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Thread: The worst part of the rally.....

  1. #46
    Mongrel Owner
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Eastern Ontario
    Barbara and I had a great time, despite the heat, and our thanks to the organizers and volunteers (of whom we were two). Also thanks to the WWII re-enactors who camped out in the heat all weekend to entertain and educate us.
    The worst part for us was the flame cars, pointless in every way, however, I did get a laugh at the expression on the face of the woman who was too involved in her cell phone conversation to notice us all yelling at her to get away from the fence.
    The closing ceremonies went on too long, as they always do and more imagination is needed for that part of the rally.
    We think the organizers did the best they could under the circumstance of a heat wave. What if it had been cold and rainy? How would we complain then?
    As for those who are already saying they're not going to Sedalia because it will be too hot, I need to know the weather for the first week of November.
    I want to be a trolley safety in Sedalia.

  2. #47
    motorcycle cowboy Tennessean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    East Tennessee
    Quote Originally Posted by Statdawg View Post
    To be honest the German Band is a top draw in Germany / EU. Plus it was BMWs GIG not the MOA's, so BMW can. It sure saved me a few grand to see them here.

    Mike, did Paul say that ? BTW, I never heard of Paul Thorn till this rally nor any of the other billings, sadly I am not a big music fan of any one type. I could listen to Paul for a song or two then on to something else. The music industry would be singing the blues for my dime. Personally I'd rather listen to new and old friends than have music at a rally. I know we have to have music for others.
    Yes Paul said that and he didn't apologize either.
    2013 Goldwing

  3. #48
    Sheep Dog
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    South Central Indiana


    Seems most of the negative comments were about the heat. Something we have absolutely no control over. Locals stated that it had been in the 70's the week before. It would have been difficult to find anyplace not suffering from record heat this past week.

    My worst experience at the rally was witnessing the unbelievable rudeness of some in the crowd booing and criticizing presenters. The flame throwers would have been a good show under different weather conditions. Presenters were not unusually long winded and sponsors are not contributing out of the goodness of their hearts. They are advertising their products and deserve time to do so.

    My wife and I did a couple of gate/security shifts and she put some additional time in with pins and patches. We would have done more, but the heat had us wiped out. Organizers and committee chairs didn't have the luxury of giving in to the heat. They worked anyway.

    Anyone who was raising a fuss at the closing ceremonies should be ashamed of themselves. Especially if you did not volunteer for anything.

  4. #49
    Registered User lionlady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Forest, VA
    The rally book was tough to use.
    It needed some sort of schedule grid so it was possible to see which seminars happened when/where in relation to other seminars. . . the better to plan which ones to attend. Put descriptions of seminar content/details in one section, followed by the simple time/location grid for said seminars. And/or. . . Color code for content ie blue for moto tech, green for gear tech, yellow for travel, orange for moto discussions, moto other (writing and such), and purple for 'rider prep' yoga, self-defense, etc., red for Rider classes.

    A map of the nearby area!! With main roads and arrows for the nearest Walmart, grocery store, drug store, laundra-mat, as well as which restaurants are which direction. (How many folks knew that Knoebel's a Nationally Recognized FAMILY Amusement Park is 10 miles from Bloomsburg? Free admission and renowned water rides, plus a restored 1947 wooden roller coaster.)

    A BIG area map on the wall behind the volunteer check in/sigh in table. With address/locations of area restaurants, yadda yadda That way as folks are looking for where to eat, they can be encouraged to sign up for a volunteer stint.

    Better organization of the Bike Show (yeah, there was a bike show). It wasn't advertised well, and there wasn't enough information provided as to what the classes were and how bikes would be judged. An option at registration to sign up for the "peoples choice" award. There were some amazing rides I saw on the grounds that could have been recognized. (I'm already strongly considering taking this one on, myself - may I come to my senses soon)

    I did a stint as shuttle safety and helped to judge the bike show. I'll likely be more involvld in Sedalia. We're already planning to be there.

    Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.
    R1150R Rockster, Limited Edition!

  5. #50
    IBA Member #30241 cyclepath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Cumming, GA / Close to the Hills!
    I attend 3-5 rally's per year and this was my second national. Certainly credit has to be given to the volunteers and organizers for this event. If you take WAY above average temps out of the picture, this Rally just about had it all in my opinion. You pack 7000 people into any facility (camping) with 100+ temps, it presents challenges which organizers were trying to address. Thank you for your efforts!

