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Des Moines 2018 BMW MOA Rally...Experience the Journey

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Des Moines 2018 BMW MOA Rally...Experience the Journey

Postby thanatos1224 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:06 am

I remember reading one of Wes's articles earlier about planning a trip to the nth detail. Well after days of research for the best route to take from northern Virginia I ended up just plugging the first rest spot into my navigation 5 and phone and just headed south.:-) I think it is funny that I spent hours upon hours (days even) mapping out the route picking the best roads to travel in the end to just click and go. The time wasn’t a waste I did use some of the campsites for my overnight stays. :-)

Like some folks, I stop at rest stops as I cross into a next state. And pick up the free state map and take advantage of the facilities. My first one was in West Virginia coming from Virginia. It is always clean and the people that work there are always helpful. I love the view and the bathrooms seem to be always squeaky clean.

I stayed in Frankfort, KY for the first night on my ride to the Rally, it is home to a small Bourbon company called Buffalo Trace you may have heard of it. Interesting fact it one of the few distilleries legally allowed to stay open during prohibition.

On my second day of riding I came across The Fine Swine. Per the signs on the hi-way it was voted the best in IL. So you know I had to stop and try some.

After two days of riding in 100+ degree weather, I arrived at the rally location. Seeing this was my first BMW MOA rally I did not know what to expect. I rode into the fairground prior to the security folks able to set up fully so it was fun trying to find the registration. It did not help that I came through a side entrance, I blame Waze… This place was huge and empty, sorta, some folks have been on site for days. (I took a mental note for next year as I plan on volunteering for possibly security and first aid.)

I found the club camping area and introduced myself to Rick who was in charge. I surveyed the area and found a nice place to set up camp.
Once settled in I had decided to get the lay of the land. And of course, find the beer garden. The Bud tent appeared to be closed but luckily around the corner was “The Learning Center” aka the Beer Garden was open.

During the rally, I spent the days walking around enjoying the lectures and talking to vendors, lectures, and other attendees while admiring all the two wheels. Each night I would share what I learn that day with others and they shared with me. Every night we had several great bands to pass the time. I will personally vouch for Jacob County and the Damage Goods, IRON HORSE and The Nadas.

I spent a lot of each day just getting lost admiring the vintage collections too. While I was volunteering and driving around I found several awesome bikes everywhere I went.

And I did go on the Microbrew run tour. It was just $20 dollars (+Beer) and it sure was fun. If you ever make it back to Des Moines I would suggest you go to the Elixir and ask for a Galaxy. It was delicious… I forgot to take a pictures of the place but it is a local favourite. And I am sure you will not have a problem finding it.

I also met Norm who is one of the remaining original pioneers of the MOA Rally. He has attended every one ever held. He is one of the few pioneers that has ridden to every one of the Rallys. For this one, he came from Chicago. I was lucky enough to bump into him during the micro-brew run. He was great we talked about the history of MOA among other things. I am looking forward to chatting with him next year in Lebanon, Tenn. Hey if you are in Chicago look him up and buy him a beer he is the best.

And what would a Rally be without adding some new farkles to the bike? I got a pair of Clearwater Darma’s installed on Gertrude.
The owner Glenn was great, he even told me a story about how he met his beautiful wife and how he started the company. Also note, he puts his money where the mouth is and supports Vets. I promised him, I would not say what he charged me, but, let us just say, he made darn sure I got taken care of and got them installed that day. First class service, professional installation and with a Hugh discount. Thanks, Glenn!!!. (As a side note riding back through the mountains of PA late at night with the truckers I know for sure they helped make sure they saw me.)

I ran across a few celebs too… Some of them you know as they are big names in the motorcycle scene. I also ran into a father and son team that knows the guy that help design the new Ford McLaren… :-) Honest, which by the way they also told me about a good place in Austin, Tx for ribs (Franklin BBQ). But if you go you have to get there by 0530 or you just might not get any when they open at 1100.

