Falling Leaf Rally Information
October 11 - 13, 2013
- To Do
There is no pre - registration for the rally.
Sign in and pay up when you arrive.
The Falling Leaf Rally is hosted by the Gateway Riders Motorcycle Club, St. Louis, Missouri. We are charter club #22 in the Motorcycle Owners of America (MOA) organization. The Gateway Riders have sponsored the Falling Leaf Rally since 1976. We traditionally hold the rally the second full weekend in October, the weekend after the Return to Shiloh Rally in Tennessee.
The rally is held at the Lions Club Fairgrounds in Potosi, Missouri. Potosi is about 60 miles South Southeast of St. Louis. Coordinates are N37.94545 W090.79804. Check the weather at the fairgrounds.
If you are coming from I-55, get off at 32 West to Farmington. Go to 67/32 and turn North. In about 4 miles, 32 turns East again. Then, 2 miles later, take Route 8 West to Potosi. Go through town. As you are leaving Potosi, there will be a Y intersection, with Route 8 going straight and 185 to the right. Take 185. Immediately look for the fairgrounds entrance, it will be about 1/4 mile down the road on your left.
If you are coming from I-44, get off at either Route 8 at St. James or 185 at Sullivan. If you are taking Route 8, you will see the fairgrounds on your left just before the Y intersection of 185 and Route 8. Turn left on 185 and look for the fairgrounds entrance about 1/4 mile down on the left. If you are coming down 185, you will see the fairgrounds on your right before the intersection of Route 8 and 185. My advice, look at a map and figure it out, or program your GPS.
Scenic routes you can take include Route 8 and 185. I think 185 is better. I would also recommend any road with an alphabet letter south of Potosi. Highway 21 is a bit heavily traveled north of Potosi; it is pretty good to the south. I like 32 from Salem to DD, then DD North to C, jog right on C to P North. Route 19 from Eminence North to A, then A to KK, to 32, to DD to P is also quite nice. Approaching from the North, you have fewer scenic choices that are at least semi-direct routes. H, HH, FF, WW, and Y are all nice rides. A and T are excellent. I would advise getting yourself a large fold up map of Missouri. Your atlas probably won’t have the good squiggly lines. You can also get a topographical map which will better depict the turns and angles. Computer programs might not give you the best fun routes.
Missouri roads are mostly blacktop. They will be uneven and crowned with blind corners, intersecting gravel driveways, and no shoulders. Watch it. If you aren’t used to twisties, then take it easy. It is not uncommon for pickups and cars to cheat over the center line, especially in their left hand, your right hand, corners. Don’t go wide. Watch for dead animals and live ones as well. There are lots of deer, mostly in the early morning and evening. Squirrels and raccoons will run across the road in front of you unpredictably. There are also dogs that may chase you. Watch for hazards and keep your speed down to stay in control.
There is always road construction going on around St. Louis. Check MODOT Traveler Information Map for the latest update. Avoid St. Louis during rush hours if you can. I-270 and I-64 are especially aggravating. I-255 on the Illinois side is pretty good. If you are coming from the East, 47 works pretty well and 50 is a good choice. The interstates clear up outside the city conglomerate, just try to avoid going through the city between 7:00 to 9:00 AM, and 4:00 to about 6:00 PM, or at all.
There are some great off road trails in the Mark Twain forest. A topographical map will be necessary if you want to experience some challenging off road riding. I would recommend novices not getting off of the gravel roads unless you have someone experienced to go with you. We offer a guided dual sport ride on Saturday, led by Tom Huff. Tom recommends you have some experience with loose gravel and low water crossings.
There is plenty of camping space at the fairgrounds. The Falling Leaf Rally started as primarily a camping rally and I would recommend it. Camping is included in your entry fee, so why not take advantage of it? If you camp, plan on bringing some cold weather gear. In October it often gets cold at night. Use the weather link at the top of the page to watch the weather reports and plan accordingly. Keep in mind that the St. Louis weather may not be accurate 60 miles to the South. Potosi is in a rural area and you can expect nighttime temperatures to be lower than what you might find in the city. Bring a warm sleeping bag and adequate clothing. If you forget anything, there is a Wal Mart in town. We will provide firewood for campfires.
