The Chief Joseph Rally
The BMWRO did an exceptional job of organizing the Chief Joseph John Day BMW rally. The reception team and its volunteers did an amazing job throughout the weekend. We were made to feel welcome and their facilities, caterers and vendors were brilliant. I had three days of talking motorcycles with people from all over the US and Canada, from all different walks of life. These people were genuinely interested in an Australian traveling all the way to the US to do this rally. We shared many laughs and stories of our motorcycling adventures, past, current and future. 486 members arrived from a registered 500. Considering the weather conditions, this was an outstanding effort from all riders, pillions and participants.
The evening meals on Friday and Saturday nights were perfect. Bill asked me if I had enough to eat and my reply was, “Bill I am as full as a caterpillar’s sock drawer.”
Let me now talk about some amazing individuals I had the pleasure of spending some time with.
Roger and Carol and their son Roger Junior (aka RD) chatted with me at different times throughout the weekend. Carol pillion and Roger are regulars at the BMW rallies and this year Roger won the “Oldest Rider” award at the age of 81. They rode the K1300S to the rally and I stand in awe of this couple to achieve this. Now Carol told me several stories of her motorcycling adventures going back over 50 years when she and Roger were first dating. RD informed me that he and his father for the last 22 years have taken a week every summer to go touring together on their bikes, and they are now planning this year’s tour. What a great achievement for a father and son. I can relate to this as I have a similar relationship with my sons and sharing our passions (motorcycling, hunting, surfing and rugby).
Remember that lady on the Ducati, well Bill and I caught up with her in the main street of John Day on Saturday afternoon. After our introductions Lauren Trantham informed us she was taking a week to tour and camp out around Oregon and beyond……by herself. She mentioned her recent adventures motorcycling in Peru where Bill has also spent considerable time working there over the years. They know the same people and places and shared an understanding of the security risks for a young lady touring solo around Peru. Lauren told us she is a Women’s Photographer, a self employed person working to empower women. This is an amazing young lady, independent and strong and obviously a keen motorcyclist. Check out her web site at http://www.laurentrantham.com.
Don and Debbie Weber of Mr Ed’s Moto and Premier Motogear ran a vendor outlet at the Rally. I am in the market for a new jacket so I spent some time with them as Debbie measured me up and researched the appropriate 4 season’s jacket to cover the range of riding I do here in Australia and the occasional overseas tour. Don has traveled extensively throughout Australia in his younger days so we shared some stories about places and events in Oz. I particularly enjoyed the Glenfidich we shared on a cold and wet Friday afternoon.
Where it Began
In 2003 I first met Bill in Denver as our company was a multinational with people traveling from across the globe to sit for 5 days and work through strategic plans. Bill was the functional leader of our global team and within 30 minutes of talking in person to Bill the topic of motorcycles came up and from that point in time Bill and I had developed the foundations for a strong and lasting friendship. He became a mentor in the workplace and fellow motorcyclist in our spare time. My yearly trips to the US would have us riding around the Colorado Rockies on his bikes.
Bill has been a keen BMW enthusiast and I am more a Ducati person. Saying that we have owned and enjoyed many different brands of motorcycles, road, dirt and adventure bikes. We often talked of our motorcycling adventures, and I had placed on my bucket list the plan to attend one of the rallies that Bill ventures to, riding with him from his base in Carson City.
Fast forwarding to 2016 I receive an email from Bill expressing his intent to ride to the Chief Joseph John Day rally with the BMW riders of Oregon. That was it, an easy decision in the end.