This was the first big ride on the wing since finishing the setup for 2up riding in long distance rallies.
Saturday 4/22 midnight - got underway from Auburn, WA for a IBA Bun Burner Gold (1500 miles in less than 24 hours) to Winslow, AZ - 1557 miles. The route was down I-5 to Bakersfield, hang a left onto I-40 and head to Winslow. Got there about 11:30 local time. Saw temps form 40 degrees in Auburn, to 97 degrees in the Mojove, to 34 degrees in Flagstaff and finally 60 degrees in Winslow. Pretty uneventful ride, just a lot of miles, little rain in Portland and Eugene, and then nice after that.
Picture "standin' on the corner" in Winslow.
Sunday: We got a room at the Motel 6 for a few hours and were up and going at 4AM for the 920 miles +/- Azel, TX to stay at a friends house where several other riders were gathering to head down to College Station for the rally on Monday. We arrived at their house about 6 PM. Had a great BBQ dinner with friends kicked the tires, and told stories. Great time.
Monday: Headed the last 200 miles to College Station for the rally, checked in, did the ODO check and had the rest of the night to ourselves. There was a no host dinner at a nearby pub. Great food. Lot's a old friends were at the rally. Good times.
Tuesday: 0430 - Riders meeting - don't be late or .... Rally theme was based on ZZ Tops World Wide Texas Tour from the early 1970s. This rally is unique in that you are required to get rest during the rally. The rally was 95 hours 45 minutes long (Tuesday noon to Saturday 11:45AM). To be classified a finisher, you had to get at least 24 hours of rest between the hours of 8PM and 6AM (minimum of 4 hours max of 8 hours counted each day) AND get a least 16 tour stops (locations).
There were essentially four bonus lists broken up into when they were available noon to noon. With one caveat that after 2AM on Saturday morning every bonus that you had not claimed before was available to be claimed with a catch, you had to take a selfie with your rally flag and the bonus wear a ZZ Top beard and sunglasses.
From the Rally masters write up:
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No one realized how much the rest/meal bonus would work out to be for the rally, or they would have maxed out the restaurant point value at 9 points. We ended up with 6.5 points for the exponent which was 45,319 points, where if we had gotten 9 points for the exponent the total would have been 170,767 points.
Tuesday 4/25/2023 11:45AM lining up for the start.
12:00 sharp bikes are underway.
Spent the first day riding around east Texas, meal break in St. Augustine at the Heart of Texas Grill. Great food - best restaurant we ate at the whole trip!
We had to take a picture of the bike with our rally flag where we stayed.
We would come within a few miles of Louisiana and generally heading North eventually spending the night in Marshall, TX. Weather was nice, clear mid 70's. Got a room at 8 PM and set an alarm for 4 AM to maximize sleep bonus for the night. Thundershowers had come through earlier and were headed SE away from where we were going.
Wednesday: The day started in the rain for about 50 miles, then it cleared up. We stayed dry until early afternoon as we looped down towards the NE of Dallas where a big thundershower was coming through. Fortunately, no lightning just heavy rain and winds. If we don't ride in the rain in Seattle, we don't ride. The bike did great in the rain and wind. And the people seem to be able to drive in it better than in Seattle. Go figure... After a couple of hours we had gotten behind the storm and were out of the rain for the rest of the day.
Some of the bonus stops:
After a few more stops we ended the day at 8 PM in a motel 6 in Brenham, TX. As we ended the day, our app for the rally was crashing. Had to delete it and then install again. But it took a while to get everything working. Fortunately, it all worked out by the time we got to the first bonus location Thursday.
Thursday morning 4AM - Thundershower again coming through, Mostly past us, headed SE. We were headed NW so would be out of the rain in about an hour.
Lunch at Utopia - food was good for a place in the middle of nowhere
One rally rule is if you find another riders flag, leave it where you found it. They may be coming back for it. In this case, the lunch stop was across the street from this location. We walked back over and told him his flag was there and he might want to go get it.
If he finishes the rally without his flag, he loses half his points at the finish when places are determined. Big penalty if you don't show up at the finish with your rally flag. We saved his bacon.
Back on Tuesday night I wanted to calculate and see if the combo bonus that started at noon on Friday to the end of the rally was even doable with taking a meal bonus. There was a series of 8 stops that would take 1240 miles and 20 hours to do with a meal stop. I stretched from near Amarillo to Galveston zig zagging from west of San Antonio to east of Dallas. It was doable, but you could not sleep Friday night and make it. Hence the reason we did 3 nights of 8 hours sleep. I had Marissa check and see what hotels were near the start of this series in Earth, TX. Nearest, and only motel was in Littlefield. We booked a room Tuesday for Thursday night. Our stage was set to gather the "Planet" combo and 50,000 point bonus that went with it.
Friday just before noon the gathering of about 30 riders:
Moon Cemetary after a 2 mile gravel road in and out
Rising Star, TX
Missing the Saturn bonus picture for some reason. On the way from the Mars location to the Saturn location, I had an animal run into my front wheel. It was small and gray. Only saw it in my peripheral vision about 2 feet before it ran into the right side of my front wheel. Heard a few thumps under the bike, but never actually ran it over. No idea what it was. We were doing about 75 mph, in the middle of nowhere west of San Antonio. Bike was stable, no indication of any issues. About 2 miles later, I pulled the front brake to slow for a corner and the lever came halfway to the bar before it actually applied the brake. Then it applied smoothly and consistently. After the corner, I tried again, and same thing. I pulled over fearing I was pumping brake fluid out or worse. No fluids, system was tight, there was gray hair on the rear brake caliper from it. But no damage that I could see. I could see a splat on the carrier for the right rotor where the animal impacted me. I believe it hit with enough force to bend the carrier, but not damage the rotor. As the wheel turned it pushed the brake pads away from the rotor slightly. But the system was function, just had to move the lever farther to get it to engage. IT would be this way for the rest of the rally and the trip home, as there was nothing I could do about it.
Neptune statue on the beach in Galveston.
Time to head to the barn. we had 3 hours to get there with about 2 hours riding time.
Our track including the ride to and from the rally
Great rally, 51 bikes entered, 41 finished and we were the top 2up with a top 10 placing.
The rally was a lot of fun. Great challenge. Hats off to the rally team that put this on. Well worth the trip.
The wing performed very well. I have a few changes to do, but they are all really to fine tune the bike.
Ended the trip with our 4th BBG 2up, 2 SS 1000 2 up and 8200 miles round trip.