Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Candy Ass Adventure - Aug. 8-10

August 8, 2019

Another bluebonnet day!  After a light brekkie and waving goodbye to Bob, we loaded up the bikes at left the motel parking lot promptly at 10 am.  A few miles down the road we stopped and topped of the gas tanks and then we were headed up Monarch Pass and over the Continental Divide!  I'm always thrilled to ride the Rockies but especially when the weather is perfect and there is very little traffic.  Oh boy!  This was going to be good!

On our way up the pass we went by a rider on a Honda Grom, fully loaded, hunched down over the handlebars and wicking that little scoot like Satan was on his tail.  It was soooooo cute!!!  Hahaha.  Even better he pulled off at the Old Monarch Pass (dirt and kinda of tough!) where some other ADV riders were waiting for him.  Bet he has a story to tell.

We had a fun, twisty ride up the pass and stopped here for the obligatory photo op!  It was a comfortable temperature with a slight breeze.  Just gorgeous!

The way down the other side was just as spectacular with that wonderful fragrance of pine and mountains and plenty of nice curves!  We motored along through Gunnison where we took a quick break and marveled at how much it has grown since we were last this way.

On through Montrose and finally stopped for lunch in Delta, CO at Butch's Cafe.  Dude!  We scored yet again on a local dive/diner.  Food was good, service was good, price was good.  Guess we'd call it good, hahahha.  Naw, seriously, it was a nice meal, nothing fancy but yummy!

After lunch we had a whopping 40 or so miles to the HW3 hotel in Grand Junction.  We weren't the first ones there and it was fun to pull up and see smiling faces.

Our Rally Master, Justin Philipson was right out there in front, welcoming riders.

 Hey there, it's Steve Bracken chatting with Eric.
 OMG, it's Tyler Risk come to capture the event in photos and to grace us with her beaming, happy presence! 

After that warm welcome, we got our steeds parked and covered and slogged our "stuff" into the room that will be our home until Monday.
 While slogging "stuff" Martin Cover stopped to say hi.  He'll be riding the rally on his big BMW 1600GTL.
 Steve Bracken & Eric Lipps shooting the bull.
 Nancy Lefcourt come out front to hang.  She'll be staff for this event.  She's totally earned a rest from rallies having just done the IBR.

 Justin called a staff meeting for Thursday afternoon.  Here is most of the motley crue.

That evening we were on our own for dinner and no staff duties.  Most of us hung out in front, kicked tires, told lies, had an adult beverage or two and simply enjoyed each other's company.  I love coming to these events.  There are people here from Canada and well as all four corners of the United States.  I'm so excited to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Now, off to some food and bed.

August 9, 2019

Quite a few riders had come in yesterday but even more were arriving today.  Today is the day riders go through registration, tech check, and ODO check.  Staff was up early for the 8:00 am start of checking in.  Another beautiful, clear, sunny day.

Riders were to go to main registration to complete the liability wavers, provide emergency contact info and all the other administrative tasks.  Next was to tech check.  I was working this station with Dale "Warchild" Wilson, my Eric, and Erik Lipps. Fortunately we were staged in the back of the hotel under a nice, large shade tree.  Riders approached from the left, pulled up under the tree and started Tech Check.  License, registration, insurance declaration, almost sounds like I'm making a traffic stop, hahaha.  Most riders were we prepared but you know, there is always that ONE or that FIVE that just don't have their sh*t in one sock.

But more on that in a minute.

After tech check, riders then exited right around the hotel to stop at the ODO check which was headed up by Steve Aikens and helped by Karl Zurcher.

Warchild checking Wolfe Bonham's new ride.  Wolfe's bike suffered a slow, painful death as he beat, whipped and flogged it throughout the recent IBR.  He found a replacement, swapped plastic and farkles and is back in business and a serious contender in this rally.

 This is David (I can't remember his last name).  A Hoka Hey rider, he's no stranger to endurance motorcycling.  And, hey, he's a fun guy too!

Okay, this bike intrigued me immensely.  A multi, multi, multi color Goldwing GL1800.  Hmmmm.....certainly there is a story behind this!  Actually, there are two stories here.  John Weaver had seen us arrive yesterday and came up and asked if he had seen those two bikes in Asheville, NC a few months ago?  Well, yes, as a matter of fact, we were in Ahseville, NC on Easter weekend in the pouring rain, road construction, freaking zillion massive filthy semi trucks/tractors, gear that failed, fun filled weekend.  Hahaha, how cool is that? John is from North Carolina and just happened to see our bikes in Asheville.  He remembered the deplorable weather and road conditions of that weekend.

