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#25718 - 04/02/05 05:50 AM UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts...  
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Tasker Offline
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Hello everyone!

I would like to 1.) Thank you for placing this great responsibility in my very capable hands or 2.) Apologize for upsetting and offending those of you who have placed this great responsibility in my very capable hands. Either way, thanks very much... I think...

I thought I would post some ideas and thoughts on UnRally 2006.

Even though we are over a year from this event, it would be good to begin the thought process so I can glean your input, ideas and suggestions. Also, the sooner we can get going on this thing, the sooner we can announce the location and dates. My thought is that, if possible, we might be able to make the announcement right after UnRally 2005, or even during the final night of UnRally 2005. Maybe Spike can make the announcement, handing off the baton.

This would give ample planning time for everyone.

Where?

The short answer is Gunnison.

Even though Gunnison is seemingly the overwhelming choice by most everyone, and I agree that it is a wonderful area, I also love the area of Colorado that is a bit more southwest of the Gunnison area, areas like Ouray and Ridgeway.

These two towns are fantastic "stepping-off" points for some awesome roads/sights that are spectacular in some different ways than the Gunnison area. 62 west out of Ridgeway, then 45 north from Placerville, along the west ridge of the Uncompahgre Plateau, is stunning. This route mixes some of the best of Colorado with some beauty of the red rocks and canyons of Utah. And, of course, 550 that runs between Montrose down to Durango, is amazing.

But, when you add in the necessary amenities, i.e., hotels, camping facilities, restaurants, services such as grocery and hardware stores, gas, etc., Gunnison is very difficult to beat.

So, in my opinion, Gunnison is it, which I know will please the masses. (Except for those of you in northern California! )

When?

My thought, based on experience, is sometime during the last three weeks of August, probably the second or third week.

I’ve been out in the Gunnison area during the two weeks leading up to Labor Day, and I was just out there during the first two weeks of September in 2004, and I have found that the time just before Labor Day is much better, at least weather-wise. In the mountains, the weather is cooler but not yet too cold. And, it seems that post-Labor Day is rainier. However, I’ve seen it snow during both time frames.

I have not checked to see what is going on in the area during that time frame in 2006, but if nothing major is happening that would conflict with our group, then it is my opinion that we shoot for August.

Headquarters:

Probably the KOA. I am a hotel kinda guy, but based on what I have been able to glean from reading through earlier UnPosts, it looks like camping is the preferred choice, thus having the larger population over hotel users. This also seems to be the tradition of UnRallies, which should probably be maintained. You will be able to find me in my hotel room with plumbing, heat, A/C, and a real bed!

Help needed!

I can cover a lot of the details in getting this put together, but there are some areas that I will need help on.

The first area is the technology part of the UnRally. I will need someone who is willing and able to develop and maintain the Website, and all that accompanies it, i.e., the registration, the attendee list, etc. Maybe we can resurrect the website from UnI?

It would be nice to have some help with routes. I have a fair amount of experience in the area, but I know there are many who have a lot more experience than I, and I will need someone who is more proficient than I am with putting together the routes in GPS form.

Things I’ve learned from reading previous UnPosts/UnThreads:

KISS (keep it simple stupid).

No vendors. Arizona Al is okay, as he "gets it".

Beware of the Hell’s Angels.

Pray for good weather.

Things I can cover:

I can work with the hotels and the KOA.

I can make the necessary contacts with the chamber, media, police, etc.

I can coordinate the catering.

I can handle the shirts and various other do-dads.

I can work on and establish budgets.

I can research other happenings in the area.

Maybe a scouting trip?

It would be nice to do this summer, but my schedule, especially my riding schedule, is fairly full already. We'll see. If I can put something together, you are welcome. Plus, I don't need much of an excuse to head west.

Well, here are my thoughts. Please give me any feedback and suggestions that you feel are warranted. Also, I would be interested in your thoughts on people I might approach to help on my committee.

Fernando, as you've offered, I know you're on board to help, so I'm sure we will chat soon.

Thanks, everyone!

Tasker


Perseverance is genius in disguise...

