My Velocity Squared

October 4, 2010

LEO 1000 experiences

Filed under: Uncategorized — smarmbeast @ 4:23 am

8:00 p.m. Oct 1st.

Specifically designed to hose Jim Owen, the master of routing, it works (or doesn’t…) as follows:

There are positive locations, and negative locations. With more or less random point values. Taos might be +145,601, and the International UFO museum might be -150,516. You must have 9 bonuses. You objective is to get as close to zero as possible. 16 pages of bonus locations.

We tear open the rally packs, are are instantly dumbstruck. No chatting this time. Everyone makes a tactical retreat to their hotel rooms. I spark up Excel, and get to work. After three hours, I have two options: a 505 point route, and a -2138 point route. I opt for the later, conservatively.

I do a preflight on the bike, and go to sleep.

5:00 a.m. Oct 2nd.

Fitful awakenings. I’ve had about 30 minutes of sleep. The Days Inn, usually good value for money, has stuck me in a room with a shite air con unit that is very noisy. This will prove to be fateful later. The route masters route is also dancing through my head.

However, I  only 30 got minutes of sleep. Which means, in the morning although I can ride, I cannot task manage effectively. I built up a reserve of sleep on Friday by sleeping in, but still, I’m not up to snuff. This will be the last Day’s Inn I stay at.

Shower, must to the rally point, odo check and leave.

7:00 a.m.

We are off.

Snap Albequerque baloon bonus on the way out. Unplanned, but only takes 5 minutes.

Despite night before preflight, the bike is squirelly. I’m down 10 PSI everywhere.

It takes 40 minutes to find air for the tires. Every gas station neither has air, or has broken air pump. Finally find a discount tire. Nearly an hour lost. Fix: Onboard undertail compressor next year. Saw one this year, decided not to buy. Hindsight it 20/20.

8:30 a.m.

In a sleep deprived moment of misjudgement, I ignore the rally packet directions, and trust the GPS to Valle Grande. This results in a scenic tour of what I am sure is all of LANL (Los Alamos National Labs). All of it. Even the parts way up in the hills that aren’t on google maps. Also, a note Los Alamos. I know you are proud of your Nuclear heritage, but naming streets after places we’ve nuked is a bit… tacky. I seriously wonder if after WWII there wasn’t a “Hiroshima St.” and “Nagasaki Bvld”.

But really, that is what NM is here for. Need a large amount of open space to play with untested physics packages? It’s either New Mexico, or Nevada.  Z-pinch machine? Put it up over there @ Sandia. First implosion type nuke? That empty space over by white sands will work just fine.

Valle Grande is missed. Too much time wasted, and my speed average dropped. I was pretty close now I see… but I should have come the way the rally pack wanted. I make a note to pick up another location. But I think I am safe since I have the baloon bonus from Albequerque to at least finish. A quick google would have helped as well. I am however, now seriously on the hole, -197,000 points. This was the lynchpin of my route. In retrospect, I should have found another similar point value positive and made a run for it.

10:30 a.m.

Head to Taos. No hum was heard. There was an art fair to route around however.

Drive the bike right up to the ticket window, and take a shot. Jam out of town, nearly get killed by a Coyote chasing a rabbit onto the road.

12:15 a.m.

Rio Grande Bridge on the way out from Taos, another easy bonus location.

2:30 p.m.

Montezuma’s Castle. 3 hours of going through the mountains. NM-518 is pretty, but takes 2 hours, plus gas stop.

5:00 p.m. Fort Sumner

Billy the Kids grave. Here again, the GPS hoses me. Takes me down a 65 MPH road in the middle of nowhere, next to no bonuses to Roswell NM.

This starts to become a theme. A note for next time: Stay on A, B roads most of the time. Take extra time to put down miles, and collect extra bonuses to have in your pocket in case something goes wrong.

This is the sleep deprivation. I always have a plan A, a plan B, and a plan C. Only when very tired am I careless. And I have been very careless contingencies on this route.


Roswell, NM. Actually a larger city than I thought. Seedy. Traffic is pretty crazy. Eat dinner, have some coffee, hydrate. Take a photo of the UFO museum and leave.


