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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those you who attend the Rally regularly or are planning on going to the '06 Rally:



Why go?



Many of us who frequent these hallowed pages are not planning on attending the '06 Rally, or any Rally for that matter. Personally, I hate crowds of people and loathe traffic congestion even more. For some reason I equate the SV Rally at the Gap as a mini Sturgis, with way too many people in too small an area; a collection of motorcycle enthusiasts where the emphasis is on seeing sagging tits and getting bombed rather than the ride. I also am an avowed anti group rider, as I feel too many riders are unable or unwilling to ride their own ride, making it dangerous and not fun for everyone involved. A large concentration of riders of varying ability and judgement in a small area, especially a technical road such as Deal's Gap, is a recipe for disaster. There is also considerable expense involved, both in time and money. What makes the Rally worth the hassle?


It is not my intent to come off as an arrogant, anti-social prick (which I have been accused of). It's just that I am perfectly content to do my own thing. I don't doubt that Deal's Gap is everything I imagine it to be. I will slay the Dragon and surrounding countryside astride two wheels, as it's one of several rides I want to accomplish, along with the Pacific Coast run in CA. The bottom line is that, as great as it would be to meet and hang out with many of you, for me a trip to the Gap would be about the ride. I just feel that with so many people milling around it would be a disappointment...



What say you?
 

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I believe you are looking and focusing on just one facet of the Rally.
If you want to ride the gap at low traffic hours, hit the road at 6, eat breakfast at one of the restaurants then ride till you are tired.  Take a break.  Ride again till road gets busy and take off somewhere else.

I refuse to ride in groups of more than 3 and I want to be the last one keeping a healthy distance so I can watch what is going on.

My reasons for going are simple.

I am getting older, worked my ass off and sacrificed most of my life to get where I am at.
I watched my old man retire from a paper mill burnt out and within 3 years had several strokes.
He never enjoyed life, went from work to nursing home.  I don't want to end up like that.

My kids are all over 18, on their own and it is MY TIME! 
I want to meet people that have the same interests as I do.
They will not come to me, I have to go to them. 
I am not a fast rider, I am not a good rider.  I am still learning street survival
which is a heck of a lot different than dirt, fallen trees and the occassional wildlife.

If I get to retirement age, I don't want to say to myself that I should of, could of and would of ...
That is a wasted life.  When I am done with my motorcycling days, it will be because I chose it
or I am totally unable to do it.  Given the illnesses that I have had and the surgeries that I got, I consider
myself a lucky man to be where I am today.

Bottom line, I want to have fun, meet people that like the same thing I do and finally, to make new friends!

I have seen little of this country and this year I choose the Gap. 
If I like it, I will return.  If I don't, I am going someplace else next year. 
Simple as that!
 

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Six, If I can go and have fun, you can and should. I am about as big of an anti-social loner as one can be with holing up in Montana and sending out suspicious packages. But I had a blast last June and can't wait to go back. Mini Sturgis? Not Hardly. It is more like the county gathering of the Kiwanis or the Rotary, only with a really cool and interesting topic of discussion.

As for the group rides, no biggy. There will plenty of us going along in pairs or trios and not hitting the 20 plus riders groups for the same reasons you state. There should be no reason to need to ride in a group unless you choose to. And there are enough good roads around there that if you are concerned about a group clogging up the Dragon or the Skyway when you want to go, just head out on a different path. I put on several hundred miles in two days last year and the largest group I was in was three. Also coming down a few days before or staying a little after the rally will give you much less crowded roads.

Lastly, if you do not come to the Rally, those of us who do shall taunt you. Endlessly. On the third DVD. ;D
 

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I went last year....... new rider, only 1200 miles under my belt.
Needless to say, group rides were not something I was going to do. I covered about 500 miles in the 2 1/2 days I rode there...... and only rode the Dragon twice. The Skyway was the most awesome part of the weekend for me.
I did also spend plenty of time on the side of the Dragon watching everyone, and even at the height of the afternoon, there was still plenty of room to enjoy the road.
On top of all that...... getting to meet some of the people from SVR, and making what I consider now, some close friends.
 

