It's not often that you get really good weather right in the middle of hurricane season, but we did. It started out a little humid, but by Friday evening it was working its way into cooler and drier air. Saturday turned out to be the best day of all. All in all, perfect rally weather!
After Howard and I had the site somewhat recognizable, we took my van to the Frederick Brewing Company to pick up their donations for the rally. Last year, they donated six cases of their finest; but, this year, they outdid themselves. When we left the brewery, we had nine cases of beer in the van and every case was different! The one beer that we specifically asked for was Wild Goose Nut Brown Ale - one of our favorites.
When we returned from Frederick, Snuffy Smith from Pennsylvania and Claus Schultz from Ontario had arrived and were setting up their tents. Ralph had to work and arrived late Thursday afternoon, about the same time as my beautiful bride of 37 years. While Howard and I took a short break, Nancy and Ralph scanned the area to see what might need their attention. (Translation: to see what we messed up!) Friday morning, everyone chipped in and completed the final stages of setting up the rally for our guests.
I had been thinking about altering my basic chili recipe and offering two kinds of chili this year. I didn't want to take the chance of ruining the entire 14 gallons of chili, so I only monkeyed with one of the vats of chili. I won't give away my secret ingredients, but it went over so well, that we had plenty of the regular "Wild Bill Chili" and ran out of my special "Wild Bill's Cajun Chili" in record time. I also made a pot of white rice to go with the chili and I believe they were both a great big hit. (I am very happy that my monkeying with the chili worked out so well. The thought of everyone chasing me down the road, throwing hot, uneatable chili at me would not be on my list of things to do on any day.)
Saturday morning breakfast was served buffet style in the campground dining hall. They had scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, pancakes, waffles, home fries, toast, coffee, and juice. No one went away hungry. I'm sure of that! Right after breakfast Howard lined everyone up and headed to the brewery with about 12 bikes in tow. We also had a group of Ducatis from the Italian Moto Fest in Shepardstowne, West Virginia, that joined up with Howard along the way to the brewery. This was a first for all of us and I think it worked out very well. The Italian Moto Fest activities didn't actually start until Sunday, but they sponsor scenic rides on Saturday. One of the rides that they offered, for the first time this year, was to the Frederick Brewing Company, with Howard leading. I hope this turns into a permanent event. I offer discount coupons for the event for anyone who is interested in attending it on their way home Sunday. Note: I had offered to move the rally later in the month to avoid their event, but was told not to by the Italian Moto Fest organizers. They told me that the only time they get a lot of Moto Guzzis at their rally is when it's the same weekend as the Maryland / DC Moto Guzzi rally. That makes sense!
While everyone was out, I put myself on KP duty. Our makeshift kitchen had the appearance of a major penitentiary food fight and I quickly recognized the need for more help, so I volunteered Ralph to lend a hand. While in the process of dumping out the leftover chili, we thought if we had a enough chili leftover next year (it was too late to save any this year), we could put a large portion of it on ice and save it for lunch on Saturday. Thinking of our late night, "I want another bowl of chili," crowd, we would also leave some in the pot just for them. I did not know that people would, or could, eat chili all night long, but obviously they do. We do offer a "Moto Gluttony Award," for anyone who eats more than six bowls of my chili. That only happened one time and he admitted to eating nine bowls. He thought he had eaten more, but lost count sometime after 2:00 in the morning! After everything was cleaned and put away, Ralph and I started getting the needed information together for the awards presentation that night.
About 5:30 that afternoon, I put the word out that our evening meal was ready in the main dining hall. The campground staff hit the mark again this year. We had roast turkey with stuffing, baked ham, smashed 'taters, string beans, corn, rolls, apple pie, tea, and coffee. To top it off, it was all buffet! After dinner, we "waddled" back to the rally site and handed out the awards and door prizes. Thanks to all the very generous people, there was a door prize for everyone; some people even got two door prizes.
Following is a list of the award winners:
Oldest Rider - Dick Whitehead, 73 years young.
Long Distant Moto Guzzi Female - Emily Banks and Brenda Marcom, 380 miles from North Carolina, each on a 2004 750 Breva.
Long Distant Moto Guzzi Male - Clause Schultz, 499 miles on a 2000 Stone from Ontario, Canada.
Long Distance Any Brand - David Anstine from Phili riding an 2001 Aprilia.
Long Distance Two-Up - Ron and Alice Komoroski, 220 miles on a 1998 EV.
Door prizes were donated by:
Nancy & Bill Sharp, Carl Fugate, Ralph Lambert, Ron & Alice Komoroski, Frederick Brewing Company, Speaker's Cycles, Speed's Cycle, Harper's Moto Guzzi, Winchester Motosports, Whitehorse Press, Frank Wedge / MGNOC, Scott Sieber, Rich's Cycle Upholstery, Competition Accessories, Rider Warehouse, Precision Imprints, Tradewinds Studio, Post Enterprises.
A special thanks to Speaker's Cycles and Winchester Motosports for coming to our rally and setting up two displays of new and used motorcycles for everyone to drool over. Dan Speaker, owner of Speaker's Cycle, even brought a brand new, black-and-red Nevada.
I would like to thank all the people that took the time to help make this an enjoyable and fun event for all, mainly my wife Nancy, Ralph Lambert, Howard Rhinehart, and Charlie Mullendore. Plus, I want to thank all the fine people that take the time to come to our little part of the country for some good food, good ridin' and listen to us argue and whine all weekend. Thank you all!
I hope to see you all again next year - same time, same place.