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MikeCarruth
With Rockford "Zero•Nine" now in the history books, and the Saturday night hangovers now (mostly) faded, I wanted to start a thread to hear from people on what they liked about this year's event, what they thought could use change or improvement for 2010, and anything they felt was a total train wreck. The only way to improve is to hear the hard critique, and I can take it.

All in all, looking at the whole event with a critical eye (The "Whole event" in this case spanning from the Thursday Night Hooters Bro-Down, to the bitter end of the raffle on Saturday Night), I felt it went very well.

I'll post my list incrementally over the coming days (as I have a fairly long list of improvement tweaks, both for the public-facing side, and the behind-the-scenes).

Looking forward to seeing the feedback, and starting to work on Rockford 2010 come Tuesday morn.

Best,

M
MikeCarruth
First, and foremost, A BIG personal thanks goes out to: Lyn Carruth, Jake & Candy Karau, BA Anderson, Joey Sears, Kevin Russell, Shannon Gillette, Juan Mattos, Ed Ferri, Todd Lyons and Brett Downs, gOrk, Bill Ryan, Derek Betcher, Greg Leisure, Jason Bender, Ed Nowdomski, Bret Schroeder, Rick Kast, Cody Kenyon, John Freewalt, Tim Keys, Wyatt Keys, Jake Moeller, , Jeff & Cindee Moeller, Cash Matthews, Bill Curtin, Owen Scheppman, Ron Wilkerson, Stu Thomsen, Dwight Hopfauf and Christine Lunz at the Clocktower, George Costa at Rennen Design, Mike Peterson, Paul Smith, TONE, Darren at Sign Outlet, John Geiger, John DeBruin, , Mark Schneider at SOT Screenprinting, and everyone else who asked "Do you need any help...can I do anything?" throughout the weekend.


A few off my "Good" List

This was the first year we added the Site Supporter Breakfast, and the Friday Night "Chill" session. I was very gratified to hear the tremendous outpouring of support and props on those two events. I brought them in with no clear idea of WHAT, exactly, the structure would be...but two great guests (Owen Scheppman from Zeronine, and Ron Wilkerson) carried the event with amazing "insider" stories that ranged from "Garage Startup" accounts of hand-cutting newly printed numberplate numbers by hand as a family affair, to personal despair, then re-genesis after a life-changing injury (well, a few of them, actually).

I think that, in years to come, the "events" will become just as much a part of the Rockford experience as the show, itself. I like the fact that we can honor guests in the Freestyle, Racing and Industry sectors, so we do not have to wait til next year, for example, to hear from a freestyler at the banquet. The intimate setting of the Chill Session was a great opportunity to do just that...chill with Ron Wilkerson. And, it seems, attendees did just that...til 2AM in some cases, which is a beautiful thing!

The "Talk Show" format for the Saturday Night Banquet worked very well, I thought. Again, this was mostly owing to a great host in Cash Matthews, and a rich-in-great-stories guest in Stu. In watching the exchange from the back of the room, you really got a sense that you were watching a very frank discussion, and were hearing a horse's-mouth recounting of what actually went down way back when. That was, precisely, what I was hoping would happen, and I am proud of the job those guys did.

Though it was an expensive and labor intensive task for the organizer, the color-coded and specially-numbered (by class) hang tags for the bikes seemed to make the voting easier and more accurate, as the people voting did not have to try to discern, from the bikes alone, what class the bike should be in. We only had a handful of ballots where the member voted twice for the same bike...or voted for a bike in the wrong category. The "series numbers" (100 for best 80s, 200 for Best Freestyle, etc) made it easy to spot those errors and toss out those votes (without having to trash the whole ballot).

I liked the convenience of all events being at the Clocktower. It made it simple and safe for all. Overall, I feel the Clocktower staff did a great job of accommodating us in both the sleeping rooms, and the banquet operations (though I do have some points for improvement vis a vis the Clocktower in my other section).

For all the hoo-ha around it when we first introduced the concept, I think the assigned spaces worked well (both from an organizer's perspective, and an attendee). It provided a degree of certainty for people so they did not have to get up a 4AM to get their spot, and eliminated the member-on-member conflicts we'd seen in previous years (right?). We will look at a better method for people to secure two spaces if needed...however, we could not have accommodated that this year, as we were at capacity, with a waiting list.

I liked the addition of the "Survivor" "Custom" and "Open" classes. The "Open" class, especially, allows us to offer inroads into the community for people who's collection starts at Gary Ellis rather than Gary Littlejohn.

The weather sucked on Thurs/Friday, and provided plenty of stress for all who wondered "is this show going to happen?" It felt good to have a contingency plan for bringing the show indoors if necessary. It felt exceedingly better to wake up Saturday morning and see a crisp, clear sunny day outside my window.

I know a few of you felt the scheduling was too strict, and for that I apologize. It was not easy to "lock out" those few final ballots that came in after 2:30, and I did not do it as some kind of neo-anal exercise. I had nearly 1000 votes to key in by hand (107 ballots, each with 10-13 individual entires) and tally by 4PM. The database i developed to handle the tally worked flawlessly, with my nephew Jake calling out the numbers to me, as I keyed them in, providing an added layer of accuracy. It felt good to have a schedule to follow.

We had a great photo session on Friday, and I thank the Clocktower for letting us use the room from 12PM - 5PM free of charge. John Geiger did a great job of working with the members, and I know his product will make us all proud. I'd like to see more photos taken next year. Maybe on Sunday morning for the winning bikes???

A few off the "Room For Improvement" list.

We did what I promised we would not...take up large amounts of time with the small raffle items. I wanted to have a "YOU WON!" board for the smaller items, and only announce the larger items from the stage. We just ran out of time.

