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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Boondoggle, Jul 31, 2015.
Besides, I still haven’t joined the IBA. Don’t you have to be a member?
It was great seeing you again Lance. Congratulations again on that well deserved win! Still not exactly sure where we finished in the 60 hour as he hasn't posted the complete results and we lost track as he was counting down to the top 3. I think 6th or 7th?
It was a fun rally for us this year, the format was challenging and since we went east instead of west, the weather was great up until the last 4-5 hours of day 3.
Since there isn't a NIITWIt in 2020, we might try and make it out to our first Void next year. That is, if Butt Lite doesn't make us reconsider this whole thing.
Excellent. I know I'm biased about the VOID because it was my first rally- but I really like it. It's really friendly to newcomers and n00bs- that's probably one of the reasons I kept at this stuff- and I always like it when people come do it for the first time. Give yourself a couple days to come home from it, some years it can take a lot out of you. We have heat waves and hurricanes all the time and usually in the same year.
Ok story time. First up: how I completely blew it in the Tennessee Twister.
I travelled the two weeks immediately prior to it and got the book and waypoints a little late. It was a great layout, covering most of the really great riding in the Southeast. One day rally, starting anywhere outside of Tennessee and finishing up in Crossville, on top of the Cumberland Plateau.
It's not so much that I didn't read the book, I just made the mistake of farting around with the route first. I picked this for bonus values and because it looked like a fun ride. I also constrained myself to 300 miles to the start because I had to work thursday before rolling out.
It looked like fun. anyway, I don't remember when I took a good look at the book but I finally realized that there were two "BRP overlook" bonuses, the first worth 2000 and the second worth whatever the altitude was. All I remember is that I only took a half-ass look at the list of overlooks, and I thought I saw a solid combo. I knew it wasn't a winner but I thought it would be respectable
I took my last call on the bike (don't tell nobody) on my way down to Gaffney. Stopped for a really good burger on way
this was going to be my first bonus, grabbed a hotel right near it
obligatory Alice Chicken from Outback.
I should also point out here that when I got to the parking lot, the right-side LED was dangling by the power cable. Broken mount. I have the weirdest time with breaking shit that usually doesn't break.
I can't remember which crisis happened first, not being able to print my rider number or realizing that my second, big-point bonus was time-restricted. Anyway I sorted both (with verbal encouragement from Lynne on the rider flag bit) and quickly drew up route #2. Funny- the winners all started more or less where i did, but I hadn't done the research on the BRP overlook. I guess I don't have a pic of it, but I basically moved my start two dots left. If that makes any sense.
Obligatory breakfast photo.
first bonus, note that I'm using the ipad as my flag. Park in Lake Bowen
2nd. Rainy. Ipad still in hand. Center of town was blocked off for some kind of antique show & parade. Landrum NC
3rd. Ipad still prevalent.
Bat Cave store, instructions say to include "Bat Cave" sign
which has been taken down and is on porch
From here I"m on my way to Hendersonville to pick up the prints of my flag at CVS.
I come around a corner and find a Fed Ex truck pulled off the side of the road with a huge tree branch resting on the smashed hood. Poor fucker must've pooped.
I pull into the Hendersonville CVS and realize a huge crash had happened a half-block uphill. Somebody got clobbered coming out of a shopping center and EMS was just arriving.
Anyway, new flag in hand, I head for my next bonus.
Naturally I leave my new flag hanging there when I leave. Fortunately I had printed two copies.
first overlook bonus. Two little old ladies offered to take my pic for me.
