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2016 Rally in the Gorge recap

If you've been to two or more of our rallies, you know it's never the same rally twice. The expanse of road options allows us to recommend different rides year after year. The breadth of industry professionals we know means there's always a changing cast of speakers providing presentations and seminar. And the diversity of the landscape and weather means the Gorge is always changing it's persona, year after year.

2016 was certainly no exception. This rally was different from any other.

Photo: One of the many fine corners on Canyon Road in Klickitat County

The event kicked off with Jesse Murphy providing a suspension seminar, which he repeated the following day. Jesse, it turns out, was an integral part of the rally this year also providing an Advanced Vision Techniques seminar and handling the instructor duties during this year's Maryhill Clinic.

All morning and afternoon, vendors arrived and were positioned by Tracy Jeffries, this year's vendor coordinator. Tracy did a great job inviting in new vendors to the rally this year, as well as working together with returning entities. Several vendors provided seminars at their booth space including David Petersen from Best Rest who offered up smart tips about on-road tire repair.

By Thursday the numbers were starting to grow. In all, we had just under 300 riders in attendance this year. It was such a success last year, we worked together with Oregon Raceway Park to enable our attendees to make a few parade laps around the track.

Thursday afternoon Whitney and Jason of Dirt Bike Safety Training executed a new rider clinic, providing bikes to those who would rather keep their own on the sidelines.

By day's end, the masses gathered for the annual Burger Feed and Mixer where new attendees can mingle with seasoned veterans of the event. The food was awesome and having done this for 3 years now, we do a pretty good job keeping the food flowing and the lines moving as a result. Bruce Scott, Art & Barbie, Gary Anderson, TJ, Paul Tefft and the others who helped out run a great show! This year the burger feed was sponsored by Enumclaw Powersports, and their support is always appreciated.

Food. Well, admittedly, food presence was an issue this year as I struggled to find food trucks and vendors who would provide service during the event. Eventually, an outfit in nearby Odell committed but ended up only coming Friday night. In 2017 we'll resolve this issue by taking matters into our own hands, rather than rely on outside third parties.

We wrapped Thursday night recording the Sound RIDER! Show in the Community Building with a live audience. Derek and I bantered through the opening segment, then brought up a number of vendors for interviews. The recording was edited together in early September and you can listen to it at www.soundrider.com/show.

Friday featured the Fun Run, sponsored by Gordon's Heated Clothing and ICON/Raiden. We really mixed it up this year when we utilized a handful of the smallest post offices around as checkpoints. Riders picked cards that held postage stamp replicas and scored according to value. There was a paved route, as well as a dual sport route. The weather was exceptional. Thanks to everyone who ran checkpoints including Robb Dogg, Dave Swezey of Cycle Wipes, Lee Stewart, the Gordon's crew, The All Moto Tire crew and Derek and Paul T.

Phot: A rider draws a card at Checkpoint #4 from Dave Swezey of Cycle Wipes.

Friday evening, Whitney and Jason from Dirt Bike Safety Training commenced the Barrel Roll competition allowing attendees to compete on the obstacle course they created onsite.

Friday night Shal and Steph from SheADV presented a multi-media show about their 27,000 mile journey.

Throughout the event, attendees enjoyed the suggested routes provided as GPS uploads and paper maps. Several of the routes worked to-and-from's on Saturday for the Maryhill Loops Road opening. The specialized clinic earlier in the morning that provided cornering ques, was sold out.

Dr. Greg Frazier arrived in the afternoon and that evening provided a slideshow covering the work he put into digging up the archival works about Carl Stearns Clancy's 1912/13 tour around the world: the first ever on a motorcycle.

The Rally in the Gorge isn't complete without the Sunday Breakfast. Bruce, Gary, Tracy and the crew got to work early in the morning and pulled off another awesome breakfast event.

Since 2003, when the rally began, Bruce Scott has been an integral part of the event. He's always taking care of business during the event and has been a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to pre-planning and pre-riding. But Bruce is ready to ride and is shedding his duties to others next year. This being his final year I'd just like to publicly say, he made a lot of things happen and we appreciate all his blood, sweat and tears over 14 years. Bruce isn't someone we can replace with a single person and we'll be working all his efforts amongst a group of others in years to come.

Photo: Bruce Scott puts the finishing touches on the fruit salad served during the Sunday breakfast. He's sporting his original Event Staff shirt from 2003.

2017? Here it comes. We already have the dates so if you think you're going to come, you can register online now at www.soundrider.com/rally and book your accommodations if you plan to stay off-site. The dates are August 23rd-27th. We hope you'll join us.

TM/October 2016


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