Sunday, May 12, 2019

Unsprung Moto Rally

May 4th, 2019 was the third annual Unsprung Moto Rally put on by Nova Cycles in Turners Falls, Ma., but it was my first.  This event is much like a Moto Giro, but allows modern and big bikes.  Like the Moto Giros, each section starts and ends with an agility test, negotiating a short course through cones in a specific time, with points off if one it too slow, too fast, puts a foot down, knocks over a cone or runs out of the course.  And, like the Moto Giros, I'm not very good at the agility test.  Of the four tests at the Unsprung, I 'cleaned' each one, but was way too quick--more than 23 seconds in total.  this isn’t my typical M.O.; usually I’m too slow.
Negotiating the first agility test.  Barbara Holt photo

This was my time, but I think it was supposed to be 25+ seconds. Barbara Holt photo
But, not too slow out on the roads.  And the roads were excellent.  There were lots of dirt roads and, owing to all the rain we’ve been having, some were a bit ‘greasy’, but just about all of them remarkably smooth.  The paved roads ran the gamut from smooth to very rough.  There was limited time on State Highways and the vast majority was on back roads.  The route sheet was very good, though it only had the cumulative mileage, so one that to calculate the mileage  between turns in one’s head. And the arrowing was excellent.  There was only one place in the afternoon where I got a little confused and had to backtrack to confirm that I was still on course.
We did 70 odd miles in the morning and I gassed up roughly mid way.  I decided not to gas up before starting the afternoon section, but after I got going, thought it might be tight getting to the only gas stop at 60ish miles.  So, I started out pretty subdued, but as time wore on, I became confident that I would make it to gas and started riding harder.  But the very fine mist or occasional spot of rain became real rain for a while.  When I stopped for fuel, I put on my gaiters and overmitts and, of course, it didn’t rain again.
After I got fuel (with some to spare), I passed a clump of riders and three of them latched onto me and Robert Ignatowitz on a Sl350 Honda, Nelson Davis on a 200 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler and a fellow on a RD 400, jammed at a good pace.  I missed a turn and the three of them got by me and I followed them in.  93 miles and change in the afternoon.  The Unsprung was very well run, with great roads and a great crew.
Part of the line up with Alex (?) sleeping on his scooter
Quite a clean Honda 400F
Jacob Isleib's T-10 Suzuki, probably 1963 or 1964.  When he bought it, it would start and idle, but wouldn't rev up.  He discovered that the carb slides were in backwards
The moped army, at least three of them Peugeots.
Nelson Davis' 200 Bridgestone Hurricane Scrambler which he built out of 3 donor bikes and was shaking down for the USCRA Spring Giro.  It ran fine.
Rick Bell with his 250 Sprint
Michael Shia's Guzzi Eldorado