A serious lack of free time is hampering my blogging, so here's a shorthand facebook version of my first rally. Hopefully, I'll get to fill in the blanks another time! I did get to add some pictures, though...
I posted to Ron P. that I'd come in in the bottom 5 of the Mason Dixon 2020 and, with the other bottom 4, gotten an entry into Smoke Chasers '11. Rick was the Rally Master of the event and pointed out that I'd tied for 6th, which, after my debacle, was an accomplishment. I tied with about 45 other riders, but still... Ron asked if I'd done poorly because I left my rally towel somewhere, so I sent him several posts to explain. This was my summary:
No, I succumbed to peer pressure when the RM said 'get your helmets and let's go', so I didn't stay in the room to read my rally pack before I left as I'd planned. I heard the little voice in my head that said, 'ask if it's mandatory!' but ignored it. I succumbed a second time in the parking lot after the Le Mans start when I thought, 'Hell, everyone can leave and I'll go back in and read my damn rally pack", but there were at least 5 or 6 staff standing in the lot waiting to see us (well, me, now that I'm the last one there) off. So I asked Rick a questions about the photos, shoved all my stuff in a saddle bag and took off.
I immediately turned the wrong way out of the parking lot... got myself righted and ran off to Arlington. Read the instructions: take photo of Iwo Jima statue with the Washington monument behind.
Got it. Left. Went to New York. "Take photo of WTC globe."
Got it. Left. Ran to PA, double bonus at a BBQ place. Got there in time for both bonuses. Bonuses are: Eat BBQ, photo with Jim Owen. Rider taking my photo says 'go get your towel'. Good idea, thinks me, the rally master had said "it can never hurt to have your towel in the picture." I had been thinking "What a bummer that the towel isn't in more of the photos. I guess I haven't hit any of the bonuses that require the flag." I stand with Jim for the photo and say 'this is the first time I've had my flag out all day'. 'That's not good', says Jim. And yet, my interpretation of his comment is 'aw, yeah, that sucks that you haven't been to many of the bonuses that require you to use this nifty flag.'
I ate BBQ and look at my rally pack FINALLY. I find out the fuel bonus is all wonky. (Rally Bastard! Now I get it!) Jim asks me something as I leave and I jokingly say something about 'who it is I'm supposed to be pissed at?'...he says, 'Rick', but I don't think Jim realizes that I'm only talking about the Fuel log directions. Run to Mandatory site. Raining. Two bikes follow me in. They park too far away, I wave them to the right section. Get camera, read bonus instructions, walk to spot. Luckily 3rd biker is already in right place. Take 3 photos.
Awesome. As I walk to the bike the 2nd biker passes me, says, 'you gotta get your flag'. 'No', says me, who grabs her rally pack off the bike and reads aloud the bonus instructions. Rider Two kindly, sans mockery, points to the top of the page where it says, 'unless otherwise indicated, flags must be in all photos.' Joanne is mildly disturbed, but this cannot be detected under the facade of shock, disappointment and confusion. Grab flag, camera, go back to site. No biker standing to mark the spot. CRAP. Find marker, 1 photo.
I had planned on heading back to HQ for the big potential bonuses there. But, no, now back to ask the RM if there are do-overs. 'Yes.' Ok, skip big bonus there, because GPS says if I leave immediately, I can get back to the Iwo Jima site with 15 minutes to spare before time window closes. Bust it to Arlington, 17 photos at dusk to make sure the damn flag is see-able.
Back on the bike. GPS is broken. Luckily (?) I'd run this same route 13 hours earlier and find my way out without it. Run to Baltimore for rest stop in own bed on way to NY-again. UGH! computer says I won't get back to Rally HQ in time if I go to NY AND to the final site of a combo bonus. Depression sets in. Wailing and sobbing. Decide to skip NY and go to the final combo site that I haven't been to. (Fight 93 memorial site)
I have nothing printable to say about the Holland Tunnel.
So, get last site from my ride plan and then mosey back picking up a couple more bonuses on the way back...including what I believe to be the least significant bonus site EVER, which Rick found amusing.
It was a hell of a time and I accomplished 3 of the 4 things I set out to do.
1: Do not DNF. (Did not finish.)
2: Hit the mandatory site and the 3 sites of the combo bonus. Pick up additional bonuses as desired.
3: Do not be late to finish line. (Penalty: 1pt/minute late.)
4: Have fun.
And now that I've done my stupid stuff, I'm prepared to kick some ass in the BiTE. This all hinges on whether I have a working bike or not. Grrr. So, Ron, when are we going for BBQ. lol.