There needs to be vigorous, open and frank debate here on the board about the class requirements. What constitutes, or requires a bike to be categorized as a "custom" and so forth. There were some points brought to me throughout the weekend which had merit, though no formal protests were ultimately made. Still, my job as organizer is to ensure a structure is in place so that bikes are registered in the proper category (whatever the requirements may be) in the first place. That said, ALL bikes that won awards this year did so within the rules, and, again, free of formal protest. On that basis, their achievement should not be questioned or tainted in any way, and a hearty, congratulatory handshake should be extended to all holding the 2009 hardware.

We had some problems with our room at the Clocktower (most of which, they remedied on day two). I would love to hear from others who stayed there to know how their room was, and if it met the standard of a property of that pricepoint. We have to balance any issues against the convenience of having all facilities in one location. I'm sure, if we tried hard enough, we could find better banquet, hotel, entertainment and restaurant facilities in individual places on the map...but not all under one roof. The peace of mind of being able to have a good ol time at the banquet or bar, then walk up to the room rather than drive across town cannot be overstated.

We need to start the Saturday Night banquet later next year. I think 8PM would be a better start time. This allows people to get back from the show/race, grab a shower and a change of clothes, and allows the organizer some time to get things set up properly. This year, there was 45 mins between me getting back to the hotel and the "official" start of the banquet. The hotel staff let people in to the ballroom prematurely, thus we had to ask people to go out and come back in again to check in. An 8PM start would have cured those problems.

In starting later, we'll tighten up the program a bit, so there is not so much dead time at the end of the evening pulling the raffle (as stated above). It should be an exciting time...not a "watching paint dry" experience.

I HATE Hooters food and, basically, the place in general. I realize there is more going on than the food, but at this stage of their evolution, you can find friendlier females at the local woman's reformatory. The waitstaff spent more time chatting up their boyfriends than taking care of our table, and many of us waited far too long for drinks to be brought, sometimes having to re-order twice to make it happen. I'd love to see us move that Thursday night gather to somewhere else (not the Tiger Tail tongue.gif ). They have a BDs Mongolian Barbecue on State Street now, and that place RULES!! If it is unbreakable tradition at this point, so be it, I'll deal.

We need an official photographer for the weekend. Someone who's actual job it is to get photos of all events, honorees, etc. Also, perhaps, a rotating 'blogger" of sorts, who is responsible for posting updates each day from Weds-Sun. Thanks to those of you who did post updates and photos!


Goin to bed (again) now. More later. Hope to see some of your comments when i return.

Best,

M
BIRD6961
mike thanks again 4 everything the only thing i have to bring up is how a 24 trickstar wins best cruiser shouldnt that have been custom? no real biggie to me and i no u cant look at every entry. about the hotel our hotel room was awesome besides getting lost in the hallways a few times it was great i hope we can do it again next year. mike is there any way to find out how many people actually voted for my bike. thanks again 4 everything and hey u are racing next year right biggrin.gif
STRIKE
The midwest loves bmx magazines and photos.

I'm from Minnesota and I think I can vouch for most of us Rockford midwesterners when I say that we all grew up getting ALL of our BMX (and freestyle) information directly from magazines. We were literally photo junkies. We would sit and not only memorize but analyze each article and picture until the next issue came out. Magazines were our only real window into the lives of our favorite BMX stars, so we LOVE pictures and we LOVE to hear the background behind famous pictures.

That being said, I was a bit disappointed when the I saw the slideshow fire up, but wasn't able to really get any context to the pictures. The last few years, I found that the slideshow, along with comments by the presenter, really made for a fun and informative Q&A session for everyone.

For instance, when Stu commented on the Porsche jumping picture (something everyone in the room had seen before), I felt the room become a bit more dynamic. It was something that brought us all back to that image, something everyone could relate to in their own way.

Now, I'm not saying that the interview wasn't a good idea, but I thought it might would been nice to integrate the slideshow a little bit more. Not only does it excite the magazine loving crowd, it helps loosen the presenter up a bit (not that Stu needed it) and in the process gives the presenter even more material to talk about.

Just my 2 cents
Mirage1972
Everything was fantastic ... I thought the Clocktower in general and the rooms were fine, very nice even. I didn't have a leaky room though, like others did. I would put in one small vote for containing the whole thing again there if it's big enough in the future.

The only minor thing I could say from my perspective -- would be nice to have more room for the show and swap meet. It's very crammed in, even moreso than last year. I realize there's a big race going on, and the track probably only allows a small amount of space, but it's very hard to see everything, and tripping over bikes and parts all the time. I'm sure I didn't even see a third of the bikes due to this.

But that's minor... if it could be fixed, that would make the event 100% IMO. Thanks again Mike!

Paul Springer
Great time and overall I had a blast...

I am with Strike on the slideshow presentation.

Thank you for everything Mike & crew!
cheez
I can't comment on much other than Saturday's show because that was all I was able to attend. Mike you and the crew pulled off a great show. I would have liked to have seen that people who entered bikes in the show were allowed to vote. I understand your reasons why you did it the way you did, but also see it as something that can be fine tuned and allowed for next year. There was just too much going on with my life this year for me to be able to commit to purchasing full event packages. Next year if it's at the clock tower I'll bring to whole family and they can do their thing at the water park, and I can do mine at the show.

Hooters, yeah the last time I was there the service wasn't so good and neither was the food. It's more of a tradition. If we need to change it, I'm good with it, maybe Famous Daves? Great food, resonable prices, and I have never had bad service there. Maybe Buffalo Wild Wings?

Thanks Mike you did a great Job, and like I heard from a former Rockford organizer. You took it to the next level. good2.gif
MikeCarruth
QUOTE (BIRD6961 @ Jun 22 2009, 04:53 AM) *
mike thanks again 4 everything the only thing i have to bring up is how a 24 trickstar wins best cruiser shouldnt that have been custom?


