Saddle Up & Ride to Great Falls in 2021
Facing uncertainty in the recovery effort from COVID-19 and possible regulations associated with large group gatherings, the BMW MOA National Rally has been moved to new dates in 2021. The Saddle Up & Ride event will be held at the Montana ExpoPark in Great Falls, Montana, June 24-27, 2021. Rally Chairs Corey & Becky Smith will continue to guide the largest event of the year for BMW motorcycle riders and features will remain essentially unchanged.
“It's a tough call,” says BMW MOA President, Wes Fitzer, “but without a crystal ball, I think one year from now gives us the best opportunity to offer our members a rally environment that is healthy and safe, where they can join their friends and feel comfortable that it's ‘ok’ to have a good time.”
Members and guests registered for the National Rally will remain registered for the 2021 dates. “If you plan to come to Great Falls next year, you don't have to do anything with your registration,” says MOA Executive Director, Ted Moyer. “Your tickets, t-shirts, RV space - anything you registered for in 2020 - is still intact for the new dates. Refunds are also available for those who cannot attend the new dates in 2021.
According to Moyer, alternative dates for the Rally were considered, but the schedule at the ExpoPark is full for the remainder of the year in Great Falls. “The season is very short in Montana and we couldn't find a date before any potential snowfall,” says Moyer. “It seems odd to most of us outside the northwest, but any travel plans for September or later could be affected by snow in Montana and the ExpoPark has a full schedule with smaller groups that make an alternative date this year impossible.”
Fitzer says he understands members will be disappointed by the decision to change the dates of the Rally. “I think this is the best decision based on the information we have today,” says Fitzer. “Eventually, we will see some loosening of the current social distancing restrictions, but it will be unlikely that a group of 5,000 or more can gather in any kind of small space without significant risk.”
Although the date of the National Rally is changing, there are opportunities for MOA members to ride later this year. The MOA Weekend Getaway series has eleven events scheduled for the latter half of the year, beginning with Los Osos, California on July 25. Other upcoming Getaway locations include the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, Eureka Springs, Arkansas and Copper Mountain, Colorado.