“Check is in the Mail”

Well, maybe not a check, but I did drop all 200+ rally packs in the mail this morning. They are headed your way now. Let me know if something is not right when you receive yours.

I also updated the web site to post the full destination list, all the sample images and a .gpx file with destinations. You can start poking around and planning your rides for April 1st and beyond!

That’s about it for this week. But it is probably enough for this week, too 🙂

Almost Ready to Mail!

We hit a significant milestone this morning – 200 riders registered! And to think that I believed I would be lucky to see 50 riders this first year. Almost all envelopes are stuffed, stamped and addressed. I have a little more to do and will drop them in the mail later this week.

Next weekend is the big reveal…all 30 destinations will be posted on the website with sample pictures and a .gpx file for GPS users. You will be able to download the destination list, the .gpx file and a .zip file with sample images. The rest is up to you!

One request I have for all of you. I recognize that once your flag arrives and the destination list is released that you will then have all the tools to head out. Please remember that the rally starts April 1st. I am releasing the destination list early this year because I want to make sure that those of you that signed up for the very first year of a new rally can see what we have planned and hopefully recognize that this is a legit effort. I am relying on your integrity to not go out early and try to get destination pictures before April 1st. There is no prize for first place in this rally.

I encourage you to take your flag and bike and go practice when the weather allows. Go ahead and send those practice pictures to pnwgrandtour@gmail.com. Go out on a windy day and practice attaching your flag to your bike so that the number remains visible for the scoring team. Have some fun and show us some cool shots.

As always, send your questions to the rally e-mail, use the contact form on this site or just comment on this post. I will get back to you as time allows.

New Info Added to Website

I added a page to the rider resources menu called Linky Links. I added links to a few riding pages I find interesting and I hope you find them interesting, too.

Here are some numbers from the rally:

  • 195 riders registered so far from as far away as Texas, Alaska and Missouri! I don’t want to hear any complaining about how far away the destinations are…LOL!
    • WA – 92
    • OR – 87
    • ID – 6
    • CA, TX, CO – 2 each
    • NV, MO, AK, AZ – 1 each
  • Of the 195 riders registered:
    • Harley (75), BMW (31), Honda (26), Yamaha (21), CanAm (8), Kawasaki (7), Indian (7), Triumph (7), KTM (4), Suzuki (3), Victory (3), Ducati (2) and Aprilla (1) are all represented!
  • Donations to the YMCA so far – $730 (thank you!)
  • Number of teasers released – 3…

I haven’t received registration fees from 8 riders who registered and indicated they planned to pay by mail. If you are one of those riders and haven’t sent it, or if you did send it and haven’t heard back from me, please get in touch (I send a separate email when I receive your check/cash). I will send reminder e-mails to those 8 riders separately. I am getting ready to mail out your flags, but I will not send the package until your registration fees are received.

Most of us have been hit by snow over the last day or so – I had a solid 10 inches or so in my yard yesterday afternoon. Days like those make me dream of riding in warm, sunny weather…it’s a little way off. So, to help you pass the time until all destinations are released, here’s a little teaser of one final destination before I post the full list in 2 weeks.

Riding in northern Nevada poses several unique challenges, especially to riders with limited gas range. Quite simply, there just isn’t much of anything civilized about northern Nevada. It is beautiful country, and I always enjoy my time in the area, but you have to have a plan for filling up. I have ridden around in northern Nevada for hours and seen absolutely no other sign of human life.

It is a strange place for this destination, but somehow a memorial to long distance riding lives in the area outside of Gerlach, Nevada. Full disclosure – the road to get to the actual memorial is a tough piece of dirt. Heavy bikes should be very cautious in particular, and be advised that cell service is spotty at best. Know your limits and don’t push them to visit the memorial. It may be a long time before anyone drives by to help!

So, in light of this challenge, the actual destination will be located nearby in beautiful Gerlach (LOL). Gas? Sometimes. Food? Most of the time. People nearby? Maybe. For those who brave the trip out of Gerlach to the memorial, that location will count the same as the location in Gerlach (one or the other is fine).

So why should you visit the memorial instead of Bruno’s, or maybe in addition to Bruno’s? It can have some meaning to those who are passionate about long distance riding.

All right, that’s it for teasers until the end of the month when the full list is posted on the web site. Dream on, dreamers!

Why the YMCA?

You guys really humble me. Through your generosity, we have raised $670 (and counting) for the YMCA. I honestly can’t say I knew what to expect. I knew we would get some donations but never imagined it would grow so well.

So why did I pick the YMCA? There are many worthy charitable organizations out there deserving our help, but my personal experience with the YMCA helped me decide to use our resources to help them. The YMCA is so much more than a fitness center. My association is involved in all kinds of outreach programs to help bring a sense of community to areas that don’t receive the same level of attention. To be honest, we could all be better people by following the YMCA’s core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.

Disclaimer – I am a full-time YMCA employee (as of about 2 weeks ago). But I haven’t always been an employee. I was a member of my local YMCA for about 8 years, and the facility was essentially a very nice fitness center for me. About a year ago I volunteered to be a part of my Y’s Advisory Council and began to discover all of the really cool stuff going on in the background. Once that seed was planted and watered I decided to go back to work to try to make my small part of the world a better place. Here are some examples of the YMCA’s impact from my area:

  • When our state closed down except for essential businesses, the YMCA offered child-care for essential workers and first responders.  Kids spent structured time learning, playing games, doing physical activities, and enjoying meals provided by the YMCA or the school district in a safe environment. Many people of decent means don’t really consider the impact of closed schools on nutrition for the less fortunate among us. The Y delivered, and donations like ours made that possible.
  • The Y offers financial assistance to low income households to ensure they have the same access to top-notch programs offered by the Y. Those “scholarships” are funded by donations from people just like us! I have personally screened and approved several families in my short time in the job, and every one of those families was grateful and deserving. Your generous donations helped make this happen!
  • Many low-income families in our area were faced with a unique obstacle when schools closed and classes went virtual – no or poor internet access. With the prospect of having some of those children left behind in the learning process through no fault of their own, the Y took the initiative and outfitted several camp busses with WiFi capabilities and then drove those busses into the neighborhoods to give the families the access they needed. The project was called “Y On The Fly”, it was very successful and donations from people like us made it possible.

There are many worthy charitable organizations out there, and there is no obligation to donate to the Y to participate in this rally. I wanted to share why the Y is so important to me and I hope you are somehow inspired by stories like these and find your own way to make a difference. The Y is my choice, and I appreciate the generosity of this group more than I can possibly say.

And next week…one final destination reveal. And it is a good one, trust me 🙂