2016 R1200GS/WC
#25719 - 04/02/05 02:01 PM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: Tasker]  
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David Offline
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WHERE

I think Gunny makes a lot of sense. Ouray would definitely offer some outstanding GS rides, but as you say, it doesn't have the amenities. Durango would also work, but it would be a fair amount more expensive, and isn't the hub that Gunny is.

WHEN

I don't know about the best time for weather in Gunny, but be prepared for some flack if you choose August. The flack will come from those who have to cross the desert from the west and cross the plains states from the east. We wanted to die when we crossed AR/MO/KS on our ride out there (Bearden, Hawkins, and I went together). It was miserable, miserable hot. So much so that we would get up at 4a and try to be done by 1p and then just sit in the pool. That's not to say that August isn't the best month, but I just thought I'd warn you about the reaction we'll probably get. October's clearly too late. September will bring school, but you might consider June or September as alternatives.

The average high/low in August is 78/41. In September it's 71/32. In June it's 75/36. In terms of rainfall, August is actually the wettest month--June has one-third the rain, and September has one-half the rain.

In Wichita, the average high/low in August is 92/68. In September it's 82/59. In June it's 87/64. But rainfall is heaviest in June and about equal in August/September.

Anyway, if we did it in August, I'd likely not brave the plain states again on the bike and would trailer instead. It was just plane miserable. And the desert to the west would be worse.

WEBSITE

I can host it, of course. I don't know if we have much of the web site left. RDF developed the first one, as well as the rides. He might still have some of that you could use. I'd see if MattS would do the web site for you. Lately he's been real helpful with that stuff.

ROUTES

I'd check with Stan Walker. He knows the area well, knows GPSs well, and is very helpful. He and Jan were also at the first one.

VENDORS

I'd feel a lot more comfortable if we were entirely consistent about this and sent Al a kind note and asked him not to do his thing at this. Others are going to disagree with me on this point, but I don't think "he gets it" (on several occassions he's "advertised" on the board that he'll be at such and such a place)--furthermore, I think we ought to avoid favorites and inconsistency. Do whatever you like, obviously, but that's my feedback. We've got a lot of "vendors" who would love to come to these, and I don't think Al ought to be treated differently.

SCOUTING

Julie and I are seriously toying with the idea of heading through Colorado on our way to Torrey in the fall. If we do that, I'm sure we can help you with anything you want checked out.

OTHER

I have tons of stuff in a folder I can get to you, including photos, names/contact info, yada yada. Just let me know if you need any of it. I wish I had RDFs routes but can't find 'em. They were well done.

FINALLY

I'm thrilled that you are taking care of this. You were our first choice and clearly a great organizer of these things. Thanks so much for running with it!

#25720 - 04/04/05 12:07 AM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: David]  
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Late July and August are the times for monsoons out west. Afternoon rains are more likely. It doesn't mean that we couldn't have it during that time, but it is a factor to consider, especially for those camping. August is also a pretty hot, muggy month everywhere. September would have far fewer tourists in the area, but now you run the risk of snow and some passes being closed. Early June can be a little chancy, too. Late June to mid-July is usually a good period, but anytime between early June and early September could work.

One thing to consider. When we planned the first Unrally, we planned it to come immediately following the Paonia rally ( BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado ). It worked out very well, since many members planned their trip to attend both of them. Paonia ended on Sunday, and ours started on Monday (well, Sunday night, kind of). We also had several people attend on the spur of the moment after hearing about us at Paonia, and who then became members on the board. Last summer, many people went to Paonia and then continued on to Spokane for the national. From what I heard about the weather in Spokane that week (mid-July), Paonia was the better of the two. We won't know the official date for Paonia 2006 until later this summer, but it is always just about the same time each year. This year the date will be July 14-17. Figure the same approximate dates next year (13-16?). We could plan just before or just after, like last time. Paonia is always a very nice rally. While it is more camping than moteling, there are motel rooms available if you reserve them early. Otherwise, you have to stay about 15 miles away. Not really that big of a deal, though. Anyone who would attend both would have about a week to cover all of western Colorado. That's about enough time to see a fair amount of the area, without getting tired of it.

Anyway, UnRally V - Gunnison - Where It All Began!


