Tuesday, October 28, 2008
2009 BMW MOA Rally - Johnson City, TN
I haven’t written much about my involvement with the BMW Motorcycle Owner’s of America (MOA). I think it’s time to broaden my blogging scope. When I first started this blog, in the spring of 2007 it was focused solely on my cross country trip of that summer, but in the months prior, I decided to run for the board of the MOA. My reasons were not all that well thought out, but I had time and a keyboard at hand. I won a director’s seat on the strength of my online presence. I can say that with some confidence, as I don’t know a lot of members personally.
I can’t say that I represent other members like me; I’ve yet to meet anyone like me. But I try to represent the online community, and be a voice for the members that feel like outsiders. It seems that people who do not hang out with the group's leadership tend to feel like outsiders. I can relate better with the outsiders and I feel good to bring their voice to the table.
Every fall, the quarterly board meeting is held in the town that is hosting next summer’s Rally, and that is why I was visiting Johnson City, TN this weekend. Johnson City (technically Gray) is home of the Appalachian Fair Grounds, where the 2009 BMW MOA International Rally will commence July 16th.
This is looking like a come back year for the rally. Last year saw record low attendance in Gillette, WY. Not surprising for a variety of reasons, but that horse has already taken a beating. This year we are shooting for 10,000 members, and if we hit it the rally would be pulling a Tampa Bay Rays…worse to first, the current record is about 9,300 for 2006 Burlington, VT.
Johnson City holds much of the same appeal as Burlington, an Eastern location, nice riding, green hills, trees, ample accommodations, appealing destination point, good food traditions and friendly people After visiting the site, I don’t see a down side, I can’t wait to ride there! I’ve never ridden South of DC.
Aerial shots from Sunday heading from Johnson City to Charlotte, NC