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#365022 - 07/20/08 09:56 PM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: SageRider]  
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 Originally Posted By: SageRider
First of all, Great un Steve! Thank you!

It seems to me that the single biggest issue that keeps folks from getting together is proximity of motel to campground. Having attended all unrallies except Eureka Springs, it seems to me that Cody was the best in that regard (literally across the street). This unrally at John Day I believe was #2 in this regard but was a long walk one way from the campground to the hotel that turned into the big gathering spot.


Also, I'll second the comment that to get maximum participation at a breakfast, it should not be the first or last day of the rally. Too many folks arriving late and/or departing early.


I think the specific location is always going to be compromise. I agree, it would be better if a single establishment could accommodate everyone, but this seems almost impossible. That's about the only thing I could see done better, but I wouldn't want to be asked to do it.

I would suggest that the tendency to gather at the Best Value was not planned, but just happened. The fairgrounds was provided as a gathering spot, and some gathering there did take place. However, I think the Best Value won out for the following reasons:

There was always somebody there.
There was outdoor seating available.
It was shady in the afternoons and quite pleasant in that regard.

I liked the breakfast as an opportunity for a last goodbye. Without it folks would have drifted away from multiple locations unnoticed. Jeez, the food was great and we're complaining about breakfast?

I thought it was great overall, and certainly no complaints from me. I even thought the climate was fantastic. It was a good time.

I guess too, when you think pnw, you think cool lush coastal forests and rugged coasts. This was a different pnw. I think we benefited from it's isolation, which helped the riding tremendously. I also appreciated that there were some truly great routes in and out on the way.

Jan


Jan

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#365058 - 07/20/08 11:06 PM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Twisties]  
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Jan is right. The specific location is almost always a compromise. I thought having the campground only a few blocks away from the hotels was great. It was easy walking distance for most. That meant a beer or whatever could be had with dinner and there was no need to get on a bike afterwards.

One facility to accommodate all is tough. For many, who come from far away and have a number of nights on the road and for the many whose budget might not allow for hoteling it and for those for whom a part of being out on the road on a bike is the camping, it's great to have a campground nearby. A campground can also be a great hang out place.

A couple the things that made America's Best really good for hanging out -- Fewer mosquitos than the campground, yes, but mostly it's the motor court style of motel. The parking lots was full of bikes and the rooms opened onto the parking lot. Room doors could be left open for access to fridges, bathrooms, etc., chairs could be brought out, and people could gather around bikes to swap lies. Besides, we're a bunch of Beemer geeks and Best Western's internet was down.

The gathering point almost always turns out to be the one that comfy or has the most Gemütlichkeit (a German abstract noun that has been adopted into English. Its closest equivalent is the word "coziness"; however, rather than merely describing a place that is compact, well-heated and nicely furnished (a cozy room, a cozy flat), Gemütlichkeit connotes the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the opportunity to spend quality time.) Amazingly, under the right circumstances, a motel parking lot can fulfill those conditions.

As far as meals, the breakfast is a tough call. I like having a couple of organized meals. After all, most of us made the trip to combine riding with a face to face meet-up with our cyber buddies. All breaking bread in one place a for a couple of meals is a great way to see everyone and share in the community that sets this place apart.

As to the timing of breakfast--tough call. I see the value in the last day for exchanging farewells and the 6 AM start time was nice and early but people do get antsy to get on the road. A more organized breakfast mid-stay might be good with a casual pastries, coffee, juice kind of thing on the last morning.

Another thing that's worked well in the past is a casual, throw in $5 bucks, we'll be in the campground or at whichever hotel, pizza on the first night that most people arrive. Again, just to get the group together as much as possible.

I think Steve struck a very good balance between UN and too organized. He picked a town that's accustomed to having much larger groups come in. Even the restaurants coped very well when numbers of diners swelled from 12 to 30.

The hardest part of Unorganizing an Unrally is finding the location that offers great roads, decent lodging, camping, decent food, nearby gas stations and everything else people want.

