Thursday, September 30, 2010
Rides Rides and More Rides
It has been awhile, but I have been doing quite a few rides. Of note, I did the Rendez-vous Rally which started in Quebec a couple Saturdays ago. The Rendez-vous is a 12-hour competitive rally. 12 hours is too short of a time to call it an "endurance" rally, but some do. I've explained this before, but competitive rallies are basically a scavenger hunt by motorcycle. I had a fun time on this one. I am in the middle of the Iron Butt Association National Parks Tour which is a challenge to get 50 park stamps in the National Park Service Passport from 23 different states so every time I go out for a ride, I look for opportunities to get another stamp. The ride up to Quebec was no different. I stopped along the way in Vermont and New Hampshire to get two stamps. The one in Vermont was the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and the one in New Hampshire was the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Site. Ideally, I like to stop and hang out for a bit and see the parks, but I was in a bit of a hurry on Friday to get up to Canada so I just stopped, stamped my passport, and rolled on. I still need a lot of stamps to fill the passport, but I have a year to do it. Once at the Rally hotel on Friday, I hung out with some of the regular rally riders. My friend Sanjay was there. Sanjay is a member of the Yankee Beemers and rode the Minuteman Rally with me. We had a meeting and then I did some last minute prep of my route before getting about seven hours of sleep. The riders meeting was at 5:00 am on Saturday. The start was uneventful except for the fact that every bike turned left from the hotel parking lot except me. I went to the right and headed to the Canada/New York border versus the Canada/Vermont border which it looked like everyone else was heading to. I've been riding around VT, NH, ME, and MA for the past couple years. I haven't done much riding in NY so I selected my first batch of bonuses in NY. I spent the next 12 hours riding around NY, MA, and VT before heading back up to the barn. I knew I wasn't going to be competitive in this rally so I took it easy. I ended up doing about 650 miles in 12 hours. A fairly high amount of miles for 12 hours and collecting bonuses as well. I ended up in the middle of the pack. There were about 40 riders and I placed 15th. I was happy with that. I made a couple mistakes and would have placed 5th if I didn't make those mistakes, but whatever. So, that was the big Rendez-vous Rally. The more important news is that last week the drawing for slots in the 2011 Iron Butt Rally (IBR) was announced and I received a "congratulations" email from the Rallymaster. The IBR starts in mid-June in Seattle and ends 11 days later in Southern California. I am now starting to prepare the bike for the IBR. More on that later. This weekend I am heading to the Catskills and the Color in the Catskills Rally. It is the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America free Rally they do every year. Basically a hang out and ride type of rally. Most people spend the whole weekend there camping, but I am only doing a day trip on Saturday which means up at 3:30 and out the door by 4:00 am on Saturday morning. I love those early morning rides. Later.