Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hiawatha BMW's

Once more, but not really a surprise since that is what we've all come to expect from this talented bunch, a great weekend of gathered friends and fans of Minnesota BMW's at the Hiawatha BMW Rally.  Membership in the Minnesota club is not a prerequisite, nor is being a Minnesotan and most important for me (along with a few others) is attendance on a BMW is not necessary.  Money Creek Haven Campground hosted as they have for 30 some odd years.  I considered taking my BMW to better fit in but was still in the mood for some gravel roads after last weekend's adventure with Jeff, so the Honda was loaded up mid-week and the GPS Routed for a nice loop down into Iowa, a trip the RT100 was just as happy to pass on to one of the others.

I hustled south after work on Friday, making the roughly 75 mile ride in good time, the only real stop a bit of construction on MN #76.  Here we are stopped right under the I-90 overpass where construction was also taking place in the eastbound lanes.  At this point I'm only 7 or 8 miles north of the rally site......almost there.

 New arrivals stopped for registration.....

A warm, sticky afternoon, the natural spring-fed pool looked very inviting.

Just outside the pool fence is where Leo's South sets up for their Demo Rides.

Once my tent was set up, I made a quick walk through the loop to see how many of my friends had arrived.

A view that some hold.......

Saturday morning was beautiful, as was predicted.  After some casual wake up coffee down at the pavilion and a bit of wandering the grounds to see who and what else had arrived, Dave and I saddled up and headed to Stumpy's in Rockford for breakfast.

My advanced planning told me that the normally corresponding Rhubarb Festival in Lanesboro during the same weekend as our rally wasn't going to be held until the following weekend.  Had the fruit gathering been held this weekend, I'd have joined Dave there but since it was still a week early to celebrate one of our favorite foods, I was pumped to get out on some loose rock and do it solo.

More than once this weekend I heard rider's lament...."it starts paved and then suddenly it turns to gravel"...and they're right; I can think of numerous places where that happens in this part of the state.  Hwy 249 east out of Freeburg is one such place and a favorite road of mine.  There's just something about that valley as it heads over to join the larger though not all that much grander Mississippi River valley.  I've ridden it on most of my bikes and it's always a joy.

This guy was doing the same, pedaling his machine on the loose rock......

So was this guy, one of 'ours', not intimidated in the least by some rocky footing.....

I didn't stick with filming long enough (heard the car rig, didn't hear the almost silent K1200 not far behind) to catch his buddy that was making the same "good time".

Out of the valley and up on top.......

Hillside Drive south of Brownsville, here as in many other places on Saturday, very deep and freshly graded new gravel.  I'd just come up from downtown Reno, the Mississippi Valley in the distance.

Getting back to the campground and then a loop through the grounds.

I was pretty excited when I saw this new CTX700 Honda, especially so when I discovered that it belonged to friend Ludwig.  He's still getting it set up with his preferences.  Ask him how proud he is of this rig's gas mileage.

The masses (311 registered) lined up for our Saturday evening catered pulled pork meal......

Looking for an opening.......

Timing was great, MOST of us were finished eating and waiting for the awards (some awards, many  generously provided door prizes) ceremony when the deluge started.

After the many names were announced, a dry walk, rainless anyway back up to the main tent area.

Just before dark, the rain returned.  I climbed into the tent and listened to Old Time Radio broadcasts on across-the-river Wisconsin Public Radio as I drifted off to sleep, snugly inside with rain pattering above me.

Sunday morning, the guys had the coffee brewing and ALmost ready at 5:30

What was left of the T-Shirt factory at sunrise.......

Many riders already headed for home......

Hadn't seen this last night......the hard, fast rain conveniently washed one portion of my rim and left telltale maple seeds behind to measure document depth.  It would have taken water a lot deeper than this to get my bike clean but I'll take what I can get.

I've got one of these but so far it doesn't look this nice.

 Dave was still packing up when Paul had started home for Iowa, gone past and U-turned back to say hello/goodbye.  

A few minutes later, Dave was all set and we rode west over the hill for another breakfast in Rushford.  Cheryl once again served we Double D's, Dave and Doug, putting up with us one more time.  Dave headed back to Illinois on his designated brand of the weekend and I headed the opposite direction for home.  4 miles from home I ran into lots of road spray, 2 miles from home it started to pour.

I stayed dry all weekend.

After a short work week, next weekend some of us will be in southeastern Wisconsin for another motorcycle themed bunch of fun days.  Now that summer is here, we need to make that proverbial hay.


  1. Interesting sticker on that Beemer. I am curious if it is a religious, a socio-economic or simply a rider's statement on things ;-)

  2. 311 registered. Wow. That is a lot of bikes.

    I like that you and your bike don't care if the pavement ends. That is one of the reasons we are looking for a used TW for me. So we can go out with that and the XT and just see where the roads take us.

    Thanks for the trip report.

    1. This was a really good turnout, one of the better ones in Minnesota at least of those I've attended.

      In no way shape or form am I an explorer but I always feel like one when I'm riding those back roads. They are challenging in their own ways and always quiet. We're blessed with an adequate number of them; hope you two get out and discover yours while riding!

  3. Pretty nice turnout and it looked like a nice location for a rally. And even a few sidecar rigs...

    1. This campground hosts both the MN Guzzi Rally as well as the BMW Rally. Not sure if they still do or not but there were at least two other motorcycle themed weekends happening in the same spot. This was the location of the almost famous National Guzzi Rally back in '07 that flooded so dangerously.

      There were numerous BMW rigs as well as a few Ural outfits.

  4. Minnesotans seem to have their act together when it comes to having a good time on bikes! Nothing like that around here.

    Hey, I love that tie-dyed tee! Love those rough back it all!

    Sorry you guys got soaked though...

    Enjoyable post, as always!

    1. Thanks Deb! I had noticed that woman's T from a fair distance away and as I caught up to them at the construction lane closure, I knew the camera had to come out quickly for a capture.

      Don't sell your region short; rallies just like this one happen all over the place and if I ever can get more than a weekend's worth of days to attend some of them further away, I'll be down your direction to sample those closer to you. A few years ago I made the St. Louis BMW club's Falling Leaf Rally and that was a dandy! I've never been to any rally where you'd not be welcome on your scoots.

    2. Sounds like I ought to do some more research then!

      The Psycho would love it! :=)