2019 Rally Review
By Jerry Matson
Here is a review of the events and activities at our rally this year.
Thursday, Oct 31
Some people like to show up early and enjoy some quiet time at the park, either in their RVs or camping. The club officers and some friends also come out on Thursday afternoon for a little camaraderie around a campfire and to be ready to set up for the rally first thing Friday morning.
A few of us stayed in a cabin Thursday night which worked out great! The temperature Friday morning was 30 degrees! One of the visitors from out of state (Don C from NM) stayed in a screen shelter. He didn’t expect the cold and wandered over to our cabin wondering if we had any coffee about 7 am just as the sun was coming up. He was shivering all over and didn’t sleep much at all! He wrapped his fingers around his cup and kept saying over and over, “Oh my, this coffee is SO good!” He stayed and warmed up while we cooked up a batch of eggs and bacon. (You’re very welcome, Don!)
Friday, Nov 1
Friday morning Chuck and I made a run into La Grange to the HEB to pick up drinks, ice, coffee, sugar, creamer, and other perishables that don’t keep in our storage unit over the year. Other people who came early helped set up the rest of the things to get ready. Registration formally opened at noon and Roger B. volunteered to help with that this year. So we had two laptops to check people in or register them if needed.
Yours truly (Jerry) and Roger at the registration table. Thanks, Roger!
People started arriving in the early afternoon. A big part of the fun at the rally is meeting all the people who ride out! Some have been to many rallies and others are first-timers. We check them in and tell them where to set up around the RV and camping loop (we reserve all 20 of the RV spots). Once they get set up they either hang around there and talk with others or come back to the pavilion and get some drinks and talk with people there. By Friday evening we had around 30-35 people checked in.
Dinner was catered in and was lasagna and pork medallions (with green salad, potato salad, broccoli, garlic bread, and cookies) . Many people complimented the restaurant’s food (Texas One Stop in La Grange).
There were many compliments on the lasagna and pork medallions!!
After dinner we usually show a movie, which this year was “World’s Fastest Indian.”
The evening was chilly once again but not quite as cold. The overnight temp, if I recall, was in the low 40’s. Not too bad if you have the right gear, but a few people didn’t… Remember what they say, “It’s all part of the adventure!” (Easy to say once you get home!) I brought some extra blankets and comforters from home which a few people appreciated. (You owe me a beer!)
Saturday, Nov 2
Breakfast was again catered by Texas One Stop and was kolaches, chimichangas, and fruit. Chuck J. for many years has been the official “CoffeeMeister” and always gets up really early to ensure the 50 cup coffee pots are turned on in time to get hot coffee before dawn (he deserves some kind of medal!).
Tarek G. is the club’s RideMeister and hosted the road ride starting at 8:30 am. He had 8 bikes with him as they went out for about 7 hours, returning about 3 pm.
Tarek the club RideMeister!!
Chuck J and Don D planned and hosted the GS off-road ride for 8 riders. They left about 9:30 for about 150 miles of dirt roads all around the area.
I heard many compliments about the quality of the roads and the conduct of the ride (speed, spacing, safety, etc.). Many thanks to those guys for putting that together for everyone.
That afternoon about 4 pm Jan D hosted a field game where he set up stands with little plastic hoops on them. The idea was to ride your bike and with your left hand holding a plastic sword try to spear as many of the little plastic hoops as you could going out and back on the course. There were 6 or 8 people who tried it but the kids who were visiting had the most fun! What a great time! Thank you Jan!!
Dinner that night was beef brisket and chicken leg quarters, along with green salad, hot potato salad, pinto beans, and homemade cake squares. Mary Ellen B also brought some apple carrot cake she made that morning at home!
After dinner I always have a presentation where I welcome people who have come from out of state and other guests and visitors. I also always recognize Ron Goodall who still attends our rallies and founded our club in 1966. He also served as one of 6 BMW Clubs on the first council of the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association in 1968.
I also gave a special recognition to Tex Jordan who drove down from Norman, OK. He attended the very first rally in 1966 or 1967 and has been riding motorcycles since 1945. And he also gave a donation to the club of $1000! He has done this for a few years now. He explained to me that life has been good time and so he does it ‘because he can’. God bless you Tex!
Then comes the fun part where I give away the door prizes of the donations from the various BMW dealerships. This year the Woodlands Premium Motorcycles dealership donated $200 as did Gulf Coast BMW in South Houston (along with a few other items). Congrats to those winners! Everyone please make sure you thank those dealerships when you visit for supporting our rally!
Saturday evening is time to gather around the campsites and campfires and meet and tell stories and get to know people and their bikes. As chilly as it was (again in the 40’s) there were several campfires going and everyone was laughing and telling tales about all their adventures! I went to bed about 10:30 but others stayed up till around midnight I heard.
I would also like to point out, just for others who might read this in the future, that while we had some beer, tequila, I saw some Jameson passed around, and I shared my Rum Chata, no one got drunk or obnoxious. We all had fun and I am always pleased to see everyone drink and behave responsibly.
Sunday, Nov 3
With the time change overnight the morning started getting light a little after 6 am. And of course, Chuck had the coffee ready for us in the cool morning air (again in the 40’s). Breakfast arrived a little before 8 am, again chimichangas and fruit. Some people took off early but many came to the pavilion for some hot coffee and a little snack before hitting the road.
I always appreciate those that hang around just a little longer to help clean, pack up, and help me load the U-haul van to take it all back to our storage unit in Brookshire. I got everything loaded and drove to the entry shack to see Deborah, the assistant park manager, and write her a check to pay for everything (RV spots and day fees). I finally left about 10:30 am.
Rally Financial Summary
Here are the preliminary financial results of the rally. While there are still a few ‘glitches’ with the membership application system we are using (the way I defined the event fees wasn’t correct), here are the finances:
Total Income =
Total Expenses =
Note: The people who paid me cash are not recorded in the totals (~$200)
If it looks like we lost money, we did. But by design. Subsidizing some of the cost of the rally is one way we give back to the members for their dues. (Another way is when we subsidize the cost of the Christmas party.)
Our expenses are higher than they could be because we reserve ALL of the RV sites even though we don’t use them. When we have our rally I want exclusive access so we don’t have others in there around us. Another cost we have is the U-haul cargo van. I don’t have a pickup truck to haul stuff from the storage locker so I have to rent a van for about $360.
The total cost of the park was about $1475 including $150 for all the firewood. And the food was $1450. The total final attendance was 50 people so the costs are about $57 per person. And we charge $35. You’re welcome.
But remember, if you attend our club meetings and see the treasurer’s report, we have had a balance of about $11,000 for years and we really don’t spend it on anything but the rally, the Tech Days, and the Christmas party. So, to me, it’s ok to lose money on the rally. It’s for everyone.
If you came to the rally I’m glad you had a good time, even though it was colder than I ever remember at a rally. Everyone was in great spirits! If you missed the rally for whatever reason I hope this gives you some idea of what it is like and you will come next year.
Here is a link to the complete photo album in Google Photos
Thanks to all my friends!
(I’m NOT the president!)