You really ought to camp. If
not, there is a nice Super 8, that is, well, a Super 8.
It fills up fast. Potosi
Super 8, 573-438-8888, Super8.com. Call directly for best rate and waiting
list, do not call 800#.
If you can’t get a room in Potosi, I would recommend going to Bonne Terre, about 20 miles East of Potosi. There is a Super 8 there, and also a nice locally owned establishment, the Red Cedar Lodge. The ride from Potosi to Bonne Terre isn’t bad, and the motels there are OK. Bonne Terre Super 8, 573-358-5888, Super8.com Red Cedar Lodge-800-825-7506, 573-431-0008.
Another choice is Sullivan, which
is on I-44 at 185, about 30 miles west. 185 goes right in front of the Lion’s
Club Fairgrounds and is a nice road to ride. They have a Baymont Inn and
an Econonlodge. Baymont Inn 1-866-999-1111, Baymontinns.com
Econolodge 1-877-424-6423, Econolodge.com
The town of Potosi has the common fast food joints, such as McDonalds, Hardees, and Sonic. The Family Steak House is a popular family run establishment. There is a Wal Mart, two grocery stores, and an auto parts store. There are no motorcycle shops. Please watch the crosswalks when going through town, the locals have the right of way and have a habit of stepping off the curb without looking. There is also a hospital which, I hope, you will not need. We have no first aid available at the rally grounds; we leave the medical services to the professionals.
There is a heated meeting hall, the Lion’s Den, which will be open throughout the event. Inside, we have registration, free coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade,and ice water. Bag ice for sale. There are indoor toilets in the meeting hall and in the shower house next to the meeting hall.
There will be porta potties around the campgrounds as well. There is no water service out on the rally grounds. You will have to tote it from one of the buildings if you need it at your campsite. There is also no electricity in the regular camping area. We do have electric outlets in the area behind the Den and behind the bleachers. If you have special needs, ask about electric connections at Registration for instructions and locations.
Friday night we have an old fashioned hot dog roast. We build a fire out back and you can roast the dogs on a stick to your satisfaction. We’ll also put out some baked beans and chips. Saturday night there is an appreciation for the volunteers pizza party. If you want some pizza, sign up for volunteer duty.
The hot dog roast is included in the rally fee; other meals are not, but food is available on the grounds for your convenience. Saturday morning, the Lion’s Club serves a good pancake and sausage breakfast for a reasonable price. They also have hamburgers for sale by order at lunch time. Saturday night they serve a barbecue dinner if you want it. We have always left food to your discretion. We don’t charge you for it in advance. You can bring your own and cook at your campsite, go to a restaurant in town, or buy it from the Lion’s Club.
On Saturday we have several events. You can do an observation ride if you wish. We will give you a route to ride and some questions to answer regarding the sights you see along the way. You buy the observation run form with all the money going out as prizes to the winners. The more people who participate, the more money you can win. The point of course, is to have a nice ride. The observation run will be about 150 miles long.
Also leaving Saturday morning, will be the gravel road ride catering to the dual sport crowd. Tom Huff, a Potosi native and avid motorcyclist will lead. We ask that only riders comfortable with gravel roads, stream crossings, and other such hazards go on this ride.
Saturday afternoon you can sign up to ride in the field events if you wish. We have some fun, low impact, type games. Don’t worry if you are not an expert rider; luck has as much to do with it as skill sometimes.
Fields events aren't the same every year. They could include a slow ride, a straight line course in which the longest time to get from start to finish is the winner. Pictured here is a bean bag toss, which can be done with a passenger, although many solo riders compete. This does not have to be a side hack event.
There could be an obstacle course, or a challenge to wrap a rope around a 50 gallon drum. The field events are a fun afternoon for all.
We will start and end the Saturday awards ceremony with the anvil blast. This is one of the most popular events at the rally. It is simple, an anvil is blasted high in the air with black powder, but it seems to be compellingly interesting.
We give awards for the:
Youngest Rider on a BMW,
Oldest Male Rider on a BMW,
Oldest Female Rider on a BMW,
Oldest BMW Ridden to the Rally,
Oldest Combination - Age of Rider and BMW,
Long Distance* Solo Male Rider on a BMW,
Long Distance* Solo Female Rider on a BMW,
Long Distance* Two-Up on a BMW,
Long Distance* Sidecar - BMW Powered, and
Field event winners.
