For the E2E Rally, I’ve been thinking about how I can string together historical markers, monuments and engaging sights to ‘theme’ my bonus stops. We’ve got 6 months to dash around and pick up points. Keeping things fresh will mean that my interest will stay piqued and I’ll be more likely to play through the whole time.
With one of the E2E Rally bonus categories being “Historical Landmark,” I think this app just might help in route planning…
Ridin’ Nerdy – Roadside Presidents
If you’ve read this blog for more than the last 3 minutes, it may not come as as shock to you that I’m a bit on the nerdy side. I like history, learning “stuff”, roadside attractions, visiting touristy and vintage locations. I’m always on the lookout for blogs, websites and apps that weave my geeky interests into my motorcycle rides.
I’ve long been a fan of Roadside America. I use their website, iPhone app and have their GPS travel guide on my Zumo. So, it would seem that downloading their Roadside Presidents app for the iPhone would be a natural fit. The Roadside Presidents app gives you the same irreverent slant that their roadside content does – just with a Presidential twist.
Interested in checking out a statue of William McKinley’s VP – Garret Hobart? (Isn’t everyone?) What about the rock where Alexander Hamilton rested his head after being mortally wounded in a dual with Aaron Burr? Right! I bet you didn’t even know you wanted to see such a thing. That’s is precisely why this app is so important
The app uses your phone’s location services to deliver up these delicious (and weird) Presidential road stops. I’m certain some of these places will find their way into my E2E Rally photos.
The Empire State has a long history of being… histor… i..cal.. ? Right. New York is jam packed to the gills with American history. Lots of rich, important, famous and Presidential-type people have lived in, slept in, fought, died and vacationed in the great state of New York. Do you know what that means? Lots and lots of potential bonus points.
When I looked through the E2E bonus list, aside from their point values some of the categories generally appealed to me for different reasons. The big dog on the list for me was “Presidential Library.” Do we have one of those around here? No. Well, actually, sort of.
When I Googled a list of Presidential Libraries I discovered that there are only 13 of them. Wouldn’t you know it? New York has one. Good ole FDR. And as it turned out, it was easily reachable considering I had the whole day free to ride. Yay!
Hyde Park, NY was my focus for the day. If I picked up that stop and nothing else that would have been fine with me. I would get out for a ride, enjoy the sunshine and earn at least 10 points.
Muffler Man – Always a Bonus
After getting off of Long Island and into Westchester, I made a quick stop at the lovely green-eyed Muffler Man in Elmsford.
As I stood there taking a picture I heard the sound of a car horn honking. I turned and looked but the early morning sun glared in my eyes so I quickly turned away when it became apparent I wasn’t about to be mowed down by a car.
But there it was again… honk honk…
This time when I turned I was able to see my two friends Pete & Edyta waving at me from their truck. Whattheheck?!
What were the chances that I would be 75 miles from home, standing in a gas station at 8:30 on a Saturday morning taking a picture of a muffler man and run in to friends? When you consider all of the things that have to align just right to make that happen? Boggles the mind. Small world indeed. :)
Since I was in the neighborhood before continuing on to Hyde Park, I stopped in to Sleepy Hollow, NY. Yes, the town made famous by Washington Irving’s and The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow. Having passed through the area several times before, I knew there were quite a few historical markers around but I specifically wanted to get the Headless Horseman Bridge marker.
Never Underestimate Your Ability To Screw Up
I took some time to go through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. There are some lovely old mausoleums, headstones and grave markers all throughout the grounds. Seeing that it was arrowed on the cemetery roadway, I followed the route to the Irving family burial area.
I also took a picture of the Old Dutch Church. But, as I noted on my rally flag postyou should never underestimate your ability to forget something simple. I took a picture of the Old Dutch Church with my bike and flag and even the church sign which features the year it was built (1685). But… not the church’s historical marker :-/ So I didn’t submit that one for points. Duh.
Finding My Way
The rally rules say that only 1 picture can be submitted for each bonus stop. I’ve found that at times it can be difficult to get the bike, the flag, the bonus ‘thing’ in to a photo and have something like a marker or a date on a stone be readable. I bungled a handful of snaps this weekend that I opted not to submit.
I suspect over time I’ll learn some tricks to get all of the required info in without so much fumbling around.
