BMW MOA's 2021 National Rally in Great Falls, MT - Issue #18

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Adam Chandler on Motorcycles
BMW MOA's 2021 National Rally in Great Falls, MT - Issue #18
By Adam Chandler • Issue #18 • View online
“The National” for 2021 is on its west coast rotation. This year would have been ‘central’ in the national rally location rotation but COVID-19 pushed the club to cancel last year’s rally. The rally location for 2022 will be Springfield Missouri in the Ozarks. I’ll be there and I hope to see you there as well.

The biggest news for this year’s rally was my induction on June 23rd onto the MOA’s Board of Directors. I self-nominated for the Secretary Officer position and will serve out my BoD term for 3 years and Secretary commitment for one year. It will be a lot of work but I am up for the challenge and look forward to serving our members and this organization with integrity and care. The photo below was taken right after the board meeting where I immediately took to preparing the digital version of the board meeting minutes
Instead of driving the 31 hours each way to get there, I had to work on Monday & Tuesday so elected to fly out. This is the first motorcycle rally where I didn’t ride in and was in a hotel instead of camping on the grounds. I will say that I’ll be a rider / camper for as long as I’m able to because having a bike to explore the local roads is paramount and camping on-site opens up evening social activities that you don’t get when you retire to a hotel room and lock the door behind you. There are a lot of discussions and stories I missed out on by living in a hotel room for 3 nights and 4 days.
The rally itself was a great success in that every food vendor was selling out of food every day, every volunteer position appeared to be filled and the vendor area, trainings, rides and parking lot was packed full of BMW owners riding, learning, listening and interacting with each other.
I made it a goal this year to feature people over motorcycles. The editor of the MOA’s Owners News heard my pitch a few weeks ago. This publication managed by our club is called Owners News, not Motorcycle News. I would like to see more people who love motorcycles and see their faces so throughout the week, I made a point to get more people in my images and I feel like I succeeded.
I attended a few seminars but the rally was spent talking to a lot of people. Some knew who I was through my online outlets and work as a Regional Coordinator or member of five local charter clubs but others were just meeting me for the first time after casting their vote for me in the recent board of director nominations. I was expecting some more drama or pressure from members to do or invest in certain things that were near and dear to them from a club perspective but honestly, it was just a lot of great conversations with people who I consider our core members. These are the 3-5 thousand members of 25,000 who go to the rallies, vote in the elections and are advocates for the MOA and Rider Safety / Training. I spent a lot of my time listening and reacting to feedback and talking about their passion for riding. I think everyone I spoke to rode at least 1,000 miles to get to this rally.
As for official events, I was in more sessions than the rally in Tennessee in 2019. There was the Wednesday morning board member induction session where we said goodbye to 3 board members who have served out their term and 3 of us were inducted, myself Louise Powers and Paul Di Marchi. We also saw three new officers with Reece taking on President from Wes, Brian as VP from Reece and myself taking on Secretary from our outgoing Sue Rihn. After this session, I took part in the MOA Ambassadors Dinner. I’m not am ambassador but I wanted to meet and talk more with the members who have contributed the most to our association.
I also attended the 1st Time Rally-goers Happy Hour which was great. 1st timers had a big blue shirt pin to identify them and I made a point of welcoming as many as I could over 3 days. There was also the Regional Coordinators session and of course I was wearing two hats here but board representation remains a priority to RC work and I’ll be sure to always listen to and work with the charter clubs & dealers in my area. Finally, I attended the BMW Owners News Contributors dinner. I had 2 of my photos published as cover photos in 2020 and one story published about our time in Colorado last September. There were a lot of contributors at this dinner and I’m certain I’ll see a few of the same faces next year. I also sat in on the MOA Foundation’s board meeting and made sure to talk to every director there and give them all my thanks because the foundation has done so much for rider training since its formation.
The only reception I couldn’t attend was the MOA Foundation’s SafeMiles Endowment Contributors event. I am now giving $1000 a year to this endowment because the purpose of it is to raise 1 million dollars which will generate at least $50,000 a year for rider training and will continue to generate this amount in perpetuity. The Foundation Endowment is only about 40% funded and has some huge perks for those who give so I would encourage everyone to at least give $8 a month as you get a raffle ticket in the sweepstakes as well as your MOA membership will be covered and other perks like the annual reception dinner. You can donate here.
The final meeting I attended was the Open Discussion Session where MOA Members can ask questions of the full 2021 board of directors. As secretary, I focused on taking notes and answering any questions addressed to me. The session lasted 2 hours and minutes will be published in the Owners News issue that comes out in one month.
Shout out to our Rally Chairs (above) and Wes Fleming (below). Wes was named an MOA Ambassador during this rally and will continue to contribute so much to our organization in the coming decades.
Not having a bike meant I couldn’t take part in the three different training courses offered and I would have done all 3 if I could have. First, StreetMasters on-road precision cornering was offered. the BMW US Riders Academy was on-site offering their Authority training which I took 2 years ago and had an absolute blast. Finally, West38Moto was taking groups of riders about 15 miles off-campus to this gorgeous mountain range and ranch for 100% off-road training & riding with their instructors. The pricing for all three of these trainings was frankly a steal compared to signing up for a training not conducted at the rally.
It’s my opinion after spending 3 full days on-site at Montana’s ExpoPark that this was a flawless national rally. Not being able to leave campus means I experienced quite literally everything the MOA, our Rally Chairs and volunteers made possible and for a low price of $49-$85 (depending on when you registered), the MOA is offering a ton of value to its members who can make it to the event. I’ve heard a few things about next year’s rally in Springfield MO and I hope you’ll consider coming out because it’s going to be a lot of fun!
There’s going to be no YouTube video for this event. The reason is that while I shot a few clips, I spent almost 100% of my content creation time capturing photos. The random assortment of videos I shot don’t tell a story and would just look lazy so I’m going to save my subscribers from having to watch 3 minutes of random clips and just reference this post in a future video. I’ll leave you with a few more images I captured of the 2500 total I took that were whittled down to 129 that are hosted over on Flickr. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at the next National in 2022.
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Adam Chandler

This is my weekly ramblings about motorcycling. For the most part, these will be editorials you will have seen in regional and national motorcycle publications or longer posts and ride-reports as seen on ADVRider.com. Occasionally, I will post content here that is exclusive to paid subscribers and eventually be made free for all. Thank you.

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