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Rally in the Gorge 2012

10th anniversary schedule of events comes together

Seems like only yesterday we were loading up a Honda sedan and driving down to Stevenson with nothing more than a pop up tent, a table, some wrist bands, a laptop and 200 four page programs to run the inaugural Sportbike Northwest. But that was 2003 and this is 2012. How times have changed.

The rally has expanded into four running simultaneously, with some riders crossing the lines of the various schedules and creating their own version of the rally to suit them. Today it's not unusual to see a rider trailer in a dual sport and a sportbike, and switch between mounts throughout the rally, enjoying a day on the pavement and then taking another day to play in the dirt. And we like to see that kind of diversity.

Whether it's pavement, dirt, sport bike, sport touring, dual sport or maxi scooting, we've been working hard to create a schedule of guest speakers that will provide plenty of interest to riders along all those formats.

Our national headliner speaker this year is Nick Ienatsch, who was with us in 2008. Nick's forte, as most know, is in the sport bike field, but did you know he's also a dual sport rider? And you may see him on an adventure bike during the rally because South Sound BMW has generously agreed to provide Nick with his choice of an S1000RR, R1200GSA, F800R or K1600GT.

Those are also the bikes South Sound will have available for you to test ride while you're there. In addition, Cycle Barn is bringing a selection of Triumph, Piaggio and Zero motorcycles to be test ridden as well.

On a more local note, Mike Sullivan, a nationally known AMA rider, will join us to run a morning seminar on sport bike mods and then a clinic to help riders learn the finer aspects of hanging off on public roads. Mike wants you moving around on your bike as you ride, no matter where you are, and you'll find out why during the rolling clinic.

There's always some great off-road fun happening for the dual sport adventure riders. This year, Tim Bernard of Happy Trails will lead a ride/rolling clinic eastward Saturday, and those who join in will get to experience some challenging level two and three road surfaces. Several top instructors from PSSOR will also be offering their dual sport basics class.

We're also pleased to announce that Sterling Noren will join us as a guest speaker and provide a special evening presentation about his long career as a moto documentary producer. Regardless of what kind of bike you ride, you're sure to find Sterling's adventures exciting as well as educational.

The always mind opening David Hough will return as a guest presenter. He'll arrive hot on the heals of his latest book release, Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride 2nd Edition, which has been re-done from cover to cover. David, Nick and all other authors included this year will have a round table discussion on Thursday night.

We have a duo of women presenters who will be coming in fresh from the AMA Women in Motorcycling conference held the weekend before, outside of Reno, Nevada. Author Tamela Rich and tour operator Karen Thomson will provide a number of presentations as well as a morning coffee klatch Thursday.

Friday will feature the fun run. Those who have been before know we always do something unique. We have an exciting game in store, as we tip our hat to about 52 of the people who have made the rally a success over the last decade. The route will provide some grand riding and sights throughout the day. As always there will be a paved route as well as a dual sport route.

Connie has been busy gathering some great door prizes and silent auction items for bidding on during the rally. We'll be featuring highlights from the stash in upcoming rally newsletters, so be sure you're on the respective lists.

And while this year's fun run will commemorate 10 years of the rally, the salute doesn't end there. The City of Stevenson has set forth a proclamation naming July 30-Augst 5th as the Sound RIDER! Motorcycle Week in the Gorge. On Saturday evening we'll continue the celebration with a short slideshow featuring the faces and places that have contributed to the rally's success.

There's a lot more going on than just the highlights noted here. The schedule is continually updated between now and the rally. A full list of the presenters along with their bios is available on the schedule pages of each rally site. Keep yourself up to date by checking in at the portal site, then pick a rally and click!

SR! /Spring 12

 


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