Job well done, Steve!


Leslie

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#365066 - 07/20/08 11:22 PM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs]  
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I didn't attend and would have loved to, but being in North Carolina it was just too hard to accomplish. But, having been to Torrey it was pretty clear to me that your camaraderie, that is, the folks that have developed strong relationships throughout the years is a great thing to see but it makes it extremely difficult for first comers or socially shy people to feel included. I would agree, an evening of introducing folks, name tags, maybe a bit of an autobiography included in a small booklet of each attendee and provided the first night would really be a nice touch. I've always felt a part of this family in my own way and it's a bit of a disconnect to go to one of these functions and not have people introducing you to others to make you feel welcome. I don't expect a coat and tie sort of gig but it would be nice to know who's who.
Bruce


"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else"

07 Kawasaki Versys
#365171 - 07/21/08 03:47 AM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Bheckel169]  
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 Originally Posted By: Bheckel169
I would agree, an evening of introducing folks, name tags,............I don't expect a coat and tie sort of gig but it would be nice to know who's who.


Hi Bruce. Hopefully you can make another event somewhere down the road. We did have name tags, with everyone's first name, board name and home town. I encouraged wearing of them at the casual social gatherings just for the purpose of getting to know one another. And they were also required for entry to dinner and breakfast.

Off line, it was suggested to me that a coastal venue would have been nice. Someone else decided not to come early on because it was usually in the mid-90s. Completely valid reasons. Please, keep the suggestions coming. Jamie explained my desire for this post well. This is not my need to have everybody pat me on the back. I know it was a good event...I plan events and exhibits for a living and I knew in advance the work required and I didn't disappoint myself. And I also know that I'll never be able to please everybody with the choices we made. And that's okay too.

It has been suggested that I did all of this alone and that couldn't be further from the truth. I was the visible one onsite, but that was just how everything worked out and wasn't planned that way.


Here is the entire UnRally VII team:

Sebastian “stubble” Mindling (web guru)
Tony “Tony K” Koch (t-shirt design/production guru)
Phil “1bmwfan” Challinor (GPS guru)
Rod “Mr. Yuk” Powell (ride guru)
Bruce “Bruce H” Henriksen (ride guru)
Wade “kitsap” Taylor (ride guru)
Larry “Whip” Kachadourian (allroundgoodguy)
Steve “Dances with Snow Flurries” Reinig (allroundgoodguy)
Bill “A-Red Bill” Rathbone (allroundgoodguy)
David “doc47” Levine (allroundgoodguy)
Mike “IrishMike” McKennedy (allroundgoodguy)
Kent “Pilgrim” Lundgren (allroundgoodguy)
Phil “Fasterpill” Mares (allroundgoodguy)
Pat “USAF1” Patterson (allroundgoodguy)

The folks listed above weren't the only ones involved either. All of the administrators and moderators also chimed in on the hidden-from-your-view planning forum, along with several prominent board members. Mark and Sylva Menard (last year's UnFolks) spent time on the phone with me. Bend Bill gave me the idea to talk to Hutch, to get the wonderful maps. Tom "Boney" Fogel decided to make and prerun some dirt roads in the area and then emailed me the GPS routes. I never once asked him to do this, it was all his idea, and he never came.

Speaking on the Planning Forum, there were 22 separate threads started and 414 posts, plus countless emails and phone calls. Two cities, JD and Packwood, WA, were tied for the location choice and at least 2-3 others were in the semifinals. It really is a delicate combination of support infrastructure that makes for a successful UN location.

Professionally, I always "wrap" a job, hosting a postmortem with all involved, see what worked see what didn't work. I want the next UnCommittee to learn from our successes and from our not-quite successful things. Having a map would have been easy, I could have printed the Google map I made.

Thanks to all of you who have replied here and to me in a PM. I hope the posts here will encourage more of you to tell us what you think.

