Here’s how to follow along as riders in MERA’s 10-n-10 Rally hit the road.
As I sit here in my Salt Lake City Hotel room reviewing my planned route for the Motorcycle Endurance Riders Association’s first-ever 10-n-10 Rally one last time, it occurs to me that my three previous installments in this series overlooked one of the coolest parts of this 10-day/10,000-mile celebration of motorcycling masochism. Namely, the little orange Spot satellite-tracking units most 10-n-10 Rally competitors will be using to help rallymaster and MERA founder Steve Chalmers—not to mention our friends and loved ones back home—keep tabs on us during the event.
While this nifty little GPS-based communication gizmo has undeniable safety benefits—not the least of which is its ability to summon help in an emergency in all those places in this country where cell phone signals are virtually nonexistent—it’s the gee-whiz factor of Spot’s Track Progress mode that most intrigues me. While folks have been riding these kinds of endurance rallies for more than 20 years, this is the first time the public can follow competitors progress in real time on a Spotwalla-powered Google map.
To see what I mean, I suggest you check out the 10-n-10 Rally’s public location page regularly between now and when we all cross the finish line on September 5th (if you’re trying to find me on the map, look for the little green flag marked “RA”, as in “Rider, Alan”). It should be especially interesting this morning at 10:10 a.m. MST when you’ll see all those little green flags heading out from Salt Lake City in every conceivable direction in search of one of the rally’s 300-plus potential bonus locations.
As for me, my route will take me from border-to-border and coast-to-coast, with brief stops in the “official” Middle Of Nowhere and Hell (no, I’m not making this up). All in an attempt to answer the one question that’s probably on your lips right now, namely “Why would anyone ride up to 18 hours a day for 10 days straight and call it fun?”
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for that answer until the full story runs in an upcoming issue of Cycle World. But do check back here on Thursday, September 9th to read more about both MERA’s inaugural 10-n-10 Rally itself and my first impressions of what it’s like to ride more miles in 10 days than most folks do in a year.
Next Time: 10 Days/10,00 Miles—Part 5: Well, How Was It? (I’ll let you know when I wake up!)