2019 Santa Fe Trip – IBR Prep

The experiences described in these posts were Steve & Mic’s at the time they took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

We had not been on the bike for any significant time in many months, so we decided to try and get some miles in and test out some new gear with an 850 mile ride from home to Santa Fe.


Hydration Bladders – We purchased two hydration bladders on Amazon. Mic acquired and altered a cooler bag to hold the 2 bladders and velcro to the luggage rack on the Wing. This frees up storage in the saddle bags where we would normally stock multiple flip-top bottles of water and allows us to use the cupholders for other beverages like coffee. The cooler bag adds some insulation to keep the water from heating up in the sun. We replaced the stock hose on Steve’s bladder with 6 feet of beer keg tubing, allowing the hose to run under our legs, slightly tucked under the seat with the end resting across the tank. We clip the bite valve to a retractable cord/carabiner to keep it handy for Steve. Mic’s hose drapes across the speaker/arm rest and is easy to access.

WACOOL 3L 3Liter 100oz BPA Free EVA Hydration Pack Bladder, Leak-Proof Water Reservoir

Cleaning the Bladders – We had taken them for a short ride to Vegas and they seemed to work. We cleaned them per internet instructions and loaded them up again for this ride to Santa Fe. Shortly after we started, Steve noted that his water tasted like plastic. Mic’s did too, but his was way worse. Steve reverted to flip-top water bottles for the duration of the trip out. Luckily, we had purchased these Bottle Bright cleaning tablets. After letting them soak overnight with the tablets, the water tasted clean again and the bladders worked great on the road home.

Bottle Bright – All Natural, Biodegradable, Chlorine & Odor Free Water Bottle & Hydration Pack Cleaning Tablets

iPad Strap – We used to have the iPad clipped to loops sewn to the back of Steve’s jacket. This would cause the jacket to pull backwards on his neck & shoulders as well as move around as he moved, making it difficult for Mic to use. We tried some rides without the iPad entirely, and found that it is just nicer to have the larger screen to see traffic, side roads and weather patterns. We purchased this strap that would connect to the slots on the Lifeproof Nuud case we use. The strap would sling across body and rest on Mic’s right hip. It seemed to work as well as it did on Steve’s back, even though the iPad needed to be held up for use. It easily slung to the side when not in use. Mic could sometimes use her gloves (depending on the humidity) to operate the iPad and otherwise used the stylus tethered to her jacket. By the end of the 850 miles, Mic did feel a slight pull in her left neck & shoulder, but this also could have been due to persistent cross winds buffeting her helmet. Overall, we’re going to green-light for the IBR.

HDE Shoulder Strap for Shockproof iPad Case – Adjustable Carry Strap Compatible with All Shock Proof Apple iPad Cases for Kids – Detachable Universal

Neutrino Black Box – Steve will have to do a whole other post on this thing… For this ride, we tested the Neutrino’s ability to control our Gerbing heated gear using the ambient temperature. We ditched the Gerbing controllers and plugged directly into the bike, using these coiled extension cords. We set the Neutrino to turn on the heated gear to low when the temperature dropped below 65 degrees. We found that the probe needs to be out a little further as it is getting heat off the bike, but overall it worked. No more flakey, unwieldy controllers hanging off our jackets & pants. Go for IBR!

Tour Master Synergy 2.0 Coiled Power Lead Motorcycle Electric Heated Apparel Controllers and Miscellaneous Accessories

Hardwired Power for Pillion – Mic used to power her devices with Anker PowerCore chargers. We still keep them on hand as they are reasonably small and work great. We found these 2-port USB adapters and were able to wire 2 of them into the Neutrino and tuck them into the left pocket. This creates 4 powered USB ports for Mic to plug in whatever she wants – iPad, iPhone, backup Android phone and Sena headset (when it loses power). As luck would have it, we recently replaced the broken left pocket with one we received from a 2-up couple. They used the pocket for power so it had the perfect hole, complete with grommet, that allowed the power cords to feed into the pocket from the side of the pillion seat, keeping all the connectors in the waterproof pocket. Having 4 power points worked great for Mic and will eliminate the need for battery juggling from the pillion seat.

