Another year and the 9th MGNOC Florida Rally is history. Consensus among those polled is the rally was a success, but all the cards are not in as of this writing. Fellow MGNOC members Bob O'Hare and his Father-in-law, Mike Pounds, arrived a day early to help with set up, putting out road signs and exploring the area. Routine tasks were done and everyone was settled in by early evening. I hope the nice Rally Sign that Roy Goyette of Discovery Oil Company (Amsoil dealer) supplied for the rally was a help in finding the campground.
The weather looked promising, but we heard thunder to our immediate south. Mostly thunderstorms rolling in from the Gulf are nothing serious.
The campground is located some 50 miles south of the Interstate 10 exit in Marlanna, Florida. The road south to the rally site is laced with cotton, peanut farms and cattle ranches. Small towns along the rivers are the norm and the closest Wal-Mart is over 50 miles away.
Some of the earlier rally folks were Todd and Vee Posey from Pensacola, and Al Ciaponi from the Orlando area. Note: Al, you never registered? There may have been some others. I did not get to explore the entire campground.
Dark arrived by 7:00 P.M. and we were treated to some fantastic marinated chicken by Bob O'Hare. That' s the only reason I let him come with me. He is an excellent cook. We had Oriental Chicken that evening and then Spanish breakfast on Friday morning. Maybe next year he can do the cooking for the rally.
Friday registration opened around 9:30 A.M. and before it closed on Saturday at 5:00 P.M. some 84 people had registered. They were on 46 various Guzzis, 1 Aprilia, 3 BMWs, 1 Triumph, 8 Hondas and 1 Suzuki. Most camped and there were six who utilized the RV park spaces. We had 20+ business sponsors that I'll list at the end and six individual sponsors.
Pot luck Friday evening consisted of fresh mullet (a local delicacy), along with hush puppies, cole slaw and fish roe. Everyone enjoyed as much as they wanted and we even had some die hards eating fish for breakfast on Saturday morning.
There was no central fire pit this year, but a lot of campers had their own fires going to keep the bugs away. The local Lions Club from nearby Wewahitdlka, Florida, came and joined our rally. On Saturday morning they prepared a great southern breakfast of home made biscuits and sausage gravy with coffee and juice. They were selling tickets for a raffle of an old Indian motorcycle to be raffled at Daytona during Bike Week 2003.
More riders and day trippers arrived throughout Saturday. There were a few bikes that limped in and I failed to get all the data. Ron Kologiski, from Johnson City, Tennessee, made a note that he had been to a lot of rallies and had never seen a Honda pushed in! It was a Honda CB500 K4 ridden by Jim Snook of Panama City. A small hot wire had a melt down. An easy fix and he rode home safely. The other bike that slowly popped in was one of the QUEEN's finest marques of olden days, a Bonneville with single carb. It had blown a cylinder and had to be trailered out.
Our long "Distance Winner" came in with an alternator light on which is common on the older 76 series and that was fairly easy to fix. The "Observation Run" went off on time and all returned safely. The 150 mile run may have been too much, but all that participated did enjoy it. Those who missed out will have next year to try. I'll attempt to make the next one shorter.
We had two dealers in camp this year. The Euro Cycles people from Tarpen Springs set up but did not bring any bikes. Stan Friduss from Gainesville brought two Guzzis and some Italian scooters. Once again Stan sold two Guzzis and almost sold a scooter. Thanks Stan for the EV, "I like It".
My daughter who came from Michigan to see what rallies were all about and I think to visit us, purchased Stan's 2002 Stone and then rode it to Tennessee. I am sure Jamie Muller will be meeting her in the near future. That is her closest Guzzi Dealer. Watch out Jamie!
On Saturday afternoon we had a bike show and judging. Not all entered that wanted to because they were still on the observation run and missed out. But all in all it was a good showing with every model of Guzzi with the exception of the Ambassador series.
The Saturday evening meal was a catered affair consisting of homemade Italian Ziti, a great Italian salad, garlic bread, and corn on the cob. Dessert was a selection of two homemade cakes. Ice cream was optional from the camp store. But it was available Frank! There was plenty of sweet tea and regular tea too. Awards were in the pavilion after everyone had finished their meal. Everyone managed to take home a door prize, thanks to the many Good Sponsors". Thank you very much for the continuous support. Attendees, please support these SPONSORS and DEALERS!
The awards are as follows:
YOUNGEST PASSENGER was taken by Wade Harmer on the back of his Grandpa's EV, all the way from St. Pete, Florida. When is this kid gonna grow up. I think he has won every year we have had a rally.