You have to sign up for some of the awards; read your rally packet for details.
*Long Distance awards are calculated from your home address to the rally by the most direct route with final decision made by electronic mapping software.
Vendors enhance the rally experience for everyone, and we want to encourage them to attend. We charge no vendor registration fee. We ask that vendors come to the registration desk and register with us and provide us with a door prize. We then issue an armband that gives access to the grounds and all the services we provide. If Vendors want to be eligible for door prizes, they may pay the regular rally registration fee. In order to further demonstrate our desire for vendors to attend our rally, we invite all of the on site vendors to the Saturday night appreciation pizza party.
We have door prizes provided by our club and the vendors. We give you ten tickets with each full fare registration. You can put the tickets in any of the door prize jugs you wish.
We do a 50/25/25 drawing. We sell tickets all weekend, and then give half the money away to some lucky winners, drawn at the awards ceremony on Saturday. The winner gets 50 percent of the money collected in cash, the next two tickets drawn are good for 25 percent each. We have given away some substantial cash awards in the past from this drawing. The Observation Ride also gives a cash prize.
This is a BMW rally. It is open to BMW riders, owners, and guests. As the Rally Director, I will admit riders of other brands of motorcycles as my guest. Please keep in mind, we sponsor a family atmosphere event. We are a private club on private property and have the right to deny admittance or to ask you to leave. We have rarely felt compelled to exercise this right and don’t plan on doing it in the future unless we have disruptive individuals who do not exercise good judgment or who fail to abide by the few and simple rules we ask you to follow. The Washington County Sheriff’s Auxiliary provides evening security for us. We also monitor our gate from beginning to end. All registrants will be given an arm band. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to get in the gate. If you aren’t wearing the armband while on the grounds, we will ask you to leave. This is one of the simple rules. Riders of all brands of motorcycles are welcome, with those caveats.
We like pets – but owners are sometimes a problem. Owners are expected to keep their pet under their control at all times and to clean up pet waste immediately and completely. While I am sad to have to do this, “under control” will include on a leash. Thank some irresponsible dog owners for this restriction. We have to enforce this, as we cannot have unattended dogs urinating on tents or motorcycle tires, or leaving droppings where people are trying camp. There are areas around the perimeter fence of the grounds which are quite fine for pet walking. Be considerate of others and we will all get along just fine. But, if we find your pet unattended running around the rally grounds, you and the pet are gone – period.
We start the rally on Friday. However, we will be setting up at about Noon on Thursday. If you come before that time, we can’t guarantee anything. The Lion’s Club owns the grounds. We rent from them from Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. The Lion’s Club are good folks who, in the past, have been OK with a few people who arrive a bit early, but it is entirely up to them. The Gateway Riders will not be providing any services until Friday morning, and we will pack everything by Sunday Noon.
We charge $22 for each adult admission, rider or passenger - it doesn’t matter. We have lowered our entry fee for children, because we want to make it as easy as possible on families. Children from 6 to 12 now pay $2, ages 5 or under are free. We will sell a day pass for Saturday only for $10, no camping. We really like vendors, so they get in for free if they give us a door prize.
We do not do pre-registration or online registration. We have not figured out any advantage for you, so we don't want to put you through it..
We don’t really sell T-shirts; we sell high quality rally apparel. We have rally shirts for sale to order. We have several different styles and colors and will make them up to your specifications. Our shirts are not dirt cheap, but they are an excellent value. See the Tee shirt vendors in the Lion’s Den. I recommend ordering early to get the best selections of shirt styles and colors. Some styles and colors sell out before others.
Putting on a rally of this size requires a lot of help. If you want to be a part of it, we welcome your involvement. There is a Volunteer sign up desk at the registration table. All of the jobs we need done are listed there with descriptions of the duties and responsibilities. We ask for a 2 hour commitment from volunteers, ranging from guarding the gate to helping set up the hot dog roast to tabulating awards to assisting with the field events to making early morning coffee. Working at the rally is a really nice experience. You get to meet new people and have the satisfaction of contributing to everyone’s fun. Also, to say thank you, all volunteers who work for 2 hours get a rally hat and are invited to the Saturday night pizza party.
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