Friday, August 31, 2012

Rally Day #1

0200 up with a start, I had set two alarm clocks "just in case"..

Packed the bags on the bike, it was 23C at 2 in the morning. I glad we started at 3. Went over to the host hotel, met up with the other 225 riders, handed in my "start card" and found a couple of riding buddies to start with.

I had met Bill (Kelowna) and Bob (Langley) when I arrived at the hotel in El Paso. Nice guys, both retired, they've done this ride together several times. So I kind of latched on to them, asked if they minded if I tagged along for a bit.

Most of the riders lit out of the hotel parking lot like they were on fire. Our threesome had a little more subdued pace, which was good for me.

We travelled for a few hours and stopped in some small town for breakfast/bathroom break... back on the road. We were travelling at about 10 mph over what ever the posted limit was. I started to feel the effect of a breakfast and waking up way too early... started yawning...alot...

Turned on some good riding tunes, and thought about new ways to stay awake, it worked... we stopped for fuel and we noticed that Bill's rear tire on his Goldwing was almost flat... we put some air in and rode 15 miles to the next town... the pressure had decreased by 4 psi.. not good. So bill put in some run flat tire sealant. About 5 miles down the Bill was pulled over on the side of the road, tire completely flat.

I had a spare valve stem and a 12V compressor. Neither helped. Bill called for a tow truck and they bothh looked at me and said you might as well continue on. Made sense to me, kinda hate leaving someone on the side of the road but his buddy Bob was going to be there and a tow truck was already dispatched. I hope the repair went well and that they made the check point.

So now I am alone, traveling north with Lola guiding me towards the check point... then Lola decides to not work with the 12V plug in... thus it is not charging and the battery is now dead... oh crap... Lola is important to me for 2 reasons, first as a GPS with a route saved in it telling me where to go, second as a speedometer indicating actual MPH instead of my less than accurate KPH. crap....

So I leached onto another group and they got me part way through Santa Fe, until I saw a McDonalds.. I needed something and could try and fix the power supply in the parking lot... food ok, repair... not so much.

So here I am pretty much flying blind, I have a general idea which way to go, the crib notes that they gave us indicates the intersection, but nothing about the town....

Time to try and fix the plug in again... Gorilla tape to the rescue.... we are back up!! Go Lola go!!

Please remember that the GPS is named Lola...

I am riding alone across the northren part of New Mexico it's pretty desolate but I can keep the speed above the suggested limit for most of the time.

The towns all start to run together, get fuel, get a water, get back on the road.

Finall make it to the first checkpoint... Woohooo!! They had some tents set up to stamping the passport and snacks and beverages.. nice job guys.

Some riders booked a night in Buena Vista, but most pushed on.

I pushed on a bit, got to Leadville, saw a hotel with a vacancy, it was starting to rain.... I'm done..

Grabbed some pizza at Pizzahut accross the street, typed uup the blog, and now I am ready for some sleep...

It was a great day, I am 1/4 done, I am confident.. and Vanessa seems to be enjoying the ride as well.

The Start.. yes my eyes were blurry
Dawn, in New Mexico

This guy keeps following me
Route 285 into Check point #1

Checkpoint #1

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