Road Rally nOOb - Now with more rallies & welcoming more Road Rally n00bs!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Boondoggle, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26,896
    Location:
    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    My ride over to my start in Markleville IN was one of those days on the bike that shouldn't great, but end up that way. The temps started at 50 when I left, dropped to as low as 34 as I crossed the blue ridge and again when I made the turn where 64 heads up toward Charleston. The heated vest and socks kept up, the heated grips not quite but close enough. No real traffic, no drama, just a nice relaxed 600 miles.

    I got to a decent and reasonable Quality Inn there, was disappointed to not find an Outback nearby, and ended up with a burger from A&W. No pics, why would you

    I had a reasonably decent and yet doable, with some luck, route and I knew it was the best you could come up with within that range from my house. I hadn't even looked much out west, but I knew I had the best route I could come up with. I actually took the time to research and write down some Dunkin's and Krispy Kremes.

    Here are the SPOTS when I woke up. I'm sort of by myself, you might notice.

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    I never sleep before these things. I was up at like 5 and rolled over to Waffle House, which was an utter shitshow so I ended up at McD's. I ate more crap this weekend than I usually do in three months. I headed to the gas station for my start receipt, sent it, and I was on the clock, rolling to my first bonus, 8 miles away.

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    So if me blowing my route was at all my fault, here's where it happened: I decided to grab a couple of Dunkins in Indianapolis. My route went up to chicago, then came back down the back way to Lexington, where a HUGE bonus, -1200, that I had to get before 6pm. I really thought I had it, but it just didn't work out that way.

    Anyway I did it

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    then slog it like 200 miles north to the Lake County Jail

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    On the way from here to the next one is where the day really got blown. I pulled out and noticed that my headlight was out. There was an Autozone right there within sight, and I could not believe my great good fortune. Anyway me and my luck pull in and I reach in to get the old bulb out and when I pulled the cap off the back of the reflector, the little spring clip that holds the bulb in was sitting inside the cap and fell down into the nether regions of the bodywork. At first I admit I thought it was funny, and I fished it out, went in and grabbed a bulb, came out, and got the new bulb in place- and I could not for the life of me get the little goddamn clippy thing to engage. I should've taken the body panels off to get a better look, but I was basically refusing to believe that a bulb change could be such a pain in my ass. Then I lost the clippy thing again, even going back in and getting a magnetic part fisher-outer. All of a sudden I realized I'd been farting around with this for a whole hour. I cut a corner off a clean red rag and jammed it into the cap, and it was more or less enough to keep the bulb in the reflector, though it wasn't seated exactly right. Fearing the vibration of the odd mounting spot, I went back in the store for my third purchase- three more H7 bulbs.

    It was a high-traffic route to the next memorial, and I was kind of afraid that my route was screwed. I was a little blue when I snapped it.

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    I took a look at my route sheet (ie envelope) and my arrival timing wasn't too bad. If I caught my next bonus then headed to the time-restricted one, I could come back and grab the one in Frankfort easily enough.

    I headed toward my next one, but got held up in traffic pretty bad. I even had a detour around a closed road, upon which Garmin took me on a shortcut consisting of what started as a decent dirt road, but then turned into deep gravel- the kind of stuff where you have to keep it over 30 to stay up. Next time I will consider following the orange signs.

    By the time I got to the jail I knew I wasn't going to make the time-restricted bonus.

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    I said screw it. My first lunch bonus was in a pretty terrible DQ. No pics here either

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    I looked at my route during my 40 minute stop. I couldn't see a way to replace the -1200, and I still had to go to Frankfort. Part of me thinks I should have stopped in Frankfort for the night, right then, to see if I could salvage my route... but I wanted to be West of Nashville before stopping, so I decided to stick with my original plan for my rest location. I think in the end it worked out best for me.
  2. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26,896
    Location:
    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    The Frankfort part of this day was one of those little videos you just store away. My ride there went down US 421, a pleasant curvy road with elevation changes. It's amish country, as evidence by the near-continual smear of horse shit down the middle of each lane. (trust me, I know horse shit). That and the density of driveways kept me at a sedate pace, and I dropped into Frankfort.

