Checkpoint is in the books. Riders were tired, but mostly in good spirits. This is where it becomes evident who understands some of the crucial principles discussed in previous reports about managing yourself. If you run yourself at full throttle out of the gate, sure, you’ll climb in the standings on day 1, maybe into day 2. But by now, you have dropped in the standings and you’ll continue to drop because you’ve worn yourself out. Experienced rally riders understand that pacing yourself is key and knowing what that means for them as an individual. How do you learn this about yourself? By pushing yourself and finding what works for you and what doesn’t. Additionally, experienced ralliers know the big points always come later. Those who fried themselves on the first leg will lose out on the bigger points this leg. They’ll learn, hopefully for them sooner rather than later.
At the beginning of the first leg, riders were told that speeding would be monitored and there could be penalties for speeding. A handful of riders did receive nominal penalties for speeding infractions on the first leg. It was a difficult conversation for both riders and staff. It was covered at the leg 2 riders' meeting this morning and riders were told that second leg violations would result in significant penalties. We want to hold ourselves up to the maxim of safe, long-distance riding. We need to confront the "wink-wink" history of saying safe riding in rallies but tolerating other behavior.
During scoring, we asked one of the younger riders how this compared to other rallies he’s done that while digital, still had several of the elements of the good old days. His answer was great (to us anyway). He wasn’t terribly fussed about the specifics of the rally process. What he liked is that the scorer really is your friend. The smart rider establishes a rapport with the person who is reviewing their items over the course of the event. If a rider reaches out to their assigned scorer to ask questions, advise of issues, or whatever it is they feel unsure of, the scorer will absolutely help them. We cannot give specific instructions on what to write on a receipt, but we will tell them to reference the rally book or whatever documentation they may have been given. In other words, we will lead them to the answer, it is up to the rider to discover it. Thank you, Herakles. We hope you enjoy this event and that we see you at many more.
For the perfect example of just call your scorer, we had a bit of a kerfuffle (nod to KTS who had to drop from us at the last minute, she is missed) at a bonus in Gettysburg this morning.
BPR26 – Take a photo of the statue of Lincoln. This is on the traffic circle in downtown Gettysburg, here’s the sample photo provided.
The calls started at 8:04AM. “It’s not there!” But there was a little sign on the ground where it had been saying that it was removed for restoration. No problem, flag, sign, submit, done.
Well, it wasn’t long before the restoration folks showed up to reinstall the statue! Oh how cool! Not so much. We can’t quite understand why, but the person overseeing this installation refused to allow riders to get a picture of the scene with their flag. Wait, what? We didn’t believe them at first, but it went downhill fast. We just had to get flexible and work with each rider who did what they are supposed to do, call their scorer to discuss what to do when unforeseen things happen.
We went from this being an option – there’s the statue in the truck!
To being told no flags, no photos, and get lost by this charming person. While we don’t approve of intentionally poking folks in the eye, this sneak photo is simply awesome.
We are familiar with this location and can tell if riders were there, just trying to stay out of the line of fire. Almost all of them called as this is kind of an important bonus for the riders. It’s been interesting to hear each rider tell their version of events. It has apparently really gone downhill judging by some of the later calls, but we’re just telling folks to do their best. Park somewhere and try to get your flag and the truck or whatever to show that you’re there. We have asked a few riders to give this woman our phone number to make sure she understands that folks can take pictures on a public street anytime. Unfortunately, she is not interested in finding a solution. As this point about half of the riders have been there, so it’ll be over soon.
Daniel Eckert found Abe mid-install. He also brought his snake charming skills and spent a little time explaining things to her about what we’re doing and why. I am certain that several riders before did this as well, but Dan was there a little later, maybe with only one person there she was more willing to listen. Anyway, by the time the last couple riders went through, Abe was back, all was right on the Gettysburg traffic circle.
And here’s Abe! Thanks, Cory Ure!
Art Garvin’s grandson apparently thinks he can get away with stuff on account of being an adorable little ginger. Denied. No computer-generated receipt with rider number, sequence number, and bonus code written on it. We run a tight ship here, young man.
Meanwhile, rider Matt Hube thought he had a mechanical issue near Carlisle, PA trying to visit Molly Pitcher. He got to a nearby dealer who checked him out, gave a clean bill of health for the bike and off he rides. We are thrilled he’s still in and in great spirits.
The checkpoint was straightforward. Folks came in, got scored, ate, went to bed. No lines for us at scoring. Rider meeting at 4:30AM, rally packs distributed, riders planned, and took off when they were ready. Some were gone quick, others took their time.
Rider Kim Ross had a slow leak in his rear tire. The wonderful folks at Harrisburg High Strength V-twin are clearly friends of this community and helped him out on short notice. These are the shops we like and who deserve our support. Kim had a little time off the road to get this resolved, but nothing that will impact him in a significant way. Thanks Harrisburg High Strength V-twin! Now get going, Kim!
From the field today, other than the scandal in Gettysburg, things are mostly status quo. The fabulous weather has been a popular topic of conversation. This is highly unusual. We aren’t quite sure if we will pay for all these blue skies. For now, things look favorable. We keep checking the national radar against the spot page and we remain fortunate. For now. Three days from now, the rally will be in the books and we can (hopefully) add another piece of data to the Kenneth Andrews Theory.
We enjoy when riders find a “friend” to hold their flag. Here’s James Owen in Battery Park making friends.
And rider Steve Gallant giving Bill Karitis a hand at National Harbor.
First leg photos we got too busy to share - Bill Karitis, aka Special K 1, made our day when he reunited with Special K 2 for a couple bonuses in Frederick, MD. The pic with only Special K 2 is a water fountain for people and their animal friends in Frederick along a walking trail. Neat little spot. Seeing as no one called in unable to find it, we must have given adequate instructions.
Mike Best sent in this interesting picture with a mystery person wearing a Heart of Texas hat…. We never did find out who this is, must remember to find out.
On this leg, there was a manned bonus in Worcester, MA - who wouldn’t love to roll up to a bonus and be greeted by this group of fun folks? Complete with cooler full of cold water. Friends of the rally, the Belsito family, agreed to man the Senator Hoar bonus in Worcester, MA for a few hours today.
Jon and Caleigh are having a super-duper time, clearly. We have loads of photos of the kids wearing Caleigh’s helmet. Daddy John was slightly horrified and wondering what kind of fungus might be growing in there after all that non-stop time in the helmet. Meh, if it doesn’t kill them, it’ll make them stronger. Mom Jessica is a friend of Nancy’s. No more needs to be said about whether or not she cares about Caleigh’s helmet funk. Here, the impromptu rock band, Rally Hoars, plays a few tunes for the good folks of Worcester, MA during the time sensitive, manned bonus on this leg.
Now, I’m sure everyone just wants to know the standings, amirite? Well, here you go. Staff is heading west in the RV, or Bucket o Bolts as Tara calls it. We should arrive some time tomorrow afternoon to prepare for the riders to arrive Saturday morning.