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2010 rally comments

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kantuckid
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2010 rally comments

I had never been to an RA rally and was pleased overall. The location,weather and general coordination were fine. Not many vendors but I'm not a rally shopper and probably more than the crowd size dictated. The food was as good if not better than MOA in TN for me. Ice cream freom Greenville,NY was fabuloso!
It should be noted that there were some unhappy people when the showers were pulled before they could be used on Sunday a.m.-not a problem for me but was an issue. $$$ a factor?

Edited by: kantuckid on 2010-08-14 03:23
MdRT
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With respect, I beg to differ. I too had never been to an RA rally, and was quite disappointed. Very sparse vendor selection, minimal food selection in my opinion, very little by way of classroom discussions, and worst of all was the total gross-out on the last day when every toilet in the men's room became a cesspool. The climate was great, of course, and the Vermont/Mass./NY roads were fantastic. But my future rallies will not be of the RA variety.

YMMD, of course, and to each his own, but I thought my two cents' worth should be put forth in case others agree with me.

*******************

Michael

'03 R1200C Montana Flashtone (sold 2/06)

'05 R1200RT Dark Graphite (5/06)

Glenfiddich
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I have pretty low expectations where large gatherings are concerned, and things always turn out well. This one was no exception. I met some great people, my dog was utterly spoiled by his fans, I didn't see many vendors but those I did see seemed to have stuff I needed/wanted. The food was decent, there were several places to replenish my cooler within a few miles ride, and the nighttime stories were awesome! And if I found myself bored, I pitched in wherever I could and in the process met more great people. The riding was fantastic, and the show put on by Max BMW made me salivate!

drsales
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I have to agree, I was very unimpressed with the facility, turn out, organization, signs (you could drive right by) and lack of a exciting feel to the air. I was told about the laid back nature of the RA and if this is any indication I will not visit the next one. If I was a vendor I would have been totally turned off. Hate to say it but that's how I saw it.

Now I must say the positive were the people I met camping, I think we all love the adventure of riding and the stories are similar but the stage is slightly different. Vermont and New Hampshire are a wonderful area to explore. That my friends was worth the ride.

Oh yes, Thanks much Yankee BMW Club for the great coffee!! Hit the spot!

tmcgee
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Joined: 2007-01-29 00:00

I had a good time, got to scratch Barley behind the ears, met more than half the people I was planning to meet, bought a couple of things I needed, took some nice pictures, enjoyed watching people do crazy things on motorcycles, and sat around and told lies with a bunch of people I didn't know. I don't feel like I missed anything.

-Tom (a beemer, a vstrom, a couple of hondas...)

nplenzick
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Joined: 2008-06-14 10:01

Here's a point of view from a vendors perspective. I was the Roadgear/Powerlet vendor at the event. I don't know any other words to describe this place (that don't contain profanity) other then it was a dump. Plan and simple as that. When I pulled in that Tuesday for set up it reminded of the movie Blade Runner. As a "national rally" I would rate it as a complete embarrassment. This rally really should have had an attendance of more then 3K, especially since the MOA was on the west coast. It could have been a prime opportunity for the RA to "showcase" it's stuff. Instead they blew it. The late announcement of the event surely didn't help matters ether, however I can only wonder what a person who never attended a BMW rally thought when they pulled into this place and I also wonder how many made a U turn and kept enjoying the rest of the area.
It was an interesting two weeks, the MOA rally in Redmond at a beautifully facility and as professionally run as any IMS show ( actually better run), and then the RA rally............the complete opposite.
I have to give the volunteers all the credit in the world for not making this a complete disaster, but I wonder if there's only room for one "real national BMW rally" in this country. Glad to hear some of you had a great time, I too enjoyed the vintage "racing" display around the parking lot and the stunt riding from the Max riders however if the RA really wants to survive and thrive in the future it must do better then this for it's national rally. If not I see this organization slowly disappearing.

dancogan
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Joined: 2007-01-31 00:00

This was only my 2nd RA Rally, but they certainly pick areas with good riding! My first rally was in Houghton, MI. They had even fewer vendors up there but I'm not sure anybody noticed since the riding was so great. In Pownal it looked like there was shade back among the trees for camping, and shade by the grandstands to watch the GS show. I enjoyed the rally and the laid back approach. Pre-rally publicity and ride suggestions were just great. Got in some nice touring through Vermont and even a little fishing on the Battenkill.