JP-- Good seeing you again after all these years! The Hutch Trickstar 24 DID win the custom class. It was the XL24 (both owned by Hutchhound) that won best Cruiser.

QUOTE (BIRD6961 @ Jun 22 2009, 04:53 AM) *
mike is there any way to find out how many people actually voted for my bike.


In a day or two, I'll try to post ALL results on the board, so people can see how their bike fared.

Best,

M
gts340
Mike, you did a fantastic job this year. Taking on a show like this can not be easy. To bring it to the next level without trying to include "too much" is like walking a slippery fishing line, but you managed to pull it off.
I was going to send you a PM on my thoughts about the slideshow/interview because I didn't want my opinion to come off as negative but I'm with Strike too. I would have liked to have more photo involvement from the guest/host. (Strike, well put, couldn't have said it better myself).
As for Hooters, I had a good time, but when you snap spandex on a broad, it cuts off the circulation to the brain. Hooters service sucks, and RKFD Hooters service excels in crappy service. I can't tell you how I felt when I saw the staff encouraging customers to whip water balloons or something else, randomly at cars in the parking lot. I sure hope you and I didn't both pay for my meal. I'm up for something different, maybe even that Old Chicago place that is just about two blocks past Hooters, they have a nice bar and good food too. Since I'm fairly local, I'll spend a few nights trying out different places with this event in mind.
With everything said, I think it was better than ever. Please let me know how I can help with the next event.
Greg_Hanna
Mike,

Thanks for a great weekend! The structured layout of the allocated spaces was an improvement, well worth paying for the spaces.
NeRDBMX
Overall the weekend was awesome!

First off, in my opinion... The venue and official headquarters at Clocktower is excellent. I can't speak for the rest because I have only been two years so tradition may stick with others but... HOOTERS can definitly go, for all the reasons listed above. My vote is for Buffalo Wild Wings... Cheap food, cheap beers, great wings!

I agree about the slide show, but regardless the Cash/Stu Q&A was not a let down by any means.

Thanks for another unforgettable summer vacation Mike!
Elvis
Maybe a better prep for active racers in the display/museum area? A space for us to park our bikes so we don't have to worry maneuvering our scratched-up war horses in and out of the carefully prepped display bikes? Something with bike lock facility, a staked cable or some such, something toward the front?

Perhaps even some quasi-event giving recognition to the racers in the way the collectors are recognized that weekend? (I have no idea what, just wanting to bring more focus to a group of site users.)

The 8p start of the banquet also, would work out way better for the (smelly) racers. Maybe even keep a table or two open back by the door so late arrivals wouldn't have to fight for seating (ie. people in the 20" mains, ABA guys, etc) (This space reserved for Pliska/smelly joke.)

I'd prefer going right from the speaker to the raffle without a break, as one gets tired racing all day. We had to leave early to get some shut-eye.

I go to enough Nationals every year to tell you the 'tower was by far and away the nicest place I stayed or will stay all year. Way nicer than Tae's Mom's van, or the hide-a-bed in Pliska's room.

As I stated at the time: Your hard work was reflected in the outcome, Mike. Good job, and thanks.

By the way, just to put it somewhere: Stu is a great guy to race with; just a super nice guy.
MikeCarruth
From another thread
QUOTE (Greg_Hanna @ Jun 22 2009, 11:55 AM) *
The Redline is a beautiful bike. Unfortunately it is believed by many that it was mis-classed, it was classed in 80's race bike. Many believed it should have been and was better suited to be in the Custom class. I'm sure it would have won in that class as well. Personally, I saw the Redline and did not even know it was in the 80's class, I assumed it was in the Custom Class.

The 2 next bikes in the 80's class tied for second and those owners and bikes deserve some recognition. Tom Sustarich (KEEPITWARM) with a Hutch TJ replica and James Jennison (JESSIEJAMES) with a GJS Big Tube, tied for second in the 80's race bike class. Congrats to both!!

This is not a rant, or a call to arms against the owner or the event planners. Both put in alot of hard work and deserve to KUDOS! It's just something that happened based on some rules inconsistencies that, I'm sure, will be adjusted next year. There was no formal protest, because the time that formal protest would have to be lodged did not seem appropriate. Fine tuning gentlemen!!


It's a good point you guys raised, Greg. And one that I am, in no way, discounting. It is definitely going to be a matter for debate and discussion as we develop the rules for the 2010 show. First, let me say, that all bikes that won did so completely within the rules of the show...thus nothing should cloud their accomplishment.

The rules for the Custom Class, which the members had input into approving, stated:

CODE
A “Custom Bike” is any entry which is a complete bike that:
1). has been modified or altered to take on an appearance or functionality other than that for which it was
manufactured or; 2). Was built, in full or in part, as a previously-unmanufactured “concept” by an
individual, custom build shop or other entity.  A bike is not deemed “custom” if the “nude” (no paint/plating,
no decals) appearance of the entry would not be altered from comparable mass production models...


Right, or wrong, those were the rules of the show for 2009. We put them out on April 16 for review and discussion among the members, and kept it open for four days. We had some member-inspired tweaks, but nothing on this point. We can all address the 2010 rules, and see what makes the most sense (without chopping the show in to a million classes (Ala "Best 1980s bike with Titanium Pedal Shafts"). 10 classes is good for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the time it takes for the voters to complete their ballots.

The Custom Class was more intended to address the "chopped and cropped" entries of making a big tube pit bike, or a pit bike into a cruiser, or some such. It did not do as well in resolving what happens when someone employs other than original factory finishes. To me, that bike was not a "custom," but could have been classified as a "modified" on that basis (which was not a class...this year).

