2016 Park n Ride Rally

2016 SCMA Park ‘n Ride Rally

The Park ‘n Ride Rally is put on by the BMW Club of Southern California and the Southern California Motorcycling Association (SCMA). It is an 8-hour rally where participants collect points by visiting bonus locations throughout California. Combinations of bonus locations can yield more points. The bonus locations are provided in a packet the week before the rally to allow for planning. When the rally was originally developed and named, it included Park & Ride locations. The 2016 rally focused on quintessential California items – Missions, Motorcycles & In-N-Out Burger. Bonus locations were the California Missions, Motorcycle Dealerships, In-N-Out Burger stores (in different cities) and other notable or historic California locations.

Mic knew all about the Missions, having grown up in Southern California and completed a Mission project in 4th grade. Steve, on the otherhand, grew up in upstate New York and was not familiar with the Missions. Mic saw this as a great opportunity to flex her 4th grade knowledge and provide a quick verbal tutorial on Junípero Serra and El Camino Real, which Steve graciously endured.

Although she had not done a rally before, Mic had spent her formative years driving the freeways of Southern California. This would come in handy for routing and mid-rally re-routing.

Night Before the Rally – Moto Sleeps
Steve’s Post: We’re at our Cheney-Approved undisclosed Remote Start location. The bike is sleeping for the evening. Also, I failed to mention.. This is Mic’s first-ever Motorcycle (Scavenger Hunt) Rally! Yay!

The rally allowed for remote starting locations. You would just need to collect a “start receipt” after the rally start time (7 am) documenting the date & time from a gas station or other store. We decided to take a “straight line” approach to the rally, rather than starting at the start/finish, looping out & returning. We found a nice hotel in San Diego and shacked up for the night. The evening would involve last minute routing plan adjustments, further deliberation on timing & achievable bonuses, and an attempt to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Breakfast in Bed
A quick stop at Target the night before, allowed for a reasonably hearty breakfast in bed. The day would be filled with granola bars & jerky. It was nice to get a good meal in beforehand.

Stop #1 — at Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala
We started out strong! Got a gas receipt just after 7am and headed up the hill to our first bonus location. Heading down the hill, as we headed up, was another rider in full gear on a decently equipped bike. Hmm… wonder if we’ll see him again.

Stop #2 — at The Kiss Statue In San Diego
The Kiss Statue is located just to the side of the docked USS Midway. The coordinates of the bonus location took us (and the rider we recently crossed paths with) to the Midway itself. In the early morning fog, we paused with the other rider, confounded as to the whereabouts of this statue. Mic suggested we move forward and check the greenbelt beyond the ship. Finally, we saw it off around the corner and bagged bonus #2. We didn’t see the other rider again until the finish.

Stop #3 – at On Eternal Patrol — in San Diego, California
Mic is getting the hang of this “holding the rally sign” thing.

Stop #4 — at San Diego Harley-Davidson
Quick pic, but not so quick return to the freeway. The intended freeway on ramp was closed. A 5-mi detour took us through neighborhoods to a connecting freeway and we were finally back on our way north.

Stop #5 — at San Luis del Rey de Friancia Mission

Stop #6 — at Mission San Juan Capistrano, CA

Stop #7 — at Mission Motorsports
This was an easy one to find, as Steve has visited for repairs & motorcycle group meetings. A Mission AND a motorcycle dealership! Combo bonus??

Stop #8 — at Mission San Gabriel Archangel
This is Mic’s 4th grade project Mission. She didn’t recognize it at all.

Stop #9 — at Impex Motorsports
Google Maps says Impex Motorsports, sign says Temple City Powersports. Whatev. It worked.

Stops — at In-N-Out Burger (not pictured)
Most In-N-Out Burger stores open at 10am and there was one just around the corner from Impex Motorsports. We needed a receipt and the smell of the burgers made us a little hungry, so why not go through the drive thru and get a burger?? Well… because the drive thru lines at In-N-Out are long. Duh. After a long, warm wait in the drive thru line, swallowing the burger and getting greasy gloves, we decided that at the rest of the In-N-Outs – Mic hops off, runs in, finds the shortest line, orders the cheapest item (milk) and gets the receipt. She successfully convinced each cashier to NOT give her the milk, just the receipt. We successfully bought an item at 5 different In-N-Outs in 5 different cities without Visa issuing a card fraud alert.