Anyway, I ended up doing tech check for him and got the low down on the bike which was an insurance purchase.  John, a long time Honda Goldwing mechanic, and being a cheap guy (as are most LD riders :-) ) simply hunted down cheap tupperware and put it all together.  It's a fine running machine and nobody wants to steal it!  Win/win in my book.

 Oh, there must be at least EIGHT different colors on this bike, maybe more!

 Riders lined up for tech check.

 Staff and Rally Master at tech check.
 As I said earlier most riders were well prepared with all their paperwork in order and their time at tech check was minimal.  However, you always, always have that ONE or in this case FIVE riders who have some kind of issue.  Really????  Your first rally, okay, excused this ONE TIME ONLY!!  Veteran rally rider?, not acceptable.  Go park in the sun while you sort your stuff out!

LOL, so for a couple of riders it was a simple call to their Insurance Agent to increase their coverage, have them send an email and then show me on your phone and your good to go!  Yeah.  A couple others with insurance issues struggled to connect the dots and get proof of some sort such as get online and access your account and show me the limits!  But we got 'er done.  One rider didn't have his motorcycle registration.  You know, some sad story about how the dog ate it but in this case it was mice or rodents.  I suggested he have someone take a pic of the tattered document and the title and email him the pic.  Okay, that sounds doable.  While he made calls to make that happen, the Rally Master happened by and we queried him as to what would be acceptable and Justin looked at his license plate tag and declared him good to go!  WhooHoo for Rally Master's being at the right place at the right time.  This rider was cleared to go.

Finally it was 4 pm and all riders checked in except for the lone KTM that had a fuel pump fail.  He was at a dealer getting repairs and was expected to check in later (which he did).

More hanging out, kicking tires and telling lies until it was time to make our way to the banquet room where we feasted upon chicken parma, pasta and marinara sauce, lovely, lightly steamed green and wax bean and carrot veggies, green salad and dinner roll.  Oh, yeah, sumptuous chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for dessert.  Really an outstanding meal for banquet style.  It was catered by the adjoining restaurant and was awesome.

A few pics of peeps settling in the banquet room.

 Definitely a room full of happy, if somewhat anxious, people.  Chow line!  Being staff, Justin gave us the special privilege of attacking the buffet line first.  SCORE, hahahaha!
 Following our meal, Justin welcomed all riders and guests and then popped a new bonus on them!  In addition to the rally pack bonus points, riders could also get points by spelling out the theme of the rally, Periodyc Pandemonium!  To claim the bonus you had to photograph a DOT green sign that contained the letter you're claiming in the text.  Each letter needed it's own stand alone photo so you couldn't use a single sign for multiple letters.  We'll see if any one succeeds as they need the entire word, either Periodyc or Pandemonium or both to claim the bonus points.  Interesting twist....

 Riders had the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and a few raised their hands.  Then it was done!  Time for riders to get to polishing their routes, sort out their gear, get some sleep and be ready to go tomorrow at 5:30 am!

Well, not everyone went to go work on routes, many came outside to hang, kick tires, tell lies and generally have a good time.  Weather was still perfect!

Then, it really was time to go back to the room.  After all, we had to get up at 5 am as well since we were doing ODO checks at the start!

Good night!

August 10, 2019

Oh nice, I slept well and was actually ready to get up shortly after 5 am.  We grabbed our flashlights (because it's dark at 5:30 am and we need to see what we were writing!), and joined staff that was outside just starting to line up bikes.  The temperature was very pleasant and most riders were obedient, lining up where directed and things were about to get real :-)

A few pics of the bikes lined up.  I think there were 59 bikes of which 10 had pillions.  Bikes were lined up 5 abreast waiting to get ODO check, then waiting......waiting.......waiting for that signal from Warhild to GO!  Yeah, the excitement and anxiety were building!

 Whew, that's quite impressive.  Bikes of all makes, models and age.  Some well farkled, some over farkled and some bare naked.  Veterans and rookies.  This could be anybody's game!  Justin held a brief riders meeting just before the start reminding them to be smart, have a great rally and come back home to us.

