There is a motorcycle rally coming to town and it’s a big one. The BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally will be at our State Fairgrounds July 24-27, 2014. I’ve been to enough rallies to discover I’m not a rally kind of guy. That being said, I’m kind of looking forward to this one.

I came to the conclusion that I’m not a rally kind of guy based on my rally experiences. It’s similar to how I’m not a beach, resort, theme park or large group ride kind of guy. When I’m involved in any of these things, I seem to always want to be doing something else. This is more of a reflection on me than anything else.

My interest in this rally has nothing to do with the brand but everything to do with the people who ride BMWs. I personally have no brand loyalty. I rode Harleys for 10 years and I’m into my second year on my BMW R1200R. I average between 8,000 and 9,000 miles a year so I’m not really a high mileage guy. I put 40,000 miles on each of the two Harleys I owned and they were great bikes. I did regular service and put a battery in each of them and that was pretty much it. My BMW has also been a great bike. So far all I’ve done is regular maintenance and added some accessories.

I’ve been to Sturgis, Daytona and a couple of Harley anniversary rallies in Milwaukee. Elton John at a Harley rally? That was a swing and a miss. I’ve also been to lots of little rallies. I’ve been to Stugis five times and always had a good time. I don’t understand the trailering of bikes to a rally but to each their own. What I liked about Sturgis was the riding. The roads in the Black Hills are phenomenal. Plenty of twisties and great asphalt. The rest of it made for great people watching and I met some interesting people. Daytona is a rally I never need to attend again. It was nice to get away from our Minnesota winter but riding in Florida is about as interesting as watching grass grow. The rally itself was filled with look-at-me bikes that were lit up like Christmas trees. All things I never need to experience again. The Harley-Davidson museum and an outdoor Bruce Springsteen concert made Milwaukee worthwhile.

I will be attending the upcoming BMW rally at the fairgrounds. If it wasn’t local I probably wouldn’t go. I’ve been to the BMW MOCM (BMW Motorcycle Owners Club of Minnesota) Hiawatha Rally. It involved camping, a rhubarb festival and a lot of nice riding. What I liked most about it were the people. I met some great characters as well as a lot of like-minded riders. What I mean by like-minded, is folks who have the same approach to motorcycling that I do. They find a bike they like and they ride it. They don’t spend thousands of dollars on modifications and farkles. They do what they need to do to keep it road-worthy and safe, and they just ride it.

Don’t get me wrong. There will be plenty of people at this BMW rally who have completely bought into the lifestyle. They will be riding their brand new bikes, decked out head-to-toe in BMW gear and smiling from ear-to-ear. I have no problem with this. I don’t care what gets people to ride as long as they’re riding safely and enjoying it.

So come out and enjoy this national rally at a local venue. If you’re looking for loud pipes, burnouts and people dressed like pirates, it may not be for you. If you’re looking for million-mile riders and great motorcycle conversation, you don’t want to miss this rally. More info at


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