“Critical Mass” is when you get enough people together that the world starts taking notice and tries to cater too if not eliminate you. Given the falling attendance at this year’s grassroots moto events, I fear we may be sliding into that abyss.

First up, the now one day Naples tech day was down to 20 at best attendance and only a day’s duration. The Florida winter rally met it’s 500 attendance limit per usual, but as about the only rally left in a state of 20 million plus a few million more “snowbirds”, not much of a challenge. In a my Buffalo Ridge back yard the annual “Off Road Poker Run” was delayed due to a snow covered course and then forgotten. But the “Best Rally by Dam Site” was back to about 20 campers and even survived a ride leader who tried to keep everyone to an iron butt schedule to reach what turned out to be an abandoned restaurant down a muddy cratered dirt road on time for lunch.

Then the Bonzai Run got cancelled, though the host hotel’s inhospitably can take part of the blame. Last weekend I had no parades on the schedule and thus made my as regular as possible pilgrimage to the Iowa BMW Rally. The club put on a great event for around a mere 150 attendees, leaving one to wonder how close they’re to the break even point financially. And while I expected heavy promotion of the BMWMOA rally in Des Moines next month, it was barely mentioned. Many riders I quired aren’t going due to the $65 for next to nothing cost, and the Iowa Guzzi rally the same weekend is a far better deal.

Now one would think that a weekend of riding, camping, too much food, and comradship with fellow gearheads would be irresistible for the two wheeled masses. But motorcycle rallies seem to be down to a small core of enthusiastic riders and the guys in pickups who just came for the party. Rare exceptions are the kid who rode a Grom to the Land of Oz rally a couple years back and had a great time.

Maybe we need to listen to the kids on the Groms and scooters and bikes they dragged out of the shed and brought back to life. While British sports cars dominated Sports Car Club of America events in the 50s, fortunately they didn’t name them selves the BCCA and now their membership is growing, despite refusing to accommodate the burgeoning hordes of SUVs and trucks. BMWMOA, maybe you need to lose the “BMW” and the “tude” too!

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