Howard
'07 Titan Silver RT

"Got a motorcycle and a bottle of gin,
Ima go downtown see what I can get in."
#25721 - 04/07/05 05:14 AM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: Tasker]  
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Congrats again, Tasker. I hope you have as much fun as we did!

Now as to your ruminations:

Where?

The short answer may be Gunnison, but I think we might be missing an opportunity if we just take that easy answer. I also like the idea of the Un moving around more, and if we get "stuck" in a few choice locations we not only limit ourselves a bit, but we don't give folk(s) in "Northern California" a chance to make it to an UnRally at all--ever!

Yes, Gunnison was perfect in many ways, but I thought Cody was every bit as good (IMNSHO! ), and who knows, maybe some research might turn up another venue that tops them both. While I'm not adverse to going back to Gunnison, variety is the spice of life, though I don't think we need to go to Lima just for variety's sake!

One thing that I really liked both about Gunnison and Cody was the "campground" location that felt like "our home", even if you went back to a hotel later to sleep. Cody had six hotels within just a few blocks which was really nice and allowed everyone to walk (stumble) back to their rooms, but in Eureka Springs the nearest motel was 5+ miles away and most of the ones folks stayed in were 10-20+ miles away. If there's any way to prevent that situation (what with some folks imbibing and all the deer at night), that would be a big plus in the location.


When?

This might be more affected by the final location (if it were to change), but it seems like if we're anywhere in or near Colorado, or in any kind of elevation, late June-early September is pretty much the only choice. FYI, I'm sure you know about http://www.wunderground.com for great info on historical weather patterns for anywhere you might be considering.


Headquarters:

I think a certain percentage of campers/vs hotel/motelers might vary with the location--not just the town but the location of the HQ itself. My impression was that the numbers were a bit more even, but there are too many variables and too small a sample size to make any solid predictions. For instance, Leslie and I would normally hotel it, unless we'd have to ride >5 miles from where all the goings on are, in which case we'd rough it to be able to hang out longer. If the HQ were an inexpensive hotel, with camping nearby, you might be surprized at how the numbers changed.


Help needed!

Leslie and I are planning a few trips through the Durango/Pagosa Springs area (shopping for property) this year, so we'd be happy to scout out anything in the area. Don't have any web skills, though, but we've got Signman very nearby (who did the T-Shirts for the Un-III), and the set-up for mailing them out. We shipped the whole lot ahead to the campground in Cody and I was amazed that we had NO T-shirts left over--even with making 1% extra in every size!

Anything else we can do there to help just let us know. I'm very hopeful the remodel will be over by then (or at the very least winding down), so we should have the time.


Things I’ve learned from reading previous UnPosts/UnThreads:

We kept Cody very simple, delegated to a great team, got an early start on the planning and got there early to handle things on site. As a result, we could relax and socialize and had an absolute blast! It was a lot of work, but it was some of the most fun "work" I've ever done!

The AzAl/vendor thing is a bit of a sticky wicket. I really like the "no vendor policy", even though I liked the sponsorship at The Un-I, but I thought the hazards showed themselves a bit at the Un-II. The Cruise control guy setting up shop, hanging up his shingle and overtaking a TechDaze without so much as a "by your leave" at the Un-II was uncool bordering on rude, though it might have been borne of ignorance. We got zero flack (AFAIR) from any vendors about being barred from Cody, nor did we have any problems there--but AzAl did do his thing in his tent over in the corner of the canmpground and probably made 40-50 plugs. I certainly understand David's opinion. What about FB/MotoEquip? FB certainly "get's it", how is he any different? Has Al ever made a contribution to the UnRally expenses or the DB for all the "free advertizing" he gets here? I really do not know the answer to that question, nor do I think it would be the determining factor in our decision on how to handle his "business".

I don't know how we could try to control what Al does in the privacy of his hotel room--though I'm sure if we/you/David sent him a note explaining our thoughts on it he would probably comply. It is a slippery slope and very hard to be fair. Al might think he's doing everyone a service more than just selling a product, but I value my reflective stickers every bit as much--how do we make that value judgement?