Best,

M
agentheinz
After last year's false start, I was stoked and a half to make it to this year's RKFD! The bikes were outrageous (in a good way), the weather was great besides a bit muggy, the banquet was very nice. My mom even enjoyed it! Thanks Mike and everyone else that worked behind the scenes. One more awesome event! Factioneers: Great seeing ya again!
donvader
The Friday night chill was awesome! It was like a bonus banquet this year. I totally wasn't expecting Ron to have the slideshow presentation, but man it was cool! We got in Friday evening, so I didn't get to check out the breakfast.

Like said above already, it would have been cool to have had Cash and Stu also talk about the photos that were on the projector as well. I just didn't get to see many of the pictures, and it looked like there were some I hadn't ever seen before.

The numbers on the bikes in the show being numbered specifically for the categories was a great idea! It made it so easy to see a bike that you just knew you had to vote for, then not have to worry about writing it in the wrong place. Not that I've done that (I don't think), but you didn't have to worry, is it a '79, '80, mini, pit, custom, etc. Knowing that if it's numbered 2XX, it's going in freestyle, and so on, that was great.
J.T.
Just wanted to say that Carolyn and I had a wonderful time even with the lack of sleep and craziness leading up to finally getting there late Friday night.


So many positives:

  • It was fun!!!
  • Online registration/onsite registration process
  • Assigned spaces/ easy to navigate and see everything
  • Ballots clearer, numbers, colors
  • Mike responded to issues promptly
  • Stu was available at the Vintage display area
  • Quick and accurate voting results
  • Rule book
  • Best of show voting
  • Kick butt prizes and organization
  • Service was great at the meal
  • Registration cost per person is accurate.
  • Optimization for the space donated to us worked perfect and it was easy to walk and see everything. If we get more space then strongly recommend staking the spots to keep it optimized.


Suggestions/comments

Agenda posted at the Registration table so everyone knows when everything is happening, judging begins/ends, ballot box available, winner’s announcements, possible speaker phone to announce unique things?

Need more audience interaction with the speaker in conjunction with the slide show. Hearing the details from the speaker makes the experience that much better, especially a question answered or spontaneous interaction.

Raffle speed round for the smaller prizes and work up to the larger ones with more emphasis on those, keeps people there and allows more time for speaker/audience interaction.

Serve dinner and clean up plates, etc. before the speaker begins as there were a lot of interruptions taking away from the experience.

Let people in at 6:30
Serve dinner at 7:00
Clean up dinner plates by 7:45ish
Speaker at 8:00 – 9:30
Awards 9:30 – 10:00
Autographs/Raffle/Socialize 10:30
End 11:45

$109 per night vs. other hotels was a little too high. Possibly $89 would be preferred. Refrigerator and microwave were not included as it was in the past due to Best Western changes, $20 per night additional charge that we passed on. Soda pop $.50 or less vs. a $1. More food with the buffet in the past vs. the portions received with the Best Western. Not sure if the costs went up for a buffet or if that was even an option anymore with the management change at the Clock Tower?

Friday pre-1990 OS bicycle race. Bring your OS bike and have VBMX owners race their bikes, not their kids or a Pro. Maybe a 70’s coaster brake and 80’s class, that would be entertaining for old and new school BMXer’s.

Again had a great time and wonderful job Mike and all the VBMXer's that helped Mike out plus all the sponsors...awesome!!!

JT and Carolyn

P.S. talked to Mike Buff and he was totally stoked on being inducted to the National Hall of Fame!!!
psycho
I'm with Greg Hanna on the space deal. Now you only rush to get a decent parking spot.

Clock tower is what it is. My room had issues, but so does my girlfriend and i still sleep w/her every night. It's a Rockford tradition.

Mike. I agree on the classes but feel you may need to tweak them a bit.

Overall you and your staff did a great job. My hats off to you and good luck on the next one. I'm sure you will not disappoint.
STRIKE
There have been some good points made so far, and I'll just emphasize a few of them.

Pros: I think most of them have been covered, the efficiency was fantastic, the color coded ballots/bike numbers were fantastic, "best in show" voting at the banquet, genius. Overall, this event was VERY efficient and well run, Mike you and your staff should be very proud of yourselves.

Cons:
1. The Clocktower - It's a nice place, and great to be so centralized, but I think they could get more of us by lowering the price a bit, $89 would be perfect.
2. Banquet - I don't know how the price works out, or if it's even possible, but I think that a Buffet would be a better choice. People can eat what they want, when they want and we're not a slave to the kitchen's timetable.
3. Best Display - People put a lot of time and energy into their displays, it might be nice to reward people for their efforts in that category.
4. Raffle - I appreciate all of the donations, but the smaller prizes did seem to get a bit tedious, and they could have been raffled first to build the excitement.
5. Slideshow - Already discussed above.
6. Parking - Man, I really hate the parking situation at the track and I don't even bring anything to show or sell! I can't even imagine what it's like for those that have those huge displays & multiple bikes. I know there is no way to solve this issue, but I just wanted to vent a bit lol.

Clarification:
When I mention the slideshow & pictures above, I don't mean any disrespect to Stu & Cash's Q&A. They both did a fantastic job, and well...it's Stu we're talking about here, the guy is amazing.
Redlinemxii
Mike it is kinda hard to pick at anything. It was a damn near flawless event and thanks again for everything. That being said I think the only thing I would change is the 10 x 10 show space. I did not have enough room to set up the way I wanted to and have enough room to escape the sun under my tent. I like to bring the entire family with our riders. That made for a cramped show space for us. Other than that it was AWESOME! The Clocktower was a perfect choice of venue. Clean comfortable rooms with a friendly staff. Lastly if the banquet could start later would have been nice for all of us although I did squeeze in a dip in the pool before the banquet to cool off. Thanks again to all the great people that made this another stellar year for me and my family. biggrin.gif
~Craig Pettersson ~RedlineMXIII
Keep_It_Warm
It was a very fun weekend and I sincerely appreciate everyone who voted for my bike. I'm proud of the award that I won, but winning is not important to me. Having the opportunity to share conversations with others about the bikes is. smile.gif

Between Greg(psycho), Ron(area211), and all the other good people...my sides are still hurting from all the laughing we did.

