The 23rd Annual
Rubber City Rally
June 21 - 23rd,
Akron Ohio, USA

From: Pat Roddy
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: Rubber City Rally!

Whew! It's 0039 in the AM and have just gotten home from the Rubber City Rally. What a long haul, at least for me :-)

WHere do I start? Maybe at the beginning, huh?

Friday dawned bright and cool. I left Buford at 0515 and arrived, without incident, at 5:45 PM. Due to lack of time, I slabbed it from home to Akron. Never being in Virginia or W. Virginia on a bike added two more states for me, and I must say that western VA and W.VA are absolutely beautiful, even from the freeway.

After setting up my tent and feeding some very hungry mosquitos it came time to meet some presidents that I've never had the privelege of meeting before. Between Scott and Jim Shaw I was introduced to Fran from NASA, Chris Pollard, Bob Higdon, Steve Kristan(we met very briefly in GA), Arnie Skurow, Paul Glaves (Voni was attending a rally closer to home), GEEZ, I know I'm going to leave someone out--14 hours in the saddle and my mind is somewhat mushy :-)

I cannot tell ya'll how nice the rally was. Not fancy by any stretch, and small enough that we all had time to spend QUALITY time together for a change. A nice ride to lunch on Saturday afternoon, then I headed to Scott's home to get my driving lights installed that he had purchased ahead of time for me. After about 2.5 hours, the job was done. I must say that Scott did a great installation, with all connections soldered, a relay installed, and an official BMW toggle switch mounted in the upper bank under the windscreen. Some fine tuning of them late that night and the job was complete. (They worked beautifully for me tonite after the sun went down on me in Charlotte, NC.)

Instead of blowing home on early Sunday, I fell in to some peer pressure exerted by Rick Landi and Jim Shaw to go "strafing the Amish" on Sunday afternoon. We rode some very nice roads outside of Akron through Amish country, ate, went back to Shaw Towers, listened to some great piano playing by Jim, dranl a few brews, and fell into bed.

I awoke at 0515 this morning to thunder and lightning so I promptly fell back asleep until 0630 or so, putzed around and got wheels rolling around 10:00 after the showers quit. A fifteen hundred mile round trip without a drop of rain falling on me while riding--a first! :-)



Bob Higdon: Bob, it was a pleasure finally meeting you in person. I still insist you overpaid me for the hops and barley that came from my cooler (Jon Diaz TOLD me I could never win an argument with you, so I thought I'd get my last shot in here :-) I hope our paths cross some day again.

Fran from NASA: Fran, what can I say? Meeting you was totally unexpected and a very pleasant surprise. You need to 'come out' here more often instead of lurking all the time. Caveat to other presidents--Fran has a mind like a steel trap and although you don't see her post here often, she knows EVERYTHING that has gone on here for a LONG time and remembers it all, so beware! :-)

Chris P. I've never met a carburetor design engineer before, guess I'd never considered that somebody has to do it! :-) Enjoyed meeting you, Chris!

Arnie S. Arnie, it was nice meeting another ambassador! Hope to catch up with you in Morganton. Hope you didn't take the crack that Rick made too hard


Steve K. What we missed in Georgia we made up with in Akron. Good seeing you again!

Although only 6 of 12 or so presidents signed up under IBMWR, we took the most club in attendance award again here. Can't figure out why the Cleveland club was a no show.

Jim and Rick are just about to begin their 'walkabout', starting from Cleveland, to Nova Scotia and on to the Arctic CIrcle in Alaska. Wish I could go with you two--sounds like a helluva great trip.

Scott, thank your better half AGAIN for the great job she did as Food Chairperson. That is a thankless, hard job that deserves recognition but rarely receives it.

