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Thread: GM400 - a whole new kind of moto-fun

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  1. #1
    REBECCAV
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    GM400 - a whole new kind of moto-fun

    This past weekend I discovered a whole new sort of motorcycle fun at the Yankee Beemers Green Mountain 400 rally in Vermont. I say whole new sort of fun because it was my very first competitive motorcycle rally. ItÔÇÖs like a scavenger hunt - you try to get as many points as you can, and it was a total blast.

    I saw the thread about the rally here on the Forum, thought that it sounded fun and told a friend on the east coast about it. He asked if I was coming out to ride it myself, which I hadnÔÇÖt considered, but what the heck! It would make a nice end of the season trip.

    I really wanted to savor every second of this last trip of the year so I took my time heading to the east coast, and stopped at some National Parks and stayed overnight with a friend in Ohio.

    HereÔÇÖs the RS at the Indiana Dunes National Park. Yes, I waved to the Benn family as I rode by South Bend, IN!
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    Last edited by boxergrrlie; 10-15-2004 at 05:14 AM.

  2. #2
    REBECCAV
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    The rally was held at the Ascutney Mountain Resort in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The night before the rally I went to the seminar on rally strategies and endurance riding tips by rallymaster Rob Nye and I was glad that I did ÔÇô never having ridden a bonus points rally I was convinced that I wouldnÔÇÖt find ANY of the bonus points and IÔÇÖd be the laughing stock of the post-rally dinner . After the seminar was a mandatory riderÔÇÖs meeting and the bonus points sheets were handed out. There were 29 possible bonus locations ranging from 150 to 2000 points. You had to either get information or collect an item from each location to prove that you were there.

    After the meeting was over, I went to my room to try and put together a route/strategy. IÔÇÖd brought several maps and first I located all of the bonus locations, then I made a note on the map of the point value of the location, then I planned my ride. It was difficult for me because there were so many possible combinations of point values and it was hard for me to gauge how long it would take me to get from one bonus location to another on the back roads. So after going around and around I went to bed to get a good nightÔÇÖs sleep.

    HereÔÇÖs what a section of my New Hampshire map looked like:
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  3. #3
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    0500 on rally morning ÔÇô I looked back over my map and made some route decisions, geared up and moved my bike to the rally start to check in and get some coffee. Around 50 people eventually lined up and were allowed to leave in groups of 4 so that the group was staggered.

    ThatÔÇÖs merrittgene walking towards me and looking a bit sleepy:
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  4. #4
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    My start time was 0603. I had ten hours to get as many points as I could. The first location that I was going for was at least an hourÔÇÖs ride, and I was pushing myself to ride hard before the tourists got up and clogged the roads. The area was very rural and on one of the turns on the first leg, I was lucky enough to see a road sign that was almost entirely covered by a tree. I made the correct turn and made it to the bonus location.

    After successfully collecting my first 900 points, I relaxed a bit. It was a beautiful morning and I was riding in the mountains of Vermont!
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  5. #5
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    The next location was the most difficult for me. We had to find the Galick Homestead and find out ÔÇÿwhat year the brothers built the road.ÔÇÖ But I couldnÔÇÖt find the dang road. I knew that I was in the general area. The directions said that the road to the homestead was at the end of the road that I was on. But which ÔÇÿend???ÔÇÖ Where it turns into the next road, where it ends in construction, or where it literally ceases to be a road in the next state??? DAMHIK!

    I asked not one, not two, but THREE locals for help and the third one finally knew where my road was. It was the unmarked dirt road literally behind me. *whew* Thanks dude, whoever you are. I was concerned that I had wasted too much time searching for this one location (600 points) but after a couple of miles of dirt road I was glad that I did. It was gorgeous. Vermont is gorgeous. I took the time to look around and take some pictures after finding the necessary info about the road on a sign.
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  6. #6
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    Then it was off to the next location, where I met up with some other riders and we all seemed to be going in the same direction. This round church in Richmond (I think) was our next stop ÔÇô the bonus sheets asked for the dates on the sign. I wonder what the locals and the tourists think when they see a continual stream of riders stop, madly scribble down info and then take off. The guy on the K12 was the eventual rally winner.
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  7. #7
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    Our group of riders eventually broke up and I ended up riding with an experienced rally rider named Joe the rest of the way, which was really educational. As we decided what points weÔÇÖd go for before heading back, he took the time to explain things to consider when deciding which bonuses to go for and how to know when it was time to call it quits.