I was sweating a little when I had to order the tee shirts as only 80 people were registered at that point...I ordered 135 shirts and only have 6-7 left over. Phew!!

I think I'll suggest to the UN for next year to have the registration go live at the same time as the event is announced. If that isn't possible, then going live a month earlier (beginning of April - 3 months out) is a good idea.

Please keep the comments coming...

Thanks!


-Steve
'00 RT
#365188 - 07/21/08 04:59 AM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs]  
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First, I agree with what's been said that ALL the Unrallies have been great, and I extend my thanks to ALL the people who worked so hard to put them together.


As others have pointed out, the proximity of the campground to motel(s) is perhaps the most important, yet most difficult accomplishment when picking a site. Cody was perfect. Others less so. The farther away 2 or 3 locations are, the more chance that the the event breaks up into 2 or 3 smaller gatherings. Some of my thoughts:

Paul's idea about designating a main location is very good.

For those events where there is a substantial distance between locations, would it be too far out to have a kind of shuttle? Maybe even rent a car/van and solicit non-imbibing volunteers to drive between locations, say every hour or two?

Some of the Unrallies have had a kind of "message central" with a blackboard/corkboard or other such thing. Unrally 6 had the complete list of attendees where said people "checked in," and were able to post messages like "meeting for dinner at XYZ restaurant at 7:00" or "taking the XYZ loop tomorrow, meet here at 8:00 am." If the designated main location has no such thing, could someone bring a large easel and board to accommodate?


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#365192 - 07/21/08 05:20 AM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs]  
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Reflections on my own first Un reveals no faults and all praise. With advance preparation by the UnCommitee (clearly much more work than disclosed) the town of John Day was ready and happy to receive us (along with our open wallets - tourism is important to their economy). Last January when I added my name to the "YES" list and made my motel reservation, I sensed from those who responded ahead of me that the A-B-V would be the "happening place to be" and so it was. It was no surprise on arrival that the B-W had superior accomodations, but I liked being central to the action - even if I did return my chair to the motel room at bedtime earlier than others. Funny thing about that has already been written... what moto gathering other than BMW riders sees such a display of open laptops at a parking lot happy hour? (OK, I'm guilty too). I thought location of campground to motels was OK from a walking distance - some exercise is good - but I sensed several who camped there were out of direct communication from the rest of us. As Ron suggests, a bulletin board set up centrally would keep people informed - "dinner at the Outpost" or "parking lot party at the A-B-V"? BTW, who drank all those left over beers at the campground, anyway?

I thought nametags were a great touch - actually essential to connecting faces with forum names. I also liked the UnRally VII t-shirt graphics - even if I did wonder how many GS bikes (with except of Weiner Dog's KTM) actually saw dirt. I also agree that John Day's relative remoteness enhanced the UnRally experience - especially once out of town to the North or especially Northeast (oh how we loved Hwy 7 taken NE off Hwy 26 - moto Nirvana so we did it three times!). I appreciated those furnished GPS routes and used them as part of our UnRally ride planning. I (we) nearly skipped the Friday pancake breakfast but the 6 AM start time made it possible to enjoy and to say goodbyes. The line of riders at the fairgrounds as meeting hall doors opened showed others were like minded. Some UnRally participants will need to leave a day or so earlier but a final opportunity to say farewell was primo (the food was good too!).

So what would I have done differently? Oh yeah - I nearly forgot - when in doubt, consult the map and stick to pavement. Drswift (Dave) and I attempted to turn our RTs in dualsport motos near Granite - 9 miles roundtrip before returning to pavement. Long before turning around at 4.5 miles, that "road" severely degraded and I was lusting for my Jeep TJ instead of being RT mounted!


Jeff




[
#365248 - 07/21/08 11:51 AM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Huzband]  
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 Originally Posted By: Huzband
 Originally Posted By: 1bmwfan
I'll go first!

