2013 Iron Butt Rally
The Worlds Toughest Motorcycle Rally

Greg Rice - Rider 34

Ride Report - Leg One
July 1, 2013 10:00 AM   To   July 4, 2013 8:00 PM    -   82 Hours

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We received the rally pack and I headed up to my room to start working on my route. It was a mad dash to the elevators and it seemed like everyone was trying to get on the same elevator. On the way to the room I did slow down long enough to say good luck to a lot of friends. Once up in the room I started following my process of numbering and then entering the bonuses into my mapping programs. I had already setup my computer and a workspace earlier in the day so I could get started right away. The first thing I do is number the bonuses in the rally pack starting with the first bonus including the rest, fuel log and call in bonus. Once I do that I start naming the bonuses in Mapsource ( soon to start using basecamp ) following my naming convention which is as follows, bonus number I assigned in the rally book, point value, bonus code and anything special like a timed window. Here is an example: 19-3000-CTT-9-4. While I am entering the bonus name information I assign a waypoint symbol depending on the point value and if it is 24 hour, daylight only or a timed bonus. I use a lollipop for 24 hour bonuses, a cube for day time only bonuses and a flag for timed / special bonuses. I also assign a color to the symbol based on the point value. For the IBR I used green for bonuses 499 points and below, blue for bonuses 500 to 999 point values and red for 1000 points and higher. If there is a bonus with a really high point value I use purple to designate that but leg 1 did not have any of those. I did notice right away that there was not that many high point bonuses so good routing was going to be very important. All of this usually takes less than an hour depending on the number of bonuses. For leg 1 of the IBR there was a total of 69 bonuses so it took me around 40 minutes just to get everything ready to start route planning.

Next I tried to see if there is a pattern or a potential route that stood out and was obvious.  I saw a loop over to Michigan up into Canada and then over towards Nova Scotia and then back into the US by way of New Hampshire and Vermont to the checkpoint. This seemed to be the optimal route with the most points available. Well I had already decided not to go to Canada long before the rally so as not to cause an international incident that would cause the RM to get pissed at me. You see back in then middle 70s' I had a DUI while attending bike week in Daytona Beach and it showed up when I tried to return back to the US after riding to Alaska last summer. I was denied entry at the Alaska border as a Canadian Border agent had time to run my background as it was 1:00 AM and I was the only one at the border station. Two days later I was allowed to enter Canada with no problems. So I did not want to take a chance and plan a route that included Canada. This really limited my options and good ole Key West was really my only option if I wanted to get any points. So I spent the next couple hours planning a route around Key West ( see map below ) and I came up with a 4500 mile route that I new was going to be hard to ride but hey it was me who was going to ride it so I knew I could. I also knew I would be hammered at the end of the leg but I was counting on the extra two hours we have at each checkpoint to recover for the next leg. I finally hit the bed around 1:00 am which was much later than I wanted too.

I got up at 7:00 am as we needed to be at our bikes in the staging area at 8:00 am for the odometer check. I got dressed and headed downstairs where a lot of riders were already milling about. I talked nervously with some riders and others who came to see the start and had a little bit of food. Around 7:45 am I headed out to the bike to be sure I was there early and ready when the tech team comes around for the odometer check. It was raining and looked like it was going to be a wet start to the IBR. I saw Tom Austin and he asked what direction I was headed I proudly told him Key West but all along I was having second thoughts about my route and while standing around talking with other riders I decided to go for broke and go back up stairs after the odo check and plan a new route that took me up into Canada.

With the odo check complete and my IBR ID card punched I headed back upstairs to start my route planning all over. I decided to just plan the first day and the other big bonuses I wanted to go to and then plan the rest on the fly as I did not have time to plan a complete route for the leg. I pretty much created a route that was similar to the one I first saw after entering all of the bonuses. After a few minutes I figured out in Streets & Trips that I did not have the time to ride all the way to Nova Scotia so I only planned up to the bonuses just inside Canada and would add the rest of the bonuses on the fly once on the road. I also planned a backup route in case I did not get into Canada that would at least salvage the leg. Once done I took the bag that I was leaving at the hotel down to the storage room and finished packing the bike. Ice and water had been provide out in the parking lot so I filled up my hydration system and then checked out of my room as I had a reservation for when I returned at the end of leg 1. I headed back down to the bike to wait for the start.

