Bonzai Ride Report

by Bob Young

I had a great time on the Bonzai this year as always. The route I chose took me up north to Three Lakes, WI. The main bonus up in that area was a visit with The Johnsons at their lake cabin worth about 6400 pts. The distance to the cabin should have been about 285 miles and the time slot for the bonus was 11:30 - 1:30. There were enough points in the area to make it worth the trip including the Sport Shop in Eagle River (795pts). In Three Lakes there was a Winery, a cafe, a bakery, and a gas stop bonus (roughly about 2800pts from memory). After those up north points my plan was to get back to the Baraboo area and see how much time I had left and work my way towards Monroe picking up what points I could with the time that was left.
Plans are wonderful if they work. I was using an FJR 1300 and had a state of the art Garmin 2610 GPS. Unfortunately, I was using a MOPED powered mind. The bike was flawless. It is great to be able to push a button and lower the windshield and get some air. I had an issue (I really dislike using the word ďissueĒ but it does cover up the fact that I didnít know how to plug in Three Lakes and tried to get it into the GPS by using a common street name. I chose Main St.) entering Three Lakes in the GPS.
So at 6:30 Iím off. I head north on Hwy 69 straight through the construction, not taking the detour. The road was good and saved time. At about an hour into the ride I checked my trip meter to see how I was doing. It showed over 100 miles. No way! I look closer and see it is using the Km scale. So my MOPED mind remembers that my starting mileage number that Bill recorded was over 61000 not the 38000 plus miles my bike really has. In Wausau, I stop for gas and call Bill to report my Km/miles problem. He says change back to miles and I continue on. Iím a happy camper now. All I have to do is follow my GPS (because Iím smart and have one) right to my destination, Main St. Three Lakes. I pass couple of riders. One is trying to read his tank-bag map. I think, ďHe really needs and fine GPS like mineĒ. Boy, I am a cool dude. Well Mr. COOL DUDE finds out that the Main St, Three Lakes destination loaded into the Fine GPS is really out in the Boondocks about 20 miles away from Three Lakes. I humbly pull out the paper map and figure out a route out of this mess. I find Iím close to Eagle River so go there to pick up the Sport Shop Bonus. In town there is no Sport Shop with the exact name but I see Carrie Hanson outside of the store with the closest name. I stop and she says Ron is inside checking things out. Ron comes out and says this must be the spot so we shoot our pictures. We are both going to the Johnson cabin next so I follow them. We pass a Huey Cobra memorial that I collect on my way back from the Johnson visit. The Johnsons provide us with a cool bottle of water after our photo shoot. The Hansons give me some info about the bonuses in Three Lakes that help me collect them easily. Thanks much. Who would have thought that the correct name of the Bakery was on the back of the store?
Iím done up north so I head to the Baraboo area. I even use my GPS. I get a chip from the Ho-Chunk casino. The Blackjack dealer says that Iím not the first nut with a MC jacket he has had to deal with today. Next on my list is the Forevertron at Dr Evermoreís sculpture gardens. I have been there before when I have had enough time to roam around. He has thousands of sculptures some are even good. But who am I to judge. I canít even master my GPS. I skip right by the Delaneyís bonus next door. Itís that MOPED mind again. I do pick up some Historical markers along my route. In Black Earth I get the Rookies Bar and the Shoe Box. Then next stop is the two bonuses at the Tin Man house. I am also picking up a few Memorials as I go through all the small towns. I stop at the Mustard Museum in Mt Horeb but it is after 5PM and they are closed. The route sheet didnít have any hours of operation so I figure I could take a picture to prove I was there rather than buying some Mustard. That Bonus got thrown out but I had to try.
I have to make a decision now. I can make it to the finish and be under 650 miles but will be there 30 minutes early. If I use up the 30 minutes gathering more Bonuses I will go over 650 miles and loose 1000 pts. From where Iím at I can still go to Albany and get a couple Bonuses and still get to Monroe in less than 650 miles. So off I go to Albany and pick up a few little bonuses as I find them along the way. At the Jet in Albany I realize I can use the Jet in two places on the Bonus sheet. I know I need a picture for each entry so I shoot two shots. I reach Monroe with 630 miles. So with 20 miles to use, I get the Three Birds Bonuses and the extra pts for getting all three. I end up at the finish with just less than 650 miles and a point total of just over 16000. This gets me a second place award in the Experienced Rider class. It helped to have the overall winner come out of the Experienced Rider class as that moved every one up one notch.
Placing in these rallies is really secondary at best. The most enjoyment is coming together with RIDERS. Yes people who know that they may be riding the next 13 hours in whatever kind of weather that will be thrown at them. Some come from places that require more miles of riding than they will do during the rally and again in some pretty bad weather. Some times you get a high score and some times you donít. If you listen to the conversations after the rally, you will hear everyone with their ďwould of, could of, should ofs.Ē That is the sound of fun.
My thanks go out to Bill and all the volunteers. You put on a great rally.
Bob Young
Bloomington, MN

Posted on May 30, 2006, 6:07 AM
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