beemeup
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This was my first RA Rally and I went in with no expectations of any kind, nor did I feel the need to compare this RA rally to the MOA rally. I arrived Tuesday night and enjoyed some free camping and the company of some of the early comers. I got some great informal instruction on "The Most Common Electronic Break Down Issues on the R1200RT 101" from Paul W. from NC on Wednesday morning and I was most grateful to make his acquaintance and receive this information. This alone would have made my attendance worth it to me. Location, Location, Location. The building and facilities may not have been the ritz, but the location for launching riding adventures in VT, MA and NY couldn't have been better. I have seen the complaints about the shower truck leaving Saturday night, but it should also be said that he opened the facilities a day early on Wednesday to accomodate us that had been camping at the track since earlier in the week. I got the first shower on Wednesday and believe me even though it was cold it felt great. I thought that the vendors were adequate, the vintage collection was fantastic, the volunteers fantastic, the riding beautiful, the Yankee Beemer Coffee first rate, the support of Max BMW remarkable and the warmth of Murial, Paul and the Vermont Club wonderful. It was great to see members from my club The BMW Riders of Southern Maine in attendance and my friends from The Yankee Beemers too. I think it's all in what you're looking for in a rally. The people and the riding is what really makes a good rally in my opinion and I thought this rally met both of those criteria very well. Thanks for a great time and your efforts in putting this together. Don

Dutch
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Hey all:This is the first RA rally I have missed since joining the club three years ago. Last year I made both BMW rallies, and while the MOA was bigger, and maybe a bit better organized, the Ra rally was more like a get together with old friends. The vender's bent over backwards last year to keep everyone happy and the RA tried very hard to see that everything went well. However, due to the very late announcement of the location, I could not make it this year. All I can say is that the RA is like a family picnic while the MOA is more like a corporate outing. Hoping to make it next year. Vaya con Dios, Dutch

AntonLargiader
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The food definitely was good. Everyone raved about the Indian food guy, but I also hit the German and BBQ places. They seemed to be doing a good business.

Few vendors for sure. I'm also not much of a rally shopper but I was hoping to find some tie-down straps and a power distributor. No luck. Seems the outdoor vendors were pretty similar in scope, which is unfortunate. Were any of them NOT Gerbing's dealers? I'd also have bought bark-busters for my GS had a vendor been there; they were at the MOA last year.

The place wasn't the Ritz but it was OK with me. Flat ground for camping, decent indoor space, and where else are you going to get an open 1-mile dirt track? That was pretty cool. I think the rally contract was probably lacking some contingencies that I would have put in there, covering basic maintenance and renovation stuff as well as the internet that didn't work when it was most needed. Not much pizazz, I agree. A few days of weed-wacking and trash-picking would have made a big difference, though.

Big hooray to the Yankee Beemers for the coffee. It was probably the best (strong and plentiful) coffee service I've seen at any rally. HUGE hooray to MAX for building the GS Trials area.

Big thumbs-down to the alcohol situation. Buying a beer from the indoor Beer Garden meant you were deafened by the band, but you couldn't take your beer and go anywhere. So people had to find their own beer and sit outside where you could still hear the music just fine I bet. I'm sure it's a state thing, as part of the grounds are state property (the road I think) but it just didn't work. In fact the layout inside the building was pretty strange since you couldn't even get to the bathrooms from the registration area.

The registration problems are a whole different story, but that was mostly the fault of the telecom vendor.

Thumbs down to the restrooms being unavailable at night and the shower truck leaving early Sunday AM.

Thumbs up to the fact that the camping area was actually dark at night.

I had a great time catching up with friends and riding, which is pretty much what I go to rallies for. I had a great camping spot and drank a lot of good beer.

Anton Largiader

Charlottesville, VA

www.largiader.com

kewlmoose
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I ended up missing the rally due to illness. The pictures I've seen and the ride reports I've heard sound fantastic. As far as people comparing the MOA & RA rallies I'd say this. Based on what I saw at the Houghton & Canaan Valley RA rallies and the West Bend and Johnson City MOA rallies it's apparent that the RA and MOA are two different organizations and have correspondingly different types of rallies. I'm hoping to make next year's rally where ever it may be held.

BTW - the best way to make a change is to get involved.....

