This year (after a hiatus of 5 years) the Red Hot Riders MC of Miramar, CA
sponsored the event. The ride started in Miramar, CA (next to the Naval air station) at 5 a.m. Saturday and wound
its way through El Centro, Brawley, Blythe, Prescott, AZ, Flagstaff, and crossed the Colorado River at Marble
Canyon. Then continued through Kanab, Utah to Mt. Carmel Jct., UT where we turned west through Zion National Park
(gorgeous even at 8:30 p.m. under HID lighting ;-} The route turned south at St. George, UT then through Las Vegas
(where Rick and I spent 1 1/2 hours gridlocked in a traffic jam on "the Strip" at 1:30 a.m. ) From Vegas
the route continued to its finish in Laughlin, NV. The deadline to finish was 5 a.m. Sunday morning. Rick and
I arrived at 2:15 a.m. to a tired but jovial rally finish crew.
I was riding a 94 ST and Rick was riding his 83 Interceptor. It was a very easy ride for me on the ST but a real "iron butt" ride for Rick on the 'Ceptor, butt he never complained (ah...to be 20 again :-) We seemed to be just ahead of the rain for most of the rally until Marble Canyon, AZ where the sky opened up and rained "cats & dogs" for about 1/2 hour, and we were treated to a spectacular light show as lightning streaked from horizon to horizon. Since the last 400 miles of the rally was in the dark, I got a chance to, once again, thoroughly test the limits of my HID lighting system. Once again, they came through in the inky black, "center of the Earth", night blackness of the forests and deserts of California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. My 2 UN-shielded "Eye of God" HIDs lit up the road with pure white stadium lighting for 1/2 mile in front and hundreds of yards to the sides. The assurance that this kind of illumination provides cannot be overstated, as no critters were able to come close to my path without immediate detection. As I approached turn after turn of narrow canyons and forested mountain roads, I was pleased at being able to see the entire turn and 200 feet up onto the hillsides and trees ahead.
Both the ST and the Interceptor worked flawlessly for the entire 1018 miles at 80-90 mph cruise speeds. Naturally... that's because they're HONDAS !!! :-) The Garmin SP worked perfectly to keep us on course and providing vital statistics, and the Valentine One did its job too many times to count in informing us of the presence and location of LEOs along the route. We had NO "performance awards." Fuel was no problem for the ST (11 gal. capacity) but Rick did run out in his 'Ceptor near Palo Verde, CA after one particularly "brisk" stint on the first leg. Fred Ziggler came to the rescue by allowing us to use the "tap" from his highly modified Major aux fuel cell to fill several water bottles with fuel for transfer to Rick's Interceptor. After that, we had no more incidents of this kind, and Rick let me know whenever he was in need of petrol.
Sixty-four bikes started the "Baby Butt" this year and sixty finished within the allotted 24 hours. Hondas were the majority manufacturer with 25 of the 68 including STs, Goldwings, VFRs, an RC-51and ONE 83 Interceptor. There were several riders who collected performance awards (musta fergot their V-1s at home ;-) No deer strikes (or Elk for that matter). Could it be because hunting season is open and they are in hiding? Or could it be they were staying put while recovering from burnt retinas ;-0 Unfortunately, there was one accident on the rally, and it was a "doozie." Five miles from the start in Miramar a black F150 pickup truck (that witnesses said was traveling too fast) lost control and spun out on at straight section of freeway. The lead group of riders from our ride swerved to miss the now sideways truck. All of them missed it but one. The unfortunate BMW rider center punched the stopped truck at full right lean. His Beemer disintegrated in a cloud of shrapnel, but he was fortunate to have received "only" two broken arms and a concussion. Rick and I happened upon the scene about 15 minutes later as we had to go to 3 gas stations before beginning the rally to get at timed receipt. Fortune definitely smiled on us that morning, as we surely would have been with the lead group.
To end this on a high note, let me say that this was a very well organized event, and Red Hot Riders are to be commended on their hard work and attention to detail. The finishers banquet was exceptional, and the people were wonderful. Rick and I had a great time and will definitely be back next year.