Monday, May 18, 2015

My first rally of the year


I haven’t posted anything since last Tuesday because I was preparing for the 17th Annual European Riders Rally in Burkesville, Ky., then attending the rally in a location that Sprint doesn’t care much about.

The Indianapolis BMW Club handily won the award for the club with the most members present (I think there were 38 of us). The rally chairwoman opined that they couldn’t even have a rally if the Indy Club didn’t show up in strength.

rokstrapsAttendance was sparse – fewer than 200 people, compared with more than 600 last year – because of the threat of rain, much of which failed to materialize. The rain finally appeared Saturday afternoon and continued off and on through that day and overnight.

A light turnout meant enhanced opportunities to win doorprizes. I put all of my tickets in the running for a set of ROK Straps (brilliantly designed tie-down straps that I’ve been using since 2003) and I actually was a winner. I think it’s the first rally doorprize I’ve won since the BMW MOA rally in Monterey in 1986. That was a dumb-looking t-shirt that was too small for me. I just realized that’s almost a 30-year dry spell.

It was the debut of my Eureka! Tetragon 5 tent – a voluminous thing that has room for me to stand up and also have a camp chair next to my air mattress with space to spare. It was wonderfully luxurious and handled the rain flawlessly. I packed it wet yesterday morning, so I must remember to pull it out to dry in the garage to avoid mold and mildew.

Burkesville is a little under 400 road miles from home. I left home at 7:23 a.m. on Thursday, which was accurately forecast to be rain-free and was the first club member to arrive, dropping my sidestand about 2:40 p.m. Several of us arrived a day before the Friday start of the rally to assure that we could set up our tents before Friday’s predicted rain, which ended up holding off for a day.

Yesterday’s ride home started out about 9:30 a.m. sunny and humid, but things started to go downhill when I ran into rain on the west side of Nashville, Tenn. The rain slacked off until about 20 miles east of Jackson, Tenn. when it turned into the most intense deluge I’ve ridden in for several years. The Olympus gloves I had attempted to waterproof with Nixwax quickly became saturated and I soon noticed that I forgot to close the vents in my waterproof pants.

canadiansI finally exited and took shelter at a truckstop on the north side of I-40 about 10 miles east of Jackson, making the acquaintance of a French Canadian couple from Montreal touring the U.S. on a Harley-Davidson.

My GPS wanted to take me through Memphis to catch I-55 northbound to home, but the weather radar showed more storms in that direction and I didn’t relish getting stuck in traffic should some hapless driver crash in Memphis.

Happily, U.S. 412 which goes to Paragould crosses I-40 at Jackson, so I left the interstate and headed northwest on 412, finding myself in sunshine after about 5 miles. I gassed for the last time at Hayti and pulled into my garage a little after 5 p.m.


Doug J said...

Given your picture of May 4th, i think the door prize gods were smiling on you with the Rok straps.

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