Well, we've not had a day in the last month that we haven't received rain. We're 50% above normal for rainfall in North Carolina. The Tuesday prior to our rally the hose on our washing machine let loose, and the end of our house flooded. That alone wouldn't have been so bad except our garage is under the room in which the washing machine stays. So, all the bikes, tools, etc. were included in the deluge. Fortunately, all of the door prizes, registration forms, and general rally stuff were above the water level in the den.
I would like to say a big thank you to the powers that be at Moto Guzzi North America. John Stoddard came up with the big three wheel trailer so that we could get the bikes out of the garage and into dry storage. As chance would have it, we had nine bikes at that time. These things just happen, kind of like rabbits.
Anyway, the weather forecast for the rally weekend didn't matter 'cause the meteorologists lie. I wasn't expecting a real big turn out with the National just two weeks away, and in general, not a good weather forecast. You know what? It did not rain the entire weekend. People coming into the Asheville area on Friday either got stuck on 1-40 or drove through rain or both, a lot of both. I arrived at 3:30 P.M. and set up registration. It wasn't raining, and I had seen some blue sky. People began to wander up, and by 7:30 or so we had 78 people, not bad for a Friday night.
The Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground was set up to feed us so that took a big burden off our shoulders. Friday night supper was standard fare with turkey, beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, and assorted vegetables. Lots of folks just milled around getting reacquainted. Well, we probably stayed up too late, but those things happen. Saturday dawned with a bit of fog, but that burned off, and we assembled for the traditional ride up to Hot Springs. This time I called ahead to the restaurant, and they said they would set aside a room for us. The ride up was wonderful. No one fell down. At a rest top we adjusted some under-sprung shocks on a California II, and that was it. What fun! Lunch was great and everyone was served in a timely fashion. Our ride back was also without incident.
Back at the campground our registration volunteers had figured out mileage awards, and I rounded up some judges for the Peoples' Choice Awards. Our attendance tally was 128, a little off last year's 225, but I did not expect much more.
As usual, Dee cooked up several Italian entrees so we were all well fed. After feasting we gave out the various awards and lots of door prizes. Henry and Dee Hartsfield, the owners of the Blue Ridge MC campground, gave us a large box of T-shirts, sweat shirts, and hats. Thank you Dee and Henry. Also, many attendees of the rally brought door prizes which is great because we end up with a rather unique collection. Bobby Pearson collected five cases of oil from local suppliers. Dave Parker donated a bell hung from a rack that was a 10 inch long motorcycle as well as some pieces of real sheep-skin. The local dealers, Carl Merrell from Union Cycles, Monroe, North Carolina, and Jim Myers from Myers in Asheville, North Carolina always bring a nice collection of prizes. The list goes on. Clean out your closet and come on.
This year we started the recycling door prize award for the individual that has everything. Upon receiving the award the fortunate one must return the award next year. This guarantees that you must attend the next rally so that another lucky individual will have the opportunity to possess the ceramic Harley Davidson. At least it won't leak oil on your mantel.
David Parker donated the connecting rod that went south in his speed record run down in Maxton in 1998 for our hard luck award. The winner was Robert Curry from Virginia (also our oldest rider winner), who had one of the pressurized fuel lines on his California spring a leak after a fuel stop. Fortunately, he was able to remedy the situation with some help from a race car driver who was headed to a race. After door prizes and awards people were left to entertain themselves, bed time came too quickly.
Sunday morning everyone headed out. What a fast weekend. In two weeks we did it all again up in Buena Vista for the National. I hope everyone had a good time, and I look forward to seeing you next year. A big thanks to all the people that donated door prizes.