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Thread: Hey 1st time Rally goers!

  1. #16
    motorcycle cowboy roostershooter's Avatar
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    East Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by treemuncher View Post
    I took a 3 hour ride over to the event on Friday. Due to work commitments and a funeral service that I had to attend on Saturday, there was no other possibility of me making it there for a Saturday day-pass. I had hoped that a day-pass would be available on Friday or, at the very least, entry into the vendors area for a quick visit. I had planned to spend some money there and support the vendors who set up. I was sure there would be some new goodies that I was not aware of that might pique my interest. I'm fairly new to the BMW's but I've been riding rice burners for over 40 years. Other than hanging around with other BMW riders for a long time, this was the first official BMW that I tried to attend.

    Little did I know, the Saturday Only day-pass was a "set in stone" rule. Unless I wanted to shell out the $85 or so for a 2 hour visit, I was not allowed into the event. I tried talking with the head guy at the registration booth but no go. Did being of member of the MOA help? Riding a BMW help? NO. The only thing that would have helped is being stupid with my cash - not going to happen. I've worked too damn hard to earn such an expensive bike to be stupid with my cash.

    From what I was told, some people previously took advantage of early day passes and stayed overnight without paying. Here's a novel idea: use different colored wrist bands for different day-passes OR place a hold for the rally cost on a credit card or cash until the day-pass is turned back in for proper credit. I'm sure there are plenty of easy solutions to allow more people to enter and participate, IF you want them to.

    You only get one chance to make a first impression. It was not a very good one. At least my 6 hours of riding was rain free.

    You could have ridden on in, not one time was my wrist band or motorcycle band checked at the gate, nor the folks that I came with.
    2013 Goldwing

  2. #17
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    I think an overall MOA app with a Rally section would be appreciated by many members...
    Agree!!
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  3. #18
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    Because the Forum doesn’t have location services, commerce services, real-time interactive messaging or the ability to share data with other social services.

    That, and unfortunately fewer and fewer people are using forums any more.

    fwiw, I did pitch a use for the Forum at the Board Meeting, saying that it could be used as an on-line collaborative work environment to support volunteerism.

    Ian
    Sort of rhetorical
    If it was on the forum, the forum would get more use.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  4. #19
    I wish I had worn my new LD underwear to the closing ceremony.
    Dug C
    2018 R1200GS (Felix)
    2015 Triumph Explorer 1200 (Jessica)
    AmenMoto.com

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Sort of rhetorical
    If it was on the forum, the forum would get more use.
    OM
    You should see whether you can iFrame or otherwise embed http://rally.bmwmoa.org/ into the forum.

  6. #21
    myself and two others from Ohio came down for our first Rally. the other two were not on BMW bikes but wanted to experience the whole event.
    I thought it was really awesome, we had a ton of fun. All the volunteers we met were super nice and helpful. actually everyone we talked to from vendors to other people just there were super nice. We spent a bunch of money and bought a ton of stuff and got some good deals.

    on the way home one of our guys had a flat and we had a bunch of you guys stop by to make sure we were OK, that was awesome. thanks to you! Even local harley guys stopped by, to see if they could help. really cool.


    I wish next year wasn't so far away, otherwise Id be there again!

  7. #22
    Hey gang, just checking out the feedback a bit. Using the mobile-friendly rally website over the app was an experiment I advocated this year and there were definitely pros and cons. The biggest pro was that it was a lot less work (and hassle) for me on the back end, but I think one big con was that I didn't communicate out well enough so people understood they should use the site because there was no app. I got a lot of in-person "hey, didn't you do a rally app last year?" questions and comments. (We did - and I got a ton of complaints about it. Because of how much information it contained, it was a BIG app and the Des Moines rally site had poor wifi, so people couldn't download it.) Every year is a learning experience and we're constantly refining.

    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    I did see the video, on the forum, of the vendor set-up prior to our ride to the rally. As I was walking around, I recognized some vendors from the video, which made one a little dizzy to watch with all the panning back and forth; no offense-just some constructive criticism. I was actually trying to see vendor brand names that I may be interested. I am aware that the length of the video has limits.
    Constructive criticism accepted. I really should purchase one of those stabilizer thingies people use to shoot video with their phones, but I just haven't gotten 'round to it. I recently bought a new motorcycle, so I was saving up for that. Yeah, that's the ticket! (But seriously, I plan to get one soon, the video tours made me a little dizzy, too.)

