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We had another successful rally. The weather was warm during the day and cool at night. Attendance was high enough to insure we have enough profit to subsidize our other club activities like drinking beer and eating cholesterol (the Pig and Steak Roasts).
Somehow, things seemed subdued even though the club provided members with decent bottled beer instead of the usual cans of Genny Light. We only had to break up one loud party. They went into the dining hall where they couldn't be heard over the band. The only other people inside were those who sat inside last year, and whose conversation now consists mainly of "What?"
Our staff archeologists (the Garbologists) reported a significant reduction in the number of empty beer cans, offset by a corresponding rise in empty water bottles. This has serious consequences for the Girl Scouts, who usually fund their entire year's activities with the five-cent deposits from our beer cans. Look for a particularly aggressive Girl Scout Cookie season this year.
Our average age did not increase to over 50, as I predicted last year. I am happy to see that we are finally doing something about this problem by lying about our ages on the registration form.
Since I went to the MOA National Rally in Trenton, Ontario, I cannot help but compare it to ours, which was clearly better. First, we had more showers and our vendors were outside. The importance of these details became obvious on the second and third day in the crowded indoor vendor area.
Second, our food was better. In addition to Carol's excellent dinners, included with registration, we didn't serve Poutine. This is a popular dish in Trenton, made of French fries covered with cheddar cheese and gravy. Poutine is a culinary experience similar in digestive effect to Nick Tahoe's Garbage Plate, but without the subtle flavors.
Finally, we didn't have a lot of seminars to interfere with beer and water drinking. One was about how to camp on a motorcycle. The other was on how to pack a motorcycle for a trip. Both were highly relevant since almost everybody came on a motorcycle and camped. I don't know why we didn't get more people. Maybe everybody figured that since they made it OK, what the hell else is there to know? If we don't improve this attitude, we might have even more beer and water drinking time next year.
A friend who rides an Indian reported that Marty's Labor Day Poker Run also seemed subdued. He thought it might be September 11. As motorcyclists, we understand freedom in a very special way. We also feel more acutely the compromises to our freedom resulting from the attack.
The mood of our country has changed. But we should continue to ride free, and ride safe.
— Copyright © 2002 by Notch Miyake.