Another (2) Weeks Down!

The weather…it will get better! I was talking to friends that live just outside Denver and they shared that they had received something like 16 inches of snow from a storm last week. So I guess it could be worse? But seriously, it has been improving and we are starting to see the activity pick up.

Over the last two weeks:

  • 14 riders have visited their first location of the year.
  • 93 riders have visited 269 locations so far (over 100 in the last 2 weeks).
  • 2 riders have reached “Finisher” status (reminder – you don’t have to visit all 30 to be a finisher. Visiting all 30 will get you special recognition).
  • Only 3 locations remain lonely because of snow (Elk Lake Resort in Oregon, the PCT sign in Washington and the Big Hole Battlefield in Montana. Of note, the road up to the Elk Lake Resort is now open and the resort opens for business on May 27th (that’s when you can get close enough for a picture).

Justin has been working behind the scenes to add some additional functionality to the scoring web page. Head over and take a look!

  • The “By Rider” scoreboard lists all riders that have made a visit. Click the rider’s name and you will see a list of the visits that rider has received credit for.
  • The “By Bonus Code” scoreboard is new. It lists all locations and gives a total number of visits for each one. Click the code or name and you can see everyone who has received credit for that location.
  • More enhancements coming…Justin enjoys putting this stuff together and I greatly appreciate his efforts. I hope you do, too!

Just a reminder, please send your pictures to the scoring email address with the code as the first thing in the subject line (no spaces in the code, code is four characters long). I think it is going pretty well. The biggest issues we see are using the wrong email address or not formatting the code in the subject line correctly.

Finally, one note about Steptoe Butte. We have put out that the state plans road work up there this summer. As of today, there is still no indication that work is imminent and the road to the top remains open. From other rider’s reports, it is obvious the road is in poor shape (safe if taken slow), especially near the top. If you are not comfortable picking your way through the potholes, we did provide an alternate location for you to use at the entrance. The view from the top is excellent and worth the ride up, but not if you are miserable doing it!

Rider 103 made it up to the Bluebird Inn on a blue day 🙂
Rider 81 was the second finisher!

First Visit to Montana!

It was a slow week. 6 more riders made their first visit to locations in Washington and one rider finally made it out to Montana. Cold, wet and windy – not ideal! I was checking web cams this morning to prepare for a ride later this week and most major passes over the Cascades in Oregon are snow covered again. A rider making his way north through eastern Oregon over the weekend rode through intermittent flurries and occasional accumulation.

Web Cam image of US-20 (Santiam Pass) at 7am Monday morning [from Oregon TripCheck website].

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • 79 riders have made at least one visit (up from 73 last week).
  • A total of 167 pictures have been credited (up from 146 last week).
  • Washington still has a commanding lead in total number of visits (102) over second places Oregon (35). I’m sure that will change when the weather improves.
  • No finishers, yet, but a few are closing in on it!
Rider 128 at GT07 in Oregon. I really enjoyed the mood of this picture!

One Month Down, Where’s the Sun?

Some of us got out and about this past week. We had 10 more riders earn their first visit and added a total of 26 visits to the total (now 146). I just know the weather has to get better soon and we will see a lot more activity when that happens. Not surprisingly, the locations near home are the popular ones right now (Whidbey Island leads the way). Sadly, still no love for Montana 🙁

Rider 183 found some sunshine on Whidbey Island.
Wynoochee Dam remains popular, too. Rider 98 took advantage of reasonably dry weather to visit.

Ken Tracy (Rider 128) made the trip up to Aquarius Campground to collect GT17 and found the sign taking a nap on the ground 🙁

So, what to do? Just go and take a picture of any sign at the campground for credit. I suspect the main sign will eventually be repaired, so it remains the sample for now.

The sign at GT17 taking a nap 🙁
Rider 128 at GT17. You can see the campground sign on the ground in the background. The other sign farther back and next to the stop sign would make a good substitute in the meantime.

Finally, one of the things I enjoy is bumping into another rider out on the road. I was at GT21 (Moscow Cemetery) taking my picture last weekend and along comes rider 55. I hung out for the photo op and enjoyed meeting Debi!