The trip back started around 10:00, and by 10:45 I was on the side of the road talking with an Ohio State Trooper. I was always convinced that the LT, with it's Stealth Fighter angles to the front fairing made it immune to radar....NOT! :-)

Short version: I was sent on my way with a friendly warning from a very friendly officer (after he told me that the ticket would have cost 67 dollars). He first painted me at 72, then he said I sped up to 75, which I did to get around a carload of what appeard to be glue sniffing juveniles. He laughed, told me to slow down while in Ohio and remaind on the roadside until I was suited and helmeted up. He returned my wave as I sped off (legal speeds, of course). I DID slow down the rest of the trip, adding nearly an hour and a half to the length, but hell, I am not complaining. Of all the times I've exceeded the speed limits, I was due and would not have complained one iota if he had given me a 'true ticket'. That officer's attitude and demeanor should be bottled and force fed to 95% of all police officers through this country.

It's time for bed--I cannot type anymore. I'll send ya'll part deux later today.

BMW: Rubber City Rally-Part Deux

Ahhhh..........what a few hours of sleep in a familiar bed will do for the soul (and the butt burn).

Where was I? Oh yeah, my return trip. I mentioned the State Trooper who thought I was going a little too fast for his roadway but he was a memorable chap with a great disposition (very rare in law enforcement types in my experiences) who let me go with a friendly warning ticket. No foul, no insurance increases, no points--I AM a happy camper.

I do not know what other regions of the country call the retreads that trucks fling unceremoniously onto the roadways during summer, but down here they are called 'alligators'. MCN (Motorcycle Consumer News) calls them octopusses.

Anyway, I had not one but two very close calls with 'gators' yesterday on my return trip from Akron. I wanted to return via two and four laners, but the homing instinct took over and I decided to 'slab' it home. After last night, I should have opted for another day on the road and two laners.

Incident #1--After my brush with the Trooper, I was cruising along in 4th gear at 66 mph when a rider on an ST1100 slowed and pulled alongside wanting to know my destination. I hollered ATLANTA! and he signalled me towards an upcoming rest area. We were in the middle lane of three coming up on an 18 wheeler. All of a sudden I heard a huge BOOM and saw his left rear tire disintegrate and fly right over the ST1100 rider. It missed his head by inches and landed directly in front of me. Just having checked my left mirror I 'dove' into the left lane and missed the gator by about two feet. The trucker continued on as if nothing had happened. (Don't ask me about truckers unless you expect a LONG diatribe--it's at least a 2 beer story :-)

We pulled into the rest area and needless to say the rider was a tad a shaken but otherwise OK. He must have been at least 60 years old, a former HD owner (until last week when his mount was stolen outside a restaurant). The ST had only 800 miles on it so far but watching him ride told me that he had ridden other brands than HD-the guy was a good rider who would have bought a K11LT/RS IF the local BMW dealer had wanted to take a boat he had for sale in trade--BMW said no, Honda said 'bring it on". But I digress.

After a nice long rest we headed out--he took off doing 80 or so and I maintained my 66-70 with the warning ticket in my pocket reminding me that as long as I was in OH, I'd better remain clean ( I do not know if another officer had stopped me if he would have known I'd been warned earlier in the day--are they logged in the officer's computer and sent to headquarters?? Since I didn't know, I remained legal.

I had mentioned in my earlier post that one reason for going to the Rubber City Rally was to get help from Scott Adams in mounting some auxillary lights on the LT. In Greenville, SC last night that extra lighting saved my ass.

Incident #2:

I-85 was a truck groupies' Nirvana last night, with long convoys clipping along at 60-70 mph. I dislike passing trucks almost as much as their occupants so I always do it in short order because you never know what will come flying off one.

Well, another retread decided it had had enough and let go. Again, I heard it and a nanosecond later I saw a full tread heading my way, showering sparks (?) as it skidded into my lane. Thankfully I had a left lane to careen into, this time missing the retread by microns. Needless to say, that incident caused an adrenaline rush that lasted me the rest of the trip home (2 hours). Damn trucks! I wish they were liable for that crap but I have never seen a driver retrieving one from the freeway although they HAVE to know that they lost one.

