Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One Point....The 2013 UTAH 1088 Twelve Hour Rally

I was so excited to head to Salt Lake City for the Utah 1088.  I was going to ride the 12 hour rally and was really pumped for it.  I arrived in SLC on Thursday, June 27, 2013 to be on time for the pre-rally BBQ.  The 12 hour rally would start on Saturday morning.  I arrived at the host hotel with plenty of time  before the BBQ.
 This is the big welcome sign that greeted me when I arrived at the host hotel.
 And here are just a few of the many bikes parked in the lot.  The 3 day event had already started so there must have been more bikes the day before!
 Peeps began gathering for the BBQ.  Excitement was in the air, it was palpable :-)
 A few pics of the folks gathering to dine on BBQ before the start.  We were all excited!
We all enjoyed a fine dinner.  Chatting amongst ourselves, wondering who would be our competition.  I for one, was in this to win it!  I felt good, I know Utah and I was ready to roll.

Some of you may know but some of you may not know...The Rock!  The Rock is a famous bit of Utah 1088 history.  I for one don't know the beginning but I've known the rock for a few years.  I've actually held the Rock more than a few times.  The Rock is given to a rider who asks "stupid questions" as in the rider didn't pay attention.  Unfortunately, I've been handed the Rock more than once or twice.  But, I always manage to pass her off before the rally.  Whoever holds the Rock during the rally must place it in every photo for bonus points.  And yes, she is heavy!  Past Rock holders have included such luminaries as RenoJohn and Jerry White.  Gary and Sharon Jarl were the most recent holders.  All holders of the Rock have done her proud and have taken her all over the world. 

She even got to spend time on loan with Mark Beaulac when he went to Mexico.  Some would call it an honor to hold her but I call it an extreme burden.  Dang, I don't want to haul her all over the country and take her picture!

So imagine our surprise when the Rock showed up at the 1088 with babies!!!  Apparently, while in Canada, the Rock met up with a Curling Granite and fell in love.  She was swept off her feet!  That resulted in the Rock having 7 baby rocks with curling stripes!!  Oh yes, the 1088 Rock survived the brothels of Nevada and the weirdness of California only to be knocked up in the wilds of Canada.
 She has two sides, the sparkley,glitterly side thanks to Sharon's make-over and....
 the Dread Pirate Kermit side...forever, for always....we will never forget!

So no riding tomorrow for the 12 hour folks, we hit the bar.  Oh yes, we hit the bar!!  Mario Winkleman  and Tom Melchild trying to be invisible.  Didn't work! Oh, but I think Nancy worked the invisible thing :-)

 Rut Roh, I landed in Mario's lap!  Tom seems oblivious....That would be the Utah 1088 in a nutshell!

Okie dokie then....We each had to make our own rally flags.  I wish I had taken a photo of the table of  mess.  All kinds of stencils and spray paint and a big old mess left over.  I was a bit more considerate and brought my rally flag decoration stuff with me.  Here is my flag.  Always a Q theme as in "The Queen", lol.

 So now it gets serious.  We were all at attention at our bikes at the start.  Hahahaha, wish I had a picture of the start.  Butt, I didn't.  Suffice it to say most riders were lined up to the left of the hotel parking lot.  I wasn't.  I started the bike and moved it to the front of the hotel and saw Steve waving his arm signalling a "GO".  I simply moved toward the exit and was about the 5th bike out of the lot.  Hooray!!

My first bonus was the shooting range.  I followed a few bikes, all jockying for position and ended up at the range about 5th or 6th.  The big challenge was to shoot a target and get the most points which would end up winning a 1911 Kimber.

Well, I'm not a great shot nor a big gun fan so I paid my $20 bucks, grabbed my target (with no holes) and scooted off to the next bonus.  Cudos to those who shot and major kudos to  Jason Jonas who won the big prize of the pistol!  Yowza !!