Stop #10 — at Exposition Park
This one was a challenge. Exposition Park is home to the Science Center, Natural History Museum and the Coliseum. It was game day. The parking lot was full of vendors and trucks setting up for the big game. We just wanted a photo of THAT plane, RIGHT there. After some pleading and pointing, the lot attendant decided we were trustworthy and allowed us to slip in to take our pic and slip right out. Yay!

Stop #11 – At Hollywood Electrics
Here’s where we hit some resistance… The Rally Master called ahead and spoke to the manager of the shop, letting him know that the location would be included in the Park n Ride rally. This message was not passed on to the staff on duty. They were less than pleased to allow us to sit on a bike for a photo (per rally instructions). We heard later that they completely refused participants that showed up after us.  Whoops!

Stop #12 — at Pink’s Hot Dogs
This was both Mic & Steve’s first trip to Pink’s. We didn’t get dogs this time, but would come back a few months later for a RTE (Ride to Eat).

Stop #13 — at Hollywood Sign, Hollywood, CA
Beautiful day and a great view of the sign.

Stop #14 — at Mission San Fernando Rey de España

Stop #15 — at Corriganville Regional Park
Took us a bit to find these gates. You drive past them on the way to the parking lot for the park. It took some backtracking and searching to find them.

Note that the smile has faded from the photos. Someone is ready for the rally to be over.

Stop #16 – Photo with a Police Officer — in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California
While Mic contemplated leaping off the bike at a stoplight and Ubering home, Steve was planning on how to  gather some bonus, bonus points. Mic thought we had what we needed and should roll into the finish a few minutes early. Steve thought we could bag a few more points. Before either of us could fully plead a case for stopping or keeping on, a motorcycle policeman crossed our path. A bonus opportunity was in sight. We just needed to follow it.  In a moment of brilliance, Steve handed the camera to Mic and held up the rally card.  Got it! A police officer in the pic with our rally card.

Stop #17 – Photo with a Fireman — in Santa Clarita, California.
Steve conceded that we could head straight to the rally finish, IF, there wasn’t a fire station nearby. There was, just one block away. It was a nice break to get off the bike and Mic’s smile returned for a pic with the fireman. (Who wouldn’t smile when in the presence of a fireman???)

Stop #18 – at BMW Motorcycles — in Santa Clarita, California.
Luckily the finish location was also a motorcycle dealership – 2 for 1!  The levity exhibited at the fire station had disappeared on the short ride to the finish. Mic was done and it was evident in the disinterest in looking at the camera. Rally was done. Steve was fine. Mic was exhausted. Mic spent the rally on bursts of anxiety and adrenaline, fumbling with paperwork, gloves that impeded phone usage and constantly weighing time, traffic & bonus points accumulated to make decisions on routing and re-routing. When asked “Did you have fun?”, the answer was “Ehhh…”. Well, it was a learning experience.

The Route
We rode over 200 miles and bagged 22K points. Our route took us to 5 Missions, 5 In-N-Outs, 5 motorcycle dealerships and 8 other bonus locations between San Diego and Santa Clarita.

We were shocked! We won 1st place with our 22K points. 2nd place only had 16K. Wow!

Mic found the energy to smile and graciously pose for the picture.  We received an engraved trophy and a gift certificate to Mamba Motorsports, which we used to upgrade our headsets (long story short).

After some other equipment upgrades, a couple other big rides, Mic says she’d consider doing another rally.  Like childbirth, after enough time passes, you think, I could do this again.

December 8, 2016 – Steve says… It took a few weeks since the rally to receive the etched award, but here it is; in all it’s polycarbonate glory: Our Trophy for coming in 1st Place in the Southern California Motorcycle Association’s (SCMA) Park & Ride (Scavenger Hunt) Rally. It fits nicely on my iPad mount. :p

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