Anker PowerCore 10000 External Battery
Yeeco Waterproof 8-22V to 5V 3A/15W Dual Power Adapter DC to DC Buck Converter Step Down Power Supply Module Car Power Converter Double USB Cable Connector Car Charger

Well that’s enough tech talk. It would be good to do a deeper dive with pics on how we installed and routed all these things, but that’s for another day. Here are some fun pics from our ride…

May 25, 2019 – I 15 Barstow Freeway, Victorville – Over the mountains and through the desert, on a road trip we go!

May 25, 2019 – Standin On The Corner, Winslow, AZ – A corner, maybe not THE corner.

May 25, 2019 – I-40, Albuquerque, NM

May 27, 2019 – Albuquerque, NM – Westward Ho!

May 27, 2019 – U.S. Route 60, Apache Junction, AZ – Skipped sleet n snow in Flagstaff. Headed to Phoenix via Miami.

May 27, 2019 – Coachella, CA – Took a route south towards the Salton Sea with caravan of other Wazers to bypass a major slowdown. We’ll pick back up with the 10 shortly.

May 27, 2019 – Cabazon, CA – Bypassed one accident on the 10, but are sitting in another. It probably would have been worthwhile to search harder for a bypass route. It turns out the freeway was impacted from 6pm to 6am with 80,000 lbs of carrots mixed with diesel fuel spilled on the roadway. (pic courtesy of Cal Fire Riverside)

May 27, 2019 – In-N-Out Burger – Costa Mesa – Priorities. We made it home safe. First stop – In-N-Out!

2019 Lobo Loco Arts & Crafts Mini Rally

The experiences described in these posts were Steve & Mic’s at the time they took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

The Lobo Loco Arts & Crafts Mini rally was an 8 Hour Motorcycle Scavenger Hunt. You can start and end anywhere. After you start, you have up to 8 hours to collect as many locations as possible.

Themed location information was provided prior to the event allowing you to start plotting your bonus locations. The rally flag will be a drawing of you on your motorcycle, which you create yourself.

Bonuses included art, sculptures, carvings, stained glass, mosaics, murals, graffiti, galleries, art schools, craft breweries, rock balancing and glass blowing (among other options). Some needed to be in different cities and there were some other limiting criteria.

In addition to collecting bonus points from a few mandatory categories, you must also ride 187 miles in order to be considered a finisher.

We finished in 7th place out of 20 who started the rally, scoring 7,176 points. We only lost 1 bonus worth 333 points due to a locked door that kept us from getting a good pic of the inside of a stained glass window (see if you can spot the pic we tried to pass off), but even with those points, our finishing position remains the same.

Of course now, everywhere we go, we see sculptures and murals. All in all it was a fun rally and gave us the opportunity to plan, route, and execute/adjust a plan. All good practice for the upcoming IBR! 

Closeup of our finished rally flag.
Pre-rally bonus – Us on the bike with our ‘rally flag’.
Carved Tree – 77pts
Garden Gnome (on bike) – 335pts
Craft Brewery – 166pts
Graffiti – 245pts
Kinetic Sculpture – 222pts
Art Gallery – 175pts
Glass Blower – 750pts
Craft Brewery – 166pts
Art Gallery – 175pts
Oil Painting (with artist!) – 250pts
Watercolor Painting – 250pts
Stained Glass (Outside)
Stained Glass (Inside) – 333pts
Pottery Studio – 100pts
Rock Balance – ~150pts per rock
Art Gallery – 175pts
Stone Sculpture – 166pts
Craft Brewery – 166pts
Craft Brewery – 166pts
Stained Glass (Outside)
Stained Glass (Inside) – 333pts
Mural – 25pts
Stained Glass (Outside)
Stained Glass (Inside) – 333pts
Metal Sculpture – 111pts
Relief – 200pts
Stone Sculpture – 166pts
Animal Sculpture – 124pts

2018 Iron Butt 50cc Quest Certificate Ride

The experiences described in these posts were Steve or Micki’s at the time they took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

2018 Iron Butt 50cc Quest Certificate Ride

We successfully attempted an Iron Butt Association 50cc Quest certificate motorcycle ride from Jacksonville, FL to Huntington Beach, CA ..roughly 2,400 miles in under 50 hours. Riding between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean going Coast to Coast. And, scooping-up a bit of water & sand at the start and finish.  This will be Micki’s 2nd 50cc and Steve’s 8th.

