Posted 9/4/2008 8:35 PM (#38540) Subject: Rally or not, Here I come!
Posts: 570 Location: SoCal
There are some who have asked if there should be more stipulations/restrictions to the current National Rally requirements. The two “hot topics” under discussion are: dog friendly campgrounds and elevation.
As much as I love dogs, and low elevationists, the idea of adding more constraints to the National Rally requirements seems unnecessary. If a rally host wishes to consider those options, that is great. But, the USCA is a diverse group, and there is no Solomon among us that can please every member. Someone will find fault. In actuality there probably is no ideal rally site, and the more stringent the rally limitations, the less choices available. If the board decides to mandate elevation, dog, and other requirements, then they should also stipulate max temperature allowances. And, like porridge, it should neither be too hot or too cold.
Anyone taking on the responsibility of Rally Host has a tremendous job. In addition to meeting the tangible requirements for attendees, i.e. locations, accommodations, bathrooms, tables, camping, parking, motels, etc., they must determine what would add to the rally experience. Consequently, Rally hosts should determine what rates they wish to charge, and what services will be offered at those rates. It seems pretty straightforward. I.e. if the host wishes to enhance the rally experience, dress the volunteers in tutus, and serve Godiva chocolates, then the rates should reflect those costs. The potential attendees have the right to determine whether the price is too too much for their rally experience, or whether it is worth the trip.
Most rallies tailor their registration fees, at minimum, to cover expenses. Most rally sponsors understand that they have a budget, not an unlimited expense account. Rallies should at least break-even. The USCA cannot afford to be the exception to this rule. The USCA should not grant Carte blanche spending. As a membership benefit, the USCA should pick up the tab for the insurance coverage, and refunding the membership discount allowance.
What is the purpose of the USCA rally? Some rallies are fundraisers, but they all offer a chance to meet fellow riders, to share in good stories, good rides, and to enhance the sense of community - to bring people together. Surely the objective for the USCA Rally is no different.
Food brings people together. Traditionally, rallies offer at least one meal. Even day-rallies offer some sort of food, and non-fee rallies have Riders Stew. Sharing a meal is a time for kicking back, comparing thoughts on the days ride, and making plans for the next one. Sometimes the best part of a rally is getting to know your fellow riders. A good meal can make a difference. People expect at least one communal meal.
I believe the Nationally Rally is a great idea. I believe the Board needs to take care in what changes – if any- they implement to the current requirements. I believe the rally should be self-sustaining. I believe I will post this now. gp
Edited by gpers2 9/4/2008 8:37 PM
Posted 9/5/2008 12:42 PM (#38562 - in reply to #38540) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
Gail, I personally don't believe the input was meant to be set in stone, I believe they were suggestions to put on the table to provoke thought when determining a rally site and all that goes into planning a rally. It would be a helpful tool for a Rally Host to have some type of a "wish list" may have things on it that they hadn't even thought of, better to have that helpful info prior to final plans are in place. IMHO
Posted 9/5/2008 2:33 PM (#38563 - in reply to #38562) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
Posts: 570 Location: SoCal
Yes dear, I know. LOL
You need to be on the Board.
Edited by gpers2 9/5/2008 2:35 PM
Posted 9/5/2008 2:38 PM (#38564 - in reply to #38563) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
Originally written by gpers2 on 9/5/2008 1:33 PM
Yes dear, I know. LOL
Well, I just thought I'd post it here as well, since not everybody reads the various other forums aside from the main USCA forum, since the discussion was taking place and originally brought up elsewhere. Okay Okay bye....LOL
Posted 9/5/2008 3:33 PM (#38570 - in reply to #38540) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
Posts: 555 Location: Carlsbad, NM
Nice post, Gail. I'm in general agreement with you, but that should come as no surprise.
More later. Gotta go to work.
