2017 Eastern V-Strom Rally Photos-Comments-Suggestions - Page 2 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #11 of 89 Old 05-21-2017, 09:54 PM
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Just got home after riding 757 straight miles in some nasty weather. Had a great time seeing some old faces and meeting new ones. Now it's time for bed! I'll think of something better tomorrow to post...


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post #12 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 06:07 AM
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it's great to put your face to your name!

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post #13 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 09:34 AM
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I wanted to look at a few things before I gave my opinion on better WiFi for the Ironhorse Lodge. What they are looking at now is, from what we were told, a huge investment to bring in a solid wired connection and then a huge monthly fee forever to maintain it. Basically a T-1 line.

In my IT experience that would be a massive waste of resources. I understand their wanting to offer things to their customers that other lodges lack, but this shouldn't be one of those things for several reasons.

1) It's just WiFi at the campsite and unless they want to spend another large sum of money to wire the campus you will still have to go to the main lodge.

2) When going riding your phone still won't work except in limited areas. It's those big things with trees on them.

3) Many of the campers really don't care if they stay connected 24/7 and if they wanted to they could just get a Verizon burner phone.

4) If Ironhorse really wanted to offer WiFi to the few that just have to stay connected a better option for them would be to contact Verizon and get setup as a MiFi rental agency. Let the people that want to be connected 24/7 with high speed pay for it. A typical MiFi national rental is about $75 a gig. I feel confident they would not rent may of these.

5) The truth be told if everyone in camp had access to a full T-1 and started uploading a bunch of photos it's still going to choke.

And for the option I would select if I owned the Ironhorse myself

First multiple signs to educate campers on how to use a low speed internet connection for the best throughput for everyone. If you are able to tell people not to flush wipes and put them in the trash can you should not be embarrassed to tell them to wait until they get home to send that 6 gig picture of you standing in front of a Deals Gap dragon.

I would contact a company and explore the feasibility of erecting up a radio tower and installing a commercial cell phone booster inside the lodge. Because if the phones work in the lodge nobody is going to care about WiFi, but probably only Verizon is going to boost. Then offer a $50 per gig secure WiFi running off a Verizon MiFi hot spot for that tiny amount of customers that just gotta have it, and that price is the national standard and keeps the line clear. What you don't want to do is offer high speed at a low price because then everyone buys it and it won't be high speed and all you will hear is bitchin, which I would not want. It's cheaper to offer it at a high price and not sell any of it. There are software / hardware packages like CloudTrax to track the usage for when the guest checks out and gets his bill.

Ask people if they want better facilities or fast WiFi and they are all going to say better facilities. With the advances in cell technology soon that landline will be a worthless lump of old technology that you spent money you will have wished you invested in your property because that is why people come to your business.
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Last edited by Dread7; 05-22-2017 at 03:59 PM.
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post #14 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 09:45 AM
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Kudos to all who worked on the Gathering (Mark444, Stalky Tracker, Prowler, Clovett and any others I missed) for your time and efforts so the rest of us could better enjoy the Ironhorse and the good riding in the area.

Had a good time and I'm looking forward to next year.
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post #15 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 11:44 AM
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Organized Rides

The trip to the museum was the first organized ride ever for this event. Everyone that made it had a great time but now lets face the reality, not everyone made it!

Why and what can we do about that.

First the ride to the museum is not a bad ride in itself. The problem is we don't ride well in a group and as we hit red lights and other obstacles the people in the back tend to veer off and go riding because they don't know how to get to the location. While we could all buy pirate suits which draw up in the crotch area and force you to ride closer together I would like to make a different suggestion.

Probably a third of the riders, including myself, had GPS units. For organized rides in the future slips of paper with the address and / or GPS coordinates on them passed out the night before the organized ride in the meeting where we talk about the ride would be a good thing. That way if you lose the group ahead of you, just wait for the next group that splintered off to come along. Note this won't work for the last guy so if you start growing stubble waiting on a group you should probably go riding.

