

    I've seen many posts where it's:
    This was my first National.
    This was my first rally.

    No politics, tell me about it.

  2. #2
    Registered User heychooch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I'll start it off
    This was my first international rally and my wife's first more than one days ride. I rode all across the US on a 84 R80RT before i met her but never attended any of the MOA rallies. I wanted to it just never worked out. I sold that bike when we started a family. Last year i got the itch again and bought a 04 R1150RT. We're from the Lancaster area of PA. We went with two friends and rode the Parkway down to the rally and back home again. My wife (to my surprise) loved it. Shes ready to go again. We had a really good time. A big thank you to all of those who make these rallies happen.

  3. #3
    yes. it was pretty good. i've posted comments in both the "this rally sucked" and "this rally rocked" threads because it did both. and i don't want to violate etiquette and repost. The sucks part was that I felt a little like an "outsider". The rocked part was the cantelope people, the food in general, and all the amazing bikes.

  4. #4
    motorcycle cowboy Tennessean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    East Tennessee
    My first rally. I live 100 miles from Gray so I had no good excuse not to go. I preregistered so I got off to a good start. I talked with several riders while waiting in line, all very nice folks. The volunteers at the registration bldg. were also nice folks and very helpful. I can't remember the guys name who I dealt with but he was so polite and had such a warm personality that I felt immediately part of something much bigger than I. So, I make my way back to my bike and met a guy from MAC PAC Eating and Wrenching Society, we talked a bit and after his buddy got back we rode over to Sherpa Service. Ted's place is just absolutely great. I don't camp much, so I was a bit concerned about what I was in for. In short I had a blast. I was very comfortable every night. At Sherpa, I met two riders from Connecticut, who I hung out with until they left on Saturday morning. These guys were alotta fun to be around. I met others who were just as pleasant to talk with also. The lady from Illinois, the rider from Austin, Texas and the rider from Florida who I had dinner with at a local BBG joint. I guess rallies are what you make of them, I made mine memorable. I'll go again.
    2013 Goldwing

  5. #5
    Registered User drsales's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Catawba Island, Ohio
    This was my first rally of any kind. I rode solo from Avon Lake, Oh coming down 77/WVTP and hoped off the hard at Rt19 (Bluefield) Then over to 16 (wow). Rode the snake and also did Bristol Raceway (wow again) I did the Sherpa also, where I met many riders form all states and employment. Plus a few from Ohio. Great job to all you spent many hours planning and executing.

    The experience was quite positive. Never regretted making the decision to come on down. Now I am thinking of The Finger Lakes Rally on Labor Day Weekend.

    I took Rt 23 back north all the way to Columbus then 71 north. BTW much nicer ride than 77.
    2012 R1200GSA

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    Like Mike from OH, I have posted both ways and a 1st timer. I am not much of a "joiner" nor a particularly social animal(read crowd seeker into that) so after riding bikes since 1963 , there I was. I have camped and backpacked for many years, so had a realistic expectation as to thousands of tents. When I camp, I want mine to be the only one! I live really rural so a local club is out . I don't have a 650 so the chain gang welcomed me, in spite of that, as an "alien" amongst them! I drink beer, but when I went saw no one I knew and went back to the entertainment , which I have commented on unmercifully.
    I'll second the canteloupe people and add, that as a resident of nearby eastern KY, they were typical of the friendly types that inhabit the applachians! I taled to them and the Amsoil oil guy(another local) a bunch.
    To enhance my experience I worked registration for 12 hours(hope I was the nice guy mentioned above!) and security 4 hours. I met some nice people here and there but kind of like a "military acquaintence" they are nice but shortlived things.
    I bought some overpants as they were cheap and could size them to my gorilla body. Also some gloves for the same reason. The rest of the bling cost more than my bike and didn't fit it. I ride a 2003 1150R and the stuff tended toward GS everything in many cases. It is amazing how much $ some spend on stuff...
    I plan to do the Oregon rally and then ride up into BC and back across-any takers? It wont be because I have to do rallies to feed my social needs, or bling requirements, just a fun ride and another excuse to ride! I do feel that volunteering ties your time together in a meaningful way at the rallies.
    I see the mugs & pins as a waste of $-to each his own. I left before the awards ceremony as it held zero interest for me and I was tired of vendor food. If you thought that was good , overall, then you need to eat at my house for awhile.
    Riding and rallies are obviously not a combination for all and I'll probably do another one here and there, but never be able to brag about having done so many as I have several other hobbies and enjoy them much!

