Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Very Boring Rally II

I'm turning the next few posts over to Krysta from Milwaukie. She attended this year's event and has graciously agreed to share it with us here.

A quick bit of background is in order before we launch.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Andy Goldfine, the creator and founder of Aerostich. In my humble opinion, it's the best motorcycle gear available on this planet. The 20th anniversary of Aerostich came around so a little party was held. Thus was born the Very Boring Rally in 2003. Five years passed. This year marks 25 years for Aerostich. The second rally was held August 22-24. The bad news is that if you missed the rally this year it will likely be another five years until the next one. The good news is that you have until 2013 to plan and prepare for the 30th anniversary rally!

The rally's not really boring. I think it's just Andy's way of understating things to sort of draw attention away from himself. In my dealings with the man, I've found him to be very down to earth and approachable. If you'd like to explore the rally and the history of Aerostich a little further, click here.

Now that the stage is set, here's Krysta.

It's tempting to just say "the rally was very boring", but it wasn't.

This was my first solo trip. Thanks to the generosity of my wonderful man, I got the treat of taking our newest, biggest bike ( Clifford, a red BMW R1200 ), and am now completely spoiled by the comfort ( and the power! ). Here's Lake Superior as a backdrop.

I left Milwaukie about 0630 Friday morning. Didn't need sunglasses for at least 3 hours, though it only sprinkled instead of pouring rain. Other than the homicidal maniacs driving between Milwaukie and Madison, things went smoothly.

Arrived at the VBR about 1 PM. That averages out to doing just under the posted speed limit on the freeway. ( Here Krysta flashes us the most innocent look she can muster! ) I wasn't happy about all the gravel on-site, but managed to keep Clifford rubber side down the whole weekend. One gal wasn't so lucky and hurt her leg. After hearing that I parked on pavement the rest of the time and walked a little farther.

Our goodie bags included the customary t-shirt, a piece of white reflective stick-on, and a Mr. Happy puppet! I've always thought that would be fun. Turns out he would introduce me to someone on the way home.

After setting up camp I went to hear Andy's presentation. He spoke about his background and the history of Aerostich ( much of which was also in the program booklet ) then took questions from the audience. He got some ribbing for answering his phone, but explained he was talking to a guest - the guy who used to be the head of engineering for HD - who would be showing up shortly.

Late in the afternoon, between Andy's talk and the entertainment, I went over to the shop.

This is from an earlier trip, but shows the front of the building ( as well as Karl and the helpful Aero lady ). The gals there were obviously overloaded with visitors and were very warm ( no A/C ) but kept smiling. Despite all that, they continued to be helpful and pleasant. In talking with Andy on Saturday I found out that he sometimes does a popsicle blitz through the plant when it gets hot out, stopping work while people cool off a little. How's that for a nice boss?

A rumor I had confirmed by Aero staff is that anyone with stuff made from the new Hi-Viz should call them to make arrangements for a replacement. I know it applies to suits and suspect the warranty is also good for their courier bags. The reason? The fabric fades badly. I've noticed it on my suit and some people have had theirs turn almost white.

Entertainment on Friday evening was a Duluth-born comedian ( Maria Bamford ) followed by a guitarist ( Brian Dack ) and a band ( Nordic Angst ). I don't remember hearing any of the music that night, so either they were very quiet, or indoors, or I was more tired than I knew. Both nights were very cold ( low 50's (f) ) and I wished for several blankets, Karl, or even a cat!

( stay tuned for part 2 )

Miles and smiles,


( it's ok, I gave her my blessing to use my sign-off for her posts! )


Bryce said...

Interesting comments, especially regarding the fading factor of the specific colour, and the replacement options.

Sadly I am just far too tall, too round and big to ever purchase and wear anything Andy's company could ever produce. Still my normal to the rest ofthe world sized friends
all own and wear the products. Ironically my few Goldwing owning friends wouldn't be caught dead wearing the product; it doesn't fit
their idea of freedom, ditto those friends who ride the product of

There are major disadvantages to being very tall and very big.

However it looks as if you enjoyed yourself; maybe Andy should install some circulating fans in his shop;
if only to make life easier for his employees.

Popsicles to cool oneself; those
once common devices seem to be an
extinct species in this nect of the woods. Oh and that RED BMW WOW!

Stacy said...

I just wish Mr. Andy would consider making garments that fit the other 51% of the population. (Yes, I know that women are a small minority of motorcyclists, and that "About 60% of all women find Aerostich suits fit well without alterations.") But still, the European manufacturers don't seem to have a problem making gear for women. And so my money will continue to flow in the direction of the Netherlands.

But don't mind my ranting, this was a nice guest post! I can live vicariously through the posts of others!

Krysta in Milwaukee said...

Bryce -
I understand about being too big compared to what society considers 'normal'. At least men's clothes come in 'big & tall' sizes, pretty easily found. For a big & tall woman? It's a bit more difficult.

It's an odd concept of freedom that involves a hospital bed, skin grafts, & head injury rehab unit. I think I'd be too worried about my skin to enjoy riding without protective gear.

I think Andy does the best he can with what he has. It's an older building, and I'm sure he has fans and open windows. He's a really nice guy.

Stacy -
See above, about being an odd size. I frequently wish I had the money & talent to have a women-only moto gear company. I'd make sizes for real women, just like men's gear comes in small, big, tall, & short. No more settling for 'OK' - we'd have something that actually fit.