Rider 55 and rider 1 at GT21 🙂

Another Week, Another Scoring Lesson Learned :)

Business first…

We learned something about the scoring system this week. The system we have set up only recognizes one image from any email you send, so if there are multiple images, the scoring team doesn’t see them. How does this affect you? If you send us an email with two (or more) pictures, we might see the one of the lakeside picnic and not the one with your bike and flag. How do we prevent this? Send your best image by itself to the scoring email and let us handle the rest 🙂

We do enjoy seeing the pictures of other interesting stuff, just not with the picture you are sending in to get scored.

We finally got a couple days of nice weather over the weekend and many of you made it out to enjoy it. I enjoyed the drone videos that Robert Bowman (rider 65) posted on the Facebook page for a few of his visits – head over and take a look. I also had the pleasure of bumping into (figuratively) Debi Lovelace (rider 55) at the Moscow cemetery location. It is always fun to see people out enjoying our beautiful area of the world. Snow is slowly melting and some of the locations at higher elevation should be available in the next several weeks I would think.

Rider 55 and rider 1 cross paths 🙂

GT09 (Bluebird Inn) seemed to be a popular place for riders this weekend. Maybe it was the recommendation from Dale Wilson (rider 361) about the bacon cheeseburger…it was delicious!

Totals for the rally so far:

  • Riders with at least 1 visit – 63 (10 new this week)
  • Total number of visits – 120 (35 this week)
  • Washington locations have a commanding lead right now with 70
  • Montana still isn’t getting any love. Maybe someone has one of those cool snow machine conversion kits for their dual sport bike laying around?

A Cold, Wet Week

April sucks so far, am I right???

The weather has definitely kept riders home more this past week. We only had a handful of riders out collecting a jaw-dropping 14 locations…LOL! But better weather is on the horizon (he chants to himself over and over and over).

We did see some activity. Several riders picked off some low hanging fruit on Whidbey Island, and one crazy Canadian rider ventured out in the cold to collect locations on the east side of the state.

Rider 46 visits NAS Whidbey. It looks nice, but you can see the wind was blowing and I am told it was cold.
Rider 41 got innovative to keep his flag visible in gusty conditions at Grand Coulee Dam.

53 riders have visited 85 locations so far with GT13 leading with 15 visits so far. We still have 7 locations with no visits, probably because there is still snow blocking access. That too shall pass.

I think the picture submission process is working pretty well? There have been a couple riders we have worked with to get the process working smoothly. The biggest issue so far has been the location code – it must be the first thing in the subject line and cannot contain any spaces. The other issue is occasionally trying to send from an email address different than the one used during registration.

Well, here’s hoping the weather starts to turn for the better!

One Week Down

It has been a busy week with quite a few riders getting out last weekend to visit locations in every state except Montana. It looks like the practice sending pictures to the scoring email worked out pretty well, too. We had very few issues on our end. I would be interested to know if any of you are struggling with the process and could use some help. We don’t want it to be frustrating to get a picture sent in!

We don’t have an award for the first visit of the year, but if we did it would go to rider 212 for his middle of the night visit to Grand Coulee Dam! The lighting was pretty cool, and I imagine he was also pretty cold.

Rider 212 visits Grand Coulee Dam for the first visit of 2022!

Riders Dave and Ellie hosted a pancake breakfast at their house and then visited Cooper Spur Mountain Resort on the 2nd of April. That is pretty cool and I am sorry I missed out. It looked like the roads up by the resort were clear of snow (although it could change at any time this time year).

Rider 238 visits Cooper Spur Mountain Resort.
Stole this from the Facebook, believe it is the pancake breakfast group on the road 🙂

Idaho didn’t get a lot of love last year until later in the season, but rider 128 is making a strong bid to change it this year. He made it out to the location I am most looking forward to this year – Hells Canyon Creek Visitor Center. Looks like he had good weather, too!

Rider 128 visits Hells Canyon Creek.

Two locations have drawn a lot of interest early on – probably because of the pancake breakfast group and the proximity to home for many riders. Whidbey Island leads the pack so far with 9 visits.

Rider 355 visits NAS Whidbey Island.

43 riders have been out to collect a total of 71 locations so far. The weather is not being too cooperative this week, but warmer and dryer conditions are on the way.

Finally, because many of you chose to donate to the YMCA when you registered, I thought I would let you know that we are approaching $2,000 overall. The YMCA has been hit as hard as any other organization and the money is definitely appreciated.

Correction for GT18 – Bear Lake County Courthouse

Well, the best laid plans and all that. The courthouse is dead, long live the new courthouse!

