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

Behind the Handlebars Training


This summer, I completed the Motorcycle Training Course through Saddleback Rider Training in Orange County, CA. I have to say that this was one of the most thorough and effective training courses that I’ve been through — I work for a publicly owned, federally regulated company, so I’ve experienced my fair share of trainings. I’ve heard it said before that some folks think every driver, motorcycle rider or not, should go through this training and I wholeheartedly agree. The course is run by seasoned motorcycle riders. The classroom instructor was a retired motorcycle officer who specialized in motorcycle accident investigation. When these guys share stories, they’re speaking from experience. They have seen it all. What is evident, is the instructors’ sincere interest in seeing you succeed. There are mountains of information they need to impart and they do it well while maintaining a hearty sense of humor.

I started the course with reasonable knowledge of “how” to ride a motorcycle, having ridden dirt bikes through my adolescence. And having been a licensed driver for 20+ years, I understand the rules of the road. What was a huge gap for me was the dynamic of motorcycle riding on roads and in traffic. I had no idea the factors that are constantly being weighed by a rider, millisecond by millisecond. There is so much more to consider when piloting a motorbike than when driving a car. A car sits stable on four wheels and you simply turn the wheel to the desired direction. On a motorcycle, your ass, arms and eyes have considerable influence on WHERE you and the bike are going to go. The road surface is another element that motorcyclists need to monitor and evaluate so much more than car drivers do. And then the wild card – those car drivers! As many of you well know, the list goes on. It’s overwhelming for a new rider to cycle (pun intended) through these considerations over and over, constantly evaluating & reevaluating conditions. If I walked away with nothing else, I have a new, deeper respect for riders and the skill and attention it requires to ride the streets and highways.

Tell me your Rider Training stories! I’d love your feedback.


2016 Butt Lite VIII Rally

The content below was collected by Micki Denton from prior posts on Facebook by Steve Diederich. Steve has not reviewed or approved these posts. The experiences described in these posts were Steve’s at the time he took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

2016 Butt Lite VIII Rally

The Rally

Butt Lite VIII will run 6 days, from Sunday, July 3rd to Saturday, July 9th, 2016. The rally will start & finish in Colorado and will include one checkpoint.

On the fence? Need a bit of convincing that this is the rally for you? We guarantee a grand time for all, lots of great bonuses, wonderful roads and the best swag in all of LD rallying. A better vacation cannot be had.

Did you know? The last 4 Iron Butt Rally winners are all Butt Lite veterans and the one before that was a winner of multiple TeamStrange rallies.
50% of the 2015 IBR Gold Medal Finishers are Butt Lite finishers, including all of the top 3 riders. Eric Jewell won Butt Lite 1. Josh Mountain won Butt Lite 7.
54% of the Silver Medal Finishers are Butt Lite finishers.

The partnership between Butt Lite & the Iron Butt Rally continues. As in years past, the top 10 finishers in Butt Lite will receive a non-draw spot in the 2017 Iron Butt Rally. TeamStrange will pay the entry fee into the IBR for the first place winner of Butt Lite VIII.

Don’t delay. Butt Lite 7 sold out in less than 72 hours. We are fairly certain Butt Lite VIII will be just as popular.

The Ride

October 1, 2015 – Belly Pan installed for Butt Lite VIII next July. Bring it on Lisa, David, and Bart! ..mostly Bart. lol http://www.teamstrange.com/2016/butt_lite/

May 3, 2016 – My next adventure? The 6-day Butt Lite VIII motorcycle scavenger hunt rally. Vroom-vroom!

June 17, 2016 – Two-weeks till the Butt Lite VIII rally (http://teamstrange.com/2016/butt_lite/). Time to go over the bike 🙂

June 17, 2016 – Gapped at 0.044 per Greg Fizer

June 30, 2016 – The bike is tip-top. Bags are packed. And, I’m rolling 1,030 miles in ~15 hours to the starting point of the Butt Lite VIII Rally in Denver, Colorado (from Southern California). Here’s my SPOT Tracker: https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=116695774737a09ad8

July 2, 2016 – Update on this: Read my lips.. No New Flat Tires July 2016! :))

July 2, 2016 – Everything set-up and waiting till I get my hands on the Butt Lite VIII Rally Pack at 8:00 PM MDT. Then, it’s routing! routing! routing! ..and ‘some’ sleep.

July 2, 2016 – Marriott Denver Tech Center – Denver, CO
RADIO SILENCE… Welp, the time has come. The start of the Butt Lite VIII Motorcycle (Scavenger Hunt) 6-Day Rally. And, us Riders are banned from ANY Social Media, Blogging, Public Forum posting of Anything (Otherwise we will be sad). So, this is my last post for the next 6-days/144-hours.
You can follow the Public Blog for the event: http://buttliteviii.blogspot.com. And, follow All the Riders on the Public SpotWalla SPOT tracking page: https://spotwalla.com/locationViewer.php?id=336.
Wish me Luck, Safe Travels & Fun! Ciao

July 9, 2016 – Awards Banquet

July 14, 2016 – Home Safe & Sound from Butt Lite VIII. Playing catch up. Had a great time/ride. Happy with placing 24th out of 78 finishers; considering the mistakes I made! :\
As you can see, the bike got pretty dirty! And, will be till I get around to cleaning it (blah). Exploding-on-impact bugs in Arizona, mostly.
Here’s all where I rode 5,700 miles in 6 days…

First Year Without a Car

My last car, and The Bike

I am Car-less. Have been now for 366 days (leap year) since I turned in my lease. As with most people, I’ve had a car my whole adult life; since I was 21. Now here I am, one year in and I am OK.

Downsizing from 4 wheels to 2 is a challenge, but having a large, touring motorcycle, with plenty of storage, helps of course. I work from home, am an empty nester, and it doesn’t hurt that I LOVE riding – Everywhere.