I rode in the 2009 IBR so you would think I would not be to nervous at this one but you would be wrong. I was on pins and needles standing by the wing thinking I hope I don't drop the bike when warchild points at me. I felt the same way in the 2009 IBR. If you have not ridded in an IBR or been to the start you need to apply or at least go to the start of one as it is unbelievable that he can get 100 motorcycles out of a parking lot in such a short time. It is very nerve racking as he works his way down the line. I know I did not want to be one of the first ones out but I also did not want to be one of the last ones either. There was a last minute rider meeting in the parking lot and final information was given out and one last be careful and to make it back safely was told to us all.

It's time for the big dance to start as Warchild ( Dale ) announced on his mega phone that it was 5 minutes from the start and most of us started or bikes and got ready to ride. I was sitting on the wing doing a last minute check on everything and making sure SPOT was on tracking mode and I was routed to my first bonus. Warchild pointed at Matt Watkins who "won" the haircut contest and got to start first. Then one by one we were pointed at then given the go sign which was Warchild pointing to you and then out of the parking lot, here is a video by Ira Agins ( you can find more videos on the web of the start to get the real feeling of the start ). Ninety-Six riders started the rally and it still took less than five minutes to get all of us out of the parking lot.

2013 Iron Butt Rally Start Video - Ira Agins

Leg 1 Notes: The rain on I-75 ridding to Detroit was heavy and the traffic was also heavy and slow. It rained so hard I even got water in my boots which has never happened before. There also was thunder storms the last 80 or so miles heading to the checkpoint for leg 1. The temperatures ranged from around 40 degrees in Canada just before I stopped for a rest break around 3:00 AM to 85 the last day of leg 1. It was a long ride to the bonus in Rimouski, QC and I did not arrive there until 1:45 AM to start my rest bonus. This was a pretty hard leg since it was the first leg of the rally and three and a half days. It turns out this leg was very important and picking a good route was essential to finishing well. The points did get higher in the next two legs as usual in the IBR but since bonuses that was available in the next two legs that had high point values were limited having a strong first leg was important.


My Initial Leg 1 Route: I created a route Sunday night after receiving the bonus pack at the start banquet that I thought was a good route. Monday morning I changed my mind about my route and right after the 8:00 AM odo check I went up stairs and quickly created a new route with more points and less miles. This turned out to be a very good decision as I had a good leg 1 and not to tired after the leg. See the map below for the route I actually rode for leg 1.


2013 IBR Leg 1 Planned Route

My Actual Leg 1 Route: This is close to the route I created while waiting for the start for leg 1. I added a few bonuses as I rode the route as time permitted. Creating only a preliminary route caused me to ride extra miles as I added bonuses on the fly once I was sure I could make it to the bonus during the allotted time. There was a couple day light only bonuses that I was not sure about until I was in the area during day light.

Below are the bonuses that I scored in leg 1 in the order I scored them.

  2013 IBR Leg 1 Actual Route

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the carriage containing the ATM machine.

It was a mad dash to the first bonus for those of us heading to the Henry Ford Museum. I think I saw over 40 riders headed to this bonus.

This was my first bonus of the 2013 IBR so it was special and I was appropriately nervous and wanted to be sure I got a good photo and wrote down the correct information. I spent a few extra minutes here double checking my photo and documentation. Then it was off to the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.

Man it rained cats, dogs and cows all the way to the Henry Ford Museum. The roads were flooded and traffic was moving very slow. This was some of the hardest rain I had ever ridden in.



  Amish Horse and Buggy - 150 points - Wellington, OH
24 Hour

Bonus Requirement: Get a receipt showing that you arrived at the museum not later than 4:00 p.m. and then take pictures of the following 25 exhibits.

