This morning I arose late, enjoyed a free breakfast at the hotel and the checked out around 10:30. I filled the tank up with gas before heading over to the Lodge. I collected the key to my cabin at the Lodge and went to investigate. I ended up with an air mattress up in the loft. Not exactly the best accommodations for the night but it would work.
The day was spent sitting around talking to other riders. Most everyone I talked to had little to no rally experience and many were doing this rally in preparation for the 2013 IBR. The temperature today was comfortable and a slight breeze made things even nicer. In the afternoon we had a rain shower which ended just as the riders meeting started at 5pm.
During the riders meeting the midwest check point was revealed as Stevenspoint, WI. That’s a good sign as I’m hoping to check Ohio and Michigan off my list of states traveled during this rally. Basic rules were reviewed such as this not being a race, or a scavenger hunt, and various other things you think most riders would know. Details about photos were covered and we were reminded that we would be surrendering our SD cards from our cameras and would not be getting them back. If we wanted a copy of our photos we needed to copy them to our computer BEFORE going to the scoring table. We were also told we could not use our cell phone as backup camera unless the SD card can be removed. Hopefully my camera will be OK, otherwise I’ll be dashing into a Wal-Mart or nearest available store to acquire a camera if mine fails. Before the next rally, I’ll have a real spare camera.
After the riders meeting one of the Rally Masters was kind enough to give a Rally 101 class. Lots of experienced riders including Ken Meese sat in on the meeting where Rick shared useful things relevant to rallies in general. One suggestion was to make sure you get the correct side of a historical marker as they aren’t always the same on both sides. Hmmmm, I’ve heard of that before.
The Team Strange folks gave us an open bar for an hour before dinner. I was bummed since they serve 40 creek whiskey here but I’m not drinking alcohol until I get to Denver. I think it’s pretty smart of them to have an open bar prior to the rally start as the bar bill will be less. Now, I just wonder if they are going to have an open bar at the finish.
The dinner was superb, it was served like a buffet and included ribs, chicken and 2 types of fish. After desert was served they handed out the rally packets and answered a few final questions. To my surprise there was no fuel log on this rally. That’s good news because it means I can shave about 1 minute off each gas since I don’t have to worry about that documentation.
When I got back to the room, I popped the USB drive into the computer and pasted the waypoints into EzBake. An hour later I had finished entering my point values and time availability data. Then it was just a matter of figuring out the best route that I could ride. I had a few things I wanted to accomplish on this route if possible; cover Michigan and Ohio, get north for cooler temps, and try to get in 3,000 miles so I had the first half of a Saddle Sore 6000.
I came up with a route of about 3100 miles including two 5 hour rest stops so I can bag the rest bonuses. I think I’ve found a theme in my bonuses, the quote “We’re on a mission from GOD!” comes to mind. I hope I can find some good blues channels on my satellite radio. Oh, and there’s a field I’ll get to visit too if all goes well. Play ball!
OK, this is my last post. Reagan will try to give a daily update until I get to Denver. Oh, and the midwest check point. Not at all where I thought it was, it’s in the massive metropolis of New Ulm, WI.
Time for some sleep.