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Convince those of us not planning to attend...
No thank you. I'll pass on trying to convince anybody to go. Convincing people is what I do for work. I hang around here for pleasure and information.

There's no obligation to attend. Your SVRider membership won't be revoked if you fail to show up. This will be the first year I've tried to attend and, my enormous ego aside, I doubt everyone spent the last few Rallies talking about me or how it would have been better/worse if I had attended.

People who are drawn together by some affinity like to meet. That's all. We spend a year posting to each other and seeing each other in person is a revelation. Riding the Dragon is just an excuse for doing that.
 

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Sounds to me like you subconsciously wanting to come. Otherwise, you wouldn't have bothered posting. Or at least you're just curious enough. So here's my response to your arguments for not coming.

1. Comparing the SV Rally to Sturgis is WAY off the mark. I have no real idea of the exact number, but Sturgis is well over 100,000 people. Our group was around 120 IIRC. Even with all the non-Rally people, the most people that you'd encounter on our weekend would be maybe 300. All spread out and doing their own thing. Sure, we have some cohesiveness over the weekend, but plenty of people don't really do much socializing and everyone else is cool with that.

2. Group rides are not a requirement. Plenty of people take off and explore other routes to their heart's content. However, you may miss out a few things. I'm not much for group rides but I still partake occasionally. Sometimes there's just nothing like the feeling you get "dancing" down a twisty road with other sensible, cabable riders. Plus the group rides are conducted in such a manner that typically the right people are on the right ride. Wackywoodchuck leads some of the faster rides and people are aware of that. WillyT's rides, while definitely spirited, are a bit Rally-goers and SV owners in general have a better developed sense of self. They know their limits and ride accordingly.

3. If you come to the Dragon during the Rally rather than at some other time on your own, you'll have an enormous support group should you happen to need it. Need a spare lever? Somebody's got one in their trailer or saddlebag. Stuff it in the ditch? 10 of our guys are right there helping you drag it out (Thanks guys! ::)) Toss your bike off the mountain? Somebody likely lives not too far from you and will give you a ride home. Do this when you're on your own and you might be in a world of hurt.

4. I promise to keep my clothes on. At least in your presence. ;)
 

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I had the same feelings you did before I went. Boy was I wrong. I got my local dealer to donate some stuff and I just asked some random guys on SVs who I needed to give the stuff to. They told me to see Derrick and sent me right to him. After that I met everybody and I can honestly say, I never met a stranger the whole week. Everybody was nice and polite. I even made a few drinking buddies. ( There were only a hand full of us drinking and we never rode while under the influence. )

Mini-Sturgis, Not quite. ;D The only boobies I saw during my stay was on sweaty guys after long rides. I'm sure that was fine for AlexJ and RideNaked, but it didn't do alot for me. However, if any of our ladies want to flash a little at the barbeque this coming year, I'm sure we'll sell more DVDs. ;D

As far as the group rides go, I share your feelings on riding in groups and was worried about people riding like idiots and me trying to keep up. I have never been more wrong. I talked myself into going on the final group ride with Reufus and others after riding solo all weekend. I had more fun with those guys than I did on my solo rides all weekend. Our little crowd of SV riders are some of the most considerate riders I have rode with. These guys were pointing out road hazzards, making sure nobody got left behind and making frequent stops for the older guys in the groups. ;)

Everybody sharing a common bike is a very good thing as well. I had some issues during that weekend due to the fact that my bike was rolled out of the shop after reassembly and loaded directly onto the trailer to be hauled to the Gap. The bumpy ride up had rattled numerous things loose and I had no tools with me. Some of the guys from up north loaned me tools and helped me re-secure my fairing. Thanks guys! In fact, if I may go back to the group ride discussion, I lost my license plate during the group ride and almost struck another rider. That rider, who shall remain nameless ;D, caught up with me and let me know that I had lost my plate. As I went back to find it, the entire group waited on me to return and made sure I had it secured before we left out again.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, you'd be hard pressed to find a better bunch of people to share a weekend with. Everybody is there for the same reason and that's to ride and meet people that we talk to on a daily basis on here. The give aways are nice too! ;D
 

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ok I am going to go against the grain a little here - but the Dragon will get busy, and you won't like it. At least, I don't when it is busy. So ride it early in the morning, there is no one there before 9, and there is no one there after 7-8ish. Or just ride it during the week (which is what I do).