No help available at nest overlook. I fumble a bit with the selfie
a few tries later
overlook hotel balcony thing
At the next bonus, another car show. Ran into another rider here, navigating streets and parking in an alley. more selfie challenges
I gotta say, I was having a really good time. The riding was great, the weather was drizzly but never bad, the temps were perfect. I was having fun in spite of (or perhaps because of) all the fuckups.
great old hotel
Cherokee, pic of the wrong bear, no points for this one. I saw the other one but this was closest to the GPS points. I guessed wrong.
managed to identify the correct 35 foot tall sculpture though
from here it was over to the Tail of The Dragon store, I went in the back way on old 28 by the powerhouse. Hadn't been there in years, it was fun
note the missing driving light:
then got into traffic and wobbled the rest of the way through
over to the cherohala store
from there it was over to HQ in Crossville
As usual it was a great group of riders and we had a good time at dinner. I was kind of irritated with myself for not taking my prep more seriously. I don't know if I could have done any different given time limitations but it really burned to leave so many points on the table for no good reason. It wasn't placing next to last so much as feeling like I'd robbed myself. I don't mind being outscored or placing low, especially when you consider how great some of the participants are. I just hated doing less than I was capable of.
I consoled myself with more Waffle House on the way home Sunday and resolved to take the Void a little more seriously.
No questions? Good 'cause I'm on a roll here
So the ten hour void is actually an 11 hour rally. I get my stuff a week in advance and the theme is diners. The ten hour riders don't get the rally book or the combos until the rider's meeting the night before the ride.
The Void has finally moved to email bonus submission for the 36 hour riders but we arent there yet for the 10 hour. We still use cameras and turn in chips in our envelope. I'm shocked to realize that the camera I used to use has died and its replacement can't be set to show timestamps. I desperately search for one that does- I downloaded several instruction manuals before I found one where it's possible and ran to Best Buy, I pity the poor kid that dealt with me, when I know what I'm looking for I can be somewhat efficient in my motions.
I colored high point values red (3000+), medium ones green (2000-3000), and low-point values blue. There are combos but they are out of play for the 10 hour riders, except for one that's very tempting in metro New York. You just couldn't get to them- they were for the 36 hour riders.
There are a lot of red dots to the northeast, and it's hypnotic. I looked at routes that crossed the George Washington Bridge, stopped just short of it and dipped down into NJ, another one that went down the Eastern Shore of maryland, and at one point I even checked the Cape May Ferry schedule. I just couldn't make anything work, but I hadn't seen the rally book yet. I was really just playing with routes and getting familiar with how different areas felt when you routed through them. I also looked southwest and down to Nags Head, just for fun.
I went into Friday night with this as my favorite. Not much of a bail-ou available, but I should be able to get in and out of Philadelphia before traffic got too unmanageable on 95.
Great dinner at the Outback. no pics. 1oldsickle and another first-timer joined us, and there were several multiple-time IBR riders at dinner.
At the rider's meeting we got the book, and the combo. basically, we got the rest of the puzzle- to simpliy, we got a list of fast food places and a list of chain restaurants. We could insert one and only one of those in between each one and only one of the regular bonuses. Each could only be used once. for the fast food, the first was worth 50, the second worth 125, the third worth 225 (I can't remember the exact numbers). For the chains, they were all worth 75% of the bonus preceeding them.
If you look at any possible route, there just aren't enough for the fast-food to be worth anything. So with no real combos and fast-food being no help, for the 10 hour guys the puzzle was to build the best route you could then put a chain restaurant after each one.
I took another look around all the scratch routes I'd played with earlier and realized my favorite didnt have any red dots. I'd already ruled out Long Island, all that stuff in the southeast, and Wilmington, but I took one more look at the red dots down 95... and this popped up.
It was kind of long, at 550+ miles, but there was a lot of interstate. Moreover, if I took point F out of it I could save an hour. And the points were higher than anything else I could find.
It only took 15 minutes to find chain restaurants after each stop. I know I'm kind of an idiot for still writing route sheets on the back of envelopes, but it served me well in this one. Each bonus, notes about the picture if needed, my eta, , the point value, .
and below it, notes on the chain restaurant to look for.
I slept like shit. Maybe 4 hours, and I got up before the alarm. I rode over to WaWa for gas and a bagel sandwich, which I brought back and rudely ate in front of everybody while they looked at our odometers. Had a banana too, they were good.
