A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

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A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by bill lumberg »

Had a good 1,000 plus mile day yesterday. Dry, and temps from 58F to 78F all day.

I’m smart enough to know I’m not tough enough for actual rally stuff, and I’m not that smart when well rested, so plotting and routing on no sleep is not a possibility for me. But Tour of Honor lets me pose for 1 day a year.

I put my distance comforts on the bike. Garauld’s hydration mount and Laam seat, for starters. Temps were forecast to approach 80F, so I left the more minimal touring screen on.

I love my clearwater amber lens covers, but I’ve begun to think they mask certain four-hooved colors on the roadside. Covers swapped for clears, and Erica’s adjusted to point a degree or two walleyed, the better to watch the ditches. Cause Bambi.

The night before, rtic jug iced, coffee thermos filled. I set up my computer, patrol notebook, pen, and iPad, the better to quickly determine my route order, once sites were released at 12:01am 1 April. (In years past, site pages could be difficult to load, costing precious time. This is no longer the case- Tour site and app function superbly, but my habit of just switching devices rather than trying to work through a glitch remains).

Various cords, jump packs, and extra light sources strategically placed, hated but distance-essential tank bag affixed, it’s all coming together. Gatorlyte, sugar free Red Bull, jerky, and low-fat snack bars loaded. All calories, and almost all hydration will be consumed at speed.

I moved last-caffiene time up. Dinner time and a nightcap (the better to sleep abnormally early) were moved up as well. My careful planning assured that I would get 2 hours and 5 minutes of sleep.

Well f@$k. That didn’t work….

So I was already showered, shaved, and dressed when midnight struck and I saw what I was dealing with.

I am cringinly low tech in my route load-in, because I need it done fast.. I write down the site labels, names, and addresses in a patrol notebook. I look at the sites represented on the TOH map for the state that I’m running and number them in the notebook in visit order.

I punch each of the coordinates straight into the gps, as locations, not as a route. (Actually, I punch them into my phone, which loads them into the gps). I use the notebook (in my tank bag) to revisit the location and requirements for the next-up site. I tell the gps which site we are going to next, and punch only the city up next into iPhone nav. This helps detect location-specific gps weirdness, and decreases my chance of overlooking a detail while fatigued.

Getting moving immediately is key. I can ponder and refine the route on the first long leg.

My zumo xt runs primary nav. And it does great. My personal iPhone runs backup nav, tpms monitoring/alarms, and Waze. My iPad, for the first time, became the solo photo/submission tool. TommyKraft’s TOH app and my iPad were a flawless combination.

This year, I figured out that a spot X will not work as a body-worn tracker. Not using their strap, anyway. It flaps and bangs against you in the wind. PITA. On the upside, I can send and receive messages, send an okay or trigger ann sos, all through my phone to the X.

So I tore off, headed for the southern part of the state. Sites near zombieland, my state capital, are bagged first, while traffic is low. Then it’s all points south, (more circular this year), finishing the northernmost targets last, since thst puts me within a couple of hours of home.

Sites were interesting and well planned out. And they involved very little interstate. Their placement caused me to crisscross the state on rural highways and backroads.

As years have passed, competition has increased. The first couple of years I ran, no one was close. Two years ago, a rider had to have been certain he was taking first place in the state. I never saw him, but he had to be less than 7 or 7 or 8 hours behind.

This year, at my second site visit at around 3am, another rider pulled up to bag the site. Two at the same time at 3am isn’t common. (That site required, for my route, a near 50-mile jaunt through thick deer infested forest…. And back, through that same stretch.)

I told him to ride safe and rode on, not sure if this was a sign, or just a random crossing of paths. Much later, when I bagged the next-to-last-site of the day, that same rider would do a double-take, as we passed one another, me leaving the town, he riding into it to score the site.

When I passed him, I wasn’t 100% sure it was the guy from 3am, on the other end of the state. But I was pretty sure. That kicked it up a notch, renewed my energy and focus after so much day and so little sleep. (Okay, actually, sugar free Red Bull did that, but the competition was stimulating).

Wonderful weather, wonderful roads, the excitement of a little competition (the unnamed rider’s “board” would go green very shortly after my own, sort of confirming my suspicion all day that I had no time to lose), and getting home early enough to enjoy a curated rye whiskey, along with homemade vegetable pizza from Mrs. Lumberg, made it an almost perfect day.