 Now, five minutes to departure.  All checks have been completed and riders are mounted and ready to rock and roll.  Well, at this point one hopes they are ready (hint - some really weren't).
 Riders were told to start their engines........tension lightening.......almost time!
 And, boom, just like that Warchild started pointing fingers and riders started leaving the parking lot.  Well, except for the ONE.  That ONE who popped the clutch, killing the engine resulting in stalling.  Yeah, that ONE.  Before that ONE could recover, Warchild gave the halt sign and the rider complied.  Pointing at the next rider, Warchild continued to send them out.
 So hard to capture the Warchild POINT with my crappy phone camera.  But, if you've ever experienced a Warchild send off, you know how thrilling, exciting and tense it can be!  Grown men and old ladies quake at the thought of that POINT.  Veterans break out in a sweat and rookies just about pee themselves.  Yes, it really is that intense!
 And with that last POINT, the riders were gone.  Probably within two minutes.  Nice and orderly, riders made their way down the road to capture their first bonus of many during this 32 hour rally.

Oh, oh, oh, is that a rally bike I see?  Pointed in the wrong direction with "stuff" littered on the ground?  Why yes, yes it is indeed a rally bike and rider who overslept, woke with a start, threw on his LD Comforts and got his bike in line - but it wasn't packed.  The bike and rider were not ready to leave.  Oh, pooo!  So rider pulled his bike out of line, collected his "stuff", loaded the bike, double and triple checked everything because let's face it, the pressure is real and mistakes get made under stress.
 FINALLY, the last rider was out the gate about 15 minutes after the main pack.
 Buh bye!  See you tomorrow ;-)
 Well, that was that.  Riders quickly dispersed and staff all went in to have some brekkie.  After that, well, everyone just kind of disappeared.  Rally master and a few staff were hanging out watching the Spotwalla page to track riders.  Most everyone else was going somewhere and doing whatever.

We decided to take a tour of a "Dispensary" because, well, I'm just a rather curious girl and want to know everything.  So a few of us made our way to Pallisade and took the tour.  Made me raise an eyebrow a time or two or laugh in disbelief.  But, yes, it's real is some areas of the country and was an interesting experience.

So, that a wrap for now.  It's still Saturday so I'll post more of today's events later.  Having an absolute blast.  This rally is so well orchestrated with the logistics appearing seamless.  I'll also try to post a bit more of what the puzzle actually is!

Okay, I have some time before I'm needed for anything so I'll brief you on the Rally Puzzle.  The theme is Periodyc Pandemonium and even I figured out it had something to do with chemistry and the Periodic Table.  Well yes but with lots and lots of twists!  The rally pack has 110  static element bonus locations you can visit.   The elements are Iron, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sulfur, Calcium, Silicon, Carbon and Sodium.  The goal is to collect as many elements as you can to then make compounds.  There are nine possible compounds, Water, Carbon Dioxide, Silica, Hydrogen Peroxide, Iron Oxide, Methane, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate and Sulfuric Acid .  However, each element stand alone bonus is worth points of it's own and if you combine elements to make compounds you get extra points.  You can make each of the seven Compounds as many times as you like as long as each element bonus used in the Compound is unique.  In other words you can't use the same element bonus photo to make more than one Compound.  Okay, clear?  In addition riders have rest bonus, Spot tracking bonus and a few other gimmees.  There are also Wild Cards!!  A rest stop will give you X wild cards which can be used as any element.  There are 9 Wild Cards available and each Wild Card varies from 1 to 3 elements.  Then there is also the last minute bonus of spelling out Periodyc Pandemonium using green DOT signs to collect the letters.  (Scoring should be interesting with all the twists and choices available).

So, it's really anybody's game.  Who can solve the puzzle and gain the highest number of points?  I dunno.  Can't even begin to guess.  Spotwalla shows riders spread in all directions of the compass.  So far the only issue I'm aware of is a missing bonus.  Apparently one train engine had been substituted for another at the bonus location.  A savvy rally rider called the Rally Master and was reminded of what to do in this situation or if a bonus is missing from the location.  Everything sorted, rider grabbed the bonus.

Now, we're going over scoring protocol and getting ready to head out to a local pub (courtesy van) for dinner.  I suppose there will be more tire kicking and telling lies before we all head off to bed tonight.

So far, this has been a blast!  More tomorrow (or maybe Monday).



  1. Sounds like fun! We rode Monarch Pass in May and there was 10 - 12 feet of snow on the sides! Road was clear though! 😁

  2. It was awesome. Apparently it snowed the next day, lol!