You did a very nice job on the entire weekend Mike. I really enjoyed myself. And congratulations to all the winners.

Mike, tell Jake I'm sorry I ratted-him out about smoking to his mom. I tried to back-peddle, but he was already busted! It was SO funny.
masterstint
Mike,
I loved the organizational aspect of this years event, it allowed for a more layed back atmosphere. The Wilkerson show was a perfect addition to the weekend. I for one would like to see more of that type "chilling" during the event. It would've been cool if there was a question and answer part for Ron. He was funny! ...........So many people to meet, especially for the first time in person, it just didnt last long enough...

And its been mentioned earlier, but I would've liked to see Stu explaining/commenting on the slide show too.


You did an awesome job!!!

Claude
Cash Matthews
Like with any endeavor, I want to get better with each effort. Mike is the same way. I think the input from friends here is what helps us grow each year and helps us all make a better sport. That was my first ever "tv talk show interview" so I had to pretend to be Conan! Stu is such a great sport and a great guy. So is Troy Rouzer!!
mikkopeters
QUOTE (psycho @ Jun 22 2009, 10:45 PM) *
My room had issues, but so does my girlfriend and i still sleep w/her every night. It's a Rockford tradition.


Now THAT is funny!

Thoughts:

- Clocktower- I love that place
- A race oriented speaker on Saturday night. I loved having Bob Haro and Woody speak at the past events (BOTH former racers), but there is something magic about the legendary Rockford national, the gate dropping in the background all day and hearing stories about the early days of BMX racing from a racer. The Chill Session more than satisfied my freestlyer needs, but there is a certain element that needs to be there on Saturday night. I was LOVING it on Friday!!!
- Bill and Shannon hanging out. Curtin, thanks for being cooler than I ever imagined smile.gif
- The Chill Session- OMG, this was AWESOME! What an "out of the box" way to look at the weekend. I actually stammered when I asked for a pic w/ Ron. The Lites didn't help. Ha!
- Carruth, you went WELL BEYOND with the printing and swag bags. Our little girl nabbed the bag this morning as she packed toys for a trip to grandmas! smile.gif Awesome job!
- The mapped spots- this had been discussed in the past, but it required some serious thought to pull it off. And YOU pulled it off!
- Friday morning breakfast- I came in at the tail end, but wow- what a GREAT idea.
- This years vibe was so positive, I handed out a ton of handshakes and high fives. Many new buddies, and I had an insane time saying hi to everyone
- Great time, I am sure I'll dream up some more!

Major props to Carruth and EVERYONE involved, my hats off to you. It's not an easy task by any means.

DitchWeed
QUOTE
This years vibe was so positive


Co-signed +100!!!!

Good vibes this year....Im ACTUALLY already stoked onnext year as a result!

ROCK 2010!!!!!!
juanrmattos
This might sound a bit "nuts".... But what about a "Winter" version of Rockford (Museum style).... Lets say 1st week of November???

The Clock Tower has adjacent and intercommunicated meeting rooms... We can make several rope lines with hallways with enough space to fit pretty much as many bikes as we had in the park and allow visitors to transit comfortably... Every entree will be provided a 5 x 5 space with a Pink Sheet for the description that will be placed next to the bike... We can even do Rooms By Class... A cool DJ... And a Food Station (Probably provided by the Hotel for the extra income).... What about renting a closed space in the parking lot and bring a few ramps for Woody, Mike, and Ron to do a Chill Vert Session...

Will this be "pushing" the envelope???... Is just that a year seems too long after having so much fun this weekend... tongue.gif
rick kast
juan,
i was thinking nov. in miami would be better. how about it?
masterstint
QUOTE (rick kast @ Jun 23 2009, 10:31 AM) *
juan,
i was thinking nov. in miami would be better. how about it?


+2 wink.gif
Stu Thomsen
I too would have loved to be able to explain and discuss with the slide show photos. If anyone has any questions regarding a certain photo I will gladly post it and talk about.
STEVENBVEN
Thanks Mike for putting it all together with the help of other to bring us, this group of over grown kids to talk about or bikes good times and days past. It always great to see everyone it just seems like there is too little time to ttalk to everyone and see everything. The assigned spots where nice but teh aera needed to be bigger. bigger spots. I know its nice to be right next to the track but I thought there was additional parking right across the street from the track that was wide open. No issues with parking unloading etc.
Jsea73
QUOTE (juanrmattos @ Jun 23 2009, 12:55 AM) *
This might sound a bit "nuts".... But what about a "Winter" version of Rockford (Museum style).... Lets say 1st week of November???

The Clock Tower has adjacent and intercommunicated meeting rooms... We can make several rope lines with hallways with enough space to fit pretty much as many bikes as we had in the park and allow visitors to transit comfortably... Every entree will be provided a 5 x 5 space with a Pink Sheet for the description that will be placed next to the bike... We can even do Rooms By Class... A cool DJ... And a Food Station (Probably provided by the Hotel for the extra income).... What about renting a closed space in the parking lot and bring a few ramps for Woody, Mike, and Ron to do a Chill Vert Session...

Will this be "pushing" the envelope???... Is just that a year seems too long after having so much fun this weekend... tongue.gif



Juan Funny that you mention this is the last thing Mike and I Talked about before I hit the road to go Home, (A Winter Show In November)> Mike Rockford Was Great. I will PM you my behind the scene thoughts while they are fresh in my Mind<
Tim Earp
Voting- Lots of improvements can be made. Some as simple as having a box of cheap pens handy so folks who don't have one handy are not running around going "Dude, can I borrow a pen?" To making voting a little more sophisticated by having the ballots have a 1-10 rating on predetermined criteria, making this less of a popularity contest.

