The Leg1 Results show that Kirsten has ridden a monster 3,395 miles over the past 3 days, but the point spread is not what was hoped. Checkpoints are quick-moving places. Especially when you get in “on the bubble” as they say and have to stop the clock, get yourself ready for scoring, find something to eat, and prepare to rest. Then route your Leg 2 and get underway. I spoke with her briefly while she was at Rally HQ – TX and the overwhelming feeling was: it’s a good day when the air doesn’t hurt. She hit temps of 122 degrees on Leg 1 and melted through more than one 10 lb. bag of ice (i.e. motorcyclist air conditioning).
The trusty R1200RT, which has carried her through many thousands of miles in many rallies, is running well. One huge shout out to George at Beemer Uber Alles (a.k.a. the motorcycle whisperer), who got the RT all tuned up a few weeks ago for this ride. She began on Monday with over 174,000 miles on the odo. She had to put some oil in, but Mr. Happy, the duck, and the Irish sheep are keeping watch as the miles roll on.
Those of you joining me in watching the Spots descend last night noticed a few tracking in right as the clock chimed 8:00 p.m. in Allen, Texas. Kirsten came in 3 minutes, and 30 penalty points, after the final chime. We’ll take it. She didn’t lose any points at the scoring table – and that’s cause for celebration. Also celebrated, the comfy air conditioned room at Rally HQ…. however too much comfort makes it that much harder to climb back into the saddle.
Friends and supporters at the checkpoint report a range of other issues for riders on this leg – Spot Trackers on the fritz, a tire that needed to be plugged, and Mexican Felipe Salman got blown over in high winds, breaking his windshield. He has a new shield and was in good hands with a checkpoint parking lot install to get back on the road. He completed 2,753 miles on Leg 1. And experienced rider Rob Nye has announced that he’s pulled the plug on this rally at the checkpoint after completing 2,658 miles. This safari is keeping everyone on their toes.
So Kirsten was in, and now she’s off onto Leg 2. Her mom had me tell her, “If your knee is still sore, kick butt with the other leg!” Penalty points for Checkpoint 2 will begin at 8:00 p.m. Texas time on Saturday night. Here’s hoping for a second leg to stand on.