Rules for this ride (IBA 50cc Quest): http://www.ironbutt.com/themerides/50cc/

(All times in PDT)

March 18, 3:12 am, Jacksonville Beach, FL – On the road again!  Gas  Start Receipt  Atlantic Ocean Sand & Water

March 18, 4:45 am – Here’s the live video of us slogging in gear to get Atlantic Ocean sand & water. #amateurvideograghers

March 18, 5:25 am – Sunrise behind us…

March 18, 8:20 am, Love’s Truck Stop, DeFuniak Springs, FL – First gas stop! Gas, dogs n gators. (We didn’t eat any dogs, I was just impressed by the sheer volume.)

March 18, 8:47 am, Pensacola, FL – Highway in the sky….

March 18, 11:36 am, Circle K, Slidell, LA – Early stop for rain gear.

March 18, 12:10 pm – Traffic bypass courtesy of your trusty back seat navigator.

March 18, 4:33 pm, Louisana/Texas State Line – Jiminy Christmas Louisiana!! Rain, traffic, construction!!! You nearly broke our spirit… keepin’ on keepin’ on.

March 18, 6:03 pm, Exxon, Winnie, TX – Gas, bike maintenance and a burger from the most chaotic McD’s I’ve ever encountered. Back on the road. Spotwalla is a touch behind as the (now replaced) Spot battery died.

March 18, 8:02 pm, Engle, TX – 

Happiness is…
– looking up at the stars
– finding a bonus beef jerky stick in your pocket
– people who can read and understand the “Left lane for passing only” sign
– San Antonio being only 2-digit miles away

March 18, 10:20 pm, Kerrville, TX – Bed, after a Long day!!

March 19, 7:46 am, Kerrville, TX – Gassed Up and Rollin’!

March 19, 10:32 am, Bakersfield, TX – Gas, snacks. Not as close to home as our Bakersfield.

March 19, 2:23 pm, El Paso, TX – Just Paso-ed El Paso. #dadjokescoast2coast

March 19, 4:51 pm, New Mexico-Arizona State Line – 2 more states!

March 19, 5:57 pm, TA Truck Service, Wilcox, AZ – Gas and hoity-toity beverages.

March 19, 6:25 pm – Sunset in AZ

March 19, 9:18 pm, Tonopah, AZ – Stop for gas and alternate earplugs… it’s not an Iron Ear ride.

March 19, 10:27 pm, California/Arizona State Line – California here we come, right back where we started from..

March 20, 1:39 am – Video of scooping up sand & water from the Pacific Ocean!

March 20, 1:51 am, 7-11, Huntington Beach, CA – Done! 50cc – the slightly more inconvenient way. JAX to HB

March 20, 2:13 am – Home!! (Why we did the 50cc to HB)

March 20, 2:51 am – Start 3/18/18 6:12 Eastern -> End 3/20/18 1:51am Pacific = 46 hrs 39 min (if errors, math done at 3am)

2018 Iron Butt Why? Whynot! Certificate Ride

The experiences described in these posts were Steve or Micki’s at the time they took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

2018 Iron Butt Why? Whynot! Certificate Ride

We successfully attempted an Iron Butt Association “Why? Whynot!” certificate motorcycle ride from Why, AZ to Whynot, MS ..roughly 1,575 miles in under 36 hours. Rules for this ride (IBA Why? Whynot!): www.ironbutt.com/themerides/whywhynot/

March 11, 9:07 am – Good Morning! We’re enroute to Why… because that’s our starting point!

March 11, 11:48 am, Why, AZ – We went to see Why, if only briefly. Now we begin our trip, Whynot?!


March 11, 1:57 pm – Next turn 471mi!

March 11, 4:12 pm, New Mexico – We’ve entered the Land of Enchantment, rainbows and all.

March 11, 4:57 pm, Petro Travel Truck Stop, Deming, NM – Receipt #2 – gas, coffee, warm layer and back on the road!

March 11, 6:54 pm, El Paso, TX – Receipt #3 – rain gear for Mic and to actually PLUG in the heated gear. (Works better that way). 

