Don Angellís Ride Report

 

The Buckeye 1000 was not my first rally, but this will be my first ride report.My ride was not particularly novel or as adventurous as the Brooklyn story, but maybe by writing my thoughts down, it will help solidify some of my thoughts about why I do these things and interest someone else.

 

I have ridden at least 3 rallies a year since í98 and was unable to make my 3rd Minnesota 1000 this year.So, I decided to do the next best thing and go for another Team Strange event.Sure enough, Eddie, Adam and company put on a great event no matter what state itís in.And since I had never been north of Tennessee by road, I thought it would be good to see some other territory.

 

I usually take the bike to events, but since Dallas is so far, it was 100 degrees, my wife wanted to go, I didnít have vacation days to spare, I trailered my ST to Columbus.Getting there a day early allowed us to relax and take it easy.Unlike some of the other younger entrants, I prefer to add a day before and after a rally to rest up. After checking the weather forecast, which called for a chance of rain south of Columbus, I decided to see if I could get a new rear tire.I thought it had at least another 1000 miles on it, but with the rainÖAs it turned out, there was a great place, Iron Pony in Columbus, that had my tire in stock and mounted it while I shopped.

 

After the great meal and riders meeting that others have talked about, I could tell there was no sense in planning a route.A rally packet with only 15 bonus locations?In Minnesota, Team Strange has about 100 bonus locations to choose from.That couldnít be it.Iíd been in other rallies that didnít hand out ANYTHING until the morning of the event, just to help folks get some sleep.Figuring that was the case, I rode out to the closest truck stop to pick up some maps Ė no reason to plan too far ahead.I got a general idea of the location of the 15 locations, had sex, then got some sleep (the only way to do a rally).

 

After the final rally sheets were given out Saturday morning, I went back to the room to plot my course.Noting the bonus for staying in one place (to promote the idea of an extended rest stop) I decided to take those 3 hours first, since I donít sleep on these things anyway.I watched the weather channel and decided to stay north of Columbus because of the rain.Iíve ridden an entire rally in the rain and just prefer to stay dry (I know, what a wimp)!It was kinda weird to be standing around the motel while everybody else had taken off, but noticing about 6 other bikes in the parking lot, I was somewhat reassured.I used the additional time to read everything in the rally packet slowly and clearly mark out a route.I use the low tech method of hi-lighters and writing on the map.Once I have a route, I list the bonuses in order on a separate note pad.That one cheat sheet has bonus number, location, and point value and I put it on top of the map on the tank bag.It saves from having to page through the rally packet to find something you remember reading.I stick pretty close to the plan and know how many points are at stake when I decide to change things in route.At each location, I look at the rally sheet for the next bonus and memorize the directions.

 

I left, then, at 1330 with the idea of picking up more of the time dependent bonuses.I first went to Lithopolis for the oil bonus.Then via I-70 to the fish hatchery in Hebron and on to Morristown.Others have mentioned the fact that there were a couple of motorcycle dealerships, so you had to pay attention.Backtracking to I-77 north to Canaan to get the Fight the Pipe sign.There was a wreck that had closed the intersection on the main route, so I took a smaller road back to I-71 heading for Cleveland and Bainbridge.That was a nice stop, neat setting, friendly folks who offered grilled hot dogs which I regretted later that night.Tip: no organ meat on a rally.I had indigestion the rest of the night.I left at 8PM on my way to Chicago by 2AM.The Stoners said it was a 6 hour trip, so I knew I had to scoot.No time for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Marblehead, or Toledo along the way.I trailed a couple of fast moving cars and made good time across Ohio and Indiana, stopping once for fuel.When I got to the toll booth into Illinois, I noticed it was 11:30!I didnít have to be in that much of a rushÖ I hadnít taken the time zone change into account.So, I was able to back off the throttle a little through Chicago to the football sized burrito place.The man behind the counter says ďMan, youíre way behind.The others were here a long time ago.ĒHe didnít know, but that points out what I like about Team Strange events (at least, so far).There is no circuit.So you never know at any time along the route your relationship to other riders.Are you ahead?Behind?You have to wait Ďtil the end.Well, since I now had more time than I had planned, I had a taco, got some gas and reviewed the route back.In the damp haze, I left Chicago, working through construction traffic.Man, that place stinks!It smelled like a wet clothes hamper until I got into Indiana heading south on I-65.Then it was replaced by the sweet smell of wet corn.

 

I had noted that Cairo, Ind. was in the area, but didnít have a map detailed enough to tell how to get there.Stopping at a truck stop, I took a look at a Northern Indiana map that showed all the county roads referenced in the rally sheet.I took off from there in thick fog.Itís 2AM, only a few trucks on the road, fog so thick I can only go 45 mph and look for taillights in my lane.Cairo was just off the interstate, but of course, there was only one fairly tricky way to get to the bonus.It was surreal as I pulled up to the lookout tower, where locals had kept a vigil during the Korean conflict.It looked to be in someoneís back yard and the only light around was my headlightÖ I was looking for zombies or Children of the Corn to come trudging out of the cornfields that surrounded this weird monument and statue.Or at least an angry homeowner.I got the bonus and got out of there.

 

One other obscure site of the first Cesarean Section historical marker and I was off to Indianapolis.Outside Indy, it started to rain and kept up all the way back to Columbus.All receipts and rally material were in Ziplock bags, since some rallymasters do not accept wet packets.Everything else in the tank bag gets wet, thought.As the sun came up, I was getting a little tired.My throttle had gotten real stiff, wouldnít return and I had been fighting it all night.Itís not the butt that gets me, itís the back, which was especially tight and sore.I decided to blow off my planned western Ohio stops and head straight back to Columbus.

 

Like others, I was wondering around in the rain on a Sunday morning counting giant ears of corn in a field.I figured there was a plaque or sign that I was missing and so I just counted them all my hand.Turns out that was the only way.On to the BMW breakfast club at 0930 to find about 20 others there.I got back to the Lennox was 1030 even though we were actually allowed 26 hours.That was enough for me.

 

Since I was one of the early ones back, there was no waiting for scoring.Then it was back to the room for a shower, more sex, and a nap before the banquet.Tip:keep the room for an extra night.Itís worth it to be able to take advantage of the facilities after a long night.

 

My 1187 miles and 5993 points were respectable.Thatís really all Iíve tried to do, be competitive.Iím the guy that forces the front runners to stay on their toes.And especially since Eddie put me in the expert class, the competition is fierce.But Iíve determined to continue to ride these with a completely stock ST (being the ultimate machine that it is).†† Even though some gadgets might be helpful, entertaining, or save a ticket or two, Iíll stick with stock.Iíve ridden it every day to work since 5/98 except for the few ice days.I like the design and engineering and havenít wanted to try to modify that.Besides it keeps things simpleÖ you just ride.

I might however, put my Throttlemeister on for the next one.

 

 

Don Angell

Rider #21

Red Oak, Texas

 

Back to Ride Reports