Thursday, July 29, 2010

Silly, Silly Me -- I Enter the 10n10 Endurance Rally

How crazy am I? Well, very crazy obviously, since I decided to enter the 10n10 Long Distance Endurance Rally. It's 10 days, 10,000 miles on a motorcycle with a checkpoint in the middle. Starting in Salt Lake City, UT with a checkpoint on day four in Sidney, Nebraska which will be open from 8:00 am until noon. You miss the check point, you are out of the game.

A minimum of 8,000 total miles is required (and making the checkpoint and making the finish back in Salt Lake City on or before Sept. 5, 2010 at 10:10 am) to be a finisher.

I received my bonus listing a few days ago. Hundreds and hundreds of bonus locations to choose from ranging from Hyder, Alaska to Maui, Hawaii and somewhere in Spain. Of course, the main route traverses the lower 48 states.

I first edited the bonus listing to fit onto 3 x 5 index cards then printed that out, cut it up and pasted the bonus locations onto the index cards. My next step was to sort the bonus locations by state. Geez, that took forever!!!

After sorting, I took a map of the US and began putting stars on the map according to state and city which were color coded as to number of bonus points. Again, that took forever. But, it did help me sort out an initial route. Finally, I see a plan forming. Oh, did I mention I was stressing all this time?? What an undertaking. What in the world had I gotten myself into?

I have a new appreciation for LD Riders who do these kinds of rallies. Not only are they exceptional motorcycle riders, they are incredible planners. This is an exercise in time, distance and bonus point management. What a head game!

So, today I mapped out the first few days and changed it repeatedly as I worked on it. Sometimes I had way too many miles to manage efficiently and sometimes I had locations that were slow and stupid. It's been an exercise in efficient planning. You have to watch out for bonus locations that are daylight only or time restricted. You also have to watch out for traffic and slow roads. Not to mention weather interventions. Wow, this is really, truly difficult. This would make a great college class. Time management, endurance capabilities, bonus capture, sleep and rest time, etc. Yes, this would make an excellent college course.

I'm also thinking that weather could play a big role. Hurricane season, heat waves, monsoon rains...all could change the best laid plans. So, I continue to make my plan and edit and change and edit and change.

As of now, I'm planning on a screaming ride to the east coast where I'll bubble wrap my bike, board a charter flight and go to Spain. Take the requisite picture, bubble wrap again, land on the east coast and head to Salt Lake City. Oh, the benefit of going overseas, you don't have to go to the checkpoint, you only have to get the 8,000 mile minimum to finish. Big, big points for going offshore.

I'm sure this is a winning route! All my other planning is simply an exercise in futility.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Wild Wild West Rally Report

Having fun at the Wild Wild West Rally !

Ray Blair and me (top photo)
Heidi Still, me, Rosie Sperry (bottom photo)

Well, it's over now and I've finally caught up enough to put down my thoughts about the absolutely fabulous Wild Wild West Rally put on by the Cognoscente Group in Ely, Nevada. I really didn't think I was ready for a 32 hour endurance rally but got prompted, prodded and bullied into signing up. Oh my, what had I done? My nerves increased as the day of departure got closer. The Rally Bastard gave me a little hint in that since the theme of the rally was Wild Wild West, it might behoove me to dress-up a little bit and play the part of a Saloon Girl or Calamity Jane type for the pre-rally banquet. Okay, note to self - maybe this is worth extra points?

On the morning of Thursday, July 15, I packed up the new Wing and headed to Pioche, NV for breakfast at the Silver Cafe where I met Chris Purney who was coming from Las Vegas on his LD fitted FJR. After a delightful breakfast and lots of chit chat about bikes and the upcoming rally, Chris and I left for Ely, going north on Nevada hiway 93.

The day promised to be very warm but our ride to Ely was pleasantly quick and uneventful. A quick left on Hiway 50 put us into Ely shortly after noon. Riding down the main drag of Ely we were hailed by two LD riders sitting on a bench in front of the Hotel Nevada. They obviously recognized our mounts as LD rides and gave us a great big welcome to Ely. Turns out it was Dennis Powell from Iowa and Bob St. George from Massachusetts. Just after arrival at the Four Sevens Motel, Mr. Matt Watkins pulled in. (Chris and I had a wager whether Matt would beat us to Ely. Matt came from Pasco, WA).