We rolled out a few minutes before six and I hit the slab southbound, a long stretch of 95. I was out past the airport on the western outerloop and got to see the sun rise from a motorcycle seat.
First bonus was rocky the rockfish, of Weldon NC.
Cracker barrel, note that I have started hanging my flag on the trunk of my bike so I don't forget the damned thing.
back to the slab and down to Mt. Olive. Yes, that Mt. Olive.
A turn northwest. .
I take a chance with risky flag placement. Note the still-missing LED (I was having trouble sourcing a new bracket)
So far it's ALL been slab, but I'm making up for that by heading into downtown Chapel Hill on a Saturday. I figured it would be bedlam but it wasn't too bad.
It's kind of congested leaving but not gridlocked. Outback on my way out of town.
I'm more or less on schedule, so I press up toward the northy-westy bonus in Farmville VA. Virginia 15 is two-lane once you get North of I-40 but there are plenty of passing zones and you don't pass through too many towns until you get there. There was only one time I got stuck behind a farm vehicle, but I pulled off for gas. I got lucky; a parade had just wrapped up as I was getting into town.
Now I just had to grab a chain, hit the last regular bonus in NW Richmond, and then one more chain. According to my route sheet I needed to be a little bit brisk about things.
I headed toward the last regular bonus, a BBQ joint, hoping I'll see a chain along the way. I don't. I ride past until I see a welcome sight.
It would be a boring world if we all liked the same kind of bike.
Buzz & Ned's and I've lost some time
I don't hit any bad traffic on 95 on the way up, and I'm not terribly behind, but with 95 you never know.
As I come off the interstate into the complex where rally HQ is and, within sight of check-in, a driver is playing with her phone and drifts right into my lane without even looking. I saw it coming and left room, but I'm pretty sure the folks at check-in heard my horn. My last stop is an Olive Garden right beside the hotel
I love Spotwalla
Funny thing- one of the bonuses was 500 for bringing your flag to the scorer's table- but you had to claim it absolutely last. I lost 500 for reading comprehension again. I said "come on, how many people got that right" and the answer was "you're the only one to get it wrong"
I've already talked about how great the dinner and everything were. It was great to see everybody- even when you hardly talk to anyone it's just amazing to be in a room with so many people who've traveled so many miles together (separately), you can tell that it's a big family that you get drawn more deeply into over time. I dragged 1oldsickle over to introduce him to kendoo and we wound up hearing him and Jim Owen compare Alaska stories from the IBR. I can't think of any other undertaking where you can show up for your first one and then get to work and play and ride right next to the best in the game, then have them give you more advice than you can possibly process.
Like I said earlier, another cool thing about the Void is how rookie-friendly it is. The guy who took second in the ten hour was a first-timer- but he's from Chapel Hill, so he naturally gravitate toward the route I took- but he left one bonus off. It wasn't just this time- the first time I ran it, a first-timer won the 36 hour from the Tennessee start. He just happened to see it (though he had his shit together pretty well). I finished mid-pack, if I remember right.
tomorrow: The NiitWit, or "I know that plaque is around here somewhere"
Great write ups. I went to introduce myself to you at the NIITWIT but kept listening to everyone’s stories and then seemed time got away. The NIITWIT was my first rally.
Oh no shit, I’m sorry we didn’t catch up. Rock n Ride is start-anywhere next year, maybe we’ll catch up then
How was your rally? What did you think of the whole thing?
I'm sorry ... thats just funny
(and shitty at the same time - but we've all been there)
Great write-up ... can't wait to hear about the Niitwit!!
I was the only one doing the 12 hr so I won and lost and got 2nd and 3rd runner up.
Troy said there was supposed to to be 4 of us but I’m not sure what happened.
I had a blast and I’ll be doing more of them.
I lied, we got 8th. I'll take it.
1st is 1st no matter how you look at it! I got 1st in my first rally in the novice class and I was the only one in that class, got the trophy to prove it.