The next bonus was easy peasy...worth 5,756 points, go to Bavarian Motor Cycle Workshop and collect a card.  Score!  That was easy :-)

So, what next?  There was a dilemma, head north to Golden Spike or go west to Wendover?  I choose to go north to Golden Spike.  Bigger points there but more time required.  What a great ride.  It was early and I had the road to myself. Need I say triple digits? No, I didn't do that :-)

Got the requisite photo of Golden Spike and moved on.
 Next was the bonus of Bridal Veil Falls.  Easy score.   I saw DeVern here, I beeped my horn and he looked for a nano-second. We connected  :-)  Here is my pic...

From there I headed east to the mandatory checkpoint.  It was a hot, hot, hot day and I was looking forward to a break from the heat at the checkpoint.  Along the way I met up with Bob Mutchler.   Man, is he fast!  I tried to keep up but at times traffic got in the way.  It was an exciting, spirited and fun ride.  Got to the CP in plenty of time so I took a break inside to cool down.  It was fun seeing the various riders arrive.  The CP was the same for the 24 hour riders and 12 hour riders.  All riders looked a bit cooked.  It was HOT!

I left the CP and headed toward my next bonus, the Moroni City Cemetery.  No picture as the bonus required an answer to a question, a name on a specific headstone.  I pulled into the shady cemetery only to encounter Mark Smith on his FJR.

Mark split and I took a break to read the next bonus.  I was headed to an unheard of place to find an historical marker.  I took I-15 North and ran into a huge backup of traffic.  It was about 105 degrees outside and I was barely moving.  Not good....  I finally got to the point of the backup - a terrible motorcycle accident.  The ambulance had already been loaded with the poor soul who crashed but the remains of the single vehicle accident were still strewn about on the Interstate.  Imagine my distress when I recognized the bike as a black FJR and day-glo green bits of gear littered around.  I panicked!  Yikes, Mark Smith rides a black FJR and wears day-glo green gear.  Gulp.

When I got off the Interstate, heading to the next bonus, I stopped and called the Rally Master, Steve Chalmers, and told him what I had seen.  I asked him to check the Spot page.  He quickly assured me that Mark was still moving.  Woohoo!  Thank goodness.

I arrived at the next bonus, another cemetery in the boonies and encountered Mark Smith and Brad Warwick.  We got the answer and all headed off.

At this point, I was really hoping to get to Wendover for the big points but time was close.  This was my cut off bonus if time didn't allow. I headed toward Salt Lake City and decided Wendover was a no go.  Too far for the time I had left.  Instead I went to the Great Salt Lake Flora and Fauna bonus - in the middle of nowhere.  We were to hike about 75 yards out in the brush looking for information signs.  Well, I found the spot, got off the bike and hiked a bit.  The signs were actually easy to find.  I made my count of how many signs and hiked back to the bike.

To my surprise, I encountered Holly Newman.  Holly had already done the bonus but was doing the slog of shame to get enough miles to be a finisher (inside, private joke between me and Holly!).  A 12 hour Rally Rider must accumulate at least 500+ miles to be a finisher.  She asked me what answer I came up with.  Hahahaha, nope, not going to answer that one Holly,  we can discuss it after scoring :-)  Yup, I've learned a few things!

I headed back to the barn with one bonus left - the SLOW RIDE.  I was in time to participate so I lined up behind Mark Smith.  The object was to ride a certain distance slow enough to qualify.  My first attempt was dismal.  Nope, didn't make it.  I was HOT, HOt, Hot, hot.  I decided to sit in the shade for a bit and cool down before my second attempt.  Only two attempts.  Okay, I went to the start line a second time after a smoke and a nice cool down in the shade.  Yippee!  I had time to spare :-)  This was worth a good deal of points and I was happy to have earned that bonus.

At the start of the rally, our registration and driver license were put into a sealed envelope.  Arriving at the finish with that intact was worth a lot of points.  Fortunately for me, I had no envelope issues.  Another bonus worth good points was the use of a Spot tracker and signing up on Spotwalla.  I did that so got those points as well.

I went into scoring feeling good.  I'd gotten all the bonii I had on my agenda but Wendover.  Yes, I passed a few low point bonus locations but I had a fantastic (although very hot) ride.  I had a ton of fun.

