We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Virus

Everyone is talking about it, so let's get it out there. The MOA is closely monitoring the current COVID-19 situation and how it affects events such as the National Rally. We are following the guidelines and suggestions set forth by the Center for Disease Control so that we can have a safe, healthy and fun National Rally. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with local health officials in Great Falls to ensure everyone's safety.

In the meantime, please keep yourselves healthy by following these recommendations from the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

Refer to the CDC's COVID-19 web page for more and up-to-date recommendations and information.

51 Comments

  1. Roger Vreeland

    I’ve had some of my best vacations of my life at the Nat’l rally.
    Thanks to the board of directors+ various chairs for making that happen.
    This stinking virus will pass+ life will go back to ‘normal’ again.

    I trust the board to make the right decision regarding the rally+ Thanks so much for your hard work all year!

    1. Peter Ballantine

      What date is the MOA stating the cancellation date of the event? I wlike to know so I can check after that date if the rally is going to happen or has been canceled so I can contact my hotels and cancel my reservations or not.

  2. We’re taking the same positive attitude in regards to the 49er​ at the end of May.

    Stay healthy, wash and wash again, get tested just in case, cough in YOUR elbow, not your partners, and wash your hands again.

    So we wait and see with cautious optimism

  3. Hans Reumschuessel

    I also think that the rally should not be cancelled. How about putting plenty of hand sanitizers out, perhaps adding extra bathroom facilities to ease the close contacts in the showers and toilets, and working with the local health officials to see what they think is good practice? I’m looking forward to coming!

  4. Walter Maurer

    At least the BMW MOA is being aggressive at notifying members. They are the first (and only at this time) that have sent me a notice about their intentions. Amazing work MOA. You people (as always), are THE BEST!!

  5. We obviously we all need to exercise due diligence here, however I am sure hoping the Rally can come off as scheduled. Being in the business of hand sanitation (see website below) we are keenly aware of the importance of following CDC guidelines and keeping each other safe. Most of our Associates are working from home with just a few of us here to keep orders going out, schools here are closed, and the roads are oddly quiet. Naturally my R1250RT and I are “self isolating” whenever possible, I did a 200 mile loop last evening and did not get off the bike until I fueled it up here at our Farm upon return. Let’s all hope that this will pass in time and we can all enjoy a great trip to Montana!

  6. I am thinking of proposing (am not proposing at the moment) a volunteer team to deliver a free rinse/wash for bike & body at the main rally entrance. We’d need some volunteers, several hoses with nozzles, a water hookup and adequate drainage. This is not to suggest anyone would need a wash and/or rinse, and participation would be voluntary. My apology if this offends anyone.

  7. Bill Wallace

    MOA, it’s time to step up and recognize there’s a pandemic and provide refunds for the seniors who are most susceptible. The administration is forecasting a decline in July/August. Covin 19 is going to be around in June, take care of your members.

    1. Ivan Sandoval

      Pandemic: A pandemic (from Greek πᾶν pan “all” and δῆμος demos “people”) is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or worldwide. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics generally exclude recurrences of seasonal flu. Throughout history, there have been a number of pandemics of diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis. One of the most devastating pandemics was the Black Death, which killed an estimated 75–200 million people in the 14th century. Current pandemics include HIV/AIDS and the 2019 coronavirus disease.[1][2] Other notable pandemics include the 1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) and the 2009 flu pandemic (H1N1).

      Umm, can we all just relax a bit? We are NOT EVEN CLOSE to any of the above numbers……

      I, for one, look forward to the Rally and will be going one way or the other.

      1. Roy Stenzel

        We also had the swine flu in 2010. Many deaths per reports back then. News said it came out of Mexico. Oddly enough we had just purchased a home in BCS that year. No one that I know of even got it. Including my wife and I.
        I’m not saying not to take precautions but sunshine, high humidity and fresh air is the best cure for what ails you.
        See you in June. And if it cancels BMWMOA can keep my entry fee as I have a feeling they’ll need it more then me!

        Roy Stenzel
        San Diego

  8. Rich

    I think that we are not close to those numbers precisely because we know so much better on a global scale how to respond, and we are responding. Countries that have responded well (I opine that the US has not yet) are rebounding well. Those that have not, are not doing well. I agree that we won’t know the score until later in the game. I think that those at risk are entitled to a refund up to some point close to the rally. My own thoughts are that if I need to show up to the rally prepared to take precautions beyond the usual, I won’t show. I prefer to feed my risk needs by riding a motorcycle, SCUBA diving, skydiving, etc. I enjoy risk…don’t enjoy being sick. We typically see a bunch of deaths each year from the “regular” flu, and we are not close to those numbers yet…but my understanding is that this virus has a much higher death /rate/, so if we don’t limit the spread, we’ll see many more deaths. The death rate from the flu runs ~0.001; corona, 50X higher. We would prolly have fewer regular flu cases if we had better health practices in the US. Nonetheless, I don’t criticise Ivan…I just draw my personal line at a different place.