Cool_Jamie "KMG_365"
"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
"Maynard" "the Krebs Cycle" '03 R1150RT, black
#25722 - 04/07/05 06:11 AM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: KMG_365]  
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Quote:

Has Al ever made a contribution to the UnRally expenses or the DB for all the "free advertizing" he gets here?




Essentially no.

Quote:

I don't know how we could try to control what Al does in the privacy of his hotel room-




Just like we would any other vendor--tell him not to. Only in this case we have the advantage of doing it in advance so that it's not embarassing to him. He is a good guy, but that doesn't mean he should be an exception.

#25723 - 04/07/05 01:21 PM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: David]  
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Just a tidbit you might find interesting, as of today, camping vs hotel is more evenly split than I would have thought. I believe its in the ballpark of 40% camping for Un 4.

-- Spike

#25724 - 04/08/05 08:07 PM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: David]  
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Just thinking out loud here, but it seems like a few of the things that might put Al in a slightly different category (and again, not that I'm endorsing any special priveledge for him), are:

1) You can't mail your ears to him for fitting. True, you can get molds made at many other places, but Al knows how to modify them from more "generic" molds to fit comfortably inside a helmet.

2) He also does a great many helmet adjustments for folks for free, even if they're using Etymotics or some other monitor/plug.

3) Right or wrong, a lot of folks will expect him to be there (or at almost any other gathering west of the Mississippi) doing his thing. There has already been a lot of discussion about Al's services recently with the "Listening to music threads", and since Al doesn't get that far east very often, I can imagine he might already have had contact with folks who are planning to see him there. We probably ought to make it clear on the DB somehow if that situation will now change to avoid some disappointment and resentment.


Cool_Jamie "KMG_365"
"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
"Maynard" "the Krebs Cycle" '03 R1150RT, black
#25725 - 04/09/05 12:03 AM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: KMG_365]  
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A lot of things require a physical presence to do them right, but I don't thnk that's sufficient criteria to make an exception:

1) Sean Daly to do some mechanical work.

2) Fernando to bring some helmets to fit.

3) BMW of Denver to bring tire changing equipment.

4) Yada yada.

It's not my call--I'm just giving some feedback from my perspective, having been in the "vendor mess" several times. If you all decide to allow Al there (by not saying something to him), I will have no part of answering questions from pissed off vendors who were excluded from the arrangement. Just give me someone to point them to so that they can get their questions answered!

In some ways, frankly, some of the other vendors at Eureka Springs were less obtrusive than Al, who posted on the board that he'd be there and made comments several times in a "selling" way. The others (like the radar guy and cruise control guy) simply hung a sign on their bike.

As I said, I like Al, but the exception is hollow, in my opinion.

#25726 - 04/09/05 05:10 PM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: David]  
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PhillyFlash Offline
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I'm going to opt out of this part of the discussion, for obvious reasons. I support whatever the team agrees upon.


Howard
'07 Titan Silver RT

"Got a motorcycle and a bottle of gin,
Ima go downtown see what I can get in."
#25727 - 04/10/05 02:38 AM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: PhillyFlash]  
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Tasker Offline
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I'm going to opt out of this part of the discussion, for obvious reasons.

Sorry, blond moment, not so obvious to me...


Perseverance is genius in disguise...

2016 R1200GS/WC
#25728 - 04/10/05 02:44 AM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: Tasker]  
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David Offline
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Quote:

I'm going to opt out of this part of the discussion, for obvious reasons.

Sorry, blond moment, not so obvious to me...




Howard and Al are from the same town and they have a personal friendship. It would be easier for Howard to sort of "recuse" himself on this one to preserve that.

#25729 - 04/10/05 03:29 PM Re: UnRally 2006: Initial thoughts... [Re: David]  
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PhillyFlash Offline
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Quote:

Quote:

I'm going to opt out of this part of the discussion, for obvious reasons.

Sorry, blond moment, not so obvious to me...




Howard and Al are from the same town and they have a personal friendship. It would be easier for Howard to sort of "recuse" himself on this one to preserve that.







Howard
'07 Titan Silver RT

"Got a motorcycle and a bottle of gin,
Ima go downtown see what I can get in."
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