Tag: rally

Equinox to Equinox Rally: Oversized Roadside Extravaganza

Equinox to Equinox Rally: Oversized Roadside Extravaganza

When the Equinox to Equinox Rally kicked off on the first day of spring, it seemed like we had all the time in the world to ride around and collect points. After all, the autumnal equinox and the close of the rally was months away!

As it turns out, people get busy, they forget, things come up and weeks will tick by when you don’t collect a single bonus. Guilty as charged.

For the past 2 weekends I’ve had a free day to go out riding. While I’ve been out I have managed to pick up some points along the way. Keeping my rally placard in the trunk definitely helps.

Speaking of my flag – it has taken a bit of a beating over these few months. But, other than having one of it’s ears slightly torn it has held up to the trunk-test. Mounting it on cardboard and wrapping it in packing tape have really done the trick.

Equinox to Equinox Rally Flag

Let’s Get Some Points, Shall We?

My travels over the last two weekends took me through New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In covering that ground you could pick off post offices and firehouses all day long. But as strange as it may sound, stopping is the hardest part. You’re out on your bike and the desire to ride trumps the desire to win. So, you sail right by bonus points all day long.

Given my interest in roadside Americana, my favorite categories for the E2E Rally are: Oversized Roadside Statues, Covered Bridges and Static Trains – with a side helping of Historical Landmarks and Cemeteries over 100 Years Old. Luckily, these are high point stops for the rally. That means I get to marry my interests in riding to the object, seeing it and collecting points.

This past weekend I kicked off my day out with a nice breakfast at the Clinton Station Diner. The most delicious 7 points of the day.

Clinton Station Diner - Clinton New Jersey

Somehow I managed to rope my husband Kenny in to coming along with me. You’d think after all these years together, he would have learned his lesson when my alarm clock goes off on the weekend but, nope… he still rides with me.

Once in a while he stands in and models for me, too. I’ll take superstrong hubby lifting giant barbells for 7 points, Alex.

giant barbells in quakertown pennsylvania

On Saturday night we were at a birthday party. While there, someone asked what we would be doing the following day.

“I think we’re going to go check out some giant barbells,”  I answered.

“Giant barbells. Of course,” he said.

No surprise there. 🙂

Double Indian Points

Getting to see 2 giant roadside indians for 14 points? Not a bad deal, I’d say.

muffler man indian mohawk motors shirley massachusetts

Plus, the giant chief that stands at the Big Indian Shop in Shelburne Falls, Ma. is just east of a smokin’ section of route 2 from North Adams. That’s a great ride.

shelburne falls big indian gift shop

Have a Seat …or Two

You know, you can go a whole lifetime without ever seeing a giant chair on the road. That is unless you live near Gardner, Massachusetts. But, I guess that’s to be expected from a place called ‘The Chair City.’

double giant chairs

They Do Exist!

Oversized Roadside? Yea, I think I have that category covered. In the most yummy way possible!

The facade of Mars Chocolate in Hackettstown, New Jersey has giant M&Ms that greet you at the front door. Not only are they squeal-worthy fabulous but they’re also good for 7 points.

Giant M&Ms in Hackettstown New Jersey

During their last podcast, James & Chris mentioned that I was riding in first place on points. But they also mentioned that there were tons of pictures still in the queue to be processed. Knowing what I submitted – which hasn’t been that many this summer- I don’t think i’ll be staying there for long.

We’ll see.

In the meantime – I’ll just keep enjoying the ride.

E2E Rally Bonus Stop Planning – Roadside Presidents

E2E Rally Bonus Stop Planning – Roadside Presidents

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

roadside america - roadside presidents appIf 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.

Maybe they’ll show  up in yours too?

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E2E Rally: And We’re Underway… The First Weekend

E2E Rally: And We’re Underway… The First Weekend

This weekend marked the first full weekend of the Pace Podcast Equinox to Equinox Rally (E2E). As luck would have it, I had the whole day to myself on Saturday so – I went riding.

Out for a winter ride

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.

Muffler man - Elmsford NY

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.  🙂

Sleepy Hollow

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.

E2E Rally - Headless Horseman Bridge Historical 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.

E2E Rally - Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

I also took a picture of the Old Dutch Church. But, as I noted on my rally flag post  you 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.

FDR Presidential Library E2ERally

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.

E2E Rally - Vanderbilt Mansion

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…

E2E Rally - 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.

Final Thoughts

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?

I’m In! The Minuteman 1000 – 24 Hour Rally

I’m In! The Minuteman 1000 – 24 Hour Rally

Minuteman 1000 - MM1K

[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?

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.

Light

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.

Suggestions welcome.

Spare Keys

Keeping your spare keys – including the spare for the topbox IN the topbox… not too bright. Keep keys on my person!

Tankbag

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.

—–

So that’s my story – for now.

Sea, Land, Air, and Space: Hammy’s Experimental Motorcycle Rally

Sea, Land, Air, and Space: Hammy’s Experimental Motorcycle Rally

My SLASHER Rally mugshotInterested in participating in an informal scavenger hunt type of motorcycle rally?

If you said yes, well then you’re in luck! Hammy, whom I met during the Void Rally, is hosting a rally this weekend via Facebook.

Dates: Saturday October 27 – Sunday October 28

Sea, Land, Air, and Space: Hammy’s Experimental Rally (Slasher)

The SLASHER is a self-guided, Facebook-based motorcycle scavenger hunt that will take place completely during local daylight hours from Saturday Oct 27, 2012 to Sunday Oct 28, 2012. You can start and finish anywhere. There is no mileage minimum or cap, just some mandatory pictures.

You can’t get much more loose than that. Ride around, take some pictures, be home for dinner. You can do as much or as little as you like. Sounds good, right?

So what are the bonus categories?

Sea: Boat docks, Marinas, Beach and Lake signs, Naval/Maritime museums

Land: Motorcycle/car speedways, Horse racetracks, Railway train stations, Museums (e.g. train museums)

Air: Small airports (no international airports!), Hot air balloon rentals, R/C airfields, Aviation museums, Aircraft carriers

Space: any fixed object or place (monument, museum, plaque, observatory, etc) that is directly associated with outer space; fixed object means no toys or action figures, and it has to be something you have to ride to

Please see the SLASHER event page for the full listing of rules regarding each category and to RSVP.

You still have time today to pick up 5 points for uploading your mugshot!

Though I’ll only be riding on Saturday, I’m looking forward to it. If nothing else it is an excuse to head out for a ride.

What do you say? Are you in?

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