This is a long slightly overdue post!
When I became part of the Grand Tour of Georgia Rally (GTGA), I came to know about another Rally organized and managed by the same Team of veteran riders as GTGA; The one day -8hr- Team Lyle of Georgia Rally.
Sadly, my first attempt at the GTGA didn’t end as I would have liked or had planned. I was not able to complete all the required locations. But the locations that I did complete were a blast and I really enjoyed the rides. The GTGA also helped me understand better, the type of riding I wanted to do and the type of bike that I would need in doing so. Besides that I learnt a great deal about Rallying. More importantly, I got acquainted with some truly amazing bunch of people.
To all that know me and to all that I have come to know, Thank you! Thank you for all the support, patience and help along my ride on the learning curve.
Enough the digress. On to the main event!
What is the Team Lyle Georgia Rally?
The Team Lyle Georgia is an 8-hour Themed scavenger hunt format motorcycle rally. It normally begins and ends at the same location. Riders are provided the locations grouped into specific groups or Combination Bonus (Combo) Set and their related GPS coordinates. This forms the Rally Book and is released via email 2 days prior to the Event Day. Each location earns the pre-defined number of points allocated to the location. This allows the riders to review all the locations, sets, the number of points allocated to each location, and plan their choice of sets and route with the view of collecting the maximum number of points. Riders had to choose a Combo and complete the required Bonus Locations stipulated. Along the way, riders can capture other locations as ‘add-on’s’ to add points to their total tally. In planning, the Riders needed to account for riding time, traffic, fuel/food stops and be logged back at the finish location within the stipulated time. The TLGA ran from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Check in at finish at 4:30:01 pm, and its a DNF (Did Not Finish) – and the day, other than the riding pleasure, would amount to a waste. Tough crowd, these Rally Masters.
Information about the Team Lyle Georgia Rally (TLGA):
- Organized by Team Strange Airheads. Team Strange organizes similar ‘rally’ rides in different states to raise money for charity.
- The event raises money for the charity: Eddie’s Road – A New Journey for At-risk Youth.
- Eddie’s Road is a program of The Eddie James Foundation for Children.
- Founded in memory of Eddie James
- Focus of the the charity is to stop the cycle of abuse through proper education, mentoring, counseling and activities that encourage children to reach their full potential without the influences of violence, addiction or neglect.
- The Charity works directly with national organizations and regional group homes to create programs directed specifically to coaching/mentoring children between the ages of 14-18 as they face the challenges of moving into adulthood and independence from the child welfare system.
- Facebook Group: The CentComm for the Team Lyle Georgia Rally
Money towards the Charity is raised through the registration fees collected from anyone that would like to participate. The fees are nominal when you think of the effort put in by the organizers in creating and managing the event and the value that the fees provides in the support provided by Eddie’s Road to the youth to make their live better and positive.
Since this is a timed and competitive rally, not as many riders register. Compared to the 100 odd that sign up for the laid back, at-your-own-pace-GTGA, this rally gets in to the mid 20s as the number of riders registering. 2014 saw 25 (including passengers).
My Team Lyle Georgia Rally:
I chose COMBO-06 – Locations related to Olympic Gold Medalists.- OLYGLD series of Locations
I needed to capture at least 4 out of the total 6 locations within the list. Additional to these I chose 6 other locations to bump up points with these locations being not too much of the general route and direction I had planned to take. A curve ball thrown among the midst was that one specific location could only be captured between a specific time period – 10am to Noon. This can create a hassle in planning the best route and for me, doing this for the first time, it did.
Not to bore you all with specific details, here’s how my day progressed:
- Check In at Start location: Greater Good Barbeque, Tucker
- Bike Check-In completed – miles logged and verified.