    Left to myself, I would have cut my time a bit closer ÔÇô the traffic was light and getting back to the rally seemed simple. I wanted to go for at least one more bonus. Joe voted otherwise and we headed back, only to have traffic come to a total stop at a Federal border patrol check. Our cushion of time evaporated, and we made it back with only seven minutes to spare. Thanks Joe! Nice riding with you.

    After finishing, you are quickly given a finishing time on your bonus sheets by the rally staff, and then you have all of the time you need to get your information in order before presenting it to the tally folks.
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  8. #8
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    HereÔÇÖs me happy to finish with 4650 points. The winner had 7250 or so. The MOA ForumÔÇÖs own merrittgene with NO rally experience whatsoever kicked ass with an outstanding 9th place finish!!! Also seen at the GM400 were iRene and Chacifer. Extremely generous prizes including long distance male (won by merrittgene) and long distance female (me!) and sponsorship and general all around nice-guyness by Max at Max BMW.

    So with the help of the diabolical yet benevolent rallymaster and his awesome staff, I thoroughly enjoyed my first competitive rally and my first trip to Vermont. And now that I know how to approach it, I wont be dinking around on my next rally chit-chatting and taking snapshots! I want first place. Or to at least beat merrittgene.
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  9. #9
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    You go BG!!
    Glad you had fun.

  10. #10
    2006 K1200GT, 1986 K100 merrittgene's Avatar
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    Who you callin' Sleepy? (Well, at least you didn't call me Dopey.)

    Right off, I want to give BG *massive* thanks for telling me about the GM400 and encouraging me to go. It was a huge trip for me (3200 miles round-trip), especially since I made the entire trip alone.

    The very same Joe gave me a bunch of pointers before the event (Thanks Joe!) and I was very pleased with my score (5120, after losing 80 points for showing up late).

    I had a great time also. Check out www.sleddogs.org for more information on the rally. I'll be looking forward to the next one.

    Oh, and a lot of roads in Vermont looked like this (are there *any* straight roads in VT?):
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    Last edited by merrittgene; 10-15-2004 at 11:38 AM.
    Gene Merritt - Ames, IA - BMWMOA#111610 - IBA#21886 - Rounder #26 - Webmeister, Bahnsturmers
    ---- 1986 K100 ---- 2006 K1200GT ---- 2001 F650GSD ----

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    Congratulations, BG on a wonderful finish! Sounds like a great time - and the Vermont area is just beautiful.

  12. #12
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    Nice rreporrt

    Grreat job BG. Perrsonally I am glad you took the time to take some picturres on yourr trrip else we would not have been able to enjoy it along with you and sleepy. Arre those RR bikes you arre rriding?
    Don't winterize; Rounderize!
    www.yearroundriders.com

  13. #13
    Ambassador at Large Jim Shaw's Avatar
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    I shoulda done this

    Damn, Rebecca, I should have gone along! The cool part is that it sounds like everybody had fun. And, with a target of 400 miles in 10 hours, nobody had to ride like Jason Pridmore to finish.

    Instead, I deferred to go to a clambake. which was rescheduled for next weekend anyway. [insert strongest explicatives here]

    Jim

  14. #14
    REBECCAV
    Guest

    Re: I shoulda done this

    Originally posted by Jim Shaw
    Damn, Rebecca, I should have gone along!
    Yeah, it IS fun - you would have enjoyed it. Let's pencil it on the riding schedule for next year...

  15. #15
    DZIMBRIC
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    You go girl

    Way to go, nice ride report and of course as always excellent photos.

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