March 11, 6:58 pm, Texas – Texas – doing it bigger than NM. Why have one rainbow when you can have two.

March 11, 9:24 pm, Pecos, TX – Welp, we made the turn. On I-20 now and headed for our midpoint stop. We watched these glow on the horizon in almost every direction. Not the best pic. Big flame!

March 12, 9:10 am, Midland, TX – Day 2 Receipt 1 – Midland was a decent midpoint stop for a nights’s rest. Gassed up and on the road again!

March 12, 11:36 am – We just completed the windmill to windmill tour. ;p (CA & TX)

March 12, 12:53 pm, Pilot Travel Center, Weatherford, TX – Day 2 Receipt 2 – Gas, pit stop and maybe a little snack from Wendy’s. Oops, did I (Mic) pick a stop with a Wendy’s??

March 12, 1:42 pm, Dallas, TX – We ask not WHO shot J.R., but WHY??

March 12, 4:03 pm, Texas-Louisiana Border – We’ve crossed over! Hasta la vista TX. Hello Louisiana!! #wontbackdown

March 12, 5:43 pm, Arcadia, LA – Day 2 Receipt 3 – Gas, heated gear & coffee

March 12, 7:55 pm, Mississippi – Crossed the Mississippi River into the last state of our trek to Whynot. Cruising!

March 12, 10:22 pm – We’re done! Why? Whynot! In the bag.

March 16 – We received our certificate (with custom art) at the awards ceremony. Fun!

2017 “Bite the Weenie” Pink’s Hot Dogs RTE

The experiences described in these posts were Steve or Micki’s at the time they took the ride. Each rider’s experience is unique. These posts do not describe what is usual or likely for the ride described.

An RTE is a Ride to Eat. The idea is you ride in, have a meal with other riders and ride home. What is most fun about these events (at least in the Long Distance community) is that folks will come from ALL over. For the Bite the Weenie RTE, we don’t have very far to ride in, but still enjoy going to see old friends and meet new. Here are a couple of pics from our ride and the event.

“Bite the Wieenie” Facebook Event

2017 Iron Butt Rally Prep

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.

Iron Butt Rally
The Iron Butt Rally is an eleven-day motorcycle event, broken into sections (or legs), traversing a large section of North America. It is not a race. No benefits, actual or implied, accrue to the rider who finishes a section (or the entire rally) in the least amount of time. Finishing positions will be determined solely by the points obtained by the riders during the entirety of the event. The following rules, tips, and miscellaneous information are designed to provide the rider with the minimum amount of background material necessary to participate in the event.

Riders spend years training and preparing for this ride they call The Big Dance.

Rally Prep

March 22, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV – First.. The IBA’s 2017 Iron Butt Rally (IBR): I’m in! 🙂 I’m thrilled to be accepted to participate and look forward to doing my best riding ~11,000 Miles over 11 Days next year scavenging for bonus points all over North America. (http://www.ironbuttrally.com)
Second.. I feel for my fellow LD riders who applied and weren’t accepted. It’s incredibly tough to get accepted to and I’ve received that “Not the email you wanted to receive…” message before. Just keep riding and keep trying!

June 2017
Last minute bike maintenance begins.

June 13 – Tire Day! These tires are going to leave their mark on more of North America in the next four weeks than most Americans see in a lifetime

June 13 – Provisions have arrived! Maybe some water, and a full tank of gas and I’ll be ready to ride 🙂

June 15 – Bike prep and maintenance is all done for the Big Dance! I even saved a few bucks and upgraded the iPad to the latest in low-tech for routing me to the IBR Start. — in Costa Mesa, California.

Ride Food

June 21 – As ready as Me and Moto will ever be Minneapolis Bound! — in Costa Mesa, California.

June 21 – Away He Goes!

June 24 – Made it to Minneapolis Thursday. Got through Tech Inspection, ODO Check, and Registration today without problems. Just waiting for Rider Meetings tomorrow, and the Rally Start Monday morning!  Oh, and this graphic is suppose to give us clues as to the ‘Rally Theme’; as in.. Where we’re going.
??? — at Minneapolis Marriott West.