Scedualing Having a plan "A" that does not compansate for weather, and then a plan for rain outs on each possable day is the way to go. IE: Friday rains out- we know racers are going to be late on saturday, to compansate we do this... -more an issue of knowing where the flexability is. my perspective was that eveything went more or less at its scedualed time.

Loved the location, I think that the Clocktower has some issues to address befor some folks will want to stay again. The roof, the computer system and maybe backup power.

Were their complaints about all the cameras? Hiring a full time photog may save the lost moments but does that mean the rest of us not bringing ours?
race_inc
QUOTE
I think that the Clocktower has some issues to address befor some folks will want to stay again. The roof, the computer system and maybe backup power.


Yeah the Clocktower was my only complaint! Walked into my room and the heat was on, probably to dry out the damp carpet. Turned on the AC and it wouldn't blow cold air, oh probably because the filter had about a 1/2" of dust on it. Once I cleaned that out, it blew cold. Oh and if you use a debit card, you get charged a $50 deposit for whatever reason, found this out 2 days later. I called them and they told me I should have been informed this when I checked out. Well I wasn't and if I knew that to be the case, I would have just used a credit card to save the hassle! They fixed it all though after a nice talk with corporate!
Cash Matthews
As far as November goes, why not just load up on the Grands? We have a full room to use and there are 1,000's of people there already. Last year the Tulsa Militia got together and held a show at the Grands and gave away a very cool trophy for the best vintage bike. This thing is gaining momentum, we have a great room we can lock, and the facility is top notch. Plus, you are supporting a real live bmx race and so many collectors never make it out to the track. This would complete the circle of the time and space throttle line and everything would be just right.

How bout it...Tulsa in November? I will be there and I am bringing the show winner...1974 Webco with Moto Mags...

Tommy, get that trophy engraved for me....this is gonna be awesome!!

Juan: Sorry we didn't get to hang out at Rockford. Your stuff is amazing! Let's make sure we touch down next time!!!

Cash
Kip
First off, THANK YOU Mike, Joey, Cash, and to anyone who did anything to organize, or run this past weekends festivities!!!!

The Friday night Chill With Ron W was better than I anticipated it would be!!!! Awesome to hear a freestyler Fri night and a racer the next night.
The Clocktower is a nice place for the "headquarters".

The few things that could have been better were the slide show not being addressed, it looked like some of the pics had some stories behind them. I wish Stu could have gone through the slides with us and then sat down with Cash for the one on one. It could have lasted longer, but then again, I could listen to Stu tell stories for as long as he has stories to tell!!!! lol

At first Stu's bike was to be raffled off but was auctioned off instead. It probably made more money for Stu's charity which was awesome, but it limits the chances for the majority to win it. I'm glad to see it went for what it did!


Other than that, it was a fantastic weekend!!!
Kip
One other thing, Tulsa in November sounds pretty good!!!!!
area211
QUOTE (MikeCarruth @ Jun 22 2009, 12:45 PM) *
The rules for the Custom Class, which the members had input into approving, stated:

A "Custom Bike" is any entry which is a complete bike that:
1). has been modified or altered to take on an appearance or functionality other than that for which it was manufactured or; 2). Was built, in full or in part, as a previously-unmanufactured "concept" by an individual, custom build shop or other entity. A bike is not deemed "custom" if the "nude" (no paint/plating, no decals) appearance of the entry would not be altered from comparable mass production models...


Right, or wrong, those were the rules of the show for 2009. We put them out on April 16 for review and discussion among the members, and kept it open for four days. We had some member-inspired tweaks, but nothing on this point. We can all address the 2010 rules, and see what makes the most sense (without chopping the show in to a million classes (Ala "Best 1980s bike with Titanium Pedal Shafts"). 10 classes is good for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the time it takes for the voters to complete their ballots.

The Custom Class was more intended to address the "chopped and cropped" entries of making a big tube pit bike, or a pit bike into a cruiser, or some such. It did not do as well in resolving what happens when someone employs other than original factory finishes. To me, that bike was not a "custom," but could have been classified as a "modified" on that basis (which was not a class...this year).

First of all, great job on the show Mike!

Although, I don't have any answers to this year's big perplexity... I do have some bits of food-for-thought to further feed the debate for next year's custom category definition. And, after reading the "member approved" rules again, (and as Mike has been pointing out), it's clear the 80's Race copper-parted Red Line bike does NOT fit into the 2009 "Custom" category:
"A bike is not deemed "custom" if the "nude" (no paint/plating, no decals) appearance of the entry would not be altered from comparable mass production models..."
Although, ONE CAN ARGUE that this particular bike pushed the visual limits to the extreme... but we are also talking "finish" here... nothing structural.

There were many ways in which bikes were "customized" BITD. Repainted (like the custom JMC "Blue Mist" Black Shadow - BMXA 1982) or chrome-plated alloy parts (like Hutch's privately chromed SunTour, Dia-Compe, Araya, components in 1981 or even the Jason Jensen copper-parted Torker). I suppose they were considered custom then, so maybe they should be today as well?? I DON'T KNOW. But WHERE and HOW do you draw the line? If it was physically done in the 80's then it's NOT custom?? But if it was done today it IS custom? Unless it is based on a known vintage custom, then it's NOT custom?? Huh??? This quickly becomes a very slippery slope and not easily defined.

Are we going to call a repainted or re-powdered frame custom? Probably not, right? What if it's a wildly different color? Maybe yes? But what if it's similar? hmm.... The same could hold for plating... which logically isn't really different. It's a visual finish color... and granted, yes, custom. What about a chrome-plated goose that was originally nickel? Or a polished Ripper that should have been burnished?