Rider Doug Blair went out to Bear Lake County courthouse (GT18 over in the great state of Idaho) over the weekend only to find it had been destroyed and replaced with a new courthouse a very short distance away. He did the right thing and took a picture of the new one and sent it in – perfect!

I have updated the sample images on the website. I don’t think you need updated GPS coordinates – it is right next to where the old one was located.

Sometimes this can happen, although it shouldn’t! The old courthouse wasn’t in bad shape as far as I could see when I last visited. This is one of the locations I have actually been to somewhat recently, so I was surprised to hear it was gone.

Anywho, off we go!

The Day Before the Best Day of the Year :)

Many of you have plans to get out and enjoy our wonderful roads in the PNW – I am joining you, too! Be safe, enjoy the ride and stay warm!

Make sure you know where you are going and what you are supposed to include in your picture. As a friendly reminder:

  • Your motorcycle (or enough of it to tell it is a motorcycle) must be in the picture.
  • Your rally flag (or placard for a small number of you who haven’t received your flags, yet) must be in the picture with the number readable.
  • The object described in the location guide must be included in the picture. It does not have to be an exact match in terms of size or angle, but it does need to be recognizable.

This seems like a good time to remind riders what to do if you (oops) lose your flag (note – leaving your flag at home isn’t the same as lost). If you LOSE your flag, take a picture with your smiling face in place of your flag. When you can, let me know what is going on and I can send you a file you may print to use in place of the flag going forward.

Did you forget your flag at home? It sucks being sad, but that’s what you are now.

Once you have that picture of your dreams, remember to send it in like this:

  • Send it from the email address you used to register for the rally on Ride Master (unless you have told me to change it).
  • Send it to the email address used for scoring ().
  • Make sure the location code (e.g. “GT01”, etc) is the first thing in the subject line of the email.

Please do not send the picture as a text message. It will not be recognized by the system.

All right, off we go! Maybe I will see you out there. I have plans to ride a long way on Saturday with no stops (except gas). I will be making my way back home starting Sunday and will see parts of California, Oregon and Washington.

GT16 Update (Steptoe Butte)

The state park website says the road to the top of Steptoe Butte will be closed for construction this year. Tim Seawel and I went out there on Friday (3/26) to scout an alternate location and the road is still open with no signs of work. We saw no signs of preparation for work, either – no signs, no construction equipment staged, no survey markings, etc. My best guess is that any work planned is a few weeks/months out. Those visiting earlier this season will likely have no issue getting to the top.

So, what to do?

The planned stop at the top is still valid. The road is rough. It is paved all the way up but there are potholes in places. Take it slow (I think we went about 25mph and it was fine) and enjoy the views. At the top, just before the dirt parking area, there is a paved road to the left that goes up to the main parking area where the picture should be taken. There are also bathroom facilities in that parking area (pit toilets).

If you go later in the season and can’t get there because of road work, take a picture at the entry just off of Hume Rd with the butte visible in the background. The gates in the picture below are located immediately adjacent to Hume Rd and should be accessible all year long 🙂

The website will be updated to reflect this alternate location in the next day or so.

Less Than A Week to Go!

The rally officially starts this Friday and I am sure most of you are excited to get started. If you haven’t tested out the scoring system by sending in a few test images, please take a few minutes ot do it and avoid frustration later. It is super simple but does require 3 basic elements for success:

  • Send the email to the correct address ()
  • Send the email from the same email you registered with.
  • The location code (“GT01”, for example) must be the first characters in the subject line!

Here’s a link to the page with more info for scoring success.

You all should have received your flags by now! If you have NOT received your flag, drop me a line using the contact form on the website so we can sort it out.

See you all out there!

New Scoring System Ready for Testing

I think I mentioned that we were developing a new scoring system to improve the experience for both riders and scoring team alike. Well, the bones are in place and it is ready for testing. We have added a link to the new “Scoreboard” in the menu at the top of the web page, and I added a new page describing the system as a sub-item under the Scoreboard. Head over and take a look! Send in some practice picture to get used to the simple system.

Here’s a link to the page describing the new system and how to use it. Please read me first 🙂

Here’s a link to the new Scoreboard.

Other updates…nothing much to say today. We are waiting on the flag shipment – everything else is ready for mailing. We will let you know when we put stuff in the mail!