Checking into my room, I discovered just how very nice it was. I'd stay here anytime. Nice room with microwave and refrigerator, clean, plenty of space. Once checked in, we walked over to the Hotel Nevada for free margaritas and some BS'ing. Back at the Four Sevens, it was hang out time in the parking lot as rider after rider arrived and drinks began to flow. I had intentionally arrived a day early so I could chill and visit without worrying about getting up early the next morning for the rally.

Friday was odo check day. After a leisurely breakfast with some fellow riders, I got geared up and prepared to run my odo check. Fortunately, the route was simple and I completed it in one try. Oh, I should mention it was HOT. The rally staff was awesome and had everything under control, so things went smoothly. Then, it was more parking lot BS'ing but no drinkies for riders. Of course, staff and observers were having tons of fun with margaritas and various libations :)

That evening was the pre-rally banquet where rally packs would be handed out. We all trooped down the road a few blocks to a fantastic banquet hall where dinner was to be held. Now, remember, I mentioned a Wild Wild West theme outfit? Well, of course, hoping to get extra points, I donned my Saloon Girl garb. Do you think I was bamboozled? Led astray? Tricked? Newbie hazing? Aside from pretty Ms. Lisa Duff (Mr. Warchild's squeeze), I was the only one in Wild Wild West garb. Boy, oh boy, did I get lots of attention. Oh my......well, there I was, all kitted out and I wasn't going to miss dinner and the rally pack. So, there I was. Hahahahahahahaha. I'm glad I have a sense of humor. It really was a fun time., although I'm not used to having so much attention. It was what it was.

Dinner was a fantastic production of Italian fare. During dinner, Mr. Warchild outlined the sequence of events and Mr. Brian Roberts provided details as to how the rally would be run. Everyone paid close attention. We were given our rally packs that consisted of many cards identifying locations for bonus points that were related to Nevada and the Wild Wild West. We were to earn money and spend money based on the bonuses we collected with the intent to earn as much as possible and spend as much as possible before we die. We could earn money by going to mine locations, do outlaw or indian activities, or work as a cowboy. We could spend money by gambling, going to whore houses, or living life on the trail. (Sorry I've forgotten two categories - 1 each for earning and spending - but the above categories are the ones I went after).

Okay, it was then back to the hotel to start mapping out a route. I first sorted all my cards by town then mapped each town where a circle route emerged. I then discarded those bonus locations that were suckers (like anything with a gravel road). Actually, routing was pretty easy although it took me a while. I also discarded anything in or around Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe. I'm much more familiar with south and east Nevada so kept my route to areas I knew and that didn't have tons of traffic (well except Las Vegas - more later).

I highlighted a route on my paper map and then circled each town or milepost where I needed to stop for a bonus. After two hours, I felt pretty confident about my route and the points I could collect. I decided to head west and south in the morning and go east and north in the evening and finally, west and south in the wee hours. I had a pretty good idea of mileage. Oh, I forgot to mention, there was one check point. You didn't have to go, but if you were going to attempt the check point, you had to declare it prior to departure. The check point was somewhat south and west Nevada.

Okie dokie, I had my route and my cards selected. I discarded the bonus points I wasn't going after. I put everything in order according to my route and thought I was ready to go. Finally went to bed around midnight and thought I had set the alarm for 4:30am. We had a 5:00am riders meeting and a 5:30 start. Imagine my surprise when I woke up and it was 4:55 am!!!!! Oh no, I threw on the LD Comfort tights and top and First Gear outer wear and ran downstairs to attend the riders meeting just in time. Whew....don't know what happened there but will bring my own alarm from now on.

