Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2010 Minuteman Rally Report Part 2

All the bonus location coordinates leading up to Rockwood ME were exactly correct. The GPS told me when to stop and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. However, when arriving in Rockwood the coordinates for the church I was suppose to take a picture of was actually a gas station. I ran into two other riders at that gas station and we asked the attendant where the church was and it was about a third of a mile down the road. The other two riders were taking a break at the gas station, but I was still in rally mode and had no time for this break business so I went to the church, took the picture, and left. At the scoring table, I found out that the guy who programmed the coordinates for this bonus got gas at that gas station and those were the coordinates he used as the bonus. It wasn't a big deal, but it was about eight minutes of time wasted and in a 24-hour rally that's a lot of time if you ask me. On my way back down to more bonuses in NH and VT I saw about seven other riders heading up to the bonus in Rockwood. It was a sizeable bonus at 2,000 points and it was a real easy ride there. Most rally riders will find a high-value bonus and work their routes around that bonus and since I saw the other riders, I knew I had to stay on top of my game because they were all likely doing the same or similar route as mine. I bagged a couple 900 point bonuses in Maine on my way into NH and VT. I told myself I would stop at 11:00 for my rest bonus. The rest bonus was worth 5,000 points and only needed to be two hours long. Around 10:30, I approached an area in NH where there were two 500-point bonuses very close to each other. One was a monument at a Quaker church. It was very remote and along a dirt road. My GPS basically shut down at this point and it was pitch black and I could not find either bonus location. I was going down this dirt road that turned into a dirt path that turned into a grass path that turned me into a nervous wreck. There was no place to turn around so I kept going down the path and after about a mile I came to a house with a wide driveway area so I could turn around. A dog came running from the house barking like crazy and as I was turning around he was nipping at my foot; once I came about I bolted out of there. I still had the larger problem of being lost in the middle of nowhere with no GPS reception. I kept going along several different dirt roads giving up on the bonuses and just trying to find my way out of there. At one point I thought I popped a tire so I was paranoid about riding on it. I finally came across some pavement and found a street light to park under and check the pressure in the tires. The tires were at 36 and 42 psi which is exactly where they were supposed to be. I was pissed at myself at this point. I missed 1,000 points and lost an hour of rally time. It was about 11:15 pm now and I found a gas station to stop and rest for a little while. I couldn’t really rest, but I tried. I got going again exactly two hours later at 1:15 am.

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