Sunday, June 10, 2018

That Good-Natured Midwest Sense of Humor

Kirsten's RT... next to a sleek rally wanna-be ride.

This is a kinder, gentler rally.  There is no trickery.  The hidden bonus location for Friday night was on the front page, first paragraph of the rally pack.  Yet this morning, the Rallymasters wanted to know if 125 bonus locations for a 24-hour rally was enough.  After some uncertain nods, they said, “Well, come on up.” Just in case, they had added a Saturday morning special bonus, with some common Rallymaster reminders.  Your rally flag must be in every photo.  If you are one of the two-up riding teams, one of you must be in the picture.  “It doesn’t matter who, you can switch if you like,” said Connie.  “Do we get extra points if the most attractive person is in the photo?” asked Mikala of the two-up Goldwing team of Chris and Mikayla.  Absolutely! the gathered crowd answered with hoots and claps while the Rallymasters shook their heads.

But the clock was already ticking towards 8:00 a.m.  After a coordinated rider launch, I hopped into the mobile Rally HQ to hot foot it over to said bonus location, only for us to pull up as most of the riders were already pulling out.  Still, after taking some photos of the smallest museum in St. Paul, we enjoyed our bonus points with a side of delicious coffee and pineapple zucchini bread.  These Rallymasters know how to coordinate a bonus location for maximum benefit as the small museum is right outside the fantastic Workhorse Coffee Bar
The Saturday “take over” of the smallest museum in St. Paul features the MN1K!  

 This rally is bringing riders to a collection of the strange and interesting.  Not to be left out, this morning mobile Rally HQ made a stop at another Minnesota classic…um, how to describe it…. surplus shop.  The Ax-Man Surplus Shop has a female mannequin riding a rocket hanging from the ceiling, next to a plaster horse head and a bin of glass transistor bulbs labeled, “Worst Anniversary Present Ever, $9.45.”  Around a corner with posters of the “Ladies of the 80s” and red and yellow bins full of blue and black cables, was the bobble head Jesus.  Coons made me take a bonus photo next to him.  I think I’m starting to understand this wry Midwestern humor…..   
“Be EZ on Jeezy”
Dan Roth pre-launch at MN1K Rally HQ.
 The good people at Rally HQ– Motoprimo Motorsports, MN always make a donation to this event to support the purchase of shirts and such, which allows the MN1K to make a larger donation to the Lustgarten Fund.  Fighting pancreatic cancer is a cause near and dear to this rally family.  Motoprimo also has a large showroom, with plenty of space to share with riders and easy access to I-35.  Which is handy.  Even though about half the ramps and some entire sections of the interstates surrounding Rally HQ have closed this weekend for the short window that MN gets to do summer roadwork.  [Rally watchers will remember that this was an issue last year for some non-Waze riders during the Iron Butt Rally 2017 whose HQ was smack in a spaghetti bowl of highways.]  

Tonight, as grey clouds and rain have passed over HQ, we’ve been watching big weather blobs on the radar.  There are tornado warnings in Iowa.  It could be a wet 24 hours.  Randy has received only a handful of calls from riders today, who spread throughout the available locations in the Midwest.  One rider called just to say he’s loving this rally and to thank the Gabricks.  That’s a welcome note as the dark comes on and riders start to consider their options for the minimum 3 hour rest bonus.  Scoring will start at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning.  Riders need to be back at Rally HQ by 7:59:59.  Those who misjudge the timing will DNF at 8:00 a.m. 
Analog GPS routing
Kirsten’s Spot is making steady progress.  When she called this afternoon, she had already stopped for gas twice.  She checked her tire, and with another 400 miles on it thus far, it still looked good (i.e. no glittery spots).  The rain was holding off, but the fog was thick and the stop and go traffic kept her attention as she made her way to a daylight-only bonus.  Heading into a busy downtown location, Kirsten said, “we’ll see – this could turn into a flower-sniffing ride.”  She had just come from the Museum of Torture (“I swear I’m NOT going in there - I don’t care how many points it’s worth”) and got a tip from an employee at another spot (“the guy before you said he had to have his flag in the photo”).  Too bad for one rider who left his flag 100 miles behind him.  His face will become his flag for the duration.  And tonight, riders will be looking for the pieces of calm between the storms and the bonus locations to line up a path to the finish.