2013 Heart of Texas 12-Hour Endurance Rally
Work has been way too busy… I was at the annual HIMSS conference in New Orleans. We’re buying hospitals and merging with other healthcare systems. Connected medical equipment continues to tweak my mind in a friggin’ complicated manner. My personal life has been busy also, in a good way. A couple of weekends back, Deb and I were out in Malibu on the beach visiting friends. Last weekend I was in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas watching the inaugural MotoGP. I’ve been tied up with a Healthcare IT certification course. So, it’s time to put in a substantial ride – James Stovall’s Heart of Texas 12-hour endurance rally. But, there’s hardly any time to plan. What the heck.
I got the rally packet on Wednesday with the bonus list. But, I can’t really take the time to look at it until Thursday during a quick lunch break. There’s a progressive bonus for this year. Visit each of the specified locations in the list aligning with 2013 Heart of Texas, and 500 points magically appear. This was an obvious objective to meet. All of the letters required a single location for each But, I’m confused a bit. There’s only 4 locations listed for “2013”, and if one were to attempt this, it would be around 950 miles. That alone would likely land someone in jail for an attempt in 12 hours. . Wayne says “Chill… it’s OK. Hwy 2013 or the finish at 2013 Bridge St in Brady will satisfy that.”. So, I keep putting together a route. I wanted to keep it simple, considering how busy things have been lately. I was wanting to leave from my house on Saturday and ride to Emory for the first progressive bonus letter location. But, that next hop would be a long distance of non-productive riding. I kept looking… I wound up with a ~590 mile route starting in Early (appropriate start), and wrapping around the Hill Country through some awesome roads to end in Brady. Screw the competitive factor. It would be a great ride regardless of the outcome. I finished up work a bit early on Friday and headed home to pack the bike and ride to Brownwood.
April 27, 2013
The Classic Inn in Early was a great value with clean rooms, friendly owner and a reasonable price. Not to mention internet service that was actually good. The ride down Friday was fine, with nothing but miles on the back roads where possible. I slept well and awoke at 5:00 to look over the final bonuses that James sent out. The first was to find fuel in 4 cities beginning with the letter “I”. Yeah, right… Forget that one. The second was to find a moto cop to photo with my rally flag. That might be a bit hard considering my back road route I had devised. The third was to photograph at least 5 firemen wearing their helmets behind my moto with one holding my rally flag. This was to honor the fallen firemen in the West explosion. That could be tough as well…
The previous night when I rolled into town, I had partially filled my tank to check the time stamp of the Valero. It looked fine. So I returned to the same pump this morning to get my starting receipt. I looked at the time, and 6:00:37 looked OK, so I headed down the highway a mile or so to the first bonus location, The Early historic marker. That was an appropriate starting point…
I headed north towards Sidney and Olin. The morning air was crisp, and the sky to the east was turning interesting shades of dark blue.
The small communities of Sidney and Olin were the next stops to document. The sun continued to rise and illuminate a really interesting farm road with many turns to keep the mind sharp. I rode east a bit more and then turned south to head for the Hill Country.
There was a strange weather thing going on as I rode south towards Fairy. To my east was a cool air mass, and to the west warm air. I traversed this line several times going between fog and clearer skies. It almost looked like the severe weather lines that move in from the west spawning tornadoes, but these were calm early morning low-hanging clouds.
The road to Oatmeal was more like an alley. It was once a county road (4006) that was paved and retained its original width. I dropped speed a bit and enjoyed it.
As I rode through Marble Falls, I remembered the firemen bonus. I backtracked a bit after finding the fire station on the GPS, and parked my bike out front of the station. I walked in and explained what I was seeking, and if there were five firemen to photograph with me. Chief Rankin said he was lucky to have four at any moment. He counted all of them sitting around a bench having breakfast and was surprised. They were all very willing to pose for the shot. I found that some of them had attended the memorial service for the fallen fire fighters at West.
I made my way through the slow triathlon traffic in Marble Falls to go on to Horseshoe Bay and Enchanted Rock. I found later that there was a moto cop near one of the turn-arounds that I never saw. Dang, 250 points lost…
The road to Tarpley and Rio Frio was an absolute blast even though there was some construction going on. I have never been on it before, but will definitely return.
Hext was the stop for an “X”. I had to search a bit for the post office, and almost blew past it as I had to revert to written location description after the GPS coordinates did not yield the right destination. I did an out and back to visit Art for the final necessary progressive bonus letter. There was a really nice church in Art.
I made my way into Brady for the final bonus location and to check in before 6:00 PM. I had ridden 594 miles for the day. I greeted James and went in to tally the points. I compared notes with other riders on what they had seen during the day, and went out for BBQ with Paul and Jim. During dinner I wrestled with returning back home or staying overnight somewhere in Brady or in between. I decided to ride, but pulled into the Classic Inn at Early after 50 miles in the dark. The next morning’s ride home was pleasant with mild temperatures and no wind. Sunday evening, I heard from Karen that I placed 6th overall and gained the most points for the single day points and thus had earned the “Rally Master Award”. That was a surprise! But regardless of the award, I had a great day of riding and socializing with others afterwards.
1. Rex LeGalley 1875
2. Brian Walters 1820
3. Steve Bracken 1655
4. Rusty Baldwin 1460
5. Ron Milleman 1445
6. Richard Swim 1360
7. Randy McCamey 1275
8. David Trail 1255
9. Paul Tong 1230
10. Jim Orr 1190
11. David Whitford 1160
12. Owen Quarles 715
13. Bobby Kent 580
14. Karl Zuercher 495
15. Donny Phillips 455
16. Rusty Allen 455
17. Cary McCamey 390