Attended the riders meeting which was all about safety (we had previously added our Spot Tracker locations to the WWW rally site) then ran back to my room to brush my teeth and get my act together. Was on my bike and in line to roll at the appropriate time. The start was staggered by rider number which I really liked - no 40 bikes running off at the same time. I was rider 33. My turn came up, got to the start line, waited for the go signal and was off on the Wild Wild West Rally.

First bonus stop was time limited and down the street only two blocks - a whorehouse. I showed up with several other riders, got my photo and boogied to highway 93 for a bonus at the Shoshone "B" Ranch. As I left Ely, Doug Barrett was on my heels, we were going to the same place. Heading toward the ranch, Bob & Sylvie Torter were headed out at warp speed and I met Tom and Rosie Sperry at the photo location. Doug and I turned around and headed to Pioche (remember, I was just there for breakfast on Thursday). The Sperry's didn't turn around but continued on the road to encounter a long stretch of gravel. I'm glad I turned around to go back to the main hiway :)

Then it was on to Pioche. I missed an historical marker which I saw Doug stop at but it was too difficult to turn around. Silly me, I had my cards for Pioche in the wrong order. Oh well. On to the historical marker in Pioche. Arrived there to find Bob and Heidi Still (I would encounter them several times during the rally - we had the same basic route). Took my photo and realized my bike was parked to far over in the gravel to pick it up!! Everyone was gone by then and Doug hadn't yet caught up. Hahahaha. I hailed a lady jogging down the street for help. She very graciously helped push on my bike to get it upright. Down the road I went.

Next stop was the Mountain Meadows Monument which is only about 30 or so miles from my home so I knew right where to go and I knew the road. Yes, it was a gravel road, but not too bad. Took a minute to park in the gravel area that wouldn't put me over too far and ran off to the monument in full gear. A bit of a my photos and returned to my bike to find Terry and Lynda Lehman getting the same bonus. Gee, tons of experienced riders taking the same route??? Maybe I'm on to something.

I then took Utah Hiway 18 to Veyo where I took the Gunlock road to old Highway 91 which put me onto Interstate 15. Heading south, I took the exit to Overton and got the historical site bonus, back to I-15 to Valley of Fire. An 18 miles or so detour to the park, $10 entrance fee and 1/2 mile to the Beehive rock formations, photo taken, turn around, out of the park and back to I-15. On my way to Nelson, NV. If you've never been to Nelson, it is so worth going to. Oh, by now it was getting hot, like 111 degrees. Got to Nelson, took the required photo and on to the end of the road for a photo of the Colorado River and appropriate marker. Damn, did I say it was getting hot?

The Nelson bonus was an in and out, so back on I-15, actually the 515 and I missed my exit to the Blue Diamond Highway. Dang, didn't see a sign anywhere and I'm on paper maps. No GPS or help. Dang.....I'm low on fuel so take an exit only to put me in a neighborhood. Riding, riding, riding, hot, hot, hot and hotter as I get frustrated and have to go slow. Way flipping hot... probably 150 or so (hahahaha) really like 115. Way hot. Finally find a service station so I stop for water and ice and to cool down and get directions. Got directions from the clerk and went out to the bike to sort things out and cool down. A customer came over to me and told me the clerk gave me way the wrong directions and I only needed to go up the highway 2 exits and take Red Rock Hiway which would put me on the Blue Diamond Hiway to Pahrump. Back into the store for more ice and the clerk apologized and acknowledged he was wrong and the customer was correct. Oh boy - saved me about 200 miles of wrong way.

Went up the hiway, second exit, on to Red Rock Hiway. Take this if you have the opportunity. It was an awesome road which put me right onto the Blue Diamond Hiway to Pahrump :) Got to Pahrump and found the two cat houses for bonus points then off to Beatty, NV for more bonus points. On the way, stopped at Amargosa Valley for a photo op at Cherry Patch II cat house and who do I spy? Bob and Heidi Still. Dang, here again, parked wrong and Heidi, (bless her heart) helped me get the bike upright. Tearing off to Beatty.