Really, I felt GREAT about this ride.  I smacked the big pointer up in Golden Spike, got tons of good bonii and nailed the high point slow ride.  Yup, I felt GREAT.

So, all of the riders, 12 hour, 24 hour and 3 day folks made our way to the finish banquet.  We loaded up our plates with goodness and sat down to feast.
Oh, tons of good fun, riding fools were in the room.  All waiting to hear the results along with telling big tales of our adventures :-)
Just more pics of the fun happening in that room!

My lovely banquet dinner :-)

Our Rally Bastard, oops, Rally Master finally gets up to tell us the results of the three rallies.

Here are the lovely awards we were all waiting for.  Who won what????  A very nice plaque for the wall awaited the podium finishers.

Steve Chalmers continues to amuse us....waiting...waiting...waiting... :-)

Steve is such a tease....He finally gets to the WINNERS of the 3 day rally.  Oh my heck, they have their own story to tell, but those stories are most certainly amazing.

Next was the 24 hour rally riders...again, incredible stories for those awesome riders.

Then...finally, the 12 hour Rally Riders - the finishers I was most excited to hear about.  My ride, my rally, my competitors.  How did I do????  I had a fantastic ride in an area I know fairly well.  I knew I rode well...I went to Golden Spike and from there picked up lots of good, high point bonii.  How did I do???

There were 18 finishers in the 12 hour solo rider category and 3 two-up riders in the couples category.  So, by default, all two-up riders were podium finishers, hooray!  In the solo rider category were some Big Dogs such as Brian Roberts and H Marc Lewis and 2011 winner Holly Newman.  Other notable riders included DeVern Gerber, Brad Warwick, Sammy Adeni, Mark Smith and more.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.  Finally my name is called.  I ended up in fourth place.  I missed the podium by ONE POINT!!!  Allen Cain and DeVern Gerber tied for first, Brad Warwick garnered second and Sammy Adeni placed third with 69,401 points while my fourth place had 69,400 points.  One point from a podium......

I was tickled to place so well but dang...one point.....  That is going to haunt me for a long, long time.  I easily had time to pick up a few other lower point bonii along my way but opted to go for the bigger points.  Not making Wendover was a critical error.  In retrospect, I should have blown off one or two of the cemetery bonii and scooted out to Wendover.  Or, picked up that one or two smaller point bonii on my route.  Oh well, it's done and I had fun :-)

After all was said and done, we headed to the bar for the infamous 1088 After Party.  And what a party it was.  Here we see Andy Mackey and John Langen doing what we do best :-)

Oh, my heck ( a Utahism) what, you're calling your girlfriend to tell her you did well in the rally?  Ding, hang up and come party with us!
I think Mr. Smith was happy with his finish :-)
Oh, Jason Jonas, our temple of Spotwalla.  So happy you were there!
During the after party, someone (we're not saying who) got carried away with Roxanne and dropped her on her head.  Some quick thinking by Gary & Sharon Jarl got Roxanne bandaged up and put to bed on the bar.
Nancy Lefcourt placed 5th in the 24 hr. rally.  Way to go Nancy!
Riders in the bar telling stories of their big adventures!  The stories got more and more interesting as the evening wore on.
Thanks John Langan in your role as support staff.  You rock!

Well, most of us stayed up way too late chatting and drinking.  The Utah 1088, in all it's forms, 3 Day, 24 hour and 12 hour, is a fantastic event.  This was the last Utah 1088 and I, for one, will miss it greatly.  I've forged many friendships through this rally and have learned a lot about rallying, sportsmanship, and partying!

A big thank you to Rally Master, Steve Chalmers.  Steve puts on a first class event and challenges the riders.  It's always fun.  Thanks to all the support staff that helped Steve make this a wonderful event.  And thanks to all the riders because without riders, there would be no event.

Guess we'll have to wait and see what else Steve might come up with.  I really like the 12 hour format.  No night riding yet plenty of challenges.  Maybe we can convince him to put on some more rallies like this.

Cheers to all,

Cletha "One Point" Walstrand