Friday, October 31, 2008

2 WHeeL 12 Rider's Meeting

Last night was the riders meeting for the first ever 2 WHeeL 12 Rally. Several months ago I wished that there was a 12 hour rally in my area that I could participate in. After a bit more thought I decided that I would create one. The idea was pretty simple. I wanted to create a 12 hour rally that would target the beginning rally participant. I wanted to show a newbie how a rally flows and give them an opportunity to get a taste of what it's all about. So I started asking people around here that either ride frequently or have expressed some interest in endurance events. I got some pretty enthusiastic responses from people so I decided to go for it. With plenty of guidance from another local motorcyclist and rallymaster, GZ (of SPANK fame), I began to put it all together. Planning and scouting. Scouting and planning. All part of the fun. What I came up with seems solid to me, but then again what do I know? GZ was at last night's riders meeting to offer assistance and words of wisdom (and drink my beer and eat my chicken wings). After all of the participants got their bonus packs and instructions they hit the road to begin route planning. The rally begins at 6am Saturday, so they have ample time to plan, create, second guess, recreate, and change their minds.

The participants are all rookies. There are nine participants on eight bikes. The list of bikes isn't typical of the average LD rally.

1 Suzuki V-Strom 650
1 Kawasaki Vulcan
1 HD with $9500 worth of aftermarket chrome
1 HD with giant ape-hangers
1 HD Sportster 1200
1 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6
1 2006 FJR (2 up)
1 2005 FJR

The participants got their t-shirts, bonus lists, checkpoint info, and other required documents last night. It was actually quite entertaining to see the reactions.

DB3 (2005 FJR) had been very soft spoken about the upcoming rally until the bonus pack was handed to him. One he saw the bonus list he hit the map like a man possessed. He seemed to step into a bubble of planning and plotting, shutting off all input from the outside world.

PJ (ZX-6) didn't say much, other than to comment about how sore he was going to be after spending 12 hours on a sport bike.

John (Ape Hangers) was the most vocally enthusiastic in the weeks leading up to the rally. Once he opened the 23 page bonus list he fell silent, appearing to be overwhelmed by the choices before him.

DB2 and Dee (2006 FJR) seemed to be all business...Focused...Detail oriented...Correcting my spelling errors (thanks Dee).

Rob (Sportster) was off like a flash once the meeting was done. Having just had a new battery installed in his HD earlier in the day, he found himself calling for a ride home after the negative battery terminal decided that it no longer wished to be attached to the new battery. His only comment was that he was quite happy that it happened on the shake-down cruise rather than mid-rally. Rob seemed rather disappointed that there were no Hooters locations on the bonus list. Sorry Rob, maybe next time.

Joe (Vulcan) seemed excited, yet apprehensive. He borrowed a tank bag from me and went about figuring out how best to secure it to his cruiser.

Before everyone departed, GZ took a few hot laps around my neighborhood on John's ape-hanger HD. Don't worry, I got plenty of photos. I'll post 'em up after the rally is over this weekend. Good times.

After the participants departed, GZ and I busted out the maps. Having not previously seen the bonus list, GZ was keen to plot a route (or three) that he would consider successful if he were riding in the rally. We had fun looking over the possibilities while sipping a couple of quality Stone Brewing selections (Smoked Porter and 12th Anniv Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (that one is SOOOO good)).

For those of you that would like to take a peek at the bonus list, I've created a map in Google Maps that shows the locations and their requirements. This isn't the official bonus list, so I didn't spend a ton of time proofreading it, but you'll get the overall picture. In addition to the bonii listed on the map, each rider will be required to complete one of two available checkpoints (they get to decide which one).

I'll post up more info after the event. Wish me luck.

2 WHeeL 12 Bonus Map

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