    I love identifying and exploring new places while riding. Reading post on this site certainly helped me identify sites to check out while in Bloomsburg. It would be nice to have more local rides lead by members who know the area. This would be a great addition in the Rally section of the forum. A consistent format to post your ride details, depart time, type of ride you have planned (dual sport or twisties), and amount of riders you would like to register. It could be as simple as a lunch run into town or a three state tour, just another way to break the ice amongst members. We should also have a rating system for the ride. It could be 1-5 regarding experience or skill level required so everyone has some idea of what to expect.Just a way to help people get out and enjoy the area.

    I was puzzled by two parties taking place Friday evening. It was obvious BMW is trying to win over buyers for the new 1600, but did they pull Gold Wing riders to this event with a German band? Hell no, no one hardly knew about this event until we arrived. How many people showed up on a Gold Wing and test rode the 1600 during the rally? I have done a kick ass track day on the 1000RR with Keith Code, I ride a GS, and love getting to know members of the MOA. I love my BMW. These are examples of what I say to riders around me who are looking to purchase a new bike. How many people would have showed up to the BMW party if each MOA member brought a friend to the event who is not riding a BMW? Any member who brought a non BMW rider receives free T Shirt and dinner for your guest, or even better $50 gift card for BMW merchandise. It was disappointing to be watching the best band on the main stage we had all week, feeling like you were missing out on something taking place across the field. A lot of money and headache was used on both fronts Friday night, and it was discouraging to see a guest we invited to perform talking negative about the people in the other tent. He was correct! It would be nice to see 50 percent of attendees under that big tent whooping it up, sharing what we love about BMW and the MOA. I want to see more BMW riders and dealers in the US, but new members seeing this conflict was a joke in my opinion.

    Time to make plans for next year.....
    2008 BMW R1200GS
    "Avoidance of danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." Helen Keller

  6. #51
    On the Road Doubleplay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by mumster View Post
    I thought about complaining how hot it is... then I realized that: 1.) it isn't 109 degrees; 2.) I'm not 5,700 miles from home; 3.) I'm not dressed in a full BDU uniform and helmet and carrying 70+ lbs.; and 4.) there is very little chance that anyone will shoot at me or that I might drive over a bomb in the road today! Thank you to all who serve.
    My son is a Captain in USMC with couple tours in Iraq, I'm proud of him and all our armed forces members however:
    This has nothing to do with the Rally or the heat!!!! Our armed forces are all volunteers and they know what they are getting into.
    On the other hand we do this for fun and it's not fun to attend a rally or even ride a motorcycle when it's 100 degrees out there. I can complain all I want.
    Please, do not compare apples to oranges.

  7. #52
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by rcockrum View Post
    My worst experience at the rally was witnessing the unbelievable rudeness of some in the crowd booing and criticizing presenters.
    Most of the attendees for the rally were from north of the Mason Dixon Line. When he heard the crowd, my fellow southern mountain grown friend said "And they call us Rednecks".

    Other than the heat, I thought the rally was great. The only rudeness I experienced in the entire week was the crowd at the closing ceremonies. The locals, businesses, and everyone involved with the rally were all very pleasant and friendly. Once I left Virginia, I never saw a policeman of any kind in a car nor did I see a need for one.

    The person or persons responsible for the dorms at the University deserves a lot of credit. I would have very early if I had not had a very nice room there with the shuttle bus.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  8. #53
    Registered User markmacrae's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Marblehead, MA & Bartlett, NH

    Felt Like BMWNA "highjacked" the Rally

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BikeMike View Post
    I totally agree with what Paul said. Sadly,( for obvious reasons ) it'll probably be the last time he performs at a MOA rally!
    It felt Like BMWNA "highjacked" the Rally by holding an exclusive "party" just outside the MOA Rally gate; in poor taste at best and abusive at worst. Whoever signed off on that concept from MOA should reconsider trying it again in future years. An apology to Paul Thorn is only a small part of this needless intrusion. I hope that that deal was not the result of heavy-handedness by BMWNA, but just a poor decision by both parties.
    2002 R1150R Atlanta Blue
    2004 R1150RT Platinum
    2005 K1200LT Graphite

  9. #54
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Lawndale, NC
    #1 Conflicting Bands. Thorne vs. BMW or could it be MOA vs BMW
    #2 Unprepared for closing ceromony. How bad can it get and folks still show up for a chance to win a prize.
    #3 Where were the security folks with T-shirts and hats to identify them.
    Last edited by mcswainm; 07-26-2011 at 11:43 AM.

