KDW (Regular) View all posts in this topic  
Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:38 am

I actually didn?t do much to prepare for the rally. I had been putting off a 6,000 mile service on the bike so the weekend prior I completed that service. On the bike I had installed two new items, the Intel-A-Jet and the tire pressure sensors that pairs with the Garmin 595. I had done a little riding with both but nothing significant. The rest was my standard rally packing minimizing everything to the bare minimum. I unpacked everything and repacked it adding extra flashlights in anticipation of a good number of night bonus photos. Basically, everything I need for any extended multi-day ride fits into the two small saddle bags, tank bag, camel back, or my gear pockets. I spent most of the time wrapping up work items and letting everyone that I?d not be responding to them on Friday.

Blythe was my selected start and end. A 3.5 hour trip, it was the closest to home and I had a flight to DC Monday evening that would make getting back to San Diego relatively early important. The ride to Blythe was pleasant always a good sign for a rally. The route I selected was easy I-8 to CA-78. Descending into Imperial County from the Tecate Divide the wind picked up as it normally does. It was strong but not unusually so. There was just enough wind to keep you guessing and on your toes as you make the decent and it pushes you around in the lane. Once I reached Ocotillo the wind was at my back and stayed there all the way to Blythe. I did notice a rather large dust storm over I-10. I had ridden through that area several weeks earlier and was glad not to be in it again.

At the hotel I met Jack W at check in. he was changed and fresh looking. The hotel had an evening reception beer, wine and nachos. I headed to the room to unpack and meet Jack in a few minutes. When I was done Ken C and Jack were both chatting. Interestingly enough we had all booked the same hotel, not planned just a happy coincidence. Both Jack and Ken had come through the dust storm and were glad to be clear of it. We enjoyed some good conversation covering the basics of our route plans. The three of us had similar plans, we had each planned a counter clockwise base route specifically to avoid San Francisco Friday afternoon and evening traffic. We then headed off to get some rest before the optional bonus pack would be delivered at 3:15 AM. I was planning on 4:15 start, both Jack and Ken were taking a bit more relaxed approach and would depart at a more gentlemanly hour.

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