» rot rally, camping & lodging
» general discussion
» Reflections on ROT 2010
Posted: 05/04/2011 01:27 PM
While I've been to the downtown parade/party every year, last year was my first time to go to the rally grounds. I have a few reflections that may be helpful, especially to other first-timers.
1. It can be difficult going alone, even though you will probably run into some
great people from the forum. But there's no substitute for
having a good friend to run around the grounds and go on rides with.
Camping in the Shack Out Back area was a BIG mistake, and I say that
with ALL due respects to Mel - she should get paid for all her volunteer
work for setting that up. But the problem for me, just speaking for myself, is that I wanted to
take frequent rides in and out of the grounds, maybe run someplace to
eat, run up to the coliseum, take a cool evening ride around town after
sundown, etc. But in the area back there, you're completely trapped
by the parade. I remember trying to get back to my tent from
the downtown party Friday evening. It took at least an hour, moving a few feet, stopping, a few more feet, stopping etc., burning up my bike, clutch and brakes, sweating like a hog
in 100-degree heat. It was an ordeal.
3. Because I was stuck camping behind the Paradise Bar and couldn't get
out, the only food available was the cold slopburgers from the Carl's Jr.
trailer ($7.50), and a $5 bottle of water from the Paradise Bar - Carl's Jr. wasn't "allowed" to sell drinks! The Paradise
Bar itself was kinda lame: a big tarp, and the "bar" was a board across a couple of oil
drums, selling very expensive beer, water, frozen ritas in little plastic cups, and NO food. I wanted to take a nice evening cruise into town for a good supper at Joe's Crab Shack or
somewhere, but it was simply
impossible to get out of there, and you're too hot and tired to walk half a mile over to the coliseum area. There is a music stage at the PB, which varies. Friday night it was some guy singing folk songs and strumming a ukelele. Ahem....
4. Carts - I don't think carts themselves are a problem, it's the way
people drive them. Some would pull a trailer full of ten people, stopping
every few yards for beads, and you'd sit there stuck behind it for 10
minutes on a red-hot bike. Some would just toodle along barely moving,
while others were popping wheelies and crashing into RVs. Can't believe
nobody got killed. Carts are there to stay, but I think they should consider banning trailers.
5. This may seem like a small thing, but no matter how you camp,
bring SOME kind of chair to sit in, and some kind of shade to sit under. Seriously. You get pretty
miserable standing around in that sweltering heat with nowhere to sit.
I'm not sure what the problem was - the heat, lack of good food,
whatever, but there were several good bands playing at the coliseum with
maybe 10 or 15 people watching. Some bands complained
about it. A friend of mine went to see Omar and the Howlers, a GIANT Texas band, and said there were about 25 people there.
I woke up Saturday morning hot, tired, dirty,
hungry, thirsty, nowhere to go and absolutely nothing to do, and a long, hot, empty day ahead. What the hell... I just packed up the
bike and headed for home. Since then, I've met many riders who say
they went to ROT once or twice and won't go again. Some of them laughed
out loud when I told them I went - "heh, heh, so you went to ROT, huh?
Fun, wasn't it?" they'd say sarcastically.
But ROT can still be fun - I wouldn't go negative on it. Overall, I can think of two things that would make camping at ROT
100% more enjoyable, especially if you don't have an RV:
1. Camp up near the
entrance, by the front gate. Then you can do the parade if you want, but also you can easily leave the grounds to go
into town, take a cool evening cruise, go out to eat, etc. plus being within a few feet of the showers, shows, music and exhibits.
2. Tow your bike on a
trailer (you can rent one at U-Haul).
Then in the back of your truck you can have a big tent, chairs, a
canopy, extra clothes, ice
chests full of food and drinks, a charcoal grill, etc. and have your
bike right there when you want to ride. Some people next to my tent
were doing it this way; I woke up and they were relaxing in their chaise lounges and cooking up some hot coffee, bacon and eggs. Oh, man, the
aroma... well, you get the picture.
Soooooo, anyway... that's my unsolicited opinion and advice. Seeya on the
Posted: 05/05/2011 04:42 AM
Posted: 05/05/2011 12:40 PM
Hey Ed - I remember meeting you at Spirit's M&G - well, I apologize if I was "brutal" But you're right, you definitely need somebody to hang with, even if it's just one close buddy. Moping around in 100 degree heat with nothing to do, not even a chair to sit in, gets old REAL quick. But what the heck, it was my first time, and you learn from experience. Like I said, I don't want to go negative on ROT. The major factors for enjoying it were, for me, going with somebody, and the two suggestions I mentioned above: not getting "trapped" over in that isolated corner of the grounds, and coming with an RV or enough gear and supplies to really be comfortable and relax.
Posted: 05/05/2011 01:33 PM
I agree I meet a lot of great people last year at the meet-n- greet at at the FUB and it made it the best ROT yet wish I would have meet them years ago.
Posted: 05/05/2011 04:05 PM
I guess ROT is like Vegas, it's what you make out of it and who you go with. All the ingredients are there but it's how you use them. We learned the first time that you do your riding for site seeing, food, beer or whatever early, you get up and do it during the day and get back and park the bike before dark. We didn't camp with SOBs but down the road a little bit and yes you have get on the parade but as long as you know how to manage it, it didn't seem that bad. This year won't be any different and you're more than welcome to ride with us when we go, fair warning though, my bike is trained not to pass a bar so we don't get anywhere fast lol.
Posted: 05/06/2011 06:34 PM
Posted: 05/06/2011 06:53 PM
J-Man - I think Sleezyrider said it pretty well - "all the ingredients are there" and you make what works for you out of them. I had a completely different viewpoint from yours, for example. Although I appreciate a good drink or cold one as much as anybody, I wasn't there to drink a lot. That right there puts me at odds with people who go for a 3-day drunkfest. The parade was fun to watch for a while, then it got pretty boring. And I planned to do most of my riding in the evenings, not during the day - I wanted to go into town and eat at some good restaurants, cruise around town, cool off, etc. which, as you said, is next to impossible if you're stuck behind the parade. But there's a combination of "ingredients" at ROT that would work for me, just like you found what works for you, and next time I'll just plan accordingly.
Posted: 05/09/2011 08:54 AM
Glad you still have an optimistic attitude Ruark! Hang with me and my buddies during ROT and you will have the time of your life..........and expect it during the next ROT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,see you at the Meet N Greet and lets get our party on!
Posted: 05/09/2011 05:16 PM
When you first come off of Decker and before you hit the Parade route theres some people camping there, that's probably a good spot for you. It keeps you away from the parade and all the loud drunks (like me) and when you return you don't have to ride that far. As for me I'll do my riding during the day and my partying at night. The thought of riding countryside out of Austin at night is scary with all of those deer running around. I'll be on the parade watching the 2 legged dear and shooting them with the camera on my phone.
Posted: 05/09/2011 05:28 PM
Posted: 05/09/2011 06:03 PM
Doesn't really matter much to me although sometimes there seems to be more mule than anything else, lol. I love em all though.
Posted: 05/09/2011 06:23 PM
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