Also I might suggest talking about and informing people about the awesome GPX route files you have on your rally website. Had I known about these they would have been in my Garmin ahead of the rally, and they certainly will already be in my GPS next year. This is half of that collection. I believe the location of these files is easternvstromrally dot something.

3 State (NC - GA - SC) Loop 1
3 State (NC - GA - SC) Loop 2
Cherohala Skyway - TN 360 - Tail of the Dragon
Deals Gap - Suches Loop
Dragon - Ducktown - Cherohala Loop
Dragon - Foothills - Great Smokey Mountain Loop
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Last edited by Dread7; 05-22-2017 at 12:40 PM.
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post #16 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 01:33 PM
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Misc Rambling Thoughts.........

No order of importance.......things just popping thru my feeble brain:

1. "Thankyou's" to The Iron Horse Lodge/Facility. John/Charlene + their Staff bend over backwards for us, year after year. Kudo's to "Stalky Tracker"......my go-to guy for rally advice on how to handle something. He is quiet, very knowledgable, and a true long-distance traveler on his strom. I call him "the Man behind the Curtain" (The Great Oz). Please send a PM or email to Crazy Fox Coffees and member "Mastery" (Riding Journals), both over on the ADV forum, thanking them for their Door Prizes. Also thanks to Kitesurfer's wife for donating the hats.
2. I'm not going to comment on the Wi-Fi thing as I still use a Flip-phone, have T-Mobile, and don't pick up a signal anyway from Stecoah.
3. Thanks to Les (Prowler) for MC'ing the Nightly Announcements........CLovett for finding a "Best Farkled" candidate.......and "others" who came up to me and said "what can I do to help out today". If I start naming names, I will surely miss someone.
4. LOTS of First-Timers at this rally. Your cherry has now been busted. We had approximately 55-60 total attendees this year.
5. We (the Rally) was interviewed by Mike Gouge of Blue Ridge Motorcycling Magazine, a VERY nicely done quarterly magazine similar to Road Runner, but confined to our riding area........the Eastern USA. We hope the Rally will make the next (or following) issue.

https://www.blueridgemotorcyclingmagazine.com/gallery/

6. Les and CLovett (I think??) were interviewd by a Public Relations Outfit (Advertising) that The Iron Horse has hired to video/photo the facility. We might see something concerning Vstroms in a future IH brochure??
7. Group Ride to Wheels thru Time Museum......all I can say is it rated an "A" for me. Dale (owner) gave us use of the outside Pavillion, chairs, tables, and Grill (if we needed it) to cook hotdogs......plus a chilled watermelon!!! Andy, the English Gent on staff who led some of the walks/talks inside the museum, seemed very interested in next year's Rally. He has traveled the world (Africa twice) and thinks the vstrom is THE bike for that kind of adventure. I will post more pics of the Museum later......and we should consider this an Annual Group Ride??
8. OK, now for my "passing the baton" plea. We need 3-4 folks to step up next year and take over some activities so Stalky and myself can go riding more. possible "positions" include: Tshirt coordinator, SWAG (Door Prize) coordinator, Awards/trophies if we elect to keep handing them out, Liason between the IH and the Vstrom community, and possible activities cat-herder. A couple of folks came to me with suggestions for next year and someone needs to coordinate all this: Rally Stickers (like Realshelby donated in 2016), a photo in front of the Lodge of each rider standing in front of his bike (to put a name with a face/bike), possible scavenger hunt of somekind??, Group Ride to go WW Rafting on the Nantahala, getting "local" dealerships involved with rally.......keep thinking outside the box differently of what we have done in the past. We need new ideas, or chance becoming "stale" with the Rally.
9. We brought a "Hooker" to the rally this year and it worked out great......everyone was "satisfied" one way or another.
10. We had the pleasure of meeting the infamous "Go-Go-Gadget" riding his "covered" Goldwing into camp. The top over the pilot served as a trampoline for toddlers as well as keeping the sun off the rider.
11. We had a good mix of ADV bikes present: Africa Twin, new DL1000's, BMW GS, I saw (3) other sidecars there besides Korney's rig, couple of Yami Tenor-rays, KTM's/a Buell and Trumps. Skip (the Snowbird) had his Spyder there and 2-3 Slingshots came thru the parking lot during the weekend. Of course the ZCar Rally was held at the same time as our's and they were EVERYWHERE. I made a note to myself: never let another member ride my bike in the SS Race. "Spokes" kicked my arse (timewise) on my own bike!! Anyone want to buy a nice little Honda CB500X "Vstronda"....??? ("Spokes" turned out to be my bunkhouse roomie for the weekend and it was a pleasure chatting with him during the day.....he kept me in stitches the whole time. And he really does Love Shinko Tires deep down inside, no matter what he tells you. It was good to room with "old timer" Scott Bonds this year, who sawed enough firewood to keep the IH warm for the Winter.
12. SS Race........only 4 folks wanted to compete. A number I was disappointed in, and I guess we need to rethink next year if we want to have it. The first year we had about 2 dozen entries.....some were Gals on cruiser bikes.
13. Winning number for the "guess the widgets in the jar" game had to be closest to "210".......with Stromlurker (or Ms. Stromlurker??) having the Best guess.

