Monday, October 01, 2012

No Shiloh Rally for me

dam john[3]I had a great time at the 2009 Shiloh Rally.

I just checked the weekend forecast for Savannah, Tenn., and it’s just about perfect for a rally – lots of sunshine, no more than a 20 percent chance of rain and autumnal temperatures.

But I’m not going to this, the 38th annual Return to Shiloh Rally put on by the BMW Riders Association of the Mid-South (BMW RAMS) because the Tennessee Valley Authority has wrecked what was one of the premiere club rallies in the nation.

Here’s the explanation from Spencer Bennett, the RAMS secretary-treasurer:

Dear BMW Friends;
For 38 years, The BMW RAMS have hosted the RETURN TO SHILOH RALLY at the Pickwick Dam TVA Campground. Historically, we have been able to negotiate agreements with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to ensure adequate camping for our rally guests at a cost that allowed for a reasonable rally fee.
Unfortunately, there has been a change in direction at the Knoxville TVA headquarters. TVA has decided to court a different type of camper as found in motor homes and camper trailers. In response, the TVA upgraded the primitive camping loop at Pickwick Dam TVA Campground and has refused to discuss any camping options with us. We encountered a similar situation in rally planning last year. Fortunately, the rally was salvaged in the final weeks when the TVA agreed to rent the middle loop so we could provide camping. However, there is no viable option this year, as the TVA personnel are not returning telephone calls and are no longer responding to e-mails from RAMS members.

Due to these ongoing issues with the TVA, and in spite of the wonderful support shown by the local community, the RAMS have been forced to move the Return to Shiloh Rally to another location next year (2013). We plan to have this new site ready to announce at the closing ceremonies at this year's Return to Shiloh Rally.

The uncertainty of what the camping fee would be, and the attendant inability to set an appropriate rally fee, has caused us to decide that this year the Return to Shiloh Rally will have no rally fee. We would have the usual Rally Amenities (Coffee, Door Prizes, Self-Guided Tours, Bike Show, Flea Market, Firewood, Band, etc.).
Each Rally Attendee will be responsible for paying their own camping fees and paying for their own Bar-B-Q dinner on Saturday night.
This will allow us to conduct the Return to Shiloh Rally this year without imposing an undue expense on the rally attendees. It is estimated that the out of pocket cost to each attendee for camping will be in the $24 to $28 range, depending on where they camp and for how long. This compares well with our previous rally fee of $30.
We realize that this is an unusual step to take but we feel that it is the fairest way to wind down what has become a very difficult arrangement with the TVA.

Please join us October 5 - 7, 2012 as we prepare to leave the “Best Rally by a Dam Site," en route to a new rally home!

Spencer Bennett
Secy/Treas. BMWRAMS

I’ve been to four Shiloh rallies and might have been persuaded to make it this year, but it wouldn’t be much fun because none of my friends will be there.

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