Wednesday, October 30, 2013

IBA Big As Texas Party -- Republic of Texas 1,000

Iron Butt LogoI'm attending the Iron Butt Association's first, and maybe annual, Big As Texas Party in Irving TX.

This is billed as the fall event to gather together IBA members and those desiring to join the Association for some long distance camaraderie.   Held at the completion of the annual IBA Memorial Ride period, the BAT also is the host venue for the new Republic of Texas 1,000 Saddle Sore.  Open to all IBA members and those wishing to get immediate IBA certification, the 1,000 miles in 24 hours will start on Friday morning at 6am.  Riders will have mandatory check points along the 1,000 + mile course which ends back at the Marriott hotel in Irving.

"No job too small nor task too difficult."  I'm on the volunteer staff for the event and will be helping out the event organizers Cliff Wall and Dr. Howard Entman.  I'll post a bunch of pictures here on the blog and also provide a link to a Flickr gallery.  Below is the SpotWalla Bubbler GPS map and below that is the link to my regular Spot tracker.

Regular SPOT tracker SpotWalla Map

Saturday 11/2:  Riders started to arrive a little before midnight.   And, immediately began to assemble in the hotel lobby for all the after ride reports.  The bar closed at 2am but the party was still going strong as more riders arrived back at the hotel.  Many went retired to their rooms as 1,000 plus on a motorcycle in less than 24 hours is a grueling experience. 

At 0700 as day was breaking breakfast was being served in the scoring area.  Even though scoring wasn't officially open till 1000 the event staff started the process to keep things moving.  By the early afternoon most riders were scored and checked in.  The party will start at 1700 (5pm) till....whenever. 

Friday 11/1:  Riders are available to start the ROT 1,000 at 0545.  I was up at 0400 to report for rider flag distribution.  Of the 130 riders who signed up for the ride we distributed 98 flags.  Not a bad turn out.  After a full breakfast, at 0530, IBA President Mike Kneebone, Rally/Route Master Cliff Wall and event organizer Dr. Howard Entman conducted the pre ride briefing.  The Irving PD was providing departure cover to make the transition out of the hotel parking area safe.  Not much traffic at that time of the day but it was nice that they volunteered to help the IBA.  Rider departed right at 0545 in an orderly and safe manner. 

                           More Pictures of the BATp

Many of the riders are using SPOT or other personal locator/trackers.  The signed up to ROT 1,000 SpotWalla location page.  You can follow their progress as the do the ride by clicking the highlighted link. 

Thursday 10/31:   I'm meeting Carl Huss at I-35 Exit 202 for the ride up to the Dallas area.  Carl is the Riders Edge Program Manager at Javelina Harley-Davidson located in Boerne, TX.  He is participating in the Republic of Texas 1,000 to earn his Iron Butt certification.  We are going to swing by Lone Star BMW/Triumph on the way north.  I need an inspection sticker renewal and also want to do some final coordination while there.  The BMW motorcycle dealership is the first stop on the ROT 1,000.

Arrived at the hotel around 2pm.  Got changed and reported for sign in duties in the lobby.  Many riders were already at the hotel.  The parking lot was filling by the hour.  Sign went well.  Had dinner with friends in the hotel bistro.  I met up with Carl who was sharing the room with me.  He is getting excited about the ROT 1,000.  We went over some GPS tips.  Carl is new to using a GPS on a motorcycle for navigation.  This ROT 1,000 is a hybrid between a standard IBA SaddleSore 1,000 and a regular motorcycle rally.  Riders are required to ride to predetermined check points, or bonus location, take a picture of their rally flag and the location object.  If they arrive back at the hotel with all the required pictures and a dated business receipt showing the finish time/date then they are considered to have covered the required distance.  Makes it simple for the riders compared to the normal starting/ending witness sign off, required fuel log, and dated business receipts for each fuel stop.  The organizers idea was to make it fun while maintaining IBA standards.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

57,000 Miles of Hard Riding Adventures

It's been one year since I took delivery on the 2013 BMW R1200GS Adventure.  What a year of riding adventures it has been.

Besides accumulating a bunch of miles I managed to accomplish many of my ride goals this year.  The over arching goal I had for this rider year was to successfully complete my second Iron Butt Rally.  This goal tended to focus my riding efforts and activities.  Since the IBR I have been working on the ride report.  Instead of rushing to publish my musings about the Rally I thought I'd take my time over the winter months to do a more thorough job.

Listed below, in reverse order, are the Hard Riding Adventures for the last 57,000 miles.

