Thread Archive > STAR 2014

STAR 2014 Survey Results

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Big thanks to Beth, Harry and all the volunteers who made this event happen! I know volunteers
often sacrifice some riding time to work the event. The MSTA has so few members near the Black
Hills it must have been tough to find volunteers.

As I was telling Brick in the hotel, I thought the 2014 Rapid City STAR was almost as fun as the
2007 Ashville STAR. Ashville was the most fun of the four STARs I have attended.

A huge thank you to Harry and Beth, not only for all the registration efforts before and during STAR, but also for the survey afterwards and your genuine concern and efforts to make the STAR events even better.

I would like to shed some light on a couple of things that might answers some of the questions/concerns that were shared in the survey.  Regarding vendors:  I also would love to have many more vendors at STAR.  Several things impacted some of our regular vendors in 2014.  Probably the biggest "issue" was that since STAR was earlier in June than normal (otherwise the hotel prices would have been twice as much!), many vendors were headed to Americade in Lake George, NY.  Even those who wanted to attend both, logistically could not.  Add to that -- we are a small event for many of the vendors.  So it just does not make financial sense for those who are relatively east to travel the distance to Rapid City. Several vendors had said they would love to attend, but just could not justify it this year.  And, for STAR 2014 and beyond -- unfortunately Tommy and Alissa Kincaid have retired from Held and while I did my utmost to get Schuberth to send someone  anyway -- I was told there simply were no Held products in the US!!!  The arrival date for their new inventory was July so Held products from the supplier should be available soon, if not already.  And, add to that the good news that No-Mar is expanding into international markets, but the bad news for us this year was they had to spend their time focusing on their new commitments.  Sue has promised to be there next year. YIPPEE!!!
And a huge thank you, once again, to those vendors who did take their time and spend their money to be a valued part of STAR in Rapid City.

Another category on which I can shed some light -- Guest Speaker.  After our first choice speaker was not available for 2014, the discussion and ensuing decision was to "honor" the request from those who had been asking to eliminate the guest speaker at the banquet.  While it is easy for several people to express an opinion, it is difficult to know how widespread that opinion may be without testing the waters.  So the decision was made not to pursue another speaker for 2014, but to see whether the majority of the members would actually be happier without one or whether the majority would prefer to have guest speakers in the future.  The EC listens to your input.

One simple comment on the mistakes on the maps --.  As everyone is aware, we had no local presence within our membership in SD.  Many steps were taken to have accurate information, but without someone locally riding the roads -- the information was not without errors.  To those who recognize that an awful lot goes into planning a STAR, saying that is really vague.  To help put one part of it in perspective, the routes for Lexington, for example, were 100% a result of Dennis Villarose and Jim Park taking their own time and money to make, not one, but two separate trips to Lexington to make sure all details were addressed with hotel staff as well as riding the local roads to ensure accuracy.  Also Pat Mogavero pre-rode the routes and played a major role in correcting and editing them to make certain the roads met the criteria, were in good shape, and the turn by turn directions were correct.  This may be a lesson learned that it is not a good idea (???) to hold a STAR in area where no members can actually pre-ride the routes.  That being said, we should be good for STAR 2015 with Bill and Gayla O'Brien as well as Bill and Becky Wing being totally on top of those great roads in Arkansas.

In case there is any doubt whatsoever, I can assure you that the EC listens to all members comments and opinions and tries to incorporate members ideas into future STAR events.  So ... to those who shared their opinions in the survey, thanks for your honesty and input.  Some things can be improved and that is exciting.

I sadly did not respond to the survey, somehow I missed the first email sent (possibly went to junk/spam) and the reminder that came was during my drive back and then a busy week returning to work.

I would like to make one comment now as it relates to an observation by Harry regarding the welcome reception. After attending about 10 STARs in the past 15 years I have come to expect that you just aren't going to have any substantial food at the welcome reception. If there happens to be some great, if not I'll go get dinner. (This year we had eaten a late lunch around 4:30 and didn't even bother to try and get food. Other than Avon and maybe 1-2 other times my usual experience is if you are not in the first wave in line, you get scraps. Sorry to say but this can go for other things with food, seems that for many if there is food out they take as much as they can, expecting there is always going to be more.

So my opinion is either get rid of food altogether or just let it be as is. We should not increase the fee, and possibly end up with similar results.

One last thing on the welcome reception is the ability to hear the people speaking, was very hard this year with such an open area and lots of chatter coming from many areas (though I admit I was rather far away).

Bermuda Ron:

Hello All,
I was saddened by the many new members who were brave enough to say that they did not feel welcome.  MSTA is a group about riding, so I suggest that riding be the solution to that problem. 

Any summer camp counselor will tell you that the best way to get folks to feel at ease with each other is to throw them into an activity – count off 1,2, etc.; names beginning A - C to this side etc., riders from Ohio, Kentucky, and  Indiana meet hear at this time etc. etc.

It is really a matter of entering an expanded list of registration details into a spreadsheet and sorting that sheet in a variety of ways:  age, bike, State, Region, years riding, membership years, preferred distance, preferred pace (challenging, sporty, moderate, flower sniffing) preferred leaving time (7,8,9,10am) – WHATEVER!  Once you sort the data by each category, it will become obvious what the demand will be for putting together ride groups based on the rider’s criteria.
The most important part of this type of approach is leadership on the pavement, and we already have those in our State Chairs and Executive Committee members, and in many great riding legends and leaders in our club! 
So, for example, we want to set up a ride for the 350 mile Loop-de-Loop Bone-Crusher Route, and the spreadsheet shows us we have a bunch of Sporty, Ducatisti, wanting to leave at the crack of dawn, then the Chairperson for the State of Franklin (FR) reaches out to those folks via a lobby notice board, and our web-site, and/or (hopefully in the future) - the MSTA smart-phone App!  Give everyone (including ALL newbies) numerous opportunities to be welcomed to a different squad of riders every day, and your chances of satisfying your riders increases with every ride. 

All of these great volunteer leaders should be versed in making their rides memorable.  Make sure to introduce everyone all around, and give a good overview and maps of the route, the conditions, leader and tail gunner, hand signals etc.  Make every effort at the start to let these riders get comfortable with each other and allow them to find their position in the group.  And give your group some “makin’ memories” opportunities – don’t whiz past each scenic pull-off; take some pictures to share; become the group videographer for some camera passes; bring some hard candy or a treat, plan an interesting lunch stop, or even find some “funky” gas stops!  And don’t be afraid to double back – if those sweepers were great, go back and run it again!  If you’ve ever wanted to be an Edelweiss Tours type leader for a day, you’ll know this drill.
STAR rallies are not Iron Butt rallies, but should be a time of shared experiences and camaraderie.   So why even go to a “rally” if you’re just going to “rally” with the same bunch of guys who rode out with you? 
We each need to find creative ways to reach out to all fellow and prospective members – particularly new members.


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