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

Frank Zappa

nplenzick
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Joined: 2008-06-14 10:01

kewlmoose » wrote:
I ended up missing the rally due to illness. The pictures I've seen and the ride reports I've heard sound fantastic. As far as people comparing the MOA & RA rallies I'd say this. Based on what I saw at the Houghton & Canaan Valley RA rallies and the West Bend and Johnson City MOA rallies it's apparent that the RA and MOA are two different organizations and have correspondingly different types of rallies. I'm hoping to make next year's rally where ever it may be held.

BTW - the best way to make a change is to get involved.....

I was also at Houghton and Canaan Valley, Pownal wasn't even in the same ballpark as those two. Yea the photos do look good as did the photos that showed the place before hand, but like taking a picture of a car with bad paint from 50 feet also looks good when you get up close you can see how poorly it really is. When I was in Redmond I asked many of my fellow vendors if they were going to Vermont as I knew that they were based on the east coast. To my surprise most said they weren't interested with the most common response being " its the RA". It wasn't said in a complementary term.
Now I realize that this location was a last minute decision due to the cancellation of another location for whatever reason, however I 'm very surprised that any organization would lower their standards to this level. I did hear from another member that the Hunter Mt ski area (site of the Color in the Catskills) was offered, don't know if that was true or not but I can tell you if the RA rally was held there the turn out would have been much different.
Now some like the atmosphere of a smaller rally and there are many regional rallies that you can attend that meet that criteria, but when a national club hold a national rally it does so to showcase what that club has to offer. It takes cold hard cash to stage one of these events, rental of the property, toilets, showers, liability insurance, and such all adds up. One rally that looses money can quickly bankrupt a club in no time. Most were expecting 3-4K in attendance, the RA said they got 1500-1600 which to me seemed to be on the high side. I'm not sure if that was enough to brake even or not, I hope they didn't pay much for this place. Rallies need to be run like a business as that's pretty much what they are and like a business if there not run properly they simply disappear and with it so does the organization. I for one don't want to see that happen.
Oh and for the fellow who said that it seemed that every vendor was selling Gerbings there were only two vendors selling them and I wasn't one.

Lori
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No, this venue itself did not quite compare to that of the Biltmore Estate, Canaan Valley, or even Houghton. But then how it could it? Those are beautiful locations, professionaly maintained and this has been abandoned for 17 years. Well, Houghton... Meh, not so much. It was a big tech school but still a nice rally with great riding. Yes, this venue was pretty "interesting" but there were promises made that weren't upheld by the owners. I think if one looks at the past locations you'll realize this is not typical RA fashion. Oops, they had a bad one. It's a bit hard to swallow and will probably take a while to get over it but I'm sure we'll be back to the norm next year.

How does one compare the RA to the MOA? The MOA has paid administrative staff whereas the RA is comprised of volunteers. The MOA is pretty much locked in to holding rallies at fairgrounds whereas the RA is able to offer these unique locations as they have in the past. Let's face it, the MOA rally sites all look the same... fairgrounds.

As always, I had a ball at the rally! The riding was superb, I enjoyed friends, picked up a few new ones, had some pretty darn good german food, REALLY ENJOYED THE ENTERTAINMENT THIS YEAR, and got to do something for which I will always treasure (Thank you Peter!)

I bought a pair of gloves but not from the Roadgear/Powerlet guy. Which reminds me, I won't in the future because of all of the crybaby whining from this cat.

'95 R100R Mystic

'67 R60 /2

JRD
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+ Beautiful country (like KY or WVA with a NE accent); great friends, riding, and weather; level camping; vintage display; YB coffee; and that Right Attitude.

- Creepy third world venue, few vendors and sessions, expensive beer, lousy acoustics, and the disappearing shower van.

As a RA member, I have other rallies for context but this one will do nothing to attract potential new members. Having said that, I had a great time. Thanks to all the volunteers who made it happen!

===========

Joe DeLuca
Eaton, Ohio

Paul_F
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JRD » wrote:
+ Beautiful country (like KY or WVA with a NE accent); great friends, riding, and weather; level camping; vintage display; YB coffee; and that Right Attitude.

- Creepy third world venue, few vendors and sessions, expensive beer, lousy acoustics, and the disappearing shower van.

As a RA member, I have other rallies for context but this one will do nothing to attract potential new members. Having said that, I had a great time. Thanks to all the volunteers who made it happen!