    It was friggin bedlam :lol3

    I coasted into town to find a maze of barricades and squad cars. I circled the whole area to be on the south side when it was time to leave, because I knew it was going to get worse. I hunted furiously for a place to park, as the street where the bonus lived was completely blocked. Down a one-way street the wrong way, I ducked into an alley and stashed the bike up against the side of a building in a hidden spot I later realized was reserved for a judge

    I hopped off, grabbed my flag, and trotted down to main street

    Whoahhhhh. It's an evening 10k

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    there are porta potties and dogs and kids and cops and about 2,000 skinny people there. I appeared to be the only person wearing a flip-up helmet and carrying a flag.

    I'm looking for a plaque, but the state house grounds only seem to have about 750 historical site plaques, which I hop over the stone wall to start hunting. This is going nowhere

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    I head back to the bike, passing a cop who had taken interest in me on the way down. I nodded my head, and in two minutes I was heading back past him again, now with GPS, flag, rally book, and phone. I appeared to be the only person carrying all those things, flipup helmet notwithstanding.

    Gotcha

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    and flip a wave at the cop on my way back by him- he waves back. The street I came in on is bloced. I make my way down two blocks of alleways and turn left, to another blocked road. Cop says "how did you get in there" I said I was in before they closed. "What are you trying to do now?" "I'm going to Nashville."

    "Ok, left at the stop sign, right at the next stop sign, then across the bridge. Careful, the deck is metal grate and it's starting to rain."


    Off I go. GPS says I'll get there around 9:30. I let Waze get me around the perennial Nashville traffic, and I'm in the hotel by 10:00 after getting gas. I had stopped at two Dunkins on the way, but neither was a freestanding building so they didn't count. I get checked in to a Super 8, am invited to leave the bike under the front entrance area thingy, and just as I step into my room the frigging heavens open up. Not the only time in this rally where I got super lucky on the timing of weather.

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    WayneJ, LadyDraco, Bigbob1 and 2 others like this.
  3. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26,896
    Location:
    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    Headlight bulb lasted all the way home, for the record. But I never got it to stay seated in the reflector correctly so I was That Guy, blinding people for two days.

    Sorry, I was on the clock.
    WayneJ, BasicJim, horseiron1 and 2 others like this.
  4. BasicJim

    BasicJim Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    That's the thing I know I don't have.... The ability to be flexible and salvage a route when stuff goes sideways! Maybe with experience...

    Great ride report, Lance!
  5. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    570
    Those damned little headlight clips can be brutal! DAMHIK! On the FJR you pretty much have to do the whole operation by feel as you can't see squat.

    Looks like a great rally. Awesome theme with some cool twists.
    horseiron1 and Boondoggle like this.
  6. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26,896
    Location:
    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    Jim, other than taking bail and skipping a bonus, I’ve never had anyone recommend rerouting on the fly. In fact most vehemently oppose it.

    That’s part of the reason it might have been a good idea to settle in Frankfort to reroute - I haven’t looked it up, but I wonder if there was another way to get those points back.

    What made that decision for me is that we couldn’t start the rest bonus until 8pm. I didn’t really see anything obvious that I could do by stopping between Lexington and Nashville, so I stuck with plan A.
    horseiron1 likes this.
  7. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26,896
    Location:
    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    So I had just eaten DQ a few hours ago and I wasn't hungry. At some rally a while ago, I overheard a conversation about tank-bag food and someone suggested baby food. I've become a believer. If you go check that aisle, one of the companies is putting it in a foil pouch thing with a spout, and you can eat it like astronaut food. No chewing, nothing stuck in my teeth, and tonight I could actually feel the pureed veggies and fruit hit my bloodstream. Seriously, try it.

    Having to drop the big negative bonus, I had to either find 1200 negative points or drop 1200 (ish) positive points. Try as I might, there was nothing to do but to drop the negative stops north and south of Memphis. It had already been a light plan but now my route called for about 300 miles and five hours. I took advantage of my less ambitious route by finding all the Dunkin/Krispy stores I could.

    I resist the urge to oversleep and lollygag- once you've wasted time you don't get a chance to get it back. My rest was about 30 minutes over 8 hours, but I'd slept and had a route and had taken a few extra minutes to eat a breakfast of fruit in the hotel lobby.

    riders:

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    showtime:

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    Like I said, I'd made good use of my rest, and the first two Dunkins were within 20 minutes

    I am originally from Vermont. As a New Englander, I am perfectly evolved to find and recognize a dunkin donuts sign. This is almost unfair.

