Our Trip to the 2005 BBC 25th Anniversary MC Show and Rally
Story by Pauline Forrest
We started our trip to the 25th Anniversary of the BBC Motorcycle Show and Rally at Eagle Cave early Thursday morning. Rachel and Jacob, my daughter and son, were very excited to go to the rally. They had earlier in the week expressed their interest in the Rally by saying that they looked forward to it as the best part of the year. Wow. That was an awesome statement. We usually make it to the every year and this one was no exception but it was the 25th so you never know what might happen.
We've always made our way to see my old co-worker John in Fall River right outside Columbus off of hwy 151 heading towards Madison. John is an old co-worker of mine that I used to work with over 10 years ago. The storm had finally arrived as we got to Waupun so we waited it out a bit. We heard later that Eagle Cave had received steady rain this Thursday morning through early afternoon. We finally arrived at John's and his friend, Heidi, put on a huge lunch and topped it off with John's favorite, Blizzards. It was a nice visit to say the least.
We made it on the last leg of our journey to Eagle Cave around Madison by Hwy 19 which detoured around a bit but we doglegged down cty KR to enjoy some scenery and made a little shortcut. We ended up in Spring Green where we always stop at the Rumble Seats Drive-in to fill up before setting up camp at Eagle Cave. We didn't have much room after stopping at John's but still had to have a couple of root beers while enjoying the atmosphere of nostalgia and outside kids stuff. It is truly a treat to see.
We weren't at Rumble seats 10 minutes when about 20 Chrysler Prowler cars made entry into the parking lot. We were amazed all of the customized and stock Chrysler convertible and hardtop Prowlers. The kids took a lot of pictures. We talked with many of the drivers and passengers before they quickly got ready and left almost all at once. They were rallying on their own up in Devil's Head.
Making our last part of the last leg of our trip via hwy 60 we had to detour around the regular entrance and through a lot of the back roads to the entrance to Eagle Cave. What a beautiful sight we saw while making it around the top of those hillsides.
The top of the hill was still a climb and the first order of business was to pay for the Thursday night camping. The kids asked and mom unloaded the bikes so they could ride to the quiet area to pick out a site. It seemed that a large group of people had left for supper as they spent most of the day waiting out the rain. There were already several of the regulars in the quiet area: the Reeds, Cliff and group, and the Damms (waiting for their antique members to show). Nimo was set up past us a bit. Nimo is the gentleman who had the bug counting guessing game last year during the bike show. The kids and I set up camp per Rachel's instructions and we were set for the night. We spent some time in the arcade and made it a somewhat early night.
Early on Friday we set out for the showers and seeing who was where. I connected with Mary to let her know that we were ready for registration, set up some time for Security, and got ready for the first day of the rally. I also determined that Spin and I were the only ones to bring our pink shirts. (Remember next year everyone to wear your pink 1988 rally shirts on Friday night). Everyone was in their rallying spirit. "We be rallying!" Rachel and I posted the rally notices and other rally stuff around the campground and went down to open registration.
Registration was busy but Mary always seems to have everything in control. Rachel is helping so much at registration now that I let her go with Mary and just set up rally registration stuff. Jacob was out looking at the pond or playing quietly in the van with his game boy so this turned out to be a fun time. (I remember the days when I had to change Jacob's diaper by the MNU (mobile nerve unit) and then get back with registration to help. By this time security was mobilizing at the registration area and many people were coming to register. After our time at registration, I spent some time helping at security. This was fun to see the many bikes coming in and chatting to some of the riders. During this time the bike games were starting and Rachel wanted to see them. We had about 2 hours at security so we had some time to go.
By the time we got to the bike games, which are held down below beyond registration in a field. New Al and another person coordinated these games. It was so stinking hot out in this field that we were all huddling under a small umbrella covered table that coordinated the participant registration and held my small wiener that I bit off of a mustardy hotdog (that eventually won the wienie bite contest). There were several games but Rachel and I only participated in the balloon toss. I connected with Ken from Medford on his wife's bike and Rachel went with new Al. Mary and Scott Netzinger also did well at this game but conceding to another winner.
