The Price you Pay for a Good Time

For those of you that attended this year’s BMW Winter Rally at Camp Blanding, you know what a great time was had by all. The hosts and volunteers pulled off an excellent weekend of events, seminars, displays and excitement.

Everything was perfect. From the dinners, location and even the weather. Last year, we camped next to the lake with the wind coming off the water to remind us of just how cold 28 degrees can be in a tent. Ah, but not this year. Perfect mid 70s during the day and mid 40s at night.

I do have one question for the attendees. Who bragged on the weather Saturday night after dinner? It had to be someone boasting how perfect life is while camping with your bike in ‘Perfect Weather’. I’ll go on record now that it wasn’t me.

A little after 9pm on Saturday night, Tlaloc – the Supreme God of Rain, heard the boasting of mere mortal BMW bikers and sent a reminder to those camped on Lake Kingsley that he was not a God to be taken for granted. He started his evening festivities with a light sprinkling of a fine vintage raindrops just to give everyone time to arrive in their tents and stow their gear. Once he saw all were safe and secure, he sent in his first volley of a heavier bomblets. These were large enough to get the camper in a standard Walmart Tent wondering if an animal such as a rabbit or raccoon had creeped out of the woods and was knocking on the side of the tent asking for shelter.

This did not last long. Tlaloc had a brew of rain that he had been saving for a special occasion. And this was just that occasion. He had mastered the fine art of adding lead to the raindrops. A lesson he had learned from George Ravenscroft, inventor of lead crystal glass while touring London in 1673. Say good- bye to the Walmart tent for it is no match for leaded rain. Campers no longer had visions of rabbits or raccoons tapping on the tent walls. These were bears and panthers slashing at the tent. They were mad too. Probably hadn’t eaten in days and needed fresh meat. This rain lasted for over an hour and as quickly as it came, it was gone. The clouds even separated for a while so Tlaloc could use the moonlight to see what havoc he had caused. To his dismay, he saw the campers out walking around the campsites. There was talk and laughter about Florida weather. Someone was saying, “if you don’t like the weather, hang around a while, it will change.”

Tlaloc was furious. This would just not due. How dare they laugh at his handy work. Enough was enough. Time to get serious and show these bikers who was boss. The clouds quickly came back. There was no warning drizzle to start the next onslaught. This was all out war. At 1:15, Tlaloc brought out his worse. Raindrops were no longer round. These drops carried spiked edges and serrated hooks to rip through tents like Philip Mule attacking Saturday night’s steak dinner. These did not just drop from the sky. No, these were shot out of the cannons at the entrance of Camp Blanding at full velocity. They hit the tents with such furry, dirt embedded from years of trail riding jumped off the tent fabric and sailed across to the other side of the tent. Fiberglass poles strained against the wind with all the strength they could muster. But the tents would not fail.

Tlaloc started sending volleys of lightening at the campers. I saw the skeleton of the camper next to me. Still asleep in his cot. Minutes turned into hours and the onslaught continued. But still the bikers stayed in place. Battened down for the duration.

Morning came. Tlaloc was exhausted. He could give no more. His special supplies of evil raindrops completely spent. It would take months to resupply his stocks. As dawn broke and the day’s first light touched down on the campsites and seeing no lost souls or destroyed campsites, Tlaloc finally realize the error of his ways. These were not ordinary bikers. No, these were Beemers. The safest and most prepared of all riders. Completely defeated, the God or Rain” hung his head in shame. His only redeeming thought was Daytona Bike week was only weeks away and it was always fun testing the skills of the less prepared.

People, bikes, camping, food, seminars and even weather make the best stories to remember the Winter Rallies. Can’t wait to see what is to come.

Ride on…

Author would like to remain un-named in case Tlaloc (pictured below) might read this.

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