The bus ridden by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955;
The 1 horsepower 1883 engine designed by Nikolaus Otto;
The 1916 Steam Traction Engine;
The Limo used by President Dwight Eisenhower;
The Limo used by President Ronald Reagan;
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile;
The 603 ton Allegany Locomotive;
The Limo Used by President Franklin Roosevelt;
The 1971 Honda CB750;
The reproduction of the Wright Brothers plane;
The 1903 Ford Model A;
The 1930 Ford Model A;
The 1949 VW Beetle;
The 1955 Corvette;
The car that was driven from San Francisco to New York in 1903;
The 1963 Buick Riviera;
The car that held the Land Speed Record from 1965 until 1991;
The 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale;
The 1948 Tucker;
The 1909 Ford Model T;
The 1932 Ford V8 engine;
The 1891 Concord Coach;
The 1996 Ford Quadricycle;
The Douglas DC3; and
The Limo in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

There was a lot of IBR riders at the museum while I was there. I kept on most of my gear and only took off my helmet. I was soak as was everyone else who was there. It took me a little over an hour to find all of the 25 items that were required for this bonus. Some of the items took for ever to find. I was running around like crazy as was many of the other riders. This bonus was very stressful as it was important to get a photo of all 25 items. Once I got all of the photos and went back outside to the parking lot I took a few minutes to catch my breath, the big dogs don't do this.

This was a really cool place but a very hard bonus to find all 25 items. I hope to go back some day and spend more time.

Henry Ford Museum - 1666 Points - Dearborn, MI
Daily 9:30 am - 5 pm, $17 admission

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the monument entitled Gateway to Freedom.

This bonus was only 12 miles from the Henry Ford Museum but it was hard to get to as it was over by the water and almost inside the police station. I had to park in among the police cars just to find a place to park. Tim Masterson and Jeremy Loveall was at this bonus also while I was there. We had pretty much the same route up into Canada for the next day or so then our routes went different ways.

It was still raining and the roads were very slippery in downtown Detroit. It was a lot of turning and traffic lights all the way to the bonus.

From this bonus it was off to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum

  International Underground Railroad - 293 Points - Detroit, MI
Daylight only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the bow anchor of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

This bonus was only 5 miles from the International Underground Railroad bonus and it was in a park on a small island that you had to take a bridge to get to it. There was 3 other riders at the bonus while I was there including Jeremy.

The rain was still falling but not as hard now and on the radar on my built in GPS and the Zumo 665 I could see the end of it once I started headed north towards Flint, MI.

I was finally headed out of the Detroit area and on the interstate ( I-75 ) headed north.


  Dossin Great Lakes Museum - 401 Points - Detroit, MI
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the entrance to the Buick Gallery and Research Center.

On the way to this bonus the rain finally stopped and I saw 6 or so other riders including Tim and Jeremy.

This was a quick stop for me but Tim was having problems with his SPOT and stayed there to see if he could fix the issue.

It was 5:00 PM central time when I left this bonus and it was 230 miles to the next bonus which was a daylight only bonus ( Mackinac Bridge ).


  Buick Gallery & Research Center - 299 Points - Flint, MI
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a picture of the bridge from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

This was a daylight only bonus so I rode pretty hard to be sure I got there in time. As it turned out it was an easy ride up I-75 and I had plenty of time to take the photo and take a break. I found a tourist interested in what I was doing to hold my rally flag for the bonus. I hung around here for a while eating a snack and talking to a few other riders who showed up. It was a pretty sight with the sun setting in the background.

My next bonus was in Canada so it was not going to be long to see if I made it across the border. It was about 40 miles to the border from here and I had some time to think about what I was going to say if they asked any questions.

I pulled up to the Canadian border and showed my passport and he asked where I was headed and I said I was riding around the Great Lakes. He handed me my passport and said have a nice ride. That was it maybe 30 seconds. Thankfully no international incident or anything.

