Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday morning rally report

billings mcd BILLINGS, Mont. – I arrived at the BMW MOA rally site in Billings around 1 p.m. Wednesday after a relatively pleasant ride up from Belle Fourche and found the Indianapolis BMW Club campsite in turn 3 of the fairgrounds racetrack infield.

The area is apparently subject to afternoon windstorms – the one on Wednesday nearly folding my tent double before friends helped me stabilize it with loaner guylines and tent stakes. Dinner was at Subway about a half-mile uphill from the venue.

I slept well Wednesday night despite or because of two or three brief showers.

Thursday morning I was chagrined to see that my online advance registration was rendered pointless by the fact that the line into the registration area did not segregate pre-registered from non-registered people. Deb Parsons helped me short circuit the process and avoid the block-long line.

I searched out audiologist Marilyn Navia who determined that the solder connection on my right in-ear monitor was faulty. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the equipment here to repair it, so I’ll ship it to her when I get home.

We’re camped next to the Airheads club who are somewhat notorious for their late-night revelries. They retired relatively early Wednesday night but carried on loudly until about 2:30 a.m. last night. Wayne Garrison explained to me this morning that we got paired with them because both clubs require access to electrical power – us for our CPAP members and the Airheads because of their lights and bike lifts they use for motorcycle maintenance.

It appears that Sprint never heard of Billings. I had better cell service in Burkesville, Ky. last May than I have here. The BMW MOA Wifi is also spotty and weak outside the vendor building.

At this point, I’d rate this rally a C for venue and organization, but I remain hopeful that things will improve.


After struggling with the kinda-sorta Wifi in the MOA internet cafe, I gave up in exasperation and suited up to ride to the nearest McDonald’s.

Roc Shannon, an MOA ambassador from Bloomington, Ind. and a longtime acquaintance told me the IT guy who was supposed to set up the rally Wifi was in an accident and we’re stuck with something slightly slower than dial-up.

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