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Finger Lakes Club History

The International Mini-Rally of 1974

This was the year we got a taste of holding a motorcycle rally. It started out as the idea of the Western New York Riders BMW Club of Buffalo and was to be a small get-together between our clubs and the then newly formed Toronto Club of Canada. It was coined the International Mini-rally and was a closed affair. No goodies, fee, food, trophies, etc., just a get-together where we, Finger Lakes,  were to provide the campground.

After scanning our backyard roadways, we realized our location had a lot going for it as far as outsiders were concerned. Since the event was to be three days over Labor Day vacation, I didn't want to see these people just sitting around the campground when there was so much to see and do around them. We selected the Watkins Glen KOA and took the initiative to set up guided tours to a few local points of interest; Gold Seal Winery, Harris Hill (Gliding Capital of the World), Corning Glass Works Museum, Watkins Glen, etc.

As it turned out, we did more work than anticipated and the Western N.Y. Club had only one member show up. Eight riders showed up from Canada, along with our own club members. All totaled, 48 people came by during the weekend and enjoyed themselves on the various rides in spite of a few rain showers. So ended the first and only International Mini-rally. Somewhat of a disappointment in outside club participation, but valuable in experience, and a success in its own right.

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