Arrived in Beatty, hot as He**. Gassed up and went into the store to get water and ice. The attendant took pity and offered me all the ice I needed as I was red as a beet and hotter than heck. Took the ice and a break. Cooled down, wetted the LD Comfort shirt and helmet liner and chilled. Got the poker chip bonus at the Stagecoach Hotel Casino and chatted with the Still's for a bit.

This is when I called the Rally Bastard and said it was unlikely I would make the checkpoint as I had at least 250 miles to go and not enough time. Heck...I hate it when that happens. If I hadn't gotten screwed up in Las Vegas, I would have made the check point. Oh well, shit happens.

Okay then, off to Goldfield and Tonopah. Collected the courthouse, mine and cathouse bonus points. It was getting dark by now, hmmmm......critters on the road? I pushed on and screamed through Mina and Fallon and other places where I totally ignored bonus points (note - I stopped in Fallon to check my map and a Harley rider went by and asked if I was okay.....nice) and landed in Winnemucca at the wee hours. Boy was I tired. Stopped at a Chevron and thought about getting a motel room. Got gas, had a cup of coffee, chatted with the sweet young men attendants and by the time I had washed my windshield, drank my coffee, talked with the boys, I had a second wind. Collected a few bonus points in Winnemucca and hit I-80.

Screamed up I-80 to Battle Mountain at O'dark thirty. Stopped at a gas station to ask directions to Donna's Whorehouse. Hahahahahhaa. Still got lost but eventually found it. Took the requisite picture. Then, in all my smartness, took a left thinking it would take me to the hiway. It didn't. It took me to a trailer park. Not a nice one either. Like 2:30 am riding through a trailer park that turned into a big chunky gravel road leading to a junkyard with dogs barking and having a fit. Oh boy. Are we having fun now? I had to turn that big old flipping Wing around on chunky (big rock) gravel with dogs barking and waiting for folks to come out with guns. Heck, that made me sweat. Finally got turned around without dropping the bike and made haste getting out of there.

Okay then, adrenaline running through my veins...on to the interstate again to Elko. My oh my, I'm dying here. Stopped at the McDonald's in Elko. I don't do fast food so I don't even know what to order. I walk through the drive through and the young lady was so kind to me and explained what I could order at 4 something in the morning. I ordered coffee and some pancakes with sausage. Sat on the curb and ate my breakfast, looking really sad I'm sure. Now, I'm cold because its about 48 degrees. So, on with the electric jacket. Sure glad I brought that with me. Turned on the heated seat and grips and was toasty. Quite a difference from the 115 degrees or so near Las Vegas!

Okay now, third wind....I'm ready to go. Hit the cathouse in Elko after traveling several miles on road construction only to find the house closed for the night at 4:00 am??? what??? okay. Picture and move on.

Back on the highway heading to Ely. Got there about sun-up and still needed some miles so I headed to Eureka. What an awesome place. Put this on your ride list. Rode there, through Elk and Deer warnings....lots of twisties and straights..What an incredible ride. There and back. Time is running out.

Go back to Ely for the final daylight bonus of guess what.... a whore that. Then, heck I could get a bun burner if I do a few more miles... so a quick look at the map takes me to highway 6. Scream down that and back and I think I'll get the bun burner. I pass Dennis twice...he is collecting miles as well. Hahahah again. We wave and laugh as we pass each other.

End up at rally central with more than enough miles to be a finisher. Now on to scoring. I gathered my cards and poker chip and head to the scoring table for an initial approval of my bonus points. Woohoo! All bonus points approved. Back to my room to figure out the scoring process which was a mathematical nightmare. Especially considering I'd been riding for 30 1/2 hours. I won't go into detail but I screwed the pooch in my scoring. Oh well, live and learn, my own dumb fault. After submitting my final score, I took a much needed shower, got into fresh clothes and went down to the scoring area for more BS'ing and rally tales along with margaritas and other libations. All riders safe and accounted for.

We marched the two blocks to the banquet hall for the finishers dinner.