Hyde Park – Historical New York
By the time I’d made it to Hyde Park to pick up the one bonus I really wanted – the Presidential library, I’d probably already stopped 5 or 6 other times.
Once in Hyde Park, the stops came fast and furious – A Vanderbilt here, a Roosevelt there. And then just like that… I’d done what I wanted to do.
I put my mind on cruise control and rode past historical markers, town halls, firehouses, post offices, and police stations because I just didn’t feel like stopping. The roads were in good shape, the sun was out and I just felt like riding.
That was until I came to a fork in the road…
Serendipity at Work
I spent the rest of the afternoon just riding along, stopping for things that crossed my path but not really working hard to navigate to anything in particular. There were some really good finds that just happened to be along my route – the giant 8 ball, the turtle rock, a big cow in someone’s yard.
I just kept chugging along, heading south through Connecticut towards Long Island – picking up bonuses along the way.
I submitted 34 pictures this week. More than I anticipated considering I just had my mind set on the FDR Library. But, NY is a historical and weird place. There is no shortage of things to see and places to stop even of I never left Long Island.
I wonder what I’ll be able to pick up in my travels when the days are long and the weather warms up?
Riding around looking at things – it’s what I do all the time. That makes these types of rallies a comfortable fit for me. When I’m making a concerted effort to find something or really take my time to look, read and observe something – it makes the ride that much more of a good experience for me.
Ride your motorcycle, learn stuff and see cool roadside statues. What could be better?
The guys over at The Pace Podcast – Chris & James – have kicked off their first photo bonus rally, the 2013 Equinox to Equinox.
Do you like to ride your motorcycle? Do you like taking pictures of stuff? Well you know what? This rally just might be for you.
It is a loose, honor system photo bonus rally. Register yourself with the guys, get a rider number and then ride around and collect photo bonuses. That is simply taking a picture of your motorcycle and your rally flag in front of the items on the bonus list. Piece o’ cake.
All the sexy people.
Or, nerdy motorcycle riders with a camera and an email account.
The Rally will run from midnight eastern daylight time on March 20th 2013 until 11:59pm eastern daylight time on September 22nd 2013.
Don’t say you don’t have time. We’re talking about two entire seasons to collect bonuses! The bonus list is now available.
Wherever you are.
The Rally page has a listing of bonuses for you to collect that can be found just about anywhere.
Free. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
BYO motorcycle, gas, tolls, lodging, food, etc.
What do you win?
Glory & Fame.
There may be some prizes involved but you’ll have to follow the Rally page for info on that.
[EDIT] Because I cannot be in 3 places at once, I had to withdraw from the Minuteman. Maybe next year…
Since participating in The Void 7 in October 2012, I’m no longer a rally virgin. I guess that’s why I was feeling a bit cavalier (read: stupid) when I signed myself up to do the Minuteman 1000 this June. How bad could it be, right?
The format of the Minuteman is similar to what I did before:
…the MM1K is a 26 hr rally in the “traditional” format, i.e. you will be given a list of bonus locations along with point values for each location. The rider who obtains the most points will be the winner.
Get a flag, plan a route, ride around taking pictures all night, take a nap, take some more pictures then head back to the barn. Oh, and don’t fuck up. Yep. That sounds about right.
Did I Learn Anything From the Last Rally?
Well, yes, actually. Or maybe.
I now know I might want to get myself some kind of light that I can use to illuminate things that my headlights won’t reach. That was a lesson I learned during the night when I had to flag down a cop and asked him to use his spotlight to shine on a fish sign that was on a dark roof.
The light needs easily fit in a sidebag or top box with a bunch of other junk.
A big flashlight would also be handy for keeping Bigfoot away.
Keeping your spare keys – including the spare for the topbox IN the topbox… not too bright. Keep keys on my person!
My tankbag is on the petite side. I wasn’t able to keep my paperwork in it without folding and crumpling it to hell. That meant during the Void, I had to go in my topbox for every stop. I may need to get myself a different tank bag. Maybe.
Relax, Trust My Gut and Enjoy the Ride
I need to not be such a neurotic freak. Keep calm and ride on.
Actually, I don’t feel nearly as wound up as I did when I entered the Void. I still have no assumptions about being remotely competitive. I’ll just be riding my ride and hopefully seeing some cool stuff along the way.