In a parallel universe, a conversation had begun quite some time ago on a topic most everyone here has an opinion on.

In the interests of transparency, I'll leave out a few things, but the questions are:

Years ago, there were scores of participants in most of the fully-organized, and even partially-organized motorcycle touring events. We'll use the generic term "rally" for the purpose of this discussion. Preparations for future events seem to indicate fewer and fewer people willing to commit in advance to these sorts of activities.

There's probably some history that may shine a bit of light onto this question. I *know* there are people here that have "been there, done that" who may be able to amplify what I think is happening.

Yes, in decades past, you did have a large group of people that did involve themselves in many of these activities. I suspect that there's a different mindset between rallies in the east and rallies in the west. I don't believe this is unique to Goldwing riders, Honda riders, or anything like that. Riders in the east seem to have more opportunities to rally and the desire for the fellowship - maybe more than the riding itself. Thus, a region with more organized activities. The group dinners, the pre-planned ride routes, the ride leaders (no, I didn't write "road captain", but almost!) is what I mean by organized. To me, it seems that you see a lot of the same or similar actions and activities from GWRRA, Star clubs, etc.

It does seem to be a little different in the west. After all, if you have to go 500 or 1200 miles to get to a rally location, it's now a commitment to do it. Eighty miles? 150 miles? Maybe you just show up for a few hours on Saturday, and sleep in your own bed later that night.

More organized and structured in the east (or for riders originally from the east), less organized in the west - mostly.

I seem to think that there's a group of people that are looking for a mini version of Sturgis or Americade with these sorts of loosely organized events. But then, many will complain about it being too big! A double-edged sword, huh?

The other salient point here is what is it that makes these events a success?

Forum life isn't what it used to be. By that I mean you had the one place that organized all of these activities. Before internet forums like this one, you have various email lists, you have groups that still exist and most have never heard of like Wings Over The Internet (WOTI), Delphi groups, not to mention an assortment of defunct internet forums. Again, this isn't Goldwing or Honda specific, as I mentioned - many other makes and models (other than Bar-and-Shield - more on that in a sec) probably are experiencing these same issues. With limited means to get the word out, and for those that chose to do a bit of 'keyboard riding', you had but a few places to get the skinny on an event. You also had the ability of finding out that so-and-so stated on-line "I'm going!", there might be a few people out there that'd go "I want to meet so-and-so, I'm going, too!"

Recall the history of Bar-and-Shield - corporate really created that image from a reasonably young age for the company to succeed, they needed to have that 'club (by brand)' affiliation. Once the general public was sold on that, the rest is history. Every Japanese manufacturer, as well as most all of the European builders of motorcycles are the antithesis of this thought process - "they buy our bikes not because of the club, but because the engineering is better." Am I right? Think about it - still true today.

Due to the changes in forums, along with some of the changes in people, that nucleus of people that were involved in the past doing these things have moved on to greener pastures. Perhaps they also just got fed-up and quit "Screw this, I'm gonna let someone else do this. It's too hard, and nobody here appreciates what I've done!"

Bet you could do equally well in organizing an event in a different social media environment these days. A significant percentage of the heavyweight names from years past - the very ones mentioned earlier that would talk up activities like this - have moved on.

Finally, I'm not here to tell this owner or anyone else how to run their forum. I'm simply pointing out what had happened from this user's perspective. There was a time that many involved were either supporters of the forum (privately owned...) or were small-scale mom-and-pop advertisers. Again, I'm quite certain you have a lot of other forums, not just powersports, that have similar issues.

Is there a corollary to be drawn between these two activities? Maybe.