Is there a way we can hold a special class to teach me how to get out of a fire engine without hurting myself. Yea, yea, that would be a good class that I am sure I could learn a lot from!!!!


Don't look THROUGH the step, look AT the step.

ExitSmart?

No no no no!
He's clearly got target fixation - look where you want to GO not at what you want to AVOID. Sheesh...

Oh - UN suggestions? Like Jamie said - make it closer to where I live! \:D

G


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#365312 - 07/21/08 02:35 PM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Gregori]  
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As one who camped one night and motel'd one night I found at my advanced age the motel was much better. I've attended a bunch of these things and John Day was a great choice. From my perspective the breakfast would have worked better Thursday morning. The heat was a problem for me even though I live in the desert. I rode home at night mostly and was still recovering days later. A central identified hang out area would be nice, kind of like Torrey does. We always get spread out but I for one never knew people were hanging out anyplace but the fairground so I missed a big part of the "UN". I agree that a coastal location that time of year might have been more comfortable but also more chance of rain in Oregon I think. Since Jamie and Leslie live in San Diego, has that area ever been considered? I've gone to a few rallies there (South Coast) and really enjoyed the area and climate. There is lots to do (Sea World Zoo etc) and great riding especially up toward Julian. The new Indian casino's might have accommodation's for a large group at reasonable prices.
I agree with the comment on "breaking in" for outsiders. I am not shy but even after many years I didn't get to meet as many as I wanted to. A problem was no name tags for many until late Tuesday and after many had scattered. Might be some way to do a downloadable name tag ahead of time with a little sticker to mark it paid. Again the welcome buffet at Torry always seemed like a really good idea. I was hesitant to go on the un organized rides as my "performance award" quota is filled and from what I heard the speeds were high. A thought might be to designate a few rides as "speed limit" deals with sign up sheets. I do a lot of offroad stuff with my Jeep club and we always have easy, moderate and hard runs. Each meeting at such and such a place and at such a time. I for one after a fast paced 850 miles to get to JD, wasn't that hot to go tearing up the turns (getting old I guess). But a nice sight seeing ride with lunch in the middle would have been fun.
Didn't think I had much to comment on, surprised myself. Great time and great people,
Thanks all,
Gregg


Gregg Turk
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2008 XT 250 Yamaha
1999 R1100RT BMW
St George, UTAH
#365328 - 07/21/08 03:08 PM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Huzband]  
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This was my first Un, but I thought the location was ideal. The town was small enough to be very relaxing, but still big enough to offer everything I needed...and it was all available within a short walking distance. I enjoyed the opportunity to get a little exercise walking to the fairgrounds, store, and restaurants.

I didn't have a problem with the breakfast, but I wasn't on a tight schedule. Actually, I'm trying to learn how to slow down, take my time, and relax.

As for the motel parking lot party/story-tell events, I think the unorganizer could just set a convenient location and let everyone know where it will be.

Thanks for your pre/during/and post-work Steve and crew!


12 Kawasaki EX650
13 Yamaha XT250
16 KTM RC 390
96 R1100RT - forced retirement at 175,000

#365512 - 07/21/08 10:10 PM Re: What would YOU have done differently? [Re: Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs]  
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I cant criticize as every UN is a compromise to fit a specific location. but how about a suggestion?

i was not planning to stay for the breakfast on friday but since it opened at 6;00, i decide to stay and eat. it was great. i like the split on the meals, if you changed the breakfast to a day earlier, i would still be happy...

hannabone just doesn't like missing a party, so maybe next time we designate the evening get-together locations between the major locations ie campground / motel etc... and use a different location each night, that way we know where to be for the bonding time...

i like the idea of a central message board

i think Steve went above and beyond the call... i arrived at noon and he was there to register me.... i'd ave been out riding if i was in his shoes...

thanks again, it was a great week


IBA 73.850commando_snoopy, 03.r11s_blue-baron, 11.F800st_ghostrider1, 05 B5.5-TDi
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