A handful (or two) of Riders of Southern Maine members made the trek to Doswell, VA on June 8-11, and were joined by approximately 5,800 other riders from all over the US, Canada, and Mexico (and even a few from overseas) for the BMW MOA 50th National Rally! The weather was good (nothing like the heat in Springfield, MO the year before), and other than a little smoke from the Canadian wildfires the first couple of days, there was no significant precipitation and generally clear skies.
There were multiple options for food on-site (food trucks, some of whom had some tasty offerings), and for the first time, the MOA offered the option to pre-purchase breakfast at the Rally on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings. It was especially nice this year NOT to have to leave the Rally grounds just to find something to eat, although there were many nice restaurants nearby in the Richmond area for those who didn’t mind traveling a short distance and for those staying in hotels off-site!
There were also approximately 120 vendors present at the Rally, and the options to spend our hard-earned money on motorcycle related paraphernalia were almost limitless. Need a new GPS or communicator for you bike? Need some new custom molded ear plugs? New tires (great deals, and installed while you wait)? How about some hard to find parts for your vintage airhead? Or maybe that dream of a 10-day vacation motorcycling in Peru? No matter what you might be looking for, it was most likely there . . . and much, much more!
For those who wanted to ride, there were multiple interesting pre-published routes and suggestions of places to go in the central Virginia region and surrounding areas. Rider training courses were available on-site, as well as a variety of seminars on rider safety, new gear and equipment, motorcycle travel and touring, and many other topics of interest to riders. And if you just wanted to wander around the Rally grounds and look at motorcycles . . . there were examples of almost everything you could think of there to see! Vintage bikes, sport bikes, touring bikes, sidecars, and some amazing “one of a kind” custom machines. There were also three brand new BMW motorcycles provided as the grand prizes for attendees . . . and three lucky attendees left the Rally with these beautiful machines!
In the evenings, there were multiple bands playing on the Center Stage, and an entertaining Awards and Closing ceremony on Saturday night brought a fantastic Rally to an end as most riders began their trek home the following Sunday morning.
Overall . . . it was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and make new friends while visiting the “wonderful world of motorcycles” that we all enjoy so much. And now, it’s time to look forward to next year, June 13-15 in Redmond, Oregon. No doubt that’s a bit more of a trip than this year’s travel to Virginia, but registration is open (discounted price of $50 before June 30), so time to start thinking about heading west! I’ve already registered, and at this point, not sure if I’ll be riding, driving, flying, or even taking the bus . . . but I am planning on being at the BMW MOA Rally in 2024! Hope to see you there!