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Finger Lakes Club History

The First Finger Lakes BMW Club Rally - 1975

The 1975 Finger Lakes BMW Rally held at the Watkins Glen KOA was a big success and was another club first. Based on our previous year's experience, we decided to stage an open BMW rally and let others know of the Finger Lakes area. Because our club enthusiasm more than made up for what our treasury lacked, we decided to give the best rally at an economical fee to the people who attended.

We stretched it out for three days over Labor Day Weekend, provided two catered evening meals, four tours, a dice run ending at the local Grange Hall for a meal, trophies, and many door prizes. We must have done a few things right because most of the 150 people enjoyed themselves and came back the next year.

We kept them busy during the day, provided plenty of good food for the two meals, and musical entertainment at night. Events were coordinated with local officials, no mishaps occurred, and good facilities of the Watkins Glen KOA campground were provided.

A rally debriefing found two major areas in need of improvement: (1) you have to offer a rally patch so everyone can take it home and show it off if they want to, even if it means raising the rally fee; (2) larger seating facility for sit-down dinners. The Grange Hall could accommodate 75 at a time so we had a dice run that staggered the riders two minutes apart figuring they would arrive at the Grange in a steady stream. Actually, they bunched up on the ride near the end, and a few had to wait 30 minutes for a seat. Not really bad but it could have been better. So ended our initial real rally and a first-hand look at our club planning, participation, and team work in action. If you work together, you grow together, and so we did.

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