The other roads there are incredible, you can ride all day and have an amazing time and rarely see another bike if you go to GA or explore out further.

By the way, you are thinking of a totally different scene if you think there are guys waiting to see boobies. There are very few boobies there, and the ones that are belong to riders. People are there to ride and chat while they take a refreshment break. Noone is drinking alcohol, infact they don't even sell it there. I have never once felt uncomfortable there, I am respected as a rider rather than a boobie rack!

Here are some maps to make you a little more interested:





 

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Are you getting the boobie idea from some of the killboy pics you see where the pillion is flashing? If so, they always surprize me as it is not like that there at all - you certainly won't see anything like that at the CROT (gas station at one end) or the overlook (turn around point at the other end).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The 'mini Sturgis' analogy was more than a little tongue in cheek :p


It also seems I was wrong in the amount of people who attend; only ~125 ?



Currently-- I agree with you 100% on living now while you can; same thing happened to my dad, busted ass for 35 years, made it 2 1/2 years into retirement and then fatal heart attack before he turned 62. Screw that...


I do agree with you all on the quality of people who post here and attend the Rally. I have no doubt that it is a most enjoyable group to be around.



Meh, we'll see...




[edit: arimicheal-- Good point with the support group during the Rally. And if I see any man-thongs, I will go into Monty Python mode: "Run away! Run away!!" ;D]



[edit 2: AlexJ-- I appreciate your candor. Either that or you're trying to reverse psych me... :D]

Anyone other fence sitters want to ask questions about the Rally, have at it... ;D
 

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Meh ... methinks you are the only fence sitter out there!   ;D  ;D  ;D

I am showing up the Sunday before and leaving the Monday after.
All in all, looks like a ten day jaunt, taking my time to go down and back up to NH.
Bike will be in back of my Tundra. I will have extra room in the truck if anyone does
need to have their bike carried back to the Northeastern direction due to overzealousness. ;)

Get your butt down there a couple of days early ... would love to meet you!
Make a little more incentive for ya ... buy you a steak dinner!   My treat! ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This fence is kind of lonely. Bueller? Bueller? ;D



I would definitely have to be there during the week (either before or after the Rally weekend) to avoid the congestion, SV and otherwise. I sure would like to meet and ride with a lot of you folks.



Meh, still on the fence... ;D
 

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no reverse psych. You will likely find the Dragon too busy in the middle of the day on a Sat or Sun but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go - ride it on the off peak times and ride other roads when it is busy. You won't regret it.

If you are not comfortable riding with other people (for whatever reason, I wasn't either because I feel like I slow people down) there is no reason to - you can go off on your own and just have a beer with us later, if you choose.
 

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Six Chin-  I am on the fence for two primary reasons, though I do want to go.

1. I am one of the only SV1000N's on the board who speaks up in open forum, and I am sure I have pissed more than my share of SVR vets off at this point.  However, this is the first bike that I have owned that has such a strong rider following, and I would like to meet some fellow enthusiasts.

2. Work, I am not sure where I will be working or what I will be doing in June.  It would mean taking a full week Tuesday-Wednesday off in order to get me and the bike there, so that is a concern.

That said, if I can go, we can see about the possibility of trailering multiple bikes out there from the AZ region.
 

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I plan on going down simply for the road(s). I missed out on a couple of chances to go down when I had my Z, and I'm not going to let that happen again, especially now that I own a bike.

The chance to meet some new faces and get reacquainted with a few guys from the NY/NJ/PA area is only a bonus. I hope to get my hard riding out of the way either before or after the actual rally on the weekend. It will be too congested for the hard stuff on the weekend.

It will also be good to just get out of the Northeast. The 9 years I've been cooped up in PA and MA, with the exception of trips to the Bahamas, England, Mexico and Costa Rica in a week, I haven't gotten much travel done.
 

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DaBuddha66 said:
1. I am one of the only SV1000N's on the board who speaks up in open forum, and I am sure I have pissed more than my share of SVR vets off at this point.  However, this is the first bike that I have owned that has such a strong rider following, and I would like to meet some fellow enthusiasts.

