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WING DING - DING BATS
Lots of hoopla about the 2011 Wing Ding in Knoxville, Tn. My riding partner and I had been looking forward to this venture for several weeks. Day one we departed Northeast Arkansas for Knoxville. We originally planned to make it a two day trip but, somewhere along the way, we turned stupid.

Just short of Nashville, we came upon a wreck that kept us motionless for about two hours. From what we could find out, there was a van with eleven handicapped children that was involved. Four helicopters and several ambulances later, we continued on. (God Bless ‘em.)

East of Nashville, we enjoyed about a five minute shower. We needed experience riding in the rain, so onward we trekked towards our destination. We had originally planned to spend the night in Cooksville, Tn and then make the rally the next morning (Tuesday). But, as the ride was going so well (rememember, we're from Arkansas), we continued our 12 hour ride to our motel at Exit 398 where we would enjoy the luxurious accommodations at the Econo Lodge. I think we had misinterpreted the word "Econo." I guess 90 bucks a night was sorta economical for some folks. We arrived late, took care of personal hygiene, dinner at the Waffle House." We kinda splurged here.

After a good nights rest, we were off to the parking lot at the Knoxville Zoo. That’s right! Put all us "iron butt’s" at the zoo. From there, shuttle busses picked us up and took us through every ally and dinky streets Knoxville had to offer. I think they done this on purpose so we could not find out bikes again. We finally arrived at the Knoxville Convention Center. Upon arrival, we knew why we parked at the zoo. There is practically zero parking at the Center. How they can ever attract a convention delegation at Knoxville is beyond my comprehension.

Inside the Center, we registered for two days and then joined several hundred more folks in the Ball Room where there were an untold number of guest speakers who could not be heard. After about twenty minutes of this, we exited the Excitement Room and found our way to the basement where we enjoyed the company of several hundred more of our closest friends,

Vendor’s galore and plenty of customers. It was quite crowed, naturally. Somehow, we maneuvered our way through the masses and gazed wantonly at the many shiny trinkets on display. Thirst getting the better of us, so we enjoyed a soft drink for a mere $2.75. I thought I was at the ball park. (Dare we price a hot dog?)
I finally decided on having an MP3 installed and a set of floor boards with a toe/heel shifter. My riding partner settled on a back rest. We were given appointment times of 8 am and 9 am, as were several hundred more riders. Getting into the building with our bikes is another story and doubtful it could be conveyed with any degree of understandable explanation. But, we made it and then got the hades out of there. We opted to ride the country side that afternoon and take on some of the scenery. Pretty country out there... rain and all. We got saturated. I don’t think my bike has dried out yet.
 
Friday morning we were up at the crack of dawn and started out for home. Again, we enjoyed a few nice showers. A couple of them were more like baths. Some smart aleck’s passed us wearing rain suits. (Don’t reckon they were from Arkansas.) We kept our rain suits in the trunks of our bikes so they wouldn’t get wet. It worked.
The agony stared about 200 miles from home. I know most of you have probably seen those monkey’s on TV with the bright red posterior’s. I think you get the picture. We finally arrived at home where I fell off my bike, crawled into the house, showered and hosed myself down with Monkey Butt Powder. But (no pun intended), I think the powder was about 400 miles too late. Surprisingly, I actually type pretty well standing up.

I say all of this to say, I will never again attend any type of rally in Knoxville again. What a horrible place for a bike rally. Too bad everyone can’t have the facilities that they enjoy in Daytona, Florida where they have plenty of room. I do, however, applaud the efforts of the many who tried so desperately to make this an enjoyable experience for us bikers. My hat is off to them. Bet the staff at the convention are happy it is over. Me too. I have now been to two rally’s in Knoxville... my first and last.

Dennis
 

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Geez! Some of you sound like you never been to any event before!! I know when I decide to go to any event, theme park, ball game, etc that food, parking, tee shirts, etc are all going to be going at a premium price and with my luck, the weather will suck too! But anyways, glad you made it home safe!
 

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Bring back the hoot

When the Honda Hoot was in Knoxville for 15 years it was a great time each year. Great support from the city and great planning. Guess the Wing-Ding folks didn't look around for some prior experience in the area when they did their planning.
 

