Category: Events

VOID Rally 11: Route is Planned, Resignation Settles In

VOID Rally 11: Route is Planned, Resignation Settles In

Alright. This is it. For better or worse, my Void Rally route is done and dusted. I have a feeling it’s complete poo, but eh, that’s alright. I’m trying to come back around to remember what I’m doing. I’m going for a ride and there is beer at the end. Can’t win considering the playing field. Once again, I’m just fightin’ for the middle.

Something about my route feels a little long in the tooth, though. That’s a hurdle I can’t seem to get past. I always pad extra time in so hopefully I can make some adjustments without having to drop any bonus stops and still have enough wiggle room to get back to rally HQ without having to look over my paperwork with my hair on fire.

Also… fuck this hurricane. Hurricane Matthew can go right on to hell, messin’ with people lives like this.

So, that’s it. I shove off tomorrow afternoon for Reading, PA to have dinner with the other Rallyists. Hopefully I have enough room for food after nibbling my fingernails for 3 days now.

If you’re a Void-er, too – safe travels, have fun and see you in Fredericksburg, VA!

Void Rally 11: Route Planning Update

Void Rally 11: Route Planning Update


Or non-update as it were.

This is the point in the program where I am supposed to tell you that after my last post, I am now solidly in to my route and feeling confident. Or at least settled. But… not so.

I haven’t spent time looking at it since I made my tentative plan on Saturday afternoon. That probably isn’t smart. I know that what I’ve put together is too long (for me). That means that I’ll turn up at scoring tired, frazzled or possibly with errors on my paperwork, having had to drop bonuses to make it on time and losing points that I set out to get. That would be sad times. I’m the type of rally person who likes to come in early, doing what I set out to do versus making a whirling dervish of an entrance right before the closing bell and flying by the seat of my pants.

I still have to go buy a new camera to replace my replacement of my last replacement. I still have to solidify and print out my route, log my info on my “helper” index cards. These things are kind of important. I have 2 days before I leave for the start in Reading, PA.

It’s unlike me to be so blasé over the whole process. I’m either going to have a relaxed time or… a spectacular failure.

VOID Rally 11: The Doubt Phase

VOID Rally 11: The Doubt Phase

Seemingly random pins on a map… different colors, different point values, all perplexing. That’s what I’ve got to use to put together a route for my Void Rally 11 ride. The object is to collect points, accurately document my stops, take at least a 3 hour rest break, and be back to rally HQ with the I’s dotted and T’s crossed on my paperwork and have it handed in before 31 hours is up.

Of course that is the most simplified version of what it’s like to ride in a rally. But that is the basic gist. Plan a ride, ride it, don’t lose any points for being dumb, and of course arrive safely. It sounds easy while you’re sitting in your cozy house, but when you’re standing in a gas station in the rain at 3am after having ridden 16 hours, re-reading the rally book to double-check the bonus stop requirements – it seems a lot less easy. This is just typical pre-rally jitters talking though. Come Saturday evening after scoring when I’ve got a few beers swirling through me I’ll tell you it was a piece o’ cake.

Each year that I’ve done the Void, I go through the cycle of excitement and wonder prior to receiving the bonus locations, followed by the doubt of trying to plot a route. And then trying to plot another one. And another. And… another. Each year I feel like a complete idiot because there is nothing that jumps out as being the obvious answer for me.

Since receiving this year’s bonus list I’ve made about 10 different routes, none of which feel “right.” They’re all shit. They’re either too long, too boring, too low scoring – though I can’t possibly know that they’d be comparatively low-scoring. Ahhhhh, nuts. ::sigh:: I’m hoping that by tomorrow I’ll at least settle in on a route that I know I’m capable of riding and that I’ll just be fine with it.

Maybe my strength really will be in doing the paperwork. I don’t have to do great. I just have to do less bad than everyone else.

My rally starts in Reading, Pennsylvania at 8:30 on Friday morning. I have until that point to navigate my head out of my own ass. 😉

I’m Lookin’ Forward to Getting Dirty at the BBA

I’m Lookin’ Forward to Getting Dirty at the BBA

This year I hope to spend more time riding my dirty bike. The KTM has awakened something inside of me that needs to be explored. I don’t know how or why but I’m just going to hop on this wave and ride it out; see where it goes.

One of my favorite events each year is riding the Berkshire Big Adventure hosted by the Berkshire Trail Riders in Massachusetts. For 2015, the event took a hiatus. Seeing it back on the calendar for 2016 is exciting. I’m looking forward to spending a long weekend in the mountains with friends.

I think I’ve become a better dirt rider because I understand my limitations, why they exist (my mind) and have been able to focus on what it is that I really want out of the ride. That keeps me much more relaxed. Relaxed me is a better rider.

Looking forward to the spring!

Some pics from past Berkshire Big Adventure rides:

This post is part of a 29 posts in 29 days blogging challenge hosted by Kathy at ToadMama.com. Today’s writing prompt: What event are you currently looking most forward to?
Whispering Giants Grand Tour: Wacinton of Paducah, Kentucky

Whispering Giants Grand Tour: Wacinton of Paducah, Kentucky

When I pulled up at the edge of Noble Park in Paducah the word “Wow,” escaped from me. Even though it was the 10th Whispering Giant I visited, I didn’t expect how striking his appearance would be in person.

Having seen Wacinton in photos from other grand-tourers I knew that I had to see him, too. His sheer size is powerful. Wacinton stands 35 feet tall to the top of his feathers.

The wood appeared in good condition with no immediate signs of rot but there were several beehives attached. Other photos around the web show the Giant as having deep stained coloring but the sun and weather has faded it a bit.

I can officially say that this was my favorite Whispering Giant, unseating Rotaynah.

Though I am sure I will visit others in my travels in the future, the Team Strange Whispering Giant Grand Tour will come to a close on October 31st. It has been a great experience visiting these beautiful carvings and reading their stories.

wacinton whispering giant paducah kentucky

wacinton whispering giant paducah kentucky

wacinton whispering giant paducah kentucky

wacinton whispering giant paducah kentucky

Other Posts about Whispering Giants

%d bloggers like this: