Freedom Rally 2010 (Caution: mature content)

No, it wasn’t crowded.  Leading up to the Fourth of July, this was my home sweet home, that tan tent with the door open.  It looks as though it was right up next to the nearby tents, but that’s an optical illusion created by the foreshortening of the camera’s lens.  There was 25 feet or more between tents.  It was one of the most open, shaded and relaxing campsites of any rallies I’ve attended. Excellent accommodations.

We rode a day and a half to get to Algona, and were probably in the first bunch of attendees to arrive, getting there on Thursday.  Friday, we rode the rolling asymmetrical countryside of row crop symmetry between Algona and Ames.  The flooded Des Moines River required us to do a fair amount of detouring, but that was not a bad thing.  After leaving Ames, headed back to Algona, we stopped at Boone, Fort Dodge, Humboldt and Algona before settling in to our home sweet home to enjoy the rally.

Before we settled in to our “hood” we got out a bit to see more of the rally,

which included bike rodeo and events such as the sled pull and the shovel pull (which appeared to be part of the initiation for one of the clubs at the rally.)

There were also on hand two dyno-tune vendors which caused some hearing discomfort and conversation interuptus for others in the vendor area.

The music this year was not the kind that would appeal to my personal interests. I’m not a fan of either Sammy Kershaw nor Michael Montgomery.  However, from my tent, I could hear that the crowd and the performance by Kershaw was enthusiastic. 

My only visit to the bandshell, the stage was to wander by during the “Sportster Class” of the titty contest.  It held my interest for all of about four or five minutes. I just don’t understand the fascination with breasts. Is it some kind of mammary fixation, having been weaned to early from mother’s breasts?

Apart from the bikes, the vendors and the shows was the people we got to know, such as Judd,the Marine on leave from action in Afghanistan.  We talked very intimately about what he’d seen and experienced in his multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He is a southern boy and very conservative in his political views, but from a perspective of one who is in the fray, not a mere spectator.  Coming from down south as he did, he had a line on some of the best moonshine I’ve tasted — Apple Pie.  It tasted just like a McDonald’s Hot Apple Pie minus the crust.  Even with a hint of cinnamon.  And his sleeping accommodations left only a minimal footprint.

People watching is as much a part of any rally as is motorcycle watching. Yes, you get the chance to swap tips and tales, stories and systems with other bikers.  That is something unique about rallies. There just doesn’t happen in the “real world.”  Yet, it’s the people watching that is very entertaining.  A great majority of people are what you might call “average” but once in a while, you can be rewarded with something that stands out — a visual experience for either men or women.

Then there were the multitude of couples, loving each other, very much in to each other and enjoying themselves. Most were young, in their 20’s but not all.  They were willing to cooperate when I asked them to pose a moment for me to record their love.

We got to know our neighbors a bit, they were quite open and revealing about themselves, and she did a good job of working the man-crowd earning her beads.  But she was not the only one who pushed back the walls of acceptability in the name of “freedom.”

Freedom to do what you want as long as you don’t hurt, harm or threaten anyone.  But also freedom to NOT do what others do. No pressure.  I kept on my clothes.

I find it amazing the role that clothing plays in our concept of freedom and societal restrictions.  Every woman I talked to expressed the same thing, that it felt good to flaunt societies standards, and to be the object of overt approval of the man crowd.  However, I didn’t ask the men what they felt about their own freedom-of-clothing experience.

Yeah, there’s nudity at the Freedom Rally, but that is not what it’s about. It’s about freedom, and if that means freedom to shed the fabric you’re forced to wear all day in public, so be it.

Most of all, it’s an attitude, to be free to eat, drink, mingle, enjoy what you are restricted from enjoying in a less-free world.

8 Responses to “Freedom Rally 2010 (Caution: mature content)”

  1. Paula Wilson Says:

    Great Article. I felt as if I had attended this rally… 🙂 Thank you for your insight and for indulging the readers in the little freedoms that society has made inappropriate or unacceptable. We as a nation have become so rule-happy that we’ve forgotten our basic rights and the freedom to express those rights. I applaud these bikers for reminding us that we still have them amongst the rubble of rules in society.
    Paula Wilson

  2. Christi Says:

    Awesome reporting! As First Lady of ABATE of IA , I appreciate your unsolicited comments! We try our best to throw a good party for our closest 8,000 friends or so. Your pictures and words are dead on!

    • My sorrow was in missing the 2011 rally. Priorities, ya know–kids and family reunion just up the road in Mnpls. Still, at The Joint on Cedar on the West Bank I visited with returning rally goers who gave it a big thumbs up this year — only one bout of inclement weather.

      Hurry up 2012!

  3. JR distric 10- 7 Abate Says:

    Way cool good to see a bit of home. Thanks

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