DaBuddha, I am looking forward to meeting you.
 

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Six Chin Skinny said:
For some reason I equate the SV Rally at the Gap as a mini Sturgis, with way too many people in too small an area; a collection of motorcycle enthusiasts where the emphasis is on seeing sagging tits and getting bombed rather than the ride.
Dead wrong. Couldn't be more inaccurate an image if you tried.

Yes - really.

Sleepy and quiet is a much better image.

Traffic is incredibly light for anyone accustomed to the sort of stuff accompanying urban sprawl. Up until last year - it was a dry county. Getting booze is not all that easy unless you bring it yourself. Just getting to a 'populated' area takes the best part of an hour. The two or three 'local' gas stations are, literally, 20 minutes away from each other.

No one's looking for the saggy boob brigade. Riders are what show up. Posers don't have anything to do 'cause there's no 'center of town', no midway, no rows of booths.

Except for Saturday evening when we all get together to eat and be merry - you'd have a hard time knowing anything was even going on.
 

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Traffic Congestion-

IMO, the only congestion is late morning to late afternoon on the Dragon on weekends. The rest of the hours, and other numerous roads in the area are good. On a weekend, ride the Dragon early morning and in the evening and traffic is light. You can ride to your heart's content all day if you wish on all of the other roads in the area and you will see many other riders but traffic is not an issue. If you decide to come to the Rally earlier than the weekend or stay later and experience it during the week, you get the pleasure of having awesome Smoky mountain area roads practically to yourself.


The social aspect and or drinking aspect-

You can be as social or anti social as you please. Not everyone gets together. Fontana is a large facililty and holds many more people than what the SV Rally brings to it. You can hang out at your cottage or join others, it is all up to you. There were some riders that I only saw at the meet and greet or at the dinner. Others I socialized with more often. IMO it is a pretty normal and ruly crowd overall.


I can't imagine any SV rider not enjoying a trip to the Rally if you take it for what it is and make your own fun.
 

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The other thing I just thought of, SCS, is that when we left Sunday morning, we had two bikes (my SV650 and a SV1000S) in the back of a Silverado. We left around 10am or so, and on our whole trip through the dragon, I think we got passed by about a half-dozen bikes, and one car. In 11 miles. Going S L O W to make sure the bikes didn't rock back and forth too much (as we had just secured them 10 minutes before). To me, that's not a lot of traffic, even on the weekend later in the morning.

I was sick of most of the rally last year with bronchitis, so I was fairly antisocial compared to my normal self, but I still rode plenty. If you go, I'm sure you could find things or places to have fun. Be it by yourself, or with others, it doesn't really matter.

Hope to see you there.

Oh, and Buddha, I don't think anyone really cares about the open forum at the rally. Heck, most of the OF denizens didn't even go, or at least some of the most frequent posters anyway. We're MOTORCYCLE enthusiasts first and foremost. Opinionated political and social misfits a FARRRR second. ;D
 

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orangegilly said:
Oh, and Buddha, I don't think anyone really cares about the open forum at the rally.  Heck, most of the OF denizens didn't even go, or at least some of the most frequent posters anyway.  We're MOTORCYCLE enthusiasts first and foremost.  Opinionated political and social misfits a FARRRR second.  ;D
Hey there..... watch it ;D

Six.

I felt almost the same way as you in anticipation of the Rally last year. I am a rider. Not typically a "group rider". I spent most of the time riding by myself, but I missed alot. There are quite a few skilled riders in the SV bunch, as well as a welth of brains, common sense, and restraint. We are not squids... you know that.... We are not all knee draggers... you know that.... We are not all your run of the mill bike night crowd, again, you know that. I only went on about one 1/4 of a group ride at the rally 05, but next year hope to lead a ride.... Its that worth it.

Honestly, unless you are a complete social pariah, or a loner with absolutely no desire to meet or ride with other people, you cant go wrong. There are people of every pace and riding style.

I wont miss it for darn near anything.... And I hope to meet a whole new crop of SV'ers, and see all the ones from 05... I had the time of my life.
 
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