MAY 2nd, 3rd and 4TH, 2003
The 14th annual Arizona Moto Guzzi Rally was a huge success once again, and here's why.
First, the ralliers. Over 120 enthusiastic Guzzi riders braved ominous weather forecasts to attend. Several folks were already at the campgrounds before I arrived to get things set up! Special mention goes to three outstanding riders. Paul Vinneage, Sothern Illinios MGNOC Rep; Bruce Hewston, Dahlgren, Virginia; and Hubert Few, from Atlanta. These guys rode MANY a mile to attend and still didn't win the Long Distance Rider award! My hats off to you guys! Riders came from Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, California, and Arizona!
Special thanks go out to several people. Without their help, the rally would be really tough to put on. First, Prescott Parks Department. The Watson Lake Park and Campgrounds was in fantastic shape for the campers. All the campsites had been freshly cared for and were ready for us. Also, all the good folks who donated time and or door prizes or both. Door prize donors were: Mr. Iron Pants!, MGNA, B.J Schwartz, Cynthia Standlee, Tom Carroll, Phil Heilman, Gary Jenkins, Renaissance Motorcycles in Tucson, MOTO-EURO Magazine, Tim Crump, RealGaskets, Moto Guzzi Classics, Larry Loyd, Pro Italia, Jim Conway , E. P. & F and Roadgear.
There were tons of great prizes to win, but the biggest commotion happened when the last door prize was about to be given away. You see, the weather got a little cool that evening, okay, it was cold! And the last door prize was a nice soft, warm Moto Guzzi sweatshirt from Jim at E. P. & F. Well sir, there was almost a riot and bidding war going on for that sweatshirt! It was what everybody wanted! Congrats to Dorothy Massey of Wenoknok, Oklahoma for winning the 50/50 drawing. $202 made her quite the happy camper!
I also need to thank my helpers, without whom I would not have been able to enjoy the rally. My special thanks to John Wilcox, Scott Kellog, Gerri Jenkins, and Rondi Masters for their unflagging support!
Special thanks goes to Jim Knaup, owner of E. P. & F in Prescott, Arizona. Jim waits at the door of the Prescott Parks Department before it opens each year to put a deposit down on the park and reserve it for the rally! Jim also orders the bagels and makes the cowboy coffee for us each morning, not to mention holding an open house AND doing repairs to hard luck riders' bikes! What a guy!
I cannot leave out the (in)famous Nolan Woodbury! Nolan does so much for the rally, it's hard to believe. He promotes it, he orders the always popular rally t-shirts, and he organizes the bike show! He's a great PR man! I'm really glad to have his help!
Speaking of the bike show, I was really glad that I was not a judge. You couldn't turn around without laying eyes on another gorgeous Guzzi! There were more beautiful Eldorados than I have seen anywhere since the Grass Valley National! And customs too! Nolan and I are going to have to start another class to include these remarkable rides! There were three antique singles that were so cool that you just couldn't walk away from them. One of them was a family heirloom owned by the father and son team of Wayne and Dwayne Beulke of Boise, Arizona. They have two singles!
Special moments: One of the Three Amigos special friends was the late John Loyd. With family permission, I created the John R. Loyd Award for Motorcycling Enthusiasm. This years winner was Ken Hand, for his "beyond the call of duty" help he did for a fellow Guzzisti who was in dire straits. Ken, you're quite a man! We're all glad you're a Guzzi guy!
Another special moment for me was before the doorprizes and bike awards were handed out, I asked for a moment of silence for our friends who could not attend due to illness or death. I mentioned my friends Larry and Frank who have passed away. Some others in the crowd shouted the names of their friends who have passed, also. Then I said, "These friends will be missed, but not forgotten." It was well received.
The rally itself was A-typical. Good friends gathering for good times. Old friends seeing each other again, and new friends being made. Tire kicking, bench-racing and story telling was par for the course. Good people, good food and good times! Just what the doctor ordered! Jim, Nolan, and I really enjoyed seeing everyone and spending the weekend with them. So much so, that we're going to do it again next year! Each year I learn a little more about putting on a rally, and soon, I may even know what I'm doing. So come on out to Arizona and join the Three Amigos next year for the 15th Annual Arizona Moto Guzzi Rally!