Another fine feast. Mr. Warchild recapped the rally and announced the winners. Jeff Earls was first, followed by Matt Watkins in second and Dick Peek in third. Jerry White had a fine finish at fourth with Terry & Lynda Lahman at fifth, Andy Mackey at sixth and Wendy Crockett at seventh. I received a special mention as a newbie who had not only finished, but rode 1,595.7 corrected miles in 30 1/2 hours ! :)

Dinner was followed by yet more parking lot BS'ing and imbibing. Somehow I got myself to bed and crashed hard!!!! I had been up since 5:00 am Saturday morning and it was now about 10:00 pm Sunday night. Yes, I was tired.

Waking up Monday morning, I went outside to see if anyone was still around. Sure enough, I found a few folks and went to breakfast. I was tickled to meet Jan Cutler and laughed when he ordered ice cream for breakfast. What a guy. Back to the hotel, I packed up my bike and felt a bit melancholy. I was having so much fun I didn't want it to end. But, it was time to go. Five of us rode out of Ely together and had some good, fast, fun on a few twisties on Hiway 6.

Chris Purney, Doug Barrett and I then took Hiway 318 toward home. It was a lovely ride with beautiful scenery. We stopped at Ash Springs on Hiway 93 for a break and lunch. After visiting with Chris and Doug for a bit, I headed for home.

That's it.....I had a fantastic time, met wonderful people, rode the heck out of the Wing, saw new and interesting places, pushed my limits, finished the rally and screwed the pooch. All good, silly fun.
A very special thank you to the Cognoscente Group for a wonderful event. Ms. Landry, Messers Warchild, Roberts, Hobart, Hickey, Austin and Blair - well done. I'm looking forward to your next party.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Wild Wild West Rally is just a few days away

I'm sure I'm totally insane. Having completed the Utah 1088 Rally, I'm now going to attempt the Wild Wild West Rally which is 32 hours and a minimum of 1,340 miles plus an undisclosed number of bonus points in order to be considered a finisher. Hmmmmmmm.......riding through Nevada, Utah, California in 100+ degree heat. Should be a ton of fun. I really, really, really want to be a finisher. Place doesn't matter, finish does. Hope I can do it. Oh, and have safe, fun first and always.

In preparation for this rally, I have new tires, extensions on the highway pegs, new front end suspension, a myriad of little upgrades (that cost a ton!), new safety lights on the trunk, kickstand extender (which was a must because the bike leaned over too far and I had trouble picking it up a few times).

Tomorrow to the Honda shop to have the accessory bar installed along with the Zumo 550, XM antenna and Spot Tracker ram mount. Then, other than fuel (I can't forget the extra gas can), luggage, food, water and ice, I'll be ready to go.

The cast of characters both hosting and attending the event should make this a fun, silly, never to be forgotten rally. I've been advised to first come with fresh tires (which I have), gambling skills (which I think I have), roping or lassooing (sp) skills (which I know I don't have) and be prepared to re-live the old Wild Wild West (which I think I'm prepared to do).

I have to admit that the thought of riding after dark through open range/deer country has me intimidated. Fortunately, I've been on many of the roads I suspect will be on the route. But, I know that some of these roads are truly open range with cows, wild horses, wild burros and deer. Not to mention coyotes, jack rabbits, bunnies and assorted other critters, including wild turkeys. Oh heck, there is also that Rachel thing, the UFO night, hahahahahaha, oh yes, Nevada Hiway 6 could prove very, very interesting. A bazillion miles long with nothing but critters and UFO's. No gas, no homes, no anything. Fun, fun, fun. (Yes, I am crazy).

Too bad I haven't had the time or done the research to add aux lights to my bike. That will definitely be on the list to get done. However, I did add a thingy (don't you love my technical expertise?) that allows my fog lamps to stay on while on high beam. That should help some.

Got the LD Comfort long sleeve shirt and hope this works well for evaporative cooling. I'll bring along a squirt bottle so I can keep the shirt damp by squirting water up or down the sleeves and down the front and back. I'm hoping this will work because my evaporative cooling vest weighs a ton!!! And, I've never used it under my ATGATT. Heck, I guess if I get too hot, I'll stop and buy a bag of ice and stick it where I need it :)

So, there you go. I think I'm prepared or will be before take-off on Thursday. I plan to leave Thursday morning and take a leisurely ride to Ely - only about 250 miles from home. I will probably stop in Pioche at the Silver Cafe for breakfast and simply enjoy the ride. By arriving Thursday afternoon, I can enjoy visiting with the WWW staff, have a little casino action, have a few drinks and just have a good time in general.