  Mackinac Bridge - 1199 Points - Saint Ignace, MI
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the Beech ski plane on the pedestal outside the museum.

This was my first 24 hour bonus and it was nice not to have to be in such a rush as the next bonus was also 24 hour. I saw 6 or so other riders here all taking their photos. There was a event in town and there was a lot of traffic and people walking around. It took a few minutes extra to get to the bonus and out of town once I scored the bonus.

It was only 35 miles to the next bonus and it was a out and back route, so 70 miles round trip.


  Bush Plane Museum - 750 Points - Sault Ste. Marie, ON
24 Hour

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of plaque with your motorcycle in the foreground.

When I arrived at this bonus the plaque was missing but a few riders was there so I knew I would be okay as we all would have the same photo. It was pretty dark out so a couple riders pointed their headlights towards the bonus to make it easier to see. It is amazing the lights we all have on our motorcycles. I think you could use some of them as landing lights on an aircraft.

The next bonus was about 400 miles to the east and was a daylight only bonus so I knew I was going to be able to get a couple hours rest along the way. It was 11:30 PM local time when I left this bonus and I had all night to ride 400 miles and get some rest. It cooled off and the temperature dropped to 48 and I put on my heated jacket liner but did not turn it on.

On the way to the bonus I hooked up with Tony Hudson and Jeremy Loveall and we decided to share a room for a couple hours in a small town called Spanish. We stopped around 3:00 AM and was back on the road at 7:00 AM. There was only two beds in the room and somehow I got my own. Don't ask about who shared the other bed. :)


Trans-Canada Highway Historical - 751 Points - Chippewa Falls, ON
24 Hour

Bonus Requirement: Take a picture of the marker with the railway in the background.

I do not remember much about this bonus but other than I showed up took the photo and got back on the road as I had decided to ride up to Rimouski to get the mermaid kissing the fish bonus which was another 850 miles to the east with 5 other bonuses to score before I got to it.


  Big Chute Marine Railway - 749 Points - Coldwater, ON
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a picture of the Kirkfield Lift Lock itself or the sign.

This bonus took a few minutes to score as I had to find my way into the area which was a park. I was here a little too long and I think I saw Tim Masterson here also.

The next bonus was the Canadian Canoe Museum about 60 miles away.

It was a nice ride as the weather was cool and dry.


  Kirkfield Lift Lock - 502 Points - Kirkfield, ON
24 Hour

Bonus Requirement: Take a picture of the museum building.

Who knew Canada had a canoe museum. It was an easy bonus to find but I took a few minutes to get a good photo with as much of the side of the building as possible.

It was only 30 miles to  the next bonus out in the countryside.

  Canadian Canoe Museum - 296 Points - Peterborough, ON
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the Plaque with your motorcycle in the picture.

It took a few minutes to find this bonus as the plaque was in a small building and I was looking for it on the side of the road. It also took a few photos to get one that showed the plaque where you could read it. I did not want to take a chance so i think I took about 6 photos of this bonus.

There was 5 bonuses within a 200 mile ride and this was the third of the 5. I was scoring some good points here that were not to hard to get. This was as good as it was going to get during the rally.

  Robert McLaughlin Memorial - 199 Points - Tyrone, ON
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the Bugatti 1926 Type 37.

I got a $15 parking ticket here because I park across the street and not in the museum parking lot.

It took a few minutes to find the right car to take a photo of but I got it pretty quick and back on the road for another short ride to the next bonus.

  Canadian Automotive Museum - 250 Points - Oshawa, ON
Weekdays 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of one of the Merrickville Locks.

I do not remember much about this bonus except it was pretty easy to score and get back on the road.

It was 6:30 PM when I arrived at this bonus and I had a 500 mile ride to the next bonus which was a daylight only bonus so my plan was to arrive in the area at night and get a hotel to get some rest and then be at the bonus at first light.

