Saturday, July 21, 2012

Riding the Not Superman Rally

Start Odometer:  147,710  Ending Odometer:  151,420  Trip Mileage: 3,710

Friday 7/27Knock out the last stops and head into the rally finish.  After scoring I ended up in 4th place with 33,300 points. 

Thursday 7/26:  Ride to the 1,000 point bonus location near the start of the 5,000 point Moonshine route. The route is jam packed with mandatory photo stops and 100 point bonus locations.  It ends at the La Quinta motel and the end of the ride.  The last mandatory rest stop is worth 1,000 points if over 6 hours.  I took it at Anna IL, site of a Lincoln Douglas debate. 

Wednesday 7/25:  The Lake Superior southern route is worth 10,000 point.  The critical point for my overall ride plan is to capture the 1,000 bonus at Arch Rock on Mackinac Island at the end of the route. 

Tuesday 7/24:  Ride to the start of the and complete Eddie James to Curt Gran memorial route.  This route is also worth 5,000 points with several 100 point bonus locations along the way.  It meanders along the Mississippi River.  My ride plan goal is to complete this route and ride to the start of the Lake Superior south shore route.

Monday 7/23:  The rally started at 10:00 am right on time.  My I headed west to Dodge CIty KS to capture 1.300 points and put me in position to ride the Dodge City to Piggy Bank route.  The route is worth 5,000 points.  I will finish it with a mandatory rest stop starting before midnight. 

Sunday 7/22:  Got up early and did executed an S3.  At breakfast received my NSR rally flag, #15.  I loaded the routes and bonus locations into my GPS and verified the route times, distance and via points.  The plan today is to ride to the Gateway Arch for a bonus picture, off the clock.  The rally master wants the NSR riders to enjoy the ride.  He opened the Gateway Arch bonus on Sunday so riders could spend some time visiting the Jefferson Expansion Historic Memorial site.  I scored it as a NPT passport stop.  The rally ride meeting is this evening.  After that I'll make my last posting until the end of the rally.  But, you will be able to see my progress on the SpotWalla map above.  Or, if you like click on this SpotWalla Map for a larger view.

CONOP -- Concept of Operations
I'm riding in the Not Superman Rally which starts Monday, 7/23 and lasts till Friday, 7/27.  This is my third ever competitive motorcycle rally, although, I don't consider myself a "competitor."  I'm in it for the challenge, practice and experience riding "on the clock."  This multi-day 100 hour motorcycle rally starts and finishes in St. Louis, MO.  Follow my progress starting at 0600 Monday using the map above.

I entered this event at the urging of my rally mentor, Dr. Howard.  He's been coaching me on rally techniques and strategies.  I like this rally because it provides me great practice doing route planning, bonus location task execution and fuel stop practice along with rest management all under the time constraints of the rally.

I selected a series of published rally routes and along with connecting routes that total a little over 3,900 miles for the 76:00 hours of available riding time.   These combined routes contain some 50 bonus and mandatory task points.  I will be stopping for fuel at least 10 times during the 100 hours of the rally.  I expect my fuel endurance distance to be around 375-400 miles given the road speeds of the routes I planned.  My BMW R1200GS Adventure has a normal FED at interstate speeds of 350 miles.

I've timed out the routes using my MS Excel route planning tool and I have a  conservative plan with a little over 3 hours of slack time.  I will eat up that slack time with end of course extra bonus location opportunities.  If all goes well, that means as planned and baring any problems at the scoring table, I should end up with around 33,000.

When the rally is finished and the scores tallied up I'll give a blow by blow account of my performance.  I'll focus on lessons learned, how well the pre ride plan did at predicting the route timing and how my planning assumptions fared against reality.  Should be interesting.

Here are the particulars of the rally:

Rally start time -- 0600 Monday, 7/23
Rally finish time - 1000 Friday, 7/27
Rally hours -- 100:00
Rally mileage cap -- 4,250
Rally mandatory rest -- 24:00 (6 hours start before midnight)
Rally minimum points -- 26,000

The Rally Master sent out the routes and bonus location well before the rally for participants to do route planning.  Riders could select from over 10 routes with points ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 points.  Bonus and mandatory route points numbered over 200.  All green flag bonus locations had a value of 100 points each.  There were 4 red flag bonus locations with a value of 1,000 points each.  There were many locations where rider are required to take a picture and/or send a Spot OK message that have no value.  These represent route verification points the Rally Master designated to make sure the rider would follow the predesignated route and not taking short-cuts.  Spot Tracking is required for this rally.

Several constraints were built in to this rally.  The Rally Master wanted to minimize the hours riding in darkness so he declared a 6 hour mandatory rest stop which must begin before 12:00 midnight.  Also, he declared an "excessive speed" prohibition but didn't explain how that was going to be enforced.

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