Fully adopting the 2 wheel lifestyle included moving across the country this past year by motorcycle. No packed car. No moving van. Just rode, and had twenty-one boxes shipped from New York to California.

As one would expect, I am free from the expenses and hassles of maintaining a car, but I’ve realized other benefits as well. I walk more places now, that I may have just jumped in a car to go to: Stores, Out to dinners, Movies, etc. For the times when two-wheels and/or two-seats is not enough: I’ve used Uber. Had groceries delivered to my door. Ordered larger items online. Or, worked out things with friends (who have cars).

Being car-less may not work for everyone, but fits my circumstances well. Being able to ride 365.25 days a year is a tremendous benefit. I’m not sure that I’ll be car-less forever, but it’s working for now, and I’m Liking It!

Cheers to the Two-Wheel life!

2016 Iron Butt California In-State SaddleSore1000 – 2up

2016 Iron Butt California In-State SaddleSore1000 – 2up

Mic’s FB documentation of her first Iron Butt ride.

The Rules

Your ride needs to be completely documented (steps outlined below) and cover a minimum distance of 1,000 miles in 24 hours or less. In order to keep these rides from becoming a race, mileages in excess of 1,800 miles in less than 24 hours will not be published.

Please keep in mind, 24 hours is wall time, not riding time. So if you start your ride at 5:00 pm on June 1st, you must finish it before 5 pm on June 2nd.

The Ride

I’m going to be (sitting behind Steve who is) doing a California In-State SaddleSore 1000.
You can watch my route LIVE: https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=fc7856ba00521a64f
For more information on the Iron Butt Association that encourages & rewards this activity, visit http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/getdocument.cfm?DocID=1

February 12, 2016 – Proposed Route (Leg 1)

February 12, 2016 – Actual Route & Agenda

February 15, 2016
7:09am – Here we go…

8:55am – Unscheduled stop… “Mic needs something from the trunk.”

3:22pm – Turnaround time! ! !

3:54pm – Mission Control

4:29pm – #YOLO

5:18pm – #chasingthesun

5:44pm – Probably the last pic for today. Goodbye warm Sun.

7:59pm – Stopped for a warm meal. On the last leg (in more ways than one).

8:33pm Rocking & Rolling to Rush 🙂

11:53pm Jiggity Jog, we’re home!

Beat & buggy bike back in its bungalow.

Thanks to Steve Diederich for letting me tag along on his California In-State SaddleSore 1000. It was great fun and, I dare say, easy – under the skilled direction of Mr. Diederich. Below… my official certificate.



2015 In Review

The content below was collected by Micki Denton from prior posts on Facebook by Steve Diederich. Steve has not reviewed or approved these posts. The experiences described in these posts were Steve’s at the time he took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

December 31, 2015

Rode to Palm Springs and back today. That’s it for the year. 33,858 (s)Miles Ridden in 2015. It was a good year 🙂 Happy New Years! :))

2015 Iron Butt EggSanity 1000

The content below was collected by Micki Denton from prior posts on Facebook by Steve Diederich. Steve has not reviewed or approved these posts. The experiences described in these posts were Steve’s at the time he took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

The Rules

This ride celebrates the long-distance rider’s favorite short order grills in classic Waffle House® style and requires you to enjoy an egg dish at each stop.

The Ride

September 30, 2015 – All registered to ride the IBA EggSanity 1000 from Phoenix to Dallas in 24-hours or less in a couple weeks …with lots of breakfast eating! 🙂

October 12, 2015 near Rancho Santa Margarita – Anyone who knows me knows what this means 🙂

October 14, 2015 – in Rancho Santa Margarita, California – Time to roll… 1,463 miles to my hotel in Dallas, and 3 Egg Stops to make on my way (IBA EggSanity 1000). Should be there tomorrow afternoon.

October 14, 2015 – Mesa, AZ – at Circle K – My starting gas receipt for 1,000 mile IBA EggSanity 1000 to Dallas in under 24 hours :)) Who’s hungry!!

October 14, 2015 – at Waffle House (1831 South Country Club Dr, Mesa, AZ)- Eat’n egg. Starting my IBA EggSanity 1000 motorcycle ride. Next… Eggs in Kermit, TX after Midnight! — at Waffle House.

October 14, 2015 – FINALLY cooling off. Was over 100 most of the afternoon. — in Arizona Desert.

October 14, 2015 near Albuquerque, NM – If Steve leaves California heading East, and Rob leaves Pennsylvania heading West, and each of them have an auxiliary Fuel Cell: How many total gas stops will it take till they meet in Texas?

October 14, 2015 – More Gas! — at Corner Store.

October 14, 2015 near Albuquerque, NM – After drinking 6 bottles so far today, I thought maybe I was getting low… Nope. I’m good.

October 14, 2015 – Making good time! Next stop.. Huddle House in Kermit for ..what else.. EGGS! — at Chevron.

October 14, 2015 near Pecos, TX – 1,000 miles in under 14 hours. With (quick) stops. Gotta Love Western Interstates! 🙂

October 14, 2015 – Midnight Snack! (Your Time Zone may vary) — at Huddle House.

October 15, 2015 near Sand Springs, TX  – I know what it’s really saying, “How the f’k did you get over there?!” It was a detour, I Swear!

October 15, 2015 – What’s for lunch? Not eggs no one said in the past 1,000 miles and 23 hours. 🙂 — at Waffle House.

October 15, 2015 – No eggs for dinner! 🙂 — at Hard Eight BBQ- Coppell.

October 17, 2015 – It’s official, I’m crazy! http://www.ironbutt.com/rides/eggsanity/

Steve also earned an Iron Butt Bun Burner Gold certificate on his return trip.