It was a pretty long hard 500 miles as I had to ride through Montreal and Quebec on the way to the bonus. I used my Zumo 665 to find a hotel in the area ( Comfort Inn ) and called them from the bike to make a reservation. This was also going to be my rest bonus for this leg. We could score up to 1920 points if we stayed at least 8 hours.

Once past Quebec the road became a small two lane road and it was hard to make any time and I did not arrive at the hotel until 1:30 AM.

  Rideau Canal Waterway - 308 Points - Merrickville, ON
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a Photo of the Kiss Me Baby statue outside the Museum.

I arrived at the hotel and I needed to get a receipt for start of the rest bonus. The hotel clerk said he could not give me a receipt so I checked in and then got on the wing to find a gas station. About a block away was a gas station but it was closed. I tried the pumps anyway as in the US many gas stations leave theirs on even when they are closed. You just need to use a credit card to get gas. The pumps was off so I used the GPS to see if another gas station was in the area or a bank ATM. I found a ATM about  a half mile away so I went there. Again no luck for some reason it would not take my card. I decided to ride back to the hotel and look at the check in receipt they use when the authorize the credit card, damn it had a good date and time. I just wasted 20 minutes riding around when I could have been sleeping. I finally got in the room and decided to take the full 8 hours and get as many points as I could. It's not often you can score points while you sleep so I wanted to take advantage of it.

I got up and headed for the bonus at 9:20 AM, just a little short of the 8 hours. I was anxious to get moving. It was a short ride to the bonus and a quick easy photo for another 1000 points.

I was pretty far east up along the St. Lawrence Seaway and needed to start working my way back west and back into the US. I had ridden approximately 2000 miles already and still had another 1500 miles before I got back to the checkpoint.

Pointe-au-Pere Memorial Museum - 1000 Points - Rimouski, QC
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the museum sign. Be sure we can see the motorcycle at the top.

There was 2 daylight only bonuses on my way back west that were close to each other and totaled almost 1500 points. They were not in my planned route as I was not sure when I was going to be near them. Now it was a no brainer to add them to the route.

This bonus was easy to find and score. I was probably only there 5 minutes and off to the next bonus which was only 6 miles down the road.

I should have only been here 1 minute and this was one of my learning lessons for the rally.


  L’Épopée de la Moto - 747 Points - Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, QC
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the HMCS Bras D'Or.

This bonus was a little harder to get to and took about 10 minutes total before I was back on the road. It was a park on the side of the St. Lawrence Seaway and probably a nice view if I had the time.

It was 180 miles to the next bonus and my last one in Canada before I crossed back into the US.

  Musee Maritime du Quebec - 746 Points - L'Islet, QC
9am - 6 pm

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of a museum building with "Bombardier" on it.

I was running low on gas on the way to this bonus and many of the gas station POI's in the GPS were not there. Eventually I found a small town with a gas station and bought 11 gallons of gas so I only had .3 gallons left.

This was a cool place and one I would like to come back to some day. It took a few minutes before I found the correct place to take the photo and I was here about 10 minutes.

This was another learning opportunity.

Next stop was the Shelburne Museum 120 miles away.

There was a line at the US border crossing and it took about 20 minutes to get back into the US.

  J. Armand Bombardier Museum - 498 Points - Valcourt, QC
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the restored 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga. So that you can avoid the
$20 fee during normal museum hours, we will accept a photo clearly showing the ship's smokestack taken from off the museum grounds.

On the way to this bonus I had a long wait at the US Border crossing and when I pulled up to the US Border agent he had a lot of questions and had me remove my helmet. He asked a lot of questions about what I was doing and why I was doing it. He kept maybe 5 minutes.

Here is where I made a pretty big routing mistake. I should have routed to the next bonus first and then this bonus. It not only cost me more miles but worse was the route I ended up riding took me through a lot of small towns on small roads. I lost a lot of time with this mistake. I did not notice the mistake until after the rally though.

  Shelburne Museum - 497 Points - Shelburne, VT
10am - 5pm or Daylight

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of Peppersass and your motorcycle.