Friday will bring the odo and tech inspection, the no drinks deadline and the pre-ride banquet followed by the riders meeting. I hope the rally hosts pass out rally packets on Friday. That would give me time to sort out some kind of route before take-off. We'll see.....

Saturday morning....take-off and ride. Should be a grand time. I'll post my view of the event with pictures sometime next week. I plan on attending the post-ride banquet on Sunday evening so I won't head home until Monday. Gee, my clients don't really understand my passion........

Thanks for reading and more later. Cletha

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My First LD Rally - The Utah 1088

The Utah 1088 held on June 26, 2010 was my first long distance motorcycle endurance rally. I arrived Thursday evening to attend a great BBQ at the RallyMaster's house where I got to meet Rally riders and renew friendships with others. Friday was the day to ride the odometer check route, top off the gas tank and then hang in the parking lot watching riders arrive, kicking tires, telling lies, and trying to glean rally riding tips from the experts. The rider's meeting was held in the parking lot at 7:00 pm. I tried to listen carefully. I really, really wanted to finish this rally and comprehension of the rules is critical to finishing.

Although called the Utah 1088, this year's Rally required a minimum of 1,144 miles within 24 hours to be considered a finisher. Any bonus points collected along the way would improve your finish position. Rider packs were handed out and I rushed up to my room to try and sort it all out. I didn't have a clue what I was doing.
Okay, first, I read through the rally pack instructions. I immediately discarded alternate routes as being too aggressive for a newbie and settled on the base route. I traced the base route in yellow highlighter on my map and used the pink highlighter to identify possible bonus locations off the main route. I then used a red sharpie to circle bonus locations and the mandatory checkpoint.

Happy with my map routing, I then prepared index cards of my route. For example, I-80 to Wendover for Keno ticket; gas receipt in W. Wendover; I-80 to Oasis, etc. These cards proved very helpful throughout the rally.

I didn't have a GPS so didn't have to load waypoints or deal with that at all, so I went to bed for a restless night. Up about 5:00 am, dressed and bike loaded, I was ready long before the 7:00 am start time.

At 7:00 am we took off. I opted to try the slow race for some bonus points and waited while several riders did the same. My turn, I blew it so I blew out of there and headed to the BMW Service Shop. Fortunately, I had googled it the night before and with my firsthand knowledge of Salt Lake City, I was there quickly. Got my signed business card - Bonus scored!!! And took off on I-80 toward Wendover.

Riding along at a comfortable pace, I pass several riders on I-80. After a few miles, a rider passes me so I pick up the pace and follow him to Wendover. It got quite interesting as the wind picked up and buffeted us about as we passed the semi-trucks. Lots of turbulance!!! Thanks Eric V. for letting me chase you.

Arriving at Wendover, I go to the first casino. No Keno. I get on the bike and ride a mile down the road to another casino. No Keno. I turn around and go back to where I started and tried the casino across the street. Woohoo, they have Keno. I get in line behind one rider and some old guy who had won a Keno jackpot and was collecting his winnings. This took a loooooong time. As I waited my turn, the line of Keno ticket purchasers grew longer. They were all wearing motorcycle gear and helmets. Finally, the jackpot winner collected his huge jackpot of $33 and it was our turn to get our $1 Keno tickets. Bonus scored and out the door to West Wendover for a gas receipt, bonus scored and on to I-80.

