On Saturday May 20, 2017, KCVJMC had their Spring Rally at Donnell's motorcycles in Independence, Missouri.  Every time I report on this event I typically begin the article commenting about the weather.   This year will be no different because the weather reports had been stating for some time that we were going to have heavy rains.  Early in the week they even mentioned possible tornadoes and hail.  This is not a good environment for a motorcycle show!  We actually had a small tornado sighting about two days before the event approximately 10 miles north of our show location.  In our area of the country, tornadoes are no joking matter.   There are still towns being rebuilt because of storms which have hit the area within the last several years.   Two days before the event, the weather reports were still calling for heavy rains.  A few members of the club just shrugged it off saying if it does storm, there is nothing we can do.  It rained on Thursday, again on Friday, and again on Saturday morning.  It was supposed to stop raining around 7:30 in the morning but rain actually continued till around 10:30am.  

We had to show up at Donnell's  even though it looked like the show would be a wash out   simply because the event was planned and it had been promoted for months.  Furthermore, we would have had no way to cancel the event.   Bart Shiflett, the manager/owner of Donnell's Motorcycles, had also been able to secure the Suzuki Demo Ride Truck which is a big undertaking in itself.  About eight of us showed up around 7:30 am and it was raining as the weather reports had stated.  We quietly commented to each other that the event would probably just be a loss.  There is little that can be done when the weather does not cooperate.  It actually surprised us that by 9 am, around 30 motorcycles had actually shown up "in the rain."  The rain slowed down by 10:30 am and a little after that time it finally had stopped.  Shortly thereafter the lot began to dry up.  Motorcycles began to show up in greater numbers, indicating that they really wanted to come.  By 11:30 am, we had at least 90 motorcycles.  One member counted 120 a little after noon.  We were down in numbers from last year but it was surprising that in such bad weather so many actually came.  The temperature got up to around 70, the lot dried up, and the crowds ended up coming!  It turned out to be a great day for a motorcycle show even though it looked really bad early in the morning.  

We had people from at least four states in attendance and also dozens of people  came in from  out of town areas.  It turned out to be great fun and we even signed up a number of new VJMC members.  I had two staff members from the Suzuki Demo Ride Truck  comment that they rarely got to see old vintage Suzuki's and it was fun for them to see the old bikes. There was a nice early 1970's Suzuki T500 Titan 2 stroke twin as a well as a mid 1960's Suzuki X-6 Hustler.  Someone also brought an un-restored, but like new (really), early 1980's GS750.  Along with the vintage Suzukis, there were plenty of Hondas, Yamahas, and Kawasakis being shown as well.  Jerry Jeunemann brought several motorcycles including his newly restored  1974 CR125 Honda Elsinore.  The bike was a complete nut and bold restoration and the motorcycle certainly looked it!  We also had an unusually large number of vintage Hodakas. Several were brought in from Nebraska. Thanks guys.

The show ended up being a success even though it rained early on.  We had many new visitors who were in attendance.  I think bad weather creates a greater desire for people to want to get out and so I think many did so by coming to our event.  We actually ended up with a sizeable crowd.  I was surprised as to how many people attended who were still unaware of VJMC or our club.  We love to explain who we are and what we do.  Kelly sold a bunch of T-Shirts in which funds will go to support MDA (the Muscular Dystrophy Association),  and  the Suzuki Ride Demo Truck added to the event as well.  I want to thank the KCVJMC members who came out in the rain to help us set up. We really appreciate your willingness to help.  It takes a lot of work to do these events and without people to help, these events couldn't happen.  This year took a little more work than normal but it was certainly worth the effort. We have three more events this year and a club picnic. These include a "cruise in" at a really nice outdoor mall area called Zona Rosa,  the Midwest VJMC regional rally at the CAF World War II airport museum, and an "all 2-stroke" event.   Toward the end of the season,  we will have our annual picnic which is a great event.

If you are in our area, please come and visit one of our events.  If you do, please identify yourself; we will make you feel welcome.  Check our website out:  www.kcvjmc.org   where we list events, activities, and we have posted many pictures from past events.  Hopefully the 2018 Denny's Spring Rally will feature really great weather!

Mark Bayer President KCVJMC
Kansas/Missouri VJMC Field Representative