Thursday, August 17, 2006

Day 1 Delayed Report

VERY delayed. We're in Whitehorse now and trying to look over notes to nudge our faulty memory banks into what happened. Believe it or not, just a few days can quickly fade when filtered through the haze of many miles of highway and gravel roads that is the Alcan 5000.

Picked up Eric early in order to make the start in Kirkland. We flirted with the idea of skipping the launch of cars and bikes in Kirkland, but we did not yet have our worker instructions, which were really the entire reason that we were going to this thing.

I packed the Saab the night before, and didn't forget anything. Well, except for the extra long antenna I usually bring for rallys. It's a 5/8 Larson for you radio geeks. Not a huge deal, except for the long transits, it makes it just a tad harder to chat with competitors and workers.

So we got on up the road and worked a checkpoint outside of Alger, WA, near some railroad tracks. The challenge was quickly apparent: how do you note the number on a bike when it's going by at 40 mph? It's hard.

So we do the border crossing, with the requisite Duty Free stop. We take it easy up the main freeway and go through Hope, observing the Morris Minor off the road with an apparent ignition problem. A stop at the Hope Subway sandwich shop results in a learning experience. Jose Rodrigues (cycle #23) tells us about hte brotherhood of BMW riders and we also learn that a US-based Subway card mystifies the clerk.
Part of doing well on this event is figuring out how the rallymaster has measured the TSD scoring sections. We're not competing but we DO need to know where our worker positions are located, with the ultra-secret location information embedded. Except we've concentrated on other important objectives like ice chest contents and music precedence. Anyhow, we don't end up dialing in our external odometer, though we do make all of the assigned locations with no problems because both Eric and I have driven them both and know in a general sense where the routes are located.

Day One was the Grease Day, meaning that Eric and I committed to unhealthy food. This culminated in the Fried Platter of Quesnel, that we could not finish, even with the help of other rallyists. Scurvy may set in soon.

Car repot: A little oil usage above normal. We had to make some time up after passing Hope (Beyond Hope?) so the turbo working overtime is to be expected.


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