Ye Olde Bucket o Bolts is still clackety clacketing across I-80. Staff should arrive early afternoon in Cheyenne. Unload, set up the working area and begin preparations for the riders to arrive on Saturday morning. There are other logistics to coordinate tomorrow like returning the RV and collecting staff/guests who are flying into Denver.
Followers may have recognized that there is usually a theme to the names assigned on Spotwalla. While a small handful of them might be intentionally named something fitting the theme, more often it’s just that we are rattling off another fitting name and the next rider on the list gets it. When Kerri Miller was Tinkerbell, that was intentional. If you’re REALLY following, you might have also noticed that one rider usually doesn’t fit the theme. There’s a reason for that. We’d love to hear if anyone knows what it is. Maybe not super detailed, but just which one stands out using today’s name. Here’s the rider distribution as of about 5:30 this morning.
Here's a pretty sunrise photo from rider Jeff Carroll.
Do we want to talk about the app a little more? Sure, okay.
There’s an app specifically for this event. Riders select the proper bonus code, take their photo (or load it from their camera roll) and submit. Done. We encourage them to maintain a rider log as well. In fact, if a rider does not maintain a log, he or she cannot argue anything at scoring. The rider must have a completed log to have their query entertained. There are times as we score that things look odd and we might ask for a pic of their log. Some of them say it’s been done with invisible ink, so…. And seriously, that is fine. But then they get what we decide they meant which may or may not match reality. Trust us, we don’t even see point values or take anything like that into consideration. We look at what they submitted and try to see what makes sense. Best we can do. In this rally, order of bonuses is crucial. Remember in the first leg how there were points added based on how many George Washingtons a rider successfully claimed? There was a little more to it, but that’s the gist of it. Well, this leg, it’s Abraham Lincolns. And they are multipliers. The base value for James Owen’s favorite bonus in Worcester, MA is 5,000 points. Depending on how many Lincolns were successfully earned prior to attending, points multiply by 3 or 4. That’s kinda big. The multiplier could have been much higher had that bonus been later in the leg and more Lincolns obtained.
Here's a screen shot of the app – the stuff up top is the previous bonus submitted info (so the rider knows it went through). The main body shows the sequence number, bonus code and photo. That was selected from my camera roll. It’s a gift for Carla, the wonder mutt, in case you’re curious. She was present in several of the sample photos. When scouting was done in the car, she usually came along. When the rider is satisfied with the information displayed, hit “submit bonus” and wait for the successful completion message – the info just submitted will populate in that top section of previous bonus submitted. Move on.
Here's a snip from the interface – the scorer can see a bunch of pertinent information. Rider number and name, Bonus code, sample photo, link to click and see rider’s submission. We see the date/time it was submitted and if there are any restrictions on availability. There’s also a couple buttons to see the bonus on a map, where the rider submitted from and their full spot track. We see the details of start and stop times on rest and meals.
Again, we can approve or deny. If we deny something, we put a reason in the system and the rider will receive a report at scoring showing any denials and the reason. Again, they must have completed their log sheet to contest or question anything at scoring. We want them to use the log, but don’t require it.
Scoring goes very quick.
Rider Ken Aman called in this morning to advise he busted the rear sub-frame on his FJR. Rather than try and get to the finish and then home, he’s just going to limp home with some help from a ratchet strap. It’s a shame, Ken was sitting in 7th place at the time and definitely on our riders-to-watch list.
IBR vet, Rick Martin, lives in Pontiac, IL and has been keeping an eye on the Lincoln bonus in town. We receive a live shot every now and then of someone on site. Here’s rider Mike Lindstrom at BPR12 on site this morning. Thanks for scouting and cheering on our riders, Rick.
On this leg, there is a bonus on Mackinac Island, Michigan. To get there, riders must take a passenger ferry from either St. Ignace, as Mark and Michelle Rotert did, or Mackinaw City, as Art Garvin elected to do. It’s a short trip over to motorized vehicle free island. It’s really a neat place that we encourage folks to visit whether part of this rally or some other time off the clock. Since there are no motorized vehicles, goods are moved by horse drawn wagons. Each ferry trip holds items being shipped to the island, when the ferry docks, handlers remove the cargo and load it onto the wagons for local delivery. It might be tourist’s luggage or food/goods being sent to local eateries and shops.
The item of interest over there is BMI06 – a statue of Jacques Marquette. There are a total of 3 Marquette statues on this leg. Each is worth some nice points, but to obtain all three successfully is a 30,000 point bump for the rider/2-up team. Here’s Michelle holding the team flag on the island. Good job, Roterts.
The Detroit Free Press did an article about how packages are delivered on the Island, photo borrowed from them, and here’s a link to the full story for those who are interested: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/08/13/mackinac-island-amazon-delivery-horse/1997196001/
As we have said many times, we love hearing from the riders. Whatever the reason for the call. Gives us a chance to hear how they are in unspoken words – their tone, demeanor, ability to form a coherent sentence, you know. Nelson Delgado called in with an app question. We quickly got him sorted and he says, “Wanna hear a funny story?” You know it, working on the daily report right now, brother. Well, apparently, Nelson is a smart rider and recognized that he needed some rest last night. So he pulled off and decided a little Iron Butt Motel would do just fine. Finds a little patch of grass and lays his head down. Right in a pile of, um, excrement of unidentified species, domestic pet most likely. Good natured Nelson just marched himself inside and washed his head in the sink. Glad he’s not putting his helmet on the Belsito kids. Important lesson here, do not, I repeat DO NOT, lay your head down anywhere near a “Pet Rest Area”. Further, always watch where you are laying down. Poop, fire ants, sprinkler heads, etc. There are many potential pitfalls at the Iron Butt Motel.
More amusement from the riders – as we discussed in a prior report, we do not tolerate speeding. This is a difficult topic and we won’t dwell on it. However, one of the riders who got a penalty just advised staff that the mileage is so much better when you don’t crank the throttle quite so hard. So many good reasons to not speed.
From the ignorance is bliss file, James Owen arrived in Gettysburg to find Abe Lincoln right where he should be, no work crews and shooing away of riders. Typical to his style, he’s got a person on the street holding his flag.
We knew we should shut up about the weather. No, we aren’t having weather issues, but it appears we have replaced bad weather with bad bikes – aka mechanical failures. Bryan Bailey called in from eastern KY reporting of a possible final drive failure on his GoldWing. In this rally at least, it appears Honda is vying for the title of final drive failure champion. In all seriousness, our hearts break for these riders. They come out and put a lot of effort into competing and having a safe, fun adventure. It’s very upsetting when something you simply can’t control ruins your rally. We are sorry, Bryan and Marissa. We hope there’s a fast easy fix and we see you in Cheyenne on Saturday morning.
The Rolling Rally HQ is getting close to Cheyenne, so we’re going to get this posted so we can prepare for the next stage of the never-ending tasks. At least we’ll have a couple more hands from the Cheyenne staff to help with unloading, moving, organizing, setting up, and whatever else we need to do upon arrival. More scoop from us tomorrow.