I crossed into Georgia and pulled into the first rest area. Lo and behold they have built a new one a few miles from the border. Georgia has always had the worst rest areas I have ever seen in my life. Dark, dingy and styled like something between a 1930s art deco massage parlor and a grass hut. Not anymore. I guess we can thank the Olympics for having the old ones nuked and new ones erected. I was duly impressed with the facility, and they had maps for the taking, another first here. I dutifully snatched one for the GS' tank bag and headed 60 minutes to home without further incident.

My return trip was just a tad over 14 hours (I made it to Rubber City in 12 going up), but overall, as I was sitting on the deck last night with a cool one in my hand and looking at a dark sky illuminated by the Milky Way I smiled on my trip. The K11LT ran flawlessly (as we K riders expect :-); I finally got my auxillary lights installed, thanks to Scott Adams; no damage, accidents, or MAJOR incidents; got to meet Bob Higdon, Fran, Arnie, Chris for the first time and spent a lot of time with several presidents because the rally was small (around 200 or so) and so laid back. Good food, a nice campground and fellow Beemer drivers from all over made it worth every mile invested. Plus, I stayed a night at the Shaw Towers with Jim and Rick, just days before they depart for a true motorcycling adventure that I would love to undertake someday.


I'll repeat it again...BMW motorcycles are the best E-ticket to good times on the planet.

From: Arnie Skurow
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: More Rubber City Rally

Hitch-hiking on Pat Roddy's Rubber City Rally report, it truly was a treat meeting many of my fellow Prezzes at the Rally. Although I wasn't able to spend much time with the group because of other commitments, the times I did spend with them was quality time.

I had gone to the Rubber City Rally with a riding buddy of mine to have a reunion with some folks with whom we had rallied at Rubber City many times during the past 20 years and we hadn't seen one another for nearly six years.

We pulled into the rally site at around 10:30 on Friday morning and lo and behold, there was the large IBMWR banner hanging between a couple of trees in the swampy part of the campground. We checked out the camping space next to the banner but the skeeters drove us away to higher ground.

As usual, it was fun putting faces with names. For however long I've been a Prez, I've only met a few IBMWRers, so this gives me a new perspective on reading the list-letters when I see a name of someone whom I have met.

I hope a lot of you folks will consider coming to the Buckeye State Rally in September. It's in the Athens, Ohio, area, with some of the most beautiful riding roads Ohio has to offer. I met several IBMWRers down there last year, some of whom were at Rubber City this year. I promise to bring my tent to the Buckeye State Rally and stay a while.

Best to you all and thanks for the good times.

Arnie Skurow

From: Scott Adams
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996

Subject: BMW: Rubber City Ralley Official Report

Ok, first there was Daytona, then Ga. Mtn, then Square Root... now THERE WAS:

R U B B E R C I T Y ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!

(June 21-23rd - Just outside Akron, Oh)

The official report:

It was the best of times, it was the..., that is another story.

It was one of the coolest this year, but then I am biased. The Rally started for me Thursday evening setting up the tents and greeting those who arrived even before the ralley committee. Some were even very helpful in set-up. I set up the banner in a great place and set my tent under it just so it looked like someone was at home. I then headed for true home.

Friday am I had a Court Seminar so I didnt show up until afternoon. What a transformation. There had already been 50 people register when I got there and the place was buzzing with activity. The free vegetible soup was going like made, even though it was 80+ degrees. The Beer? Good question. It FINALLY arrived around 5pm and the party really started.

That night the beer flowed freely amongst the Presidents. They drank, they drank and they drank some more. Jim Shaw spent the evening running away from Pat Roddy who spent the evening gather 'donations' to see how high he could up the anty to, and you better read this slowly: CATHETERIZE JIM. You see, Pat is a nurse and always carries this stuff with him but rarely gets to use it. I guess he felt the need. This is honestly the first night I have spent within a mile of Jim Shaw that I have not heard his snoring. I think he was too scared to fall asleep.