The OLDEST GUZZI went to Anthony DeGregoria from Shalimar, Florida on his 1972 Eldorado.
The OLDEST GUZZI + DRIVER went to Efriam Perez on a 1976 Convert. Gran total of 96 years.
The LONG DISTANCE TWO UP went to Roy and Susan Goyette from Naples, Florida. They rode 514 miles to attend.
The LONG DISTANCE GUZZI was taken hands down by Joe Casey who escaped from Attica, New York and rode in on his 1976 Convert with the 8 track player blasting 60's Rock & Roll. He was last to arrive at the rally, just as registration was closing.
Lastly the YOUNGEST GUZZI DRIVER was rode in by Geoffery Hamlet from Tallahassee, Florida.
The "OBSERVATION RUN" was won by Steve Schmid from Tallahassee. He had the highest score of 70% on the test. Everyone got the last question right, but I lied to see who would question my test. You all must have been tired at that last stop. Anyway, thanks Steve for kicking your winnings back to the Cooked Goose Team Drive. The rally donated theirs also.
On the same note we raffled off a Dave Richardson "GUZZIOLOGY book for the race team, and the winner of that was Joe Casey from Attica, New York. He found it immediately useful in the rotor change he had to do in order to continue on his vacation trip to Bike Week in Daytona. The raffle brought the total to $110 for the team. Sid sent us a Cooked Goose Shirt and that was won by Tom Woodcock of Valpariso, Florida And Sid - take note that it did fit this winner.
The last drawing was for the 50/50. MGNOC member Paul Bohac volunteered his two girls to push ticket sales. You gals did good. Billy "Goat" Morgan of Riverview, Florida won $101 and the rally received the same.
The Bike Show had a nice showing of all models of Guzzi's, with the exception of the Ambo model. The proud winners, selected by those attending the rally are as follows.
Best Loop Frame, Geoff Hamler, Tallahassee, Florida, on a 1981 G-5. It had beautiful detail and paint!
Best California, Roy Goyette on a 1984 California II, Roy and wife Sue were also Long Distance 2-UP winners.
Best Sport Bike, Jeff Whifford, on a 1973 V-7 Sport. Note: there was five V-7 Sports at the rally.
Best Loop Frame, Billy Goat Morgan from St. Petersburg, Florida on a 1974 Eldorado.
Most Unique, Jerry Harmer on a 1998 EV California.
Good show and bring them back next year guys and gals.
Thanks to all who attended and we look forward to seeing you down the road. Remember these sponsors when you start your holiday shopping:
Stans BMW/Guzzi, Gainesville, Florida; Dennis Kirk, Rush City, Minnesota; Rider Warehouse, Duluth, Minnesota; Whitehorse Press, North Conway, New Hampshire; Harper's Moto Guzzi, Greenwood, Missouri; Competition Chemicals, Iowa Fails, Iowa; Ron's Kawasaki, Panama City, Florida; The Sport Center, Panama City, Florida; Cooked Goose, Statesville, North Carolina; Moto Guzzi North America, Woodstock, Georgia; Moto International, Seattle, Washington; Joe Kenny, Meadows of Dan, Virginia; Precision Imprint, Athens, Ohio; New Image Promotion, Panama City, Florida; Discovery Oil Company, Naples, Florida; Cycle Goodies, Holly Hill, Florida; GEL Seats, St. Petersburg, Florida; Jane Kologiski, St. Petersburg, Florida; Daytona BMW/Moto Guzzi, Daytona Beach, Florida; Euro Cycles, Tarpon Springs, Florida; Hack' d Magazine, Buckhannon, West Virginia; Frank Wedge/MGNOC, Larned, Kansas; Skip Kologiski, Southern MGNOC Florida Rep, St. Petersburg, Florida; Jim DeGregoria, Northern MGNOC Florida Rep, Panama City, Florida.
Skip and I would like to express our thanks to all those that came to the rally in the swamps of North West Florida. There was a lot of help before, during and after the rally, and many people volunteered their help. Special thanks to MGNOC members Bob O'Hare, Tim Brunner, Paul Bohac, Mike Pounds, Wes Stephens, Todd Posey. Phil and Lucy Roddlenberry. Forgive me for forgetting some, but thank you very much. Email, or call Skip or I on your inputs for where to do next year's rally. Change is good, but we'll do whatever it takes to continue this tradition.