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Travels With An Airhead

The Rally Debriefing

— by Notch Miyake

Over the past few years we have had a Rally Debriefing two weeks after the Rally. We have to have it two weeks later to give everybody enough time to recover from their hangovers, even though we risk their having forgotten everything by the time they get to the Debriefing.

The Debriefing is a very popular event because it is free to members, even those who didn't do anything at the Rally but sit around and drink beer. However, in keeping with Rally policy, children, grandchildren and significant others who did not work were expected to pay for their meal.

The Debriefing is always held at an obscure location in the country because the members will go almost anywhere for a free meal. Instructions to the Debriefing read like road rally instructions: "Proceed 1.2 mi S, turn L at the chicken coop on the SE corner of the 2nd intersection, proceed W 40.4 mi, etc." Because of the challenge, none of the members arrived early.

The purpose of the Debriefing is not to eat a free meal, as many believe, but to discuss the ongoing problem of Early Arrivals.

Despite clearly stating the opening time of the Rally in the Owner?s News and our website ( check it out at http://www.fingerlakesbmw.org/ rally/ rulesandregulations/ whentocome/ donotcomeearly/ orelse/ 123.skidoo.html ), we had Early Arrivals.

It is difficult for me to describe the outrage expressed over this flagrant disregard for the rules. Several members actually looked up from their plates and a few even stopped eating.

A lively discussion ensued during which it was pointed out that we might not have been forceful enough about telling people not to arrive early. It was agreed that we cannot rely on the published dates and times to communicate our disapproval of Early Arrivals.

Next year, a full page ad in the ON will clearly state that we will be very upset if anyone shows up before noon on Friday. Something like: "Show up early? NOT!"

For those people who show up early anyway, we decided to post a guard at the gate beginning a week before the Rally. Because there may be some K1200LT riders trying to get in early, only members weighting over 200 lbs will be allowed to guard the gate. Fortunately, many of our members have drunk enough beer to easily meet the qualifications. We will provide an ample supply of free beer at the gate to ensure we have enough volunteers.

Because merely guarding the gate is unlikely to deter GS riders approaching through the woods, we also decided to patrol the perimeter of the campground with guard dogs. Members are asked to bring their dogs to the next Rally to support this project. Big dogs are preferred, but we will take any size down to the Chihuahua. No Hamsters or Gerbils, however.

Hey, ride safe and never show up early.

— Copyright © 2001 by Notch Miyake.

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