Lincoln, courthouse. Billy the Kid escaped from here. 380 is slow. I could use extra light here. Next year, aux lighting is a must. I am also skirting the edge of a super cel, and getting hit with wind pretty hard. Lose alot of speed.


Very Large Array, NM

Where in the hell I burned 4 hours on the way here I have no idea. Disaster of a gas stop, high winds, rain probably had something to do with it.

I’m sure the VLA is impressive, but at night, there isn’t alot to see. I set a course for the hotel, thinking I am done.

But I am not. I need more miles, and I have forgotten a bonus. But I don’t know that on this little sleep. I plot a run to a last bonus, a ranger station in Milipatis. But with no sleep the previous day, my reserves die after the VLA. I have the time to hit the bonus, but I don’t have the willpower. I am tired, and I catch myself snapping to sleep for a fraction of a second on the bike.

I stop for 30 minutes at a truck stop. Water, coffee. Assess. And I throw in the towel. I think I have the bonus locations I need.

I don’t. I need one more. Should have gone for the last one.

This results in a DNF for the rally. Score would have been pretty bad. I did get a IBA award for 1,000 in 24 hours, which should be one the site once I file the paperwork.

I change rooms at the hotel, attend the award banquet, and fall asleep for 7 hours.

Lessons learned:

GPS matters. Nuvi 1300 doesn’t cut it. You need to be able to force feed it your route, and have it stick to it. Plan on spending $500.

Then buy another one. For backups, and to flag you down if there are waypoints.

Streets and Trips can take a hike. Used to be good, now too Microsofty for my tastes. And, the damn GPS flags are incompatible with the Garmin, so the icons don’t show up. So I can’t see if I am buy anything. Replacing with Mapsource for the most part. It’s route optimizer is good however, so the workflow will be:

Streets and Trips -> Mapsource -> GPS.

Too much time off the bike. Hydration of 2 Gallons needs to go on the bike, plus food cooler. Aux fuel… i hate to admit it, but I need this. I need a 300 mile range before fueling. I spent 4:30 hours off the bike. If I would not have been dead consistent on the bike, I wouldn’t have made 1,000 miles.

Things done right:

Route time was good. Made good time minus stops. Very consistent on the speed. Route was well put together from a time perspective, and if I would have got Valle Grande, I would have finished in the top 20 out of 63. I am very impressed with this. Most of the things that went wrong can be fixed with gear, and inspecting the hotel before hand.

Getting some chow, and bagging out until they kick me out of this hotel. Oh, and Fuck Day’s Inn. Fuck them hard.


October 1, 2010

Lunatics On an Excursion.

Filed under: Uncategorized — smarmbeast @ 9:15 pm

Holed up in the Days Inn in Los Lunas.

The Western Sky’s Inn down the street is full of IBA bikes. You can tell a long distance riders bike at a glance. IBA license plate frame, auxiliary fuel tanks, PIAA rally lights, dual GPS mounts + cel phone. The kind of bike rigged for some serious nonstop miles. My getup is slightly more pedestrian. Pics to follow.

The doubt is creeping in around the fringes of certainty. I would like to have a little more illumination. If I pulled a herculean effort, it could be done. Best not to mess with it this late however. I have really nice high beams, and if necessary, I have use the headlight control to dial them up and down so I don’t blind people.

Need more water. Heading out in a little to pack the trunk full of a couple of insulated water containers that I can ice up. Would love to be a able to run a hose out of that to the front. But I’ll ride with the camelback and refill often. Should be cooler tomorrow as well.

Hints have been dropped that we are going to be allowed a maximum of 9 bonus locations. Which 9 is up to you. The terror comes in 5 hours, when I have to both plan a route, and get some sleep before we muster to the start at 6a.m. Thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow evening near the cities and mountains. Strongly considering missing the Trinity site and hitting mountains in the day, and desert at night. One can make some serious miles @ night in the desert. However, we have to weigh that against tourist traffic in the mountains, which can be very intense.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness. All the rest of my brain is running probabilities and scenarios. Trying to think of anything I’ve missed.

Blog at