  9. Bruce

    COVID-19 has changed our world. Things will be different going forward. Currently borders are closing and there are questions as to whether Canadians will be allowed to cross our border and return. MOA should seriously be considering the possibility of offering refunds to Canadian members. I also think it would be reasonable for local hotels to relax there existing cancellation policy and allow refunds for accommodations booked prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Major events are being cancelled in all areas, sports, conferences, and all large gatherings, sadly I believe the rally should be included.

  10. Greg Straub

    There are many unknowns at this point. I am not interesting on speculating about the future in this very uncertain time. I will however offer one thing as set in stone for me personally, in the event our rally is cancelled this year, I DO NOT want nor will I seek a refund of my already paid registration fee. This year’s circumstances almost insure a difficult financial outcome from the rally for the MOA whether it takes place or not. For me, a fee already paid, is money well spent if it helps insure the continued viability and financial health of the MOA even if there is no rally.

  11. I have attended the last 36 national rallies and have plans and reservations for the 2020 rally. HOWEVER, I am not sure I want to risk it since I am obviously in the high risk group. Is it really worth it? There will be people there from all the places in the US with the highest incidence of COVID 19. Please, MOA big shots, think this over very carefully. Do you want to be responsible for illnesses and/or deaths of MOA members? It may stay on your consciences the rest of your lives. If you will cancel the rally, I won’t have to decide whether to go or not. I love the rally. Please keep us updated.

  12. Lee

    “GREAT FALLS — The City of Great Falls has declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) effective March 19, 2020.

    A news release says that State of Emergency is a proactive move to get ahead of contingencies once the virus hits Great Falls.

    Trisha Gardner, the health officer of the City-County Health Department, said that all restaurants in Cascade County will be limited to drive-through, take-out, delivery, and curb-side service only, effective at 6 a.m. on Friday, March 20. The order extends until Friday, March 27, and could be extended. Other businesses ordered to close for the duration of the emergency order include casinos, gyms/fitness centers, bowling alleys, coffee bars, movie theatres, and “other commercial businesses in which people assemble for recreation.”

  13. m.eric.knudsen

    I was planning to hit the rally early as a volunteer then help clean up then head to Banff. Today the most interesting two items came across the safe airwaves. First the olympics were postpone. Second : “it took 65 (not positive) days to reach the first 100k cases. 11 days to reach the second 200k cases, 4 days to reach 300k”. I was extremely lucky to leave San Diego the day before the ban casual trips, hustle back to dc in 3 days. Traffic was light but restaurant were closed. Not the way we like to to travel, please monitor the situation closely! Agree that refunds are in order. Make the call early and explain your justification so we can all plan according. Having a beer 6 feet apart is not socializing. Don’t want to be a buzz kill but want to enjoy, not worry. Show leadership make a rationale decision by early May

      1. Mike Stuhlmiller

        The title of this virus update is rather dumb and tone-deaf. You can do better.

        I’ve been looking forward to this western region rally for years, registered early and have arranged time off from work to attend.

        My son and I were also registered and looking forward to the BMW Chief Joseph rally in John Day, OR, the week prior to the National. It has now been officially cancelled this year.

        Sadly, I predict this national MOA event will not happen, regardless of what MOA might decide. If somehow it’s not cancelled, attendance will be down drastically and that includes vendors as well. Were the factory demo rides ever even scheduled for this event? I don’t think so.

        I’ll get my MC miles in this riding season one way or another – likely many short solo trips per my usual preference.

        So, I’ll now focus on prepping for my two week Idaho BDR trip later this summer.

        Hopefully the rallies and other people-packed events can resume soon, maybe by next year.

        Indeed, cabin fever has gotten the better of me at the moment… sorry for the rant.

        Mike

        1. Charlene Busk

          If things don’t straighten out – there is one rally in Montana the third week of August. We are hoping that by then things have settled down. It is just three days of riding and eating at the base of the Beartooth Highway outside of Red Lodge. Check out BeartoothBeemers.org.

          Please stay safe….

      2. Gary Schultz

        Wes….Things with this crazy virus are changing second by second. As much as we all look forward to riding to Great Falls, it is beyond time to throw in the towel and cancel the 2020 Rally. Even IF all things are wonderful in Montana by June, what about all of us riding miles across what may be a no man’s land of closed rest stops, closed fast food dining rooms, closed truck stops and shut down motels ? Face it, most of us are in the group of older folks with underlying health conditions too. How do we all “social distance” in the beer tent, seminars, vendor booths, musical performances. etc. ? One person sneezes at the rally and Great Falls will be locked down. If held, the rally will be small, poorly attended and in the long run cost the MOA a ton of money. Better to err on the side of caution, be good managers, cancel the 2020 Rally and tell us, the members, ASAP. See everybody in 2021.