Life is short. Live well.
Last edited by bill lumberg on Fri Apr 05, 2024 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by 0face »

Awesome job!

Griff is a TOH resource. Petey and I joined him together and separately in some remote spots to score points. He almost lost his rally flag to the wind and a pond in Pierre, SD (I think) while Petey and laughed and didn't help.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by extrememarine »

Well done, sir, well done!

I think you should consider a new avitar, based on your TOH number...

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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by El Toro Joe »

Congrats...great job. Sounds like quite an adventure.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by Hppants »

I know I could google it, but.... can someone explain the basics of a TOH ride?

Well done, my friend (he writes in ignorance)....
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by wheatonFJR »

Ive never done it of course, but from what i understand second-hand, you must enjoy riding through forest rat infested areas in the dark on roads for miles with little cut back from 2lane road you are on. For tens of miles. So you pin the throttle to make the time go by faster. I may have misheard or misinterpreted. Then again...maybe not.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by BkerChuck »

Nice ride sir!

I participated for 6-7 years in TOH but have drifted away form it and into other Grand Tour type events. I still take a peek at the sites when they're released and may go visit some if they're interesting to me.

Pants, Tour of Honor is a tour in which you visit certain memorials to former military, law enforcement, first responders, etc. who have given their life in service to their fellow man. Most states have 7 sites to visit and each year they change those sites though some may be reused in a future event. Smaller state like, MD, DE, NJ, and DC get grouped into a Mid-Atlantic region and only have 4 memorials in each. ND and SD are paired and only have 4 in each due to the lower numbers of memorials in those states. There are trophies offered for the first 3 people to complete a state or region.If it looks like something you may be interested in visit their website and you can look at the locations near you including pictures of the memorials being used.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by wheatonFJR »

Pants would need flip up helmet to make that afternoon ice cream sandwich happen.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by Auburn »

Hppants wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:19 am I know I could google it, but.... can someone explain the basics of a TOH ride?

Well done, my friend (he writes in ignorance)....
The ToH has several rides that you can plan. They go from 4/1 through 9/30 (I think).

There are 7 sites revealed at 12:01 AM on 4/1 for each state. ToH offers 3 trophies for the first 3 riders who complete them in each state. It appears Bill was chasing one of the trophies in his home state. I do the ToH along with my PNW GT sites later in the year.

Check out their website for the specifics. https://www.tourofhonor.com/
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by Hppants »

Thank you, Chuck and Auburn. Now the O/P makes perfect sense.

Ice Cream not withstanding, a "1-k-ish" day ride is not right for me. I suppose I'll keep honoring them my way:

"I promise to live my life in a manner that is worthy of what you did for me. That is the best way I know how to say thank you."
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by BkerChuck »

Hppants wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 10:11 am Thank you, Chuck and Auburn. Now the O/P makes perfect sense.

Ice Cream not withstanding, a "1-k-ish" day ride is not right for me. I suppose I'll keep honoring them my way:

"I promise to live my life in a manner that is worthy of what you did for me. That is the best way I know how to say thank you."
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?m ... 7853&z=8

Link to this year's LA sites for your perusal.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by bill lumberg »

I avail myself of the competiton for 1st place in a state. That’s the 7 sites competition component that I’ve historically competed in. But they have year-long series of sites that are diverse and interesting. Doughboys, dogs, madonnas, and the list goes on.

They provide giant lists of cool shit to visit.
Hppants wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 10:11 am Thank you, Chuck and Auburn. Now the O/P makes perfect sense.

Ice Cream not withstanding, a "1-k-ish" day ride is not right for me. I suppose I'll keep honoring them my way:

"I promise to live my life in a manner that is worthy of what you did for me. That is the best way I know how to say thank you."
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by 0face »

That's actually what I found interesting... there's a bunch of unknown things around the country... Like miniture (4 foot tall) Statue of libertys) out there... VFW hall with american flags painted on them, war dog memorials...

