ABC’s of Touring – To the Edge of Alaska

In the spring of 2002 while talking to some of my riding buddies, the subject of the ABC’s of Touring came up. The ABC’s of Touring is a contest sponsored by HOG, the Harley Owners Group, where you take pictures of your motorcycle in front of a state or county sign, a HOG rally banner or other event specified, all with a current issue of HOG Tales in the photo for proof.

We talked about how it would be nice to get into the list of the ten runners-up because we didn’t think we could actually place in the top 3 spots; one of the guys had met the rider who posted 166 points a few years earlier, during the Route 66 tour when it came through town, and that seemed like an unreachable goal at the time.

Someone else mentioned that it wasn’t often that anybody got that many points, and after checking Hog Tales for the previous year’s list we saw that the runners-up list looked reachable, so off we went.

My friends and I had several trips planned through out that year and we figured we would just start seeing how many points we could accumulate. One trip led to another and before I 토토 꽁머니 knew it I had made it to 47 states and made it into 3rd place, and my friend Warren got to 7th.

After the list of winners was published in 2003 I thought about how much fun I’d had seeing the country and all of the places I’d never been, that I decided I was going to make a plan for 2004 and see just how many more new places I could visit. And being a bit competitive, I decided to see if I could match that 166 point total that at the time I thought was the best that had ever been turned in. I found out later that two people in the 1990’s turned in 172.

I realized that the big difference between a lot of points and something really impressive like the 3 point totals above, had to be the state HOG rallies. So when the January issue of Hog Tales came out I sat down and started planning everything around when the rallies were. Using Microsoft’s MapPoint software and the list of rallies from Hog Tales and then coordinating with the rally details in the HOG members’ area on the website I came up with what looked like a workable plan. With 4, 5 and 6 rallies all scheduled on the same weekends I knew it would be a challenge, but it just meant there would be a few weekends of hard riding. From Memorial Day until Sturgis weekend in August there were over 25 rallies and a lot of miles to cover.

My first ride was to the Louisiana State HOG Rally on April 1st where I took my first picture, what a cool way to spend April Fools Day. The last picture I took was in University City, Missouri, real close to home, on the 11th of December, when I realized that through all the trips crossing most of North America I hadn’t bothered to stop and get that U city. Fitting I guess since that’s what they call it in the St. Louis area.

Eight and a half months, 66,000 miles, 6 back tires, 7 cases of oil, and a ton of beautiful scenery, and the quest was finished. There were a few failures along the way; I never did find that danged X county, and I didn’t make it to quite as many rallies as I planned, and I didn’t make it past 166, but getting that note telling me congratulations for the most points made for a great ending.

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