The weather was mixed in Puget Sound the morning of this year�s Ride West Insurance 3 PASS BLA$T which departed from Ride West BMW September 16th.
41 riders registered for the event, about 20 less than the previous year. The reason the number was down? Instead of being a four month long event, this years event would be one day only and the route would not be revealed until the day of eliminating the ability for riders to pre-ride the route and figure out the machinations to a win.
In deed this year�s event, the fifth annual, would be run much differently than in the prior four years. Also missing were the fuel stop check points where riders would collect their receipt from their fuel purchase to document their time in at each checkpoint. Instead, for the 2006 event, there were live people at each checkpoint utilizing clocks set to the Atomic clock in Fort Collins Colorado so that time out and ins would be accurately recorded. This actually reflected a closer version of the time/speed/distance rally to those run in the early 1900�s be the Seattle Motorcycle Club.
Riders departed Ride West between 9 and 10 am. By the time they had approached Stevens Pass several turned around on account of rain. The other 37 flogged their way over the pass for sunnier skies awaiting them closer to Lake Wenatchee.
Checkpoint 2 in the small town of Plain got busy from noon to 1:30 pm with riders checking in and having their times recorded for the first leg. The second leg lie ahead complete with a lunch break in lovely Leavenworth and an option to ride over the Old Blewett Pass instead of slabbing up the entire stretch of US97. In the end only 3 riders took the old road option. Their scores were adjusted to reflect that additional 8 minutes required to run the length.
Shortly after 3 pm riders began checking in at the final checkpoint in Snoqualmie Pass at Travelers Rest, a DOT rest stop with a coffee bar attached. Rain came and went throughout the next two hours and by 5 pm all 37 riders had checked in.
In the end Michael D. Evans snagged the overall victory and $300 1st place prize losing only 7 points from a possible 500 by arriving 1 minute late to the first checkpoint and 6 minutes late into Snoqualmie. The second place overall victory was shared by three riders � Steven Shaw, Joseph Fletcher and Wei Zhong scoring 492 points each. Third place was snagged by four riders including Jim Paulsen, Jerry Party, Ralf Miethe and Dennis Rhoads each holding onto 489 points for the day.
Jeff Darr took 1st place in Leg 1 competition arriving at checkpoint 1 in the exact time of 2 hours and 46 minutes. He lost big on leg two arriving 17 minutes late to the checkpoint losing an overall 18 points from his score only to finish the day at 483 points.
It was Steven Shaw who scored a win on Leg 2 riding from Plain to Snoqualmie in the exact absolute time of 3 hours and 19 minutes.
Jerry Party, a first place overall winner from 2001 placed first in the senior class this year with 489 points tying with Dennis Rhoads.
Because Michael Evans was on a vintage bike he also took first place in the vintage class.
The three wheel class was won almost by default as Dave Boneham was the only rider with a sidecar scoring a mere 354 points. His leg 1 run was good only losing 6 points, but it was leg 2 that got him when he arrived 28 minutes ahead of schedule forfeiting 140 points off his score.
Of the 37 riders who completed the run, 15 won prizes of cash and/or gift certificates.
The promoters wish to thank Ride West Insurance, Gerbings Heated Clothing, Rich�s Custom Seats and Caf� Veloce for their continued support of the event.
Also a special thanks to Connie & Marme Adams, Paul Tefft and Patrick & Suzy Duff for running the checkpoints this year.
We look forward to another grand route and event in 2007.
To see the final scores for all riders and categories click here.