Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Mild Winter - Early Riding Season

Well, since the snow season was pretty much non-existent, it gave me a bit more time to work on the bike and ride it in between wrench sessions. This worked out in a way as I have joined a year long rally, The Waffle House Grand Tour. This is a charity ride actually that is put on by Hoagy's Hero's.

In essence, we have the entire year to visit as many Waffle Houses as possible. We receive one point for each visit and one point for each pin we get the waitresses to donate to the charity. To get a visit point, we must take a picture outside the WH with our bike and rally towel. There awards for various things like: riding to a location in every month, most visited, farthest distance traveled, etc.

This rally started on 1/1/2012, unfortunately we didn't receive our towels to till around mid January. So in order to get a points before our towels arrived, we had to include ourselves in each photo. This got rather entertaining...

My first Waffle House entry. Salisbury, NC

One, "Warm" afternoon I decided to trek our for a short ride on the Vstrom and bag as many WH's as I could just off the interstate. So I decided to go down 85 south to 77 north to Statesville and then home on I-40. In this short route I managed to get 12 WH's! I didn't even go down into Charlotte for any!

Waffle House #667, Statesville, NC

After that ride was over I started pulling the Vstrom down for some winter upgrades and was pretty much out of the game for about a month. During this time several riders had started gaining some serious points! One my bike was back together, it was time for a test ride. So I headed down to Charlotte to try everything out and find the rest of the WH's in that area.

Waffle House Rally Flag. It arrived bare, so I added some patches and my rally number to it for some flare.

For this ride I wanted to try and get familiar with the GPS so I decided to use the POI's that Dad loaded into the GPS for all the Waffle House's. Well that turned out to be a bust... those locations were way off! It took half the day to figure it out but eventually I did get the GPS figured out and worked out a good method for finding them.

Waffle House in Concord, NC. Got the waitresses to take a photo with the bike and they donated 18 pins!
Waffle House outside of Belmont, NC

The pins that the Concord store donated.

During this ride I got to try out my new heated pants as well. Talk about a wise investment! I ended up going back to the shop the next weekend and purchasing the heated socks and jacket liner! I rode a few hundred miles that day in February in upper 30 degree weather. It was a bit brisk but the sun was out and the roads were dry.

At this point I only have 26 locations and there are several riders that are already in triple digits! With the up coming rides Im not too worried about their lead as Ill be on the road alot here in the next few months.

Speaking of that I guess I should go and speak about the rides that are on the books for this year.

Ride 1: SS2000 ride in to IBA party in Jacksonville, Florida. (3/13/2012) This year, Dad, Mike Brown and myself will be attempting a SS2000 (2000 miles in 48 hours) on the way into the Jacksonville, Florida. This route will be similar to the ride from last year. This years route will take us into Dallas, Texas then down to Beaumont, Texas and across I10 to Jacksonville.

Ride 2: Moonshine Lunch Run. (4/13/2012) Pretty excited about this ride. Always heard about how big this event is and this year Ill be attending with Mike Brown and gang.

Ride 3: Wisconsin Rustic Road Ride. (Late June) Will be riding up with the parents to spend a few days with the grandparents in Wisconsin then we will head over to the gathering in New Glairus.

As always we will be doing the typical local riding in the mountains and what not on the weekends in between. However this year Im looking to expand my state riding and head to the cost a bit. I have a goal of visiting every Waffle House in North Carolina and to achieve that I will have to get out on the coast a good bit.

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