A longish ride to the BMW MOA Rally at Redmond in Oregon and it was worth it. A huge gathering of over 5000 BMW riders from around North America. I met up with old friends and made many new ones. They wouldn't allow me to enter the furthest travelled to get here (17 820 miles) as I had set off before 1st January 2010.

I camped out at the Rally in their airheads section - that's the type of BMW that Thelma is rather than a reflection on me for those not in the know. Lots of people spotted Thelma's registration plate and came over to enquire where she is from. The plate stands out a bit as all the American ones seem to be about quarter the size.

I hung out with Bill, Candice and Tom on the Bill Mayer Saddles stand, talking to people about what a difference the new saddle has made and encouraging them to sit and try Thelma's new one. 

As I walked past some of the stands I was surprised to hear a "Hello Tiffany" and it was a friend from England - Paul from Metal Mules (he makes metal panniers for travel bikes) over here on a stand selling his boxes to the Americans.

Helge Pedersen was there - he's another BMW GS bike traveller and has a great book - 10 Years on Two Wheels. I haven't seen him since I was last here eight years ago.

The rally was extremely well organised, lots of space for camping with good facilities, with a big range of seminars, stands and presentations as well as a beer garden and a stage with bands belting out the classic biking songs. I swear I saw some people line dancing as well. Free coffee in the mornings meant there was a long queue, but I was relieved to find that tea drinkers were not only catered for but could jump to the head of the line to get hot water to pour on their teabags (I usually carry PG Tips with me).

gel again ...

Coo ... American is a playground, isn't it?  Fancy there being slides for motorbikes!!  Have you been able to take Thelma on a swing?  (more seriously hope no lasting harm done to either of you )


a dent to my pride and a big bruise on my backside is all there is to report on that front.