Two years ago the 8 Hour Team Lyle New England rally was my first ever endurance rally. Last year I participated in it again as a warm up for my first longer rally, The Void. Unfortunately the event wasn’t held this year, and that got me looking for other options to fill the gap between the MD2020 and Void rally. Jonathan Hammy Tan runs a series of experimental rally’s each year and this year he was planning one for the weekend of September 21 and 22. This was shockingly free on my calendar and the timing was right to serve as a warm up for The Void while still providing me time to fix stuff if something went wrong.
The theme for this years rally was “Tipsy Goat” and riders were awarded one point for each Brewery, Winery, Distillery, etc that they visited. There were 2 versions of the rally, a local edition and an online edition. The local riders could start from anywhere but had to meet at a restaurant in PA at the appointed time. The online edition could start and end anywhere and could take place during any 8 hour block of time during that weekend. I chose to do the online edition because I was worried about being able to fit the extra transit time required in to my schedule.
I’d originally planned on an early start on the Sunday but due to a change in my wife’s plans I ended up doing the ride on Saturday. I almost had to scrub entirely due to some last minute work issues, but it thankfully worked out.
The plan was to get the food art bonus (5 points) first using that receipt as the start receipt as well. The route start location was dictated by the location of a friends house who has goats. I found a nearby Dunkins, bought a couple of donuts and made some “art”. The observant may notice a rookie mistakes with this picture. The time on my camera is wrong. I’d opted to use an old school camera rather than my phone so I wouldn’t have to keep unmounting the phone and switching apps due to the high frequency of bonuses I expected. I had actually remembered to check the time on it the night before, but must have not set it correctly. Due to the nature of this rally, this wasn’t an issue, but on bigger rallies it would cost me points.
After grabbing the food art bonus and start odometer, I headed off to the first stop, a near by brewery. For whatever reason they didn’t have their name on the building, so I took a picture of the sign at the drive way with the building in the background. The rules stated no roadside signs, but I’m hoping this is acceptable. This actually happened several more times, apparently breweries/wineries don’t like signs on their buildings? From there It was off to the all important goat bonus. This was worth 10 points, and required all of the rider, and mascot, to be visible (i.e. no selfies). I’d brought a small tripod with me, but was having some issues with the animals running away from me when I walked to the fence. Thankfully, the daughter of the family was home and offered to take the picture for me.
I took this opportunity to take off my sweatshirt as it was warming up faster than expected. From this point on I didn’t get off the bike until I hit the 30 Mile Brewing, after getting my end receipt, almost 8 hours later.
Overall things went pretty smooth. There were about 6 locations that were on my route that I either couldn’t find, they’d clearly gone out of business (and taken down the signs), or weren’t clearly marked. This was disappointing and I guess I should have spent more time scouting with google maps/street view. I did stick to the planned timeline (with a budgeted 2 minutes per stop) and the bike had no issues other than one instance of the fuel line vapor locking. I’ve been trying to fix that issue for almost a year now so it wasn’t a big surprise. I would have preferred it hadn’t happened on the I95 bridge over the Quinnipiac river in New Haven though.
When time was running out, I grabbed an end receipt and continued to the next brewery on this list, 30 Mile Brewing. This time rather than taking a picture I purchased 2 growlers and proceeded home to write up my log sheet and have a beer. I ended up with 42 locations for a total of 57 points, not as many as I’d wanted but over all a good shake down run and I had a blast, now I wan’t to go back to each of these and sample their product. That may take longer than 8 hours though.
Results: In the final tally I was awarded 55 points (I’m not sure where I lost 2 points, but I’d guess it’s the 2 that weren’t obviously distillery or breweries.). That was good enough for 2nd place. First was and impressive 20 pts ahead which makes me feel better about the 6 locations I couldn’t find as they wouldn’t have affected the out come.