What happened was people looked at the forecast and we benefited from the “must be present to win” rule
Great to hear you enjoyed it- this stuff, even for a 12 hour, takes a lot of time and money and work just to get to the start. Where did you go and what did you do? Bonuses seemed pretty spread out for a 36 hour rally, I bet it was hard planning a 12
But you were the top 2-up!! Nice job and kudos to Michelle!!
Thanks Ken, other than some volunteers, she was the only woman there.
As Lance said, I think the weather stopped a few people from heading out. We had two routes, one west with more points and one east. Watched the weather up till Wed morning and saw that our route through TX, OK and KS was going to be wet, cold and windy so I said, screw that , we are heading east. Started in Memphis and ended just south of Memphis. This was our route.
Yea it was a challenge. I ended up coming to the check point hotel on Friday to start in Oxford,MS on Saturday morning. Then worked my way East to Florence,Al then north a little to make way way back. I hit the bad weather at the CWALK bonus.
All in all it was an awesome time. I think I ran about 470 miles and 9800 points.
That’s cool. Did you see any other riders out on the road?
One of the coolest things in doing one of these is when you have just a few dozen riders scattered all over the map and you run into one. For some reason seeing another rally rider makes the world seem smaller.
Yes. Me and Paul ended up at the CWALK bonus and the wind blew his bike over. So we took our pictures first. You know that’s a priority. Then we picked his bike up and I pushed him out of the yard.
here is the picture. You can see his bike in the background.
I had been there around 11:15 ish. It was really nice then
Troy did a great job with the NiitWit rally.
If you've never done one of these, the idea of how to find the best way between a certain number of points in a given time is an old math problem called the "Travelling Salesman". When you add in different values, it becomes the "Travelling Purchaser". You can google them both, and there's an algorithm for it. Rally riders are pretty smart and committed people, and it made the rallymasters' jobs harder. Some tossed in combos, some tossed in strings. This year, Troy's spreadsheet-beater was Cops & Robbers. Other rallies have used this, but the basic idea is that you get positive points for "Cops" bonuses (blue, naturally), negative points for "robbers" bonuses (red), and at the end your goal is to get the most positive points you can- but at the same time, your net of Cops and Robbers wants to be as close to zero as possible. The difference between your cops and robbers is multiplied by a factor and then applied as a penalty.
You get the usual points for a SPOT tracker, emails submission, your rest bonus, lunch bonuses, a donation to a food bank that Troy and Paul support, and having your shit generally together. Those don't count against the net. This being a cops & robbers theme, you also get 200 points for each Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, ho ho.
There were also three combos, one starting in texas, one in FL, and one in Des Moines. In the end the Des Moines was the only one a 36 hour rider could manage and I considered it. I really wanted to do the eastern combo because one of the robbers bonuses was the "Sac of Suds store, where in 198xxx two utes accidentally stole a can of tuna, and were then falsely charged in the murder of the clerk- in the end they were only acquitted because one Ute's cousin's girlfriend was an expert in all things automotive."
Like I said I couldn''t make it work, and I'm glad because I would have been brutally disappointed.
Another rally book new item was that the rest bonus was a minimum of 4 hrs, which is normal- but you could score points for up to 8 hours. Most of the time it's 6. Also, rest bonuses are usually designed so you score more by resting than you could on the road- in this case, I suspect there could have been ways to trade a couple of hours for points, though I didn't actually test that too much.
Likewise, Niitwits have historically gotten points for stopping for lunch, you had to remain in place for 25 minutes. This time, to score lunch, you had to stay for 40 minutes. The longer rest and lunches impact your planning.
Anyway, I settled on a route that was kind of ambitious but not brutal, starting in Indianapolis, running up to Chicago to grab a big matching pair of cops & robbers, then heading down into Alabama and mississippi, back up into Tennessee and to the finish. About 4150 cops & robbers points and various other stuff along the way. "B" is my starting point.
We were a little disappointed we didn't get a can of tuna but we got the required selfie