Photos will come in a day or two. I use "Webresizer.com" to shrink them acceptable size.
The 2018 Rally will be the same weekend as this year.......weekend between Mother's Day and Memorial Day. Put it on your calendar NOW. If you want to keep your cabin/bunkhouse reservation that you had this year, let the IH know ASAP.
I'm sure I will "remember"other schtuff to post as I re-live the last 4 days here at work in my mind..........

mark444
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Another great event last May 2018......already planning it for 2019!!
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post #17 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 02:39 PM
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I want to send a big thank you to everyone for allowing me to interview a few of you for Blue Ridge Motorcycling Magazine. I've been a longtime lurker on this form and a brief visitor at previous rallies. It was great to finally meet some of you.

I had a wonderful time hanging out with my fellow V-Strommers, and you can bet I'll be back next year. Look for the article in the fall issue on news stands around Labor Day.

Thanks again,
Michael Gouge
Editor-in-Chief, Blue Ridge Motorcycling Magazine
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post #18 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 06:52 PM
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Kitesurfer, I was wondering if you made it. did we talk at the meet? If not, I really was hoping to say hello again.

Mark and others did a great job again. Next year, pending life, I plan on being one of the meeter and greeters so Mark can get some riding in!
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post #19 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by strom lurker View Post
Kitesurfer, I was wondering if you made it. did we talk at the meet? If not, I really was hoping to say hello again.
.....a face only a mother could love......The Kitesurfer.
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Another great event last May 2018......already planning it for 2019!!
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post #20 of 89 Old 05-22-2017, 11:25 PM
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Dang, we met a couple of years ago as I was heading out to Colorado for a WestFest, I believe. I'm glad he made it there but it's too bad we didn't sit down and gab.

Me and Mrs. Lurker got a cabin this year. She really appreciated it and is extremely excited to make it back next year.

The riding was excellent and like many others have mentioned already, the roads were pretty much empty on Thurs/Friday. Even with 500+ Z cars prowling the roads. I got to ride Cherohala this year and was so very impressed with it. Tarmac is so smooth and basically had it to ourselves until Saturday. Had great riding partners throughout the trip. I was a bit rusty and tentative due to my incident last year so I appreciated everyone dealing with my slowness! I didn't take too many pictures this year because I was mainly focused on riding and enjoying the time with my Lady.

Maybe it was smaller than years past, but the riders who showed up had a great time and new friends were made and old friendships renewed. I can't wait to get back next year!!!
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1993 Yamaha GTS-1000 x3
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