This was a hard bonus to find as it was not where it was supposed to be. I spent 10 minutes riding around the place looking for the bonus. I eventually saw a small path to the back of the building. I rode back there and there was the bonus. It was a good thing the place was closed because I do not think we were supposed to ride motorcycles back there but the bonus requirement was a photo with your motorcycle.

As I said earlier I made a routing mistake on this bonus. I should have routed to this bonus before Shelburne Museum ( one above ) from the Bombardier Museum as it was closer. I was routing on the fly and did not decide to attempt this bonus until I was getting close. It probably cost me close to an hour, plus it also cost me having to ride on small roads when I working my way headed back west towards the checkpoint.

  First COG Train - 748 Points - Bretton Woods, NH
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the Glider Hangar. Make sure to get the windsock in the photo.

I arrived here about 30 minutes before daylight so I rested on the grass area for a while as I had ridden all night to get here at first light. I rode all night through many small towns on small roads to get here and it was a long night and was some of the hardest riding I did during the entire rally.

I also could have done some better routing to this bonus as I had to ride right by my next bonus on the way to this bonus. I just was not was not sure I was going to be there late enough for it to be daylight. As you see I thought my next bonus was a 24 hour bonus. That is what routing on the fly will do to you.

  National Soaring Museum - 399 Points - Elmira, NY
Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the plane at the driveway to the museum.

When I entered this bonus in my mapping program I marked it as a 24 hour bonus. It was a daylight only bonus and I arrived about 4:30 AM and took out my rally pack and realized that it was a daylight only bonus so I had some time to kill so I rode to the above bonus so I could be there before daylight.

This was an easy bonus to find as it was right on the side of the road.

  Glenn H. Curtiss Museum - 402 Points - Hammondsport, NY
Daylight Only

Before heading to the next bonus I tried to score another bonus that turned out was back in Canada near Buffalo. It was just across the border and was a 999 point bonus. On the small GPS screen it looked like the bonus was in the US so I headed for the bonus but when I got close I saw a sign that said last exit before Canada, oh crap it was too late to turn around as I was in a line of traffic. I finally made it up to the Canadian border and handed my passport to the officer thinking it was going to be okay as there was a line of traffic and I did not think they would take the time to run my background. Well I was wrong. The kind officer asked me to pull up over in the parking area and told me to go inside and they would assist me. ( yea, right assist me ) I sat in a chair for a while and finally an officer called me up and asked me where I was going and why I was in their system. I told him I was going to take a photo and I would be out of Canada in less than 20 minutes. I also told him I just entered Canada two days ago with no issues and he said yes I see that. Also acting dumb I said I don't know why I would be in their system. The officer said ok go sit back down while I look it up. About 10 minutes he called me back up and was pretty pissed at me saying I was told a year ago not to come back to Canada. He threatened to hold a hearing and deport me and went on for a few minutes for what sounded like a lot of bad things. He told me go sit down again as he was filling out some forms. Another 10 minutes later he called me back up and was much nicer now and said it was over a year ago that they told me not to come back so he was going to do the same thing and tell me not to come back to Canada AGAIN or I would be charged with something and bad things would happen to me. A few more minutes later he said here take these forms and fill them out and mail them in when you get home and you will be allowed entry into Canada next time. All of this for a DUI over 30 years ago back in the 70's when I was a young punk at bike week in Daytona Beach. I said what about now still hoping to get that bonus and he looked at me for a few seconds like I was crazy and said I could not enter today and don't try again. He escorted me to the door and watched me ride back to the US.


Bonus Requirement: Take a photo of the flagship Niagara docked behind the museum.

You had to be careful adding this bonus to your route as it was only available on July 4 the last day of leg one.

I ran in to 3 other IBR riders on the way to this bonus. I was pretty tired as I had ridden all night and day to get here. I stopped to get a honey bun and coffee and I saw Matt Wakins there at the gas station. We rode a few miles together on the way to this bonus.

When I arrived I found a way to the side of the boat where it was docked. It was a easy to take the bonus photo there.