I caught the class from Bob from Bob’s BMW teaching about buying an antique.

And I ran into the yellow R1200 with the doggie sidecar, you might remember this motorcycle from an earlier 2018 issue of ON.

And, after all, that was said and done. I was missing my wife so I decided to slab it back to Va. I got up at 0530 and packed up. I was finally on the rode by 0700. And off I went, I know for sure those new Darma’s helped with the am fog.

On the way out of town, I passed some folks on the way back to Novia Scotia, they were heading home from the rally too. Later on in the day I ran into others at gas stops on I-80. (And we exchanged the traditional head nod.) I pulled into my garage ~1230am. And decided to wait until the morning to work on the bike. Especially since it was a wee bit late.

This was not my first Rally (1st BMWMOA) and it will surely not be my last. I met a lot of great people there from all walks of life. I got the opportunity to chat with a Linguist, Fireman, Retired Policewoman, Army Ranger, Nurse, Adventure Tour Guide, School Band Teacher, Retired EOD Serviceman, Correctional Officer, Inventor and many more.

Cheers David.
David & Carol
Just finding an excuse to ride
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Re: Des Moines 2018 BMW MOA Rally...Experience the Journey

Postby phil.ager » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:44 pm

Good for You, David!
Glad you're no longer a Rally virgin! :lol: And you came home to you're Honey tout de suite!

We survived an awful commute home from the RA Rally in Wellsboro yesterday in tropical downpours with many atrocious drivers... #-o
The 'new' Glamper was splendid. Bumped into Gene F, Maria V, Ed A, Tim & Chris L, and Drew was doing his thing. Went riding on ~38 miles of gravel on MABR with the chap who introduced P to K (back in ought-six). He came down for an overnight just to see us and see what vendors the RA could scrape together. Your Clearwater chap was there [believe you meant to say HUGE savings]. It was a "typical" RA rally; not as well-organized as the MOA and fewer overall attendees (maybe ~900?). The onsite cooker in the chow hall was unable to provide more than one small urn of coffee at a time each day??? :roll: Doesn't anybody in the RA realize bikers NEED Hot Coffee in the AM? Stupid "Shift" like that... We departed before closing ceremonies on Sat afternoon, just as the rains were beginning. But now we can get on with our week's activities and prepare another U-Haul load for delivery to Huntsville later in the week.

Our new club [BMWMOAL] is having their July meeting at a hosts' house on Logan Martin Lake (near Pell City). All these folks actually know about meeting-up and having fun as a team. Their splendid Chicken Rally in May was in Dunlap TN, their June meeting was at "Two Wheels" of Suches, GA, and their August meeting is somewhere off the BRP in lower NC. Don't know the percentage of actual participants, but those that show up know each other and have a Good Time together!

Until we see you again, enjoy your New Fog Cutters! :Blaster:
Ciao, P&K. :flask:
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Re: Des Moines 2018 BMW MOA Rally...Experience the Journey

Postby Rick F. » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 pm

David,

Sounds like you had a great time at the BMWMOA Rally. That's a lot of riding to get out there and back, but well worth it.

You even learned a lot as a result of all the seminars and so forth. I somehow doubt that many Sturgis participants come back saying that! :D

Rick
For all my tour articles, check out rsftripreporter.net.

2013 BMW 335i convertible
2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
2006 BMW Z4 3.0i roadster (sold)
2005 BMW R1200GS (retired)
2003 BMW F650CS (sold)
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Re: Des Moines 2018 BMW MOA Rally...Experience the Journey

Postby thanatos1224 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:44 pm

Rick F. wrote:David,

Sounds like you had a great time at the BMWMOA Rally. That's a lot of riding to get out there and back, but well worth it.

You even learned a lot as a result of all the seminars and so forth. I somehow doubt that many Sturgis participants come back saying that! :D

Rick


Yeap
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