    Quote Originally Posted by dug_c View Post
    I wish I had worn my new LD underwear to the closing ceremony.
    You'd have been TWICE as glad I talked you into buying them
    --
    Your MOA Digital Media Editor since 2015 | Lifetime Member #87301
    '05 R1200GS | '98 K1200RS + Hannigan Classic sidecar | '19 Indian FTR1200S
    Check out Chasing the Horizon, a podcast by, for & about motorcyclers

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by roostershooter View Post
    You could have ridden on in, not one time was my wrist band or motorcycle band checked at the gate, nor the folks that I came with.
    I was stopped at the gate. I had to work Saturday, and made the two hour drive to the event when I got off work. I arrived at 4:20 and was stopped by a nice officer at the gate. I was under the assumption that I could purchase my pass and go in and visit the vendors. No dice. My bad for not knowing the rules, but I have yet to see where this is mentioned anywhere. I was told the cut off time was 3:00 pm? I was super excited to go to my first event. Really left a very bad taste with me. Oh well, first world problems I guess? The officer was very nice, and asked how far I had traveled. He told me there was someone right in front of me that he had to turn away as well that had traveled longer than me. Maybe next time!

  9. #24
    Administrator
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    Sorry to hear about your experience and apologies for any confusion. Day Passes are ONLY available on Saturday at the gate. I'm not sure what you mean about early day passes but everyone prior to Saturday was expected to pay the full Rally fee. Hopefully we can communicate that better next year.

    Quote Originally Posted by treemuncher View Post
    I took a 3 hour ride over to the event on Friday. Due to work commitments and a funeral service that I had to attend on Saturday, there was no other possibility of me making it there for a Saturday day-pass. I had hoped that a day-pass would be available on Friday or, at the very least, entry into the vendors area for a quick visit. I had planned to spend some money there and support the vendors who set up. I was sure there would be some new goodies that I was not aware of that might pique my interest. I'm fairly new to the BMW's but I've been riding rice burners for over 40 years. Other than hanging around with other BMW riders for a long time, this was the first official BMW that I tried to attend.

    Little did I know, the Saturday Only day-pass was a "set in stone" rule. Unless I wanted to shell out the $85 or so for a 2 hour visit, I was not allowed into the event. I tried talking with the head guy at the registration booth but no go. Did being of member of the MOA help? Riding a BMW help? NO. The only thing that would have helped is being stupid with my cash - not going to happen. I've worked too damn hard to earn such an expensive bike to be stupid with my cash.

    From what I was told, some people previously took advantage of early day passes and stayed overnight without paying. Here's a novel idea: use different colored wrist bands for different day-passes OR place a hold for the rally cost on a credit card or cash until the day-pass is turned back in for proper credit. I'm sure there are plenty of easy solutions to allow more people to enter and participate, IF you want them to.

    You only get one chance to make a first impression. It was not a very good one. At least my 6 hours of riding was rain free.

  10. #25
    Registered User krazyhank's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
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    Greensboro NC
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    First rally for my wife and I. We had a great time overall so kudos to the Rally chairs !

    Being slightly senior I have just a couple comments. The registration Friday morning was a mad house and it was so loud inside I could barely hear anything the volunteer was telling me. My near eye sight isn't the best so I found the font in the event section of the book hard to read without my reading glasses. Maybe think about a separate map of the site - like one you get at campgrounds - so you can walk around with that in your hand instead of thumbing through the book. The color coding didn't match the buildings and until we learned our way around finding the right building at the right time was difficult. Signs were good but the way they were turned you had to be standing in front of the building to see them. Maybe color flags matching the map ? All the volunteers were very helpful in pointing us the right direction. And an awesome Beer Garden - the porter was great !

    Thanks again
    2010 R1200RT

  11. #26
    My first rally and I was very impressed -- thought it was overall very well run. Congrats to all the volunteers!

