Friday, April 26, 2013

Heart of Texas 2013 Endurance Rally – Day -1

Follow me on the ride tomorrow.

In just 10 hours 51 minutes I’ll be starting the clock for the 12 hour Heart of Texas 2013 rally. This year’s challenge is to spell the phrase “HEART OF TEXAS 2013”. Lucky for me that I got the Unique Bonus earlier this month so I’m starting tomorrow with the 2013 already satisfied. That leaves me with 11 bonuses to collect on my way to Brady, Tx. In order to score points though I have to travel to specific cities to get the letters. Some of the bonus locations available include Anthony, South Padre Island, Texas City, Hemphill and Texarkana to name a few. And of course there are lots more, 77 in total.

I’ve got an optimistic route plan that can score in the 900’s if executed completely. Even if I have to shed a few stops I can still finish in the 800’s. So I’m satisfied with my route selection this year. But don’t look for me in Brady until just a couple of minutes before 18:00, I definitely won’t be early and I can’t be late.

For a bike that is supposed to be rally ready, I sure had to do a lot to it over the past 2 weeks. I put on a new rear tire yesterday, got 15,323 miles out of the last one. Woooohoooo! I also had to re-mount my Valentine 1 and Spot as the old mounts wouldn’t work with the Aeroflow windshield. Oh that’s right, I got a new windshield to help with the noise I’m noticing in my new Shoei Neotec helmet. I also purchased an AT&T Go phone as a backup for my “Can you hear me now” phone. Let’s face it, there are spots in Central and West Texas where the little guy just hasn’t gotten too yet. So it’s nice to have a backup cell connection. At $2/day of use for unlimited talk and text without a contract I can handle that. My wife graciously gave me her old Eddie Bauer Fanny pack which I strapped across my aux fuel cell to keep the motorcycle cover in. This will give me more space in the saddle bags plus the pack is a little larger than the original cover bag so it’ll be easier to pack and unpack on my rest stops.

I’m going completely minimalist on this trip as far as what I’m packing. Besides my standard riding gear I’ll take a pair of pants and boxers. LD Comfort base layer folks, it’s the only way to ride. I’ve also stripped down my in-rally process so that I don’t have to go to my trusty portfolio binder for anything. I have a little box for my receipts, a tiny notebook with the route listed in it where I can record times and mileage and I have a condensed version of the rally pack with my planned stops. All of that will live in my tankbag. I’d put my rally flag in there as well but it’s an 8.5x11 sheet of paper in a plastic cover so it’s staying in my side case where extra food and tools are stored. But I can get to it without getting off the bike if the picture allows it.

I also added 2 retractable id badge reels to my jacket chest pockets. The left pocket still holds the camera now on a reel long enough to put the camera arms length from me. The right pocket holds my 3 primary credit cards and speed pass for quicker fueling. Since the cards are attached to the reel I don’t have to worry about dropping them, losing them or leaving them. And the wallet with other credit cards stays safe and secure during stops.

The bike is packed with the exception of my laptop and toiletry bag which I’ll load in the morning when I fill up the water cooler.  I have a few new things to try out during this rally but they are more about refinements than completely new routines. The same goes for the changes to the bike, they are really just refinements and not completely new things.

4/27/2013 06:00 CDT the fun begins!!!!

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