Me and Craig (NTXFJR) followed griff to one near Estes colorado. I had a mini meltdown in Touron-traffic and yelled at griff to "just go TF around all these assholes!!!!" to which Craig Interperated to griff as... "I think marty would like you to pass these guys"...LOL
bill lumberg wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:09 pm I avail myself of the competiton for 1st place in a state. That’s the 7 sites competition component that I’ve historically competed in. But they have year-long series of sites that are diverse and interesting. Doughboys, dogs, madonnas, and the list goes on.

They provide giant lists of cool shit to visit.
Hppants wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 10:11 am Thank you, Chuck and Auburn. Now the O/P makes perfect sense.

Ice Cream not withstanding, a "1-k-ish" day ride is not right for me. I suppose I'll keep honoring them my way:

"I promise to live my life in a manner that is worthy of what you did for me. That is the best way I know how to say thank you."
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by wheatonFJR »

Last edited by wheatonFJR on Fri Apr 05, 2024 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by griff »

I looked at the SC and GA sites when they were released. SC had the wrong gpx coordinates for a site as well as GA2 - that one was out in the Atlantic Ocean. It is smart to confirm the gpx downloads are correct because some times they are not. A couple of years ago one of the GA sites was really fubar and I remember Lumberg scrambling around town trying to figure out where it was! TOH was fun for a few years. SC is typically one of the easier states to get a trophy in, but as Lumberg says it is getting more competitive every year.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by griff »

0face wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:30 pm Me and Craig (NTXFJR) followed griff to one near Estes colorado. I had a mini meltdown in Touron-traffic and yelled at griff to "just go TF around all these assholes!!!!" to which Craig Interperated to griff as... "I think marty would like you to pass these guys"...LOL
Yeah, that was the day it was free to get into Rocky Mountain National Park. Lotsa of trafiic. I did appreciate your tour directions. :finger:
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by 0face »

griff wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2024 11:26 am
0face wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:30 pm Me and Craig (NTXFJR) followed griff to one near Estes colorado. I had a mini meltdown in Touron-traffic and yelled at griff to "just go TF around all these assholes!!!!" to which Craig Interperated to griff as... "I think marty would like you to pass these guys"...LOL
Yeah, that was the day it was free to get into Rocky Mountain National Park. Lotsa of trafiic. I did appreciate your tour directions. :finger:
Just a subtle litte difference in apporach:

Griff: "excuse me please"

Marty: "Move mthrfkr! Don't you see the line of people waiting for your dumb ass to figure out left from right? Do us all a favor and stay home, you're too stupid to be operating a vehicle!! We got places to be!"

8.5 seconds later....

*Pulls over for Ice Cream*



:threadjack:
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by bill lumberg »

This year was flawless. Each gps hack put me straight up on top of the site. Though I must admit- in previous years I entered addresses, and this year I entered grid coordinates.

I think that north Georgia site we wrangled with was hosed either way. lol.
griff wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2024 11:22 am I looked at the SC and GA sites when they were released. SC had the wrong gpx coordinates for a site as well as GA2 - that one was out in the Atlantic Ocean. It is smart to confirm the gpx downloads are correct because some times they are not. A couple of years ago one of the GA sites was really fubar and I remember Lumberg scrambling around town trying to figure out where it was! TOH was fun for a few years. SC is typically one of the easier states to get a trophy in, but as Lumberg says it is getting more competitive every year.
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by Hppants »

...8.5 seconds later....

*Pulls over for Ice Cream*

:threadjack:
I have a little experience" in these matters. Wandering aimlessly or finding ice cream, you ask? Yes.

To the latter threadjack, some convenience stores do NOT have ice cream. A tradegy, I know, and trust me, I've written my Congressman several times, but it is a fact none the less. I'm trying to find that little subtle hint, visible from the OUTSIDE of the store, that will tell me if there are frozen confections inside. That would be worth knowing. Nothing like pulling over at 2:30 pm, mouth watering, and pancreas at the ready. You take off all of the gear and walk in only to discover... no dice. It's a level of rejection no rider should have to be subject to.

I've submitted to Websters a proposed 5th definition to the word despair:

"The look on Pants' face when he discovers they don't have ice cream."

We'll see what they say.

Moving on.....
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Re: A Good Day Ride, or Tour of Honor Revisited

Post by Bugnatr »

Hppants wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 9:14 am
"The look on Pants' face when he discovers they don't have ice cream."
I saw that face during a day ride at SFO 2 years ago.....it wasn't pretty :shock:
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