Sunday, April 22, 2012

Minuteman 1000 - 2011 Long Distance Rally, May 20-21

The MinuteMan 1K  (MM1K) was the first rally that I participated on back in 2009.  You can find the Minuteman website here .  It is always a favorite for me due to the number of friends I have in the LD community in the North East area.  Rob Nye, the MM1K Rallymaster puts on a great rally.

This year my friends from Quebec, Jacques Titolo, Jennyfer Audet, and Kevin Craft  rallymaster of the Rendezvous rally would be participating.  Many of my friends from the North East would also be participating in the 2011 MM1K;  Wallace French, Jim Abbott and Andy Kirby.  Shuey Wolfe from Florida would also visit us from Florida.  Many of my friends would later participate in the 2011 Iron Butt Rally with me.  During the 2011 MM1K, Shuey Wolfe would hit not one, but two deer during the rally.  The second deer totalled his bike but he still made it to the awards dinner the next day.......simply amazing.  Shuey would also go on to put together and farkle a new ST1100 to participate in the 2011 IBR just weeks later.

I rode my 2002 Honda ST1100 for the MM1K rally as I did not want to take any chances of damaging my FJR weeks before the start of the MM1K rally.  Given what happened to Shuey, it was the right decision!

The theme of this years MM1K was "To Infinity and Beyond" from Toy Story......all the bonus locations had a space theme.....very cool!  The rally started and ended in Northampton, Mass

The weather was pretty decent although it did get wet a few times; but nothing like the torrential rains experienced during the 2011 Cape Fear Rally.

One of the cool things about this years rally was the timed bonus stop at Max's BMW in New Hampshire for a BBQ (website found here.  Rob was trying to make the stop at Max's similar to an IBR checkpoint.  Max served up some BBQ burgers.  We got to check out the new BMW K1600 GT/GTL.  It was awesome!

I finished the rally with 2 minutes to spare before penalty points.....way too close for comfort.  The rally went well for me and I ended up in second place just behind my good friend Jim Abbott.  I was pleased to finish just behind a person I consider to be one of the best ralliers around!

You can see my route here.   It was a great time spent with great friends! 

The mandatory mug shot before the rally start.
Met my Quebec friends the first bonus location, Jennyfer and Jacques at New Milford, CT.
The next several hours would be spent in New Milford chasing all the planets in the Solar System.
The planets are aranged throughout the town and are to scale.  This was a comet but I cannot remember which

Kuiper Belt



Cannot remember what this was......any ideas?


Saturn.....this was tough to find... buried deep within a park!
The GPS routed to a location across the river.


Mars.....soooooo tiny!

Mother Earth..... can you believe that we live on such a small planet?



The Sun.... To scale with the Earth pictured above.

New Milford CT

Observatory an hour or so from New Milford CT.  I cannot recall the name.

I blew this bonus. The Rally book went to great lengths to describe the I took a picture of it......
I should have carefully read where it instructed me to take a picture of an engine beside the rocket (just off to the right)
It is all about reading comprehension.  I bonus location is worthless if you do not take the correct picture of answer a question wrong.  Turns out if I had of taken the right picture at this location, I would have won the rally.  Turns out that the first place finisher, Jim Abott, made the same mistake I did at this location...... "woulda, coulda, shoulda, ......did not"

Getting wet

Portland dropped about 15 degrees here and I needed to put a sweater on!
This was a cool place...

This is one of the coolest pictures I have ever taken!!!

Echo Park was in the middle of no where.......very spooky.....

Shortly after this picture, I stopped for 2 hours for our mandatory rest stop.
 I elected to take a 2 hour nap at a nearby parking and damp.

Getting fairly wet at this point.

Last picture.  I had a hard time finding this location as it was hidding behind a building. 
At this point I was concerned about being late to the final checkpoint. 
Turned out I would arrive 2 minutes before penalty points started........plenty of time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 2002 Honda ST1100 is gone: My final thoughts.

The 2002 Honda ST1100; tucked away in its new home.
The 2002 Honda ST1100 was sold last week.  I delivered the bike to Washago to the new owner.  The ride over was sad for me.  Although, I have owned the ST1100 for only a year; I had grown very fond on the bike.  On the ride over, I felt like was abandoning an old friend.  I put on about 13,000 kms during the year.....not bad for a second bike.  The new owner was thrilled to receive the ST1100.  I know that the bike is in good hands and will continue to be taken care of.

I thought I would share my final thoughts on the ST1100 as I reflect back on my year of ownership.  The bike had clocked 123,000kms at the time I sold it, but had no signs of being tired.  These bikes have been known to go in excess of 400,000kms and there is no doubt that this ST1100 will do the same.  You can read about a friends' high mileage ST1100 here: Thane's Silliker's ST1100. The biked burned no oil and was tight and silky smooth.  The rear shock was original and was doing well.  I cannot say enough positive things about the ST1100.  It is one of my favorite bikes to date.  The ST1100 seemed to do just about everything well but was not a standout in any one area.  I liked its simplicity, quality and unpretentious manner.  I knew that the ST1100 was going to go wherever I wanted to go without complaint or fanfare. The old school carburetors had none of the finicky low speed throttle responses due to poor fuel mapping found on my more modern Yamaha FJR.  The stability on the highway was remarkable.  My wife enjoyed riding on the back.  I definitely would recommend the ST1100 if it is a bike you are considering. 

Goodbye will be missed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gear Review: Gerbing's T5 Heated Gloves

This is the first post of a new series that I will be blogging on.  I thought that I would share my own personnal reviews of the multitude of motorcycle gear I have accumulated over the years.  Each review will be brief with my own experience and my recommendation along with the HITS and MISSES.

This week I want to post my experience with Gerbing's T5 Heated Gloves.  I have had the gloves for over 1 year.  They have been used in numerous rallies, including the 2011 Iron Butt Rally and probably during the worst rain storm I have ever ridden through during lasts years 2011 Cape Fear Rally.

I simply love my Gerbing's heated gloves.  They remain waterproof through all but the longest and drenching rain storms.  Even then, when it is that wet, I was never sure if the gloves were leaking or if some other part of my gear was leaking.  Regardless, the gloves stay warm even when wet.  The new microwire technology is amazing.  The wires in the gloves are virtually non detectable.  The gloves are flexible and the palms are thin enough to provide adequate feedback through the bars. Operating the controls on the bike is only slightly more cumbersome than regular weight gloves and much less cumbersome than winter weight gloves.  The gloves generate plenty of heat to keep my hands toasty warm during the coldest days. 

The only negative is having to plug the gloves into the jacket and having to feed the cable out of the way.  Plugging the wires in is a test of dexterity but does become easier with practice. Occassionally, if I do not take the time to tuck the cable away neatly, I find the cable can get bulked up under my sleeve creating some discomfort during a long ride.

Perry's recommendation:  2 Thumbs up

  1. Waterproof.
  2. Thin microwires are virtually not detectable.
  3. Toasting warm even on the coldest days.
  1. Plugging in electric gloves does take some time, lots of practice and a bit of dexterity.