To make the matters further challenging, the category rule states that the "nude" appearance must match comparable marketed models... How often have we seen drilled chainrings, brakes, seats, hubs, etc, etc. This are CLEARLY "race-inspired" alterations... but also CUSTOM. And those ARE STRUCTURAL alterations (not merely finish). Yet, a drilled-out out JMC mini would seem TOTALLY out of place in the custom category. Probably as much as the copper Red Line seemed IN 80's race category.

Is one to base it on percentage of customization? And how could you possibly define that. All the scenarios quickly become judgement calls... and judgments that will vary with each person's discrimination.... and cause disagreements and arguments between the knowledgeable and authoritative peers among us. So how are we going to "define custom"?? We'll know it when we see it?? hmmm... note Justice Stewart's 1964 comment on obscenity: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it..." ...OK. Good luck.
MikeCarruth
I think, perhaps, this is leading to a "Modified" category, and a "Custom" category. The copper plated parts on the Redline were not custom...but they were modified from factory appearance. Maybe that is the way to address it. I am still sort of shaking the weekend off, so I will reply more later on all that has been said here. Thanks for the great input, and I hope you'll all keep it flowing.

Best,

M

Greg_Hanna
The thing that I "least like" about that situation is that I would hate for these "restored" bikes to start looking like LO-RIDERS. A leopard skin covered Kashimax Aero would still be considered a Kashimax Aero under the pimped out cover, as applied to this year's rules. Certain aspects of this year's rules make sense, under Juan's Candy red paint was Chrome which was an original color for his bike. But under that copper plating there was no originally available color or finish on many of the parts.

Plus, the owner was pointing out special hard parts and/or hardware that he had made. The decals were not original or even repro, they were flat out custom. I'm not bashing the owner, this situation happened through no-ones fault, it just happened. AND it is a beautiful bike.

I'm sure Mike will make some adjustments, again great job on the event!!
bmxerpete
Mike, first and foremost...thanks. You did a great job, and I had a great time. And thanks to everyone who helped out, without you guys I'm quite sure Mike would have been found babbling in a corner somewhere. biggrin.gif

The good points are obvious...Rockford is an amazing show and seeing everyone is the best part.

The bad parts...the Clocktower needs a little rehabbing for sure. The ac in our room sounded like a generator every time it kicked on. The power and tv going out repeatedly kinda got old, and our room had some issues with the bathroom door.

Cash, I love ya man but I also wanted to hear Stu tell more stories, especially some of the ones behind the photos. But Cash, you did do a great job being "Conan".

The rules for the bike classes definitely left room for interpretation, and I think there is a big difference between restored bikes and show bikes. Maybe the rules need to be tweaked to separate the two? And is there a possibility for a true separate class for mid school bikes other than the "open" class?

Other than that, it was great. Thanks again- see ya next year.
Cash Matthews
Pete!

It was great to see you again man and I was psyched to see that Ashtabula!

We had a few troubles getting the slide show to actually "slide" so the picture concept sort of failed. Those pics he had were amazing like the one of the 3 porches from the side. As with everything, we learn something each time and move forward. Who are we going to interview next year? smile.gif)
MikeCarruth
Sorry I have not chimed in earlier...been playing catch up since I checked out of my non-Rockford-related life on June 7.

First, and foremost, let me say THANKS! to all of you who have expressed your thanks and praise for the job me and my team did this weekend. The cliche would go that this is a "thankless task," but you all have disproven that cliche, and made it oh-so-worth it--both during the event, and in these threads. Your appreciation has touched our hearts in a way impossible to express in words. Without this amazing team, Pete is right, you most certainly would have found me in a sorry state huddled in a corner somewhere.

Secondly, regarding the Stu slide show...the lack of discussion on same was my fault. I originally asked Stu to assemble those photos when it was going to be him, on stage by himself going through them, as part of his talk. Later, in a conference call with Stu, Cash and myself, we decided on the talk show format (which I really wanted to try, and think worked well). What I WANTED to do, was ask Stu lead a "side talk" after the main program had ended, just over by the projector, no mic, just a bunch of VBMX friends who wanted to stick around, gathered around asking questions (inspired by the previous night's "chill session"). When we ended so late, and had nearly the full raffle to pull, I got caught up in that, and forgot to ask Stu if he would do the side talk (neither he nor Cash knew about it, which was an organizational slip on my part). Apologies to Stu and Cash, for that...and to all of you as well.

Again, thanks so much for your support and props! They mean SO, SO much to all of us who worked to make it happen.

Best,

M

P.S. I posted this at the top, but it bears repeating:

A BIG personal thanks goes out to: Lyn Carruth, Jake & Candy Karau, BA Anderson, Joey Sears, Kevin Russell, Shannon Gillette, Juan Mattos, Ed Ferri, Todd Lyons and Brett Downs, gOrk, Bill Ryan, Derek Betcher, Greg Leisure, Jason Bender, Ed Nowdomski, Bret Schroeder, Rick Kast, Cody Kenyon, John Freewalt, Tim Keys, Wyatt Keys, Jake Moeller, , Jeff & Cindee Moeller, Cash Matthews, Bill Curtin, Owen Scheppman, Ron Wilkerson, Stu Thomsen, Dwight Hopfauf and Christine Lunz at the Clocktower, George Costa at Rennen Design, Mike Peterson, Paul Smith, TONE, Darren at Sign Outlet, John Geiger, John DeBruin, , Mark Schneider at SOT Screenprinting, and everyone else who asked "Do you need any help...can I do anything?" throughout the weekend.
Mirage1972
Someone earlier (I lost who now) mentioned possibly having some vintage races... example a coaster brake race. That would be incredible! However, I can't imagine cramming MORE into a weekend. But, if it were made longer, or something else changed to fit it in, I would enjoy that, and I hope others would as well. I know, it probably can't happen.

