Riders are out there scarfing up bonuses. Staff is rolling toward the checkpoint. Life is good.
There is a George Washington bonus in Rapid City, SD that’s been popular with riders. We’ve seen some fun pictures from this location. Seems the kind folks of Rapid City are willing to help a rallier in need by holding their flag. One person was shy though and hid behind George with only little hands peeking out holding the flag. Hey, it works. But the one that brought the biggest smile to scoring was from Paul Meyer. Two friends of this organization, David Uhl and Lionel Ramos, were in Rapid City to start the Hoka Hey and held Paul’s flag for the photo. Lovely surprise for us to receive. Lots of other fun photos coming in.
Riders appear to have gotten the memo about replicating the example photo they were given. Some of them also appear to be a bit paranoid and will call in to ask very specific questions to ensure they get it right. These are never the riders who have the issue it seems. They were already well within the boundaries of acceptable replication. Such is life, right? Hey, we’re just glad we can stop denying so many bonuses. And we like hearing from riders. We do know the riders work hard to get to these places. But we simply must hold everyone to the same standard and cannot grant points to those who don’t follow instructions.
RV life is, um, interesting. We still feel like this was the way to go. With all our stuff and 4 people, this allowed us to remain available, scoring to continue, place to sleep, eat, etc. However, man is this a rough ride! Trying to use the mouse on the computer is frustrating. Around the Chicago area, we just had to take a break, it wasn’t possible at all. The hotspots we got are doing what we need them to do. Some data loss further west, but overall, completely acceptable. We will be very ready to get to the checkpoint and off the road, but I think we are all in agreement that this worked well.
We are working on a list of things to discuss at the meeting to start the next leg. Reminders, cautions, etc. For example, riders have been told to contact their scorer when they have an issue finding a bonus, with the app, whatever. Including the scorer in the decision-making process leads to success most of the time. We can’t, well won’t, do it for them, but boy do we point them to finding it themselves. Or if it’s just that they sent the wrong photo, call us, don’t try to fix it yourself! Here’s an example that we will discuss at the meeting. One of the riders ordered up his food for a meal bonus and when he got the receipt, there was no time on it. Instead of just doing stuff he thought would be accepted, he called. Or texted I think. Anyway, he communicated. That’s the important thing. Can I write the time on it? He was asked to send in the receipt via text to review. Oh sure, it’s a fully computer-generated receipt from a truck stop, they just don’t have the time on it. But guess what? We can access his spot track, see where he is, it matches the receipt. Solution found. Now, it’s still up to the rider to successfully claim the meal bonus, but he needn’t worry about the lack of a time printed on the receipt.
Have we discussed meal bonuses? I don’t think so. We strongly encourage riders to sit down and have a meal at least once a day. Sit. Down. Eat. 45 minutes off the bike. This allows for a sit down, server brings you food at many locations. Or McDonalds. That’s completely acceptable as well. But food. 45 minutes. This is done through the app, riders don’t need a “start” and “end” receipt for this. We have means to check on them and we do. You know, trust but verify. Or for some of them, “what is that sneaky rider up to now, let’s dig into this a bit.” For this leg, 3 meal bonuses are available. One each day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Tuesday is the checkpoint. We’ll offer them food in State College.
Oh! How could we have forgotten! Yesterday we spotted a rider in the wild! He was tooling along on I-80 and we came along side staring at him, hoping he’d look over. Nope, so we took a picture of him and texted it to him. He finally realized who was hovering over him and then drafted us for a bit before heading off to gather a bonus. Dan Eckert, you were a bright spot, no doubt.
Another fun picture from the road. Morris Cox stopped by to stand on the corner with Glenn Frey in Winslow, AZ:
Riders also have an optional rest bonus on this leg. We absolutely encourage adequate rest every single day. However, we only award points for one. There’s a points per minute value, BUT, as with all things Paul does, it’s not that simple. Remember those meal breaks available each day? Well, they become the exponent of the 2 a rider’s rest is multiplied by. You can make a rider do just about anything by making it worth enough points.
Example - let’s say a rider earns 1000 points on rest.
0 meals = 1000 x 20 = 1000
1 meal = 1000 x 21 = 2000
2 meals = 1000 x 22 = 4000
3 meals = 1000 x 23 = 8000
Taking full rest and meals is very appealing. As designed. This also means that making an error and missing one really hurts or has potential to. Missing or messing up the rest bonus would clearly be 0 points, 0 times 2 to any power is still 0. Ouch. Stay tuned for more fun with exponents.
We require riders to assist anyone, rally participant or not, in need. If there’s accident and emergency personnel are already on scene, nothing is required, keep going. But if someone needs help but doesn’t have it, riders must stop. Even if all they can is call 9-1-1 to get help on the way. If riders get themselves involved in a situation like this, they are to call rally staff after getting 9-1-1 on the way so we can account for the time and give them allowance at the conclusion of the leg. We want this community to be looked upon favorably, as folks who will not just go by someone who needs emergency assistance. While perhaps not quite an emergency, we did have a rider stop to assist a motorcyclist broken down on a freeway ramp. Unfortunately, a lift was needed to complete the repair, but our rider did stop, loan tools and wrench turning to try and get a fellow rider back on the road. Thank you for letting your actions speak our intentions.
All riders remain safe and accounted for. One rider is having mechanical issues, but he’s working on sorting it out and getting to State College so he can continue in the second leg. Another decided to head home for some family issues. But they are safe. Just about every rider we talk to says what a great time they’re having. That’s what it’s all about for us.