|04-29-2013, 04:52 AM||#1|
Joined: Sep 2010
2013 Nutmeg 400 Rally report
Yesterday I competed in the inaugural Nutmeg 400 Rally, an AMA-sanctioned ‘bonus hunt’ run by the Minuteman 1000 Rallymaster and his team.
A brisk, traffic-free ride through the Bronx on one of the best-weather Friday afternoons this year wasn’t what I expected but if you ride in NYC long enough you’ll live to see even that I guess. I left the West Side of Manhattan around 1pm and was at the hotel in Brookfield, CT, 3 miles from the rally, by 2:30; plenty of time to revisit my ride plan for Saturday while sitting at the picnic table on the side lawn of the hotel, out in the sun with a cold drink.
I went over to the rally HQ, MAX BMW in Brookfield. There was a voluntary rider’s meeting Friday evening and you could do early check-in to avoid the rush Saturday morning.
This was helpful since there was a 1 page Addendum to the Rally Book handed out when you checked-in so I had the new info all night while those that arrived Saturday had to incorporate it quickly. It didn’t result in anyone changing plans but it did have a direction for a major bonus that some would miss and cost themselves major points… MAX’s is a 3-store dealer in CT, NY and NH. There were hundreds of bikes of every sort, including this vision in carbon fiber:
This bike was not part of the rally but there were mostly BMW GS models and its predecessors. There were only 3 Triumph models in the end,
my Tiger 800,
a rider from NH named Kim on this showroom condition ’07 Tiger 1050,
and a gentleman on this America.
We scarfed some pizza and had the rider’s meeting where the Rally team tries to calm down the newbies while answering very specific questions from vet riders who are trying to rattle the rookies with all the complicated jibberish they can muster; fun if you know its going on and annoying if you’re a nervous newbie.
Of the 95 or so riders that registered, about 60 made it to this meeting. Afterward, we drifted out for the night; I went to the hotel and settled in.
Saturday morning at the hotel breakfast I met a rider from Canada, a Motorcycle Safety Instructor and vet of many rallies, Kevin, as well as Kim of the Tiger 1050. This was Kim’s 1st rally like this; she is a vet of non-point rallies like the Saddlesore I did last June. We chatted about strategy and them went over to the HQ. There were coffee & donuts supplied which were eschewed by the vets (and me) as the idea of being hopped up on caffeine and sitting on a bike for 10 hours didn’t really seem great. Here are the complete Bonus Locations which we had to choose from. This is my route plotted: http://goo.gl/maps/XJ7TI
Here is my GPS trip log at the end:
The mileage cap was announced Saturday morning at the rider’s meeting as 475. So there was a little extra mileage I could add in my plan of approx. 350; also a little leeway time before and after the tight lunch window. There is a mandatory lunch/rest bonus stop at Max BMW’s Troy, NY, for 45,000 points, the realistically highest in the rally (you can buy, pay in full & drive to finish on a MAX BMW for 100,000 points and basically ‘buy’ the win). You need to stay for lunch for 30 minutes, arriving between 12 and 1pm. The rally ended 6pm with a window until 6:15. There is a total of 3,000 points if you come in at 5:30pm (100 points per early minute, 30×100). As you can see, I came in almost directly on my planned mileage; the slight variable was after lunch.
We were released about 7:45am, and all marked out at 8am, so we were thrown a 15 minute ‘bone’ by the rally team. I went right to a community park about 30 miles away, my 1st stop, and noted the date it was created on the sign. I saw two other riders there, and we all went off in different directions to ride our plan.
My second stop was only about 5 miles from the MAX in NY, and I had a beautiful ride up the truckless Taconic Parkway to Troy, NY. I picked up the ‘Uncle Sam’ bonus: “What are the words written on the base of the statue?”
In typical ball-breaking rally fashion, the statue’s base had a plaque on all 4 sides, with extensive writing. since you can’t have enough info on your score sheet, but you certainly have too little, I sat there copying all the words onto my score sheet watched by interested onlookers. This is a neat aluminum statue of the actual ‘Uncle Sam’, a founder of Troy.
Next was a cookout lunch up the road and the big 45,000 point bonus; arrive between 12 & 1pm, stay for 30 minutes.
Here we are just rolling in to lunch.
After lunch, I head south to a poorly-defined bonus; ‘get any receipt from Coxsackie, NY’. Sounds easy unless you already know that Coxsackie is 4-5 businesses spread over 4 miles, that may or may not be open at anytime, and may or may not generate receipts that fulfill a rally receipts requirements: Date and Time, Address, and if a receipt for a Fuel Log entry, the fuel amount purchased.
After entering Coxsackie, I stopped at the 1st shop, asked the cashier if we were in Coxsackie, was told “yes”, and subsequent to my purchase discovered the receipt said “West Coxsackie, NY”. I rode on a few miles to the next store, a deli. They were in Coxsackie, but the receipt had no address on it. On to Coxsackie stop #3; I was told that “yes our receipts have our address on them; why is everyone asking me that today?” I explained about the rally, made my purchase, and got rolling to my penultimate bonus. This was about an hour from HQ and so I was looking like I would be in around 5, plenty early to collect the Early bonus of 3,000 points.
This last in-the-field bonus was an ancient Mobil station and we needed to note the hours, which were handwritten on a paper on the window. We were so far out in the country, I had to check with the owners about being the correct Mobil, formerly known as ‘Neill’s Mobil’; they confirmed it was called that before they took it over. I headed towards HQ and the Early bonus. All went fine and I was the 1st one scored; 65,200 points, all bonuses accepted. Since there was no traffic or rain and I had built in 45 minutes of extra time in the morning ride and the afternoon ride, I was in around 4:50pm, 40 minutes earlier than the Early bonus needed, but that is what insurance time is for; you build it in and hope you don’t need it.
The rest of the riders started trickling in soon after and in the end only one or two blew off the finish to ride home early from out on their rides; they had emailed HQ to let the staff know. The Top Ten got plaques. The 10th Place rider had about 85,000 points and it went up to Kevin in 5th with about 105,000 and then the winner with 125,000. The man who won the Nutmeg also won the Minuteman 1000 I was in and seems to be running the Rally table in the New England area right now-congrats again Wallace French!
6 of us including Kevin and Kim went for BBQ after and tried to comprehend how people scored so many points. Kevin said he’s gotten his Overall Speed (moving and stopped mixed) to about 45mph. If you look at my GPS above, mine it almost 40mph. Kevin came in right at 6:15pm, skipping the Early bonus but riding 10.25 hours. 5 mph x 10 hours= 50 extra miles he travelled over the 10.25 hours compared to my 9 hours. It isn’t really the answer that an extra hour results in double the points, so we all really want to see the top couple score sheets to see what the winners did do.
Anyway, this was a great practice run for my Minuteman 1000 this June. I am signed up for the Rally portion now that I completed the Saddlesore and I will use the Nutmeg experience in my planning.
'13 Tiger 800 ABS
|04-29-2013, 06:23 AM||#2|
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: NW CT
Nice write up! Definitely a fun event. The rally staff was courteous and professional even though I got docked 41000 points !
Everyday. No excuses.
2007 BMW R1200GS
2013 KTM 450 XC-F
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