Pat Roddy walked around and around the camp fire checking out the girths of all those there. SO Pat, how do we size up? In case you dont know, Pat has a special talent in addition to catheterization - but I think YOU better ask him about that.

Around midnight we were hungry so we decided a run to the truck stop about 1/2 mile away was good. But, we were drunk. All except for myself so I drove the pickup and the rest climbed in the back. Jim sat in front with me and forced me to take every speed bump and pot hole at speeds that would buckle a new RT wheel. On the way out, who should we encounter but a lone rider who looked ridden hard and put away wet - Bob Bell. WE talked Bob into joining us - after he got a free beer which he then proceeded to dump all over Jon Diaz, Steve Kristan, Rick Landi, Pat Roddy and maybe a few others, I was driving and dont remember. The night just got better as Jim pissed off the waitress (not a good idea in a slimmy truck stop) and Jon and Rick made passes at her.

Saturday we awoke to the arrival of even more presidents and greetings from several who are on the list but where camping elsewhere on site. It was really neat to watch the ralley grow - and then fall as Elsie Smith, 1000 mile rider, decided to go on from us and over to Hoosier Swap Meet Ralley. Elsie won LD rider, and some other female rider awards at BOTH ralleys for the weekend. Is that fair? Speaking of awards - IBMWR took largest club with only 6 of the 20+ presidents registering as IBMWR. The form must really have been bad in the way it failed to make clear where to put that info. Most people left it blank. Bob Higdon and I then proceeded to have a very in depth discussion about whether to accept the award or not. I'll let Bob tell you the results thereof.

During the day Saturday Jim Shaw arranged a ride/lunch and the group of 14 bikes took off from the campground for a great time. We even met up with several more presidents at the lunch place. Dave and Kelly, Terry Phillips and one other whose name I dont remember (I knew I shouldnt have mentioned ANY names). After lunch we took several different ways back including Pat and I stopping at my house for a few hours worth of driving light installation. I sure know a GREAT place to install them on an LT now!

Saturday night was even more fun as Elsie returned and the group continued to grow as we ate a wonderful BBQ ham/beef dinner feast. I'll let others sing the praises of that one. The fire started again and Bob Higdon kept threatening to sue anyone who put a log on the fire OR who made a comment about his Korean made windbreaker. Fran LG came over to join us and caught the attention of all the men but left when someone made a snide comment about her anatomy - its ok Fran, they really didnt mean it. Paul Glaves and Jon Diaz told us EVERYTHING about EVERY bike ever made, and were all right.

We now know a lot more about each other - a lot more than we ever wanted to know that is. Everybody there had a wonderful story to tell and didnt. They also had a not so wonderful story to tell, and did. Jim Shaw got a little better sleep that night as Pat let the cath thing die, but I believe is still worried about his trip to Alaska as Bob and everyone else laughed at how he should sleep in his Hein Gerick so the bear will eat him slower.

There where many memorable events and I only remember a few of them, some have been mentioned, some not so I'll list a few:

Rick Landi bought a new tent - and actually slept in it.
Pat Roddy couldnt find a dark enough road to drive down.
Steve Kristan came in the truck and made some excuse about a burnt headlight.
Frances loves making sausage biscuits and gravy - for 100's.
Pat Roddy loves 3am showers.
Jim Shaw wont let me give him the keys of a drunk biker.
Paul Glaves will go ANYWHERE!
Don Graling, Roger Traversa and Esquire Ted really dont know how to ride west.
Terry Miami - well never mind.
Chris Stoddard and Larry Collins are great newbie ralley virgins.
Arnie Skurow is not what I expected!

and...everyone had a great time.

Thank you all for how good it went. I may be biased, but I think it was one of the best this year. This was seconded by an unnamed, very important list member and BMW almost-god who agreed that it was one of his best, not just a bunch of "mid-west geeks like I [he] expected!"

- -Scott

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