Friday, March 30, 2012

April Fools Rally 2012–Day 0

In less than 12 hours I’ll be getting on my bike and heading to Beaumont to start a 30 hour endurance rally. This will be my first endurance rally in preparation for next year’s Iron Butt Rally 2013. Riding long distances has never really been a problem for me, riding long distances while keeping track of various bonus opportunities is going to be a whole new game.

In a nut shell I have 30 hours to travel from Beaumont, Texas to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. No problem there’s plenty of time. Except that I have to make the route at least 1,000 miles or else I’ll DNF. I must get a receipt in Beaumont between 7:55AM and 8:05AM to start the clock. If I miss the window for any reason, I’ll be out of the rally before it starts. Next there’s the issue of picking which bonuses to claim. With 150 bonuses available there seems to be an endless combination of routing choices. That is until I realized that for every mile over 1,000 miles that I travel I lose a point up to 1,500 miles. 1,501 miles is a DNF. There’s also a 4 hour minimum rest break, miss that and you guessed it! A DNF.

I’m not about to post my route or intended bonuses before the rally starts, that would be a bad idea. I can say there are some interesting places to see though like an old jail, the grave site of a rodeo hero, several war memorials, an old barn and much much more. I’m not going to see the Gulf of Mexico on this ride as I had planned previously and I won’t be going down to the Padre Island either.

I’ve made a widget addition to this site which I hope will work as planned and allow my readers to follow me while I’m riding via spotwalla. I’ve also set up a spotwalla tracking page for the event. Click this link to see it. I rode a short shake down ride today and you can check out the link for it too.

So why a shake down ride less than 24 hours before a big ride. Simple really, too many things had to change before this ride and time seemed to be against me. My trusty riding boots were no longer trusty or water proof. It took 3 pairs before I found a new pair that was actually waterproof and fit comfortably. I love my new pair of Dianese touring boots, they are a definite step up from the Tour Masters. Then there was the matter of my riding pants. Winter was cruel to me and my borders had expanded beyond the boundaries of my current gear. So I needed a new pair of pants. I also retired my trusty Olympia AST jacket because well…. it looked like something a homeless person would wear and that’s after I cleaned it. And don’t forget the new waterproof gloves either. After 5 years of dependable use they too decided to call it quits in a recent rain storm. So I look like a mannequin for  new motorcycle gear and I wanted to make sure everything was going to be OK. It is.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll post again on Sunday when the ride is over and I’ve had a good dinner with my fellow rally goers. In the mean time follow along on spotwalla. You can find the group spotwalla page for the rally here.

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