6/25 – Got my Rally Routing Desk all setup! Welp, the time has come. Check-in and Riders Meetings are over. We’re just waiting for the Banquet Dinner where they hand out the “Rally Packets”. Then, its Plan Plan Plan and Ride starting in the morning for the next 11 days. So, you won’t see much of me around Facebook or whatever. Will be too busy riding & sleeping. To follow the 2017 Iron Butt Rally, here are links to whats happening during the rally:
IBR DAILY REPORTS http://ironbutt.com/2017ibr.cfm
PUBLIC SPOTWALLA TRACKING MAP https://spotwalla.com/locationViewer.php?id=429
2017 IBR RULES http://ironbutt.com/ibr/_2017/IBR2017Rules.pdf
Wish me luck! It’s going to be an adventure 🙂

The IBR Rally Masters have issued a no social media policy during the rally. These are the last visuals we have of Steve until the rally is over!

Start photos by Rick Corwine

2017 Cross Country Trip Part 2 | Florida

2017 Cross Country Trip Part 2

What does one do after they’ve ridden across the county??? Circumnavigate Florida!

The Keys
We had plans to ride to the Florida Keys, stay the night and then head up to Sarasota to visit Steve’s daughter. Since we got in a little behind schedule, we decided to rest another day and do our trip around Florida in one fell swoop. We set out in the morning and were crossing the Keys by mid-day. Mic pretended she was an extra in True Lies as we cruised across the 7-mile bridge.

Mic & Steve at the southernmost point of the continental US.

Mic having a slice of Key Lime pie in the Florida Keys, while on the phone with Chase, assuring them that yes, it was us buying gas in Florida.

Alligator Alley
After a slow, long ride to the end of the Keys and back, we jetted across the tip of Florida via Alligator Alley. It was dark and thankfully we saw no gators! We pulled over at some point as it seemed that something was rattling, but upon remembering that you can’t out run an alligator, we hopped back on the bike and went on our merry way.  Not too long afterward, we arrived at our hotel in Sarasota.

Siesta Key Beach
We had a lovely visit with Steve’s daughter and visited beautiful, albeit chilly, Siesta Key Beach.  After a nice breakfast in the morning, we headed off back to Jacksonville.


2017 Cross Country Trip Part 1 | 50cc

2017 Cross Country Trip Part 1
Iron Butt 50cc

Steve has attended the IBA (Iron Butt Association) “Pizza Party” for a number of years now. The Daytona Party, as it’s now called, happens the last weekend of Daytona Bike Week, in Daytona, Florida. Long distance riders come from all over to hang, ride, and celebrate some fun IBA rides. If you’re headed to the IBA event, you will usually do an IBA ride to get there. This can be the entry-level SaddleSore 1000 or the ridiculous 250cccccc that Steve did in March 2016 where he rode from San Diego to Jacksonville and back, and back, and back and back – crossing the US 5x in 10 days. Steve and Mic decided on a single 50cc – Coast to Coast in 50 hours or less. This would be Mic’s longest ride and Steve’s longest 2-up ride.

Mic was excited to take a trip across the US on a motorcycle. She enjoyed the ride home from Denver, after flying out to meet Steve at the finish of the 2016 Butt Lite. Having completed a SaddleSore 1000 as pillion, she earned membership in the IBA, an IBA number and could be certified for completing a 50cc.

A 50cc begins at one coast (east or west) and ends at the other coast. The ride should take 50 hours or less. San Diego, CA and Jacksonville, FL are the closest points between oceans and have been used many times and beginning as ending points for this ride. The rider collects water in one ocean and then the other, and this becomes a nice souvenir of their ride.

Heading Out
Anticipating the trip and 2 weeks off work, she shared links so her family, friends and coworkers could follow her as she gallivants across the US.

Mic knew she needed to pack light; she was aware the bike needed to hold water & food for 2 days, in addition to a week’s worth of clothing & toiletries. She edited as best she could, yet this much still needed to be left behind.

Supplies packed and riders mounted up, headed to San Diego the night before the ride.

Pacific Ocean
The alarm rang early Saturday morning. Mic & Steve suited up, packed the bike and made the short trip to the gas station to get the starting receipt. Two fellow riders offered to meet up at the starting location to serve as witnesses. With a brief conversation, thank yous and well wishes, Mic & Steve headed to Dog Beach, which has easy access from a parking lot to the surf. In the process of gathering up the Pacific Ocean seawater, a larger wave rushed in, splashing up to Mic’s knee. Having followed Steve’s lead in washing & waterproofing her Aerostich pants and riding boots, her feet and legs stayed completely dry!

