Before I start this month’s column, I wanted to raise awareness and do some “politicking” by sharing that I am a candidate for the 2021 BMW MOA Board of Directors. As your resident “kid”, I’m trying to be more involved at the local and national level helping raise the profile of both the off-road BMW rider and the millenial BMW rider. If you are an MOA member and have time to vote in April, I would appreciate your support. This commitment will not impact my involvement with the Vermont club as a director. There may be a time in my life when I can’t juggle both but I have the time to commit to Vermont & North America’s clubs.
I will be getting my COVID-19 Vaccine at some point this Summer. Many of you are lucky to receive the vaccine earlier if you choose. Like last year, March is the time I prepare for the riding season. I flip through all of the club newsletters and mark on my calendar rallies, rides and trips. This year is special because Heather, who I’ll be marrying this October at Camp Thorpe is on her own bike now so she and I are planning some trips just the two of us. She’s still a ‘new england’ only rider and doesn’t want to travel long distances but a trip can be down the road or down the eastern seaboard. Many rallies are on hold because a lot of clubs were already running their rallies with very thin margins anyway and holding a rally with half of the population not protected and state restrictions still in place means possibly holding a money-losing rally. It is not an extreme view to say that some of our favorite rallies may never return.
I have reserved 5 adventures so far in 2021. The first is the $900 Performance Center training in Greer for off-road riding co-funded by the BMW MOA. This two day all inclusive training takes place throughout 2021 and I chose late-April to fly down to Greer and hop on a BMW GS and take on the trails & sand pit I’ve heard so much about. If you Google 2021 Premiere Training BMW MOA you’ll probably find it. It’s a heck of a deal. Second, I’ll be going down to Delaware for American Supercamp which is an off-road motocross training in 250CC dirt bikes in an ag-center for 3 days. This cost just $600. Both trainings are fully qualified for the Paul B. Scholarship of $250. I have marked on my calendar the BMW GS Qualifier 2022 in September. This event taking place one week after our Green Mountain Rally is open to the public and allows people like me, non-racers to try out to represent USA in Albania next year. The qualifier takes place on both coasts and will likely have 200 people trying out for just 2 spots. Will I win? Of course not but it’ll be fun to try-out. Finally, in addition to hosting the GMR, I’ll be hosting the MOA’s Getaway event at Sugarbush. Tickets are $99 for a day of riding, dinner, giveaways. Maybe I’ll see you there?
The more pie in the sky adventure this year is for me and 3 buddies to do the Trans-Taiga road in northern Québec. This ride is fully reliant on Canada welcoming us across its borders and the trip is really only possible in August so we’ll head out late July, border permitting and head North for 10 days of backwoods rough camping on our bikes. You should look up and maybe check out the Trans-Taiga but it’s not a ride you should do alone. No matter what, bring a satellite phone.
Among these commitments, there will be the normal rallies. This year’s MOA rally in Montana is on and yes I have purchased a ticket but will I be going? Not sure yet, it depends a lot on your vote for me as an MOA director :) but I do want to go, just not sure if I can ride out given how much vacation time I’m already using for my wedding, a Canadian trip and multiple trainings.
A note on this year’s Green Mountain Rally. Chip and I have already have a couple of great phone calls about this event. We confirmed MOA’s event insurance for chartered clubs is still available (and cheaper this year), Camp Thorpe has that weekend set aside for us and we’re working through entertainment and food right now. The board has to decide this but we’re going to ask the board to significantly cut swag for 2021’s rally. Given the unknown attendance, we’re concerned about spending too much money up front and then having half of the tickets sold so we’re going to remain conservative with this year’s budget in hopes to turn a profit for the club after posting a loss in 2020. If you want to help out the GMR planning, please send me an email. I really hope to see you at this year’s GMR.
I’m really looking forward to this year’s riding season and I look forward to spending time around the fire with all of you.