Tag: events

The 2014 Crotona Midnight Run

The 2014 Crotona Midnight Run

The mailman delivered the flyer for the 2014 Crotona Midnight Run today.  It seems like it came a little earlier than usual this year, but I could just be imagining things.

If starting your ride at midnight, in New York, in February is your bag? This is the ride for you!

2014 Crotona Midnight Run Flyer

The 2013 event was canceled on account of weather. Will it run this year? We shall see.

Sex, Motorcycles and Bacon – Tales from the Void Rally 8

Sex, Motorcycles and Bacon – Tales from the Void Rally 8

Sex, Motorcycles and BaconI have returned triumphant from the Void Rally! Well, maybe not triumphant but at least in one piece. That has to count for something.

The Void Rally Ride Report has been posted and you should probably read it. You don’t want to miss out on tales of sex, motorcycles and bacon do you?

…Continue Reading

 

Void 8: Let The Bonus Speculation Begin!

Void 8: Let The Bonus Speculation Begin!

The Void Rally is like a scavenger hunt done on a motorcycle within an allotted time window. The rally masters provide participants a rallybook that is filled with bonus locations and coordinates. It is your job to sift through the rallybook and plan an achievable route to pick up as many points as possible.

Bonus locations have specific requirements to satisfy the visit and earn the point value. Maybe the rally book says something like ‘visit the old bridge and take a picture of your rally towel on the sign on the right side of the bridge. What is the 3rd word on the sign?’  Your rally towel photograph and the answer provide proof that you rode to the location.

To keep things interesting each year the Void seems to have a ‘theme.’ One year it was golf, then haunted places, another year it was weather related. This year the messaging and images surrounding the rally are all peppered with musical elements.

The Void Rally

There have been some news posts on the rally site consisting of nothing more that links to websites that appear to be unrelated to, well, anything.

  • Cracker Barrel
  • Motel 6
  • YMCA

Hmm.

There is apparently a song called Cracker Barrel by someone named Erin Hay (which makes me throw up in my mouth) and the restaurant chain apparently has some record label. Lana Del Rey has a song called Motel 6. And of course those sweet, lovable rogues the Village People sing YMCA.

So what does that all mean? Probably nothing. Or maybe something. If nothing else it gets the ole cogs turning in braintown.

Will our bonus stops be heavy on music locations? That’s where my imagination has been wandering. What’s going to be in the rallybook when it turns up? Will we see places like:

  • Graceland
  • The Grand Ole Opry
  • Sun Studios
  • Electric Ladyland
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Yasgur’s Farm – Woodstock

What do you think? Will there be musical landmark visits or is it just a rouse?

 

 

Once More into the Void We Go

Once More into the Void We Go

The season of anxiety and nail biting is upon us. In just a few short weeks I will be setting off to do the Void Rally 8.

The Void Rally 8 – October 12-13, 2013

After nearly giving myself an ulcer  in the weeks leading up to my first foray into the Void Rally you would think I’d have learned my lesson. Well, lest you thought otherwise… I’m not that bright. As my dad would’ve said ~ a dim bulb. A real 25-watter.

When I put my hat into the ring for the Void 7 in 2012, I was nervous because I had no idea what it was like to do a 24 hour rally. This year however, things are different. I’m nervous because I know what it’s like to do a 24 hour rally.

I kid. Sort of.

I’m not nervous this time around. Of course that doesn’t mean I will place any better than I did last year, where I found myself in the middle of the finishing pack. I will probably be able to carry on my long standing tradition of being average.

Gone Squatchin’

Remember how I said I wasn’t nervous in the previous paragraph? Well, in the time that it took me to finish typing that I realized that I am nervous.

Thinking back to what it was like standing alone on an especially dark and desolate West Virginia road in the middle of the night to pick up a bonus… eesh. I stood there nervously fumbling with my keys, my camera and rally towel. My hands were shaking because I was scaring myself so badly. Being out there in the woods alone? Yea, I could do without that again. I will have to do a better job of planning my route to visit the high Bigfoot traffic areas in the daylight.

Exhibit A: The Rally Towel

Earlier this week I received my official rally towel. Shit just got real.

Rider 98, right here. 98 – A strong, solid number. But is it better than average? We’ll see.

Void Rally 8 - Rider 98 - Fuzzygalore

For More Information on The Void Rally

RallyTheVoid.org | How it Works

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.

Riding AltRider’s Conserve the Ride 2013

Riding AltRider’s Conserve the Ride 2013

hello my name isOn Thursday afternoon, I watched Friday’s weather like a hawk. By all accounts it would be raining, the question was how much?

When Friday dawned and it came time to hit the road towards Pennsylvania for AltRider‘s Conserve the Ride 2013 adventure weekend, I was glad that we would be making the slog in Kenny’s truck. We were traveling out of the soggy clutches of tropical storm Andrea.

