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"Ah, I forgot you were coming out today," Tally, in another pair of overalls, tells me when we meet on his sprawling back deck. The sun is almost down. Tally offers me a glass jar of sweet tea.
"I don't know how to say it. It was just one of those things I always thought was cool," he says of his obsession with motorcycles. "I didn't really have too many friends riding them when I was a kid, but I knew I wanted one."
Raised by a single mom, Tally daydreamed his way through high school and earned the nickname Braindead by consuming large quantities of drugs in his youth.
But he can sound very Buddhist about his preferred mode of transportation.
"You get out there on the road. The concentration is so focused, you see things you never thought you'd see," he continues. "You have to be so focused, the road don't even look like a road. You see every little bit of it. Everything gets sharper and clearer."
He started going to biker rallies in the 1980s. Most of the rallies that Tally rode to have since shut down, but others have taken their place, popping up around the country as bikers have infiltrated the mainstream. They're a sort of cottage industry now. People who can't make it to Sturgis — the South Dakota town that hosts a half-million bikers every summer — or who think Sturgis has lost its edge can usually find a homegrown party within a day's ride.
But until Tally came along, the nearest rally for Kansas City-area bikers was in Iowa.
"There just wasn't anything like it close to home, and I always wished there was," he says. "I wanted to be the guy throwing the party. I wanted that for years."
Four years ago, Tally was offered early retirement from his job as a union rep at GM's Fairfax plant, so he took it. His plan was to leave Kansas City, his hometown, and find a plot of land on which to construct his dream. He had never heard of Urich.
"I wasn't even looking at this place," Tally says from the deck of his house, which borders the field where his Grand River Rally is held. "I was looking at a place down the road. The woman who lived here kept pulling the for-sale sign down because she didn't want her landlord to sell it — and she'd lose her place — so we didn't even realize it was on the market at first.
"But when we finally did, we came out here, and it was morning, and the mist was coming off all of those fields. I could just see it rising up out there as clear as day. I could see the stage and the tents and the bikes and the beer garden. It was beautiful, man."
Tally bought the land and spent the next three years getting it ready. After clearing 80 acres, renting equipment and paying band-booking fees, his first attempt at a rally was in June 2009. But a flash flood soaked the land.
"I lost a lot on that deal," he says.
He tried again this past June, drawing about 1,400 paying customers, which was enough to encourage him but not enough to cover his costs.
"I can only put so much of my own money in," he says. "This is all I want to do. I mean, I want this rally to be my life and my full-time job. But I need to keep building it for that to happen."