Shortly after 6pm we all went into the cave for Road Kill hosted by Eagle Cave. Spanish hamburgers chicken wings, chips, coleslaw and lemonade were part of this feast. I'm glad that this event is held in the cave because it gives us all a reminder of where we are when we are at Eagle Cave and it is cool! Watch out for those drops of water from the ceiling.
After eating, the kids did the arcade and I walked around to look at bikes and to see who was round. A Triumph Rocket III that I met at registration was talking about his bike. I felt honored when he offered to let me sit on it. Whew. What a bike.
The band Friday night was awesome. They really made me get up and dance. And of course, there was Colette to help with the shaking. Colette mentioned that Saturday would have two bands and she was wondering how they would fit into the short timeframe. Marj arrived early this year and almost immediately, the neon was glowing. Marj does some awesome work with bending and matching colors. When we got back to our tent, I noticed that the one guy with the new Triumph Rocket III was camping next to us. I felt real special.
The kids were off early Saturday morning when the brief early morning rain stopped. We did ok but the Rocket III was gone. Bummer. Another one was parked down the way so there was a bit of heaven left in the area.
Today there were many things to do: Poker run, bike show, demo rides (including a Triumph Rocket III) and some special events. The bike show this year was held in the quiet area. I thought this was odd at first. Rachel helped early to sign up bike show entrants and continued through the course of the bike show. There were many nice bikes. I then understood why the bike show was at the quiet area: seeing the first really special event "DUKER" showing off on a Triumph on the top of the hill, smoking his tire and riding back and forth, twisting and turning, up and down, wheeling back and forth trying to blow out his rear. I had to get Jacob out of the arcade to watch this show as he said he saw it before (DUKER started on a small moped earlier). I said that he better see this now as he didn't see this show. I was ecstatic watching and so were the many people that had accumulated during DUKER's presentation. And then I saw another Rocket III in his arsenal waiting for the next show and I certainly would be there.
I helped at the product booth with Rachel and Colette. There were many things new for sale including ladies T's. They were a hot item for the ladies. Also a 25th Anniversary Silver Edition BBC commemorative pin was available. We need to thank Jim Cutting for his fine art work and graphics over the last 25 years of rallies. We are blessed for his great skills and collection. Did I mention that he created a display of T-shirts and posters for all to see in the main tent? That was nice. Thank-you Jim.
DUKER was getting started with the ROCKET III when a gentleman in the crowd blew whistle to draw attention to his request for our BBC president, Rudy Wheeler. He made an official mention of the band that was going to appear in support of the BBC's 25th Silver Anniversary. Then you could hear the bag pipes and a group of 11 baggers and drummers marching in unison came from the quiet area up the steep hill to group in the center and play songs. It was the Pipe Band from Madison Wisconsin. After the first or second song, the leader, with Rudy, noted to the group that the band was honoring the BBC for it's commitment for 25 years to keep British motorcycling alive in the United States. It was the "Bravest and Finest" memorial that the Pipe Band provided for many. They quickly added that they do play for beer and quickly that was provided with a Rally Mug to boot! The songs continued around the main area at Eagle Cave. Pictures were taken of them with bikes and it truly made the whole event commemorative and historical. So many people were following them around to appreciate their music and authentic dress.
The Saturday dinner was again the best spread for $8 that anyone could wish for and then it quickly turned into Saturday night with another equally impressive band and festivities. The kids were in the arcade and if you notice by now, my pockets were soon drained of quarters and allowance money. We soon hit the hay, my fee tired from walking back and forth from the quiet area to the main tent. We went to sleep under a beautiful sky and left early Sunday so that we could see my brother who was visiting in Appleton.
What a great 2005 Rally. My kids and I always enjoy the activities and more so as they get older and can rider their bikes around. Thank-you to all of those who spent a lot of time getting this show on the road. It takes a lot of volunteers to make this happen before and during the rally. I'm hoping to see you next year.