2021 IBR – Day 2

The Circus Moves out of Town

A little more information about the riders’ bonus pack reveals that the 49 bonuses in the Rallywide section of the bonus listing (bonuses available on all three legs) contains a single bonus in each state plus DC. I think I can safely say that on leg one a “good” bonus is worth around 1,000 points. The rallywide bonus for Utah was time-limited to Jun 21 (Monday) at 1300 hours and worth about 1,000 points. That is when a daily reenactment takes place where the two steam engines come together as the final step in completing the Transcontinental Railroad. This achievement opened the interior of the country to settlement and made migration to the west more feasible. The westward migration that followed had broad and long-lasting effects on this country.

Many of our riders made the trek out to Golden Spike National Historical Park for the reenactment. Rally staff members Dennis Bitner and Tim Masterson captured the group photo and took down names. This was a great way for the riders to get some kinks out and bag their first significant bonus.

You can see from watching the SPOT track map that there are several general routes that riders are following. Those of you who have participated in a rally or two know one thing is certain: if you want riders to do a particular thing, give them enough points to make it worth their time and effort. I’ve seen riders do pushups and sit-ups, swim in hot pools, hike down a steep cliff, race jet skis, row a canoe. So what makes you think these riders are any different? They are headed for the points, plain and simple. The biggest bunch of riders went to the photo bonus at the Golden Spike then headed north into Montana and started to scavenge through the northern Rockies. A different group of riders chose a path west across Nevada before turning northwest to Oregon and Washington. Riders sweeping the Southwest were looking at a significant bonus in Southern California while a pair making a beeline towards the East Coast have in their sights one big bonus that would make the centerpiece for a good score. Anybody chasing after these far away bonuses from the Rallywide list must ask themselves, “Will we pass this way again later?” That eventuality might prove their long run in this leg to be a mistake.

After Wendy Crockett’s tire travails yesterday, she seems to be running just like normal today. Jim Hampshire called to explain why 24 hours later he was still in Salt Lake. On his way back from Elko, Nevada yesterday for a nice bonus he narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a car driving down the wrong side of I-80. He had stopped in Salt Lake to gather himself.

We also received a picture from John Coons showing rally bikes ahead of him on the road as they all moved along. He typed to Lisa “Not a team” in big letters. After the 2013 rally, rules on rider teams were written to close some loopholes. John knew that SPOT would show this group moving in lock step for a while and wanted to make sure we knew they had not formed a team.

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As of this writing we are in the middle of the first call-in bonus window. The system we use provides both an audio recording of the actual call and an automated text transcription delivered via email. Riders are required to report their name, rider number, city/state location, previous bonus, and next bonus. Here is an example of a text translation:

"Name is Paul partner, Rod writer numbers, 40My location is mostly Montana. Last bonus score was eighth Spelled as C EAnd the next bonus I'm going to is Andy."

Listening to the recording I find:

“Paul Partin, rider #40, in <redacted> Montana, last bonus ACE, next bonus is ND”. 

Needless to say, the staff is using the voice recordings to see how the riders are doing and evaluate their call-in score. We only use the text version for entertainment.

Today was moving day for rally staff and we are now preparing for the riders’ arrival in Carmel, Indiana on Thursday evening. We covered in 8 hours about as many miles as our riders can cover in 23, as our Wings today were silver instead of Gold. On landing in Indianapolis, we resurrected an old tradition, the Rally Van. Yes, it is back in all its suburban soccer-mom glory. It does take a while for two old guys to get into that far back third row without aggravating their arthritis.