The first half of this last leg went perfect! Everything worked out just how I had planned. Now I had about 33 more miles to cover and get back to San Diego BMW before 1629 hours. The Zumo is saying it can be done, to the minute. But once again, everything has to go right. One wrong turn, a crash on the freeway, anything that would slow me down and I am going to be late. I get the bike turned around and start heading to the 15. So far, so good! No traffic getting to the 15. I hit the on-ramp and start twisting and watching traffic for any hint of a slow down. The Zumo is now saying I will arrive at 1628. Cool, made up a minute, a little less pressure. Still need the traffic gods on my side. I start to come up on the area where the "Express Lanes" split off from the main lanes of the freeway. I start thinking to myself about getting in the express lanes. I have never ridden in them before and I don't know if there is a toll booth or something that might slow me down or cause me to stop. I make the right call I think by staying out on the freeway. Traffic is flowing pretty good and looking ahead everything looks clear. The Zumo is still telling me I am going to make it with a minute to spare. Now I am thinking about my start this morning and the one minute difference between my clock and the starters clock. He said it was 0828 and I said 0829. I did not check to see which time he wrote down. So, now of course I start to panic again! After worrying about that for a minute or two I look down at the GPS again and it is saying I will arrive at 1627 hours. Okay, if I arrive at that time it will not matter what he wrote down. I will be in time. My off ramp is coming up and the distance is clicking off the GPS. I am really going to make this. The traffic light is green and I have one more mile to go, I pull up into the parking lot of San Diego BMW at 1627 hours and check in. This one is in the books!
I park my bike and get all of my papers together, go inside and start filling out my score sheet. Not counting the start and finish as bonus locations I only hit 8 bonus locations plus the points for the "Paper Map" bonus. I am thinking to myself at this point that I would be lucky to finish in the middle of the pack again with that number of bonus points. I told myself I should be happy with the fact that I did finish and had a great time out on the ride. I still had to ride home so I figured I would stick around and enjoy the BBQ and maybe pick up a cool prize during the raffle. I take my stuff up to the scoring table and sit down with Craig to get scored. In the end all of my bonus points were good. No mistakes!
After getting scored I wander around the shop looking at the all the cool stuff I wish I could afford. I have been wanting an electric jacket liner for a long time and they had some nice "Gerbing's" in a really nice display. I kept gravitating towards the display, but kept telling myself, "NO!" I found a nice pair of GS Pro Gloves and bought those thinking it would cure my gotta buy something fever. It did for the most part!
The guys at San Diego BMW BBQ'd up some good eats and everyone had a little something to eat. Craig then started the raffle. Now, I am one of those people that can buy a hundred raffle tickets for one item and the person next to me can buy one ticket and win. Just lucky that way I guess. Craig had some pretty cool books and other swag that I would have like to have taken home. He kept calling names and the cool stuff was being snatched up and hauled away. I figured he would call my name pretty soon. There was cool hat left that I would like. Not to be. He kept calling names and none of them were mine. Finally, last name called, mine. I got a nice Ducati T-shirt. Cool!
I was starting to get a little restless because I wanted to get on the road. I still had a 4 hour ride to get home and it was starting to get a little late in the day. Craig started the awards ceremony and called up the 3rd place finisher, Eddie Frowiss. Eddie rode without the aid of a GPS. Next up was second place, William Drew. William was the rider of the LT I had been seeing all day long. He seemed to be a step ahead of me everytime I saw him. Good for him! Looking at the clock and thinking about when I would be getting home Craig was saying something about how the winner this year had combined bonus locations from two different routes and had come up with the winning score. He said something about how many times the winner had riden in the LowCal 250 and how they had respectable finishes in the past. Then he said, "The winner for this years LowCal 250 is Matt Pflugh." No Friggin Way!!!!
Craig had these nice little boxes made up with the LowCal 250 logo on them as the prizes for the winners. Inside the box was a nice little something extra provided by San Diego BMW. Before I left I had a very nice Gerbing's electric jacket liner and all the excessories that go with it. Gotta buy something fever.....cured!
The LowCal 250 was the first Rally I ever participated in and it is the probably the most fun a person can have in a full day of riding. Craig puts an extrodinary amount of effort into this Rally and I can not thank him enough. San Diego BMW is a fantastic host for this event. They even had an Open House event the same day and handled it all very well. It is amazing how the showroom can be full of motorcycles one minute and you turn around and all the motorcycles are gone and tables and chairs have been set up and the food is ready to be served. Thank you to San Diego BMW. This whole event is in support of the PKD Foundation and all of the "Entry Fees" are donated to the PKD Foundation.
After all was said and done in San Diego I headed home. Fours hours later at 2303 hours I pulled into my garage. Total milage for the weekend, 920.1 miles!
Thanks for reading my ride report! If you are interested in learning more about the LowCal 250 or the PKD Foundation check out the LowCal 250 Web site.