Edited by tfhansen 9/5/2008 3:34 PM
Posted 9/6/2008 9:41 AM (#38585 - in reply to #38540) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
Here is the list that the BOD started with. We are trying to establish some guidelines to make things easier for people who want to volunteer to host our National Rally.
Location- specific, i.e., Name of facility, whether it is privately owned or publicly owned.
Should have space for a couple of hundred tenters; sometimes we have rented one section of a large campground (say, 50-60 tent spaces) and the owners have allowed us to have as many as four tents to a space. We usually negotiate a price for the number of camping spaces we want. Then if the host will permit several tents at one space, we figure the cost per tent into the registration fees.
Tent spaces should also have electrical hook-ups. Many of us elderly use C-pap machines and cannot camp without electricity.
Adequate # of picnic tables; i.e. one per tent space.
Shade, shade shade! Esp. if it is held in the summer and it most likely will be.
Enough CLEAN showers and restrooms to accommodate 200 + people. Hopefully these will be provided at no cost though I have attended rallies where the showers required coins or tokens.
A covered pavilion or indoor facility to facilitate registration.
Must allow alcohol consumption.
It is good if there is a store on site for purchasing forgotten supplies, snacks and drinks. This is not required.
It is desirable that campfires be permitted. If campfires are permitted there should be a supply of wood on site that is free or can be purchased.
Hopefully, there will be a large grassy area on site that we can use for sidecar games. If not grassy, a paved lot would be second choice, but sidecar games are a long standing tradition at the rally and spce for same is critical.
RV parking (15-20 or even more) on site. Alternatively, have a nearby RV campground where folks could stay. Better if it is on-site; some folks don't want to miss anything and want to be on site throughout.
If on-site, the USCA has not included the RV parking in the rally fees; folks that have RVs are used to paying that on top of the rally fee (more or less). A couple of years ago, there were some who objected to not getting a slight discount because they were using an RV space instead of a tent space. Their thinking was that the tent space fee should have been deducted from their registration fees. This is not something you would have to worry about; the board makes this decision.
A list of motels within reasonable distance.
A list of local restaurants with gastric specialties noted. Should also note if they are open only for breakfast, only for dinner, etc.
Cost to the organization for renting campground for the period required. Those arriving early will have to pay for extra nights at the going rate out of their own pockets.
Rally will be 3 days
Time of year should be the best for the location.
Also recommend a list of points of interest nearby.
Recommend there be a list of some good riding roads in the vicinity.
Site and dates require Board Approval.
We have had some good input from members at some of our yahoo groups so feel free to jump in with suggestions.
Posted 9/6/2008 9:59 AM (#38587 - in reply to #38585) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
Posts: 1710 Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
If you are going to require that a locale be pet friendly, please set a few guidelines for those with pets. Lately I've heard a lot of folks at rallies complain about dogs running free, owners not cleaning up after them, dogs jumping up on people. One would think this is all a normal part of having a traveling companion, but some folks don't seem to think of it.
Posted 9/6/2008 10:10 AM (#38589 - in reply to #38540) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
These aren't requirements, just things to look for when selecting a site. Most campgrounds have their own pet requirements like 'on leash' and "pickup after your pet". We don't have the manpower or ability to police that but one of the most often checked reason for a sidecar on our membership form is to allow room for your dog to ride. I think it should be a consideration when selecting a rally site.
Posted 9/8/2008 1:20 PM (#38635 - in reply to #38564) Subject: RE: Rally or not, Here I come!
I've been out-n-about this weekend, and haven't been on-line much because of that. But I was wondering, what "other forums" was the USCA rally discussed, reference dogs and such?
At the rally I attended this weekend, there were some folks that had dogs. ME? I like dogs, really. But I agree with gpers2 (if I understood your meaning) that dog-friendly shouldn't be a criteria for rallies. Cannot remember who said there were some that didn't clean-up after their dog or keep them on a leash, but those are common courtesies which (admittedly) some dog-folk ignore. No accounting for some folks!