It was a 45 mile ride to the next bonus and I started to see a couple other riders as I was getting closer to the leg 1 checkpoint.

  Erie Maritime Museum - 303 Points - Erie, PA
July 4th, Daylight Only

Bonus Requirement: Take a picture of the sign commemorating Drake's first oil well.

I was a little unsure about what to take a photo of here but many of the other riders were there and someone had called in to get clarification.

The lady working the store was very nice and did not charge me the $10 entry fee and was very helpful.

I think I saw 6 or 7 other riders while at this bonus.

It was a 130 miles to the last bonus for this leg and it was starting to warm up a little. Of course as I got closer to the next bonus it started to rain.

  Drake's Oil Well - 744 Points - Titusville, PA
Daylight Only, $10 fee 9a-5pm Tues-Sat

Bonus Requirement: Ride the incline one way, take a photo of your motorcycle in the car and get a receipt.

It was a hell of a ride up the hill to this bonus. The road was a very small and wound up the hill. The road was in very bad condition and was trying my patience as I was running on empty now. When I arrived at the bonus and looked over the cliff I thought there was no way the incline could handle the 1200+ pound loaded Gold Wing. It looked like it went straight down and I was a little unsure of riding it down at first. That machine was older than dirt and no way was it up to holding the weight of the Gold Wing. Of course the operator proceeded to tell me he takes large SUV's down everyday but I was still not sure he was telling me the truth.

When I arrived at the bonus it started raining and there was thunder and lighting near by. The operator said he could not operate the incline in bad weather and said he may not run again today. It was already late and I was still 100 miles to the checkpoint. I went ahead and bought my ticket and got my receipt and kept telling the operator the weather was fine. :)

Eventually another rider showed up and after the weather cleared a some the operator decided to take us down. We both pulled our bikes onto the incline and I was not sure at first but it was a cool ride down and off we went in the rain headed for the checkpoint.

I needed to get gas as I was not sure I could make it to the checkpoint and I did not want to start the next leg with no gas.

The Johnstown Inclined Plane - 555 Points - Johnstown, PA
Mon - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 10p.m.

I made it back to the checkpoint with 50 minutes to spare at 7:10 PM. I stopped the clock and parked the wing in the rider parking area. I then sat down and had something to eat that was provided in the room setup for riders to work on their documentation. I checked all of my paper work and copied my photos to my laptop as I will not get them back once I turn the SD card in at the scorers table. I got in line to be scored and it took about 2 hours before my name was called. This gave me plenty of time to talk trash with some of the other riders.

My name was called and I went to the first scorers table to have my photos checked by Dave McQueeney ( one of the legends in the IBA and LD riding ) then on to be scored. I was lucky and did not lose any points at the table. My score for leg 1 was 18,220 points and I rode 3537 miles. I felt this was not bad but I had no idea were this put me in the standings.

After being scored I really wanted to know where I stood in the standings but I would have to wait until the morning when they announce the standings right before the RM hands out the rally pack. I went to my room and took a good shower and tried to get setup for the morning so when I received the rally pack I would be ready to get started. I then hit the bed as I had not slept in a while and I was feeling it now. I did not really feel to tired when I arrived at the checkpoint or during the scoring process, I guess I was hopped up on adrenalin. We needed to be downstairs a little before 6:00 AM as there was going to be food available around 5:30 AM.


Spotwalla Tracking Map: Here is my SPOT tracking map from Spotwalla ( thank you Jason ). My plan was to hit the OK button at each bonus and a few other stops like the hotels at night but it did not work out as I hoped. It does show my route very well though.

This was a hard ass leg and it took a lot of hard riding to make it to the checkpoint. I knew the rest of the rally was going to be just as hard or harder so I was trying to prepare myself for what was to come.

  Leg 1 Spotwalla Tracking Map

Click Here To Go Back To Start

Click Here For Leg Two

Click Here For Leg Three

Click Here For Wrapup

Copyright © Greg Rice 2013. All Rights Reserved.
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