This year was the inaugural running of the Nutmeg 400. The Nutmeg is put on by the same people who put on the Minute Man 1000, one of the premier 24 hour rallies in the country.
This year, the Nutmeg was 10 hours, and no photo bonuses. Files were put into the wild 2 days prior to the event. After looking at the points, etc, I came up with several routes in the 400 mile, 10 hour area and all were in the 100K point range. I knew that was not going to be enough, so I worked hard on coming up with something with more points.
After some work, I ended up with a route that was 126K points, which I was pretty sure would be good enough for a win. Problem with my route was it came in at 10:45, 45 minutes over the limit. Given that, I put in 3 go/no go decision points in the route. I figured this would be good practice for future events, using my logic and historical knowledge of New England driving habits (read, NE drivers drive at or below the speed limit. Usually well below, which drives an NJ rider NUTS)
Happy with my route (foolishly), I had everything ready to go by Thursday night, for a Saturday rally. This is unusual for me, as I normally pound on routes until the last minute to try and eek out as many points as possible. I had taken Friday off to go up to Max BMW and have them install some Alt Rider bars on my GS. I had decided to do this rally on my GS since Captain USA does not get ridden enough, plus I have had the crash bars for several months.
First challenge was getting the bars up to CT from NJ on the bike. So I turned my brand new GS into the Sanford and Son Truck. Bwan na bwa na, bwa na na na na na na nahh.
Here are the results, I think they look great. I am even more glad I had them put on by Max's guys, since apparently Alt Rider bars are a smidge difficult to get on. A smidge being defined as 3 burly techs and 2 hours of work. Had I attempted the work, it would have ended with thrown parts and a kicked over motorcycle.
I helped the rally staff set up, and introduced myself to some new riders. Met a bunch of friends I had not see since last year and ate some pizza.
Kate has a new job, so she had to work on Friday. She got home, packed, got ready and rode up, arriving around 10 PM. She put the finishing touches on her route plan and off to bed.
Get up at 600 to be able to shower, eat, get gas and go to Rally HQ by 700. I, of course, had my Captain USA outfit on. Red, White and Blue pants, jersey, boots and gloves. The helmet stayed home, because I need a flip up for rallies.
Rider's meeting commenced at 730 and we were told we could leave as soon as we got checked out. Wahoo! Extra 20 minutes! EXACTLY what I needed to possibly pull off my ride (I figured I could pick up a few minutes on the back roads and by making 1 gas stop instead of two, and making sure I had ULTRA fast bonus stops.
So Kate and I head off on our routes. Hers was more conservative, but basically followed the same loop, with me taking about 5 more stops.
Here is the Spotwalla for the route
My (flawed) route was as follows:
This was my first go/no go point, if I left BVR before 11:05, I was going to BBG, it was, so I did.
MAXN was the rest bonus. Free food, 30 minutes to chill out (yeah right) and get back out on the road again. I used this time to fill out my route claim sheet. For about 10 minutes, my camera went missing. Not sure what happened, you know who you are, but it magically re-appeared. This was a non photo rally, but I used my camera to capture answers, so I would be sure not to misspell, and could make very fast stops.
Back on the route and off to
(Had a great plan for SEU. I knew where the statue was and found a back entrance to get right up to it. That was brilliant up to when I showed up and the police had that entrance closed off. Grrrrrr.)
Here is my next go/no go. This was a tough one. If it was 3:55 or later, I had to drop NYD. Since the police interfered with my brilliant plan, I left SEU at 3:57. 2 minutes, but this is a game of minutes. I hated to do it, but I dropped NYD.
Next go/no go involved my last 3 stops. At a certain point, I had a time frame and had 3 choices of what to execute based on the time.
If I got there at:
4:44, I could grab FSC, TMX and WTR.
4:59, TMX and WTR
5:05 Just WTR
5:14 Just TMX
Managed to get there at 5:00, and I knew I had 3 minutes slack, so I went for it and grabbed TMX and WTR.
Rode into rally HQ with 17 minutes to spare. Could have grabbed one of the two bonuses I dropped, but wanted to be safe.
Did my paperwork, got into line and said to myself "check your answers one more time" and promptly got into a conversation with some people and forgot to double check. Turns out that 1767 and 1967 are NOT the same year. Who knew? Apparently the Rally Master and staff. That oopsie cost me MSM, which was 6200 points. DUH.
So the award ceremony started and I ended up in 6th place with 114,150.
Wallace French, a rider I very much look up to, managed to score 138,150! My route was only good for a total of 127,250, without mistakes. That is a stomping! He, and several others, had clearly better routes for this one. Will use it as a learning experience and get better.
Special congratulations to two of my favorite riders, Bruce who out-rode, out routed and outscored me, and of course Kate, who's bike fell of its kickstand at the first bonus location, broke off her shifter knob, and rode another 380 miles shifting with her toe on the nubbin of a shift lever on her bike!
Thanks to Max and all the rally staff for a great event!
See you at The Minute Man!