While dead late model BMWs are keeping tow truck drivers occupied in the upper left quarter of the country, the Airheads have been knockin’ out one successful repair after another! With the first day of the rally not even over with, we’ve already fixed a dropped valve, failed ignition trigger, and a bunch of more minor repairs and maintainence jobs (loud valves are happy valves!).

DSC_4334Seen at the BMWMOA rally this morn’, somebody let this idiot through the gate. Probably a BMWMOA life member. Plates are from New Mexico, wonder if this geographicly challenged disrespector of our veterans has meth or weed under the tarp?

We’re saturated.

What little space the RVs haven’t taken or the MOA hasn’t taped off for their pet local BMW clubs that haven’ t shown up in any great numbers is jammed tent peg to tent peg with tents. It’s getting hard to find a parking place… For a motorcycle. There’s porta potties aplenty, but maybe 20 showers for 2000 campers… MOA, we can take the hint, but no, were not paying over $100 a night for motels! The MOAs much vaunted WiFi can’t even handle text only e-mail, and this whole overgrown cow towns cell sites and internet backbone are struggling.

That said, the attendance doesn’t look all that impressive, and no record will be set. Security leaks like a sieve, with long gaps in the perimeter that allow any interested local to wander in and explore without paying MOA’s $80 fee In fact, I” ┬átalked to one person who never registered last year, another who hasn’t paid this year, and a MOA director has fessed up to sneaking in a friend last year.. Perhaps this is the reason MOA’s attendance figures have been declining. And if those numbers can’t be trusted, does MOA still have even 32,000 members and a similar circulation of it’s advertising littered rag?

More questions than can be asked in fridays MOA board meeting, for sure.

BMWMOA’s zombie WiFi finally awoke and is fighting for bandwidth, AT&T is working better. Damn, why didn’t I bring that telegraph key?

McDonalds is running the any size soft drink for a buck promotion, might be a good idea to drink one there, then get a refill for back at the rally.

Despite being the logistics hub of Montana and the upper rockies, Billings internet crawls… And the rally ain’t even started yet. BMWMOA’s “hotspot” is a zombie, Sprint is MIA, AT&T slows to a crawl as soon as a few users get online, and how long will Verizon hold up? So please excuse the lack of pix, and I suspect I’ll have to go to the other side of town to get any bandwidth… Maybe.

The rally doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow, but there’s clearly at least a thousand people here already. That means the noisy shady tent sites are gone (there are no quiet sites). The vast RV lots have plenty of room left though, a clear sign of BMWMOAs priorities. The membership clearly has other priorities, as the retired riders stretch their budgets… McDonalds is near packed with riders! One of the few perks of being in the logistics center of the upper rockies right on US 87 is a virtual bellyache gulch just up the hill from the rally site… Besides Micky D’s and the usual fast food suspects, the chinese resteraunt with the noon buffet looks like a good place to enscape this afternoon’s ninety degree heat!

More dispatches to follow as bandwidth allows…

So I snuck in and was given sanctuary by the Florida Airheads! The promised ‘MOA Wi-Fi is a zombie, so looks like a rally liveblog is out of the question… I’ll be posting as my hotspot allows.

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