    Just a few comments to add:
    1. For the port-a-potty stalls please add hand sanitize stations nearby. Other events I've been to have had a couple dispensers attached to a pole near each grouping of port-a-potties.
    2. I found the map in the book (and website) a bit hard to use. Just wasn't a great image or size/relationships wasn't right to make it useful enough.
    3. I enjoyed some of the seminars -- but it did seem a lot of them where talks by vendors trying to advertise their trips or tires or whatever.
    4. The closing ceremonies was nice but the videos were not well received. Most people by me ignored them and others wished they could press the "skip ad" button. A better approach would be to introduce the vendor providing the prize and give them 20 seconds to introduce their company/product. Would be more engaging/personal than the video. Also 2 hours was a bit long.

  12. #27
    Registered User
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    Alpharetta, GA
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    My wife and I rode up from Atlanta to attend Saturday only. We paid $70.00 for the day and enjoyed the event for the most part. I really didn't feel that we were able to see or do more that we would have at one of the International Motorcycle shows. We were looking to buy touring boots but really didn't find much and we didn't need lights or tours which seemed to be in abundance. In all fairness we were able to listen to the afternoon entertainment and that was ok until I noticed a lot of folks with no wrist bands. I assume they just rode in and no one stopped them. At that point I felt ripped off. If you're not going to enforce who enters then the one day price needs to much less than $35.00 a person.
    Gary White

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by chiba View Post
    The MOA really should purchase one of those stabilizer thingies people use to shoot video with their phones, but they are penny wise and pound foolish.
    Fixed that for ya!

    This reminds me of the days when we ran our entire web presence using our own software and equipment.

  14. #29
    The registration building opened at 8:00 A.M. sharp. I had my QR coded paper with me, I was out of there by 8:05 A.M.
    Dan Evans MOA number 184983 2002 R1150RT 1974 R90/6 2018 FLHTK 2003 R1150R

  15. #30
    Registered User MUNMI's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Munising,MI
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    65
    This was a first rally for my wife and I. We had been anticipating this trip for several months and the rally was to be the highlight. Our overall reviews are mixed and unsorted. We approached Lebanon from the east on I-40 at around noon on Thursday. As we approached the rally site on Parkway, we were both immediately overwhelmed with 'what did we get our ourselves into this time?' We eventually got to the gate and registration. The great volunteers at the table under the tent helped us through the process. (We were preregistered) Our next step was to attempt to find a comfortable location to set up our tent to call 'home'. The theme of 'overwhelmed' was just getting started. Once we got unpacked and set up, we went for a walk around the grounds. I felt lost in the city for awhile until we learned the lay of the land. We wore our first-timers pins which gained some attention from other first timers and veterans alike asking us of our experience so far. Friendly folks everywhere. We enjoyed the vendor area inside the hall, attended a couple of seminars, left one that was like an infomercial on cable television. Enjoyed some good food from one of the trailers, and listened to one of the live bands for awhile.

    All the while we were walking around looking it all over, we continued to be overwhelmed and considered some options which included leaving the rally. We spent the night, walked through vendor areas again dreaming about this accessory upgrade or that. Watched the awesome show of Chris McNeil do things on a motorcycle that aren't possible. Then things started going downhill (quickly) for us. We attempted to get cleaned up a bit with a shower as the lines were loooong in the morning. In our opinion, big fail. The one shower trailer was filthy, and another shower facility near the vendor hall that only had cold water. When we decided that getting a shower was not going to happen, we took our first-timer beer tokens to the beer tent..... mistake. We are not beer drinkers so thought we could get a Coke or a Pepsi. Nope! Told that we gotta go to a vendor for that. Of course the vendors are there for sales and money so they didn't accept the tokens nor did we expect them to. So much for the tokens that to us were useless. We felt somewhat insulted because even though we are not beer drinkers, we were first time rally attendees and I an MOA member. The decision was made....packed up and left the rally a few minutes after noon on Friday. That was a bit difficult because there were no exit signs. We had to recall how we got in to the camping area then backtrack. The signs may have been there but didn't see them. Headed to Alabama to see a friend we haven't seen in years.

    We have no regrets for attending the rally. It was still a good experience. Lessons learned that it is just not something for us. Therefore, I cannot offer any additional suggestions to improve a feature of the rally except more/better showers. Will this be our last MOA rally? Honestly it's hard to say. We have talked alot about it since leaving. Will see what the future holds for us.

    Many thanks to the volunteers that make the events happen. Amazing effort.

    We did spend a little money in the vendor hall and look forward to using the products.
    Scott
    2004 K1200LT
    Munising,Michigan
    www.smitchellphotography.com

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