  10. #55
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Pleasure Island. NC

    Blue Moon Cycle

    Quote Originally Posted by khill View Post
    I would like to see a used parts area again..Also more than just one BMW dealer allowed to set up and sell new stuff...Where was MaxBMW? I remember when there was three or more dealers at these rallys...
    Blue Moon Cycle was there. John had some great deals on used parts and genuine BMW riding suits.

    I hope I did not miss any parts of the rally.

    The people who did not know where the swimming hole was were simply not paying attention. It had its own thread here weeks before the rally and I packed my trunks because of that.

    You know which group I never heard a single whine from? The Airheads. maybe this incessant whine is a CANBUS thing?
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    2009 R 1200 RT,1996 R1100RT, 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  11. #56
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Sheboygan, WI


    Wow- just rolled in (Monday afternoon) from my ride back from the Rally. Expected some critical commentary, but wholly cow - some intense reading here!!

    Like all of us with navels, I too have some suggestions for rally improvement. I hope whomever plans or chairs essential services for Sedalia (2012) reviews this thread and objectively considers the comments. Most were well-meant to correct or enhance the rally experience.

    My two cents worth: signage, heat, and prize-awarding.

    Signage: Signs were too few, too small (some arrows barely an inch tall?!) and too many patrons were left wandering to try and find essential locations. As an aging demographic, BMW MOA'ers need easier to read signs.

    Heat: With a rally site being selected two years out, I agree that the 'heat-wave of the decade " that clobbered Bloomsburg was unforeseeable and unfortunate. However, if you're determined to hold rallies in the middle of summer (Hello?! Autumn!), you need to anticiapte the possibility of crushing heat and be ready. The 'air conditioned' vendor buildings were barely better than the oven outdoors. Either the AC was set too low or couldn't keep up. Large fans (the five-feet in diameter ones!) should have been stationed at the beer tent and other outdoor venues. All seminars should have been in an air-conditioned room/hall - not in cattle barns and sheep sheds.

    Prize-Awarding: Screw the idea that you have to be present to win. You paid your entry fee, patronized vendors and dropped cash at food services. If you had to bug out before Saturday night, you should still be entitled to a fair chance at winning any and all prizes and not penalized. In the future, just let contributors of prizes know that "present to win" will no longer be a condition of participation.

    I feel sorry for the volunteers that put countless hours of effort into Bloomsburg, only to be sabotaged by Mother Nature. Most rally goers hoped for a good time, but quickly switched from 'enjoyment mode' to 'survival mode,' as temps were brutal and most efforts to stay comfortable failed. The heat was an obvious distraction, and I witnessed many rally-goers running up the white flag and departing late Thursday and all day Friday - sad.

    Central Missouri in the middle of July next year could mirror many of these issues - let us hope that those who will dedicate themselves to preparations will learn from Bloomsburg and be ready for anything.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 07-26-2011 at 02:03 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  12. #57


    To me the worst part was the fact that we had to watch Sister Sparrow sqirm around on stage past my bedtime. Next she she should start earlier, every nite.

  13. #58
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    May 2009
    along the wisconsin river here in central wisconsin
    Ha motocamper ,I know my beer has a pork chop in every bottle so food wouldn't be a problemo. I wish I could have made it there but work has been unkind to lots of people lately ! But I did hoist a few homebrews in all your honor's. I did a 1000 miles or so around here and had fun at harley museum. There's always next year!

  14. #59
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Curious choice

    Overall I had a great time at my first rally. Lots of interesting seminars and vendors.

    However, I did find it odd that lots of folks in the MOA and BMWNA talk about attracting a younger demographic - and yet the only model made available for demo rides is aimed squarely at the over 50 market.

    I was hoping to ride a 1000 RR.

  15. #60
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    SW Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by JDOCKERY132445 View Post
    You know which group I never heard a single whine from? The Airheads. maybe this incessant whine is a CANBUS thing?
    Airheads just take things not working right for granted
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