The West
The ride out of town and out of state was uneventful. Beautiful desert scenery rushed by. It wasn’t long to the Arizona border. A slight turn south and we arrived at the NM border. As the sun set, we grabbed a quick meal from a Wendy’s drive thru. It was nice to feel the air-conditioned “breeze” flowing out of the drive thru window.

Gassed up, we continued East. We noticed Steve’s microphone cutting in and out as he spoke. When he wiggled and pulled the wire, it would come back. Then a bump in the road would take it out again. Then the next bump would bring it back. Continued wiggling, pulling & tapping, guided him to the left pocket. A tap on the pocket would bring it back just about anytime it went out.

As we entered Texas we saw some rain on the radar. We were in contact with a fellow rider, Kenneth, who was doing a 100ccc from Jacksonville to San Diego and back, on the same highway. He reported hitting rain, so we prepared. We saw clouds off in the distance and encountered 180-degree show of lightning, but never experienced more than a light sprinkling of rain. Kenneth, on the other hand, hit storm cell after storm cell. Unfortunately, this impacted his timing and our intended mid-Texas meetup ended up being a quick flash of the high beams as he motored West past us on the 10. We did make a midnight rest stop somewhere in Texas to let a rain cell pass by. We ended up sitting next to a group of state troopers who had met for coffee and discussion of the latest ‘perps’ they’ve apprehended. They wished us well and we continued East.

We rolled into Kerrville about 4am Central time. We lost 2 hours moving from the Pacific time zone to the Central time zone. We also lost an hour due to the change to Daylight Saving Time. We slept hard that night, waking at noon – check-out time – to get back on the road.

Texas, and more Texas, then the Panhandle
Texas is big. Having left at noon, we were in the Lone Star state until sundown. Luckily it was a Sunday, so navigating the larger cities was a breeze and we cruised quickly through Texas to Louisiana & Alabama. You know what seems as big as Texas? The Panhandle of Florida. Man, that thing is wide! At hour 10, Mic was SO excited to be in Florida. When she peeked over Steve’s shoulder at the GPS, the realization that they were still 10 hours from the coast was disheartening. And it was cold. Why was Florida COLD???

We’ve crossed the last state line for this journey — just need to get ourselves to the Atlantic Ocean. We’re moving fine, but communication is difficult and Mic is freezing. Steve opts to stop and get Mic suited up in any electric gear he’s got on the bike. It’s dark, it’s in the 40’s and we’re motoring down the highway. Mic warms up a bit with the extra gear, but still isn’t comfortable. After a bit, Steve again decides to stop – and this time we’re not going anywhere until Mic is warm and we can hear each other. He begins with troubleshooting the gear and discovers a broken connector. He bypasses the connector and voilà!, heat begins and Mic is warm! Next he dismantles the dashboard checking connections as he goes along.  A small adjustment and voilà!, we have sound.  Now it’s time to finish this last leg.

Atlantic Ocean
The sun rose as we rode and we began to warm some. A couple stops for coffee and rest kept us moving through the early morning hours. Right about 9am Eastern we arrived at Neptune Beach, our Atlantic Ocean destination. We parked the bike, took a few deep breaths and trudged out across the sand to scoop up our water and sand for our keepsake bottles. We completed our 50cc within the 50 hour time limit. Success!




2016 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.

January 4, 2016

32,345 miles ridden in 2016. Another year that I am happy I was able to ride lots-and-lots of miles. Clearly, I got to enjoy more of the West than the Northeast for a change, and.. spent nearly half my miles back-n-forth on Interstate 10. I spent so much time riding through Texas I should be a resident! lol

Plus, today (Jan 4th, 2017) marks my 10th Anniversary of buying my first motorcycle (Suzuki Intruder VS800). Between the Intruder and two GL1800 Gold Wings I have ridden 156,110 miles. More than half of that in the past three years.

2017? Welp, I’ve already got 24,000 miles planned (includes the 2017 Iron Butt Rally) and it’s only the first week of the year!

Ride On 🙂

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