  7. #7
    This was our first rally as well. We rode up from Orlando, Florida, arriving about 11:30 on Wednesday morning. Since registrations wasn't open, we headed off to set up our tent and shade tarp (many thanks to Tom for his help with the tarp!). After grabbing some lunch, it took us about 10 minutes to register...quick and painless!

    I found my way to the Country Store and assisted with the set up of the Cyber Cafe, then headed out for dinner. The first day was a breeze

    We spent most of Thursday at seminars (some very good stuff there!), stimulating the economy via the many vendors, and of course hitting the beer tent. Friday was split between slaying the Dragon and the Skyway, and more vendors.

    Heres a summary of my thoughts, as I have no benchmark since we were virgins:

    1. Traffic flow through the vendor area was chaotic. However, in reading other posts, I think this was the best of the bad solutions.

    2. We met most of the folks camping around us, but no one inquired about the "1" pin we were sporting. It would have been great to have a reception or some sort of gathering for us "virgins".

    3. The seminars were good, but all over the place. We did one at the school, than another at the Raritan building (329 miles away....or so it seemed becuase we walked it).

    4. EVERYONE was friendly and ready to chat about their machines, local rides, great places to eat, etc.

    All in all, we had a great time and this won't be the last rally we attend....although I am still trying to get my head around making a 3,000 mile trek one way out to Redmond next year.

  8. #8

    Great time

    Been riding Beemers for over forty years and this was my first rally. What a treat! Next time I will camp bads joints be damned. Everytime I went back to my hotel at the end of the day I felt like I was missing something.

    Both instructors at the seminars and vendors were laid back and very cool. Living in a resort town where bike week means something entirely different, what a revelation. I am now looking for smaller regional rallys to attend. these things could easily become my retirement plan.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Evanston, IL
    First MOA rally, and had a good time. Took two days each way from/to Chicago and really enjoyed the ride. I stayed off-site, so I didn't experience any of the camping issues. I am amazed that the cost was only $30!! It could have been triple that and I would have considered it a good value.

    Compared to similar events I've attended for other motor hobbies I think it was well-organized and well-run. Not perfect, mind you, but considering that it was administered and staffed by volunteers it was impressive. I guess my expectations were realistic, so the lack of perfection didn't disappoint me.

    The seminars were quite good, and I found the school to be an easy walk across the soccer field. Learned a lot from visiting the vendors, and spent a little $$. (Who knew that I could buy a holder for my I-Pass!) A map of the vendors would have been helpful, though.

    On the whole, it was a good time, and I'll come again when it's within 1,500 miles of Chi-town.


  10. #10
    Not a BMW owner YET, and this was my first BMW Rally (although I've been to other brands). I went up only for Saturday due to work restraints and was impressed with the turnout and the number of campers!

  11. #11
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    AYE Was my first and will not be my last. Ride Safe

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Aye and I'll return. Not oregon tho.

    Aiken, SC
    2001 R1100RT

  14. #14

    Yes, My first

    This was my first National. I was a little overwhelmed at first, then there's the just finding your way around part too. In the end I was feeling like it was a little too short to get everything done I came for, well next time. The best part was the Experienced Rider Course. Instructors Scott & Jim were wonderful. I looked everywhere and could not find a way to pre register. Maybe it was just me but I kind of expected the class description to tell how to register.

    The ERC caused me to miss many of the seminars I wanted, I'll try again next time.

    Vendors were good, as someone above said I would have liked a vendor map.

    This was a camp ground, finding water was almost impossible, if there was a supply hydrant, I never found it. That really needs improvement. I didn't find camping on a hillside, that's the price for hilly country.

    Food was good, not enough time to try everything. The farmers market was a favorite.

    My single biggest complaint was the access path, that was down right dangerous. I can't understand how mixing motor vehicles and pedestrians on purpose can ever be a good idea. I happen to approach the Rally from the north, bringing me to the grounds before finding the registration. I ended up circling the whole place just to get to registration. There were no signs at the ground's entrance pointing to registration.

    Again this was my first, I didn't have anything to compare to so I'll be back to compare and catch what I missed this time.

    Oh, the shower trucks. Those things were the best shower facilities I've had camping in 20 years, thanks.
    Last edited by DABrisson; 07-23-2009 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Missed something

  15. #15
    Johnson City was my first National as well. I have family living within 50miles of JC, so spent nights with them.
    I am considering travelling to Oregon next year, but would like to do camping instead of hotel. For one thing, i missed a lot of late night entertainment , and adult beverage consumption due to impending ride to brother's place.
    I had the chance to ride for the first time with my younger brother and his HD Ultra Classic, what a hoot riding Cherohala Skyway together.
    Great people at the rally, great time overall.

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