Saturday, September 15, 2012

2012 Rendez-Vous Rally – the ride home

It was great to have a nice night’s sleep before saddling up again for a ride home. The bad weather of the previous day had cleared out, and we were all set for a nice riding day.

The Auberge Harris puts on a nice continental breakfast (there’s a hot breakfast available, as well, but we were both set for the lighter fare).

We chatted with the Rally Master and some of the other riders, before heading out about 0900.

We started out with partly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 50’s (deg F). We had both brought our heated jackets and controllers, and Connie ended up using hers for much of the day. I found that the jacket alone (without the rain liner) was just fine, and that my soaked gear from the previous evening was drying quite well. The ride home was uneventful weather-wise. The temperature started off cool (<60 deg F) and slowly warmed after about 1030 until the temperature got into the 80’s in New Jersey.

We had about 600 miles to cover on Sunday, so we elected to ride straight home. The border crossing wait was quite short (~12 minutes).

We did a fuel and snack stop in Lake George that was interesting – there was a car show that was wrapping up, so there were a lot of people and vehicles in town.

I always dread the boredom of I-287 and the New Jersey Turnpike, and wasn’t disappointed during the Sunday ride. The construction spiced up the ride a bit, but otherwise it was the old and familiar ride. Ugh.

We got back to Northern Virginia safe and sound a little after 2000. We’re looking forward to the 2013 edition of the Rendez-Vous Rally!


Lessons learned

Get a few Canadian dollars and some pocket change early.

It’s essential to have primary and backup GPS – my primary went stupid early in the morning of the rally – took some time to get it back on track. Several times I had to force recalculation on either the primary or the alternate to get the two to agree. Sometimes they disagreed by as much as two hours on the arrival times. Ugh.

Got foul weather gear on at just the right point on Saturday. Temperature management was reasonably good, as was hydration.

Goat trail routing. I had both the primary and secondary GPS receivers configured for motorcycling. That may have contributed to our being routed to two very rough roads. We took the first one, but the second one was a bit too long and too uncertain, so we went around. As it turns out, I should have stayed on the freeway for the second one, which would have saved a lot of time.

Know where the ferries run, when they run, and how much they cost. I didn’t know about one of the ferries on the St Lawrence River – knowing about that ferry might have caused me to drop a big bonus (and a LOT of riding) for several lower point bonii that would have yielded a larger total.

Get Connie a clear pinlock visor for rain.

Our stops are getting better and better. With a little advance reading and planning, we can get our bonus stops down to under five minutes (which is pretty good). We had one stop that involved a photograph and a purchase, and we were able to get both done in 12 minutes.

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