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    then south toward Alabama

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    This is the only reason I would EVER pull over and stop at a Krispy Kreme

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    cool marker, right next to a cemetery. This guy was a murder and pissed everybody off so bad that they buried him in the street.

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    A police memorial in Tuscumbia AL. This is also where Hellen Keller was born, I don't go visit the museum.

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    From here its back upAL 20 past the Natchez Trace and back into Tennessee, and my last bonus location. If you've ever seen Walking Tall...

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    I've got another donut shop mapped, northeast of Memphis, but first I have time for another 40 minute lunch bonus. I'm looking for a local mom & pop place, and pass a few when the skies open up again. Within about a minute the water in the street is an inch deep. There's a McD's on my left and I suddenly realize that a big mac sounds kind of good right now.

    It rained so hard water flowed up over the sidewalk and into the building.

    https://photos.smugmug.com/BikeRides/2019-Niitwit-/i-9kWRkXM/0/76f6b8d5/L/IMG_7958-L.jpg

    I later find out that just a couple of hours behind me, @markar has had to reroute a couple of times due to downed trees.

    donuts.

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    I had checked the map and Riverside Drive was closed, so I let Waze take me into downtown Memphis for a photo of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King died.

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    Then I let Waze take me down Elvis Presley Boulevard, past Graceland, to another Krispy Kreme

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    Then back to Rally HQ

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    and a bit of hardware!

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    .


    I was actually really lucky that I decided to grab as many dunkins as I could - it could have made the difference between first and second... not that it's so much about the points, but it's about doing the best you can- and in this case it paid off.

    Likewise, if I'd succumbed to the temptation of waffle house I would have had a much different ride, weather-wise


    I frigging love Spotwalla

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    in the morning, I roll out at 5:00 local time and have an uneventful 800 mile ride home, I got here by dark

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    The only sad note is that Paul and Troy, the brains behind NittWit Rallies, are moving on. Paul is going to take over the IBX, the replacement for the Butt Lite. Troy is going to help other rallymasters with a few new and/or upsized endeavors. I'm a ilttle sad to be losing it, my 2017 NiitWit still counts as my all-time favorite (in spite of being a miserable bastard, weather-wise). I'm not as excited about the first place as I am happy to have a trophy that says NiitWit on it.

    Other than that it was great. The weather made for some fun and interesting stories about downed trees, riding through snow (as seen above) and various ailments due to shorting glove liners.

    ....

    I have had 3 rallies in the last two months and I need to pay a few bills, but I'm already thinking about April and the Rock n Ride :deal
    RFlagg42, WayneJ, Patch and 4 others like this.
  8. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
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    Location:
    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    My rallying superpower is to immediately forget peoples’ names within about 30 seconds of being introduced to them.
    RFlagg42, horseiron1 and Patch like this.
  9. markar

    markar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    AR
    I'm horrible with names but can remember faces from 40 years ago. My wife gets mad because she will read the next bonus description to me as we are on the way to the bonus and I'll forget it by the time I get there. But if there's a picture in the rally book or I have looked at it on Google maps, I can remember what every single bonus looks like without ever looking at the rally book again. I just won't know what to do when I get there even if I looked 5 minutes earlier.
    horseiron1 and Boondoggle like this.
  10. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26,896
    Location:
    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    Not at all- Sometimes, it's just your day and none of the little things that could go wrong did (inability to change a light bulb notwithstanding).

    In the VOID, I didn't really have a plan and when the fast food/chain bonuses came out I was lucky in that it reset my thinking. I had actually expected the smallest bonuses to be part of some kind of combo, so I'd kept my options open. I never saw my route until after I was wrong about that- so I had the benefit of an open mind and just happened to see the right route. Plus, I loathe I-95 from Fredricksburg to the NJ Turnpike, so it was easier for me to abandon all the shiny things up there than it is for people who aren't as averse to it as I am. Being a slow grumpy chickenshit just happened to pay off :lol3

    In NiitWit, with only three of us in the 36 hour group, I'm pretty sure that geography played a part - I was limiting myself to 500 miles from home for a start location, and the winning route just happened to be part of that.