This is a concise summary of this year's RA Rally. May next year's RA Rally improve on this year's many short comings.

nplenzick
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Lori » wrote:

I bought a pair of gloves but not from the Roadgear/Powerlet guy. Which reminds me, I won't in the future because of all of the crybaby whining from this cat.

I'm sorry you have taken my constrictive criticism as whining. I set pretty high standards for myself, the people who work for me, and my business. When I look at shows/rallies that I plan to attend I expect that standard to continue. Now maybe your standard isn't as high mine which could be reflected in the gloves you did buy. Any warranty with those gloves? Most of the vendors I talked too were pretty much unhappy with this location although most will say nothing in a public forum for fear of appraisal by the likes of someone such as yourself. It's tough enough in this economy to make a go of it in this industry at the moment however I have higher goals and if I lose the sale of a pair of gloves or whatever for giving an honest opinion so be it. Maybe you missed it but I want the RA to succeed, I want them to have great rallies, after all if I decide to be a vendor next year I want it to be well attended even though it looks like I lost you as a customer.
Oh and one more thing, about four other of the vendors who were there were pretty much because of me. I told them how well I've done in Michigan two years ago and suggested to them that they try W.Va last year. I wonder what I'll be telling prospective vendors for next year?

AntonLargiader
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Nick, I'm glad you're speaking up and hopefully your recommendation for next year's rally will be based on your assessment of that rally's potential. I think (I'm not on the board anymore thankfully!) the RA will be handling more and more of the rally details themselves rather than helping the local club to organize it (which has been a deliberate strategy in the past that potentially helps the local club but honestly hasn't worked out well in several of the most recent ones).

2005~2007 (Shelbyville, Boise, Biltmore) had pretty good vendor turnout. The RA ran most aspects of the Biltmore and Shelbyville rallies itself. I wasn't at Houghton. The two Canaan ones were OK; more the first time than the second. This year has to be the lowest vendor turnout, by far, I've ever seen.

Anton Largiader

Charlottesville, VA

www.largiader.com

nplenzick
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I'm sorry I missed the Biltmore as that is one really cool location, the problem was it was the same time as Americade. If it wasn't you would have had even more vendors!
It starts Anton with a timely announcement of the dates and location of next years rally. When you make an announcement after the first of the year for an event that takes place that same year your already behind the eight ball so to speak. Too bad the RA doesn't contact it's vendors for suggestions on locations as most of us travel around the country and see many interesting venues. I knew of one just north of Lake George, NY ( Warrensburg fairgrounds) that could have been a perfect location. Another in Maggie Valley, NC would also be a great location, they have two bike rallies a year there that are "roar to whatever" I would think the town would really embrace a "silent" motorcycle rally.
Meanwhile over at the other BMW club ALL are invited to tour the Bloomsburg rally site this Sunday at 10:00 AM. That's eleven months before the rally begins. I'm not sure how many of the "paid" staff will be there but I must say I'm impress by this endeavor. Building enthusiasm , apparently looking for suggestions, all of which lead to a record braking attendance for next year.
Last and not least I'm pretty dam proud and I consider myself pretty darn lucky to own my 07 RT and I'm just as proud to be associated with these two BMW clubs. I brag about the BMW rally experience where ever I go. Even this past weekend at a Goldwing event I think I convince a few to come out to the Finger Lakes Rally in Watkins Glen.
So lets get on with next year, lets not wait too much longer to announce the location and the time, and most importantly lets learn from the mistakes from this year. I stand at the ready to help anyway I can.

Red Rover
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Always interesting to see/hear feedback...here is mine...

The concept of the GS trails was great, Peter Nettesheim and the tour through centuries of BMW motorcycling beyond words. Seeing these beauties in motion was also a real treat.

The rides were absolutely awesome on- and off-road - just look at the photos - and it even had a fireworks show at the end. What a show! And paying such a small amount - what value!

Yes, there was some the challenges with the venue and the local officialdom, but that is all part of life.

To the critics - I trust you have enjoyed the splendour of the Green Mountains, and stopped a moment to say a little thank you for all the volunteers that was slaving away, whilst you enjoyed meeting with old and new friends while riding your awesome machine.

To the RA event committee and the Owners from Vermont - THANK YOU for the effort, you have created a unique memory for me!

Keep Riding!

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