- Receive Placard, Sticker Goodies and T-shirt and instructions
- Ride Off [8:30am]
My Captures: (refer to the images)
- GOLF-05: Louis Suggs Memorial Community Recreation Area – Capture was taking a photo of the map on display. This took me out west along 1-20 to Lithia Springs not too far off the I-20. I made good time getting here and was feeling pretty confident. [9:07am]
- OLYGLD-01: The ‘Celebration’ Sculpture located in the pedestrian square in Decatur. Here is where I messed up on the GPS. I had created a GPS route with all my locations plugged in as a single route. On the way back, I messed up on a couple of turns and the GPS automatically continued onto the next location. Only realized it when I reached Decatur – since I knew about this sculpture! So I lost time in having to double back to capture the location I missed. For this location, I had to park the bike, and walk to take the photo and for each child in the photo, 10 bonus points were awarded. I had done some homework on this location and knew exactly where to park quickly and easily. [10:06am]
- MLB-05: ‘Bronze Plaque” commemorating Ponce de Leone Ball Park: (The bronze plaque has been stolen so the capture was a photo of the base shaped cement block in the ground which held the Plaque) Irritatingly doubled back the way I came to get the location I missed and on Saturday, nice weather, around 10:30am – the traffic started to build up. It was like Murphy joined me on my ride. I didn’t get one green light up to this location. And finding the ‘block’ was a pain. The block is actually behind a Whole Foods store where all the dumpsters are parked away. Easily missed on first glance. I actually walked up a small hill thinking that would be a logical place for ‘commemoration’. Turned out be a hangout for the cardboard city homeless sleeping under the shade of the trees. Quickly doubled back and spotted the block as I was walking down the hill. Capture done. Onward to the next location, hoping Murphy doesn’t continue riding with me. These location put me a little behind on the time. A little anxiety creeping in. Plan the Ride. Ride the Plan. [10:37am]
- OLYGLD-05: Steve Lundquist Aquatic Center – Capture the Blue Waves on the building the Blue Awning. The next locations took me South on I-75. This was an easy capture. Not too much ado about it. Onward to the next one a little further south. [11:16am]
- RACING-02: Atlanta Motor Speedway – This was another easier one. Capture was the Sign at the entrance. With this completed, another short trek further south. [11:33am]
- OLYGLD-06: Bronze plaque commemorating Wyomia Tyus – This was pretty easy but involved riding smaller single track roads and I got stuck behind slow moving cars. With this completed, it was a long ride up North to I-985 and beyond towards Toccoa. [11:52am]
On the way up North, just part Cornelia, GA, I pulled up to RaceTrac for some Fuel and a quick bite. For water I had the hydration pack in my Tank bag which kept me hydrated through the ride. After that short break, having made up time on the long slab riding up 75, 85 and 985, I was buoyant that I’d have been able to Ride my Plan and do fairly well for a first timer. And there comes Murphy with a bang! As I was on the driveway leading out to the highway, the car in front of me slowed down and so did I. However, something happened to the brakes or gears that the bike slowed down but did not stop completely. Within that few seconds, the left side of the bike scraped against the rear right side and as if super slow mo, my bike leaned right as I stood up left. That’s all I needed. The car driver helped me with the bike and the Police had to be called for a report etc. On inspection, I found my right footpeg broken. At this point I had more or less decided to just head off home and call it a day. But while we were waiting for the Police, I looked at my plan and decided, even with the least points, I have to finish. I have to aim to get that last mandatory locations from my Combo choice and get back by 4:30pm. I could manage that, but I had to scrub off 3 other locations which were in that area – losing a bunch of points. Next was the question of the footpeg. I put the bike on center stand and looked at how I would be able to ride without the footpeg. It was possible. Not comfortable, but possible. Dispensed with all the Police pleasantries, back on the road and tested the brakes for about 2 miles and once comfortable all was good, Murphy was off my back!
- OLYGLD-02: Paul Anderson Statue in Toccoa – An easy location to find. Just as I reached there, I saw a two-up rider just getting done with their photos and capture. In a rush, I committed the most stupidest rookiest sin! Leaned the bike before the stand was completely down. Again superslow-mo bike leans and gently lowers itself to the ground. Bloody Brilliant! Thanks, Murphy! Not to mention the embarrassment in front of fellow Rally riders. Fortunately, I knew how to stand a heavy bike up on my own. Up and properly on the stand this time. Capture done and quick head out. [2:49pm].
Oh dear, Murphy’s back again! I had left my eyeglasses on the bike when I went up to capture, and forgot to put them on. They obviously fell off the bike as I moved away. Only realized it after about a mile. Something just wasn’t right! Amidst mental expletives, I double back and sure enough there they were!
This done, I had to really try and gain some time getting back to the finish in time to qualify and finish. Excruciatingly long time on the exit ramp to Jimmy Carter Blvd exit off I-85S. Just managed to get back and Check-in at 4:22pm – 8 minutes to spare and a missing footrest.
- Check In at Finish [4:22pm]
- Rally Book completed
- SD Card from Camera
- Scoring done
I had guests at home, so couldn’t stay for the food and merriment and I was a tad upset about the run-in with the car! Do you blame me? Subsequently, turned out that, indeed, I had the least points, but I was a finisher. I enjoyed the day thoroughly and was able to help Eddie’s Road in doing so. All in all a wonderful day and eager for the next one.