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Sound Rider's Rally in the Gorge 2012

August 1 - 8, 2012

(photos see below)

It was a quite nice meeting with more than 100 participants, with presentations, workshops and rides (gravel/paved). We had a good time at the meeting, but there were some points to criticize too and we will likely not participate again.
The location was divided into a tent camping only and a RV and/or tent area, which were about 200-300 yards apart. Unfortunately this divided the participants into two groups, which made meeting and talking to others much harder. It wasn't even allowed to park the bikes next to the tent, which certainly would not have harmed the rocky, dead dry grass.
Alcohol was not allowed on the premises, except for the fenced in Beer garden, which was nearly empty. Hardly anybody went there because of the way too expensive beer and wine prices. We, like many others too, bought beer at a local grocery and filled it into our stainless steel water bottles and drank it from there. I'm 40 years old and don't like being forced to act like a teenager.
The average age was shockingly high, with my 40 years I was one of the youngest participants.
The rides, divided up into gravel and paved, were very nice and they offered paper maps as well as GPS-files to download on site. For us this wasn't really interesting, as we have already done many roads in the area; we live only about 2 hours from the meeting location.
The test rides on Zero electric motorcycles and BMW’s were really nice, one didn’t have to stand in line to and could ride for 20-30 minutes without a guide. Especially the ride on the Zero was an absolute blast!
The workshop “off road riding” had to be paid extra, but it was already booked out in April (they had only 8 places available). The trainer from Puget Sound PSSOR were there for the entire meeting (or only their trailer?), but we never saw them and so couldn’t ask questions about other classes.
The other workshops and presentations weren’t much at all. The organizers also didn’t help to lose the feeling of not belonging to the club. Endless insider jokes and awards for employees and 10 year participants.
The ride on the extremely curvy private road "Mary Hill Loop" was absolutely great! Everybody could ride up and down as often as one wanted, this experience alone was worth joining the meeting. They also had a photographer on site to take photos of every rider, which he later offered for purchase ($40 per shot).
All in all we had a good time at the meeting and for participants from further away it might make sense, but not for us.





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