Tag: events

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

 

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.

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