I cozily drifted in and out of sleep, lulled into dreamland by the steady whoosh of the windshield wipers. We were both thankful for the dry comfort of his Ridgeline while the bikes got a bath in the bed.

rain rain go away

When we pulled off of I-80 and headed towards the campground at Woodward Cave, the frog-choking rain that dogged us for 200 miles petered out to barely a sprinkle. The unicorn fairies must’ve been watching my back. They just knew I didn’t want to set up our tent in the rain. Thanks, unicorns!

Though the humidity hung around, the rain was just a memory. As the late afternoon settled in a trickle of motorcycles began to snake into the campground. I think. After I finished setting up the tent I may have accidentally taken a nap. When I woke up? Bikes were everywhere 🙂

home sweet home away from home

kenny at penns view overlookAfter our initial check-in with the AltRider crew, the evenings festivities were kicked off with a delicious dinner and beer. As a public service, I made sure that I stopped drinking said beer before my verbal filter shut down.

If you’ve never had “the pleasure” of seeing me drink too much… let’s just say, I get way too silly for my own good. And anyone within 5 yards of me. And I *might* to curse like a sailor. And… and… and… 

Milling around talking with people, I really got a dose of travel envy. People were talking about motorcycle trips through the lower 48, the Continental Divide, Alaska, Canadian Provinces, Peru, New Zealand… *Stamps feet* I never get to go anywhere!

Of all of the nice folks we met, Kenny and I really connected with two fine gents from New Jersey – Bill and Art. After much chit-chat, dinner and drinks when it came time to get groups together to ride out the following day, the 4 of us clicked.

your host and hostess of this here blog

As Saturday morning tiptoed in with overcast skies, I was greeted by the usual dread and self-loathing about making people wait for me on the trail.

I suppose I should have warned Bill & Art that I’m on the pokey side. And scared of everything. But they were patient and funny and all around good guys who never complained.

Kenny took one for the Fuzzmop team and hung back with me for most of the day and we just met Bill and Art at the end of the optional sections.

Whattayagonna do? It’s not that I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle I’m just… timid and slow offroad.  One of these days everything will come together for me and I’ll just be normal. Until then, I’ll just continue to be the little engine that could.

Rockin’ Out

If you’ve never ridden there, let me tell ya ~ Pennsylvania is rocky. All day long you’re jiggled and shaken across the boney terrain. I found my hands had gotten quite tired from hanging on.

altrider conserve the ride

I only wish that the photos and video would do the surface justice. But, you know how it is – they always flatten out the terrain.

Adventure Riding at its Finest

The route set up by the fine folks at the Seven Mountains Conservation Corp (SMCC) for AltRider was a scenic 120 mile adventure ride with 7 optional legs from the main route.

dirt road bald eagle forest

The main route was mostly gravel and dirt roads throughout the Bald Eagle State Forest. It was beautiful and green and featured some wonderful vistas looking out over the rolling mountains.

altrider conserve the ride 2013

The optional sections of the route gave riders a little more of a challenge with ruts, rocks, mud and water.

into the slop

AltRider provided the group with a picnic lunch at Hairy Johns Picnic Area. Bill made sure to point out that we might not want to touch the toilet seat in such a place. Duly noted and agreed!  😀

lunch at hairy johns picnic area

There were about 85 riders on the ride. Other than when we pulled off at a turn or stopped at the end of an optional section, we didn’t really encounter many other bikes on the actual trails. All of the riding groups were well spaced out.

a quick stop for a drink

As the ride began to loop its way back toward the campground, some of the riders like my Kenny spent a little time monkeying around in a quarry-like area.

kenny in the gravel pit

After an absolutely great day of riding, the crew returned to camp for a pig roast, more beer and a presentation by Dakar racer Jimmy Lewis.

Putting in a full day on the bikes left me feeling so sleepy. Though I wanted to stay up to hang on to that sweet feeling of having a great time a little longer, the sandman was calling my name. I don’t think I even made it until 11pm.

Y’all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Yes, the riding was fantastic but it was the shared experience with Kenny and our new friends that stays with me. I hope AltRider comes back to PA next year, because I’d love to do it all over again. What an excellent time.

American Gothic, A Big Banana Split and Tiger Troubles

American Gothic, A Big Banana Split and Tiger Troubles

On Saturday I meant to just duck out for a few hours before the rest of the family got up. I figured I could buzz out to New Jersey, see the giant tooth and be back home by lunch time.

But, plans changed back at home and so I stayed out longer than I originally anticipated. It was cool but sunny, so I was only too happy to be exploring.

I lingered around near the Grounds for Sculpture to see ‘America the Beautiful,’ an homage to Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

grounds for sculpture America the Beautiful

And the dancers across the way…

I was flittering about exploring old cemeteries, looking for parked trains and other roadside odds and ends.

big banana split

In the process of doubling back to take a picture of a boat-sized banana split, a lady who decided that she didn’t need to use her mirrors or her eyeballs while behind the wheel decided to back up in the parking lot without looking. She came within inches of knocking me over. I went to honk my horn and… nothing? What the hell?