October 2013:
September 2013:
August 2013:

July 2013:

May 2013:

April 2013:

March 2013:

January 2013:

December 2012:

November 2012:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Big Tex Rally -- Posse Ride

As a member of the Big Tex Rally Posse (volunteer staff) I'll be riding out to west Texas for some fun.  What a great opportunity to do field testing of the Bubbler GPS Pro Android app on my smart phone.  See the Bubbler GPS SpotWalla map below.

Regular  SPOT Tracker SpotWalla Map

The BTR starts in several different locations throughout The Great State of Texas on Friday, 10/18 at 6 AM.  The riders all have been given the rally book with the rules, 100+ bonus location listing and other particulars of the rally.  So, they have been busy selecting a route to "score" as many bonus locations as possible before the clock runs out at 6 PM on Saturday, 10/19, some 36 hours after the start.  The finish is at the La Quinta in Cedar Hill, TX.

Riders choose which bonus locations to include on their rally leg plan.  All rally riders approach this process differently but there are rally leg planning fundamentals many riders use.  Once a route has been planned it is entered into the rider's on-board navigation GPS equipment, tablet or smart phone.  When the rally clock starts riders navigate the route, stopping at the bonus locations to document, take a picture of their rally flag and/or secure a bonus items spelled out in the rally book.  It's like a scavenger hunt on a motorcycle.  It's great fun. Like most rallies over 24 hours the BTR has a rest bonus where riders can earn 15 points per minute while on the documented rest stop.

The Rally Master also encourages safe riding by awarding a huge bonus point value for riders who never have to produce their drivers license and proof of insurance to LEO (law enforcement officer) while on the rally.  At the start meeting the rider's DL and Ins documents are sealed in a envelope with a BTR sticker.  If the DL/Ins envelope has not been opened when the rider arrives at the finish 5,000 bonus points are awarded.  That is 1/5 of the total 25,000 necessary points to be considered a finisher.

My duties as a member of the BTR Posse is to conduct the rider meeting at the Fort Stockton start, be the Range Safety Officer at the "Pete's Pasture" bonus location where riders shoot their BTR rally flag and to score riders at the rally finish point.  Check out the embedded pictures in the Bubbler GPS map above for shots taken at key points I'll be at during the rally.  I'll also post items about my daily activities in the listing below.  I customarily do the days in bottom up order.

Saturday, 10/19:  Next task, range safety officer, at the 44M "Pete's Pasture" bonus location.  Available from 1100 to 1400 (10am to 2pm) for riders to score 2,000 bonus points by shooting their rally flag with a 9mm pistol.  Check for the photo on the map near Belton. 

Rider, choose your weapon!
A popular bonus stop!
After the Pete's Pasture event I rode to the rally finish motel in Cedar Hills.  There, I was immediately put to work scoring riders who had finished the rally.  We scored riders till about 10 PM.  I got a bit to eat and had a few Shiners before the awards presentation around 11PM.  It was a long night but I had loads of fun.  I signed up for the Big Tex Rally Posse next year.

Friday, 10/18:  Got up early, 0450, to make it to the BTR Fort Stockton start location.  The Exxon station on the far east side of town.  All five riders showed up in plenty of time to get checked in and ready to go.  Just before the 0600 start of the rally clock I had all riders pose for a start photo.  You can check it out by clicking on the picture icon next to the bonus flag on the map above. 

After the riders left I went back to my motel room to photo and send the rally master the rider sheet showing their rally flag number and odometer reading at the start.  I did this in case I crashed and burned on the way to the finish.  So far, things are working just fine.  I did some easy riding across the middle of Texas to do more field testing of the Bubbler GPS Pro app on my smart phone.  Got checked into a room in Belton, something to eat and settled in for the night. 

Thursday, 10/17:  Left the hotel heading to Anthony for a cup of decent coffee. The La Quinta's breakfast bar was low rent.  I scouted out Exit 0 for a future event.  Then over the Trans Mountain Highway and  on to Guadalupe National Park.  Again, I wanted to scout out some locations for a riding event for 2014.  Pulled into Fort Stockton late afternoon.  I had a few messages from a couple of the riders for tomorrows BTR start. 

Wednesday, 10/16:  Nice and easy ride out to the El Paso area on a scouting mission.   It was raining when I left the house a little after 8am.  I could see by the radar on my GPS that I would be riding out of the bad weather just past Junction.  Sure enough,  the skies got better the farther west I rode.  I stopped to help a biker on the side of the road.  He had a problem with the front sprocket cover.  Seems the cover bolt on the bottom broke and the cover was rattling around.  I gave him a couple of zip ties and he was back on the road. 

Got into El Paso around 5:30 to spend the night.  I'm going to scout out some this for a project.