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Thread: Summer Ride Plans

  1. #1
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    Summer Ride Plans

    I am looking forward to my first riding season aboard a BMW. My itinerary is as follows: MOA National in Lebanon, TN. (first timer), Glacier NP, Montana, Yellowstone NP. Wyoming, and lastly, a week in the Black Hills of SD, then back to Birmingham, AL. All previous touring has been aboard a Harley. My 1200 gs is something else however. It is just a pleasure to ride. Anyone out there have suggestions as to roads to ride and sights to see in these areas is most appreciated. Final question. Will there really be up to 6,000 folks at the national rally?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by 1hpyrider View Post
    I am looking forward to my first riding season aboard a BMW. My itinerary is as follows: MOA National in Lebanon, TN. (first timer), Glacier NP, Montana, Yellowstone NP. Wyoming, and lastly, a week in the Black Hills of SD, then back to Birmingham, AL. All previous touring has been aboard a Harley. My 1200 gs is something else however. It is just a pleasure to ride. Anyone out there have suggestions as to roads to ride and sights to see in these areas is most appreciated. Final question. Will there really be up to 6,000 folks at the national rally?
    Ride the Going to the Sun highway in Glacier from east to west as early as you can. First light/daybreak is perfect. You will encounter only a few cars. By the time you arrive at the west gate at West Glacier there will be a line of cars two-wide for a couple of blocks backed up at the entrance kiosks.

    Yellowstone will be a joy, again for the first few hours in the morning. Then patience is required because by noon folks are in full tourist mode in SUVs and RVs. Expect weird stuff - stops in the middle of the road, unexpected U turns, buffalo jams, etc.

    Custer State Park in the Black Hills is a must-ride. Mount Rushmore - view it from a distance and avoid the circus in the parking garage and walkways.

    All three are great areas to explore on a motorcycle. You have picked well.

    As for the size of the rally, yes 6,000 people is a reasonable guess. 5,500 would be a disappointment I think, and given the location in the mid-south well east of the Mississippi 7,000 would not be out of the question.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 05-04-2019 at 02:50 PM.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3
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    Summer Ride

    Thank you Paul for the good advice on these parks. I am really looking forward to the national rally. Like the parks, looks like I would need to get to rally central early to avoid the massive crowds. It should be a great time and a good riding area.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 1hpyrider View Post
    Thank you Paul for the good advice on these parks. I am really looking forward to the national rally. Like the parks, looks like I would need to get to rally central early to avoid the massive crowds. It should be a great time and a good riding area.
    At the rally the crowds are to be enjoyed, not avoided. The grounds are large. During the day some will visit the vendors, some will be finding food among the food vendors or in town, many will be in seminars, some will lounge in camp, and some will still be in their hotels or out riding.

    Since this is your first big BMW MOA Rally let me offer some words of wisdom gained from my 34 such rallies. You should go to the Ambassador Booth and get your #1 pin. This denotes you as a first timer. You might be termed a "rally virgin". This is all in good fun, but the pin serves a far better purpose. It lets anyone know that this is your first rally and you are to be welcomed and assisted in navigating the rally.

    Over the years many people have written or said that they found the rally goers to be a bit "clicky" (sp?). It is to the extent that folks tend to hang with the people they know. But it is very rare that anybody intends to exclude newcomers. The #1 pin helps but you should feel welcome to introduce yourself and join in the fun. Don't go to a seminar and just sit down. Say "hi" to somebody. If camping, get to know your neighbors. And so forth.

    If you have specific motorcycle related items in mind to purchase the vendor area will seem like the candy store to a little kid. Hopefully you have a bit of room on a credit card. UPS and/or FedEx will ship from the site if you just have to have that riding suit or new seat. If you sit down with the program and check every seminar that interests you it will become clear that you don't have time to go to all of them. If you want to, sign up/show up early for a BMW demo ride. Slots fill fast.