  14. Mark Spencer

    Obviously, bad news for all large events that bring groups of people together. Like all here, I’m clamoring for news about the Rally. So much work by the folks who organize this event, and disappointment for attendees who may need to alter plans. We only need to look at other events in sport and entertainment, to understand that safety and health must be first and foremost. No matter your decision, we will carry on. Everybody stay home, stay safe, protect yourselves and your loved ones. It is the only treatment we have right now.

  15. Bill

    I fully appreciate the efforts of national rally organizers and volunteers. But the fate of the rally is far beyond the control of BMWOA. What will national guidelines be in June? What will the State of Montana allow? Will riding to Great Falls be essential travel? Will gatherings larger than 10 people be medically advisable be then? It’s okay to be blindly optimistic but the final decision on the rally rests well above BMWOA.

  16. Gary McGinnis

    Registered early for the rally and planning on bringing my daughter to get some training. The country will most likely be opened back up by the end of June, so in my opinion no need to cancel anything early. Vendors will want to get back in the swing of things also and will most likely attend as well. If a few people are afraid to go so be it, they don’t have to attend.

    1. Roy Stenzel

      Right you are. It will depend on forces out of our control.
      As an earlier message said if it’s canceled I don’t want a refund. Let that money go to those that are stuck paying all these bills. They will need the money more than me.
      Roy S San Diego

  17. Dave Anderson

    Despite the fact that I was excited about this year’s rally, circumstances have turned my enthusiasm into a logistical planning challenge with real concerns not only for the quality of a potential rally (low attendance, potentially getting sick a long way away from home on a motorcycle, vendors deciding that this is not the year to invest in a long distance rally, challenges of traveling through different cities, counties and states with varying rules regarding business operation (i.e. food and lodging) and the need to manage time off arrangements and loss of business during a long travel period. I would like to see the MOA consider the fact that a great many of its members have been isolated during the period leading up to the rally and will not be safe if exposed to people carrying the virus. Given the higher age of our membership we should err on the side of caution and postpone the rally until next year. The work done to date can be applied to being that much ahead of the game next year. One other consideration is that many will be traveling from afar and might be looking forward to Great Falls proximity to Glacier National Park. Doing my research revealed that the park is warning potential travelers (backpackers and campers alike) that they have plans for extensive road renewal projects throughout the park with significant wait times at all roads in the park. They have gone as far as suggesting not to visit during this summer period due to a poor visitor experience. All things considered, I ask the MOA leadership to reconsider the impacts of waiting until May for a “Go-No Go” decision. The right thing to do for all is to postpone the Rally and decide whether to pick up next year with a Great Fall’s destination or move onto the Rally Site planned for Midwestern states.

  18. Glenn Davies

    In Calgary Alberta, just north of the Montana border, all public gatherings are cancelled until at least the end of June. In the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario all public gatherings are also cancelled until at least the end of June. It is probable that the Canada USA border will still be closed through the end of June. That means that Canadians would not be able to attend the rally even if it goes ahead. Time to postpone until the early fall or next year.

  19. Bob Thomas

    Having parents in a VA Home where 5 have died from Corvid-19, I see no way that the Rally should be held. I will be asking for my $ back. Its way too scary to be exposed to thousands of people. Small groups yes, but many, no

  20. Hal Lieberman

    Hi every one ,
    Well since we are coming from Canada it’s not looking good for us, the border is closed and the way things are, I don’t see it opening till September or later.
    We are definitely going to miss the rally, a lot of planning went in it for my group
    we already canceled our hotels and other properties we had given deposits on.
    There’s next year, I look forward to attend, Every one stay safe and healthy.

  21. Peter Lizdas

    I see a lot of thoughtful comments concerning impact of the novel coronavirus & its impact on the rally. Smart people, BMW riders – one reason the marque appealed to me from the start of my riding career, all those years ago!

  22. Peter Lizdas

    I see a lot of thoughtful comments concerning impact of the novel coronavirus & its impact on the rally. And a notable lack of bravado. Smart people, BMW riders – one reason the marque appealed to me from the start of my riding career, all those years ago!

  23. Eugene (KEN) Wilder

    The wife and I registered early and made hotel reservations and are planning to attend. This could be my last National so if it happens that’s great and if it doesn’t then it wasn’t to be. I believe that what is BEST isn’t always the same as what I WANT. I trust the MOA board to do what is BEST for the members. As for money, I see it as a vehicle to get what I desire and what I desire is for the MOA to remain strong and continue to grow. How ever that happens is fine with me. I know, HAPPINESS is a state of mind and MOTORCYCLES are to be ridden and LIFE is to be LIVED….LIV, RIDE, SMILE.