In that immediate irrational thinking moment, I figured I just didn’t hear the horn because I had music on and the wind was blowing. It seemed impossible that the horn wouldn’t work. But, hey, guess what? When I pressed the button again? Nada.

Ever the optimist, I thought it had to be a fuse or something. I resigned myself to taking a look at it when I got home and went on about my day.

My Tiger Isn’t Feeling Well

Never once did I consider that along with my horn, none of my lights would be working either. I rode around for the whole day? Part of the day? Who knows – with no headlight and no tail/brake light. Scary!

The dashboard was fully lit up, the sun was up and so I didn’t pick up any visual cues that I had a greater problem. Now in hindsight I realize I could have looked for my own headlight reflection in the back on another car. But I didn’t. My life is a cautionary tale.

When I got home, Kenny immediately started poking around on my bike while I shed my gear. If you allow the bars to sit at straight ahead, unturned position – the lights and horn failed. If the bars were turned the bars to the right – everything worked. Turn to the left, nothing.

the thingyI don’t want you guys to think I’ve gone all smart and stuff so I will be using my usual technical language here.

There is a “thingy” below the ignition key tumbler that seems to be the culprit. If you press it up towards the key, everything works with the bars in any position. If you don’t press that “thingy” everything only works when the bars are turned to the right.

I’ve got to call the dealer tomorrow to see if I can get my bike in ASAP.

In the meantime, Kenny has cleared his Tiger for me to use – you know – if I should find myself in some type of rally emergency situation where I need to visit a giant elephant in south Jersey or something.

I have to say, it’s kind of handy having a husband that rides, too. 🙂

 

E2E Rally – Some Things Are Hiding in Plain Sight

E2E Rally – Some Things Are Hiding in Plain Sight

I was supposed to be on vacation this past week. Instead, life happened. Dashed were the daydreams I had of sneaking off to pick up a few interesting E2E Rally bonus locations like the giant barbells in Quakertown, Pa. That stop will just be another one for the ole To Do List.

The upside of going back at a later date would be talking Wendyvee from Roadside Wonders into meeting me there and going for lunch. She’d also be the perfect person to snap my photo trying to get on the barbells. Or to call an ambulance when I break my neck …trying to get on the barbells. One day I will grow into a graceful swan. In the meantime, I’m fun to laugh at.

peconic post office

In the hours that I was able to squeeze in since last week, I did pick up some more bonus stops. Though I have picked up a couple here and there, I’ve tried to avoid going for the easy pickins like Post Office, Police Station and Firehouse here on Long Island. There are a bajillion of those around. I’m trying to keep them in my back pocket for days when I don’t have a lot of time.

static train car

This week I seemed to pick up a lot of trains, cemeteries and historical landmarks with a light sprinkling of oversized roadside stuff. You know, just to keep things silly.

roadside popeye

Living in an area that had a lot of early settlers means a big selection of cemeteries that are well over 100 years old. I’m quite surprised by just how many, in fact.

Terry Cemetery Orient - Grave marker 1775

Final Thoughts

One thing that the Rally has taught me so far is that no matter how much planning I do, how many books I read, or placemarks I put on a map – there is no substitute for just opening my eyes to my surroundings. I cannot believe some of the great things I have simply overlooked  going about my day to day life. Things that were hiding in plain sight.

I’ve lived in the same town here on Long Island for 11 years now. Yesterday I ‘found’ a train car that I’d never noticed before, even though I’ve passed it no less than 5 million times. Wake up and smell the coffee!

It’s been great looking through all of the photo galleries and seeing where the Rally is taking people. If you’re doing the E2E Rally also, I hope you’re having fun with it.

E2ERally: Agent Triple-0 Six, Reporting For Rally

E2ERally: Agent Triple-0 Six, Reporting For Rally

I printed out my Equinox 2 Equinox Rally flag last night.

My E2E Rally Flag

 

I put it on a piece of cardboard, sealed it in packing tape and put the bonus list and email instructions on the back. Never underestimate your ability to forget something simple 🙂

My E2E Rally Flag

 

These were just some of the things I learned after doing other virtual rallies like Hammy’s SLASHER.

Flimsy paper just won’t cut it if there is a breeze, if there’s moisture and it surely won’t survive the long rally period in my tankbag or Givi box.

Unfortunately I broke my favorite magnetic clip, so I’ll have to find myself a new one of those. Being able to stick your flag to different parts of your bike is a big help.

I’ve been jotting down some of my bonus stops and can’t wait to get rolling!

If you’re doing the E2E – I wish you luck and of course… have fun!

Other Blogger Friends Participating

 

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