    Be sure to see the Vintage Bike display and the Bike Show display. They will provide a great overview of BMW throughout the years. And don't forget the music, which will be ongoing in the afternoons and evenings. And if so inclined don't miss the beer garden. Even if not beer inclined bring some water, tea, or a soda and enjoy the company of some of your fellow riders.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  5. #5
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    What Paul said (post #2) above. I will add: (1) Chief Joseph Highway in Wyoming, (2) Beartooth Pass between Wyoming and Montana, (3) highway 12 (Lolo Pass) between Montana and across Idaho, (4) Highway 395 in eastern Oregon from Pendleton to Burns, (4) any road in western Wyoming south of Yellowstone, (5) Highway 20 across northern Washington,

    Actually I cannot list all my favorite roads in the northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest, too many.

    Have a great ride and good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  6. #6
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    1st timer at rally

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    At the rally the crowds are to be enjoyed, not avoided. The grounds are large. During the day some will visit the vendors, some will be finding food among the food vendors or in town, many will be in seminars, some will lounge in camp, and some will still be in their hotels or out riding.

    Since this is your first big BMW MOA Rally let me offer some words of wisdom gained from my 34 such rallies. You should go to the Ambassador Booth and get your #1 pin. This denotes you as a first timer. You might be termed a "rally virgin". This is all in good fun, but the pin serves a far better purpose. It lets anyone know that this is your first rally and you are to be welcomed and assisted in navigating the rally.

    Over the years many people have written or said that they found the rally goers to be a bit "clicky" (sp?). It is to the extent that folks tend to hang with the people they know. But it is very rare that anybody intends to exclude newcomers. The #1 pin helps but you should feel welcome to introduce yourself and join in the fun. Don't go to a seminar and just sit down. Say "hi" to somebody. If camping, get to know your neighbors. And so forth.

    If you have specific motorcycle related items in mind to purchase the vendor area will seem like the candy store to a little kid. Hopefully you have a bit of room on a credit card. UPS and/or FedEx will ship from the site if you just have to have that riding suit or new seat. If you sit down with the program and check every seminar that interests you it will become clear that you don't have time to go to all of them. If you want to, sign up/show up early for a BMW demo ride. Slots fill fast.

    Be sure to see the Vintage Bike display and the Bike Show display. They will provide a great overview of BMW throughout the years. And don't forget the music, which will be ongoing in the afternoons and evenings. And if so inclined don't miss the beer garden. Even if not beer inclined bring some water, tea, or a soda and enjoy the company of some of your fellow riders.
    Thank you Paul for the great advice on the rally. I feel much more at ease knowing the ropes. I do plan on visiting the ambassador booth to get my #1 pin. Hope to see you at the rally to say hello.

  7. #7
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    Summer ride

    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    What Paul said (post #2) above. I will add: (1) Chief Joseph Highway in Wyoming, (2) Beartooth Pass between Wyoming and Montana, (3) highway 12 (Lolo Pass) between Montana and across Idaho, (4) Highway 395 in eastern Oregon from Pendleton to Burns, (4) any road in western Wyoming south of Yellowstone, (5) Highway 20 across northern Washington,

    Actually I cannot list all my favorite roads in the northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest, too many.

    Have a great ride and good luck.
    Thank you Royce for the suggestions. I already copied them down to enter into my GPS.

  8. #8
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    I've been to two Nationals and five regional rallys. My experience has been that the attendees are in great spirits and super friendly; it's like being part of a great big family, except there is no conflict. I don't know where the clique complaints come from, but if you look hard enough, you may find what you're looking for.

    My late brother brought his beloved '78 Goldwing "ratbike" to one rally, and was the toast of our section of the fairground. He was telling everyone that he brought his bike so that everybody else would feel better about theirs.
    Rinty

  9. #9
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    On the way to or from the national parks, I'd highly recommend zigzagging through Bighorns National Forest. 16 from Buffalo to Ten Sleep, 14 up Shell Canyon to Burgess Junction, then Alt 14 west The GS shines on roads like that!

    I'd echo what Paul said about getting an early start in popular places. Nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a crowd making unpredictable stops. Oh, and the view of Rushmore from Iron Mountain is spectacular. Many of the tunnels are oriented to frame the presidents from across the valley!

    Pete
    '18 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '12 R1200GSA with Hannigan sidecar for rides with Glenlivet
    '15 Honda CRF250L for exploring places I'm afraid to take the big GSA!
    http://travelswithbarley.com/

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