  24. Gary Schultz

    Television news reports just this morning that this virus may be worse than reported to date. Who knows, life may be better or worse, things are fluid and change from second to second. It was just reported that this virus may last for the next 18 MONTHS. Let’s assume with the wave of a magic wand Great Falls Montana in June is A-OK , but what about everyplace else ? Those of us (everybody) riding miles to the rally could (will) be up the creek. Can we stop, dine at fast food joints, sleep in hotels, use roadside restrooms ? Eh ? What about the vendors ? What about the well attended seminars ? What about us MOA Members ? How are we all to “socially distance” ? One of us coughs and the whole rally will be locked down. If the rally goes off as planned, attendance will be sparse, really sparse. I hate to say it, but better to err on the side of safety. Cancel the 2020 Rally, bite the bullet, and start planning for the 2021 Rally.

  25. Andy Aranyosi

    This virus is surely the most remarkable natural assault on the human race to occur in my lifetime. That is the macro view in one sentence. Here is my micro view: My girl friend had the unfortunate luck to travel thru Sea-Tac in early February. Within a week she had pneumonia diagnosed by her physician, who had tried to have the CDC test her without success; she wasn’t contagious any more was their rationale. Within the next week I had a “cold”. Her dad was here too, in close contact, and never showed symptoms. Though I was over it in 2 days, a heaviness in my chest unpleasantly stayed around a few weeks. So the point is, many people have had it and don’t even know they had it. It is in our world, and whether we like it or not, it will morph into what it decides. Meanwhile, I see guys I used to respect on other forums berating motorcycle-riding members who spill their hearts out to encourage everyone to be socially distant. They had first hand experience too — their loved ones worked in a hospital near NY city, on the front lines in the so-called “concrete jungles” where the work place at times mimics a MASH unit. We probably won’t have large gatherings for the next year or so, because if just one individual attends in that highly contagious phase, he/she will likely infect a 100 or more people. The game as we know it has changed…substantially. But it’s my hope that the MOA will roll with the tide and keep us a viable organization…a brotherhood of motorcyclists. For this reason, I’m paying my dues today. If the rally happens, I’ll be there; if not I’m looking forward to the next national rally that we can all attend in good conscience. P.S. – Thanks for the anonymous book!

  26. When restaurants re-open, they’ll look and operate differently than what we were all used to. Here in Colorado, 100 seat restaurants will be limited to 50 seats, a 30 seat bar will be limited to 10 seats, enhanced sanitation standards and employee health testing will likely be required and much more. Montana will probably have similar requirements. In order to accommodate the volume for meal service, it’s likely that additional food trucks will be required, and whatever facilities are on-site will need to consider the physical distancing factors. Unless these matters are planned for long in advance, meal service will be extremely frustrating for attendees. Looking forward to joining my BMW family there, but as a heads up, major Covid-related planning needs to be underway now in order to avoid a cluster in late June. Strongly recommend making some comments on the rally home page about what steps are being taken to protect the attendees. Keep up the great work so far.

  27. steve brink

    Has the Board considered delaying it to late August? Two months would make a world of difference in many respects.
    The last email I asked for an update and status and my post was deleted and have no reason why.

  28. Now that the individual States are making the call, and Montana was one of the States least affected, I would say the chances are good the Rally will go on.
    Once the economy gets rolling again, so will the vendors, and so will we !

  29. G’Day Members (special shout out to Greg Hutchinson too)
    OK, While the thoughts here are positive, for an international member who has already booked and volunteered for Great Falls, the lack of any official update is a concern.
    I only have to go to to Great Falls web site to see that communities status. SO what to do, I am a senior & a moving covid target and while here in Australia we are doing really well with a federal / state co-ordinated & controlled lockdown. Plus we really closed shop in FEB .
    My problem starts with
    1, I might not be allowed to leave AUS. In any case
    2. What planes there all parked
    3. I have until 7 May to either cancel or postpone
    4. If I get to go I face 14 quarantine on return
    5. Lastly I can bet my travel insurance doesn’t / wont cover COVID and as any Aussie knows, you dont goto the USA with out insurance.

    Was looking forward to this trip, plus the rally in Utah weeek before too. FYI: I am an AUS ‘vendor’ Easter & May motorcycle events we were covering cancelled, no one is announcing anything really before August down under here.

    Help what do 🙁
    Cheers Ron PS Don’t cancel the rally but if you postpone, let us know ASAP please

  30. james L greer

    And now we know. Changed to Jun 2021 with last year’s rally location scheduled for this June. Not bad, but, well, you know. Some will bitch and moan about it.
    I think it’s best. Everything will just be changed to ’21. Same money, same t-shirt(?) same fun.
    See you there!

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