Sunday, July 15, 2018

Iowa 2018 Moto Guzzi Rally / William M. Black

A hot and sticky one, still fun as always.  Yes, there was some rain, we had a blast or two of wind, strong enough to put the beverage/cookie tent over against the pool building but on average, some fairly typical rally weather.  We knew attendance would be down; the competing BMWMOA National Rally was being held over in Des Moines and many of our Elkader faithful felt the strong pull of a National in our relative back yard.  They have already been forgiven but are expected, same time, same place next year.  Dennis took over from George this year and for those of us lucky enough to be their complete and waited upon guests, I think we'd all have to agree that we were well served and served well.  Dennis had help; I saw familiar faces that have given much in year's past right there in front carrying on as they had.  Mrs. Dennis (next year I'll introduce myself!) was there, just as Kaye always was half of George's team.  Thanks to you all!!

Some of the folks start the rally early but I headed down Friday morning, waiting for Jeff in Frontenac and he was right on time.

Taking a break in Mable, MN, right on the Iowa/Minnesota border.

Before leaving Mable, I texted Mike and Colleen, coordinating a lunch meet in Gunder, IA for a world famous Gunder Burger.

This was mine....

Mike making great use of sultry conditions...... he and Colleen had gone down early Thursday.

Jeff and I rode down almost completely rain-free, a small shower or two around Decorah.  Friday early evening in Elkader it got nasty; hard rain and harder wind. 

Hard wind to the extent that it blew our beverage/cookie shelter away.  It's over there, just around the corner, in a heap against the swimming pool building.

Big puddles and some very wet tents.

The first wave went through and then the Police came to check on us and let us know that another bunch of radar color was coming our way.

Louise and Randy rode through some of the worst of it.  Both 80+, Traverse City, MI is a long ways away.  Louise's Honda, Randy's Norge was off somewhere.

The pool still open Friday evening ....

Early Saturday brother Kevin and I hiked around a bit waiting for 6am coffee.  He'd planned on riding down after work on Friday but all sorts of challenges came up; he drove and hauled his CM400T, arriving around 9:30 that evening.

Madison Bill's 750 Breva, just like mine but better outfitted. 

Tom's quick, just not quick enough.  I really like Steve's V9....the color, how he's got it rigged up, etc.

The plan going into the weekend was to enjoy the pancake breakfast provided at the shelter and then ride down to Dubuque to visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.  There are multiple exhibits and things to see, many of which I'd seen before but missed previously was the steam powered paddle wheel dredge, the William M. Black.  We had a nice ride down, managed our way through downtown traffic and got down to the harbor area. 


In the machine shop....


From there and only a few blocks away, the Shot Tower.

We left Dubuque, rode to Sageville where Kevin attempted to instruct us on a proper gas fill.  When he finally finished that, it was up C9Y to Balltown and Breitbach's for lunch.

Back in Elkader, the Pork Producer's were grilling the pork chops out behind the pavilion.

Ned's Auto & Motorcycle Repair Shop had items for sale and prizes to win.

Prizes weren't for the most part just given....they had to be earned.  My brother brought back an until this weekend dormant Coop skill that's most likely been in our bloodline for thirteen, fourteen generations, possibly even longer.  I was 75 yards away, my back turned to avoid the many certain accolades and continuous cheers; these videos shared with me only later ....thanks Mike, they mean the world to our family (I was actually calling our old loyal and regular-attending rally buddy Dave P, currently recuperating at home).

If this looks important to you, no need to feel left out.  M. Gladwell advises that 10,000 hours will bring Mastery.  It's now just after 8PM CDT as I write time like the present to get yourself started......10,000 is a lot!

I won't sign anything but honestly believe that actually very little alcohol if any was involved.


Waiting for pork chops, I hustled down to our tent to grab my Dinner Ticket for the evening meal.  The fine hostess that she is, Colleen supplied the beer and Mike supplied the nuts.  Problem was, none of the critters knew enough to go after the beer.  The nuts didn't fare as well.


Some were started and left for later??  You know how almonds are, you'll get one a bit more bitter here and there.  It wasn't like Mr. Squirrel was without options.

Kevin (other Kevin) was there.....

Paul was there....his wasn't the only machine serving as a dryer rack; humidity had found a home in the Elkader valley.

Bert was there....

Diana was there....

Dave and Dan were too.....along with Buddy and Jill.

The food line....

The crew with much of their work already completed.

Many, not sure how many, lined up for the parade through town.  On the Pro side, we didn't penetrate the Industrial Park this year.  On the Con side, city dwellers were all inside where the lucky ones were enjoying A/C.

Still, we tried.

Sunday'd think that 100% humidity would have been enough.

My brother's outfit....

A coffee break in Lansing....Horsfall's across the street.

474 miles for the Breva and I, ~140 attendees and another great Iowa Goose Rally.  Once again, thanks to everyone involved.


  1. If the MOA was in Des Moines, then it must've been 120°F in Iowa...

    You rode the sidecar rig down! Not a Moto Guzzi?

    1. Nope, I honestly and truthfully rode a Moto Guzzi. The sidecar rig belongs to Colleen and Mike.

  2. As the parade of motorcycle's exit'd the RV park.. I enjoy'd the many RVer's who gather'd with a pair of large American flags and gave everyone high fives... one fellow had a large blow up doll on his shoulders.

    Perhaps we should check into a camp'n spot at the RV park ! :)

  3. It was pretty cool to see their turnout and enthusiasm; I hope you bombarded them with sweets!

    We can invite them over next year.