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I went to the Honda Hoot from the first year to the last year. I loved every one of them. Knoxville is a great place for a meeting IMO. The hoot was a big even and it's kind of expected to be a bit crowded.

As for the comment on a soda costing $2.75....that's almost free. At the Yankee game today I paid $12 for a beer, $6.50 for a soda and $44 for 2 large Nathan's Fries and 2 orders of Nathan's Chicken Fingers.

LOL....


Thanks for your review...sounds like every other rally I have ever been to...including Americade.

Dave
 

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Also just got home from wingding. Great area, I always enjoy the hospitality.
Last wingding we were to was is 1999. About the same as far I could tell. Pricing didn't seem any worse than going to the local auto swap meet.
Parking and then having to do the shuttle was a pain but we never waited for long so I guess no harm.
 

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This really surprises me. Any venue that has any sort of off site parking requiring shuttles of any distance should be automatically taken out of host city consideration. I am very familiar with the parking and layout of the Des Moines venue last year and it was top notch. Getting bikes on and off the work floor could not have been a smoother operation. Parking bikes within a quick walking distance of the venue is a must.
 

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At the Yankee game today I paid $12 for a beer, $6.50 for a soda and $44 for 2 large Nathan's Fries and 2 orders of Nathan's Chicken Fingers.

Dave
Well that explains how they can have a quarter-billion dollar payroll!!!!
 

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It was worth it to me to meet Wimpyhonda, Wheels and the rest of the guys at lunch on Friday. I also found a great pair of summer riding gloves that
I would not have purchased online because glove sizes vary so much. The
lack of parking downtown is a pain but Knoxville is such a great area to hold
a rally because of all the great roads to ride in the area. Also the Pigeon Forge
area offers plenty of non riding entertainment.
 

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I live 25 miles from.....

..the wing ding. It cost me $25 per night, $.33 for Gatorade, a $4.50 supper for me and the wife, ahhh whats her name? We parked across the street for $10. It was underground and kept the bike dry thru the driving rain. Rode home on I-40, hear on the radio that there was a wreck at the 405 mile mark, jumped off at the 398 and took the back roads home. Take me home country roads.

The last wing ding I was a was the one in 1999 in Springfield MO. and to tell ya the truth, it ain't changed. Different vendors same stuff. Newer bikes same stuff. Rained both places, but this time I didn't get sick. I guess the wing ding gets people together, to BS, to ride, and to buy. And I thank you for buying, sleeping and eating in Knoxville. This was a boost to the economy!

The Smokie Mountains, the devils triangle, the dragon, great places to ride, when it's cooler. But they, the ruling body of the GWRRA, hadda pick a hot time to plan this. It was smokin'. But the back roads are fantastic any time. In and under the towering trees. This ain't GODS country, this is where GOD goes to relax!!!

I walked around with whats her name on a one day pass. $22 each to look at parts, chrome, glues, snake oil, bobbles and beads, and apparel. We went to a place that looked like a politician was bloviating to a bunch of leather vested, patched out to the 10th degree, hard core bikers, clapping and nodding their heads every now and then. Like the man said, you can see some one talk, but you can't hear them. And this is a bad thing?

This was our second, and last wing ding we will be going to. It's not like I didn't like the people, I met a few, ok many nice people there, but I'm not into regimented functions. Me and whats her name like to go out and about on our own down the highways and byways basically by our selves. There is no 'I wanna turn here, and stop here, and I don't like this. This is why I bought her a Spyder. Let her go where she wants, with my credit card of course!

We are home now, in our A/C comfort with out the need for any monkey butt powder. But who knows what evil lurks out there? I'll send whats her name out first, but I will follow....
 

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Honda should hold the hoot at our state fair grounds here in Mn. Ton of parking and easy access. Inside & outside spaces to.
Not used much except for the fair in late august.
Makes no sense the way it's run now.
 

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The venue was lacking...

No space for toy haulers.

No space for the closing ceremony.

No parking space locally.

Nearly impossible to get bikes to the vendors. Spent half our time getting people out of the way of bikes being driven indoors...

Poor public speakers.

But, despite all that. I had a great time.

But for crying out loud! Fort Wayne again? How many flat/straight roads can one stand? Again?

I'm with a few others. How about another out West? But, I guess I can vacation out there where it is cooler while the throngs go to Fort Wayne to spend their cash.

Just sayin...
 
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