Two more things I just thought of, related to possibly having more show/swap space. Is there any real reason it has to be on the big race weekend? It's SO crowded! Sure, it's fun, and a great atmosphere, but why not just a normal race weekend, and a non-father's-day weekend even? Maybe more people could attend, we'd have more space, maybe it would work better? Just slide it one weekend one way or the other?

Anyway, again, great job. I would have liked to have heard Stu's comments on the photos too, but I realize it was already a lot to cram in. Maybe if the raffle is tweaked next year, a slideshow talk and interview could happen.

Unrelated: Stu has real class, just wanted to say that. He's even more my hero than he was BITD. Thanks Stu.
waza007
My 2cAU.

first of all, well done Mike its a big job putting all that stuff on.

* Ive stayed in a lot of hotels recently and the $108 price is too expensive for what you get. Should be more like $80

* show space was very small

* i noticed a park on the other side of the road directly opposite the front entrance.
How about going to the otherside of the road that way it can be vastly spread out so as to allow guys to display bikes for better photos and more space to sell n swap parts. I did love the allocated rows this time but felt too cramped. I recetly attended another show and the spread out nature of that event was much more open.

* how about some freestyle 1/4 pipes and stuff for guys to ride and keep people amused during the day.

* what about some way of getting new school /old school together like SE, REDLINE etc having display stands with current bikes amonst the old school stuff. Like Ed and JDB did but with some of the others. Redline has a huge trailer but seems to not be intrested in heritidge???

* how about calling the minor winners out in one list for them to go up and see what they won at the end of the night??

As i said this is my personal 2c worth. But hey i flew 20 hours just to get to Rockford so i hope my veiws count....LOL
Ken Pliska
Because this is ROCKFORD. The reason this has always been so successful is the fact that it is tied to the largest summer race weekend outside of California. In the early years (01-03) there were heated discussions about making it a rotating schedule to other parts of the country but we decided to create a "Sturgis" type event that would stand the test of time. Where else can you see hundreds of beautiful old school bikes and then walk a few yards away and see our Olympians mix it up on one of the World's fastest tracks? The venue, the MidWest Nationals and the racers that still rip it up are what lend tons of credibility to this event.

Anything else and it would simply be about a bunch of Trekkies polishing their carpet queens and making up stories about what they would have been if their Mommy would have let them race BITD. smile.gif

QUOTE (Mirage1972 @ Jun 25 2009, 03:36 AM) *
Two more things I just thought of, related to possibly having more show/swap space. Is there any real reason it has to be on the big race weekend? It's SO crowded! Sure, it's fun, and a great atmosphere, but why not just a normal race weekend, and a non-father's-day weekend even? Maybe more people could attend, we'd have more space, maybe it would work better? Just slide it one weekend one way or the other?

GT350
Separate from Race week works for me, it is so hard to park and just get around, we would have all the room we needed. I do not think I saw a handful of racers or people from the race at our event at all Saturday.
Ken Pliska
The first two Rockford events 2000 and 2001 were in the Redline pits and up against the Redline Team Trailer. In fact, g0rk and crew were the ones that lent the credibility in the early years to get our little event to the next level. They certainly care about roots.

There are excellent hotels surrounding the Clock Tower that are far less than the CT's rates. I pay $207 for all four days (including late checkout so I can shower before my flight home) from Thursday to Sunday and I have a decent sized suite with Kitchen and work area.



QUOTE (waza007 @ Jun 25 2009, 04:18 PM) *
* Ive stayed in a lot of hotels recently and the $108 price is too expensive for what you get. Should be more like $80

* what about some way of getting new school /old school together like SE, REDLINE etc having display stands with current bikes amonst the old school stuff. Like Ed and JDB did but with some of the others. Redline has a huge trailer but seems to not be intrested in heritidge???

Ken Pliska
You are kidding, right?

QUOTE (GT350 @ Jun 25 2009, 04:07 PM) *
I do not think I saw a handful of racers or people from the race at our event at all Saturday.

sack
In car show circles, a factory part with chrome on it is considered "modified". 3 or more "modified" parts move the car up to "modified" class.
cheez
QUOTE (Ken Pliska @ Jun 25 2009, 10:56 AM) *
Because this is ROCKFORD. The reason this has always been so successful is the fact that it is tied to the largest summer race weekend outside of California. In the early years (01-03) there were heated discussions about making it a rotating schedule to other parts of the country but we decided to create a "Sturgis" type event that would stand the test of time. Where else can you see hundreds of beautiful old school bikes and then walk a few yards away and see our Olympians mix it up on one of the World's fastest tracks? The venue, the MidWest Nationals and the racers that still rip it up are what lend tons of credibility to this event.

Anything else and it would simply be about a bunch of Trekkies polishing their carpet queens and making up stories about what they would have been if their Mommy would have let them race BITD. smile.gif


+1

QUOTE (GT350 @ Jun 25 2009, 11:07 AM) *
Separate from Race week works for me, it is so hard to park and just get around, we would have all the room we needed. I do not think I saw a handful of racers or people from the race at our event at all Saturday.



The reason it has grown to the size it is, is in-part due to the fact it is held durring a National event. Not having it durring the race week-end would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. This all started because of roots, how else do you keep getting the word out about the roots of the sport if you don't mix the old and the new. I feel we have a responsibility to keep examples of the sports origins out there for the new blood to see. You might be surprised, many of these kids parents didn't race or know what BMX was. There are already plenty of non-race venue bike shows.
Mirage1972
Okay, I see your point guys, about having it on that particular race weekend. Mostly just to be there in front of so many new racers. I can't really see any other reason, but that one reason is good enough for me. If some more space could be found, or something tweaked to where it's easier to get around and see all the bikes as has been discussed, then it doesn't really matter. I certainly do like the atmosphere with the big race. Too bad it's Father's Day weekend. That's always so inconvenient, yet I've managed to make it anyway, so...
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