I follow I-80 to Oasis and turn right onto a two lane highway. Clipping along after several miles I notice two motorcycle headlights in my mirror. They didn't try to pass so I just kept the pace. Entering Utah, I start to watch mile markers. Finally, the one I want is in sight and I stop to get the name of the ranch located there. Bonus scored. Quickly said hello to the other two riders and took off for the mandatory check point. I didn't want to miss this because if you didn't do the check point, your rally was over.
Got to the checkpoint early and formally met the two riders who had chased me across the Nevada desert. Joel R. and Bucky D. and I decided to ride together for a while. We all like the pace and I knew the Utah roads. Leaving the checkpoint, we headed down the Interstate for Rocket Garden. Remember, my rally hat must be in any photos to get the point. Bonus scored. Then to Golden Spike. Another bonus scored.

From Golden Spike, we head over to Logan Canyon and Bear Lake. A beautiful ride on a sunny day. Headed to windy Wyoming for the Fort Bridger bonus. Bonus scored. Shortly after leaving Fort Bridger, on a small town road, we get flagged over by the police. What???? I'm thinking what could possibly be wrong? We were not speeding at all. Being in town, we were using all precautions. Anyway, we pull over and it happens to be a motorcycle poker run checkpoint the police are manning for a charity. They thought we were riding the poker run. Hahahahaha. We quickly pull out and get on our way to Flaming Gorge. Another beautiful road.

By the time we get to Vernal, we need a break and discuss our route. We decided to go to Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado for a bonus. Bonus scored! It was an out and back trip, so back in Vernal we discuss further routing. It's about 9:00 pm and dark. We're a long way from any bonus points and a long way from the required mileage to finish.

We decide to take the fastest route to I-15 and run down the super slab to accumulate some miles. While in Vernal, I purchased a six pack of beer and some other items. The six pack bonus scored. The other items also gave me bonus points which became important later.

With Joel in the lead now (I have a deer issue I'm trying to get over) me in the middle and Bucky pulling up the rear, we take Hiway 40 through Duschene and over to Heber where we stop for a quick burger and drink. Down Provo canyon and we're on I-15 headed south. Rode to Fillmore, took a quick break where I reminded Joe and Bucky to pick up a six pack. Nice of me huh? I thought so.

Back on I-15 north at a spirited pace. Arrive in SLC and decide some more miles might be required so shoot west on I-80 to Tooele for a gas stop. There we decided that we had time to grab another SLC bonus and as the sky was getting light, I was somewhat rejuvenated. Off we went to take a photo of the Utah Highway Patrol memorial cross then back to the hotel to check in.

I checked in at 6:00 am sharp and was told to have my scoring package done and submitted within an hour. It only took about 15 minutes. I finished!!!!!! I was elated!!!!! I finished!!!!!!

I went up to my room and slept several hours, took a shower and joined the rally riders downstairs for the banquet.

During the banquet, Rally Master, Steve Chalmers announced the winners. All but one rider finished the rally. Top honors went to Ken Meese, first place; Matt Watkins, 2nd place; and Ken Morton, 3rd Place. Cletha Walstrand, 25th place, Joel R. and Bucky D. tied for 26th place. See, the rally pack said to spend some money in Utah for something other than fuel. Any receipt showing a purchase in Utah was a bonus. I collected mine in Vernal. Joel and Bucky didn't. Reading comprehension, my friends. Gee, they could have used their burger receipts !!!!!!

Following the banquet, our gracious Rally Master hosted an open bar. Big mistake. EPIC party. Hey, I wasn't the last to leave the parking lot in the morning. I saw several bikes still parked. I had a lovely ride home playing tourist along the way.

I completed almost 1,200 miles in 23 hours. Enough for an IBA Saddle Sore certificate (my second). I met awesome people and rode a fantastic ride. I had just purchased the 2008 Honda GL1800 about 6 days prior to riding it in the Utah 1088. I connected with that bike during the rally, tossing it around like it was a little 250cc bike.

I learned a lot about route planning and what it takes to ride such a distance in a short time while trying to collect bonus points.

Many thanks to Joel and Bucky who rode with me and helped me overcome my deer issues and kept me motivated to finish.

Many thanks to Steve Chalmers and volunteers who made this a very special, fun and safe event.

Many thanks to all you expert rally riders for all the tips, help and support. What a fantastic group of people.


Greetings. I intend to use this space to document my motorcycle rides, rallies and adventures.