    In both rallies there were guys who I finished ahead of who could be reasonably expected to mop the floor with me 99 times out of 100 tries.

    It's like Darwinism. People often mistakenly believe that evolution results in survival of the strongest- but really, strength has nothing to do with it. It's often a matter of whose skill set is most suitable to the environment at hand. I just happened to get a couple of puzzles that rewarded the skills and mindset I brought to the table for those particular circumstances.

    Don't get me wrong- I'm proud and thrilled to do so well, especially after such a weak and negligent stab at the Tennessee Twister. Any time you get to be part of such a great group of dedicated people who bring so much effort and care to an event, it's a real thrill in itself. Having a chance to stand up in front of them and shake a rallymaster's hand is just icing on the cake.

    I'll take it!
    Patch and horseiron1 like this.
  11. kendoo

    kendoo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Wallkill, NY
    I can SO relate to this...LOL!!
  12. neanderthaler

    neanderthaler Been here awhile

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    Dec 9, 2007
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    What I got out of your report is that you honestly believe Dunkin Donuts is better than Krispy Kreme. I’m starting to question your judgement : ). I mean, I’m not saying that I won’t put away a half dozen DD if no one is there to judge me, but when I enjoy a Krispy Kreme, I catch myself staring lovingly at the masterpiece
    kendoo, Bigbob1, Boondoggle and 2 others like this.
  13. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
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    I’m not eating anythjng with so much sugar that you can light it with a kitchen match, and I’m sure as hell not calling it a donut

    The Dunkin’ Donuts “Old Fashioned” (plain) is the only thing on the mass market that’s even close to being to an actual donut

    If you’ve never had an actual homemade donut that was fried in real cast iron, you have no way of knowing the difference and are to be pitied rather than scorned
    horseiron1 and neanderthaler like this.
  14. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

    Joined:
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    Real donuts are made with lard by women named Marjorie who wear aprons.
    horseiron1, neanderthaler and Bigbob1 like this.
  15. neanderthaler

    neanderthaler Been here awhile

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    Dec 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Florida
    I’m definitely gonna have have to check the kitchen at Dunkin for any cast iron, lard or Marjories.
  16. mpenner

    mpenner Heavy Cruiser

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,493
    Location:
    Centerburg, OH
    Now that the SoC Grand Tour has ended, I thought that I would post a few of my favorites. I had a great time scouting locations, planning routes, and riding to some places that I have never been before. Since States of the Nation was an open category, I was able to find many locations that were not mentioned in the census database, which made things even more fun. Some of these were places that I just came across by keeping my eyes open while I was out riding. In no particular order here are a few of my favorites, either because they were a long way from home, I thought that they were pretty unique, or I thought that probably nobody else got these because they were a bit off the script.

    I came across this one in the middle of nowhere in Nova Sciotia, Canada. It made my list of favorites because it is my home state, it was a long ways from home, and I suspect that I am the only one that got this one.

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    Another unique one a long ways from home in New Brunswick, CA

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    The next couple were 2 old towns that no longer show up in the census database but can be found in old atlases. I found these while out chasing other bonus locations.

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    This last one was my "Wild Card" submission since the rules stated that it must be a fixed sign. I thought it was a cool old truck and it looks pretty fixed to a single spot to me.

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    Hopefully next year I will get to be part of a "real" rally, but this was a great way to get my feet wet.
  17. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    570
    Team Strange grand tours rock! I did Love & Merci a couple years ago and learned a lot of history in the process. States of Confusion was a blast this year. I submitted 850 points worth of pics provided none are declined.
  18. Patch

    Patch Long timer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,373
    Location:
    Southwestern New England
    I had a blast doing this years States Of Confusion GT. Hunting the locations was a lot of fun ... and a lot of time spent in googemaps street views :lol3

    I only got 7 'Washingtons' though .. it sure felt like more. Some neat small towns out there.
    BasicJim likes this.
  19. BkerChuck

    BkerChuck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    570
    I thought I had more "Washingtons" or variations as well. Only 5. I had more universities than that..... Great time anyway. I did pretty well in Tour of Honor though finishing in the top 50 out of 900 riders. Dianne and I ended that season with 63 memorials visited. Not a bad year with having totaled a bike in September and having to replace it then set up the new one for rally use.
    BasicJim, Boondoggle and oneodd1 like this.